Speed and efficiency rank high as reasons why among respondents to a survey of healthcare organizations that have adopted DevOps
While the novel coronavirus pandemic has hurt many industries, few have faced the immediate difficulties that the healthcare industry has had to manage. While trying to deliver care during one of the most significant healthcare crises in generations, providers must also contend with all the challenges every other organization must contend with as they strive to keep their business technology systems up and running securely.
To that end, a recent survey found that healthcare organizations are increasingly embracing DevOps. According to the study from Redgate Software, the “2020 Database DevOps Report for the Healthcare Sector,” 70% of respondents have adopted DevOps across all or some projects or have a proof of concept to use DevOps techniques. In fact, at 41%, more healthcare organizations have moved out of the proof-of-concept stage than other sectors such as financial services and government, at 36%.
“We know that the healthcare sector is facing unprecedented demands from the pandemic and other regulatory struggles, and DevOps is the best way to tackle these issues,” Kendra Little, Redgate DevOps Advocate, said in a statement. “By then extending those practices into the database, the healthcare sector can not only improve the quality and efficiency of these systems but ensure patient data remains secure and maintain compliance practices.”
There are a handful of motivations behind the shift. The increased risk of failed deployments/downtime was cited as the top reason healthcare organizations moved to DevOps by 24% of respondents, while 21% reported inability to respond to changing requirements and 20% cited slow development and release cycles as the top reason.
When it comes to automation, the report found that the healthcare sector is adopting automation across the database development process more than other industries. The majority are managing to do so while remaining compliant, or so they say—58% of respondents claim they have version control measures for database code in place. The primary motivations to automate database delivery had to do with efficiency and risk reduction, with 27% wanting to free developer time, 22% wanting speed of delivery and 12% wanting to reduce data loss risk.
“What’s surprising this year is the way North American respondents are surging ahead, with 55% saying that they deploy database changes daily, weekly or even on-demand,” Little said. “This indicates that they’re embracing Agile practices to better meet the needs of doctors, patients and remote services like telehealth that rely on these databases each day. We’ll be watching this space closely as the sector continues to change during the pandemic and in response to pressing compliance needs.”
With the rush to telemedicine and electronic medical records, it is surprising that only 42% of respondents said they use the cloud in some capacity. That’s a number that’s sure to rise in the months ahead as remote access to medical services continues.
As organizations everywhere strive to do more with less, and remotely, health care is particularly challenged. And as the industry continues to work under strain, more will likely continue to embrace DevOps and cloud computing as ways to meet their objectives and deliver care reliably.