EMR Updates in SaaS EMR World

Posted on September 18, 2009 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.

When I was writing my last post about updating your EMR software, I knew that I had to also write a post talking about the update process for an SaaS (often called hosted) EMR solution.

Basically, updating your SaaS EMR is a two edge sword. Hosted EMR vendors will often talk about how great a hosted solution is because you never have to go in and update your server’s software. The updates just happen and are all managed by the EMR vendor itself. Kind of like if you use any of the free email services like Gmail. It’s updated all the time and you don’t have to worry about it. Essentially updates to an SaaS EMR work similar. The updates are applied on the server that’s managed by the EMR vendor and you automatically get the latest updates.

It’s worth noting at this point that this really is a huge time saver. I hate dealing with updates of client server based EMR software. I even push out the updates to my over 100 computers using an automated solution, but I still hate doing it. There’s always some sort of issue with some computer not updating properly. In an SaaS EMR solution you just have to make sure that your web browser’s updating doesn’t screw things up. Otherwise, no need to worry about updating every computer in your clinic when your EMR decides to update.

However, the second edge of the sword is that you EMR software will just automatically update. When all goes well this is great. When there is a problem with the update then you didn’t have a chance to test it first. You don’t get to choose when the updates happen (usually) and that includes delaying an update while you wait for another enhancement to fix what the update breaks. I will say that most SaaS EMR software are much quicker to fix if something really bad does happen with an update. The point is that you’re much more at the mercy of your hosted EMR vendor when an update is done. It’s nice to have it hassle free, but sometimes the hassle is worth it.

Let’s hear your stories. I know you all have them. That includes challenges with updating both in the hosted (SaaS) or client server world. Share it with us in the comments.