All EHR systems run on a platform. A platform can be defined as the hardware and software (operating system) that allows the system to work. A Dell laptop with a Centrino processor, running the Windows Vista operating system, for instance, is the platform that I happen to be using to produce this blog entry. Obviously, there are a number of possible variations that make word processing possible, and each can impact—in ways great and small—my ability to write, save and post these words. The same is true with EHR systems.
Every vendor must choose a certain platform for their software to run on. Being able to easily and economically support that platform, and ensuring that the platform is not going to be out of date and unsupported for an acceptable time frame is essential to the continued usage and success of the EHR system at any clinic.
Anyone considering an EHR should learn to decipher, or ask for details about the details of a platform’s ratings related to:
· Uptime or availability,
· Reliability, and
· Service costs.
Further, you must understand the service/support contract being offered by the vendor to be sure that your clinic’s ongoing costs for maintenance can be estimated fairly accurately.
Next week, I will talk about another standard. In the meanwhile, if you have any questions, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your health IT strategy and needs.