Online Practice Management EMR Warning

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Online Services - Worth the risk/liability?

Data Doctor

You will find MANY online (ASP) Practice Management and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) services online these days, offering ease of use along with access from anywhere in the world.  Some claim to be "FREE"!  Sounds great, right?  Remember though, you are dealing with PATIENT INFORMATION, which holds the most information targeted by identity thieves.  Social security numbers, credit card information, highly confidential health/disease information and more.

Some "What If" scenarios to consider BEFORE getting into any contracts with online services:

  • What IF you are not able to access your information due to loss of Internet connection (Bad weather, power outs, faulty routers, network cards, cabling, etc)
  • What IF your Medical Online Service provider is shut down for any legal reason (Federal, State, HIPAA violations, etc).  Will you still have access to your data?
  • What IF you decide to cancel your contract?  Will you have backup files of your data that is usable by other programs?
  • What IF the service provider does not screen their staff members properly (high school or college interns who have access to your information).
  • What IF the service provider is, or is associated with outsourcing services which are not governed by HIPAA regulations?  Many countries, not accountable to the US are not regulated as to selling identity information
  • What IF the service provider makes a drastic leap in pricing next year...Pay up or shut down are your usual options.

Ultimately YOU are responsible for the choices you make regarding the security of your patient's data.  Furthermore any loss of connection to your own data can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of billing.

Ability Clinical Technologies sells software that you OWN and have control over in your own workplace environment.  You can setup your own servers to allow remote access, whenever you need to connect from a remote location.

Here's a recent discussion our president, Scott Hoehn, had on LinkedIn with a concerned practice

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