Advantages of Cloud-Based Practice Management Applications
Cloud-based applications are beginning to gain ground in family-run and small medical practices, as physicians utilize technology to improve patient care. Many doctors may find medical management software to be costly and the transition from traditional documentation quite painful. Small- to medium-sized family practices, however, find Internet-based applications to be excellent solutions to their needs. These apps use external servers and can be accessed over the Internet.
Electronic health records and other medical practice management software can be categorized into client-server or cloud-based systems. Client-server means you store the data in-house. This requires that software and hardware be installed in your office. Previously, it was common practice to use servers to manage data, but clinics have been switching to Web-based applications due to the following advantages:
Medical practice management apps that operate using cloud technology run on the Internet instead of a specific computer network. This means that you do not need to install extra hardware or software to use them. There is no need to acquire extra equipment, like when using client-server technologies.
Family practices are able to save money without having to worry about the initial costs. With traditional client-server systems, you need tens of thousands of dollars for software, set up, licenses, updates, and maintenance fees. With cloud-based applications, you do not need these things, plus implementation is just a fraction of the cost. The software will become like a service you pay on a monthly basis, just like any utility bill. Expect to pay between $200 and $700 per month, with popular services currently falling in the $400 range.
According to statistics released by HealthIT.gov, the financial benefit for large hospitals can range from $37 million to $59 million over a five-year period. These numbers take into account both the size of the health system as well as the scope of the implementation and do not include the additional funds available through incentive payments.
Small practices, with three physicians or fewer could potentially save between $3,000 and $4,400 per physician annually, according to privately-conducted surveys. Additional studies have estimated the average cost for a small practice to be around $8,500 per provider per year. Under that fee schedule, the small practices surveyed made up for the cost of the practice management platform in about 2 1/2 years - profiting considerably thereafter.
Minimal IT requirements
Transitioning from traditional patient documentation to Web-based applications will be hassle free. You do not need to tap into the services of addition computer experts, since this will be handled by the software service provider. Updates to applications also will be done automatically, so you are ensured the latest technology available.
Collaboration and accessibility
Server-based applications will require you and your staff to log in from specific devices at the clinic. Web-based medical management apps, on the other hand, can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. Cloud-based applications mean you can easily collaborate with other medical practitioners and your staff in a secure environment. Plus, an improved system at the clinic leads to better patient care in the long run.
Small practices can expand without worrying about the usual growing pains of setting up servers and systems. Internet-based applications for medical practices can easily be configured to add new doctors, users, and locations. Understandably, some doctors might worry about the security of the data as the volume increases, but cloud-based MPM apps are more secure than paper records or client-server records, allowing practices to grow without having to interrupt the cash flow and break the bank.
For more information on the benefits of a medical practice management system, review the efficiencies and cost-savings posted on HealthIT.gov. Or if you're ready to compare providers, fill out BuyerZone's free request for price quotes. We'll match you to multiple sellers who can help you choose the right solution for your medical specialty.Ready to Compare Medical Practice Management Software Price Quotes?