What you need to know about cloud-based healthcare systems

Optical and ophthalmology cloud solutions for 2022

Cloud computer is a powerful tool that is everywhere these days. Cloud computing is being used for everything from data storage and backup to analytics services, personal and business banking, social media, and shopping.

It makes sense, then, that medical systems are moving to the cloud, too.
Cloud computing today is improving medical care, streamlining medical business operations, permitting virtual doctors’ visits, easing the insurance approval and reimbursement process, simplifying the process of ordering prescriptions and approving prescription refills, and giving patients instant access to a wealth of personal health information and healthy living tips. It has become a critical tool for eye care health solutions.

Cloud computing is offering a huge array of services for advanced eye care solutions these days. Let’s look at some of the options that eye care practices can choose from.

What is cloud medical software?

Cloud medical software refers to advanced eye care solutions that are cloud-based as opposed to web-based operations that run on a remote server. By being accessible from almost anywhere and on almost any device that has internet capabilities, cloud medical software lets eye care providers perform tasks on the go, save money on storage and software, permit work from home, simplify a range of tasks, and more.
Cloud computer services used by health care providers can also permit easy backing up of personal health information (PHI).

What are some types of cloud medical software?

There is a wide range of cloud medical software available to eye care practices today, with more coming online seemingly all of the time. Here are some examples:

  • Electronic health records: Quickly becoming ubiquitous in the medical industry, electronic health records, or EHRs, are comprehensive collections of patient data that are stored digitally and that can be shared across different healthcare settings and different healthcare providers.
  • Electronic medical records: Electronic medical records, or EMRs, are also quickly gaining in popularity as practices seek to simplify patient management, cut costs, and reduce the need to store paper records. Electronic medical records are digital versions of all of the information you would typically find in a provider’s paper chart, including medical history, diagnoses, medications, immunization dates, allergies, lab results, and doctor’s notes.
  • Physician enquiries: Cloud-based physician enquiry tools are used to clarity clinical documentation for proper reimbursement and accurate quality reporting. The best tools are secure and HIPAA-compliant and make it easy for physicians to respond quickly and accurately to coding and clinical documentation questions, with access to real-time dashboards and reports.
  • Pharmacy orders: Cloud-based phaamp-article-list ecl-article-listrmacy orders simplify and clarify workflows for drug dispensing, medical claims management, and patient medication adherence. These tools are used in pharmacy settings to create more efficient operations, reduce costs, reduce compliance risks, and automate and simplify daily tasks like drug stock management, customer management, and billing.
  • Revenue cycle management: Cloud-based revenue cycle management allows practices to more easily verify insurance coverage or personal financial information, permit faster and more accurate claims processing, profile patients to identify additional revenue potential, and collaborate without compromising security rules or HIPAA protocols.
  • Patient billing: Cloud-based patient billing allows practices to bill patients no matter where service is provided. This is crucial for providers who operate from multiple locations and they allow the tracking of claims from each practice in real-time.
  • Patient claims: Cloud-based patient claims software allows the creation of automated claim reviews to identify errors and avoid long turn-around times, which speeds revenue and reduces paperwork.
  • Wearables: Wearables are becoming increasingly popular for patients while the tools are becoming less expensive and more powerful. A new generation of wearables will provide more information and more higher-quality information and send it to the cloud for powerful analysis and assessment.

What are the benefits of cloud medical software?

There is a long list of advantages for eye care practices that adopt cloud-based medical software tools. Those include:

  • The ability for practices to easily grow without added complexity.
  • Strong computing capacities for minimal costs.
  • Enhanced communication tools and reduced opportunities for lost revenue, including contact ophthalmology software.
  • Easier collaboration abilities between pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, and providers in a wide variety of settings.
  • Enhanced security and compliance.
  • Reliable systems with built-in backups and redundancy for minimal data loss or operations disruptions.
  • Real-time data for faster interaction and better patient outcomes at overall reduced healthcare costs.
  • The ability to adopt the latest technologies seamlessly, as opposed to having to procure new equipment, IT, and IT specialists.
  • Improved return on investment.

What are the drawbacks of cloud medical software?

Yes, cloud-based medical software tools are great, but there are still some drawbacks and challenges to be aware of.

  • HIPAA compliance – while the major cloud providers all over healthcare solutions with HIPAA compliance built-in, some of the smaller cloud providers may not do the same.
  • Implementation – While the use of cloud-based systems means that offices do not need to buy new computers, new software, and new hardware tools, there can be significant legwork required to implement different cloud environments that are cost-effective and simple to operate.
  • Security – Even though the best cloud-based software providers will only sell systems that have a host of built-in security features, there can still be breaches, phishing attacks, malware attacks, and worse.
  • Outages – A cloud-based system is only as good as your internet connection, and cloud computing solutions still run into outages and other problems that leave the system wholly or partially inoperable.

What are future trends to look for in cloud medical software?

While cloud-based medical software has made huge advances in recent years, even more is on the horizon. Some things to look out for in the future include:

  • Machine learning that can anticipate needs, solve problems, advance capabilities, reduce the need for humans to perform redundant tasks, point out problems before they occur, and more.
  • Robotics: Robots have been hard at work in operating rooms for years now, but the future will see their incorporation in new tools, including Internet of Things devices, that bring about a host of advancements for eye care facilities.
  • Security: As more tech tools are woven into the fabric of healthcare, there will be increasing opportunities for security breaches – everything from the simple improper disclosure of personal health information to full-blown site shutdowns due to malware and site hijacking.
  • Telemedicine: The COVID-19 outbreak of 2020 and resulting shutdowns thrust telehealth into the spotlight. Pati3ents can now see physicians without leaving the couch, and in the case of eye care, telehealth can be used to assess for dry eye disease, conjunctivitis (pink eye), blepharitis, subconjunctival hemorrhage, pinguecula and pterygium, standard vision checks, chalazion, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Medical office software systems are quickly moving to the cloud, and the flexibility of the cloud means that even small and independent practices can utilize many of these tools. With solutions for practice management, EHR software, patient engagement, and more, cloud software lets eye care providers lighten workloads, save time and money, and deliver more efficient and effective care.

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