Tuesday, 28 May 2013

What is an Oscar Service Provider…And Why Do I Need One? By Jordan Visco, President & COO of Cloud Practice Inc



So you’ve finally made the decision to adopt the Oscar electronic medical record (EMR) software system for your practice or clinic and you are on your way. But you may be wondering ‘what is the best course of action to get this system installed, and up and running?’ And you may be thinking, ‘Should I do it myself or with the help of my colleagues and staff?’

The short answer is: you should seriously consider an OSP, or Oscar Service Provider.  An OSP is an independent, private company consisting of tech professionals who will come to your medical practice, install the Oscar EMR software, and provide tech support and maintenance as needed. OSPs do charge varying fees to install and provide tech maintenance support but they cannot sell licenses for Oscar software. There are about 17 OSPs throughout Canada, including oscarhost.ca, with the majority of these located in Eastern Canada.

Most medical practices in Canada do secure the assistance of an OSP which, for most medical practices often makes the most sense. Because the fact is that unless you are an expert in server administration and security, getting Oscar operational once you have it can be challenging. Not to mention that if you are not a ‘techie’ you could be taking serious risks with your practice’s medical data and professional liability. In this kind of situation a ‘DIY’ approach may end up costing your practice more time, money and aggravation if Oscar EMR is not installed properly with the end result being unexpected technical issues.

Just within the past couple of years, the number of Oscar users has grown to over 1,000 physicians across BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and PEI. Overall, the largest numbers of users in Canada are in Ontario and BC. The system’s appeal is obvious – it’s a free-to-download Open-Source technology, intended to reduce paper, save time and money, provide easier access to patients’ medical data, and facilitate communication among medical professionals.  It’s pretty much a ‘win-win’ for a medical practice. As long as the managers of that medical practice understand that securing the Oscar technology is one thing; getting it installed properly is another, and is a job best left to OSP specialists.

So better than risk the aggravation of a potentially faulty installation, a medical practice would be better served by identifying an experienced and reputable OSP that will be a valuable partner in getting their Oscar EMR installed, online, and ready for use efficiently – saving a medical practice ‘DIY’ hassles and potential frustration.