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Blog Post

Optimizing AWS Healthcare: 5 Pain Points Shared by Our Customers

The healthcare sector is experiencing a digital revolution, with cloud-native technologies leading the charge. The global healthcare cloud market is on a meteoric rise, valued at an impressive $61.78 billion in 2023. It’s expected to skyrocket to an estimated $210.02 billion by 2033, reflecting a CAGR of 13.01%. But even with the immense potential, navigating the healthcare cloud can be tricky.

To shed light on this, we turned to five of our healthcare customers to uncover the most pressing pain points they encounter on the AWS cloud. This blog delves into the top 5 challenges they shared and explores how Cloudelligent’s AWS Well-Architected Framework Reviews (WAFR) can help you overcome them and optimize your AWS healthcare journey in the cloud.

Are you ready to transform your healthcare cloud challenges into opportunities for growth? Book your free WAFR today and step confidently towards optimization and success!

5 Common Pain Points Revealed by Healthcare Clients

Healthcare organizations leveraging AWS (Amazon Web Services) encounter a unique set of challenges. Through in-depth discussions with our clients, we have identified five prevalent pain points that hinder cloud operations, security, and cost savings. Let’s explore these common challenges, along with healthcare solutions to help you optimize your AWS environment for success. 

1. Data Security and Compliance

Data security and compliance are paramount in AWS healthcare environments, where Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) requires robust safeguards. Our healthcare customers consistently highlight this as a major concern, grappling with the complexities of: 

  • Implementing AWS Multi-Account Structures: Setting up and managing separate accounts for environments and departments within a healthcare organization can be challenging but crucial for isolation and security. 
  • Managing Access Controls: Healthcare data is sensitive and requires strict access controls. Organizations struggle with enforcing least privilege access for users, restricting public access, and properly configuring Security Groups. 
  • Data Encryption: Protecting healthcare data at rest and data in transit is critical. Organizations need to ensure that all compute, database, and storage layers are properly encrypted.  
  • Meeting Healthcare Data Privacy Regulations: Compliance with healthcare regulations such as HIPAA and HITRUST is a significant concern. Customers often find it difficult to align their AWS environments with these regulatory requirements, which can involve complex configurations and continuous monitoring. 

These challenges can be overwhelming. However, Cloudelligent can help you address them with quick and effortless AI-powered assessments. We leverage a suite of AWS services such as AWS Organizations and AWS Control Tower, and implement AWS security best practices to tackle these issues effectively.  

2. Cost Optimization Challenges

Keeping cloud costs under control is a priority for any organization, and healthcare is no exception. Many of our customers expressed concerns about optimizing their AWS environments to avoid unnecessary spending. Here are some of the common challenges they faced: 

  • Right-sizing for Workloads: Healthcare organizations face unique demands, such as rapid scaling during pandemics or spikes in research activities, making it challenging to predict AWS resource needs accurately. This often leads to either underutilization or overprovisioning, both of which inflate costs unnecessarily. 
  • Inefficient Resource Utilization: Unexpectedly high AWS bills can often be traced back to inefficient resource utilization and configurations. Healthcare organizations struggle with implementing billing alerts and decommissioning processes for idle resources to prevent cost overruns. 
  • Lack of Visibility into Cloud Spend: Without a clear view of how different departments or projects are utilizing AWS resources, it’s difficult to identify areas for cost savings. Implementing a well-defined tagging strategy and leveraging tools such as AWS Cost Explorer and AWS Trusted Advisor can provide valuable insights into cloud spend patterns.

Curious how Cloudelligent empowered Koan Health to tighten security, boost productivity, and optimize cloud costs with Well-Architected solutions? Read the case study to see how we did it!

