If I had a nickel for every time someone asks me what SaaS means (and I see you, scratching your head now trying to come up with what that acronym means), I’d be richer beyond my wildest dreams.
According to Wikipedia, “Software-as-a-Service (SaaS, pronounced sɑs), sometimes referred to as “on-demand software”, is a software delivery model in which software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. SaaS is typically assessed by users using a thin client via a web browser.”
What does that mean exactly?
It means, you would log on to web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.), type in a web address, and enter a username and password to access your data. If you file your income taxes, for example, using an online service you are essentially using a SaaS based program. Your practice could be portable in the sense that you could log on anywhere you have an secure internet connection. The disclaimer here is you wouldn’t want to go to Starbucks and run your practice (not secure). Efficient-I think so, but SaaS may not be for everyone.
Some factors to consider when looking at a SaaS based EMR are:
1. Does your practice have good internet speed? If not, check with your internet service providers to see what is available. Make sure to factor this in when calculating your monthly fees.
2. Does your practice have a reliable internet connection? Speed is one thing, but if you live in an area where the internet connection is choppy, you may want to either consider switching providers or looking at a server-based product. There is nothing worse than not being able to get on the internet to access your charts.
3. Are you a small practice without an IT staff? The greatest thing about having a SaaS based EMR program is that you are not going to be down when your server needs to be upgraded. Keep in mind that not only will your EMR software need to be updated your Windows software will also need to be updated from time to time. Factor in the cost of hardware when considering which way to go. Servers are no immortal-they have a life span like everything else.
If you answered YES to all of the above, then having a SaaS based EMR program may save you both money and headaches.
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