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How AI is able to Predict and Detect a Stroke

How AI is able to Predict and Detect a Stroke | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Strokes happen fast–in as little as 15 minutes. To be sure, even the language in top medical reports on the subject speak of strokes as “sudden attacks” which happen so acutely that over ten million people worldwide die or are permanently disabled by them each year.

 

It’s a problem that’s plagued healthcare efforts for decades, with EMS professionals being the last line of defense for the detection of stroke symptoms pre-hospital.

 

These days though, taking a predictive approach to preventing the severity of a stroke has become a lot more feasible thanks to intensive research and testing into how Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies might be best deployed in a healthcare setting.

 

Researchers have even gone as far as developing machine learning and natural language processing algorithms that have (in one 2017 trial, more accurately than doctors) predicted which patients will suffer a stroke within a decade.

Exploring Artificial Intelligence and Stroke Response

In light of these technological advancements, this article sets out to explore and capture how today’s AI systems have been developed to optimize a practitioner’s ability (regardless of their neurological training) to predict or detect the signs of stroke prehospital.

 

First, we’ll talk about the importance of (and difficulties associated with) early stroke diagnosis. Next, we’ll summarize the current context of today’s healthcare AI technologies and how they work, then expanding on how these systems are changing the face of stroke-related care today to talk about what’s next for AI’s use in stroke detection.

 

Note: This assessment focuses largely on the ability of AI systems to detect or predict the precursors for Ischemic stroke (as opposed to Hemorrhagic stroke), which makes up over 85% of stroke cases, and for which the most Electronic Health Record (EHR) data is available.

Why is it so hard to predict and detect stroke?

Up to now, there have been very few reliable biomarkers that help neurologists distinguish which patients will suffer from a stroke in the future. And although years of clinical research trials have yielded positive results about the subject, a general lag in the evolution of healthcare IoT infrastructures have continued to limit the replicability of such studies, especially given the sheer amount and complexity of patient data needed to provide significant analyses of these markers.

 

Available retroactive data has of course given physicians and neurologists cues about which patients might be more at risk for stroke, however, actually moving to the diagnosis stage largely occurs while a stroke is happening.

 

Current stroke response procedures therefore often involve on-the-spot testing with EMS professionals or paramedics who may check for physical stroke predictors like facial weakness or slurring of speech by asking patients to smile, or by running them through a set of simple questions.

How AI Can Predict and Detect Stroke

Given that neuroimaging techniques like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Tomography (CT) scans are most often used to identify stroke, researchers have therefore created assistive AI tools that respond to or analyze these machines’ informatics and imaging outputs in particular.

 

From there, deeper retroactive analyses can be made into the neurological symptoms of studied stroke patients, offering greater clinical insight into the kinds of biomarkers that may correlate with the occurrence of stroke.

 

In other cases, images from MRI or CT scans can be quickly assessed by an algorithm, signaling to a stroke specialist in-hospital (or remotely) in which patients require immediate care.

 

Within this context, AI systems and their associated algorithms can be deployed either at the clinical research stage or at a physician’s point-of-care.

 

In either circumstance, medical professionals are trying to detect the symptoms of a stroke prehospital, with the ultimate goal of being able to accurately predict who is most susceptible to stroke, and equipping them with technologies that can notify a physician for a potential stroke in their patients, long before it has the chance to occur.

 

In support of these technologies, quite a few clinical studies have been conducted which further affirm the potential success of both research and bed-side stroke response systems.

 

For example, a related study by Gupta et al. notes, “Artificial Intelligence offers technology solutions with high precision and accuracy for the diagnosis of stroke, it’s severity as well as prediction of functional outcomes”, with a similar study endorsing the same, saying: “AI techniques in stroke imaging could markedly change…stroke diagnosis and management in the future…. machine-based diagnosis would be particularly helpful for medical staff who are not accustomed to stroke imaging.”

A real-world example of how AI can predict and detect stroke

To better breakdown how AI technologies are being used to predict and detect stroke, let’s point to the example of Viz.ai, who recently partnered with Medtronic to deliver their artificial intelligence ‘contacts system’ to stroke care centers across the greater US.

 

Recently gaining FDA clearance, Viz.ai’s software has been developed to sync up with CT scanners and is already performing well in hospitals all over the US.

 

Their software uses advanced deep learning, sending radiological images directly to a stroke specialist’s smartphone, helping them diagnose high-risk patients from anywhere in the world.

 

As a result, Viz.ai has been able to leverage artificial intelligence to – quoting their website – “synchronize stroke care, reducing systemic delays that stand between patients and life-saving treatments.” With the built software designed to engage in preliminary diagnoses and stroke patient triage, Viz.ai’s artificial intelligence can even detect suspected large vessel occlusion (LVO)–a common predictor or symptom of Ischemic stroke.

 

In fact, according to a study they conducted, later reported through the Medical Device Network, “Viz LVO demonstrated the ability to alert the stroke specialist earlier than standard in 95.5% of true positive cases…sav an average of 52 minutes.”

Other companies using AI to predict and detect stroke

These developments in responsive (and even predictive) stroke care have been welcome news for medical professionals at all levels, with other frequent successes still on the rise at the intersection of AI systems and healthcare, particularly for early stroke-detection and prediction.

 

For instance, iRAPID uses AI technology to “expand the treatment window for neurovascular conditions” through real-time views of brain perfusion and is a technology that has found a home in over 1300 hospitals globally. 

 

NeuroView, a medical technology startup, is also aiming to “automate the detection of stroke deficits in order to make better predictions about stroke in the field”, a goal echoed by many of today’s most recognized medical associations, healthcare technology companies, and even hospitals who are notably teaming up to tackle similar problems, building their own AI systems for department and consumer use.

The limitations for AI technology and stroke prediction

Of course, the work here is never done. Given the proven potential for success, healthcare companies and other healthcare innovation organizations have been forced to answer the difficult question of whether AI algorithms are sophisticated enough to mimic the complex medical decision-making problems involved in stroke care.

 

With these technologies only recently entering widespread implementation, it will take some time before AI accuracy outshines that of actual practitioners–meaning neurologists aren’t about to lose their place in stroke-care processing. Even NeuroView, mentioned above, admits that although they successfully developed an algorithm that can recognize facial weakness in standard video with 89% accuracy, that their “algorithm’s accuracy did not significantly differ from the average accuracy of EMS providers in study.”

 

A similar report from the American Health Association echoes these sentiments, admitting that further research is still needed generally, and concerning the subject of their study, to “refine” stroke-detecting algorithms and expand them to detect other stroke deficits “such as limb weakness and ataxia.”

AI technology and stroke: Forecasts for future success

Regardless, the leaps and bounds that researchers have made in the last decade alone can’t be ignored, largely casting a positive forecast for what healthcare practitioners, patients, and businesses can expect to see in the future of healthcare AI in general, and the early prediction and detection of imminent stroke in the specific.

 

While imaging interpretation, tissue mapping, and telecommunication applications continue to evolve at the intersection of Healthcare AI, further explorations will have to surmount the difficulties of replicating the often chaotic, erratic process of clinical decision-making involved in diagnosing stroke.

 

And yet, in light of what we’ve already explored, including the process of digital stroke response and why it remains so difficult in today’s technological economy, we’ve seen what some healthcare’s greatest minds have been able to accomplish amid these high-stakes conditions, and have gained a researcher’s mindset in understanding where stand, and where we are going as we continue to explore AI technology and its applications in predicting and detecting stroke.

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The Importance of Medical Apps During a Crisis

The Importance of Medical Apps During a Crisis | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Due to COVID-19, most of us are under a “Shelter in Place” order which has led people to stay within the four walls of their homes and only come out if there is something urgent.

 

Since being at home is playing a vital role in flattening the curve and slowing the spread of the virus, most people are following the guidelines.

 

Though people are not supposed to move out of their house and/or neighborhoods, they can get their basic healthcare requirements fulfilled with mobile medical apps.

 

These apps serve various purposes – from ordering medicines to getting online consultation.  Telehealth and telemedicine technologies have been accelerated.

