While traveling to a potential customer, I met an individual that has 10 years experience as an IT consultant. He worked at Accenture, then the Government and for the past three years works at an IT outsource company managing a department. This IT professional reminded me, through his position and experiences, the issues that customers face when an application has multiple copies and versions. He described the higher operating cost for the client-server systems and the difficulty at times identifying the issue due to variation of version, install, and local equipment (their team needs to travel occasionally on site to correct issues).
He expressed to me the advanages of cloud-based systems: more consistent access for the IT support team to correct issues, continuous updates and lower operating costs. He was familiar with the change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 and the impact on vendors of EHR/EMR and billing systems. We discussed with client server systems, updates would need to be completed and verified with each location. This is extra work for the vendor of client-server EMR systems as well as their clients. Will client-server vendors use the ICD-10 changes as an opportunity to pass a cost on to their clients? Well designed cloud-based EHR systems provides pediatric practices routine updates at a lower operating cost compared to client-server EMR systems.