Choosing the right medical software can be an overwhelming experience. With so many different options to choose from, where do you start? If you’re not sure how to begin, you may want to first decide whether you want a cloud-based solution or more traditional on-premise software.
Every practice is different and what works for one may not work for another. Once you’ve narrowed down your options to cloud or on-premise, it’s easier to look through the options and determine the best one for your practice. Here’s a summary of the main differences between the two.
On-premise medical software
On-premise software is a more traditional type of medical software that is installed on to your computer and hosted on a server that you manage yourself. Generally, on-premise software comes with a high initial cost as you’ll need to invest in the infrastructure to set up your system, including a physical server and space to house it. You’ll also need to factor in regular upgrades and maintenance.
With on-premise medical software you can decide when to upgrade your systems and you have a greater degree of control over your security and system configuration. This also means you’re responsible for all these things yourself, which can mean added costs and the requirement for IT support. With on-premise medical software, data backups, system upgrades and security are all up to you, and if you’re not completely on top of it all, your business can be left vulnerable if something goes wrong.
Cloud-based medical software
Cloud software is different from on-premise in that it’s hosted on the software provider’s server and you access it through your browser. There’s no need to download and install the software onto your computer so you can get up and running quickly. You also don’t have to worry about security, upgrades or maintenance as this will all be taken care of for you and included in the cost.
There’s less requirement for infrastructure with cloud-based software, which often means fewer startup costs. You don’t need to invest in a physical server or pay an IT provider to set everything up for you. Because your data is stored remotely, you’re at less risk if something happens to your physical premises. It’s also a more flexible solution as you can access your software through any device as long as you have an internet connection, making it well suited to remote practices or practitioners who travel a lot.
Another benefit of cloud-based software is that maintenance and upgrades are taken care of for you, so you’ll always have access to all the latest features and functionality.
What’s right for you?
Different types of software will suit different businesses and there’s no right or wrong answer. A few things to think about include how much you have available for upfront investment and if you are confident in your ability to manage regular upgrades, security and maintenance yourself. Smaller practices with less to invest in a third-party IT provider may find a cloud-based system is easier to manage and offers them a greater level of flexibility, especially when it comes to scaling up and down.