 

Even though we are “sheltering in place”, with various medical mobile apps, we can still take care of ourselves and our health.

 

A crisis can be defined in many ways; it can be a shortage of something, a life-threatening disease, or a pandemic.

 

The year 2020 is seeing the growth of a major virus which is COVID-19, which has affected 213 countries and infected 2 million people globally. With cases rising each day, it is getting harder day by day to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

What are mobile medical apps, and why are they important?

As said earlier, mobile medical apps provide facilities to people without them having to leave their space.

 

It is widely seen that pharmaceutical companies and basic pharmacies are facing several challenges due to this lockdown, and it is that they are not able to sell their medicines, but many companies have come up with creative options and introduced deliveries of medicines after a valid prescription is updated.

 

These healthcare apps are helping people in many ways by allowing people to avoid any risk of contact and getting delivery of medicines on time and giving online consultation to everyone who is suffering from any sort of pain or symptoms.

 

These apps have come a long way and have become an essential part in which people can heavily rely on with trust.

 

Now let’s decipher how these apps are offering different services and what purpose they are serving to their user base.

  • Greater Accessibility

Medical mobile apps have made it extremely easy for their users to get access to doctors without having to wait for hours to meet the doctors. It takes just a few minutes to find the best doctors to whom people can tell their condition and gather online prescriptions.

  • Calling Services

These apps have tried to maintain transparency and assured patients that they could be remotely diagnosed easily and accurately. These apps have enabled video and audio calling services that will allow the users to talk to doctors and show them the exact picture of any disease that can’t be explained in words.

  • Leverages service providers

They have been able to be a great help for service providers too. The healthcare practitioners and others are able to connect with a wider audience and serve to their health and medical needs even while occupied with numerous other tasks.

  • Quick deliveries

If you need medicines that you cannot buy because of the ongoing pandemic,   you can quickly get them delivered at your doorstep without any hassle – all thanks to these mobile medical apps. Most of the medical apps provide an option for buying medicines by selecting them inside the app, which means that it becomes a one-stop-shop for the patients.

  • Convenient Payments

Payments are a big fuss if you have to make quick payments, but with these apps, it is very convenient to send money along and receive services. These apps have ensured that your payments are made through a secured getaway, and if you are not satisfied with the service, then you receive your amount back within no time.

  • Track Health Data

Tracking down your health is very important, especially during this time. Boost of IoT has allowed these apps to assess your heartbeats, respiratory functions, and what not through smart wearable devices. These devices can be easily saved with the app and update it to keep a guard on your health.

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What is a Security Patch?

What is a Security Patch? | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it
What is a Security Patch?

A security patch is software that corrects errors in computer software code. Security patches are issued by software companies to address vulnerabilities discovered in the company’s product. Vulnerabilities can be discovered by security researchers. Vulnerabilities can also be found in the aftermath of a cyberattacker exploiting a vulnerability of an operating system – a vulnerability the software manufacturer was not previously aware of. 

 

Applying security patches that respond to the latest threats, enhances device security.

What is the Importance of a Security Patch?

Failure to timely implement a security patch may place the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of covered entity’s electronic protected health information (ePHI) at risk.

 

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (the Department that enforces HIPAA) has issued reminders to healthcare providers of the importance of patch management to achieve HIPAA compliance.

 

Is your organization secure? Download the free cybersecurity eBook to get tips on how to protect your patient information.

What is a Patch Management Process?

patch management process consists of identifying, acquiring, installing, and verifying patches for products and systems. 

OCR has stated that a HIPAA compliant patch management process for a networked organization should include the following elements:

  • Evaluation. Evaluation consists of determining whether a given patch is applicable to a covered entity’s software and systems.
  • Patch Testing. Patch testing should consist of testing the patch on one isolated system first, to see if the patch causes problems such as software malfunctions or system instability. 
  • Approval. Approval consists of approving a specific patch for application, after relevant tests have proven successful.
  • Deployment. Deployment consists of actually applying the patches on live systems. 
  • Verification and Testing. Verification consists of testing and auditing systems after deployment to see if the patches were applied correctly, and that there were no unforeseen side effects. 

What are the Benefits of Keeping Security Patches Up to Date?

Keeping security patches up to date allows you to:

  • Reduce Exposure to Cyberattacks. In many instances, security patches are available before a hacker can exploit a system vulnerability.  
  • Protect Your Data. Hackers have the ability to use personal data from one system to gain access to a different one. If, for example, a hacker gains access to a user ID/password from someone who uses these same credentials to access multiple systems, the hacker can gain access to these multiple systems.
  • Protect Data of Patients. Covered entities and business associates must take steps to safeguard ePHI. Security patch installation plays an important role in the safeguarding process.
  • Protect Other Network Users. Worms are a type of malware that remain active on one computer as they infect other computers. Security patches play an important role in stopping the spread of computer worms to other networked devices.

When Is Patch Installation Required Under the HIPAA Security Rule?

The HIPAA Security Rule requires entities to perform risk analysis and risk management. 

The scope of the risk analysis and risk management processes encompasses the potential risks and vulnerabilities to all ePHI that an organization creates, receives, maintains, or transmits. This includes identifying and mitigating risks and vulnerabilities that unpatched software poses to an organization’s ePHI.

 

Mitigation activities could include installing patches if patches are available and patching is reasonable and appropriate.

 

In situations where patches are not available (e.g., obsolete or unsupported software) or testing or other concerns weigh against patching as a mitigation solution, entities should implement reasonable compensating controls to reduce the risk of identified vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level (e.g., restricting network access or disabling network services to reduce vulnerabilities that could be exploited via network access)

 

Security patches play an important role in an organization’s cybersecurity strategy. Patches ensure that devices and user data have the most up-to-date protection against current cyberattacks.

 

Whether one is securing a single device, or an array of computer systems for a large organization, one needs to have a plan in place for patch management.

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Why Healthcare Needs the Internet of Things

Why Healthcare Needs the Internet of Things | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Healthcare continues to evolve to meet the needs of consumers. One of the critical components that make that happen is the vast world of IoT. The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to solve many healthcare challenges. 

 

Everyday medical devices can and do collect patient data, which allows invaluable insight for healthcare providers and patients. Symptoms and trends can be monitored and tracked. Telehealth can enable remote care and improve the patient experience.

 

What is The Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things refers to smart devices that can collect and transmit data to a remote server, perform functions without any human intervention or automate tasks using voice commands. IoT devices are used everywhere, from smart homes and cars to games and business applications.

 

More healthcare organizations are beginning to adopt IoT technology into their day-to-day operations to improve the efficiency of the services they provide. However, healthcare’s initial investment in IoT is a small drop in a large pond.

Why is IoT Important in Healthcare?

Healthcare can be improved by steeping itself in technology. Currently, IoT is used for things like smart sensors, remote monitoring of patients, activity trackers, biometric sensors, medication dispensers, intelligent beds, glucose monitors, and medical device integration.

 

A large percentage (64%) of the equipment used in healthcare that is connected to the internet and cloud services are patient monitoring devices.

 

Medical wearables can monitor things like blood pressure, oxygen levels, blood sugar levels, heartbeat, weight, and ECGs. Tech gurus are advancing the capabilities of these devices all the time.

Safety of Family Doctors

The more that healthcare plunges into technology, the less place there is to hide.

 

The internet is a very transparent venue with everything out in the open. Part of improving the quality of care is being able to rely on the standards of the right healthcare providers. Some of the ways that patients can use technology right now to ensure they get the best care are:

 

●      Check public records to look for any red flags such as malpractice lawsuits, DUIs, arrests, or any other indicators that perhaps it’s time to look elsewhere.

●      Check doctor review online. There are dedicated websites where patients can review surgeons, family physicians, and other types of specialty medical personnel.

●      Perform a Google search before starting to use a particular doctor and see what comes up.

Revolutionizing the Treatment and Diagnosis of Disease

There is hardly anything more important than good health. Should the healthcare industry fully commit to this technology, the benefits are unlimited. Patients and doctors would be connected in ways that we cannot currently conceive.

