Cloud or Server – What’s right for my practice?
Every private practice health care provider has had to weigh and measure whether a cloud-based or server-based software solution is right for their practice. As your practice grows, it is good business to assess whether your initial decision is still the right one.
A few months ago, one of our clients found themselves in the path of a raging fire. Fortunately, they had made the decision to be cloud-based. Initially, they had to access patient notes via a tablet and then utilized a temporary office to see patients. They never missed a beat. All of the patient care data was completely backed-up and accessible from anywhere they were.
Cloud-based servers can be an attractive solution for many reasons.
- They provide on-going and instantaneous back-up systems;
- The back-up sites are in multiple locations throughout the United States so redundancy is in place;
- The responsibility and cost to maintain the cloud-based servers are not an expense the practice must bear;
- You do not have to worry about upgrading or maintaining the servers; and
- You save money because you do not need IT staff/contractors to manage, maintain or troubleshoot the servers.
Yet, there are those who feel a server-based solution is best for them because:
- They maintain direct control;
- They feel that troubleshooting response time is faster with in-house servers and contracted IT staff; and
- Despite the associated costs there is a level of trust in server-based over cloud-based.
Regardless of the solution you choose or have chosen for your practice it is important that you have a technology disaster plan. No one plans on a disaster. Most of us have never and will never experience one. But, if there is one will you be able to access your patients’ records, refill prescriptions and DME orders and keep your practice going? So, whether it is an extended power outage, hurricane, fire, earthquake, tornado or a flood you need to be prepared. Is your data backed up off-site and out of your geographic area? Will you be able to access the patient data if you have to practice in another location? Could you function if all you had was an iPad or tablet?
Assess your situation and make changes as you deem appropriate. Don’t wait until it is too late.