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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Online Healthcare Can Reduce Your Printing Costs

Online Healthcare Can Reduce Your Printing Costs | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Arguably one of the biggest expenses in a healthcare business is contributed to the toner and paper costs.

Although a lot of clinics are now moving to a “paperless” practice, printing is still a requirement for prescriptions, reports and referrals.

 

On average, a medical centre prints 900 pages per month per provider and close to 1600 pages per month per reception desk.

The average printing costs per page are around the $0.04 per page which is roughly $432 per year per provider. This does not consider the costs of the drums, repairs, paper and ongoing troubleshooting.

 

Working with our printing partners we have come up with a few effective steps which will reduce your printing costs and increase the lifecycle of your printers.

 

Standardise The Printers

The most effective way to reduce your printing costs is to ensure that all the printers in the clinic are of the same brand and model. This means that you can acquire the toner at a cheaper rate (buy in bulk) and service and support the printers at a lower cost.

 

Use Original Toner

Although it is tempting to acquire the cheaper toner from the web, it is important to know that the original toner can guarantee more prints which equates to a lower cost per page and more importantly, using the original toner will not affect your printer.

Aftermarket toners are made with low-quality products which will damage the drums, sensors and other parts of your printer. Ultimately by saving a few dollars per month on toner, you are reducing the lifecycle of your printers.

 

Acquire High-Quality Printers

You get what you pay for right? Make the initial investment a good one and you will give yourself a high 5 for years to come.

What you need to look for is a printer with a long product life for the toner, drums and other parts. Most personal printers cost less than the toner and that is because they are manufactured to be replaced within a short amount of time.

In terms of high-quality printers, they will last for years and if you were to look at your investment across a 3-year span then you will see that high-quality printers and toner will cost less over that period.

 

Consider A Print Management Solution

This is new on the market and it is where you don’t pay for the printer or setup but rather pay a monthly fee against the usage.

For example, you want a top-tier printer which comes at a cost of $600 and you calculate that you will need $600 worth of toner in the first year.

Over a 3 year period, you will spend $2400 on the printer and toner. This excludes any repairs or maintenance.

A print management solution will give you the printer and all the toner you need and base it on a cost per page. Usually 1 or 2 cents per page. The solution also covers any repairs and replacement to the printer.

This means that at the end of 3 years you would’ve paid less and ensured that you didn’t need to replace the hardware.

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

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

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Cybersecurity: How can it be improved in health care?

Cybersecurity: How can it be improved in health care? | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

It has become increasingly clear that cybersecurity is a risk factor in health care data. Data breaches cost the health care industry approximately $5.6 billion every year, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. The Breach Barometer Report: Year in Review additionally found that there was an average of at least one health data breach per day in 2016, attacks that affected more than 27 million patient records.

 

In a whitepaper entitled The Rampant Growth of Cybercrime in Healthcare, health IT advisor organization Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) reported that these attacks are becoming increasingly difficult to identify, prevent and mitigate.

“Chronic underinvestment in cybersecurity has left many so exposed that they are unable to even detect cyberattacks when they occur,” the report stressed. “While attackers may compromise an organization within a matter of seconds or minutes, it often takes many more weeks – if not months – before the breach is detected, damage is contained and defensive resources are deployed to prevent the same attack from happening again.”

As organizations seek to protect their patient information from these growing threats, demand for health informatics professionals who are familiar with the current state of cybersecurity in health care is on the rise.

Cybersecurity challenges in health care

The newest cyber vulnerabilities are not necessarily an organization’s biggest cyber threat. Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report found that most breaches are about money and attackers usually take the easiest route to obtain the information they need. Consequently, many common threats continue to be problematic in health care, including:

●  Malware and ransomware: Cyber criminals use malware and ransomware to shut down individual devices, servers or even entire networks. In some cases, a ransom is then demanded to rectify the encryption.
●  Cloud threats: An increasing amount of protected health information is being stored on the cloud. Without proper encryption, this can be a weak spot for the security of health care organizations.
●  Misleading websites: Clever cyber criminals have created websites with addresses that are similar to reputable sites. Some simply substitute .com for .gov, giving the unwary user the illusion that the websites are the same.
●  Phishing attacks: This strategy sends out mass amounts of emails from seemingly reputable sources to obtain sensitive information from users.
●  Encryption blind spots: While encryption is critical for protecting health data, it can also create blind spots where hackers can hide from the tools meant to detect breaches.
●  Employee error: Employees can leave health care organizations susceptible to attack through weak passwords, unencrypted devices and other failures of compliance.

Another growing threat in health care security is found in medical devices. As pacemakers and other equipment become connected to the internet, they face the same vulnerabilities as other computer systems. To ensure patient safety, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recommended that both the manufacturer that creates the device and the health care facility that implants it take preventive security measures.

Strategies for improving cybersecurity

Due to the significant financial impact of data breaches in health care, health informatics and other professionals are playing an important role in ensuring that medical organizations remain secure.
According to HealthIT.gov, individual health care organizations can improve their cyber security by implementing the following practices:

1. Establish a security culture: Ongoing cybersecurity training and education emphasize that every member of the organization is responsible for protecting patient data, creating a culture of security.

2. Protect mobile devices: An increasing number of health care providers are using mobile devices at work. Encryption and other protective measures are critical to ensure that any information on these devices is secure.

3. Maintain good computer habits: New employee onboarding should include training on best practices for computer use, including software and operating system maintenance.

4. Use a firewall: Anything connected to the internet should have a firewall.

5. Install and maintain anti-virus software: Simply installing anti-virus software is not enough. Continuous updates are essential for ensuring health care systems receive the best possible protection at any given time.

6. Plan for the unexpected: Files should be backed up regularly for quick and easy data restoration. Organizations should consider storing this backed-up information away from the main system if possible.

7. Control access to protected health information: Access to protected information should be granted to only those who need to view or use the data.

8. Use strong passwords and change them regularly: The Verizon report found that 63 percent of confirmed data breaches involved taking advantage of passwords that were the default, weak or stolen. Health care employees should not only use strong passwords, but ensure they are changed regularly.

9. Limit network access: Any software, applications and other additions to existing systems should not be installed by staff without prior consent from the proper organizational authorities.

10. Control physical access: Data can also be breached when physical devices are stolen. Computers and other electronics that contain protected information should be kept in locked rooms in secure areas.

In addition to these recommendations, health data professionals are continually developing new strategies and best practices to ensure the safety of sensitive health data, protecting both the patient and organization from financial loss and other forms of harm.

Working in health care cybersecurity

To improve cybersecurity in health care, organizations need to hire informatics professionals who can not only collect, manage and leverage data, but protect it as well. If you are interested in contributing to this field through a career in health informatics, consider taking the next step in your health informatics (HI) career by pursuing a master’s in Health Informatics. In UIC’s online program you will complete courses in health care information systems that can help you manage the sensitive patient data at risk from cyberattack.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:

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

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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:
Contact Details :

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

more...
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