For the past decade, medical innovation and technology are improving and growing at an exceptionally fast rate. Today, the aim of manufacturers across the world is to provide tech solutions to small and large-scale medical practices and healthcare facilities. Software as a Service (SaaS) technology has completely changed the way that healthcare facilities operate. Nowadays, even the smallest of practices located in the remotest of areas can benefit from a fully integrated software solution.
EMR (Electronic Medical Records) software is one such software service that can truly help you change the landscape of patient data storage and efficient patient care. EMR is a crucial application that has now become nearly indispensable in most healthcare facilities, including those that treat Medicaid and Medicare patients.
EMR software essentially allows you to store patient data, such as their medical history, on the software. You can easily update the existing data during each visit.The popularity of EMR is due to its varied benefits, such as easy access to patient history, ease in medical billing, and more. The best part about using an ERM platform is that your information is kept secure while you transmit it to another party, such as a consultant located elsewhere.
Typically, there are two kinds of EMR software that healthcare facilities can implement – Cloud-Based EMR and Server-Based EMR. Each software has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you to decide which software will work best for your medical practice.
Now, let’s explore everything you need to know about these two EMRs!
WHAT IS CLOUD-BASED EMR?
A cloud-based EMR program is an Electronic Medical Records software program that maintains the health data of patients on remote servers, also known as the cloud. It does not maintain these records on servers that are located within the medical facility. This data can be accessed via the web anytime you want. It offers simplified operations, gradual adoption, instant scalability, and reduced costs. It also improves data sharing and boosts your security. You can purchase this software as a service and load it partially onto practice computers or access it solely via web portals.
Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of cloud-based EMR!
PROS OF CLOUD-BASED EMR SYSTEMS
Here are some compelling benefits of using a cloud-based EMR system:
- No need to hire an in-house IT staff or invest in expensive up-front resources.
- Exceptional mobility for medical practices since clinicians can access the health data of patients from disparate office locations or on their mobile phones.
- Enhanced patient treatment, service, and safety due to the staff at various locations having access to patient records in real-time.
- Offer more or less the same level of technical security that in-house data storage provides. In fact, in cloud-based storage patient records are held securely and safely away from natural disasters such as flooding, fires,and hurricanes.
- Many web-based EMR manufacturers offer to store your backup data in multiple sites. This enables you to recover your data and treat your patients in case of an emergency or system failure.
CONS OF CLOUD-BASED EMR SYSTEMS
Here are some disadvantages of using a cloud-based EMR system:
- Medical practices based in rural areas might suffer due to limited internet options and internet provider outages, which will hinder their access to the stored data.
- A lower bandwidth will impact instant communication and upload and download latencies. This will affect the documentation of patient data and also impact the treatment process.
- For small practices, cloud-based EMR providers often make them rely on vendors for data access and updates. In such an instance, you will have to vet the reliability of the vendor to keep your data secure.
A server-based EMR system stores the medical records of your patients in-house. This means that you will have to keep the servers onsite. If you use a server-based system, you will have to buy the relevant hardware, such as servers. You will also have to purchase the software, which will be installed onsite.
Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of server-based EMR!
PROS OF CLIENT-SERVER EMR
Here are some advantages of using a server-based EMR system:
- The speed of a server-based system is typically determined by your choice of server equipment and the strength of your internal network, rather than external factors, such as internet connections, which can be out of your control.
- With great server equipment, you can download high-image data quite easily and quickly. This will greatly benefit departments such as cardiology and orthopedics that need high-image data to effectively treat their patients.
- You have full control over the data stored in-house. This helps improve security and protects you from sudden, unexpected eventualities, such as an EMR vendor going out of business.
CONS OF SERVER-BASED EMR
Here are some disadvantages of using a server-based EMR system:
- Exceptionally high upfront costs due to the amount of hardware needed to implement such a system.
- The server costs can be a deterring factor for small practices with limited budgets.
- It leads to more responsibility to store the data securely.
- You have to maintain and update all the software programs that go with the EMR system, such as networking components,database servers,security software, etc.
- Server-based EMR vendors offer new and updated packages quite regularly. These often include new coding,compliance initiatives,electronic data interchange upgrades, and troubleshooting fixes. If you don’t update your software timely, you might not be compliant with state, federal, and other standards. This increases the risk of fines and audits.
CLOUD-BASED EMR VS. SERVER-BASED EMR: WHICH IS BETTER?
Ultimately, it depends entirely on which EMR system suits your unique situation. If you have exceptional and reliable internet service, then you might benefit from a cloud-based EMR. Meanwhile, if you can’t rely on your internet-service and need reliable data-storage for high-quality images, then you might benefit from investing in a server-based EMR. The fact of the matter is that only you can decide which EMR software will work best for your medical practice!
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