In the past decade, majority of industries, including healthcare transitioned from paper to electronic methods of information storage. For instance, 69% of medical facilities moved from paper storage to Electronic medical records, also known as EMR. This sudden paradigm shift can be credited to the robust benefits that such systems of data storage pack.
Thanks to the EMR system, physicians can now maintain and share a patient’s information with other doctors, health facilities, or the patient at the touch of a button. However, the booming demand for EMR has seen its emergence in different and even better forms.
Most medical practices are torn between web-based and client-based EMR. If you are among them, here are some pros and cons to help you determine whether or not your business should move to web based EMR.
What is Web Based EMR?
Before we get to the pros and cons, it’s vital you understand what exactly a web based EMR is. Also known as SaaS or cloud-based EMR, a web based EMR is a software that resides on the vendors’ network and is accessible through the internet.
There are several reasons you should embrace a web based EMR system. Here are some of the pros;
Lower Implementation Costs
One of the most significant advantages of a web based EMR system is the low costs of implementation. As noted earlier, this kind of system is often delivered via the internet. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about the upfront costs associated with other EMR types such as the software, servers, or hardware.
All you need to do is pay the required monthly fee and you’ll be good to go! In other words, the main cost of a SaaS system is the monthly access fee. This fee might be nothing compared to the massive saving you make by not incurring the mentioned implementation costs.
However, there are even more significant advantages of a web based system. Ensure you discover more here.
Other than the high implementation costs, other EMR types also require maintenance. For instance, you have to ensure that you’ve a skilled IT team in place for support. The IT team also handles any upgrades needed in the future and deals with server maintenance.
While such a team will ensure everything is smooth-sailing, things will be a bit tough on you in the long run as it means added employees on your payroll.
A cloud-based EMR, on the other hand, spares you some slack as all that is handled by your vendor. This means your business goes on as it should without you having to stress over any maintenance costs.
Enhanced accessibility is yet another essential web based EMR pro. As mentioned earlier, all you need to access a web-based electronic medical record is your device and a stable internet connection. This means real time access from anywhere as long as you’ve good connectivity.
This feature is particularly useful if your practice has multiple branches or if you travel a lot. Why? Well, you can send a patient’s info data to another physician through a single click.
Other EMR types limit you from doing this as the software can only be accessed in a secure location, which most of the times, is within the organization.
Saas Systems are More Secure
When you use a cloud-based EMR system, all your data is hosted by an off-site vendor making it more secure. Therefore, all essential patient files and documents are automatically stored in the cloud, hence the name cloud-based.
This is advantageous because you can easily retrieve it whenever one of your devices’ crashes. While other systems give you full control over your data, they put you at risk as a single crash can result in total data loss!
When using a web-based system, your primary responsibility is to ensure that the required monthly fee is settled on time. This leaves all the other, including HIPAA compliance to your vendor. Therefore, you go about your practice without having to worry about being on the wrong side of the law.
While it packs a lot of perks, a web-based system is not all sunshine and roses! Here are some of the disadvantages you should anticipate.
The vendor practically controls a web-based system. These vendors often use a specific tool to maintain and manage your data. Therefore, you can’t change some of the features to suit your practice without consulting your provider specifically.
This limits your flexibility and also control over the way your data is stored and managed online and within your organization. In respect to that, if customization is one of your primary priorities, then a web based EMR is not for you!
A Lot of Lag Time
Cloud-based EMR systems can only be accessed via the internet. In other words, high-quality internet connectivity is the lifeline of these systems. This means, if your internet connection is not high speed or you usually find yourself having connection issues, a SaaS EMR system might result in a lot of downtime.
As a business owner, you know downtime means service disruption, which again results in loss of customers and potential profits.
Puts you at the Mercy of the Vendor
One of the biggest cons of a web-based system is that it puts you at the mercy of the vendor. This is because you entrust a third party with all your essential data, including sensitive info.
However, the good news is that your vendor is held by a legally binding contract when it comes to sharing and using your data. Unfortunately, the fact that they’ve access to it doesn’t mean that he/she can’t do whatever they want with it behind your back!
Therefore, if you choose to go with a SaaS EMR system, ensure you find a reputable provider. Also, you may end up losing a lot of valuable data if your host goes out of business or is hacked.
Expand your Knowledge of Web Based EMR Today
Whether you choose to go with a web based EMR or other EMR types, ensure that you fully understand how these systems work and how they’ll impact you and your practice.
Are you still stuck on which type of system to embrace? Contact us today for clarifications and professional advice.