This content is part of the Essential Guide: EHR interoperability, regulations top patient record concerns
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Switching to cloud-based EHRs reduces data breach concerns for most small practices

Significantly fewer physicians that deploy cloud-based EHR systems in solo or small medical practices are worried about their system’s security than their counterparts that use server-based EHRs. More than 80% of users of server-based systems are fearful their system or hosted files may be breached, compared to only 38% of small practice physicians that feel similarly about their cloud-based EHRs.

Making the jump to a cloud-based EHR eases providers’ security doubts, according to data gathered by Black Book Market Research. Almost all (92%) physicians at small practices that installed a cloud-based EHR in the last six months believe they now have a lesser chance of experiencing a large breach of patient records.

Despite that evidence, swapping out an EHR for a cloud-based version isn’t a no-brainer decision or a flawless process. Nearly half of small practices that did so from June 2014 to May 2015 say the cost of that transition put them in delicate financial territory. Another drawback of moving to cloud — one that could worsen money problems — is system downtime. More than 50% of respondents who traded their former EHR for a cloud product said they are more apprehensive about downtime now than when running their previous system.

The top 20 ranked vendor systems targeted at small and solo physician practices, according to 5,729 survey respondents, were all cloud-based EHRs. Praxis EMR, based in Canoga Park, Calif., has the highest level of customer satisfaction among 349 vendors. The other vendors that rounded out the top 20 all received customer satisfaction scores greater than 90% and were listed in alphabetical order by Black Book.

Black Book’s research also offered some insight into broader EHR issues. Two years ago, a substantial chunk of physicians (82%) cited implementation as the top EHR concern for their organization, a figure that nosedived to less than 20% this year. Now, more than 91% of physicians believe dysfunctional EHR interoperability is the biggest obstacle in the way of better clinical and financial outcomes.