The word "cloud" is becoming part of everyone's daily vocabulary. Whether you know the true meaning of it or not, you know that the cloud is an important part of technology today.
The cloud is essentially the Internet. If you're used a cloud-based system in your office then you access your system by logging into a website via a web browser. You don't have to worry about the hassles of having an onsite server in your practice, or installing software on all of your computers. Your vendor hosts and manages your data for you. While those are just the basics, we've got a list of truths and April Fools to help you understand the cloud computing in optical even better!
April Fools. Although the cloud is more of a recent buzzword in optical, this type of technology has been around for a while, and is here to stay. While it takes a while for eyecare providers to adopt this type of technology as it requires change in workflow and is a big investment in purchasing a new system, more and more practices are adopting the cloud into their offices!
April Fools. Cloud-based and cloud-hosted practice management and EHR systems are two different things. With a true cloud-based system your software and data are both hosted and managed by the cloud vendor. You don't worry about maintaining servers in your office, installing software, or manual upgrades. And, you access your system from the Internet so you have the freedom to log into your system from any device with an Internet connection.
A cloud-hosted system is where your servers are hosted and managed offsite by your vendor, but your software is still manually installed on each computer in your office. The IT burden of managing and securing a server is taken off of your practice, but you still have to take care of installing and upgrading your software on your own.
True! While some people may worry about security in the cloud, it is actually often more secure than the security you can provide in your own office. It is likely that if you're managing your own server that you've hired an outside IT consultant to help make sure your system is managed safely. When your data is in the cloud, your vendor is managing it's security with enterprise level security that you wouldn't be able to provide in your own practice without paying a hefty price.
True! While you maybe be satisfied with your current way of doing things, cloud computing could help make your staff more efficient in the long run. Cloud-based systems give you the freedom to access the system from any device, including tablets. Carrying around a table throughout the exam could save you and your staff time from logging in and out of the system as you move from room-to-room. Many cloud-based systems were also built to decrease the amount of clicking it takes to get you to the information that you want. Less clicking leads to an increased workflow throughout the exam.
April Fools. While the costs of cloud-based systems vary across the board, there are many things to consider when thinking about the total cost of ownership of a system. Cloud-based systems come with a predictable monthly subscription-based pricing style. You don't have to worry about heavy upfront hardware costs, or costs of purchasing upgrades to the software down the road. Another thing to consider is the cost of other tools you will have to purchase and integrate with your system including E-Prescribing, patient education material, or coding and billing software. Some softwares come with these tools built right into the system!
Now that you've learned a thing or two about cloud computing in optical, check out Uprise our cloud-based practice management and EHR solution!