When we focus on health care the inevitable reality is that administrative tasks are redundant and not very welcome among the physicians, but still they remain a responsibility which can’t be avoided. Not only that tasks like documenting often take a huge portion of the direct patient care time they also leave a lot of room for errors and could drive the practice to a loss of revenue.
It took some time for physicians to perceive the benefits of using electronic health records (EHR), and when we finally thought that they were ready to make the transition from a paperwork infrastructure to a digital health care system, new challenges emerged. These challenges are referring to the costs of acquiring an EHR system and the return of investment. As a driving trend in various industries around the world as well as in the health care industry, the cloud technology presented a perfect opportunity to overcome the financial obstacles and foster the EHR transition.
Cloud systems vs local systems
With the cloud-based EHR system, the application and all of your practice data are stored on external servers, and you can access them through the web, all you need is your favourite laptop or tablet device and an internet connection.
When working on a local (on-premise) EHR system, your practice data and apps are located on a server that is often inside your offices. Therefore the practice needs to invest in hardware infrastructure and spend some more resources on software and IT experts to install, configure, test and run the system. These systems often require the user to be connected to the local network e.g. to be located in the office, so he can start using them.
How practices can reduce costs with cloud-based EHR ?
The initial investments for the local EHR systems are substantial because they include procurement of servers, licenses, hardware, software and implementation costs. In our region these investments often vary between $5.000-$15.000 but they can reach six digit figures depending on the size and needs of the health care institution.
Meanwhile, cloud-based EHR helps practices avoid initial investments and other unnecessary costs, meaning no spending on serves, licenses, implementation teams etc. Clients are charged a monthly fee, using a SaaS pricing model, that way they only pay for what they actually need.
Seamless implementation and consistent workflow
Before a practice starts using a on-premise solution it has to go through the implementation process which is often costly and ‘painful’ in this case, it requires a lot of time and resources including IT experts to install, configure, secure and upgrade the system. Using these systems also leaves a greater possibility to disrupt the workflow during updates and other maintenance operations preformed by your IT staff.
Cloud apps on the other hand save you from these frustrations and the hidden costs that they carry. With the cloud-based EHR the implementation is seamless and your practice can be up and running in a day. The client’s data and customization are always secure & available on the cloud, you can simply log in from any device and you can continue your work. The updates are automatic so the user is always running the latest version of the app without spending any time or composure on installations. Cloud systems enable the user consistent workflow through the entire time which is of significant value in the health care industry.
Fluid communication and collaboration
No more limits, the cloud technology delivers the EHR wherever you go, whether you are at home, in your office or on a trip to the annual dentist conference, log in to your EHR simple and fast just like using facebook, gmail etc. This availability enables a better collaboration between doctors, medical staff and patients because they have access to the necessary information anytime and they can contribute to the cases regardless of their location at the moment.