Cloud computing has been making inroads in almost every industry out there. You would be hard pressed to find a market which hasn’t been changed beyond recognition because of the cloud. The healthcare industry is no exception but switch to cloud computing has been much slower for a number of reasons.
But the market is now shifting to cloud based software instead of the more traditional on-premise server client model. Most practices are familiar with the onsite model of using software. You have your own equipment that should be upgraded constantly and purchase a software license from the vendor. You are in charge of running the system, fixing the problems as they turn up as well as protecting sensitive healthcare records. It is familiar and has worked for decades. So should you even consider a cloud based EHR?
A cloud based EHR offers many advantages but the chief reason for adoption is cost savings. A cloud solution can be much cheaper to setup and use in terms of direct and indirect costs. If you count the efficiency and productivity boosts you are sure to see, then the savings increase substantially.
How Can a Cloud EHR Save You Money?
A cloud EHR is much less expensive than a traditional EHR setup. This is because there is more to deploying your EHR than just the cost of the license. First of all you have the upfront costs of buying equipment such as monitors, servers, desktops, adapters, surge protectors, routers etc). Often this represents a substantial capital investment for a clinic and a small practice may not be able to afford the best systems out there.
With a cloud EHR, all you need is a high speed Internet connection and devices to access the cloud service. You can even use mobile phones or tablets to enter or edit data. You don’t have to maintain your own servers or spend on upgrading hardware. The vendor takes care of all the IT stuff, so you can focus on your practice and patients.
In a traditional software purchase program, you have to pay extra for new upgrades as they come out. If you’re not prepared for them, these upgrade costs can come as quite a shock. With a cloud based EHR service, you pay the exact same amount each month and it brings you all the updates as they’re launched! There’s no waiting, you’ll be using the latest version of the software each and every time.
Another cost that is often ignored by a clinic until it is too late is backup. All the data you have (practice and patient information) is sensitive and confidential. You are responsible for the security of patient health data. The more data you have the more you need to spend on backing it all up properly. A cloud based EHR will automatically save your data in real time on redundant servers. You don’t have to remember to run separate backup jobs every night. The moment you enter data, it is saved in the cloud! It’s simply ones less thing you’ve to worry about or spend money on.
You can see that all of the above are direct costs that you have to pay before you even start using the EHR software. A cloud EHR can save you tons of time and improve productivity later on down the line. Imagine being able to treat more patients or reduce your workload so you can go home early. You and your staff can be more productive when you’re in the clinic and not worry about a thing when you’re away! So are you ready to give cloud EHRs a try?