Cloud 4There are many reasons why medical facilities are establishing electronic health records  (EHRs and EMRs) and cloud PACS, none of which are probably more enticing than the federal government’s incentives in doing so.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was passed in 2009, first brought to light these incentives. IT departments in healthcare facilities across the nation have since embraced the technology and processes involved in establishing electronic health records and cloud PACS.

The government’s goal is to improve the quality of care and control costs. Compliance is voluntary, but doctors who do not meet all the standards set by the government can face reductions in their Medicare reimbursements, unless they can show that establishing EMRs would proove to be too cumbersome on their finances.

Many healthcare facilities rely on revenue generated through Medicare, so there is a scramble to get EMR technology in place. One market research firm predicted that upwards of 80 percent of healthcare facilities would have their digital health record system in place by 2016.

Healthcare facilities and their IT departments, if they haven’t already, are investing plenty of time, energy and money into their EMRs. They’re getting a hand from the federal government, which has earmarked money for these facilities to use in setting up their EMRs. Data capturing and sharing techniques as well as advanced clinical processes are all a part of creating a functional EMR.

Most facilities are looking to create something other than a “functional” EMR however. They’re looking at how to develop the best EMR they can build to help them achieve more cost efficiencies and quality care. Most IT leaders point to the architecture as the key to success. They have options – the cloud or the in-house approach. Many are looking at the cloud approach as the one that will fit their budgets as well as deliver excellent service.

Avoiding software purchases, renewing licensing agreements, as well as investing in hardware are two reasons many are shying away from the on-premise approach. And it’s not just the smaller facilities with fewer resources that are looking to the cloud – large hospitals are also taking that route. The deployment is faster in the cloud, and it’s easier to manage there. Doctors and specialists can access records and images on their mobile devices and at remote offices.

For some, the thought of keeping confidential patient information off-premise and in the cloud is terrifying. But healthcare professionals worried about possible HIPAA violations due to security breaches in the cloud can rest assured that these companies handling EMRs in the cloud are experts at guarding confidential information. Their very existence relies on security as any breach would scare off new clients and possible drive away current clients.

OffSite Image Management, Inc., is a company that knows how important quick and safe access to digital images can be to a healthcare facility. The professionals at OffSite have built a turn-key solution for PACS requirements that fit particularly well with the small and rural facilities that want to stay on top of technological trends while guarding their budget.