Are myths and rumors about cloud computing confusing and making you question the reliability of cloud technology? Well, chances are that what you've heard comes from people who don't really understand what cloud computing is all about! Not to worry, we've compiled a list of common myths about cloud-based practice management and EHR, and we're going to bust them up.
Common Cloud-Based Practice Management and EHR Myths
1. Cloud computing systems for optometry don’t comply with HIPAA standards.
It’s easy for us to discredit something we don’t know much about. In this case, cloud computing systems that cater to the optometry field are more advanced than many may think. Since HIPAA has placed strict privacy standards on cloud service providers in the medical industry, cloud computing vendors are required to give you the best security possible. They must be HIPAA compliant or they cannot be sold to you.
2. Cloud computing programs are highly susceptible to hackers.
Thinking about all of the bad stuff that can happen when saving your data and patient information on your computer or in the cloud can be easy – but don’t let it fool you! Using a cloud computing system is much better than leaving your paper files locked up in a cabinet that could easily be picked or perish in a fire. When using the cloud, most vendors host their systems in facilities that are highly secure and sophisticated. The best vendors even have written guarantees with serious penalties for any data compromise. The best way to keep your information safe, no matter what kind of system you use, is to have a strong, unique password that is changeable every 30 – 90 days.
3. When the weather is bad, cloud computing systems may fail.
The only way this could ever be possible is if a crazy lightning storm freezes or locks up your router and/or modem. Even then, all you have to do is unplug them and then plug them back in. Not too complicated, right? But in all honesty, the relationship between the weather and your cloud computing system is almost non-existent. Although the term cloud is used in the name cloud computing, it doesn’t refer to the clouds above your head. Rather, it refers to the Internet or a network of servers.
4. When the Internet goes down, my practice goes down.
This could be a true statement, although it is nothing to worry about. Responsible cloud computing users are able to overcome this petty problem by making sure their practice can run off at least two Internet connections: Wi-Fi and a 3G/4G backup. If your Internet goes down, you can still run your practice off of a tablet that runs off a 3G network until you are able to troubleshoot any Internet problems.
5. Cloud computing is too expensive for me.
When you add up the costs of maintaining your own in-office hardware and software, it can start to add up over time. Constant hardware updates and software purchases coupled with the ongoing cost of IT maintenance can get pretty expensive. The cloud offers a highly reliable and secure infrastructure at a far lower price. The monthly subscription cost may seem high, but in the long-term, it actually ends up being much less costly than a traditional system. Plus – you will never have to deal with frustrating and confusing IT people again.
Any service you choose to run your practice will have its own benefits and risks. We like to think that the benefits of choosing a cloud service outweigh the possible risks that it comes with. More so, almost all of these risks are 100% preventable when you practice responsible behavior and take the right precautions!
Looking for more information on the cloud? Take a look at our eBook!