With federal government incentives to move medical records to electronic systems, doctors are looking for inexpensive and reliable options to update their businesses. San Francisco-based Practice Fusion, a free, Web-based electro

nic health record management startup has bundled a hardware system based on Dell products to make the transition easier to their EMR (electronic medical record) cloud.

Doctors can qualify for $44,000 or $66,000 in federal stimulus dollars from the government for migrating to electronic system within the next several years, explains ReadWriteWeb. Though the parameters for EMR solutions are clearly delineated, the process for every office is different. Practice Fusion discovered that the average office has lass than nine doctors, and CEO Ryan Howard tailored their transition package to these small clinics' needs.

The process has several steps to consider. "The business of health care these days requires that a lot of paper is generated - a lot of it by fax," all of which must be protected by regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. With other hurdles such as old tech, software or no Internet connection, investments must be efficient and economical.

With these challenges in mind, the Dell-based hardware system comes in tiered collections. The "Solo Practice" has one of each of the following: Latitude XT2 tablet PC, Vostro 230 desktop computer, laser printer, scanner, firewall, wireless router, and suggested Lumix digital camera. The 2 Provider and 4 Provider Practices scale up with laptops, desktops and an additional laser printer. The equipment is business-grade and efficient - the Latitude tablet has a reported 11-hour battery life, the desktop towers are inexpensive.

The software itself is used for records, scheduling, and all necessary aspects of medical administration. Security focuses on data infrastructure, virus and spam prevention, as well as encryption, all of which meets or exceeds HIPAA requirements.