PracticeStudio on the Cloud
PracticeStudio is extremely versatile and has the ability to run locally in-house or in a cloud mode. Today it is almost a
necessity to be able to access your medical records while on the move whether this be at home, at a remote site, or even on
vacation. LAN based methodologies are limiting in this regard because even if networking through VPNs is put in place, the
application may perform very poorly if not designed for a cloud based environment.
PracticeStudio is built on top of a very powerful engine called StrataFrame that is a proprietary method for remote communication.
This allows for a much more optimized, fast, and efficient method of sending and receiving data.
Windows Client Based
One common misunderstanding when the term “cloud” is used is that the application will be run through an internet browser such as
Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox. PracticeStudio is not a browser based solution and allows a Windows client to be installed
on the remote computer. This is a plus because browser based applications are generally never as robust or fast as a client based
The PracticeStudio client can be installed on any Windows 7 or later computer and will securely communicate with the PracticeStudio
server which is located at one of MicroFour’s data centers.
What is the Benefit of Cloud Based?
There are actually many benefits to running in a cloud environment. First and foremost is the security and protection of your data.
The MicroFour data centers are designed for redundancy as well as daily DataVault backups (read about DataVault to learn more). All
data centers are also HIPAA compliant with security measures in place to prevent access to servers containing patient data by anyone
other than a certified HIPAA technician. Additionally, these technicians have also been screened and have tenure with MicroFour for
an added layer of security.
- Remove IT Pressures
One of the biggest drains on any LAN based network is the IT requirements. These requirements include
licenses for SQL Server (averaging $1500 per license), hardware (average $6,000 server), and backup (average $800/year).
Additionally, this will greatly reduce the IT requirements and costs for your local network.
On average, a server has a 4 year lifespan before it needs to have upgrades or to be replaced altogether to keep with the ever
growing software demands being placed on it. With the PracticeStudio cloud, you will always be on a new server allowing PracticeStudio
to run in an optimal environment while removing the headache and continual IT costs.
- No Large Capital Outlay Upfront
Server hardware costs and software licenses are expensive. Generally once a quote comes in from an IT firm, the costs average around
$8,500. Since an IT company is involved, they too have a margin in the cost of the server. Not to mention annual maintenance fees, etc.
With the PracticeStudio Cloud, it is like getting a new high-end server with an elite maintenance staff for mere pennies on the dollar.
The best part? The server will always be a high-end server without degradation and with maintenance staff monitoring the data centers 24/7.
So it is always like having a brand new server!
- Run in Non-Domain Environments
When running in a LAN based environment, there are domain specific requirements once a network exceeds around 3-5 clients. The domain creates
an environment that is more secure and is highly recommended for network reliability and security.
With the PracticeStudio Cloud this requirement is removed as the security and network management of the data is handled through the PracticeStudio
server. This alone can greatly reduce IT costs as a domain environment requires more IT attention than a workgroup.
If a domain environment is still desired, that is fine too. PracticeStudio Cloud can run just fine in this setting as well.
- Consistently Updated to Most Recent Version
The PracticeStudio Cloud servers are constantly being monitored and scheduled for updates allowing you to stay on the most recent versions at no
additional cost. These updates are generally loaded after any significant change has been made to PracticeStudio that could be beneficial.
Builds are not released for cloud updates until they have gone through a thorough testing process.
- Run on Home Versions of Windows
Domain environments do not support Home based operating systems. When running on the Cloud, since the domain restriction is lifted, Microsoft
Windows 7 Home edition and later are supported which can also aide in the reduction of overall costs and network complexities.
Internet Speeds and Reliability
PracticeStudio data centers have a significant amount of bandwidth and are constantly monitored for peak levels. The PracticeStudio Cloud has a 99%
uptime guarantee. All scheduled maintenance is performed at off hours and maintenance notifications will be sent out prior.
The biggest moving target for reliability is generally the customer side Internet. Obviously the bigger the pipe the better the performance. We
generally recommend a minimum of 128 Kbps of upload and download speed for each active client. For example, if there will be a total of 30
workstations but only 10 will ever be used at a time, you will need a minimum of 1.3 Mbps of upload and download speed.
For clinics that will be doing a lot of scanning we recommend a larger pipe. PracticeStudio does have automated optimization for each scanned document,
but images and scanned documents can still be large. In these scenarios we recommend a minimum of 256 Kbps of upload and download per active client.