IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
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IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
News, Information and Updates on Hardware and IT Tools to help improve your Medical practice
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Make Technology Work For You This Year 

Make Technology Work For You This Year  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

I hope December has been good so far for you and your business. Not sure about you but I’m looking forward to a five day break at the end of the year where I’ll be driving to Brisbane and stopping at a few places on the way.

 

2013 has been a year of implementation and profits. Health businesses that implemented new age solutions and treated their clinic like a business have demonstrated growth, profitability and great success in patient services.

 

I personally believe that this is the only industry where you can comfortably say you’re in a multimillion dollar business that actually helps people. Congratulations to those who found success in 2013 and for those who faced a few challenges, don’t worry. We’ll help you reach that extra level in 2014.

 

This week’s blog is a little different, I’ve taken a chunk from our Business Growth Footprint program and will give it to you for free. The Business Growth Footprint highlights critical aspects of health businesses that focus on risk management and revenue growth. Here I have focussed on the technology part and will share more management and business growth strategies in the future.

 

Neglecting the technology of your clinic is a little bit like neglecting a toothache. Before you know it you’ll end up with a root canal and be a couple of thousands of dollars out of pocket (happened to my friend ? ).

 

On a serious note, practice managers and health business owners have three main frustrations that ultimately turn to three different fears when it comes to neglecting business systems.

Staff downtime, staff frustration and time wasted finding someone to fix the resulting issues usually turn into staff dissatisfaction, job dissatisfaction and loss of income.

 

I’ll help you avoid turning those frustrations into fears by giving you a few easy tips that I know will work very well in your business.

 

Move on from Windows XP

Problem: I can’t stress how important this is. Avoid going to work one morning and not being able to launch Medical Director or Best Practice. Imagine calling for support and being told “We can’t help you”. Your doctors are now ready to see patients but they can’t access any data. This is a typical windows XP scenario.

Solution: I’m going to list out the steps you need to take to handle this:

  • Find someone (or you can do it) who’ll be able to migrate your clinical information and business data from the XP computer to the new one.
  • Contact your clinical vendor for more details.
  • Purchase a Windows 7 computer with at least 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard drive, i5 processor and at least three years warranty.
  • Backup your data and arrange for the migration to be completed outside business hours.
  • Ensure that printers, scanners, PKI certificates, pathology software, business software and emails are all migrated as well.
  • Record the new machine serial number and warranty details in your asset register.

 Systemise your practice

Problem: This is for practice managers and business owners. How frustrating is it trying to do your job but you keep being distracted with other aspects that are not as important? Don’t you wish that your business and team were working in an efficient and productive way?

Solution: Create an online process portal. Your staff will be able to use this portal to access all the relevant steps on how to complete a process. An example would be training a new staff member. Here is what your process page should look like:

  • Write down the title of the process
  • Write down why this process is important
  • Write down who is responsible for this process
  • Write down when this process needs to be used
  • Write down the steps to complete this process
  • If possible create a video showing how to complete this process

Increase your online footprint

Problem: Other clinics in the area are expanding and are seeing more patients. You are also unable to recruit suitable GPs or health professionals to your clinic.

Solution: The reality of this new era in the digital and social world is that having an online footprint (website, social media pages) is the best way to build your business’s reputation and increase exposure.

Websites also help take some of the workload from the front desk staff and allow them to deal with priority tasks.

Create a simple website with the following pages:

  • Profile of the health professionals
  • Profile of the different services
  • Useful information for the patients
  • Contact us page
  • About us page
  • Create a business Facebook page and ask your staff, relatives to share it. This is the number one method for building a quick online footprint
  • Assign one of your staff or health professionals to write a quick tip every week and post it on your website. Educating your patients builds trust.
  • tip every week and post it on your website. Educating your patients
  • builds great trust.

I’ve seen more and more new health businesses pop up in Australia and take on a perceptive online approach. Provide an online website and use it to educate patients whilst at the same time build business creditability. Some may think a websites or social media pages aren’t relevant but research shows that new patients will always check online before using the services of a health business.

Audit your IT platform

Problem: Your complete technology infrastructure has failed as it doesn’t meet the software requirements for 2014. Backups have failed and you’ve lost your clinical data. Doctors are now so P****d off you are about to have a nervous breakdown.

