This paper investigates how a healthcare network in Taiwan uses a practical cloud image data center (CIDC) to communicate with its constituent hospital branches. A case study approach was used. The study was carried out in the central region of Taiwan, with four hospitals belonging to the Veterans Hospital healthcare network. The CIDC provides synchronous and asynchronous consultation among these branches. It provides storage, platforms, and services on demand to the hospitals. Any branch-client can pull up the patient’s medical images from any hospital off this cloud. Patients can be examined at the branches, and the images and reports can be further evaluated by physicians in the main Taichung Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) to enhance the usage and efficiency of equipment in the various branches, thereby shortening the waiting time of patients. The performance of the CIDC over 5 years shows: (1) the total number of cross-hospital images accessed with CDC in the branches was 132,712; and (2) TVGH assisted the branches in keying in image reports using the CIDC 4,424 times; and (3) Implementation of the system has improved management, efficiency, speed and quality of care. Therefore, the results lead to the recommendation of continuing and expanding the cloud computing architecture to improve information sharing among branches in the healthcare network.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Information Systems
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management