Here's a great article about Web-based EMR, SaaS EMR, or Cloud EMR - whatever you want to call it. http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/05/pros-cons-cloud-based-web-based-emr-systems.html
Dr. Polack has nicely tried to explain the difference between client-server emr and web-based EMR.
It was interesting from a large vendor's perspective to see that everyone is moving in the direction of adopting web-based EMR. I quote - Tera Roy, Specialty Director, Ophthalmology at NextGen Healthcare, says that, “With or without stimulus dollars, healthcare is headed to the cloud. Our newest releases are all based in the cloud, like NextGen Mobile, Patient Portal and Health Information Exchange, and we plan to keep introducing more of these Web-driven alternatives. They will play a critical role in breaking down barriers for small practices to achieve the full benefits of automation.”
Dr. Polack further asks, If cloud-based systems are cheaper to set up, why doesn’t everyone go this route? Mr. Messier points out that, similar to deciding between leasing or purchasing a car, it helps to crunch the numbers. And for many practices that commit to a long-term relationship with their EMR system, there is usually a better return on their investment if they buy the EMR system rather than pay a monthly access fee, with a typical break-even time of about five years. Actually, there is another issue to consider when evaluating web-based EMR systems. There is the issue of inertia and fear that web-based EMR may have security issues. We forget that Banks and Sales data of major corporations are all web-based.
The concept of web-based EMR is not unlike that of utilities. We do not generate our own utilities. We 'tap' into the 'cloud' for electricity, telephone and so on. Ultimately all technology and software will move towards the web or cloud.