How Do Cloud-Based EHRs Address Common Implementation Woes?

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | August 29, 2013

After spending thousands of dollars on an EHR system, computers, IT infrastructure, installation, and staff training, most providers hope that they never have to go through the EHR implementation process again.  But after the explosion of growth following the 2009 HITECH Act, and a stampede of providers rushing to take advantage of first-generation practice management and clinical documentation offerings, many practices are realizing that their EHRs can’t grow and mature with them as the systems age and meaningful use requirements continue to ramp up expectations.

EHR replacement is the new normal in the healthcare software market, and providers who are unhappy with traditional server-based offerings are turning to an emerging trend: cloud-based, web-accessible EHR suites that cost little to use, are quick to set up, and put the burden of security, upgrades, and data storage on the vendor instead of on an individual provider’s IT staff.

“Cost and setup are the two key factors when it comes to a physician thinking about switching from a server-based EHR to a web-based one,” explained Emily Peters, VP of Marketing Communications at popular cloud solution Practice Fusion, to EHRintelligence.  “If you want electricity in your house, the odds of you setting up your own wind turbine or solar panels in the back yard, wiring it up and maintaining it is pretty small.  It’s a ton of time, and you’re much more likely to have a better experience if you’re just going to use what’s coming out of the plug in your house.  So when we talk about the cloud, I think it’s the same thing.  People are looking for something that’s very convenient, very secure, and that they can get started with in a few minutes.”