 

One example might be shared calendars to coordinate visits and check-ups. Automatic alerts when something with the patient’s health changes.

 

The patient’s chart would be saved in the cloud and linked to their wearable device, thus allowing the doctor immediate access to files and a much faster response time to diagnose and respond to illness. This level of connectivity would revolutionize the doctor’s ability to dispense treatment options.

 

It’s not that hard to imagine that monitoring devices could become smarter. Instead of just alerting the doctor, it would take action such as dispensing critical medicine or raising or lowering body temperature to save the patient’s life before the doctor even gets there.

 

In 2017, the FDA approved the first digital pill that patients swallow. It then feeds data back to a wearable device on the user’s wrist. The digital pill’s intended use is to monitor dosage amounts for prescription medicine. However, the possibilities for this are endless.

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3 Keys to Effective Use of IT in Healthcare

3 Keys to Effective Use of IT in Healthcare | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Symptoms alert us to problems within our bodies that may cause us great distress. To improve our condition, we often rush to relieve our ailment by focusing on treating the symptoms rather than diagnosing the underlying problem.

 

The same is true with many of the issues we face within the healthcare industry. Often healthcare leaders incorrectly link the cause of symptoms, like physician burnout or poor operating performance, with effective use of IT systems as the failure of outcomes when there are other factors at play.

 

As healthcare advisors, we focus on finding the root cause of the problem at hand. Just like a clinician, we start by asking many questions - How are you leveraging your investments in technology?

 

Why are your IT systems not allowing the organization to achieve the desired outcomes?  How does data flow into, across and out of your organization?

 

How do you use insights from your data to guide the decisions you make? In our experience, in addition to a thorough understanding of the people and processes that drive initiatives, there are some IT best practices to lay the foundation for improvement across a complex clinically integrated network.

1. Are you using the maximum functionality of the core system?

How many applications are being used that serve the same function? Within those applications, how much of the functionality has been implemented? Who’s actually using the desired functionality as opposed to their own approach? We have found that many of the organizations we advise are using only a fraction of the available functionality within the applications. In many cases, independent best of breed systems are purchased to solve problems as they arise.

 

While that approach may provide temporary relief, over time, the misalignment of systems leads to inefficiency, increased work effort, and decreased capacity. In turn, the result is a decrease in the operating margin for the organization.

 

Maximizing the functionality of enterprise applications such as Epic and Cerner allow an organization to better link the productivity of departments and in turn, allow for much more cohesive collaboration across the entire organization.

 

When a hospital system is operating on one EHR and ERP platform, it gives them the ability to reach many audiences across multiple applications and can allow a health system to create economies of scale while advancing state of the art technical capabilities

2. Advanced Interoperability

The more information you consume, the better decisions you can make. By focusing on interoperability as a system-wide strategic initiative, you can surface more data to decision-makers so they can make smarter choices. We advise our clients to strive for semantic interoperability. This highest level of interoperability supports the electronic exchange of data structures and data definitions so that there is no ambiguity of the shared information. For example, clinicians treating patients with COPD that use data from disparate sources, such as social determinates, exposome data and health records from an outside network, can make a more informed decision at the point of care to improve the likelihood of advancing treatment outcomes and reduce health care expenditures. Technology that enables advanced interoperability will benefit every department within the health system moving forward.

3. Analytics Maturity

In today’s data-rich environment, those health systems with the ability to measure outcomes and utilize data at a sophisticated level achieve a competitive advantage. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

 

Analytics serve to improve many facets of a healthcare business beyond clinical decision support, such as the operational and financial performance of the organization.

 

In addition to advanced interoperability, health systems must have the capability to curate and govern their data to ensure that the data is accurate, timely and relevant.

 

Clinically Integrated Networks that prioritize analytics maturity and use insights to guide their strategic and tactical plans deliver value-based care to their consumers while maintaining top financial performance.

 

Keeping a strong bottom line and your physicians happy is not an easy task. At Optimum Healthcare IT, we have the tools and talent to work with your organization to advance it in these three areas.

 

A rapid IT Effectiveness Assessment is one of the many services in our Advisory practice. This assessment leverages our deep healthcare experience working in and with organizations to help them become more efficient and effective.

 

Quite simply, our goal is to enable your users to use technology to work smarter and not harder. By assessing where misalignment occurs between IT expectations and delivery, our experts will provide actionable recommendations to get back on track.

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Choosing The Right Practice Management Software Is Essential

Choosing The Right Practice Management Software Is Essential | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

You need to make sure that you manage your improving dental practice as effectively as possible, and having the latest software is an essential part of that.

 

Modern dental practice management software programs can help you keep track of your patients’ appointments, manage your practice’s finances, store patients’ records, update your patients’ files, and more! In addition to making sure that the software is HIPAA-compliant, it’s important to make sure that the software’s other features are right for your practice.

 

MAKE SURE THAT THE SOFTWARE HAS RECEIVED GOOD REVIEWS

 

Not only do you need to make sure that the program is reliable, but you also need to ensure that it has all of the capabilities that your practice will need. Also, read reviews on both the company’s website and on secure third party sites.

 

PICK A SOFTWARE THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO GO PAPERLESS

 

Going paperless can reduce the amount of storage space that your practice requires, which could save you money.

 

In addition, going paperless helps to ensure that patient files will not be lost or damaged, especially if you use cloud storage. Not only that but switching over to paperless data storage helps to protect the environment as well.

 

ENSURE IT WILL SAFELY STORE PATIENT DATA

 

It’s important to make sure that you choose a dental practice management software program that will keep your patients’ data secure. However, it’s also important to use an effective antivirus program.

 

Therefore, ensure that you’ll be able to use cyber-security software along with your dental practice management software.

 

WE HAVE EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

 

Dental practice management software programs vary significantly in price and quality. Luckily, you can be sure that our software offers a combination of affordability and quality that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Not only do we offer affordable dental practice management software, but we also help to improve your practice’s security, allow you to go paperless and offer software that can be used along with an antivirus program.

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Do I need to work with a healthcare web developer?

Do I need to work with a healthcare web developer? | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Your healthcare website is the first impression many patients will get of your practice. If they like what they see, they’ll likely request an appointment. If it fails to deliver, they’ll move on to the next.

 

There are plenty of options for launching a healthcare website. You could build your own using a platform like Squarespace or WordPress, or you could work with a web developer you know.

 

If you want a site that will help you achieve your practice growth goals, however, it needs to be created by a professional healthcare web developer.

 

Here’s a look at why your healthcare website must be made by an expert with industry-specific knowledge.

 

5 reasons to choose a healthcare web developer

1. Build a responsive site

Most U.S. adults (81 percent) have a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. Given this number, it’s not surprising that an estimated 141.9 billion local searches will be performed in the U.S. on mobile devices in 2019, according to Statista. Statista also estimates 62.3 billion searches to be performed on desktop computers. This makes the importance of a responsive healthcare web design clear.

 

A responsive website adjusts to fit the screen size of the device it’s viewed on — i.e. smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer. This ensures each person who visits your site has a great user experience.

 

2. Get a beautiful site designed to be found in search

Right now, there are more than 1.7 billion websites on the internet, according to InternetLiveStats. If you want patients to find and enjoy your site, it needs to be optimized and designed by someone who knows what they’re doing.

 

A seasoned healthcare web developer has plenty of tried-and-true search engine optimization strategies to boost your standing in search results. This might involve including structured data to share your brand, location, services, and star rating with search engines.

 

They’ll also likely increase traffic by updating your website with new tags, descriptions, content, and links. Additionally, page speeds will be optimized for fast-loading on any device.

3. Ensure the right keywords are included

Your patients don’t want to visit a generic healthcare website. In fact, half of people will leave a website if the content is irrelevant, according to Clutch. 

 

This is a non-issue when you work with a healthcare web developer because they’ll create content that’s specific to your specialty and local area. Keywords relevant to your patient base will be weaved into the content in a natural-sounding manner to boost traffic and attract the right audience.

4. Provide easy navigation

Nearly all people (94 percent) cite navigation as the most important website feature, according to Clutch. This makes sense because patients won’t get value from your website if they can’t find anything.

