If you are searching for a new EHR or practice management software, you are probably up to your neck in research about how to select the best one for your practice.
There are definitely a lot of considerations: the ICD-10 conversion, Meaningful Use regs, patient portals, ePrescribing, billing options…and that’s just the beginning. But there is one thing that shouldn’t be up for debate: Moving to the Cloud.
First, what is “cloud software”?
Much has been said about cloud technology, but deciphering what it means to be on “the cloud” may seem hard to pin down. As more and more technologies are moving to the cloud, it’s helpful to understand the term.
Cloud software uses a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server. It provides a low-cost alternative for companies to obtain rights to use world-class technology as needed versus licensing all devices with all applications.
At first, the cloud may seem obscure or unfamiliar to you, but nearly every retailer and bank has operations based in the cloud. Why? The cloud frees companies from being weighed down by costly hardware and servers, provides superior mobile connectivity, serves up world-class security and allows for automated, continuous updates. All important factors of doing business in 2015 and beyond.
3 Reasons why private practices are moving to the cloud
#1 Cloud is cheaper today & over time
Many private practice physicians are surprised to discover the cost of using an in-house platform often exceeds the cost of cloud platforms—especially over time. Comparing the two carefully will show you why private practices with cloud software often save cash.
- New equipment or update requirements on a regular basis
- Licenses needed for each user & machine
- Manual updates
- Increased need for IT support
- Additional servers with limited storage for proper backup
- Less hardware to buy, maintain and upgrade
- All-inclusive monthly pricing
- Automated updates
- Reduction in IT support
- Nearly unlimited storage
- Access to leading security & backup resources
- Easier implementation
#2 Cloud delivers mobile access
In 2015, we expect our technology to keep up with us. Because we are always equipped with a smartphone or tablet, we no longer run our lives from a desk. We have the cloud to thank for that.
What does this mean for the private practice?
- The ability to access patient records from an iPad or iPhone anytime, anywhere
- No more late-night trips to the office when working on call
- The option to finish up charting from home for a better work life balance
- The ability to answer staff and patients questions while on the go
Another bonus: the cloud allows multi-physician or multi-location practices to share information in real time—something that is expensive and unwieldy to do with traditional software systems. Whether your colleagues are down the hall or across town, records are always up-to-date and at your fingertips with cloud software.
#3 Cloud security & backup
Leading cloud software backs up and stores data in enterprise-class operation centers, automatically. The backup processes and security procedures offer significantly higher HIPAA regulatory security compliance than what most practices can achieve with client-server software.
Because these data centers cost millions, few private practices have the resources to replicate this level of security. Additionally, cloud-based systems don’t run the risk of lost access or lost data in the event of a natural disaster or unexpected downtime—which could make the difference in staying in business for some private practices.
There’s nowhere to go but up
If you are currently researching new EHR and practice management solutions, it’s important to understand why so many independent physicians are moving their practices to the cloud.
Below are a few more resources to see why there is nowhere to move but up.
Why you’ll love the AdvancedMD cloud
7 ways the cloud can elevate your practice
Learn the seven ways cloud technology lets physicians build high-performance private practices capable of handling the demands of the ever-changing healthcare landscape. This guide identifies the basics of cloud software and why it is an effective solution for eliminating the hidden costs of supporting in-house software.