MedicalDirector predicts gradual migration to cloud

Medical practice software specialist MedicalDirector is expecting to see a slow migration of users from the traditional desktop to cloud-hosted offerings like the new MedicalDirector Online service it officially launched last week.

While he expects it to appeal initially to new practices, MedicalDirector CEO Phil Offer said the cloud offered the flexibility and lower investment that many GPs and practice managers are looking for.

“We've been getting calls from new practices often asking if we've got a cloud-based solution,” Mr Offer said. “Many GPs are aware that this is available and it is useful way for them to minimise the upfront costs, particularly in the current environment.”

He said existing users will move to the cloud over time, depending on the lifecycle of their local IT infrastructure.

“If they've just invested in a server or it's within its useful life then we expect they’ll stay with the desktop product, but when you come to replacement, this provides a new option which practices can take up. We anticipate a slow migration.”

Mr Offer said MedicalDirector is the first of the large-scale players in the general practice market to offer a bundled package. Both the MedicalDirector Clinical module and the PracSoft administrative module are available as a cloud service, which will be billed monthly based on the number of users.

Users can also modify their subscriptions monthly so practices need only pay for what they require. MedicalDirector will also handle all of the configuration required for third-party services such as HealthLink's secure messaging service and eRx Script Exchange.

The service includes automatic updates, back-ups and maintenance, as well as secure access. “It takes a huge load away from the practice manager's mind as all of the software updates are done, back-ups are automatic, there is ongoing anti-virus protection and you have the network security as well,” Mr Offer said.

“The data centre has ISO9001:2008 accreditation. This is a very solid proposition for a practice manager. Everything is self-contained and you are dealing with just one vendor and one invoice.”

He said the company is not disclosing any targets but based on feedback expects it to be popular.

MedicalDirector is also now rolling out the new integrated online appointments solution it has built for PracSoft users. This solution comes with an API that allows it to also continue using third-party solutions.

“We have had practices using it since the end of last year but that roll-out is now ramping up,” Mr Offer said. “We were very surprised and pleased by the level of pre-registration.”

Posted in Australian eHealth


0 # Jack 2015-02-03 10:42
I have always been a big fan of how these Clinical software companies turning traditional methods of GP - Patient interactions into the latest technology. Our industry is anyway long overdue for these types of innovative ideas.

It would be important to see its outcomes measured not only by its convenience to the GP/Patients, but the price benefits that goes along with it. Nothing comes cheap anyway these days.

But people would be open to pay something extra for a better & convenient service compared to someone who sells the same old thing every year, but increase the price as rule of thumb.

Look forward to reviewing this in several months......!
0 # Keith Heale 2015-02-03 12:11
Interesting! The concept has a lot of appeal. Practices will require a level of service availability and performance at least as good as can be achieved with a local system. The greatest hurdle to overcome may be getting really reliable fast Internet access, and preferably by two independent paths. I would not feel comfortable being reliannt on an Internet connection between our practice in suburban Melbourne and a server in Sydney, (or Bundaberg!) though the dodgiest part of that is probably the wires between us and the local exchange. Perhaps we need that optical fibre NBN?
0 # Peter 2015-02-03 16:27
A big issue medicare locals had with collecting GP data was concerns over privacy ('where are you taking my data'). I think there will be quite a bit of resistance to this, as many GPs and practice managers will be too nervous to have their data stored in the data warehouse of a large private company, not just due to security, but also in terms of what they could do with that data.
0 # Thinus 2015-02-04 11:17
Anyone considering putting their clinical data in the cloud should have a very good chat with their medicolegal insurers. It is a huge shift in terms of privacy and data security and I would need some very concrete undertakings from MD or another provider before I would consider it. There should also be very clear documentation regarding who is liable if (?when) there is a security breach.
As as small GP clinic my routers shows daily attempts from people in Russia, China, the Philippines, The US, etc. trying to get into my system. The same applies to our Website. We are talking about 20 or more attempts a day. If they try so hard to get into my little system imagine how hard they would try to get into MD's Cloud.
I somehow cannot see that MD would take legal responsibility for any security breaches - just like the PCEHR documentation they will wash their hands off it and throw us to the wolves.
Even if the preceding was not an issue - not too many of us out there with fast ans secure enough connections to risk not having access to files if the Net is down

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