As discussed in part 1 of this article, when purchasing an EMR system, doctors must ensure that the platform is secure and private above all else. However, systems such as cloud-based and on-premise software operate in such contrasting ways that it can be hard to weigh the benefits of each. Part 2 of this EMR analysis will research the cost barriers and long-term efficacy of each type with a particular focus in the dermatology industry.
The State of EMR Software
Although thought by some as being very similar to one-another, it is important to recognize that every EMR software comes with its own advantages and often shortfalls. (To learn more about different EMR security strengths and weaknesses, read part 1 of this article.) One of the clearest examples of this are the stark differences can be seen between traditional on-site EMR systems and new cloud-based EMR software.
Before a physician has even purchased a system, they will likely perform research to see which EMR software provides the best deal while addressing the unique needs of their practice. This is the first barrier. Currently, studies demonstrate that at least 57% of physicians decide against purchasing EMR software due to high associated costs or lack of financial resources.1
Additionally, due to the nature of on-premise EMR software, it can be challenging to estimate the total price of implementation, maintenance, and upgrades. As an example, on-premise software often require installations, upgrades, fixes/maintenance, and migration/integration fees (if applicable).
Adding to this growing list of costs, the majority of these systems offer a limited warranty, meaning that all subsequent fixes are out of pocket. Similarly, due to these high costs, large hardware requirements, and associated installation times (days to weeks) these systems are often marketed for large practices only.
Dermatology EMR Software
As a result, estimates suggest that the use of cloud-based EMR software in small practices jumped from 60% in 2013 to 82% in 2015.2 In terms of affordability, intelligent dermatology software such as DermEngine are designed to be scalable for all sizes of practices. Only a few examples of this are demonstrated through the following attributes:
- No installations (or associated fees)
- Free online support/demos/one month trial
- Scalable payment plans
- Interoperable with other systems
By offering these attractive features, potential clients are presented with a wide variety of cost-friendly options to fit the unique needs for their practice while having the opportunity to strengthen their practice through interoperable systems. This concept alone is a highly coveted trait, as it allows practices to build upon their old software rather than simply replace it.
One doctor may be just starting their practice and be looking for something with low costs and scalable payment plans as they grow. However, since they are just starting their business, they want to test out a system before they buy it. With tools like DermEngine, dermatologists are presented with the opportunity to not only test out the intelligent dermatology software for free, but to test all of the features (with no limitations) to receive a fully immersed experience.
A large system of hospitals are looking to purchase a new dermatology EMR software that is interoperable with their old system. Through integration services, medical professionals and other staff can utilize DermEngine within their current platform as a method to enhance their current workflows rather than disrupt. Additionally, complimentary online demos and no installations mean that the platform can be implemented virtually immediately for a seamless transition.
As medical professionals implement or grow their practice, they are faced with the important choice of selecting an EMR software that is right for them. As one of the top emerging trends in dermoscopy, cloud-based software such as DermEngine actively provides affordable and scalable solutions, many dermatologists are adopting these new systems to optimize their dermatology practice.
In part 3 of this article, we will combine the factors of cost and security to discuss the long-term capabilities and logistics of each type of system along with resulting impacts in the areas of workflow, growth, and accessibility.
-The MetaOptima Team