A physician researching electronic health records systems in order to improve the efficiency of their practice will typically find they have one of two options; the first choice is to implement a server based electronic health records system. The other is a web based EMR system. While the two offer very similar functionality and features, there are some inherent benefits that come with utilizing the best web based EMR software available.
(As a matter of fact, when people refer to web based EMR or EHR, they sometimes do not understand the difference between an ASP based EMR and SaaS based EMR. This will be the topic of a discussion in the near future.)
Web Based EMR Software - Security of Patient Information and Practice Data
There's often a barrier in adopting electronic medical records software, especially for a small practice. Apprehension typically revolves around concerns over the privacy of the patient information. Often, a physician may believe that storing patient data offsite is not as secure as on site file storage.
Web based EMR systems are actually more secure that the common clinical environment for a number of reasons.
1. Web based EMR software is certified to meet the requirements of HIPAA while transferring, storing and backing up patient data. One of the ways these requirements are met is through data encryption.
2. Networks are typically far more secure on dedicated servers with an agency providing web based medical software. Your clinic is more likely to have open access points in a firewall or internal network that make it easy for outside access. This type of unauthorized access is extremely difficult on a guarded and secured network hosted by an EMR provider.
Web Based EMR Software - Handling Data Loss
If you're concerned about having data lost with no onsite backups in your practice, or being locked out of a system in the event that web based electronic medical records software crashes, rest assured. Providers of web based practice management software and medical records run frequent redundant backups on additional servers.
When a server crashes, the data is still accessible with no loss of connectivity to the data. Others are able to immediately restore from a crash without a practice noticing the glitch. For a clinic, a crash could shut down operations until IT teams arrive to resolve the issue if it can't be handle remotely.
Web Based EMR Software - Maintenance Reduction
If you operate EMR software within your practice, you'll need to factor in recurring costs to your network. This includes the depreciation and replacement of servers, switches, cables, desktop systems and routine IT fees for outages, server maintenance, upgrades and more.
With web based billing software and medical records, you can run your practice without dealing with all the hassle of maintenance. The agency providing your EMR system handles all server maintenance because the systems are off-site. The additional bonus in this regard is that you don't have to fork out the expense of network upgrades, servers and additional staff (even remodeling) in order to make room for a custom network to handle your electronic medical records and practice management software.
If there is an issue on the server side with your web based EHR provider, they'll handle the problem directly. If you're considering which is better, ask yourself how you would cope with trying to upgrade or maintain a network after hours if you can't locate an IT specialist.
Having your own internal system within your clinic is certainly not an inferior choice, but for those physicians considering all options to adopting electronic medical records software, a web based system that is remotely hosted and accessed via the web is a viable option.