 

An experienced healthcare web developer knows what patients look for. You can trust them to organize your website in a straightforward manner.

5. Create a site that patients want

People don’t expect the same website features from businesses in every industry, so it’s important to work with someone who knows what patients want.

 

For example, nearly one-third of people (31 percent) would be more likely to choose a service provider if online scheduling was offered, according to GetApp. Notably, patients would prefer to schedule a doctor appointment online more than any other type of service.

 

Beyond online scheduling, a healthcare web developer will make sure your site is filled with other features coveted by patients. This might include provider staff bios, pictures and videos of your office, and patient testimonials.

 

Your healthcare web design is a huge reflection of your practice. Since many patients will visit your website before scheduling an appointment, it needs to make a great impression.

 

It’s true that anyone can design a website these days, but that doesn’t make it a quality product. Your practice deserves a site that truly reflects the outstanding patient care you provide.

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Tips For Upgrading From Paper To Cloud Storage

Tips For Upgrading From Paper To Cloud Storage | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

One great way to reduce the number of paper files at your dental practice is by storing your data electronically. Scanning files will allow you to upload data to your computer system, which can reduce or eliminate your paper file storage.

 

Not only that, but your practice can even take an additional step to ensure that these files can always be accessed by using cloud storage. Here are a few important things that you should know about storing your data digitally:

 

YOU CAN SCAN PAPER FILES YOU ALREADY HAVE

 

Even if you already have lots of paper files with patient information and other forms of data that are essential for running your practice, it isn’t too late to scan them and store them digitally instead.

 

After you’re finished doing that, you can shred the paper files, which will mean that you’ll no longer need space to store hard copies of the information.

 

USING DIGITAL STORAGE REQUIRES CYBER-SECURITY

 

If you use a file scanning program instead of keeping paper files, it’s possible to keep the digital data just as or more secure than paper files. However, this will only be true if you take steps to protect your cyber-security, such as using a high-quality antivirus program and training your employees on how to avoid phishing and malware.

 

Keep in mind that these types of cyber-security threats are likely to become more sophisticated as time goes on, which means that you need to stay informed about the latest cyber threats that could pose a risk to your practice.

 

CHOOSE YOUR STORAGE PROVIDER CAREFULLY

 

It’s essential to make sure that you choose a trustworthy cloud-based dental software program, which will be responsible for the safekeeping of your practice’s data.

 

In order to know that a cloud storage program is right for your practice, it’s important to make sure that their data storage policies are HIPAA-compliant.

 

You’ll also want to read some reviews of the cloud storage program, and it’s essential to make sure that you’ll have enough digital storage space for all of your practice’s files.

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How Improvements In Technology Will Impact Dental Practices

How Improvements In Technology Will Impact Dental Practices | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

If you are a dentist, it’s important to be familiar with the ways that improvements in technology could impact your business. 

 

While many ways that technology will affect you are positive, there are also some concerns that you need to be aware of in the digital age. 

 

Luckily, having an improving dental practice in the modern era is very possible if you follow a few essential tips.

 

WHAT DO THESE TECHNOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENTS MEAN FOR YOUR  DENTAL PRACTICE?

 

Improvements in technology can reduce or eliminate paper waste, and these changes can also make it possible to have a better-organized practice. 

 

In addition, the quality of dental procedures will improve as years go on, and the sky is the limit when it comes to the advances in the technology that’s used to treat your patients.

 

In fact, improved dental technology will make it possible to perform procedures faster and more effectively, which will make going to the dentist far more convenient for patients.

 

Technological advances could even improve public dental health since people with dental phobia often avoid essential dental care due to anxiety, which could be greatly reduced by improvements in technology.

 

It’s estimated that around 20% of patients have some level of dental phobia, which makes them less likely to seek dental care. Luckily, improved technology can make it easier for these patients to seek treatment! Nanotechnology, improvements in sedation dentistry, laser dentistry, and more precise dental equipment will make going to the dentist less anxiety-inducing for patients who struggle with dental phobia.

 

WHAT ARE SOME IMPORTANT CONCERNS TO BE AWARE OF?

 

While digital data storage makes it easier to have a well-organized, improving dental practice, improperly storing data electronically could result in sensitive information being compromised by hackers.

 

Luckily, this scenario can often be prevented by using an effective antivirus program and training your employees on how to avoid malware and phishing.

 

There also will be times when you’ll need to buy new software and/or technologies in order to keep up with the competition, but if you do, you can expect the costs to be well worth it for your practice!

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Nanotechnology Could Revolutionize The Field Of Dentistry

Nanotechnology Could Revolutionize The Field Of Dentistry | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

As a dentist, it’s important to keep up with the latest technological advances in order to have an improving dental practice, and nanotechnology is truly on the cutting edge. While these technologies are in their infancy today, they could play an integral role in the dentistry of tomorrow. Not only that, but the field of nanotechnology is advancing rapidly, which means these technologies may become easily available to dentists within the relatively near future.

 

WHAT EXACTLY IS NANOTECHNOLOGY?

 

Nanotechnology refers to devices that are between one and a hundred nanometers in diameter. A nanometer is a measurement that’s equal to one billionth of a meter. Yes, you read that right. These devices are so tiny that you would actually need a microscope to see them!

 

HOW COULD NANOTECHNOLOGY IMPROVE DENTISTRY?

 

One way that it could improve dental care is by improving the effectiveness of dental cleanings. Nanobots could be used to scrape a collection of bacteria off of teeth, which is known as the biofilm. This could allow patients to have a much whiter smile and have far better dental health overall.

 

Not only that, but these microscopic robots could even be used to clean some exceptionally difficult to reach areas of the mouth, such as the isthmus. This technology is currently being studied by the University of Pennsylvania. Nanotechnology can also be used for tissue engineering, which could make oral surgeries more effective.

 

That’s because nanotechnologies are currently being developed that could improve both healing times and patient outcomes!

 

In addition, nanotechnology has the potential to lead to improved composites. That’s because nanoparticles make it possible to simulate the cell structure of genuine teeth to a certain extent, which can allow for a much more natural-looking appearance. This technology can also allow the devices to appear far smoother than they would otherwise.

 

Nanotechnology even has the potential to improve the quality of dental imaging. That’s because nanodevices can be built to combine nanotechnology and radio technology, which can improve x-rays and other forms of dental imaging. This can allow you to get images of your patients’ teeth that are more precise than ever.

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Marcin Golczak 's curator insight, December 21, 2019 11:44 AM
Nanotechnologia może zrewolucjonizować dziedzinę stomatologii
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10 Tips for Protecting Patient Health Information in the Workplace

10 Tips for Protecting Patient Health Information in the Workplace | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Protecting patient health information in the workplace involves employees following practical measures so that a covered entity is compliant. Below are ten tips for protecting patient protected health information (PHI) in the healthcare workplace.

  1. Take steps to minimize the risk of unauthorized access by implementing access controls. 
  2. Providing training on PHI handling, for employees who perform health care administrative functions. 
  3. Be mindful of when patient written authorization is required. 
  4. Back up your data
  5. Implement firewalls
  6. Take steps to secure “paper PHI,” by stowing it (i.e., by placing it in a drawer or folder when it is not being used).
  7. Never leave paper PHI unattended.
  8. Encrypt mobile devices
  9. Ensure passwords are not shared between co-workers.
  10. Keep antivirus and antimalware software up-to-date.

How Do I Protect Patient Health Information in the Workplace?

Tip #1 for protecting patient health information in the workplace: Access controls ensure patient protected health information is only accessed by those employees performing HIPAA-covered transactions.


Tip #2  for protecting patient health information in the workplace: Both the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule have training requirements. 

 

The HIPAA Privacy Rule training requirement is at 45 CFR § 164.530(b)(1). A covered entity must train all members of its workforce on the policies and procedures with respect to protected health information.

 

Training must be provided to each new workforce member within a reasonable period of time after the person joins the workforce. Workforce members must also be trained if their functions are affected by a material change in the covered entities’ Privacy Rule policies and procedures.

