In an ASP solution, both the application and the data reside on the supplier’s servers, and the practice or clinic employees use a regular web browser to access the software. In some cases, client software is installed on in-house computers, but the critical data still resides on the vendor’s computers.
The main advantage of ASPs is that IT professionals at the vendor’s office maintain the application and data. Performance, availability, scalability and stability are all critical network issues. Service providers can leverage unique IT networking expertise that can help a clinic or practice build a best-in-class next generation application. Multiple layers of firewalls and security, uninterruptible power supplies, fail-over (instant switching from one computer to another in case of a crash) and reliable backups are all standard operating procedures for these vendors – and they combine to virtually guarantee that data will always be secure and available. This is an important consideration in a HIPAA and its concerns over data security.
The biggest risk of online solutions is that they require an active Internet connection. Since no Internet connection works 100% of the time – the internal network may fail, the hosted ISP may experience an outage, or an Internet malware may cause congestion – it may not always be able to access data or applications.
- February 27th