With the new health reform also known as “Obama-care” its has become more evident that the government is enforcing that medical providers especially those who bill Medicare have an EHR system. One may ask why should they have an EHR system and what is the benefits that are to be had or gained by implementing an EHR system? Well, for starters a certified EHR system will allow for providers to cash in on the federal incentives that ate available for them, through systems that are certified as meaningful use. Of course with the meaningful use incentive there are milestones that must be met in order to qualify for the incentive and providers must ensure that they report the proper paperwork in order to collect on the money that is out there. So you do a little to gain a lot. A medical provider stands to reduce his/her costs, decrease claim denials and also boost his/her patient retention by reducing the amount of time it takes to effectively check-in a patient and also check their eligibility for care.
Now that that is out of the way lets look at a comparison of the 2 most prominent forms of EHR/EMR systems. The two we will be discussing today are Client based servers and Cloud based EHR/EMR systems. Many providers are scared to go digital with their records because they feel that it may be a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the reason for this message is to show that by using a cloud based EHR/EMR system you can cut out the complication and get down to business.
Okay, so lets look at Client server systems. Client-server systems store data in house, requiring a server, hardware and software that has to be installed in the medical providers office. Traditionally in -house servers have been deemed the nor, practices are finding themselves switching to the cloud for numerous reasons. Just for instance, say you have an office and you are using hard drives, or servers that are located on the property, and a bad storm, or fire breaks out, what happens to all of your files? Well, I’ll tell you they are lost, and now one has to start from scratch. Who wants to have to start all over from scratch? I certainly would not want to deal with that hassle. So look at the cloud based system and this alone should be a reason why medical providers would look to transition from client servers to the cloud. The cloud can be accessed from any computer, or tablet device and data will be encrypted multiple times and then backed up in redundancy. Which means for medical providers that they will never lose their documents on their patients and it is secure and offers HIPAA compliance.
So cloud based systems are able to be accessed via the web and the data form the practice is stored in an external servers and you only have to have an internet connection to be in touch with the important records you need. The cloud can save your practice and provide you with the simple security that if your office burns down, is broken into and records and hard drives are stolen that you still have control and will not have to start over from scratch. Some of the benefits that to be had by using/implementing a cloud based system will be covered in the next few paragraphs so keep reading to find out.
1. Implementing a cloud based EHR system is simple. Cloud Based EHR software is powered by the internet and not by a hard drive on a computer, meaning that no hardware or software needs to be installed on your server/hard drive. Practices are able to prevent the interruption of their cash flow and receive a faster return on their investment with an implementation process that will not take the medical providers staff out of the office. It is also a quicker implementation process than the traditional client based server systems.
2. There are tremendous savings to be had from Cloud Based EHR systems. This can be one of the greatest obstacles fro small medical practices to overcome, which is the initial cost of EHR installation and implementation. Many of the client-server based systems can cost practices upward of $40,000 to just setup and install the equipment, not to mention providers will have to pay for update patches, licensing fees, maintenance costs and also training for the staff which can cost up to $1500 a person depending on the company one is using. With the cloud based system providers will pay a fraction of the upfront cost associated with client-server based systems and most cloud based EHR companies offer free upgrades and training when things change and many times it is virtually seamless.
3. The IT requirements are reduced when medical providers and their practice decide to move their medical records to a cloud based system. Instead of having to coordinate with IT experts to configure, test, run and update hardware and software all of that is already done for the provider by the Company that hosts the EHR system for the medical provider choosing to use them which means that the headaches are diminished. Updates are also done automatically in web-based systems, so practices are running on the most current systems available. 4. Growth is simplified with EHR systems that are cloud based. Small practices are able to grow without IT hassles. Web-based EHR systems make it easy increase the number of new users, doctors and locations. Web-based software allows flexibility for small practices to think outside the box without breaking the bank. 5. Web-based software provides better accessibility over client-server systems because users are able to securely log in to the system from anywhere they have an Internet connection. By giving medical providers the ability to access the system outside of the office allows them, their staff and patients to collaborate more effectively in a secure environment in order to provide better continuity of care.
4. Growth is simplified with cloud based EHR systems. Small practices are able to grow without IT hassles and headaches. Web-based EHR systems make it easy increase the number of new users, doctors, and locations. Web-based software allows for small practices to have a greater flexibility and not break the bank.
5. Web-based software provides better accessibility over client-server systems. The cloud gives medical providers ease of use from any computer with an internet connection that will allow them to log on to a secure system. Having the ability to access their system outside of the office gives doctors, their staff and patients an effective system that will boost the continuity of care.
With these truths about the cloud based EHR system why are many doctors still very skeptical about about them? Well some may feel that security is a problem or there is a lack there of, this is simply not true. When going into any endeavor it is understandable there is going to be some uncertainty, but when dealing with web-based or cloud based services they are actually more secure than client-servers and paper.
See, cloud based/ web-based systems achieve HIPAA compliance because the information that is stored in them has goes through data centers that with bank level security and such a high level of encryption that the data is deemed to be unreadable even if a security breech happens the data will not be able to be retrieved except for those who have a log on. It is definitely safer than paper because paper can be lost, stolen, burned, blown away or simply just misplaced, but when dealing with a cloud you don’t have to worry about theft, or natural disasters.
The world of the future is upon us and we are moving into the digital age and soon most of the day to business will be done via the internet and storage will be the cloud. So stop procrastinating and losing out on time and money look at the benefits that the cloud offers and look how your operation is running now and make a decision for your future.