Remotely Accessing an EMR

Posted on February 13, 2006 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I finally got a minute to check out LogMeIn. I’d heard about it for a while and heard that it was free and quite good as an application to access your computer(and access your EMR) remotely similar to remote desktop. I think that for free versions of remote access I like Window’s remote desktop connection better. Remote desktop connection is a little faster response time than LogMeIn and remote desktop does better with the display than LogMeIn. I do see some big pluses for LogMeIn in that it doesn’t completely take over the session like RDP does(at least in XP). When I get back to my remote desktop I have to relogin which can sometimes be quite annoying. On the other hand I must admit that I often find myself connecting to my computer using remote desktop so that my computer is locked from other users getting to it. This mostly occurs when I’m running out of the office or leave from the other side of campus and didn’t have a chance to log me computer out of windows.

I will say that LogMeIn is a step above VNC and I guess TightVNC is in that category too. The best reason to go with LogMeIn is that it will remember all of your computers for you and tell you if they are available to be connected to. No more need to remember the IP address of all the computers you want to connect to remotely. There are other ways to look for remote desktop connections that are open on computers, but I like the idea that in one panel I can see all the computers I support and connect to them at anytime someone calls me with a problem. This is a nice feature and I’m seriously considering using it to manage the desktops of my end users. I could quickly connect to them and see the errors they are having without having to get out of my chair. This sounds quite nice.

On the other hand I have to seriously consider whether I want to have access to all of my end user’s computers. I think just on principle alone they might not like the idea. However, with some convincing about the quality of service provided I think they might go for it. Not to mention LogMeIn is free so that’s a major plus and should make LogMeIn an easier sell.

One thing I’m not sure I like is the little LogMeIn program that you have to have running on each machine. I guess that’s what is happening in remote desktop, but it is in the background and built into Windows. I also would like to run a port scan of a computer that has Log Me In on it. I’d like to see what port it runs on and probably need to find out about a few more of the possible security vulnerabilities of having it on every machine. I don’t want the HIPAA police coming after me and then have to deal with some lawsuit. I wonder if LogMeIn can restrict access to the machines from a certain IP range. That would do pretty good with security. Then, I could still remote into a machine from anywhere if I just have one remote desktop computer open.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with the technology. Some of the advanced(payed for) features were nice too like printing to my local printer from a file on the computer I connect to. Sharing files or sharing a desktop with another user. I could see some real pluses for that in certain situations.

Next up, hamachi. That should take the LogMeIn security to the next level with a little VPN encrption. At least that’s what I’ve heard.