EMR’s are an integral part of how a modern hospital operates. Everything that goes on in a hospital, from the moment a patient walks in till the moment they leave are documented and monitored on an EMR software. In a previous article, we gave a detailed explanation of how important a good EMR is to the patients, medical staff and the daily operations of a hospital or clinic.
Like most good things in life, EMRs aren’t free. However, don’t be scared into thinking that EMRs are expensive pieces of machinery for well-funded hospitals. It’s important to realize that EMRs don’t have to be expensive and good EMRs pay for themselves by helping to cut down excess costs in the hospital. Regardless of the size or speciality of a hospital or clinic, a good EMR will also aid in increasing the bottom line by helping the hospital or clinic offer better care to more people in more efficient ways.
So what are the payment plans like?
There are different ways to pay for an EMR software. Hospitals and clinics can be very different in how they are run, good EMR providers understand this and offer different payment options. Helium Health, for instance, offers an affordable and flexible subscription model that allows hospitals and clinics to pay only when they see patients. With a subscription model, the fee is considerably less than what the hospital charges as a registration fee. Larger enterprise facilities may find a subscription model unsuitable and prefer an upfront payment licencing payment plan which Helium Health offers along with periodic renewals and maintenance charges to ensure the hospital continues operating with maximum efficiency.
Good EMR providers like Helium Health understand that all hospitals and clinics are different and need unique provisions. Most importantly, flexible payment plans ensure that hospitals and clinics don’t have to break the bank before going digital.
One other thing that can affect the overall cost of getting an EMR software is if a hospital or clinic wants the EMR to only run online (cloud) or offline.
Cloud EMR or Offline EMR?
Choosing between a cloud or offline EMR depends on what the hospital or clinic hopes to achieve, the internet connectivity in the area the hospital or clinic is located, and what they can afford. Should they decide that running the EMR offline is better, they will have to factor in their staff strength or the number of software users to guide them in purchasing a server. It is important to know that as long as the EMR is deployed by a competent provider the functionality of the EMR will largely be the same regardless of whether it is offline or online.
If a hospital or clinic is located in a place with poor internet access or the administrators just don't want to deal with messy internet service providers, an offline EMR will be the best way to go.
Setting up an offline EMR may drive up the total cost of acquiring the EMR because it requires getting a hard drive (at least 1 terabyte is recommended) a server and networking infrastructure. EMR providers are usually not responsible for obtaining these for the hospital but they should always be available to recommend what works best. The servers and networking infrastructure will require supervision from time to time to avoid incidents so it is advisable to have an inhouse IT person.
On the other hand, a cloud-based EMR requires spending less money but be careful not to get yourself frustrated with a lousy internet connection because of trying to save a little extra money.