In just two decades, this connection to the world has gone from a fascinating novelty to a critical life-sustaining lifeline.
In many medical offices, the internet started as a faster method to access data from hospitalizations.
Then, it evolved into something more serious.
The internet became our Electronic Medical Records.
This makes sense. Maintaining a server in the office is expensive and fraught with issues of technical support and downtime
The cloud is safe and reliable
Except… …when the internet is down and the cloud vanishes.
When all of your records and your scheduling is in the cloud so you can meet Medicare requirements, you need the cloud to be working.
Without the cloud, you are doomed. Without the internet, your patients who depend on you to know their medical information, are really doomed.
You can’t schedule patients. You can’t see patients. You can’t even answer phone calls and respond to patient questions. You can’t refill prescriptions. You don’t even know which patients are coming in that day!
Almost every practice “in the cloud” knows or will know this nightmare.
It is not just inconvenient. It is potentially deadly.
Recently, a local hospital had their internet go down for many hours. Even though they drilled for such a down time catastrophe, there were too many unexpected problems. For patients, doctors, nurses, and even administrators, the experience was terrifying.
Imagine a car with the steering wheel suddenly disconnected as you careen down the highway.
Most offices have no back up plan.
Fortunately, internet outages are increasingly rare.
But, outages do happen.
Thanks to a storm last week, our internet went down until late the next morning. My backup plan failed miserably for too many reasons.
All I could think of was something like the old Star Trek line: “Dammit Jim, I’m just a country doctor! Not a computer network specialist!!!!”Tweet