How cloud software keeps your practice compliant
Cloud-based clinical software can help your practice stay compliant with the latest government regulations. Here’s how.
Keeping your clinical software up-to-date is an important part of managing a healthcare practice. It helps your practice run smoothly, keeps your patient data secure and gives you access to new features and functionality. Importantly, it also helps you stay on top of government regulations and industry requirements.
If your practice uses on-premise software that’s tied to a physical server located on-site, then you know that software updates can be time-consuming and costly. During a significant upgrade, you may not be able to use the software at all, which can be challenging to accommodate during busy periods.
If you use cloud-based software such as MedicalDirector Helix, however, then all updates and upgrades occur automatically, without you needing to schedule in any practice downtime. Because cloud-based services are delivered over the internet, the software provider can install the required updates remotely, so you’ll simply see them when you next log in.
As well as creating more efficiency for your team, automatic software updates help ensure that your practice remains compliant with any new government regulations. That’s because all the necessary changes to the software are taken care of by the software provider at the appropriate time, helping you stay on top of important changes easily. For example:
- Data security and privacy: Under the Privacy Act 1988, practices have a responsibility to keep patient information secure. If this information is accessed or disclosed without authorisation, or is lost, this is known as a data breach, which can result in significant legal, financial and reputational consequences. Cloud software is the best way to keep patient information secure as data is encrypted, easily recoverable and continually monitored by dedicated resources. Helix, for example, sits on the industry-leading Microsoft Azure platform, which is supported by secure, billion-dollar infrastructure. That means that your patient data is well-protected, even during software updates and data migration.
- Active Ingredient Prescribing: Active Ingredient Prescribing became law on 1 November 2019. It mandates that certain prescriptions will only list the active ingredient(s) of each medication (unless the prescriber specifies that the brand name should be included as well). As a result of this law, changes needed to be made to the prescribing workflow within clinical software. If you’re running cloud software in your practice, this change occurred automatically. For on-premise software users, the practice was responsible for organising the upgrade to the latest software version, which may have resulted in the need for third-party IT support and led to downtime for the practice.
- Medicare Web Services: Medicare Web Services is the new way to transmit data to Medicare and replaces the current Medicare system, which expires on 13 March 2022. From this date onwards, practices must use web services compatible software to access Services Australia’s digital health and aged care channels, including Medicare Online, DVA, the Australian Immunisation Register and ECLIPSE. If you’re using cloud software, the Medicare Web Services update happened automatically. For on-premise software users, practices were again required to manually upgrade to compatible software once it was released by the software provider.
If you’re finding it challenging staying up-to-date with all the new government regulations and industry changes, then cloud clinical software really is the best solution for your practice. Cloud software can give you peace of mind by helping your practice stay compliant more easily, without the need to schedule in manual software upgrades. If you’re interested in learning more about moving to the cloud, check out MedicalDirector’s cloud clinical software, Helix, for yourself.