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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality
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What procurement model should we use and do we want an Application Service Provider (ASP) model or do we want to host the system on our own?

Today, the vast majority of vendors offer the option of either using an ASP model or having the application hosted on servers at client sites. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. In general, ASP models tend to have lower initial costs and do not require a sophisticated IT infrastructure or technical expertise to be in place. Therefore, the ASP model has made EHRs affordable to small and solo practices today. For larger, more technically savvy organizations, the option of a locally hosted system may be more attractive. Although the initial start up costs can be significant, over the long term, the absence of monthly payments may make locally hosted systems a cheaper option. The resources below explain the differences between the two options and also provide guidance on how to decide which option would be most beneficial to the health center.

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