Shifting to a Paperless World
By Randy Van Egdom, Partner at AdventEMO
As the healthcare industry is embracing their new shift to the electronic health record strategy, there are a number of roadblocks that have delayed the transition from the paper world to a paperless one. While the benefits of transiting to an electronic health record system are exciting for the practices, the cost attached to it, security reasons and the sudden need of learning new technology has disappointed many. Even those who have attempted the shift are stuck choosing between a server-based EHR and cloud-based EHR.
At this fast paced era, choosing a cloud-based system would be a much smarter move than a server. Following are the 7 reasons why the cloud holds the future and not a server EHR.
- Saves your space and money – With a server-based EHR, you need physical servers to store your data which involves installation of hardware, software and expensive maintenance. Servers also have a limited time-span, requiring replacement as they age and/or technology evolves. On the other hand when you opt for a cloud-based EHR, you don’t need physical servers and you can function efficiently from a small space. Although in-house servers have been the traditional norm, the shift to the cloud is becoming inevitable with the increasing pace of technology.
- Increase your pace – You can never take chance with the lives of your patients. With a server-based EHR, there are possibilities of the data getting corrupted, the program running slow, your system crashing, etc. However, when your EHR is cloud-based, these fears are greatly reduced or nullified as your data is kept safely on the cloud- the internet. All you need is a secure internet connection and a device that can access the data through the web.
- Simplified system - When you opt for a cloud-based EHR, your entire process is simplified as it runs on the internet and not on your system. The implementation is simple as you don’t have to keep upgrading your hardware/software. This will help in getting high ROI with low investment.
- Pay as you go – For many practices, EHR implementation has taken a back seat due to the initial cost to be shelled out for EHR installation. The expenses don’t end with the installation, as it soon is followed by licensing fees, maintenance expenditure, software, updates, etc. On the other hand, the cloud-based EHR will need no hardware installation or software licenses; hence this makes the installation process a cakewalk. All you have to do is pay a monthly fee like any other utility bill when you use software-as-a-service (SaaS) with a pay as you go model.
- Keeps you connected – The cloud provides better accessibility because users can securely log on to their system with just a gadget and the internet connection. With this, you can remain connected to your staff and patients even long after you have left the office. This way, a web-based EHR will help you provide better connectivity with your practice and clinical healthcare.
- Scaling great heights – Clinical practices can expand without bothering much with the IT support. A cloud-based EHR system eases the process of adding users, physicians, locations, templates, etc. The flexibility of a cloud-based EHR system helps companies to reach great heights without actually emptying their pockets.
- Security concerns – Many practices fear the lack of security associated with cloud-based software. They fear of losing or leaking confidential data which is saved somewhere in the cloud. On the contrary, a cloud-based EHR system is more secure than any server-based EHR system. In addition, these cloud-based EHR systems achieve HIPAA compliance through data centers which follow sophisticated encryption method that ensures that the data stored cannot be used or accessed by any unauthorized user. On the other hand, the server-based systems are often stored unencrypted and are as secure as your room is.
The world is heading towards a paperless domain and that is the ideal option as your data will remain safe from hackers, unauthorized users and also from natural disasters like fire and floods. Cloud is not alien to people of today as this is being effectively used by you already. The websites you regularly use like Gmail, Pinterest, Facebook, Quick-Books, e-commerce sites, online banking are all functioning from the cloud.
Likely, cloud based EHR systems will rule the healthcare industry in the days to come as they are more secure, flexible, scalable, accessible, and affordable and can be used by practices of all sizes.
About the Author: Randy Van Egdom is a Partner/Implementation Manager at AdventEMO. Randy has vast experience in the EHR software industry. He provides EHR software consulting, implementation, training, and support to his clients.