A decade ago, physicians in small practices were questioning whether they needed to buy an EHR system. Nowadays, with EHR adoption becoming inevitable, the question facing practices is whether to go for a cloud-based or on-premise system. Whether it is email or database management, the general perception is that cloud products are too simplistic when compared to their server-based counterparts.
When service providers started to roll out their cloud-based EHR systems, many doctors were perplexed and assumed that such products would not be able to fulfill their complex needs. In addition, the thought of losing control over clinical data scared many practices. However as more and more doctors tried out and started using hosted EHRs, they found that they are more usable and efficient than traditional systems.
Some of the powerful advantages of cloud EHRs such as free and fast upgrades were not appreciated by practices until the time when they were forced to upgrade in order to comply with stage II of the meaningful use program. While those using hosted EHR systems found that they could use the latest features immediately, others found that they had to wait for their provider to manually upgrade the system within their office.
Cloud-based EHRs also have some disadvantages but providers have been working to remedy them over the last few years. For instance, the early versions rarely had customization options which made it difficult for some practices to adapt their workflows. Nowadays most cloud EHRs offer extensive customizability which means that clinics – whether they have 5 doctors or 50 – can use them without disrupting existing workflows or user habits.
Since cloud EHRs are offered over the Internet, there is no need for practices to maintain expensive servers or the required IT personnel. With the introduction of HIPAA as well as the need to comply with multiple federal and local laws regarding privacy/security, many clinics found that cloud systems are easier to manage than worrying about data loss from on-site servers.
Over the years, the gap between on premise and cloud EHRs has been narrowing considerably. There is growing evidence that even practices which currently use on premise software are considering the move to cloud-based EHRs. No wonder then that even vendors who used to sell legacy software are frantically trying to incorporate cloud back ends into their applications.
Dovetail EDR is a completely cloud-based solution that was built to be flexible and accessible from the ground up. For us, the cloud is not an afterthought but rather the core around which all our products are developed.