By BILL SCHWOERER
Summary: Businesses today increasingly rely on internet connectivity to access mission critical applications like Electronic Health Records software. For better reliability and productivity performance, we recommend utilizing redundant internet connections
Imagine you have a waiting room full of patients and suddenly you can’t access your EHR system. How did this happen, what can you do and how do you minimize the potential for this scenario to happen in your office?
Many times the internet connection is overlooked or not addressed until after the EHR service has been launched. The internet connection should be a primary consideration when building your new EHR Network.
A few key points to consider when proactively evaluating your internet connections for your EHR network:
- Do you currently have regular internet outages?
- Is your current bandwidth adequate to support your EHR network?
- Is your EHR network “Client” hosted(a server at your office) or “Cloud” hosted(hosted at another location)? Each has benefits and risks.
A few more points to consider when reactively evaluating your internet connections for your EHR network:
- Have you noticed your internet service being slower after the launch of your EHR?
- Does it take a noticeably long time to load patient information?
- Is there panic in your office when the internet goes down or is there fear of the potential for loss of internet connectivity in your office?
What can you do to minimize the risk of network downtime?
- Given that no network can be completely free of risk for some kind of outage, a first step is to prepare a contingency plan in case your EHR’s become unavailable due to network or power outages. Pen and paper is always an option.
- If you have a redundant connection, work with your IT Team to establish a protocol to activate the redundant connection when needed. Many times your IT provider will have an “automatic failover” system in your EHR Network. However, it is always a good idea to have a posted protocol for a manual rollover in case the automatic system fails to recognize a problem with the internet connection.
- Build your system with the proper redundancies to minimize the potential for outages. Your Telecom and IT Vendors can be a great source of information when considering redundancy options.
Consider the following when planning for the critical link for your EHR system:
- Reliable connection(s) with adequate speed to support the needs of your systems.
- Select a telecom provider that can provide a solution to your specific needs. The provider should be knowledgeable, accessible and responsive when you need them.
- Why to choose redundant connections. Consider the following: How often and how long can you afford not having access to your EHR system?
- Redundant internet connections can be a relatively easy, inexpensive way to insure access to your EHR network. Ideal redundancy would include multiple providers and connections via unique networks.
- Generally, the most consistent service is provided by traditional copper wire services and fiber optics. Other options include cable, wireless and satellite. Various combinations of these services can provide a redundant solution.
- Work with your IT and Telecom provider to develop a solution that best fits your needs.
What can your practice expect from building redundancies?
By adopting a EHR strategy that includes redundant internet connections, your practice will enjoy consistent access to your EHR records and the peace of mind knowing that you have built a network that will be available when you need it most.
Ultimately, what is the goal of switching to EHR?
- A well-implemented EHR will improve the Safety, Quality and Efficiency within your office.
- A fully functioning EHR is a huge investment with many benefits for the Physician, the Physician Office Staff and the Patient.
- Developing a plan to make sure the system is available when needed is a critical component in the execution of your EHR plan.
- Sufficient bandwidth and redundant internet connections can be a relatively easy and inexpensive way to make sure the information you need is available when you need it.
Who can you contact to help you through the process?
If you have questions or would like to discuss internet redundancy options for your office, please feel free to contact Blue Rooster Telecom at 805-543-8700 or visit our website at www.blueroostertelecom.com
Want to learn more about Blue Rooster Telecom?
Blue Rooster Telecom is a San Luis Obispo-based telecom carrier offering voice, VoIP, Internet, and data services. Its customers are always first, as the company sets the highest standards for customer service, delivering reliable products and creating custom solutions. Some of Blue Rooster Telecom’s employees have over 30 years of telecommunication experience, with a passion to be dependable, professional and friendly when working with any client. For more information, visit www.blueroostertelcom.com or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/blueroostertelecom