Performance in the Cloud

At 8am today, I created an electronic prescription — and managed to access the appropriate screens “in the cloud” in under 3 seconds. At 3:58pm, I needed to generate another prescription… and it took 20 seconds before the screen loaded. What’s going on?

At 8am in NY, the overwhelming majority of people on the West Coast were either asleep or getting ready to begin their day. Internet trraffic was light. And traffic across the prescription company’s web servers was probably light as well. By 4pm in NY, thousands of doctors (possibly tens of thousands) across the United States were all hitting the web server with prescription requests… and the volume began to overwhelm their web servers.

Anyone who has ordered something on the web and waited for their CC to get approved, or reviewed the TV lineup on DirecTV, or retrieved search lists on Amazon knows that –depending on time of day and other factors — the internet, as cool as it is, cannot always provide instant gratification.

The internet is portable. And it’s great for getting data (like today’s weather or your bank balance) fast anywhere. Unfortunately, it’s not as as great at getting lots of data fast — like when you need to review a patient’s account with hundreds or thousands of entries… or SOAP spanning a patient’s care over the past 6 months.

ECLIPSE offers the best of both worlds. Data such as educational resources, prescriptions and automated credit card storage — where performance isn’t generally time critical — are cloud based. Patients can even schedule their ECLIPSE appointments directly via the cloud. And providers can send updated data from their scheduler to the Google Calendar seamlessly in the background. But critical data, like the schedule for the entire week, or a patient’s account or EHR needs to be in front of you instantly — because seconds add up fast when patients are at the front desk, in the waiting room, and on the phone.

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