The initial cost of investment on a web-based EMR system (also known as ASP – Application Service Provider or SaaS – Software as a Service) is quite low since it doesn’t require the hardware, servers, and software that other systems need. Users also save on the cost of maintenance and backups since it’s a remotely hosted server, completely managed by the software program provider.
The main cost associated with the use of a web-based EMR system are the monthly access fees, which may turn out be expensive in the long run. This, however, may be offset by the other savings, especially if you have a multi-location facility.
Web-based systems lay a strong emphasis on security and are HIPAA compliant. In fact, the data security offered by these systems may even be better than what some small clinics can offer through their internal systems.
On the flip side, a remotely hosted server does mean confidential patient information being saved with a third party (the service provider). This may or may not be a risk depending on the service provider you choose.
Web-based EMRs can be accessed from anywhere over a secure Internet connection. This flexibility is particularly useful for practices that have multiple locations and for practitioners who travel a lot or work from several locations.
The disadvantage here is the slow server speed (even if you have the fastest Internet connection) that may significantly impact your charting speed and consequently the number of patients you can serve in a given period of time.
Integration with other systems
Many web-based EMR systems offer interface with other software applications used by a practice – such as medical billing applications. This, however, is usually through third-party software that may or may not be available for all applications being used by a practice.