AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 18

RUNNING THE PRACTICE // INFOTECH

CLOUD COMPUTING-

STORMS OR BLUE SKIES?
Jeanne S. Holden

F

aced with ever-changing
government regulations, declining reimbursements, and
a shift toward value-based
healthcare, ophthalmology
practices are searching for
ways to increase efficiency
and reduce costs without compromising care quality. The cloud may
be the answer.
"The cloud is wicked fast," said
Janet Ferguson, practice administrator at Lawrence County Eye Associates (New Castle, Pa.). Ferguson
was not referring to the weather.
Rather, "the cloud" is a metaphor
for using the network of remote
servers hosted on the internet for
storing, managing, and processing
data, rather than a local server or
personal computer on site.
Ferguson continued, "Hands
down, the cloud has relieved our
practice of hardware and software
performance issues with regard
to our electronic health records/
practice management applications.
Backups and software updates are
performed by the cloud provider,
freeing up valuable personnel time."
Policies and programs aimed
at encouraging communication
among doctors and between doctors and patients promote cloud
computing by incentivizing the
use of electronic health information technology. Yet many doctors

18

AE // Mar/Apr 18

worry that the cloud will move
data out of their control, making
it more like the weather. This
raises the questions:
* What are the benefits of
cloud computing?
* What are the risks?
* Can those risks be effectively
controlled?
THE BENEFITS
Dr. David A. Goldman, ophthalmologist and founder of Goldman
Eye (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and
a consultant on a cloud-based EHR
system for ophthalmologists, believes cloud-based systems generally
outperform client-server systems.
Here's why.
Reduced costs. Cloud-based
systems require a much smaller
investment upfront and have lower
maintenance costs than on-site
server-based systems, reducing the
stress of IT management. Practices
that purchase a cloud-based system
typically pay a monthly fee rather
than hardware, software licensing,
installation, and implementation
costs. "People may claim that a client-based server saves money," said
Goldman. "But the reality is the
initial expense often equals years of
cloud-based services, and it ignores
the cost of software updates. Ask
yourself, what version of Microsoft
Word are you using?"

Increased mobility. Cloud-based
systems can rapidly expand or contract to meet changing needs and
can be accessed virtually anywhere
there is an internet connection
and a computing device. "When a
patient calls over the weekend for a
prescription refill," said Goldman,
"I pull up his record on my iPhone,
send the authorization ... with a
few taps, and see a reminder to ask
about his son at college. The patient
marvels at my memory, but it's the
cloud-based system."
The cloud also enables a practice
to expand to new locations without
having to consider on-site server
limitations. Goldman noted a
trend toward consolidation among
practices and added, "Practices that
use cloud-based systems can merge
easily. With on-site systems, it can
be impractical."
Security and availability.
Goldman detailed multiple levels
of controls used in cloud systems to
ensure data protection and continuity-from encrypting data in transit
and at rest to provisioning duplicates and redundancies to function
as a backup, if needed. But not all
practitioners are convinced.
THE RISKS
In fact, the most recent HIMSS
Analytics Cloud Survey revealed
that security and performance



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2

How We Can Successfully Lead
Advanced Administration: Administrator Success Factors—Needing a Tune-Up Is Expected
Advice for New Administrators: Introducing the Administrator Beginners Circle—The Go-To Resource for New Administrators
Business Operations: Some Things to Know About Professional Liability Insurance
Customer Care: Making a Diffi cult Journey A Little Easier
Fast Practice: Breaking Down Practice Cliques
Human Resources: Recruiting Strategies for Ophthalmology—Where to Search for New Physicians
InfoTech: Cloud Computing— Storms or Blue Skies?
Reimbursement: Embracing Change to Thrive in an Evolving Reimbursement World
Technicians: Creating a “Feeder Program” to Staff Your Clinic
Washington Watch: MIPS in 2018—Key Changes for Ophthalmic Practices
Taking Your Practice to the Top
Use Podcasts to Increase Practice Visibility—and Thrive
Trailblazing— How to Implement Career Pathing in Your Practice
Ocular Surface Disease: Reimbursement Considerations for the Evaluation and Management of Dry Eye
Retina: Should Retinal Specialists Be Integrated Into a Multispecialty Practice?
Asked and Answered
ASOA News
Bookshelf: Off Balance On Purpose: Embrace Uncertainty and Create a Life You Love
COE Corner: Preparing for the COE Exam – Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Focus on a Practice: Ohio Valley Eye Physicians & Surgeons, PLLC, on Operating a Practice in Two States
Gamechanger: Karen Bachman, COE, COMT, OCS, ROUB
Advertisers’ Index
Peer to Peer: What’s Your Favorite Technique for Holding a Productive Staff Meeting?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover1
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover2
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 1
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 2
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 3
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 4
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - How We Can Successfully Lead
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Advanced Administration: Administrator Success Factors—Needing a Tune-Up Is Expected
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 7
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Advice for New Administrators: Introducing the Administrator Beginners Circle—The Go-To Resource for New Administrators
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 9
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Business Operations: Some Things to Know About Professional Liability Insurance
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 11
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Customer Care: Making a Diffi cult Journey A Little Easier
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 13
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Fast Practice: Breaking Down Practice Cliques
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 15
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Human Resources: Recruiting Strategies for Ophthalmology—Where to Search for New Physicians
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 17
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - InfoTech: Cloud Computing— Storms or Blue Skies?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 19
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Reimbursement: Embracing Change to Thrive in an Evolving Reimbursement World
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 21
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Technicians: Creating a “Feeder Program” to Staff Your Clinic
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 23
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Washington Watch: MIPS in 2018—Key Changes for Ophthalmic Practices
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 25
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Taking Your Practice to the Top
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 27
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 28
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 29
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 30
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 31
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 32
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 33
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Use Podcasts to Increase Practice Visibility—and Thrive
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 35
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 36
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 37
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Trailblazing— How to Implement Career Pathing in Your Practice
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 39
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 40
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 41
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Ocular Surface Disease: Reimbursement Considerations for the Evaluation and Management of Dry Eye
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 43
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Retina: Should Retinal Specialists Be Integrated Into a Multispecialty Practice?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 45
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Asked and Answered
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 47
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - ASOA News
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 49
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Bookshelf: Off Balance On Purpose: Embrace Uncertainty and Create a Life You Love
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 51
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - COE Corner: Preparing for the COE Exam – Keep Your Eye on the Prize
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 53
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Focus on a Practice: Ohio Valley Eye Physicians & Surgeons, PLLC, on Operating a Practice in Two States
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 55
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Gamechanger: Karen Bachman, COE, COMT, OCS, ROUB
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 57
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Advertisers’ Index
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 59
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Peer to Peer: What’s Your Favorite Technique for Holding a Productive Staff Meeting?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover3
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover4
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