 

The HIPAA Security Rule training requirement is an administrative safeguard at 45 CFR § 164.308(a)(5). The Security Rule requires covered entities to implement a security awareness and training program for all workforce members. 

 

Tip #3: Written authorization from a patient is required when a covered entity seeks to use or disclose psychotherapy notes, substance abuse disorder and treatment records, and for marketing purposes.

 

Tip #4: HIPAA imposes certain data backup requirements. Data should be backed up periodically. In addition, it is a good idea to back up data periodically through hardware, such as flash drives and external hard drives, and then copy data through the cloud as it is being modified.

 

This redundancy ensures critical information will be readily available. If feasible, covered entities should have backups in multiple locations.

 

Tip #5: Firewalls are essential in ensuring electronic protected health information is not improperly destroyed. Proper firewall use can help to ensure that a covered entity’s network does not fall victim to unauthorized access that might compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of ePHI.

 

Tip #6: Protected health information recorded in paper form must be secured. Employees should immediately report all incidents that may involve the loss or theft of such paper records. 

Medical records and PHI must be located and used so as to minimize incidental disclosure of PHI

 

Tip #7: “Paper PHI” should never be left unattended. Extra care must be taken when patient charts are temporarily transported to a patient’s home. These charts should be secured while en route and temporary stored at the workforce member’s home. 

 

Tip #8: Encrypting Mobile Devices protects against hackers obtaining access to these devices. Mobile devices should also be password-protected, and should only access a specific Wi-Fi (WP2). 

 

Tip #9: Employees should never share passwords. In addition, default passwords should be changed immediately after being assigned a new application. Passwords should not be reused between different systems. In addition, passwords should be changed if they become compromised.

 

Tip #10: Keeping antivirus and antimalware software current is of vital importance. Software updates and patches should be timely applied to keep networks secure.

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The benefits of software solutions for healthcare marketing

The benefits of software solutions for healthcare marketing | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

5 benefits to healthcare marketing software

1. You can spend more time with your patients.

Marketing your practice can require a significant amount of time. Even if you contract an agency for healthcare marketing services, you may have to wait for specific marketing tactics to be manually completed.

 

A good healthcare marketing software such as PatientPop will use automation to help boost your search engine optimization, improve the patient experience, and enhance your online reputation. Automation allows for a more hands-off approach, so you can stay focused on patient care.

2. You’ll constantly get new features.

As healthcare evolves, so do the needs of a practice. Software technology is the only healthcare marketing solution that can keep pace with shifts in the industry.

 

Good healthcare marketing software companies listen to their users’ feedback and implement worthwhile changes or additions, so the value of the software increases with time. PatientPop regularly releases product enhancements and new offerings to help practices succeed.

3. You’ll have access to a customer support team.

As with any new piece of technology, there can be a learning curve. A good software company will have a committed customer service model with a team that can offer strategic assistance and answer any questions.

 

They can help advise your marketing strategy, so that it aligns with your specific business goals. They can also make sure you are using the software to its full capacity, so you are getting the full value of your marketing investment.

 

PatientPop practices receive ongoing strategic help from dedicated Customer Success representatives to ensure they are getting the best possible results from the PatientPop solution.

4. The software is designed with you in mind.

Another benefit of healthcare marketing software is that it is designed with your practice’s needs in mind. Whereas other marketing solutions may serve clients across multiple industries, healthcare marketing software companies understand the important rules and regulations associated with the medical industry.

 

PatientPop is a HIPAA-compliant healthcare marketing solution that integrates with more than 60 EHR/EMRs serving a variety of healthcare markets. By integrating with other healthcare technology you use, PatientPop can deliver more automated features and help boost efficiency at your practice.

5. You’ll get all your healthcare marketing needs in a single solution.

Often, providers are in the position of having to hire one consultant or agency to host their website and another to help manage their online reputation. But managing multiple service vendors or digital tools is a job in itself.

 

PatientPop offers everything providers need to attract and retain patients in a single solution, including enhancing your web presence, elevating your reputation, and increasing your practice’s efficiency.

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Check out the advantages of Hospital Information System

Check out the advantages of Hospital Information System | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

1. Easy Access To Patient Data

A well-implemented Hospital Information System means readily available patient data to the care providers. It is only a matter of few clicks and all the requisite information about a patient, from various departments in the hospital, can be available on the screen.

 

If the treating doctor needs to re-check the test reports of a patient, she need not go looking for the IPD file; logging into the HIS will give her instant access to those reports and timely treatment decisions ensue.

2. Cost Effective

HIS, when implemented well, cuts out on a lot of manual work that are essentially performed in hospitals, especially the ones where documentation and record keeping is required.

 

It helps in cutting down manpower because a lot of work gets automated and does not require manual intervention to store or analyze the information. It also saves much on storage and the related costs.

3. Improved Efficiency

Processes automated using software would mean that the processes will be taken care of mechanically without any human intervention and this will instantly ensure improved efficiency.

 

The software will not face human problems like fatigue, miscommunication or lack of focus; it will perform every task assigned to it with the same accuracy day in and day out.

4. Reduces Scope of Error

Because processes on HIS are automated and a lot of tasks are assigned to the software to perform with utmost accuracy with minimum human intervention, the scope of error is reduced dramatically.

 

For instance, while billing an IDP patient for the drugs used with HIS, the bill can hardly go wrong because the drug the nurse indents is what is billed for until and unless there is a shortage in stock or change in drug order after the indent has been sent. Per unit rate of the drug is saved in the software as part of standard operating procedure of automation.

 

Just selecting the drug name and the quantity will enable the software to calculate the amount due,accurately.

5. Increased Data Security & Retrieve-ability

Record keeping in hospitals is a mandatory bane with two challenges: keeping the data safe with only authorized personnel getting access to it and retrieving it in the minimum possible time. Add to these the perennial problems of space shortage, protection from natural elements and protection from pest damage etc.

 

HIS is the perfect solution to these problems. All the data is stored on the server or cloud, keeping it safe.

Since HIS works on logins, data security is becoming a non-issue offering data access based on the role of the person – Receptionist, doctor, nurse, radiologist, etc. Retrieve-ability of data stored on a server or cloud is only a matter of few clicks and the data will appear on the screen within seconds.

6. Improved Patient Care

Improved access to patient data and improved work efficiency means better and faster clinical decisions. In this age of evidence based medicine, the faster the clinician gets the diagnostic reports and the quicker her orders are implemented the faster is the patient recovery and the better it is on the patient care index.

 

With automation, all departments in the hospitals are inter-connected and the faster information access further improves the quality of patient care and the resultant bed turnover in the hospital.

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Lifesaving Potential of Automation in Healthcare

Lifesaving Potential of Automation in Healthcare | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

What does the automation in the healthcare sector look like? Is it a fad or can it save lives? Let’s explore the different ways it transforms the industry.

 

When talking about the areas in need of software development, healthcare rarely comes up in the discussion. Is it justified or is there room for innovation? if taking the specifics of the field into consideration automation is potentially the most life-saving type of technological solution.

 

That is a bold claim, we realize that, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

The Need for Automation

Healthcare seems like the field that requires and somewhat relies on the individual approach. Automation is often perceived as impersonal and emotionless. In reality, if adopted as a standard, it might just have an opposite effect. It largely depends on what you’re planning on automating.

 

Let’s look at the average daily responsibilities of a nurse. It involves way more than attending to the sick.

 

They respond to phone calls, maintain the patient data, aid in booking appointments, and all that added on top of actually treating people.

 

Most of these processes are easily automatable. By doing so it makes the already extremely stressful job of a nurse mush easier. In turn, the patients get more and higher quality care and the staff burnout becomes less of a factor.

 

This example perfectly illustrates the two main benefits of automation.

 

First is raising the efficiency of employees and second, transforming the repetitive admin work into background processes. Anyone working in the healthcare sector would agree that it involves tons of compliance.

 

While undoubtedly necessary, it often stands in the way of actually helping people. Automation solves that issue.

