Why cloud based EHR systems are better?


Healthcare providers all across the nation are shifting to modern Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. Some of them are pure cloud-based while others are cloud enabled. True cloud EHR systems have remarkably reduced initial investments on hardware, hosting as well as for ongoing costs such as maintenance, upgrades, etc. Cloud EHR systems also improve accessibility; users can access the systems with just an internet browser from anywhere at any time and would enjoy more benefits then having a locally installed system.

Let’s discuss features of a cloud system.

Flexibility

When a medical organization needs more bandwidth than routine, a cloud-based service can instantly meet the demand because of the vast capacity of the vendor’s remote servers – something that is not possible with server-based systems.

Disaster recovery

When organizations rely on cloud services, they no longer need complicated disaster recovery plans. Cloud computing providers take care of most issues, and they do it faster. There is no need to maintain separate backups.

Automatic updates

Cloud-based EHR suppliers maintain servers and security updates themselves freeing up their customers’ time and resources for other tasks.

No capital investments

There is no need for capital expenditure at all when dealing with cloud-based EHR software. Since cloud systems are much faster to deploy, organizations have minimal project start-up costs and ongoing operating expenses.

Increased collaboration

Cloud computing EHRs increase collaboration by allowing all employees to sync up and work on documents and shared apps simultaneously. They can follow colleagues and records to receive critical updates in real time.

Security

Nearly 800,000 laptops are lost each year in airports alone. This can have some serious monetary implications, but when everything is stored in the cloud, EHR data can still be accessed no matter what happens to a machine.

Scalability and speed

Health enterprises can quickly scale up or scale down their cloud services as per demand, during hours of maximum activity, while launching campaigns, etc. Cloud services are most usually reliable, since many service providers have data centers in multiple locations for keeping the processing near users.

EHRs

Health Information Exchange – Where Are We Headed


No doubt the inclusion of information technology in the healthcare industry brought the game changing Electronic Medical Records (EMR) technology, along with secure sharing and exchange of health information across various platforms, more commonly known as health information exchange (HIE). It was always believed that the purpose of providing quality and affordable care along with improving the conditions of the US healthcare system could be significantly aided by incorporating HIE within the EMR continuum. One can imagine the ease with which quality healthcare could be provided if important health information can be transferred across various platforms with relevant people.

While health IT consultants and regulatory bodies could give a long list of advantages that EMRs and HIE could bring to the healthcare industry, the question remains is the adoption rate as high as expected? According to recent research, approximately 71% of the hospitals in US are planning to implement EMR solutions that comply with health information exchange. As the technology keeps on improving, soon the implementation rates are likely to touch 100%.

“Information technology is one of the best things that could happen to the healthcare industry. The way IT has revolutionized healthcare, it could be easily said that in the coming years EMRs and other health IT applications are likely to be seen in almost every practice. I believe, after stethoscopes physicians would also treat EMR to be essential”, says a New Hampshire based health IT consultant.

The importance of HIE could also be comprehended by looking at the meaningful use stage 2 requirements. The objectives in stage 2 encourage physicians not only to use EMR but also to ensure that their solution allows for information exchange. This is one of the very reasons why regulatory bodies have been working on creating standards for HIE implementation. It is believed that a portfolio of standardized guidelines would allow physicians to comprehend the requirements and understand the implementation procedures in a much more efficient manner.

Realizing the requirements and keeping the concerns of physicians in mind, even established EMR vendors are creating solutions that ensure HIE. As the introduction of cloud EMR helped them capture the market share, incorporating HIE would further enhance their chances of attracting more potential clients.

 

EMR Interoperability – An in-depth Analysis


Even since the introduction of EMR the health IT industry has been making considerable changes to the technology. With each passing day, we witness a new feature or a systematic change made within EMR applications, such as the introduction of Cloud EMRs. One can identify a plethora of advantages that cloud EMRs have brought to the healthcare system. No doubt, EMR vendors have taken and are still taking the increasing competition seriously. It did not take them much time to realize that they key to capture market share is to meet the demands of healthcare professionals.

Although healthcare providers have their own concerns related to the usability of the EMR solution, the government’s meaningful use requirement did not back out from increasing the physicians’ demands either. It is the issue of EMR interoperability that I am talking about. Being part of the health IT industry, today, almost everyone is aware of the significance that interoperability has attached to it. Physicians who have been implementing EMRs for a long time now, have started taking the matter of EMR interoperability seriously. After all, interoperability is considered to change the dynamics of the healthcare industry. Imagine the ease with which health information would be easily exchanged with healthcare providers both within and outside single premises. Definitely, the extent of care coordination is likely to augment.

“Although vendors are responsible for keeping their EMRs updated, physicians should not sit back and risk their meaningful use financial incentive funds. It is high time when physicians start making the vendors realize the importance of meeting their demands and requirements. And this applies to both the existing and potential clients. I am sure vendors would not want to take the matter easily as well”, says a New Jersey based health IT consultant.

