Hosting Demystified – Part 1: Insourced Hosting

Hosting isn’t just for the “big guys”. Think your physician practice or clinic is too small to consider hosting? Whether hosting is “insourced”, “outsourced” or combines these two delivery models into a hybrid approach, today’s secure hosting solutions reduce operating expenses allowing continuous, dedicated management and web-enabled updates of your mission-critical health IT applications and patient data.

Through this 3-part hosting blog, we’ll review the three most common hosting types and answer a few of your questions along the way. Up first, insourced hosting.

Insourced Hosting

A model also called managed services, managed client-server, or managed on-site hosting, where the hosting vendor provides end-to-end management of your complete EHR/PM system including the hardware and software systems installed at your facility. In essence, your hosting vendor becomes a member of your team, in-house, and manages the infrastructure that you own – generally in a client-server configuration.

ehr hosting serviceInsourcing can be much more than staff augmentation and third-party managed services. Insourced EHR management can also bring industry-specific EHR / HIT expertise to your business and clinical operation. Successful insourcing requires your hosting vendor to have intimate knowledge of your practice, and in the case of a large clinic, your provider’s practice. Your hosting vendor should also demonstrate expertise in healthcare, but more importantly, in EHR systems and specifically, in the EHR system you have chosen for your business.

Your hosting vendor is your onsite partner and “EHR ally”. As your resident EHR expert, your hosting vendor should be able to recommend deployment methodologies (phased, limited), support integration of your EHR with the rest of your HIT eco-system, provide training, and provide help desk support if needed.

Insourcing your EHR solution becomes transparent to your practitioners and your staff – off-loading all management and maintenance of your EHR/EPM deployment, management, and maintenance.

Pro: By insourcing, providers gain expanded and higher quality services at a lower cost than hiring internal, dedicated EHR HIT staff. Insourcing EHR services also means that your information systems are “service partner dependent” rather than “IT employee dependent” making your EHR environment less vulnerable and more secure. Unlike general IT insourcing, insourced EHR hosting brings specific healthcare system knowledge into your organization which can be valuable for both support of your EHR system and knowledge transfer to your broader support staff and user community.

Con: Insourcing doesn’t address capital expenditure investments, on-site equipment maintenance, space limitations (in the case of significant server and resource demands), and may not address off-site server redundancy. Insourcing may be a first step along the road to fully outsourced EHR hosting. Depending on your service level agreements, insourcing may mean that physically provisioning and securing your servers will be your IT team’s responsibility along with performing regular backups. These items will be outlined in your hosting agreement.

Key Takeaway

Outsourcing management of your EHR application infrastructure to a trusted partner saves time, expense, ongoing management headaches, and allows you to focus on your primary goals – patient care, improved patient satisfaction, and improved practice and business management. Whether you choose insourced hosting, outsourced hosting or a hybrid hosting model, eMedApps can help. Let our hosting experts review options with you today. Contact us for more information.

Next up in our hosting series, Hosting Demystified – Part 2: Outsourced Hosting

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About the Author:

Joe Cernik
Joe brings over 25 years of experience in information technology consulting and healthcare to the eMedApps team. He has been with the company since the beginning over 15 years ago and continues to provide strategic leadership to the business teams. Joe’s expertise in developing and managing new business relationships as well as delivering strategic solutions to the healthcare community has set the pace for continual growth and excellence. He works directly with healthcare providers, educating them on new technologies and assisting with the selection, purchase, implementation, and support of those systems. In his spare time, Joe enjoys music, golf, camping, and fishing.