 

What about the other benefits of automation? Among the less talked about ones is the ecological aspect. Eliminating pen and paper worksheets with everything attached to it also reduces your waste making you more environmentally friendly. Referral management solutions are working on reducing waste by eliminating manual faxes.

 

Emergence and wide adoption of artificial intelligence haven’t passed on healthcare. With other industries raising the bar of the convenience and efficiency of this practice. Just like doctors prescribe drugs to treat the people, AI provides accurate prescriptive analytics to help healthcare organizations work.

Ways to Automate Healthcare

Based on the information from the previous section we’ve established four main challenges the healthcare industry currently faces:

  • Nonoptimal workflow
  • Insufficient data integrity
  • Privacy issues
  • Lacking communication

First, let’s look at how these problems can be solved on a smaller scale. For example, one single medical facility.

 

Smart appointment scheduling is the most obvious operation that can be easily automated. By providing an online booking solution you don’t just make the workflow of your staff easier, you also eliminate the hassle and improve the experience of patients. In the emergency rooms where you cannot waste time on paperwork and formalities, automation allows you to set your priorities where they matter most – treatment of patients.

 

The same goes for every task that involves data entry or search. Electronic health records updated in real-time is another great example. Having all the important data about a patient on one convenient screen is simply efficient. This type of automation streamlines entire processes and eliminates unnecessary manual operations from patient intake forms to the sending of receipts.

 

Managing prescriptions also becomes easier. The days of trying to decipher a doctor’s note are long gone. The digital records log the history and track the usage of controlled substances making the process less difficult for both the doctor and the patient.

 

Speaking of finances, this area is greatly aided by enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Organized billing, detailed reports, and data analytics are among the variety of features you can take advantage of. Here you can learn more about this field of enterprise software.

 

One of the things you can expect to become more prevalent in the healthcare sector is artificial intelligence. For example, by recognizing the frequency patterns of the flu cases, the prescriptive analysis may even recommend adjustments in staff deployment.

 

This is done by assessing the high-risk segment of patients and offering a proactive solution.

 

The more data machine learning systems have access to the more accurate information they offer. These insights are always accessible as well.

 

One of the more intriguing applications of automation technology is the NLP bots. NLP stands for natural language processing. Whenever a patient describes their symptoms to a general practitioner it processes and logs the dialogue in real-time. that way the quality of conversation improves while nothing informative is lost to human memory.

 

These records are then used in the decision-making process to offer the patient proper treatment.

 

The compliance offered by the healthcare workflow automation also ensures the safety and privacy of sensitive information. By virtue of it being stored in a data warehouse, only people with proper access can retrieve it.

 

Minimizing human interaction with such data as patient records and payment details is essential to mitigate the risks of it being leaked. This also makes transfers of patients from one facility to another smoother.

 

On the larger scale of healthcare enterprises overall, it is just as useful. Drug discovery, testing, and production all benefit from automation. AI-based design hypothesis and feedback analysis are among the new ways chemical compounds are optimized. It solves the problem of the growing costs for innovation in the healthcare field.

Brief Overview of the Three Main Benefits

No Wasted Time

Time is an extremely valuable resource. As we have mentioned, automating processes such as compliance maintenance, manual data entry, or payment processing allows you to reallocate the time of your personnel. There are always more pressing matters to attend to instead of searching the folders for some record. Online appointment booking saves time for patients as well.

Better Experience for Everyone

This goes hand in hand with the previous point. With a lot of extra tasks being eliminated from the workflow of medical workers the chance of burning out substantially falls. The convenience introduced by software makes going for check-ups, for example, less of a hassle for patients too.

Safety and Transparency

Transparency of the workflow processes decreases the chances of abuse. Centralized and consolidated records are safely stored in a database. Proactive analytics of the general health patterns of the patients allows staff to adjust their processes in case of outbreaks and epidemics. Also, it allows offering individuals at high-risk extra care in a timely manner.

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Healthcare Cybersecurity: Why Healthcare is Vulnerable 

Healthcare Cybersecurity: Why Healthcare is Vulnerable  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Why Healthcare is Targeted

There are a few reasons why the healthcare industry is a particularly appealing target for cyberattacks.

 

  • Outdated Operating Systems

Healthcare organizations use Microsoft software at a higher rate than other industries. This is the result of the majority of medical devices operating using Microsoft technology.

 

In addition, outdated Microsoft operating systems are still used in abundance, as it can be difficult to update the software on many of the medical devices.

 

However, it isn’t just about the software, many doctors are reluctant to adopt more advanced technology, according to The New Yorker. Employee hesitation is the biggest obstacle to implementing newer more secure technologies.

 

  • Employee Training

Phishing attacks have become more sophisticated making it difficult to recognize a phishing email. Employees should be trained regularly on healthcare cybersecurity however, security training in a healthcare environment often falls to the wayside due to the busy nature of the work.

 

Healthcare workers are generally moving at a fast-pace, checking their emails while on the go. This makes them more likely to click on a malicious link.

  • Valuable Data

The sensitive nature of the data that healthcare organizations hold on their patients makes them an appealing target.

 

Healthcare information is ten times more valuable on the dark web than financial information. Protected health information (PHI) can include anything from treatment information, Social Security numbers, contact information, address, etc.

 

With the vast amount of personal information held by healthcare entities, identity theft is a real possibility. 

Healthcare Cybersecurity: 3 Strategies to Protect Against Phishing Attacks

Organizations working in healthcare must implement cybersecurity practices to safeguard the PHI they are working with. Most healthcare organizations do not have sufficient measures in place. 

 

Healthcare cybersecurity should incorporate the following:

  • Cross-platform Solutions

Implement healthcare cybersecurity across multiple platforms such as email platforms, web browsers, and other software that connects to the network. Continually update infrastructure to ensure that all systems are running the most up-to-date software.

 

If there are any computers or medical devices that cannot be updated to newer software, they should be replaced. Although this can be an expensive undertaking, upgrading devices does not need to be done all at once.

 

  • Take Advantage of Teachable Moments

Using real incidents to highlight threats will resonate better than general training on cybersecurity. When an employee receives a suspicious email, it is important to teach them why the email is suspicious, and what to look for in the future.

 

Phishing emails can be difficult to recognize as hackers disguise themselves as a trusted user.

 

There are a few things to look for, such as checking the email address, looking for grammatical errors, or generic greetings. Seeing a real example of a malicious email will prompt employees to modify their behavior when opening emails.

 

  • Privacy as a Priority

Privacy of patient data is of the utmost importance. Healthcare organizations must implement email security tools that filter out harmful emails. In addition, PHI should only be emailed externally when it is encrypted.

 

Emails sent outside of an organization pass through a third-party server on their way to the intended recipient. Encrypting emails will mitigate the risk of data in transit being compromised.

 

Healthcare organizations, no matter the size, are continually targeted by cyberattacks.

 

The vast amounts of sensitive information compounded by outdated technology make healthcare organizations the perfect target for phishing attacks. As such, healthcare organizations must be vigilant in their efforts to bolster their cybersecurity.

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Benefits of Cerec Systems and Intraoral Cameras in Your Practice

Benefits of Cerec Systems and Intraoral Cameras in Your Practice | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Becoming an early adopter of dental health IT, such as CEREC (Chair-side Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) systems and intraoral cameras can help improve a dental practice.

 

Health IT systems have many benefits compared to conventional techniques and systems. Early adoption of CEREC systems and intraoral cameras can offset the costs associated with acquiring these technologies.

 

CEREC SYSTEMS

 

CEREC systems are a part of dental health IT that is utilized by dentists who mostly work with crowns and dental implants. The main benefit of using this chair-side software is that the software enhances a dentist’s ability to develop and place implants and crowns.

 

CEREC systems are used in collaboration with intraoral cameras and other hardware for 3D imaging to create implants and plan for surgery.

 

Another benefit of using dental health IT is that the patient participates in all the steps involved in the restorative procedure. CEREC software allows for the creation of 3D renders of the mouth where the patient can see how their dentition will be affected by the restorative procedure.

 

The participation of patients in the restorative process is a way of improving dental practice since the dentist and the patient can consider different treatment possibilities before settling on the best one.

