Benefits of cloud-based EHR
Health records contain sensitive information, and the security, confidentiality, and integrity of the data are of utmost priority. Keeping medical records in paper files poses a threat to this and is a challenge to the management. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) make the storage, management, and maintenance of health data easier and help you end the endless paper shuffle. They provide centralized storage and easy access to any medical information. Cloud-based EHRs are becoming increasingly popular, and their adoption rates are going higher.
What is cloud-based EHRs?
Cloud-based EHRs are web-based applications that use external servers to store, exchange and manage health data. These health IT solutions come with a minimum upfront cost and require low maintenance efforts when compared to internal EHR solutions.
But why should you choose a cloud-based EHR?
Many factors like high upfront costs and maintenance efforts prevent organizations from investing in EHRs. Investing in internal servers and ensuring secure maintenance of on-prem EHRs can be a challenge for many organizations. That’s where cloud-based EHRs come in.
Advantages of cloud-based EHRs
Let’s look at the various benefits of cloud-based EHRs and understand how investing in them can help you provide better healthcare services.
1. Easy to implement, optimize and replace
Unlike inhouse EHRs, cloud-based EHRs do not require any hardware or software installation. Cloud-based EHRs are SaaS products and can be implemented directly without any additional infrastructure. This makes it easier for organizations to optimize the usage and also to replace it if it does not fit the bill. You do not need an IT team to maintain it either.
2. Significant costs savings
Reduced IT cost spending is one of the most attractive features of cloud-based EHRs. Since it requires no hardware installation or purchase of software licenses, the cost of implementation is significantly reduced.
Cloud-based EHRs also help you save various additional costs like new patches, release licensing fees, and maintenance cost. You only have to pay a subscription fee based on the agreement of purchase.
3.Reduce IT requirements
When you are having an in-house server and internal EHRs, you also need a team of IT experts to install, configure, test, run, secure, and update hardware and software. In the case of cloud based EHRs, you can have automatic updates, so you can always use the most up-to-date version of the software.
4. Better accessibility
Accessibility is a great challenge when it comes to EHRs. You can access a cloud-based EHR from anywhere with secure internet unlike the inhouse EHRs that can be accessed only from the physician’s office. This will allow better coordination and collaboration with different stakeholders and enable faster decision-making. You can allow patients to access their personal records if required.
5. Increased data security
Security is one of the major concerns that hospitals and organizations raise when adopting EHRs solutions on cloud. EHRs contain personally identifiable information, including names, health information, addresses, social security numbers, lab results, dates of birth, along with medical histories.
They have standard security controls like physical security, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, anti-virus software, backups in multiple locations, patch maintenance, encryption, activity monitoring, identity and access management, and governance-risk management-compliance policies and processes.
6. Scale as you grow
Cloud-based EHRs are scalable and can easily accommodate growth. If the number of staff, doctors, or patients increases or you want to add a new branch, you can easily scale the capacity.
7. Interoperability and data exchange
Data exchange between various stakeholders gives a greater opportunity for optimizing care, exchanging insights, and reducing problems associated with treatments. With cloud-based EHRs, all stakeholders can access data and exchange insights through a secure, single source. This helps in faster and more confident decision-making, and providing better care.
Privacy and security considerations for implementing cloud-based EHRs
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) security rule provides the requirements and guidelines for storing health information.
Hence different levels of access control mechanisms are strictly maintained by carefully defining who can access what information. Patients’ consent is another important aspect. Every person should be aware of where their health data is stored and who can access it. They should also be notified in advance and their consent is necessary if data is going to be used for processing. The data must be kept for a certain period of time and should be deleted after the period by authorized employees.
When choosing a cloud-based EHR check the cloud provider’s reputation and select a solution provider who is well versed with requirements and legislations for EHRs.
Eduhealth – Cloud-based EHR for schools
EduHealth is a SaaS application developed on Microsoft Azure for schools and is used to manage student health information. Azure cloud platform ensures the integrity, security, and scalability of the application and the responsive design makes it compatible with different devices. The cloud-based storage keeps data immune to disasters and cyber threats.
EduHealth is FERPA and HIPAA compliant, and provides high level data security similar to banks. It provides different access levels for staff and parents with access control and has systems in place to prevent unauthorized access. It allows interoperability with various applications and can be integrated with different student information systems.
EduHealth has an easy-to-use interface and functionalities that help nurses to easily manage student health profiles. It also facilitates communication between parents and school nurses to provide effective healthcare and minimize medication errors. This cloud-based EHR for schools makes it easier for school nurses to document and retrieve student information and helps increase their productivity by 5 times. The significant reduction in paperwork and centralized information storage helps schools to save time and cost while providing better health care to students.