These days everyone refers to the cloud. It’s used to house your music, your photos, and your banking data. By now you know it’s not some theoretical storage system in the sky. As Gizmodo describes it, it is a physical infrastructure that uses a network of servers to store and process information, rather than a single machine.
The days of paper health records are nearly over. More than 8 in 10 doctors across the country, or 83 percent, have adopted an EHR, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. And when it comes to an EHR the cloud is the way to go.
- A survey by Black Book Market Research shows that nearly 7 out of 10 small and solo physician practices have confidence in Web-based EHRs.
- Black Book Rankings projects the healthcare cloud market will reach $3.8 billion in the US by 2020.
For a physician’s practice, the advantages of a cloud-based EHR are many, and include:
- Affordable. For small practices, this is big. Thanks to the economies of scale that a cloud-based EHR company provides, you don’t have the expense of installing client-server systems or paying licensing fees or maintenance costs. Everything is centrally hosted and delivered as a software as a service (SaaS) model where you pay a consistent subscription rate and access the system via web browser. Fewer IT resources are needed because you do not need to set up, test or maintain any EHR hardware or software.
- Timely. Even though technology is constantly evolving, you stay up to date, as cloud-based EHR upgrades are made automatically across the network.
- Accessible. Connect to the EHR at any time—simply log-in securely anywhere that has an internet connection. You have the ability to work from anywhere, anytime, including on a mobile device such as a tablet.
- Scalable. Easily add new users, doctors, or locations according to demand.
- Secure. A cloud-based system is typically safer. Data are encrypted, which means that even if thieves obtain the data they cannot access it. And data are typically stored off-site in data centers with bank-level security. This is especially advantageous in the event of natural disaster or fire, as data are backed up in multiple locations.
- Private. The EHR vendor stays on top of requirements for meeting HIPPA and other federal privacy mandates. Additionally, with a cloud-based system you can monitor who has access to certain information. When you need to share information with other doctors, a cloud-based system allows you to securely transfer records.
Your Quest Diagnostics team can discuss the features of a cloud-based system. Talk to a representative at 1.888.835.3409, or view our iPad® demonstration.