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Health Information Technology

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What are the disadvantages and advantages of ASP vs. locally hosted?

The two most common models for EHR systems are the Application Service Provider (ASP) model and the locally hosted model.  A basic way of thinking about the difference between these models is the following:  in a locally hosted model, the data is stored onsite whereas in ASP models, data is stored off-site.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both.  Issues to consider include: cost, technical expertise necessary for implementation and the current health IT system (if one already exists).

Generally, ASP models have lower initial start-up costs and do not require an organization to have a sophisticated IT infrastructure or technical expertise.  The ASP model has made EHRs affordable to small and solo practices today and may be more suitable for rural settings.  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 it may be cheaper.  The resources below explain the differences between the two options and also provide guidance on how to decide which one would be best for your organization.

Resources:

Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.
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