EHR in the Cloud Portends Big Shift in HIT
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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