True SaaS/Cloud EMR and EHR

  1. Is your staff (physician) able to access patient clinical data (EMR) from any computer and any internet/web browser (no Citrix, remote desktop, or terminal service software needed)?
    1. Yes (true SaaS)
    2. No ( either ASP, client/server, or hybrid EMR)
  2. Are EMR updates/upgrades from vendors installed at once and immediately available to ALL other SaaS EMR vendor clients?
    1. Yes (true SaaS)
    2. No (either ASP, client/server, or hybrid EMR)


  • SaaS EMR – Software as a Service electronic medical record (EMR).  EMR product deployed in a practice in which server(s) are owned by the service provider and hosted remotely (off-site).  The only requirement for accessing clinical data stored on the off-site server(s) is an internet connection/internet browser, regardless of the computer’s location.  The service is a multi-tenant offering.  The vendor installs EMR updates/upgrades at once and these are immediately available to all SaaS EMR vendor clients.
  • ASP EMR – EMR data is stored on the server(s) which is hosted remotely.  The clinical data stored on the server(s) is accessed through the internet browser and additional remote access software (i.e. Citrix).  Only those computers with Citrix or some other type of remote desktop/terminal service software installed can access the clinical data on remote server(s).
  • Client/Server EMR – EMR data is stored on a server(s) that is housed and located within the walls of the physician practice.  System maintenance and updates are conducted in the office.

Other points to consider before buying EMR Software:

  • Software updates – Typically, a client/server EMR vendor charges for any major upgrade, such as compliance with Stage II of Meaningful Use.
  • Other add-ons (separately they can cost quite a bit) such as
    • integrated eFax, which makes the office workflow very smooth
    • integrated appointment reminder service
    • Practice website for new clients and new patients searching the internet
    • Patient portal for bringing efficiency to patients and practice
    • Integrated insurance eligibility
  • Unlimited claims, and true integration with clearing house. Clearinghouse reports must be accessible from within the system without going to the clearing house website to access rejections etc.
  • Truly integrated EMR, PM, and Billing systems are developed from the ground up on a single database ensuring data integrity.

Author: Chandresh Shah

Chandresh Shah specializes in Healthcare IT and Medical Billing. He knows the market inside out; what works, what doesn’t. He advises and works with small business owners.