The average chiropractor sees between 20 and 50 patients per day according to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges.
When choosing an electronic health record (EHR) system to use at your practice, you have two basic options: a cloud EHR or a server EHR.
If you don’t know the difference, a cloud EHR is an internet-based recordkeeping system that stores your important data on your provider’s servers whereas, with a server EHR, your information is kept on-site at your office.
Nowadays, more and more online users are beginning to appreciate the value that cloud-based systems have to offer. However, there are also a few myths about this type of EHR that you want to be aware of before making your final decision. Here are three of the most common.
Myth #1: Cloud EHRs Are More Secure
While many people believe that cloud EHRs are more secure, the reality is that these internet-based servers are actually more appealing targets to hackers and easier to access by the government.
Case in point: in 2018, there were 1,244 data breaches in the United States alone according to data compiled by Statista. Together, this amounted to the unintended exposure of roughly 446.52 million private records in just one year’s time.
So, while cloud-based systems are often preferred due to greater ease of access to personal and business data, files, and folders, these types of systems also put information at a higher risk of being compromised by those with no legal right to it.
Cloud servers are also more accessible to the government. For instance, did you know that under the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act the U.S. government can legally access certain types of data that electronic communications services store in other countries?
New laws are being created all of the time, many of which are exposing our private data without our knowledge. By default, the more information that is put under someone else’s control, the easier it may be to access.
In the end, information security is only as good as the servers that are used to store that information on. Therefore, a few ways to increase the security of your practice and patient data is to choose an EHR that offers encryption and provides backups and firewalls as these features are much more important with regard to information security than where your data is physically stored.
Myth #2: Cloud EHRs Provide Easier Access to Your Important Data
One reason many people like Apple products is that they’re able to easily access their photos, contacts, and apps from a variety of devices ranging from a desktop or laptop to a tablet or smartphone.
So, wouldn’t it be true that a cloud EHR would also offer this same type of ease-of-access when it comes to retrieving important office or patient data? Not necessarily.
Because cloud servers require the internet for inputting and retrieving data, any time your internet service provider (ISP) goes down, your ability to work stops as well. This can put you at a standstill with regard to accessing and updating patient files until you’re able to get online again.
The other issue with internet-based EHRs is that the speed of your connection matters too. Since you’ll be using a lot of the bandwidth while uploading and downloading data, you’ll require faster internet speeds or risk slowing your connection altogether, a factor that can also negatively impact your other internet-based applications.
Myth #3: Cloud EHRs Offer You More Control
Each healthcare practice is different, which is why it helps to have greater control over your EHR and how it works. And though it seems that a cloud EHR would stand to offer this higher amount of control, that isn’t exactly the case. Why?
With cloud EHRs, the vendor you choose to use actually owns your data. This means that, if at any point you decide to no longer use that particular vendor, you need to find a way to retain your data the mandated length of time, which varies by state according to the National Chiropractic Council but is usually a minimum of five years (if not longer).
One option for meeting this mandate is to continue to pay the vendor for services you don’t need this extended length of time just to maintain your records. Another alternative is to extract and convert the data you are mandated to keep, but both options can be costly.
Cloud EHRs are also less customizable because your network speed limits graphical user interface (GUI) tools. In simple terms, this means that if you have a slower internet connection, your computer may have a more difficult time interacting with the server, making it harder to access all of the program’s applications.
Before choosing the right EHR for your office, it’s important to be able to separate myths from facts. Now that you know the reality behind cloud EHRs, you can make your decision from a more informed standpoint, allowing you to make a better choice for your practice specifically.