Cloud-based EHR Takes the Health Industry by Storm

cloud ehr software

EHR software is beginning to take over the health care industry due to the tremendous advantages that it has for almost any medical practice. EHR can be used in any size medical facility from a primary care physician to a specialist, an emergency room, a neighborhood clinic or even a university hospital. EHR vendors offer cloud-based and locally stored options for their software.

EHR software enables a medical practice to store the medical records of their patients on external servers called the cloud. The records are accessed by the medical facility directly from the web host. A second type of EHR system uses a client server that is located at the physician’s office. A client server requires a running server, connecting hardware, and dedicated software to store the records onsite. Until recently, onsite client servers were the most common type of EHR storage unit. Cloud-based EHR, however, is becoming more popular thanks to the striking benefits it presents.

Here are a few reasons cloud-based EHR is superior to a local client server setup.

• First of all, software and a server for a local installation are expensive to buy, maintain and replace. Hardware can break down. Most servers have a backup system on a remote server, which is the cloud itself. Software needs to be upgraded regularly. Additional storage will be necessary when the server becomes full.

• If the health records are all stored on an easily accessible cloud, there is no need for software or hardware locally with the exception of a laptop or PC to download the data. That means the financial benefits of using the cloud for storage are realized quickly. The return on investment is quicker. It can takes years to recoup the cash invested in a local client server. EHR vendors know that larger medical facilities must purchase larger servers and more user installations for the software than a primary care physician because they have more patients and more data to store.

• Local servers can be breached by hackers who are looking for credit card data and other information about the patients. Some people doubt that cloud-based EHR systems are secure, but they have some of the tightest security of all Internet-based cloud systems. High-level encryption and banking-level security keep the data safe from hackers. A cloud-based EHR is impermeable to break-ins and theft of confidential information.

• Remote EHR storage keeps the digital records safe in case of fire, flood or any other type of disaster. A local server could lose all its data if any sort of emergency occurred. Disaster recovery for a server is expensive. However, the cloud has a few automatic levels of backup.

Another reason cloud-based EHR is preferred is that the records can be accessed from any location with a connection to the Internet. If a doctor gets an emergency call in the middle of the night from a hospital asking about possible prescription interactions, all that the physician has to do is log on to the cloud server and access the patient’s prescription records. There’s no need to go to the office, clinic or hospital.

It’s likely that your very own health care providers are using cloud-based record-keeping systems. The advantages for forward-thinking medical professionals are numerous. The days of the clipboard-carrying physician have ended. Nowadays, doctors are armed with laptop computers and electronic tablets.

About the Author: Mercedes Potter is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her @CedesPotter.

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  • There is a lot to like about Cloud based computing. It is true that it has many of these benefits.

    If it only was HIPAA compliant, that is the every system administrator in the Cloud was a Business Associate and if it was only true that the Privacy laws in each state or country in that Cloud exceeded applicable privacy laws, legal evidence collection requirements and certain technical controls over running memory images, then I would be in with every last penny of Cloud Encouragement.

    If we make what is called a Medical Community Cloud, this is a complete win. Without HIPAA compliance, particularly over the Business Associate status of Cloud system Administrators and network security staff, I am worried that the cost savings has gone to her head.

    Concerned,

    Don Turnblade

    MBA, CISSP, Six Sigma Black Belt.