Three Types of EMR/EHR System Models:
There are three topologies that a medical practice can choose to implement. One is the SaaS model, the second is the in-house server model, and the third is a hybrid of the earlier two. Your choice in selecting one of these models will determine who bears the responsibility of data security and its retrieval if in case the EMR/EHR vendor shuts down for any reason. This article will discuss each of these models, their benefits and shortcomings.
SaaS – ASP
SaaS stands for Software-as-a-Service, and that means the EMR/EHR application is hosted at the EMR/EHR vendor site on the Internet. They maintain control of the data that is being sent from your clinic or office to their servers on some physical location far from you. This means that you would have to entrust them with your patient data. It is our advice that you get in writing everything that relates to the ownership of that data in case that vendor goes down, i.e. bankruptcy. Also note, that some vendors engage with a third-party data centre to hold the patient data. This can be troubling for the medical practitioner as there could be a legal dispute between the vendor and the third-part data centre. It is best to have all of the necessary accommodations written down before signing with an EMR vendor.
In terms of IT infrastructure needed to run a SaaS, it is not as much as having an in-house server model, although you would need to contract IT support personnel for regular maintenance. One service you will need is to have a backup Internet connection in-case your primary Internet connection goes down for some reason taking your clinic or office with it. Really important to plan for a backup Internet connection.
This model requires your office/clinic to run the EMR/EHR vendor software on your own servers located in your clinic or office. This model requires a lot more investment in hardware and software and nearly daily upkeep measures would need to be contracted from IT support services such as Soulistech. This option does give you the control of keeping all of the EMR data on your own site instead of having it stored somewhere where it would be hard to retrieve the data, should any emergency happen. Also, not much data is transmitted on the Internet, making this a safer choice.
With the data in your possession, it becomes incumbent on your practice to ensure proper security measures are met to withstand attacks from hackers. Again, IT services from Soulistech can help in this regard. In terms of having an Internet connection. One line is good as you won’t be using the backup line anymore.
The hybrid model basically combines the in-house server with the SaaS input method on the client computers. The EMR application runs on the client computers either through a web browser or custom application and sends all of the data to the in-house web server. Instead of sending the web browser entered data to an off-site EMR/EHR vendor, all the data goes in to the in-house server like the in-house model.
This model requires just as much IT support as the in-house server model, but gives you the control of keeping the data on-site and off-site. It keeps the off-site data to a contracted place where it regularly backs up to the off-site location. Even if the Internet is down, the EMR/EHR will continue running as usual, and when the connection is set again, it will backup and sync automatically.