During your search for the right software, you’ll most likely have to consider whether a cloud based solution is right for you or not. These days, cloud-based software has received a lot of buzz regarding its perceived efficiency, ease of use, and the fact that you have access to everything, all the time without addressing the shortcomings. Not every practice needs access to its patients’ information all the time, which is a convenience you will pay for. So, it’s important to ask yourself: is it necessary for me to incur an extra cost to have access to use my practice management software from multiple areas at multiple times? We answer key questions in the search for the right chiropractic practice management software.
Do I really need the scalability and mobility the cloud offers – especially if I have only one location?
Many software providers are pushing the use of cloud-based practice management solutions, promoting how the web-based systems can be accessed anywhere, anytime, on any device. At first, you might think having access to your practice management software anywhere anytime,
is a fantastic option. In reality, most chiropractic practices have little need for this feature because they are single locations that need their data on-site. That’s where you bill, that’s where you schedule, and that’s where you manage your patients, so for most practices, there’s no need to take the software home, or to another office. You can still access everything just as you would through a VPN or secure connection with a traditional software/server setup.
Is a cloud-based solution now what chiropractors need to run their practices economically and efficiently?
While cloud-based solutions have their advantages, there are features and logistics challenges that can bog down practices. Here are some things to think about regarding cloud-based solutions during your search for the right practice management software:
Vendor Cost, Configuration, and Updates
- Cloud-Based Solution: can be more expensive in the long run – recurring monthly or annual subscription can end up costing you more than the software and server up-front cost.
- Software and Server Solution: A typical chiropractic software and server will have a one-time cost for install, set-up, and configuration.
- Cloud-Based Solution: You’re at the mercy of the cloud-based software provider regarding software backups, security updates, and application version control.
- Software and Server Solution: Most systems automatically run updates and backups according to your software vendor configurations and agreements.
- Cloud-Based Solution: There are very limited opportunities for customization, so your practice may be configured to the functionality and processes of the software provider. • Software and Server Solution: You are free to select your own computer hardware needed to meet or exceed your vendor’s requirements. Many vendors have trained technicians to physically set-up, configure, and train you and your staff to effectively understand and efficiently manage your software.
Data and Security
- Cloud-Based Solution: You do not own your chiropractic practice data – it’s stored in the cloud on a third-party managed server. In some cases, you may have to pay additional fees to access your data.
- Software and Server Solution: You own all your chiropractic practice data – it’s housed on your local server. In most cases, you do not have data storage costs.
- Cloud-Based Solution: Your patient information may be compromised if co-mingled with other clients that are using the software on the same managed server. • Software and Server Solution: Your patient health information stands secure in your office under numerous security protocols that you have direct control over. • Cloud-Based Solution: Your chiropractic practice will lose its data if your cloud-based software provider goes out of business or is compromised.
- Software and Server Solution: You are in control of your data. You have ownership and know how and where to access it at any time.
- Cloud-Based Solution: Your data will always be vulnerable to third-party systems intrusion through the internet.
- Software and Server Solution: An on-site server allows you to maintain maximum security control.
- Cloud-Based Solution: Latency and lag time to access information across the internet can get bogged down, resulting in longer patient treatments.
- Software and Server Solution: It works offline or online, so there’s no need for an internet connection.
- Cloud-Based Solution: Relying on an internet connection can be impractical for uploading larger imaging files and may not be viable for rural practices with limited options.
- Software and Server Solution: It works offline or online, so this is dependent on your hardware processing capabilities.
- Cloud-Based Solution: Your chiropractic practice is paralyzed with an internet outage. • Software and Server Solution: It works offline or online, so an internet outage does not affect system performance to register patients and process claims.
Ultimately, cloud-based solutions were designed with mobility in mind and you pay a premium for a feature that is seldom required in the chiropractic workspace. For most chiropractors, an on-site software and server solution works because it’s a one-time payment, they can customize the software to their unique practice standards, and they own their data their own facility. Despite the growing popularity of the cloud, many chiropractic practices still prefer to have an on-premise system to ensure security, performance and dependability.