 

Dentists with the ability to create implants and crowns onsite reduce the time the patients have to wait for their restorative procedures.

 

INTRAORAL CAMERAS

 

An intraoral camera is part of health IT hardware that allows the dentist and the patient to see the sites where decay is located and areas where restorative treatment is required.

 

One of the benefits of intraoral cameras is that they are simpler to use and understand compared to conventional X-ray images.

 

Intraoral cameras ensure that the dentist and patient see a clear and high-quality image that is unmatched by the conventional oral mirror. Health IT, including intraoral cameras, is beneficial to the education process in dentistry since students have access to clear images and can better grasp the concepts being taught.

 

In conclusion, there are three main benefits of health IT, including improving accuracy compared to conventional methods, improving dental practice efficiency, and improving predictability outcomes.

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Essential Questions For Dentists To Ask Before Investing In New Technology

Essential Questions For Dentists To Ask Before Investing In New Technology | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

The path to improving your dental practice presents multiple business and professional challenges.

 

You will be faced with big decisions on budgets, and confusing choices on the equipment to purchase.

 

You need to make the right decisions because today’s market leaves little margin for errors. Here are a few helpful tips for dentists to consider before investing in new technology:

 

1. WILL IT IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF PATIENT CARE?

 

Any investment that promises to benefit your patients is worth a closer look. Invest in technology that reduces the length of operations and makes procedures less painful.

 

However, before purchasing the technology, take time to investigate its benefits. Beware of exaggerated claims. It is also worth noting that technologies that improve one area but undermine another are not worth the time or the effort.

 

2. WILL IT INCREASE THE SPEED AND QUALITY OF OPERATIONS?

 

The new upgrades will be worthwhile if they either streamline the operations in the dental clinic without downgrading the quality of service or if they enable members of your staff to perform their duties better.

 

Be careful while looking at various technologies because manufacturers present their products in an attempt to sell. Scrutinize all the claims they make carefully and make sure the technology will have a positive impact on the dental practice.

 

3. WILL THERE BE A CONSIDERABLE ROI IN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME?

 

The question is not whether there will be a return of interest, but if the ROI will be significant and materialize in a short period.

 

The improvements of the technology shouldn’t be incidental or take years to occur.

 

The equipment you purchase should have an impact almost immediately.

 

4. WILL YOUR STAFF MASTER THE NEW TECHNOLOGY QUICKLY?

 

When calculating ROI, factor in if the new technology requires new skill sets and systems to run effectively.

 

Be careful not to choose a technology that will require staff training or new hires.

 

Consider these essential factors to ensure that the new technology is truly beneficial to your dental practice.

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High-Tech Dental Cameras Can Improve Your Practice

High-Tech Dental Cameras Can Improve Your Practice | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

As a dentist, it’s important to make sure that you have the latest dental cameras for your practice, which can improve your patients’ dental health. In fact, many dental cameras that are on the market today can be connected to the internet, which allows you to quickly send the images to dentists at other practices.

 

The images that you capture with these digital cameras can allow you to identify dental health problems more easily than you could otherwise, which could keep your patients’ dental issues from becoming more serious.

 

HOW HAVE DENTAL CAMERAS IMPROVED?

 

Not only can today’s dental cameras send images to the internet, but they have a higher resolution than dental cameras of the past.

 

This allows them to capture much sharper images, which can

make it easier to have an improving dental practice and improve the health of your patients.

 

As more dentists begin to use these cameras, it will become increasingly important to use them at your practice, which will help you keep up with the competition.

 

HOW ARE THE NEW DENTAL CAMERAS USED?

 

The latest dental cameras can be used to take photos of patients’ teeth and gums. Not only can the cameras be used to capture still images, but they can be used to take videos as well.

 

Videos can allow you to save footage of a patient’s entire mouth on one file, which can make it much easier to collaborate with other dentists to improve the health of patients who visit your practice.

 

THE PRICES OF HIGH-TECH DENTAL CAMERAS ARE DROPPING

 

High-tech dental cameras that were once quite expensive are now much more affordable than they were in the past, which is due to increased availability.

 

In fact, there are digital intraoral cameras that your practice could obtain for less than 300 dollars.

 

The sky is the limit when it comes to the dental cameras of the future

 

High-tech dental cameras of the future are likely to become far easier to use, more effective, and more reasonably priced.

 

This is likely to benefit both your practice and the dental health of your patients!

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3D Printing In Dentistry

3D Printing In Dentistry | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

At one point in time, the idea of replicating three-dimensional models of various objects by a machine would seem like science fiction.

 

Today, 3D printing technology has penetrated its way into the field of dentistry and is proving to be a force to be reckoned with.

 

Dental Practice Compliance has even endorsed its use

 

EXAMPLES OF 3D PRINTING IN DIFFERENT FIELDS OF DENTISTRY

 

• ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY

 

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is very complex and requires high precision. With 3D printing, a dentist can generate the patient’s information through imaging and scanning.

 

With that information, a dentist can create a digital 3D model of the affected area that has to be operated on.

 

The digital models will help a dentist to properly analyze the part that is going to be operated on before commencing the surgery. A 3D model can be printed to help the dentist create cutting drills that will be used for the surgery.

 

A surgical guide will also be developed from the 3D models to ensure neighboring muscles and bones are not damaged during the surgery on the affected area.

 

To ensure perfection, a dentist can practice the same surgery on the 3D models before going to the actual patient.

 

• PROSTHODONTICS

 

Artificial parts are required to replace missing parts of a person’s tooth, skull or jawbone, and they are normally referred to as prostheses.

 

They can be made from a wide range of materials like silicon and porcelain. The teeth of the patient’s parents are scanned with small cameras to create a 3D model of a jaw.

 

This 3D jaw is then used to create a flawless prosthesis for the teeth that were damaged or missing.

 

• ROOT CANAL

 

Root canal infections are usually examined with X-rays by a dentist, which only give them a one-sided view.

 

However, with 3D imaging and scanning, a dentist is able to look at the roots from a multi-directional perspective.

 

This gives them a better understanding of the problem and how to solve it. 3D-printed root canal guides assist in the removal of the pulp tissue that was damaged, thus providing accurate results.

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Leveraging Data Lakes

Leveraging Data Lakes | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

What is a Data Lake?

In the early days of modern computation, computers of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s would collect data from physical repositories (cards, keyboard input, and tapes) and deal with it in memory, meaning a virtual environment.

 

In the late 1970s, computers started to cluster data for processing within worksheet alike structures, the grandfather of DataBases.

 

DataBases were to follow and the logic behind it was for data to be input in a logical manner according to previous human classification, so although raw data (in the sense it hadn’t been previously treated) went into the Database tables, the decision of what would fit where and why was based on human criteria.

 

Databases are in fact a limited tool since they require specific contexts, meaning there is a Database for Accounting Data which must be a distinct entity than the Database for Logistics Data (although they may need to connect and have mutual referencing structures).

 

So, most of the Systems and Tools under operation today, still have their own Database structures that interconnect and exchange data towards creating added value information.

 

The Database evolved to larger clusters of alike data, which are the Data Warehouses and, although the process may somehow differ, Data is grouped in the same manner while pertaining to a given common context.

 

With the event of BigData (for Data tends to grow, exponentially), plus nowadays innovation in data handling/ processing tools, we have reached a stage where large flows of several types of Data may be channeled into extremely large data repositories (Data Lakes), in an ad-hoc manner which nevertheless allows correlation to be established under pre-defined “schema” wherefrom to extract meaningful information.

 

The main leverage of Data Lakes pertains the following characteristics:

  • While Data Warehouses store structured already processed Data, Data Lakes also store semi or unstructured as well as completely raw and (apparently) unrelated data. And, no … it’s not a waste of time and space since most times relationships are only found after processing.
  • Data Warehouses architecture implies expensive large data volumes whereas Data Lakes are specifically designed for low-cost
  • Data Warehouses obey by a pre-defined structure in which data is stored (pre-defined data classes and families), while Data Lakes have great flexibility towards dynamic structural configuration. And that is more the manner in which humans apprehend information and think.
  • Data which goes into Data Warehouses is mature (it has a clearly defined context), yet Data Lakes store Data that is still maturing (still finding its place in the overall context).
 
