Adding to this shift is the current sunsetting of Windows XP, that stalwart operating system from the dawn of the millennium, a version of Windows yet unequaled in terms of adoption and acceptance. A lot of small practices are faced with ditching that XP hardware due to the imminent discontinuation of security patches from Microsoft. Although a one-year extension was recently, if begrudgingly, announced.
Chromebooks share a lot in common with zero-client PCs. They're really simple, yet powerful. The computer's browser also has the ability to cache data should there be an interruption in connection to the Internet. During such episodes, don't expect the app to catch every single drug-drug interaction or accept new lab results. But for a small practice, it's just enough technology to get the job done until the connection resumes.
And yes, the desktop and even laptop computers are losing their dominance. A recent study found that more than half of U.S. physicians perform some work-related tasks on a tablet computer. But no one is giving away computers – except, as far as I can tell, Practice Fusion.
Practice Fusion didn't have the best reputation when it was launched. Critics said it lacked features and integration physicians had come to expect on "real" EHRs. But the Meaningful Use program has allowed Practice Fusion, athenahealth and some other interlopers to come a long way in the critics' eyes.