Is the Medscribbler rich application service provider model the answer to physician EMR adoption?

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2 ASK THE EXPERT Is the Medscribbler rich application service provider model the answer to physician EMR adoption? Michael Milne is the CEO of Scriptnetics, the developer of Medscribbler and other medical software applications. Michael is a futurist and one of the computer handwriting pioneers. Several of his articles have been published in leading healthcare media. While the benefits of electronic medical records (EMRs) are becoming increasingly tangible, most physician practices struggle to justify and even afford the up-front costs associated with outright software and hardware purchases. Moreover, for many practices, the continued costs and logistical challenges associated with maintaining and protecting their own computer network, software applications, and mission-critical medical data can be overwhelming. The choice of an EMR run by an application service provider (ASP) is equally challenging with concerns of patient data ownership and the ASP vendor s understanding of robust and reliable remote medical business operations. That is why Scriptnetics now has given physicians practices the option of choosing Medscribbler Rich Application Service Provider (RASP), an online EMR like an ASP but with greater value by the physician s ownership of hardware. How does it work? RASP supplies a physician s practice with a hosted computer server with access to Medscribbler on

3 RASP SUBSCRIPTION PRACTICE HOSTED vs. (Traditional licensed software) RASP SUBSCRIPTION PRACTICE HOSTED ASP (Traditional licensed software) Support 24/7 connectivity support typically supported 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Availability 99 percent uptime guarantee No uptime guarantee - practice runs system Data backups Performed daily at hosting site Practice performs Network/ hardware needs End-user hardware (Internet-ready PCs), printers, a reliable, high-speed Internet connection, wireless router Requires a full Windows TCP/IP network, server(s), storage, backup media, routers, firewalls, plus end-user hardware Upgrades Hosting site performs (typically after-hours) Practice installs Pricing Subscription pricing (usually monthly) includes software application, security, support, and upgrades. You do not own the software. You own the software, which is paid for up-front (capital lease could defer payment over time). Yearly hardware and software support fees. Remote access Included via a high-speed Internet connection Practice will need to manage a VPN Contract Two year commitment Contract covers initial purchase and ongoing maintenance. term commitment from 12 months. Data ownership Physician practice owns its data Physician practice owns its data a subscription basis. Scriptnetics maintains the server and Medscribbler with the patient data at a secure, central location, also known as a hosting facility. Ownership and access to the patient data is completely in the physician s control. Furthermore, access is by a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and a Medscribbler rich client that eliminates all the dangers of viruses and hacks of the open Internet. To get started, practices only need an Internetready computer and a high-speed Internet connection (DSL or cable modem). An inexpensive, secure router can provide wireless access. Only authorized users with a Medscribbler client can access the EMR anywhere via any secured highspeed Internet connection. The RASP hosting facility meets the Department of Defense (DOD) certification standard for physical security. Top level Medscribbler security is via firewalls, safeguarded passwords and unique Internet IP addresses. Data transmission is secured in a hardened tunnel so that outsiders cannot access data as it is transferred. HIPAA compliance is ensured and complete data backups are made on a regular basis to ensure no loss of data. How do you determine if RASP is right for your practice? A. How much capital do you have? Lack of capital is one of the top five barriers for implementing an EMR, according to Medical Group Management Association*. RASP offers both upfront and longer-term cost advantages. Up-front costs range from only $500 for set up and a monthly hosting charges start at $535. Additional users can be added starting at $175 per month. B. What about IT resources and expertise? If your answer is no to any or all of the following questions, a Medscribbler RASP model may be best for your practice: Do you have experience troubleshooting and maintaining servers, making upgrades to

4 third-party software, performing daily data back-ups, etc.? If not, do you have IT resources available to do these things for you? Have you ever successfully hosted and supported clinical IT solutions on-site? vendor have staff 24/7 or is it a part-time person during business hours only? What is the accessibility and performance of the online EMR. Are you sharing a computer and bandwidth with others on a computer divided into several Virtual Private Servers or do you get your own Server and bandwidth? Can you use your server to run other applications besides the online EMR Despite its advantages, the RASP model is not ideal for every practice. If you re uncomfortable with having Scriptnetics host your clinical application, RASP might not be right for your practice. Online or ASP EMR s are becoming in vogue. Hence, many traditional licensed software C. Choosing Medscribbler RASP as your provider: suppliers now have an ASP offering. Physicians some comparison questions to consider. should carefully consider software suppliers who If you want to utilize an online EMR as it makes are offering essentially hardware solutions for sense for your practice, choosing the right provider running an online EMR. is critical. Here are some questions to ask: How secure is the hosting of the online or Summary ASP provider. Is the EMR server sitting in a closet at the EMR vendor s office or is it in a The online or ASP model is becoming a viable certified disaster proof building. How do you option for physician practices considering an get your data if the vendor suddenly goes out EMR. Medscribbler RASP offers many advantages over provider-hosted applications including of business? significantly lower capital expenditure and in some What kind of tech support is there? Does the cases a lower total cost of ownership because of

5 technology and IT personnel resources. Practices need to be comfortable with performance, access, and security associated with the data being hosted off-site. If capital is limited and the practice lacks IT resources, Medscribbler RASP may be the best strategy. Scriptnetics is skilled in both hardware implementation and software development. Its main focus is custom medical programming and has a number of related medical and other software programs, many requiring in depth computer hardware knowledge. Medscribbler began development in 2002, was released in 2003 About Scriptnetics and continues in active development. Scriptnetics was the first among electronic medical record Medscribbler is developed and maintained by vendors to harness the power of the Tablet PC and Scriptnetics Inc. (formerly Brunmed Inc ), a handwriting recognition. company established in Scriptnetics is a Microsoft Certified Partner, and one of only 50 * Gan, D. et al. Medical Groups Adoption of Electronic Health Records and Information Systems Health Affairs 2005 Sept/Oct companies world wide accepted in to the former Microsoft Tablet Premier Partner certification. Getting you there sooner!

6 Rich Application Service Provider (RASP) Scriptnetics Inc. / ph: / 2711 Centerville rd. ste 120 Wilmington, DE US

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