When it comes to how to get the most speed out of your programs, there are many factors that come in to play. The first and foremost are your servers, where are they hosted and how are they hosted? What kind of workload can they support? And does this align with your needs?
Public Cloud Hosting
Public Cloud hosting has become increasingly popular over the past 5 years, and in the next 5 to 10 years it’s easy to see that nearly all applications will be hosted in a public cloud in one form or another. That said, is it always the best option? Not necessarily; often our clients scan large amounts of documents in to their systems. Because these are high-quality scans and by the very nature of the speeds a wide area network (WAN) connection operates at, it is tedious and time consuming to send scanned documents to cloud based systems. Plus, in this case originations are often better off to have their servers onsite.
At this point in time, by moving from a locally hosted solution to a cloud hosted solution, practices are in effect introducing a 200 fold bottle neck at the WAN port. This bottle neck will become a thing of the past as clinics move away from producing documents that need to be scanned in the first place, used by EHRs of a more standard datacenter model, and as faster WAN connections become available at more cost effective prices.
However, having a totally local solution, while offering much faster connections, often doesn’t produce the best option either. In fact for multi-site providers it’s not even an option at all.
Private Cloud Hosting
This is where so-called Private Clouds come in; they offer a mix of a completely local connection while you are inside your practice, and many of the benefits of a cloud-hosted connection while you’re not. In many ways this produces the prefect trade-off for clinics looking to have high document throughput and remote access to their systems. In fact, this is what most of NeKY RHIO’s practices are currently using.
If proper investments are made in networking hardware it’s possible to access the server with speeds upwards of 1Gb/s while in the office. These speeds are great for scanning and reviewing the large documents you need. Need to work from home or remote office? You will still obtain perfectly acceptable levels of performance working securely with those same documents.
What About Servers?
The next question we find out selves asking is, what about the server? This is one of the areas where it’s easy to under-buy. We see it all of the time, business spending $10,000 dollars or more on software every year, and trying to run it on equipment that cost half that in 2006. With how economical solid state grade hardware has gotten in recent years; there is simply no excuse to let your practice get behind in the one computer that your entire business rides upon. By budgeting as little as $200 dollars a month, you can insure that your business is never left in the dust failing to get the most out of the software that you’re buying anyways.
Last, it’s important to always keep your true business needs in mind. Today’s priority, may not be a top concern a year from now. By working with IT professionals who can incorporate emerging technologies, you can cut costs and sometimes find new sources of revenue. For example, telemedicine is an emerging trend that will require cutting edge technologies, but can offer great rewards for those involved. The introduction of VoIP over traditional phone lines has time and time again been proven to be a cost cutting miracle, but these are both technologies that you can only leverage by already being up-to-date.
by: James Hall, Systems Analyst