Solution: Start 2014 with an audit of your IT in your business. Have a professional assess your server, computers, network, backups, clinical data size (very very important), security policies, risk management policies and disaster recovery policies. The audit will give you specific knowledge on areas of improvement that you can address before it turns into a disaster. Remember, prevention is better than the cure and this is especially true when it comes to technology.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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Top 10 Telemedicine Solutions by Hospital Site Implementations

Top 10 Telemedicine Solutions by Hospital Site Implementations | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Driven by patient demand, improvements in technology, and the need to deliver healthcare outside the traditional hospital setting, health systems across the US are embracing telemedicine.

Some are launching platforms to connect patients to specialist care, either through consults or as part of a larger care management platform targeting those with chronic conditions. Still more are using the technology to improve hospital workflows, improve clinician-to-clinician collaboration and extend services to smaller, more remote hospitals and clinics.

Many health systems are jumping on the direct-to-consumer bandwagon. They’re launching platforms that allow patients - new and returning - to connect with a nurse or doctor for on-demand care, ranging from minor, nagging issues to ailments that might send them to the doctor’s office or ER.

 

The following are the top 10 telemedicine solutions based on number of hospital site implementations according to data from Definitive Healthcare.

 

Iron Bow Technologies
Iron Bow offers telehealth services assisting providers and patients through technical expertise and workflow process awareness. The vendor aims to improve health outcomes by equipping hospitals with secure telehealth, telemedicine, and mobile health solutions as well as the proper infrastructure to support these services. Iron Bow also offers searchable data stores of patient health records allowing healthcare organizations to improve data warehousing, sharing, and mining. Iron Bow solutions meet government reporting and security requirements. The vendor also regularly modifies software products to meet new and developing standards in the healthcare industry. Iron Bow also offers users unified communications integrating voice, video, data, video teleconferencing, and instant messaging.

 

American Well
This direct-to-consumer telehealth provider offers a scalable telemedicine platform equipped with patient-facing apps, video visit technology, provider apps, mobile software development kits, and telemedicine tablets allowing providers to invite specialists into patient visits as needed through video call capabilities. American Well allows providers to design custom solutions meeting the specific needs of their health system to assist in optimizing patient engagement, clinical service development, EHR integration, and physician best practices.

 

Philips Healthcare
Philips Healthcare offers health systems telemedicine solutions assisting providers in organizational role design and program goal setting as well as clinical protocols, patient recruitment, and clinical workflow. The vendor’s telehealth programs offer providers the necessary tools to support care delivery for myriad health conditions in a variety of healthcare settings. Philips also offers programs for complex care, chronic disease management, and readmission management. The vendor’s remote monitoring and communication capabilities include two-way video.

 

MDLive
MDLive offers patients 24 hour access to board-certified doctors, pediatricians, and therapists seven days a week. Direct-to-consumer services include virtual care offering patients access to a virtual visit within fifteen minutes of registering with the service. MDLive is geared toward providing patient-centric care accessible through any computer or smartphone. Through a three step process, users can instantly download the app, select a doctor, and begin a consultation. MDLive’s cloud-based platform is HIPAA compliant and specializes in care for health systems or self-insured employers.

 

Care Innovations
Care innovations is a telemedicine solution specializing in remote patient management. The vendor offers management solutions for patients with chronic conditions through patient engagement, patient education, and early treatment interventions to reduce readmissions. Care Innovation’s remote monitoring care management also provides a range of data analytics solutions offering providers and patients insights into their conditions for more appropriate care and better health outcomes.

 

Vidyo
Vidyo telemedicine solutions specializes in care delivery to rural patients. The vendor’s telemedicine video conferencing technology offers patients in remote locations improved access to care while optimizing clinical efficiency and continuity of care across settings for providers. Vidyo offerings include in-home care delivery through unmanaged networks and devices for video visits and remote monitoring. Additionally, the vendor provides ambulatory care options enabling clinician-to-clinician consultations with EHR and diagnostic device integration.

