(This article first appeared in the 1 February 2012 issue of Frontline magazine.)
Many of you may have recently started using hand held devices to pick up your emails or check your Facebook account. But the idea of ‘cloud’ technology may be new to you.
Yet for many of you, this latest technology – where information is stored ‘in the ether’ at another web-based site, rather than on your own computer’s hard drive – is the way ahead.
And if you’re running your own physio clinic, it is simply a matter of time before the information you store is ‘in the cloud’.
Much of our lives already exist in the cloud. For instance, that’s what’s being used when you send a web-based email, complete an online banking transaction or make purchases on Ebay or iTunes.
Below are some key points which highlight why businesses are moving to the cloud, and why you might consider doing so as well.
Cloud computing means that your highly confidential clinical data is stored on a centralised server, not at your clinic.
Your software service provider is responsible for maintaining the integrity, security and accessibility of the system, and therefore your patient and client records.
Highly complex measures are taken to ensure client data remains secure. Furthermore, storing your data centrally means no need to use highly insecure third party storage devices (USB, email) to hold sensitive data for transferring information to external systems.
Clinicians like flexibility and, as a clinic owner, you will want the same flexible approach. Working in the cloud means that you can access your system and data with any computer, tablet or smartphone, with a working internet connection, at any time, from any place.
This is helpful for picking up on an unfinished document, while on the road or for collaborating on a live document that may be viewed by more than one person at a time.
It’s cost effective
Cloud computing is more cost-efficient than traditional software.
You maintain only a good quality internet connection. Any device which is connected to the internet is able to work in the cloud.
Use of the software is based on a monthly or yearly subscription rather than buying the program outright.
It grows with your business
Operating in the cloud means that as your organisation expands to add clinicians and new locations, the software service expands also. Scalability – being able to adapt to the needs of your business – also implies improved quality, since growth will take place on one platform with consistency across the organisation.
It’s environmentally considerate
If you still aren’t convinced, cloud-computing reduces carbon emissions, an accomplishment credited to not using an entirely independent, in-house server. Your clients will appreciate visiting a clinic that makes environmentally responsible choices.
ClinicServer, an international provider of clinic management software, has linked with the CSP in a long-term partnership programme.
ClinicServer provides you with a better way to manage and grow your clinic. www.csp.org.uk/practicemanagement
Kelly Lawson | Occupational Therapist and Director of Community, ClinicServer
Paul Kasdan | Clinician and Chief Strategy Officer, ClinicServer