The “cloud” is a vague tech term that doesn’t provide any context clues as to what it can do for optometric practices. Let’s breakdown what the cloud is, and how it directly relates to your practice.
What is the Cloud?
At its core, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet, instead of a computer hard drive in your practice.
What is a Cloud-Based EHR or Practice Management Solution?
Cloud-based electronic health records (EHR) and practice management solutions allow a practice to access, work, and securely store data, such as patient demographics, exams, and lab orders, in one secure online location that’s accessible via the Internet, wherever you happen to be.
Electronic health records and practice management solutions aren’t stored on a server or computer, but are securely stored and accessed via almost any device with a Web browser, app, and Internet connectivity.
Server-Based vs. Cloud-Based EHR and Practice Management Solutions
Server-based EHR and practice management solutions require a practice to purchase and install software on a server (hardware). All data is stored locally and the practice is responsible for any backups, updates, and bug fixes. A server-based solution often requires more IT resources and staff time to install updates and perform maintenance.
Contrastingly, a cloud-based EHR and practice management solution does not require a server or installing software on a hard drive. Data is securely stored in an online location, aka the “cloud,” not on your computer. Because of automatic updates and no backup requirements, cloud-based solutions require minimal IT resources.
Think of it as owning a car versus using a ride-sharing app like Lyft or Uber. A server-based solution is like owning a car in that the owner is responsible for all maintenance, including gas, oil changes, and repairs. The car lives in the owner’s garage, similarly to the server living in a practice. And just as all data—such as miles driven and gas tank levels—is stored within a car, your practice data is stored directly in the server.
Cloud-based solutions are similar to ride-sharing apps like Lyft or Uber. Using a ride-sharing app does not require car ownership, just as using a cloud-based solution does not require owning a server. The car isn’t stored in your garage, nor are you responsible for car maintenance. Similarly, cloud-based software isn’t stored at the practice, nor is the practice responsible for any software fixes. Both ride-sharing apps and cloud-based solutions can be accessed on the go via an app or Web browser.
Should You Purchase a Cloud-Based Solution?
Cloud-based software is the solution for the future and many practices are already experiencing its benefits. Find out if a cloud-based solution is right for your practice by speaking to your Eyefinity Account Executive at 800.269.3666 option 2 or by requesting a demo.