Benefits for EMR

Many of the regular Nimbus benefits are of particular advantage in the EMR arena — especially considering the security requirements of patient information.

A general summary of benefits for the general consumer can be found here.  A technical description of the overall Nimbus environment is here.  This section will discuss those Nimbus benefits which apply particularly to an EMR situation.

 

Installation — Nimbus simplicity is ideal here.  No need to send out technicians to install and setup a PC, anyone can plug in a Nimbus and be up and running within minutes.  If you are providing a hosted EMR service, you can even pre-define the unit to be locked-down to your site before sending it to your customer.  In this case, the customer does not even have to register the unit, just plug in the cables and your site is on-screen in one second or less!

Cost — Reduce both Capital and Operating expense.

Initial capital expense is lower since you don't need to purchase a full PC at the start.  Even more important, ongoing administration, maintenance, and customer support expenses are drastically reduced.

The Nimbus unit is a single circuit board with no mechanical parts — and in the unlikely case that a unit ever does fail, just plug in a replacement instead of having a technician perform on-site repair.  All software/firmware updates to the Nimbus unit itself are handled automatically from the central server.

Since all of your application software resides in the datacenter, there is never a requirement to install new hardware, applications, OS updates, or device drivers in the field.

Also, get out of the game of trying to constantly monitor the setup of customer PCs to ensure that they comply with the operational and security requirements of your hosted service.  There is more on Customer Care below.

Security — This is crucial in the EMR environment.  The requirements and regulations concerning patient information are already complex, and will only become more complex over time.

Deploying PCs as points of access represents an almost insurmountable security problem — you must be able to certify that each and every access point is secure.  If the PCs are dedicated to the EMR application, then you might have a chance to securing each one of them and maintaining the correct technical environment, but you are incurring the initial cost of purchase and the continuing administration costs from then on.  And if all they're doing is accessing EMR, then most of the available horsepower is simply wasted.

If the access PCs are not dedicated to EMR, but also run multiple (uncontrolled) applications, then essentially you have no way to guarantee secure access — you only need one authorized user on a computer that has been infected with a key-logging virus to open up the entire system.  Good luck ...

Now consider a Nimbus solution.  No patient data is ever stored locally, so someone can physically steal the unit without a security breach.  There is no local environment which must be constantly maintained and updated with the latest security patches.  The unit can be locked down so that it only accesses the EMR application if desired.  If the unit is set up for general use, it is trivial to create multiple logins — a login for EMR access, and separate login(s) for general use.  Again, since there is no local OS, no one can install a virus, key logger, or other potential security problem.

Instant On — In a busy practice, this can be a major improvement for both efficiency and security.

With the lengthy boot-up or wake-up times of most PCs, the temptation is always to just leave the EMR application 'up' all the time.  And as soon as someone walks away from their desk to get another cup of coffee, you have a potential security breach.  Since Nimbus restarts in less than 1 second, following the secure practice of closing down EMR when you leave the desk does not impose a penalty when you come back and restart!

Customer Care — If you are providing a hosted EMR solution, for the first time customer support becomes manageable!

With PC access points, your care center faces a daunting task right off the bat.  Before even trying to address the customer issue, they need to first verify that the PC installation meets all technical requirements — a difficult task even if dealing with a technically astute user, and almost impossible otherwise.

Then they have to start into the seemly endless "... and what is on your screen, ... and exactly what does the error message say, ... etc, etc" dialogue with the customer.  This process is both time consuming and frustrating both for the customer and your support staff (not to mention the cost).

Since Nimbus is providing a virtual screen, your support person (with the correct permissions) can access and manipulate a live copy of the customer screen!  Both the support engineer and the customer are looking at exactly the same screen, and either one can provide mouse or keyboard input (which is immediatly visible to the other party).

Now, if an error situation was encountered, the support engineer can see directly the exact messages and the entire context of the application.  If instead it is a customer education issue, the support engineer can either walk the customer through the correct process ("Watch your screen while I show you how this is done....") or tell the customer how to do the task and watch the live screen image to verify that all steps were followed successfully ("Now follow these steps, and I'll watch to make sure everything is OK ...").

Either way, the Nimbus result is a support call which is both shorter and more productive.  If an application error is involved, then the support engineer can capture exactly the information needed for the developers to correct the problem.  If customer education is needed, then that also can be accomplished quickly and effectively.

Other ... — other Nimbus benefits — low power, small footprint, mobile access, etc — also apply here, and generally make your EMR installation lower cost and more productive