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AWS in Healthcare 2022

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AWS in Healthcare 2021 AWS in Healthcare 2021
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AWS in Healthcare 2021
Part of a Public Cloud Providers Series

author - Mike Smith
Mike Smith
author - Jonathan Christensen
Jonathan Christensen
July 13, 2021 | Read Time: 6  minutes

Compared to other industries, healthcare has lagged in adoption of—though not interest in—cloud technology and services. How can provider and payer organizations get started, what benefits and challenges can they expect, and which cloud provider can best meet their needs? This report—which focuses on Amazon Web Services (AWS)—is the first in a series examining the healthcare customer experience with public cloud providers. KLAS anticipates publishing subsequent reports on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure. Insights on Amazon Web Services (AWS), who has historically generated the most interest from healthcare organizations, come from 11 organizations identified by AWS as leading customers. The potential of cloud technology appears promising: most organizations interviewed for this study report that leveraging AWS has saved them time or money.

Cloud Solutions for Healthcare—A Framework

The graphics below aim to help healthcare organizations who are interested in moving to the cloud become familiar with the various service layers (including infrastructure, platforms, and applications), the technology and professional services associated with each layer, and where interviewed AWS customers have focused their efforts so far.

cloud service layers cloud professional services  aws services technology in use

AWS’ Broad Infrastructure & Platform Services Power Extensive Use Cases & Outcomes

Interviewed AWS clients often leverage core infrastructure services (e.g., storage and computing) or platform services (e.g., serverless environments, databases, development tools). For some customers, implementing these technology layers is the end goal; more commonly, organizations use AWS as a foundation to build on, aiming to tackle innovative projects previously out of reach due to limited resources. Respondents’ use cases for AWS range from massive genomic sequencing projects and large EDWs/data lakes, to broad patient engagement campaigns in response to COVID-19, to smaller projects like digital front door apps or client-engagement surveys. Across use cases, nearly all interviewed customers have saved time or money thanks to AWS. Some note that without AWS, they could not have undertaken their projects because of the massive computing power needed or the number of patients requiring outreach. For more details on use cases and outcomes, see the Expanded Insights section in the full report.

aws use cases key outcomes achieved with aws

Leading Customers Tout AWS’ Product Quality & Development; Relationships Could Be Stronger

Clients in this report sample rate product quality and development as key strengths of the AWS portfolio. By leveraging the underlying infrastructure and platform components, organizations feel better equipped to nimbly take on and develop new projects. All interviewed clients would purchase the AWS offering again, and all plan to expand what they are currently doing in the cloud by developing more cloud-native apps or moving more applications to the cloud, replacing legacy on-premises technology.

AWS’ support and professional services staffs receive praise for excellent knowledge and expertise. However, service and support overall are relative weaknesses for AWS. Some organizations feel AWS isn’t a sufficiently engaged partner or driver of client success; rather, clients have to reach out to AWS with ideas or questions. Organizations who proactively engage with AWS report deeper partnership and higher satisfaction.

key aws performance indicators

AWS Offering Seen as Robust; Among AWS Clients, Google & Microsoft Also Considered for Limited Use Cases

Interviewed clients say they chose AWS for the platform’s merits compared to competitors. Other decision factors include the flexibility available to designers, the system’s maturity, the strength of native applications (e.g., for patient engagement), and AWS’ support. AWS customers often also evaluated GCP or Microsoft Cloud; these organizations feel Google and Microsoft are making progress and catching up to AWS but don’t yet offer the same level of comprehensive core IT infrastructure/functionality. Some AWS clients also use Google for AI/ML tools (which they describe as compelling), and some leverage Microsoft in the cloud for business applications, like Office 365.

reasons for selecting aws consideration by aws customers of non aws platforms

Getting Started with the Cloud

Organizations moving to the cloud are not shifting their entire on-premises environments to cloud infrastructure, nor do they recommend this. Interviewed AWS clients suggest identifying key strategic initiatives that align well with a cloud-based approach. All respondents use either a hybrid environment of on premises and cloud (sometimes multiple cloud providers) or are still primarily on premises.

“AWS is super focused on moving data from customers’ data centers to AWS. Organizations should be very thoughtful and selective about doing that because they are often better off focusing on innovating in the cloud than moving legacy data there. —CTO

Some organizations have turned to AWS or other third-party firms for professional services to help plan for or migrate to the cloud.

organization infrastructure setup of AWS customers

Top AWS Client Recommendations for Success with the Cloud


Invest in training and education—Make sure staff has a solid knowledge foundation with AWS solutions and stays up to date on AWS enhancements


Account for security and compliance from the start—The cloud can be a more secure data environment if designed correctly, but it is not inherently more secure


Align all stakeholders—Not only internally but also with AWS personnel you will be working with


Create organizational buy-in—Take time to ensure staff understands and finds value in your cloud technology


Hire and develop staff experienced with cloud technology—By taking this basic step, your organization is more likely to have a sustainable environment for leveraging cloud technology to the fullest


Focus cloud efforts on innovation—Don’t bother moving existing systems to the cloud; rather, use the cloud to innovate and optimize new projects

recommendations for cloud success

For more details on recommendations for cloud-based technology and services, see page 25 in the Expanded Insights section.

About This Report

Each year, KLAS interviews thousands of healthcare professionals about the IT products and services their organizations use. These interviews are conducted using a standard quantitative evaluation, and the scores and commentary collected are shared online and in reports like this one so that other healthcare professionals can benefit from their peers’ experiences. To supplement the data gathered with this standard evaluation, KLAS also creates various supplemental evaluations that delve deeper into the most pressing questions facing healthcare technology today.

As cloud offerings cover both software and services, this report draws on a hybrid set of quantitative evaluation questions from our standard software and services evaluations. KLAS also collected answers to supplemental research questions.

Healthcare organizations interviewed for this report come from an AWS-provided list of “leading customers”; as a result, this research is meant to convey insights on only a subset of the healthcare cloud market and is not representative of the market or the AWS customer base as a whole. The number of unique responding organizations is given in the chart below. Future reports in this series will examine similar subsets of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Cloud clients.

about this report

What Does “Limited Data” Mean?

Some solutions are used in only a small number of facilities, some vendors are resistant to providing client lists, and some respondents choose not to answer particular questions. Thus a vendor’s sample size may vary from question to question and may not reach KLAS’ required threshold of 15 unique respondents. When a vendor’s sample size for a particular question is less than 15, the score for that question is marked with an asterisk (*) or otherwise designated as “limited data.” If the sample size is less than 6, no score is shown. Note that when a vendor has a low number of reporting sites, the possibility exists for KLAS scores to change significantly as new surveys are collected.

Overall scores are measured on a 100-point scale and represent the weighted average of several yes/no questions as well as other questions scored on a 9-point scale.

author - Amanda Wind Smith
Amanda Wind Smith
author - Madison Moniz
Madison Moniz
author - Natalie Jamison
Project Manager
Natalie Jamison
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.