 

Avizia
Avizia is an end-to-end telehealth platform integrating care coordination software with video devices and mobile apps to deliver telehealth solutions to over 1,000 hospitals worldwide. The vendor offers a range of collaboration tools including peripherals designed to optimize usability, workflow software automating telemedicine processes, and a video cloud. Avizia’s telemedicine offerings received an 89 percent approval rating from patients at AZ Palliative Home Care.

 

Zipnosis
Zipnosis telemedicine services include virtual care services that combine access points, technologies, and services customizable to specific health systems. The Zipnosis platform offers a suite of solutions featuring telemedicine tools ready to integrate into existing clinical and operational systems. Clients currently using Zipnosis’ telemedicine solutions include UMass Memorial Hospital and St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

 

iDoc Telehealth
This Texas-based telehealth solutions vendor specializes in eConsultations, remote staffing, and telemedicine infrastructure consultations. iDoc provides patient evaluations and medical second opinions to help physicians avoid misdiagnosis and excessive treatments that can lead to patient harm. iDoc remote staffing offers inpatient coverage for any under-staffed healthcare facilities using the service to ensure 24-hour patient care. iDoc also offers users solutions to help health systems develop their own telemedicine system.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:

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Why Healthcare Organizations Need to Leverage Enterprise Data Lakes

Why Healthcare Organizations Need to Leverage Enterprise Data Lakes | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

As the so-called “oil of the twenty-first century,” there is little doubt that data is the crown jewel of the digital economy. The Internet of Things is poised not only to shake up individual industries, but to bring them together like never before with the promise of hyper connected, ultra personalized experiences. And for consumers, one particular application of IoT is perhaps the most intriguing: the impact of connected devices on health and healthcare. Indeed, McKinsey has projected a $11.1 trillion market by 2025, nearly one-third of which will be comprised of healthcare-related devices.

 

Health-conscious wearables have rapidly gained popularity over the last few years, and are making strides when it comes to the complexity and accuracy of the data captured. These devices are monitoring everything from blood sugar to heart rate, tracking trends in medication, diet, and exercise, and communicating this information to providers to enhance and extend care beyond the doctor’s office. We can only imagine these applications growing and diversifying as technologies advance and become more affordable.

 

But like any conversation around data management, we know it’s not enough to simply collect massive amounts of data. Information must be captured in a way that makes it readily available and actionable for healthcare organizations and doctors, and in turn, their patients. Data volumes are exploding, the nature of data is changing, and the underlying technologies are being augmented or replaced by newer systems like Hadoop, MapReduce, and HIVE.

Beyond traditional healthcare data sources like EMR, PACS, transactional databases, CRM systems, and financial and prescription data, new unstructured and semi-structured data sources are rapidly emerging. The result is that the healthcare industry has become inundated by a myriad of data sources from multiple locations, all of which has the potential to make a real impact on people’s lives — but not as it exists currently.

The best way we can hope to unleash the power of big data for healthcare is to rethink how we capture, organize, and analyze it. Healthcare CIOs are already well-aware of the shifting landscape and focusing on refining and advancing internal systems, but they must also shift their focus to include integration and leveraging a system of insights.

 

Both providers and payers are in desperate need of a solution that can act as a common data platform and integrate data originating from multiple locations in a variety of formats, all while preserving all of the metadata associated with those data objects. In addition, media overrun and rising infrastructure costs pose a big problem as old data that is seldom used accumulates rapidly, reducing performance and even negatively impacting the accuracy of data analysis. This is where an enterprise data lake with archiving comes into play.

 

Think about it: medical professionals need immediate, direct and natural-language access to analysis of all patient data in its original format, as well as intelligent tools that can provide recommendations based on all of the available data. In the case of healthcare, this data consists not only of facts and figures about the patient, but highly pertinent free-form text such as physicians’ notes, radiology reports, medical journal articles, email correspondence, images such as CAT scans or MRIs, genome files, and of course, information collected directly from wearables, respirators, blood pressure monitors, and other connected devices.

 

Instead of attempting to pull this data from separate sources and manually integrating and maintaining it, all of the data from these disparate sources is fed into a single enterprise data lake that is capable of reaching across multiple internal as well as public cloud systems. Here, the data is highly organized and maintained, and any kind of external analysis tool can easily be integrated to more effectively transform the information into actionable insights for the provider and patient.

