When looking for a practice management and EHR software, many ODs may just think about the features and functionality of the actual software. However, getting your software set up in your practice can be a daunting task and may even come at an extra cost on top of just paying for the software. There are many technological options available in the market, and you will need to think about your practice’s needs before you purchase a solution. Do you want your practice management and EHR software to be legacy or legendary?
Legacy EHR Software
A “legacy” or client-server system refers to the set up that requires a practice to have a physical server in their practice (or on a network they access) where the software is installed and the data is held. This used to be the only option when purchasing a practice management system.
With a client-server practice management system, you gain full ownership of the hardware and software, and therefore are responsible for maintaining it. You can customize the setup and manage upgrades manually as you go. However, purchasing a client-server solution does not come cheap.
On top of paying for the hardware, you have to ensure that you have the infrastructure in place to run it. Because you have full ownership and control of the equipment, it is your responsibility to keep up with maintenance, backups, upgrades, and security.
Computers that are part of the client-server setup are typically PCs. Installation of the software is done on each computer, so you can only access the program on the computer it was installed on. This might not be the best option if you intend to have multiple users or devices to access the system.
To make an update, you will need to purchase the new version of the software and re-install it on each of your computer workstations. And depending on the upgrade, you might need to increase your server size and/or PC workstations and therefore spend additional expenses to support the new system’s requirements.
Legendary EHR Software
Cloud-based solutions are those that are available through an Internet browser and use a “Software-as-a-Service” model (SaaS). That means you don’t have to worry about servers or software installations, and you get predictable, fixed monthly pricing instead of heavy upfront costs.
We’re not going to deny that we think cloud-based solutions are the way to go, and we think it’s the legendary choice! But here’s why.
There is no need to worry about servers when you use a cloud-based practice management and EHR software. As a result, you don’t have expensive in-house servers to purchase upfront, or ongoing IT maintenance costs to worry about. On top of saving on upfront costs, cloud-based solutions use a “pay-as-you-go” pricing model, which means you get affordable monthly pricing too!
The best cloud-based solutions are device agnostic and are accessible through an Internet browser. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to access your system securely while on the go. They are also built using the latest technology, so cloud-based users experience user-friendly interfaces and greater interoperability than users of client-server or cloud-hosted solutions.
When you use a cloud-based solution, your vendor handles data storage and backups for you. Because of this, cloud-based solutions are designed to keep your data safe and secure on the Web. Cloud-based vendors should be 100% HIPAA compliant and need to meet government security standards for data transmission and storage.
They go to great lengths to ensure backup redundancy, disaster recovery, and both physical and cyber security measures that protect data. This is a level of security that isn’t practical for most practices on an individual basis.
Many people often worry that they won’t own their data if they use a cloud-based solution, but that isn’t the case. You own your data and should be able to access it in the event that you leave the vendor. Each vendor will have their own agreements and policies for how they handle this, but your data is 100% yours!
The “client-server and cloud-based” debacle has been stirring quite a debate among the industry. But now that you know what each can offer, think about what your practice really needs and what you can handle. Do you have the IT expertise to handle a legacy system? Or would you prefer to have automatic updates without manual intervention? Let us know, should your practice management and EHR software be legacy or legendary?
If you think like us, and would like to check out a cloud-based practice management and EHR system, try Uprise!