Cloud Based EMRs: Pros and Cons

March 23, 2012 — 1,332 views  
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Businesses that have a lot of data they need to store often turn to cloud based hosting to lower costs. Instead of keeping large and expensive servers onsite, they partner with software companies to gain access to remotely hosted storage. However, when a company deals with electronic medical records, (or ERM) this can pose interesting challenges.

The upside is organizations won't have to worry about maintaining expensive hardware. They also no longer need to worry about their own security. The company that manages the cloud portal they use to store their data likely has experience with data security and can take care of any problems an ERM company may be unfamiliar with.

However, one of the disadvantages of cloud based ERM is there is some uncertainty that goes with entrusting private records to another organization, even if that organization never even looks at them. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 requires all medical records, electronic or otherwise, to remain confidential. Companies storing data in the cloud need to make sure they carefully choose a company to hold their information or face both monetary and legal repercussions.