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Your EHR Not Ready for the Cloud?  3 Strategies to Consider

If you’ve been reading our recent series of posts, you’re likely already aware of the many benefits of moving your practice and your EHR to the cloud: speed, flexibility, minimized costs, improved performance, and enhanced reliability.

Despite these benefits, our Focus Solutions team recognizes many practices will still need to run on premises datacenters after Microsoft ends support for SQL Server 2008 R2.   Fortunately, Microsoft’s Azure platform can meet you where you’re at while preparing your practice for the future.  We can help you identify and implement a cloud strategy that builds bridges between your datacenter and the Azure public cloud.

Strategies for migration to the cloud fall into four broad categories: rehost, refactor, rearchitect, or rebuild. We’ll focus on the three strategies we anticipate would work best for your practice.

1 – Rehost (recommended)  

This strategy is often referred to as lift and shift migration. It requires no coding changes allowing you to migrate your existing applications to Azure quickly. Each application is transitioned as is meaning minimal changes for your application users.  This approach harvests the benefits of the cloud minus the costs and risks of making coding changes.

Use this strategy if your practice is looking to:

  • Quickly move applications, including EHR, from your datacenter to the cloud
  • Transfer your applications without dealing with changing the coding
  • Defer deeper app capability changes to a future date
  • House apps built to function without on-site physical servers
  • Avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing your own physical servers and other datacenter infrastructure

2 – Refactor  

Also known as repackage, this cloud migration strategy involves some change to the application design, but no significant changes to the application code.

This strategy would work best:

  • When you have an existing codebase and development skills, and code portability[1] is a concern
  • If you need a quick way to modernize your apps
  • If there is a desire to drive continuous innovation by taking advantage of Azure DevOps[2]

3 – Rearchitect

This strategy extends your EHR and other key application code bases to scale and optimize them for the cloud. Through the rearchitecting process, your practice’s apps become resilient, highly scalable, and independently deployable. Our team helps your team harness the power of Azure to scale applications with confidence.

Use this strategy to:

  • Make major revisions to your apps to incorporate new capabilities, and/or work effectively on a cloud platform
  • Take advantage of existing application investments
  • Meet scalability requirements in a cost effective way
  • Bring new Azure capabilities to existing applications
  • Apply innovative DevOps practices

The inconvenient truth remains that the end of support for SQL Server 2008 R2 is quickly approaching.

The good news?

Whether your practice needs to rehost, refactor, or rearchitect…  Azure provides growing solutions for migrating your healthcare practice’s on-premises apps and workloads to the cloud.

Better yet, our Microsoft certified Focus Solutions team is here to help as your expert guide!  You can count on our unique blend of technology expertise and healthcare experience to assess your current environment and help you select the right to migration strategy for your practice.

[1] a computer program that can be used in an operating system other than the one it was created

[2] Microsoft’s software development practice that unifies development and IT operations; is a set of tools, people and resources that help foster

Don’t be shy!

Give us a shout if we can help your practice’s EHR prepare to say goodbye to SQL Server 2008 R2…

And a pleasant hello to Azure.

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