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5 pts.
 Pros and cons of using a SaaS
GE Healthcare recently announced Centricity Advance, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) PM/EMR solution.  With respect to the requirements of a small practice (five or fewer practitioners), what are the pros and cons of using a SaaS?

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ASKED: August 17, 2010  3:58 PM
UPDATED: September 3, 2010  9:17 pm

Answer Wiki:
A while back I wrote an article that talked about the differences between the differences of EHR / PM implementation models. Feel free to review some of the charts available with comparative analysis. <a href="">Click here</a> or here <a href="">Full article </a>
Last Wiki Answer Submitted:  August 21, 2010  4:55 am  by  RedaChouffani   1,785 pts.
All Answer Wiki Contributors:  RedaChouffani   1,785 pts.
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The chart that Reda Chouffani recommends has a lot of interesting and useful detail. I have a couple of comments.

Data Ownership. In all cases, including ASP hosted third party solutions, the customer owns the data. I would never sign a service agreement that failed to expressly state that I own the data and, in the event of termination of the agreement, the data would be provided to me within a certain period after termination.

The chart makes no distinction among the various ways ASP services are delivered. There are three technical models that are used for delivering service to a remote location. The differences between the three models are significant and important to understand.

Terminal Services. This is simply a way to run the software at a central location while enabling remote users to have visual access to the application. The advantage is that the need to install the software on individual desktops is eliminated. This approach is often used internally in large enterprises because it simplifies the work of the IT staff.

Web-based SaaS This approach uses the web browser to access the application and process data. The service provider is completely in control of the software and handles all upgrades, backup, ongoing support and disaster recovery. Each customer has their own data base maintained by the service provider.

Internet-based SaaS This model advances the web-based model one more degree. The web browser is only used to download the current version of the client software which then takes over and interoperates with the remote server. The advantages are faster response and better security.

The important thing to realize about using a SaaS solution, either web or Internet-based, is that you are buying a service, not software. The SaaS service provider has to be evaluated 1) on the functionality of the service (does it do the job you need to get done) and 2) on their ability to provide the required level of service (for example, 24/7/365 up-time).

Running a high quality, mission-critical data center is hard. I would be cautious of software companies who attempt to provision service in addition to software. If the SaaS approach is right for your situation, I advise considering only those companies that focus their entire business on provisioning service.

 385 pts.

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