One of the many tough choices you have to make as an eye care practitioner running your own practice is whether to use a client-server or cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) software. Choosing the right EHR system that best suits your practice’s budget, setting, and patient population is indeed a daunting task.
Here are some stats to help you decide:
- For 83% of participants in the Black Book survey, cloud-based HER is the biggest healthcare technology trend. (Source)
- Cloud-based EHRs’ adoption rate in small practices increased from 60% in 2013 to 82% in 2015. (Source)
- Price is the critical driver for cloud-based EHR software adoption. (Source)
- Cloud-based EHRs are the highest-ranked systems in terms of physician satisfaction among small practices. (Source)
Difference Between Client-server and Cloud-based
With server-based EMR software, the hardware and software are housed at your practice. This means patient information is stored on-site. As and when you require help, your vendor will step in to coordinate the maintenance of your server with your local IT team.
Cloud-based systems, on the other hand, store all the data on external servers. All you need to access your information anywhere anytime, is a computer with an Internet connection.
Why Do Practices Prefer Cloud-based EHR Software Over Client-server?
Many small-to-medium-size eye care practices are realizing the benefits. Here are four critical reasons for you to consider cloud-based EHRs for your practice.
- Cost-Effective and Scalable
Unlike expensive server-based systems, cloud-based EHRs are centrally hosted. They do not require any on-premise hardware installation, software licensing, or maintenance, making them more affordable and easily scalable to suit your needs. Since a cloud-based EHR is offered as software-as-a-service (SaaS), you will only pay a monthly fee to use it. You don’t have to worry about updating the software, as updates are made automatically. Also, when your practice grows, new users or locations can be added easily.
- Easy to Access
With cloud-based systems, you will always have critical data at your fingertips, allowing you to provide better, more efficient care to patients. Imagine a scenario when you are out of the office, but need to follow up on an urgent case. With a cloud-based EMR software, you will be able to access the patient record anytime, anywhere, and provide the much-needed care to the patient. Cloud-based EHRs also provide an opportunity for better patient engagement and interaction. Another benefit of cloud-based EHRs is that they allow for better mobility as most of them are accessible via a laptop, an iPad, or a mobile device, meaning you will no longer be tied down to your computer screen.
- Easy to Implement
The ease of implementation is probably one of the biggest reasons small or solo eye care practices prefer cloud-based EMR software. Since cloud-based systems don’t require on-premise hardware or software installations, it mitigates the stress of implementation. Also, because the upfront capital investments in hardware or in-house storage systems are almost nil, you can get a faster ROI and prevent interruption of cash flow with a quicker implementation process than client-server EHR systems.
Patient data stored in a cloud-based EHR system is subject to the same privacy rules as traditional healthcare records but is more secure. Using a cloud-based system means you no longer have to store confidential information in desks. Instead, you can rely on your vendor’s expertise to protect the data on a centralized server. A reputed and experienced vendor like Eye Care Leaders will have their server warehoused in a secured facility that is weatherproof, fire-proof, and theft-proof. To further secure sensitive data and patient records, your vendor will allow you to control who has access to information and securely transfer records to authorized people.
Transitioning from paper-based patient records to cloud-based EHR software may seem like a daunting task at first. However, once you’ve made that transition, you’ll notice countless benefits in terms of cost and time savings, and improved productivity and security.
Still confused about whether you should make the leap? Contact us, and we’d be happy to suggest a product based on your practice’s unique challenges and the specific goals you want to achieve.