 

The beauty of this approach is that security levels can be individually maintained as appropriate to each separate database. This is critical to ensuring that patient data is managed sensitively, so organizations can adhere to the strict privacy and compliance regulations unique to healthcare. Entire patient records can be handled with complete and full control, to ensure that only the right patient data is shared with the right people. In addition, old and inactive data is automatically archived, thereby combating the high costs, potential problems, and inefficiencies of media overrun.

 

As the applications and capabilities of wearables continue to rise, we need a smarter, scalable way to collect, house, and manage the oceans of data that ensue. Organizations that leverage the enterprise data lake will be empowered to cut costs, streamline resources, and ultimately do more with their data. In the end, this will translate to higher satisfaction among providers and patients alike, and drive more effective outcomes in patient health and wellness.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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Telehealth Role in Value Based Care

Telehealth Role in Value Based Care | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Value-based care has been the subject of much discussion in US healthcare.  While the definition of what “value” means may vary from person to person, most do see value as encompassing the goals of the Triple Aim of quality care, better health outcomes and lower costs.  As the health care industry grapples with how to deliver value based care, telehealth is being increasingly looked towards as a potential tool to achieve this significant goal.  Telehealth is the use of technology to provide care from a distance when the patient and provider are in two different locations.  The unique features of telehealth lend itself well to a variety of ways of utilisation that would help achieve these goals. 

 

Quality Care

 

There are a variety of ways telehealth technologies can provide quality care.  Though questions still persist from some sectors whether the care delivered via telehealth is “as good” as in-person care, there are definitely situations where technology can do more than an in-person interaction in the same situation.  For example, in the case of a dermatological consultation, the technology allows a dermatologist to zoom in and magnify features of a condition that may not be evident to the naked eye.

Telehealth can also provide quality care by increasing access to care itself.  The United States currently has a shortage of specialty providers and currently practicing specialty providers are unevenly distributed throughout the nation leaving wide swathes of the population without access to needed health services or forcing patients to travel great distances to receive it, expending time and money to do so.  With telehealth, providers can reach more patients over a wider geographic area and in a timely fashion that would be more convenient to patients.

Another example of where telehealth can help improve quality care is care coordination.  With different providers seeing to the disparate needs of a patient, communication and coordination may not always happen.  This may result in duplicative treatments, gaps in treatment or perhaps treatment that might conflict.  Utilising technology to allow different providers to work together to organise patient care and share information would not only improve care, but help enhance the patient experience as all of his or her providers work in concert.

 

Lower Costs

 

Using technology to create efficiencies and preventing episodes from deteriorating to a more serious condition can lead to lower costs to the health system. For example, remote patient monitoring (RPM), one of the modalities that comprises telehealth, has been shown to improve patient outcomes, especially those with chronic conditions, by reducing hospitalisations.  RPM can be used to continuously monitor a patient’s condition while they are at home.  More serious episodes that could result in a trip to a hospital emergency room can be prevented in some cases by noticing and addressing issues before the patient’s condition deteriorates. The issue is addressed before a costly trip to a hospital is necessary, not only saving money, but preventing the patient from a more serious episode.

 

Better Health Outcomes

By improving care and preventing more serious episodes, patients will see better health outcomes. This is starkly illustrated in the use of telehealth in providing stroke care.  In certain stroke cases, the timely administration of a clot-busting drug called tPA (Tissue plasminogen activator) can minimise the adverse effects of a stroke and in some cases avoid them altogether. However, it requires a neurologist to assess and make that decision to administer the drug and the window of opportunity to do so is very small.  With the shortage of neurologists in the US, there simply aren’t enough to have one physically in every hospital and emergency room where a stroke case may be admitted. However, with the use of telehealth, those few neurologists can expand their reach and service more locations to the benefit of those stroke patients.

 

With the foregoing, it’s easy to see why telehealth is being sought out as a means to achieve value based care.  With the coming changes of a Trump presidency, it is likely that health systems will make even greater efforts to seek out ways to achieve value based care. If they have not already, these systems should look towards telehealth to assist them with these efforts.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:

Contact Details :
inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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