As advocates for agencies who manage valuable patient information we are asked daily which EHR a behavioral health provider should choose. Buzz words are often thrown around such as “cloud-based” and “web-access”, which for many still are intangible terms when it comes to record security and applicability.
More than a decade ago, engineers figured out ways for data and software to be distributed efficiently across several machines and their power pooled for collective use. In the simplest of terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of a computer’s hard drive. A cloud computing platform refers to the efficient management of systems and networks of data storage over the Internet. The term itself is an airy metaphor for systems of intelligently orchestrated global networks of millions of computers, harnessing, using, and then renting huge amounts of computing power. It no longer matters which servers are running a job or from where; it is just inside this “cloud” of machines.