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EHR in the Cloud Portends Big Shift in HIT

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, February 4, 2014

Just last week, athenahealth dethroned Epic for the KLAS award for best practice management software in practices of 75 physicians or less. Like Practice Fusion, athenahealth is cloud-based, which reduces the need, which small physicians never understood anyway, to run their own servers. Meanwhile, Practice Fusion received its Meaningful Use Stage 2 certification in mid-December, while some premise-based EHRs are still struggling to reach that goal.

Fewer Hassles for the Well-Wired
The digital divide persists. Many rural communities still lack high-speed Internet, so a Chromebook won't do them much good. Even in the wired communities, outages still happen – Google's Gmail had a hiccup last week that some people swore lasted all day, even though it lasted all of 30 minutes in most places. But these outages are becoming less commonplace.

It's often argued that the true cost of IT is not in the hardware or the software, but in process or workflow redesign, in training, and in the thousand things that can go wrong with PCs—theft, missing backups, viruses, upgrade headaches, and plain old user error.

Some of this persists with the Practice Fusion PC-less model, but it's greatly reduced. Chromebooks don't get viruses. Data gets automatically backed up. Upgrades get automatically pushed to every account with a few days' notice to allow everyone to get used to the latest improvements.

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2 comments on "EHR in the Cloud Portends Big Shift in HIT"


sushant.saraswat (2/11/2014 at 4:22 AM)
Last year has been very eventful for the Healthcare IT industry, with the widespread adoption of HIPPA, Hitech regulations and the approaching deadlines for Healthcare organizations to switch to EHRs have definitely led to some systems being implemented in a chaotic manner without due importance given to meaningful use, also aiding to this turmoil is the constantly changing regulatory landscape. Do let me know your views on this. For EHRs to be really transformational , one needs an system which is flexible, interoperable and can adapt to changing compliance requirements easily. Following up on this, I came across and registered for a webinar on Healthcare IT: Role of EDI in Affordable Care Act Reforms, it looks a promising one http://j.mp/1b4qJC3

Frank Poggio (2/5/2014 at 11:55 AM)
Free hardware, free conversion, almost free software. What a deal! Think about it, this marketing move says a lot about how the ARRA MU program has failed. After three years if the docs are still that reluctant to jump in that you have to entice them with big freebees while the govt gives them subsidies...then by all accounts it's a failed program. By the way if anyone really thinks these are freebees, I have a bridge...