3. High Availability and Disaster Recovery

In the healthcare industry, system uptime is paramount. Patient lives can depend on 24/7 access to critical healthcare applications, electronic health records (EHR), and medical services. Our customers highlighted the challenges of maintaining a robust and reliable AWS infrastructure that can ensure seamless service delivery in the event of disruptions. Here are some key areas they grappled with: 

  • Maintaining High Availability: Even brief outages can have serious consequences in healthcare. Our customers need strategies to ensure application and data availability during planned maintenance or unforeseen system failures. We assist them in deploying across multiple Availability Zones (AZs) for enhanced resilience. 
  • Limited Disaster Recovery Capabilities: Many healthcare providers lack robust disaster recovery plans or rely on outdated solutions that are slow and complex to implement. This vulnerability can lead to data loss and extended downtime in the event of power outages, ransomware attacks, natural disasters, and other emergencies. 

In response to these challenges, Cloudelligent leverages a combination of AWS tools to enhance high availability and disaster recovery strategies. Solutions such as Amazon RDS Multi-AZ improve database resilience by automatically replicating data across multiple Availability Zones. Amazon Route 53 p provides intelligent DNS routing and failover capabilities to direct traffic away from unavailable resources. Additionally, AWS Backup simplifies the process of backing up and restoring critical data and information. 

4. Scalability and Performance Issues

The adoption of cloud services has been a game-changer, particularly for enhancing patient care through technology. However, our healthcare customers often face challenges in optimizing these services for their unique needs, such as: 

  • Peak Time Pressures: Healthcare providers need their infrastructure to dynamically scale during peak times, such as flu season or public health emergencies. This includes handling telehealth appointments, processing lab results, or managing a sudden rise in new patient registrations. 
  • Managing Patient Data Spikes: The healthcare sector generates vast amounts of data daily, from patient records to real-time monitoring systems. Handling spikes in patient data—triggered by events like health campaigns or seasonal check-ups—requires a robust system that can scale resources up or down as needed. 
  • Performance Bottlenecks: Ensuring consistent performance of healthcare applications is non-negotiable. Slow loading times for EHRs or delays in appointment scheduling can disrupt workflows and frustrate patients. 

5. Lack of Automation and Orchestration

Many healthcare organizations grapple with the complexities of managing their AWS infrastructure. A common pain point is the lack of automation and orchestration, which can lead to several challenges, including: 

  • Manual configurations: Manually provisioning and managing AWS resources are time-consuming and error-prone tasks. These processes can result in inconsistencies in configurations and slow down deployments of new applications or infrastructure updates, potentially impacting patient care and data management. 
  • Limited orchestration: Coordinating complex deployments and managing infrastructure lifecycles across disparate environments can be a significant challenge. Without proper orchestration, ensuring consistent configurations and maintaining a cohesive environment that supports AWS healthcare operations becomes difficult. 

To bridge these gaps, we integrate AWS CloudFormation and AWS Systems Manager, along with Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools such as Terraform. These tools automate deployments, streamline workflows, and enhance the overall efficiency and reliability of your AWS healthcare environment.  

Why Should Healthcare Companies Get a WAFR?

Migrating to the cloud marks a significant step, but ensuring ongoing optimization, security, and efficiency in the AWS environment presents a distinct challenge. Cloudelligent’s Well-Architected Reviews are pivotal for healthcare providers to ensure their infrastructure is robust enough to support mission-critical operations and protect sensitive patient data. 

  • Specialized Healthcare Focus: We understand the nuances and unique needs of healthcare infrastructure. Our specialized review goes beyond AWS best practices and ensures healthcare compliance with HIPAA and other regulations. 
  • High-Risk Issue Identification: We harness the power of AI-driven tools to accelerate your reviews and pinpoint high-risk issues specific to healthcare environments. 
  • Actionable Recommendations: After our review, you’ll receive a comprehensive set of actionable recommendations. This strategic plan serves as your roadmap to an optimized AWS healthcare environment. 

Accelerate Value-Based Healthcare With Cloudelligent

Still worried about hidden high-risk issues lurking in your AWS environment? We’re offering free AWS Well-Architected Framework Reviews, tailored specifically for healthcare. Connect with Cloudelligent to ensure your system is as healthy as your patients! 

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