So far, 2017’s hurricane season has been brutal. A recent article published by Healthcare IT news, highlighted the challenges for regional healthcare in the wake of the storms. A key point that emerged was that a cloud-based EHR platform enabled medical staff to use the EHR system as normal, even at alternate sites.
So does that mean it’s time to move to the Cloud? Whether you live in tornado ally or a hurricane zone, the answer still depends on several factors, particularly the size of your facility and your appetite to purchase, manage, and control your own equipment.
The primary requirement for Cloud-based EHR is a reliable and secure Internet connection. Your EHR vendor will monitor the technology, perform data backups and software upgrades. When choosing a vendor, you should not be shy about questioning their security policies. Regular audits and a solid disaster recovery plan should be part of any EHR vendor’s protocols to ensure HIPAA compliance.
Advantages of the Cloud
Some advantages of the Cloud include:
- Eliminates the need to purchase additional computers or work stations
- Provides cost savings because you won’t need to hire IT staff to monitor the EHR
- Outsources compliance headaches associated with security and maintenance
- Reduces length and complexity of implementation
Do you have the resources you’ll need?
In comparison, keeping your server in-house requires one or more dedicated computers within your place of business and designated internal resources to monitor them. Those computers will house all of your EHR software and patient data and do not require an Internet connection.
If your organization does have an IT team in place, then having an internal server might make sense for your practice. Keep in mind, however, that the HIPAA Omnibus rule requires that your patients must have the ability to access their patient records online.
Support is key
Regardless of the platform you choose, service should be at the top of your EHR wish list. When you have a functionality request, is there someone who will take your call? Having a U.S. – based, designated and responsive support team will save you from endless frustration and help your organization achieve its goals.
Medicfusion was one of the first EHR vendors to offer Cloud-based software designed specifically for chiropractors. While our long history differentiates us from other vendors, it’s our service that earns our customers’ loyalty.
‘Patient Engagement’ seems to be a hot phrase in healthcare right now—and it is not something to be ignored. Studies show that when patients are engaged with their care, outcomes are better and costs are lower. You may have already established some degree of patient engagement within your practice: Your check-in process, intake forms and patient portal, for example. However, there are several levels to patient engagement, and these tools are just the beginning. There’s so much more you—and your patients—can do.
The good news is that many of your patients today are technology-minded and would be willing to use digital tools to assist in their recovery. This “active engagement” model produces positive outcomes, satisfied patients, and increased referrals. So how do you ensure you have a solid digital engagement strategy for your own practice? Here are a few ideas. (more…)