Ultimate guide to cloud-based EMR software (2021)

There’s no doubt that cloud-based EMR systems are the fastest growing method of deployment in the Health IT industry. It has become one of the most reliable ways to cut costs of maintaining EMR systems in hospital setups while taking care of the sensitive information and reducing the load servers on the premises. Medical experts leverage this technology to offer customization in care plans, streamline daily workflows, and gain efficiencies to improve the quality of patient care.

Despite the continuous emergence of notable cloud-based EHR vendors, medical facilities are still left with a great number of questions regarding how a cloud-based system works. In this guide, we will try to cover the most important ones. Read through to learn more!

What is a cloud-based EMR?

A cloud-based EHR is a flexible, scalable, intuitive, and cost-effective solution that helps healthcare facilities securely maintain patient health data in the cloud rather than on internal servers located at a medical practice or facility. Most cloud-based health recording solutions are designed with input from healthcare experts, facility management teams, and clinicians to make features closer to what medical organizations and healthcare providers provide in in-patient settings.

What features to look for in a cloud EMR?

When choosing a cloud-based solution, you should look for the following features:

  • Reporting and population health
  • Automation of administrative processes
  • Electronic communication and connect
  • Data Security and Integrity
  • Result management
  • Decision support
  • Order management
  • Patient portal

Benefits of a cloud-based EMR software

  1. Scalability

Cloud-based emr software is loved by users for its ability to grow and expand as an EMR solution. This deployment method is quite ideal for practices that may anticipate scaling up to more service lines and staff members. Users can add new workstations or staff members simply by adding new user accounts to a cloud-based software with relatively little cost or effort as compared to an on-premises system. These cloud EMR solutions are meant to be accessed within a site with an internet connection, unlike on-premises systems that are required to be reconfigured to accommodate additional staff workstations or staff members.

  1. Reduced IT costs

A cloud-based health recording solution doesn’t require the typical installation process, which significantly cuts the cost by large margins. Thus, healthcare facilities that choose to invest in cloud computing don’t need to spend a huge amount on server space, hardware, on-site work, etc. Not only this, but the installation, data migration, maintenance, and software updates are also a lot less costly when you choose the cloud deployment option. The vendor can conduct all these tasks without having to deploy an IT team on site.

  1. Accessibility

Another advantage attributed with cloud-based health recording solution is that it lets users update clinical data from multiple locations. Users can access the data from any remote location via the web on a tablet, desktop, or smartphone. This increases overall productivity and facilitates effective decision-making by offering a useful mobility option for those who want to provide care on the go.

  1. More control over data

Cloud environments are appreciated by users for lowering barriers to modernization and customization of health IT systems. They additionally offer a collaborative platform that facilitates sharing and dissemination of healthcare knowledge. Users can personalize their systems to make things easier for them. This way you don’t have to worry about losing control over your critical data because cloud computing gives you more autonomy over your data than any traditional server-based EMR.

Other benefits of a cloud-based EMR solution

  • Cloud technology providers automatic compliance updates to ensure your medical facility is always following best practices.
  • Drug libraries and intuitive decision-support tools help prevent avoidable medical errors.
  • It offers intuitive decision-support tools and drug libraries to help you put an end to avoidable medical errors.
  • Using cloud technology, you can share and exchange information in real-time.
  • Cloud-based software solutions are acclaimed for their ability to provide access from beyond the confines of the office.

Disadvantages of a cloud system
While the benefits of the cloud deployment method outweigh the drawbacks, cloud-based EMR reviews point out a few issues that are associated with cloud-based EMRs. Let’s take a look at them!

  1. Reliability

Cloud-based health recording systems rely heavily on an internet connection to retrieve and update data. Therefore, organizations that don’t have access to stable internet connections should not go for this. A slow or unstable connection can cause the software to experience lag time in system performance and outages. But you can certainly fix this problem during your cloud EHR selection process by having the vendor clearly explain the bandwidth requirements of their product.

  1. Hidden costs

If you opt for a cloud-based EMR that is offered on a subscription basis, then the vendor may require you to purchase access to add-on features and support. Moreover, the bandwidth on your facility’s internet connection may need to be upgraded to support all the data the software will process. In such a case, practices should make sure that the total cost of ownership of their cloud-based system is known.

  1. Security

Security is another concern for users who invest in cloud-based EMR systems. Therefore, you need to make sure that the software you choose is HIPAA-compliant so you can protect information confidentiality and data security within your organization. You should also comply with your obligations to protect patient health information under HIPAA.

Cost of a cloud-based EHR software

Briefly, the budget for a cloud-based EMR software should incorporate the following costs:

Implementation costs: some vendors include the implementation support in the out-of-box price of an EHR. But others may charge for implementation consultancy, data migration, system customization, and training.

Support and maintenance fees: Since your software solution is hosted on your EHR provider’s servers, you might be asked to pay a fee for upkeep.

Out-of-box price of EHR: some EHR companies will first figure out if you are a prescribing or non-prescribing user for a monthly fee. Thus, you should be absolutely clear about your user base before calculating your baseline figure.

Which cloud EMR vendors should you consider?

Here we present you with a few top-tier cloud-based EHR solutions loved by users:

  • Athenahealth
  • Practice Fusion
  • DrChrono
  • eClinicalWorks

Final thoughts

All set for rapid development, cloud-based EMR systems promise increased operational efficiency while significantly decreasing costs. While the primary benefits of this technology are quite convincing, the problems associated with it should be tackled to ensure a successful implementation. For more details, reach out to our team of experts at FindEMR.