While is it not absurd to believe that it is the vendor’s responsibility to ensure that their product accommodates interoperability, physicians and healthcare institutions should not sit back without raising their mounting concern in front of the vendors. The rationale is simple; where complying with the meaningful use objectives would help physicians get their hands on thousands of dollars, straying away would not only lead to losing the incentive funds but also result in financial penalties – coming in terms of reduced reimbursements.

As covered in a leading health IT related magazine, emphasizing on the importance of EMR interoperability, Farzad Mostashari, MD of the ONC, said that physicians should report to the ONC if their vendors fail to comply with the interoperability issues, and their issue would be paid due importance.

After introducing cloud EMR technology, vendors now try to innovate the solution with every passing day. Where the issue of EMR interoperability is of vital importance for physicians, it is surely an attention paying issue for EMR vendors too.

 

SaaS Model Spearheading EMR Adoption


The Center for Disease Control’s report earlier this year showed a massive improvement in the adoption for EMRs. However what most encouraging was the improved rates for small and single provider practices that represent more than half of the total physician populous. While the government’s role has been instrumental, incentivizing adoption through meaningful use and establishing regional extension centers, industry experts believe competition within the EMR industry to be the driving force behind this growth.

Small practices and solo practitioners did not have sufficient resources to acquire an EMR system.  The upfront costs were too high and many practices could not afford to hire IT personnel to maintain these systems. The introduction of SaaS EMR leveled the playing field for small practices.

By providing a web based solution, SaaS EMR eradicates the need for housing internal servers or the need for on-site IT personnel. Everything is maintained externally by the vendor, be it upgrades or regular backup. The physician simply needs to use the solution without worrying about on-site changes, as going live with SaaS EMR is much easier. There are no on-site installations and the deployment period is much faster. According to a recent report by KLAS research, SaaS EMR is quickly gaining popularity amongst providers due to its simplistic model.

Eric Bermudez from KLAS research says, “The SaaS EMR deployment model is becoming more popular for providers who want minimal up-front cost and prefer to give the responsibility of the care and feeding of the software to the vendor. Luckily for providers, there are plenty of good options.”

Industry experts view SaaS as the future of healthcare IT. We strive to overcome the barriers of adoption by simplifying technology, says Bill Hashmat, CIO at CureMD. The company recently outranked competition in the report KLAS SaaS EMR 2012: Is It for you? He adds, “We learn though behavioral analysis, joint research with partner academic centers to simplify and optimize product design, enhance self-service implementation and find innovative ways to enter, retrieve and analyze information.”

The healthcare cloud market is expected to grow at a cumulative average rate of 20.5% from 2010-2017. As we move towards healthcare networking and information sharing, SaaS or Cloud based EMR are increasingly becoming more relevant. “We are living in an age where accessibility means time and time means money or better care in this case’, says a Health IT consultant. Most Cloud based EMR have come a long way, with quick response times and even quicker navigation. Eric Bermudez says, “People are pleased with the speed of their SaaS EHR”, he also added that when providers were asked which EMR they would consider, SaaS and Cloud based EMR was a popular choice.

How Secure is Your EMR?

 

CureMD Introduces SMART Cloud EMR


CureMD Healthcare introduces New SMART Cloud EMR which is specially designed All-in-One smart EMR solution that includes PM, patient portal, free hosting, data security, backup, upgrades, maintenance  and support services.

CureMD Healthcare, a leading provider of web-based EMR, PM, Portal and Revenue Cycle Management launched “SMART Cloud” at the Annual MGMA Conference in Las Vegas. The SMART Cloud provides an award winning All-in-One smart EMR solution that includes – software, hosting, training, support, maintenance, updates, security and business continuity, without the cost and responsibility of in-practice maintenance, backup and support.

“CureMD SMART Cloud simplifies the complexities of costly technologies, making it smart EMR, more adaptable, accessible and affordable. The solution provides unprecedented scalability and cost reduction, enhancing the value we deliver” said Kamal Hashmat, CEO of CureMD.

This all-inclusive solution reduces upfront cost while offering fastest meaningful use implementation so that doctors can prepare for the meaningful use incentives as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s HITECH legislation. CureMD SMART Cloud is readily scalable to physician practices, from sole practitioners, to large multi-site, multi-specialty practices.

CureMD SMART Cloud provides access to the entire system through the Internet. Using any computer, practitioners can access desired information via a web browser. Patient and practice data is stored at a highly secure data center with advanced security features, so protected health information is always secure and disaster proof. In addition maintenance and upgrades are provided free of cost, reducing the need for an IT team.

CureMD is an award winning network of health information management systems and services offering certified EMR, practice management, patient portal, revenue cycle management and discrete reportable transcription to help accelerate adoption and Meaningful Use – driving outcomes and subsidy payments to maximize value and returns. CureMD’s advanced web technology and award winning usability facilitate quality decision making, streamline operations, and ensure compliance.