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Looking To Improve Your Practice? Try Using Cloud-Based Software

Looking To Improve Your Practice? Try Using Cloud-Based Software | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

To stay ahead of the competition, businesses need to keep up-to-date with the latest technology. Server-based software systems will make life easy for you and your staff.

 

However, these systems are dependent on other hardware and servers; which are based in the office.

 

Furthermore, they need constant upkeep and updating. That is why most industries are adopting cloud-based software. It is time for your dental practice to enjoy the benefits of cloud-based dental software.

 

ABOUT THE SOFTWARE

 

Cloud-based software, popularly referred to as ‘SaaS’, enables its user to access software applications which are on shared computing using the internet.

 

Thus, the business owner has access to their enterprise applications from any location at any time.

 

HOW CLOUD-BASED SOFTWARE WILL IMPROVE YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE

 

• BETTER ACCESSIBILITY

 

Using a server-based software means a dentist will have to be present at the workstation to access any files and data he or she may need.

 

On the other hand, with Cloud-based software, you can have access to any files you need at any time from anywhere. Convenient, right?

 

• BOOSTS CONFIDENTIALITY

 

In any medical practice, confidentiality is paramount. Cloud-based software helps protect records and patients’ information.

 

You no longer have to worry about manually backing up any files. The programs of the software are compliant with the set HIPAA rules. Besides, backups are automatically done at specific intervals in the day.

 

• EASY TO USE

 

The first thing to check before adopting new technology is the ease of use. Server-based software needs a server to operate. Servers take up much space, and their maintenance could be expensive.

 

Cloud-based dental software does not require the use of bulky equipment; hence it doesn’t take up space in your dental practice.

 

• ALLOWS FOR SCALE

 

With reliable and easy to use dental software, you get more free time, which you can use to find ways to grow your practice. Cloud-based software has numerous helpful features which enable you to reactivate past patients, acquire new ones, and retain existing ones. You can then focus on developing a robust marketing plan for your practice.

 

HOW TO EASE TRANSITION

 

Using Cloud-based dental software has more advantages than using server-based software. Its accessibility, flexibility and scalability remain unmatched.

 

Thus, if you are considering making the transition, consider seeking expert advice. They will recommend which equipment you need and how to optimize your investment.

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kamil.treboszka's curator insight, January 8, 1:56 PM
Uważam, że warto sprawdzić czy nie warto czasem skorzystać z oprogramowania cloud-based. 
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Smart Devices And 3D Printing Are Revolutionizing Dentistry

Smart Devices And 3D Printing Are Revolutionizing Dentistry | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Smart devices and 3D printing are likely to play an important role in improving dental practice, and they’re likely to become increasingly important in the future.

 

Not only do these technologies play a role when it comes to dental care that’s used in offices, but they’re also beginning to play an important role in at-home dental devices, such as electric toothbrushes.

 

SMART TECHNOLOGY IS REVOLUTIONIZING THE DENTAL FIELD

 

Digitized dental x-rays make it possible to create three-dimensional images of a patient’s teeth, which can improve the overall standard of dental care that’s offered at many dental practices.

 

Not only can digital dental x-rays provide an exceptional view of the patient’s teeth, but they can also allow dentists to examine the bone that’s underneath the teeth.

 

Furthermore, smart x-ray machines can quickly upload data to devices that allow dentists to create exceptionally precise caps, crowns, and other dental devices, including various forms of orthodontia.

 

3D PRINTING IS BEING USED TO MAKE TOOLS IN DENTISTRY

 

These devices are able to quickly turn a digital rendition of a crown or cap into a physical product, which can make these products much more affordable for patients.

 

In addition, 3D printers are being utilized to create dentures and orthodontic devices, which enables these products to be precisely fitted for a patient’s mouth. Not only that, but 3D printers make it possible for dental devices to be created more quickly.

 

3D PRINTERS CAN MAKE PRODUCTS OUT OF MULTIPLE KINDS OF MATERIAL

 

3D printers can be used to create products that are made out of composite resins and even metals that are commonly used in dentistry to create crowns, caps, and other dental products.

 

Furthermore, 3D printers can be used to create dental tools with an exceptional level of precision as well, and the precise nature of 3D printing allows dentists to create thinner veneers for patients.

 

ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY WILL ONLY FURTHER IN DENTISTRY

 

High-tech dental products, such as smart x-ray machines and 3D printing, will become available to dentists for lower prices and become far more sophisticated.

 

Some of the advances in smart dental equipment that will happen in the future could be beyond anything that could be anticipated today, which means that you will have an improving dental practice over time.

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How to Limit Cost of Data Breach

How to Limit Cost of Data Breach | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Ponemon Institute conducted their “Cost of a Data Breach Report” in conjunction with IBM Security, in which they surveyed more than 500 organizations. The report cited that the average cost of a data breach is $3.92 million.

 

With the cost of data breaches rising significantly, it is important to understand how to mitigate the costs. The report indicated that the most effective way to limit the cost of data breaches is to develop and test an incident response plan.

 

How Incident Response Teams Reduce Cost of Data Breaches

 

Of the organizations surveyed, the most cost saving factor was having an incident response team, reducing costs by $360,000. Organizations that had repeatedly tested their incident response plans further reduced costs by $320,000.

 

Organizations that had both an incident response team, and had tested their plan, spent $3.51 million on average responding to a breach.

 

As such, the following are steps that can be taken to reduce the cost of data breaches:

 

  • Develop and test your incident response team and plan

 

The ability to respond quickly to a data breach drastically reduces the cost and scope of the breach.

 

Organizations should develop an incident response plan that is specific to their organization. However, it is not enough to have a plan, it must be tested.

 

Testing the incident response plan will allow you to determine what works and what doesn’t. It will also make it clear what role each person should play, and what works for different scenarios. 

 

  • Implement technology that can quickly detect and contain a breach

 

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate incident response facilitates the quick detection of breaches.

 

Ponemon determined that automated security can reduce the cost of breaches by up to 50%. The report indicated that organizations with full automation spent $2.65 million on average whereas organizations without automation spent an average of $5.16.

 

  • Understand risks to optimize security

 

Understanding where your sensitive data is allows you to determine what protections should be in place to secure it. The “Cost of Data Breach Report,” cited that 51% of breaches occur from criminal or malicious attacks.  

 

  • Backup data 

 

The most costly aspect of a data breach is the result of downtime. Backing up data can reduce the cost of breaches significantly, especially with ransomware attacks.

 

Ransomware attacks occur when a hacker enters an organization’s network and steal or encrypts data, demanding a sum of money for the return of data. Healthcare organizations without data backup often pay ransom as not having access to patient data can be a matter of life or death. 

 

  • Utilize experts

 

When your incident response team cannot handle the breach, call an expert. Hiring a cybersecurity expert can help you to contain the attack and restore data more quickly, reducing downtime.

 

Developing an incident response plan and testing it, is the most effective way to reduce the cost of breaches.

 

Ponemon Institute’s “Cost of a Data Breach Report” determined that organizations that had a tested incident response plan saved an average of $1.23 million, or 35%. Healthcare organizations are targeted at a higher rate than any other industry, as such it is imperative that they implement a well-tested incident response plan.

 
 
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3 Things Your Practice Management Software Should Do

3 Things Your Practice Management Software Should Do | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

When shopping around for dental office software, there are a lot of factors to consider. You want to buy a dental software program with a wide range of options, cool features, and lots of benefits to ensure your practice runs smoothly and efficiently.

 

Here are a few ways your cloud-based dental software should impact your office every day.

 

STREAMLINE PROCESSES

 

Some of the important things include processing new patients, educating patients on treatment options, communicating with patients and so on.

 

A good piece of software should streamline these processes, making it easy for you and your staff to file them and avoid errors. The more your dental software can handle multiple tasks, the better, and the more your staff will be impressed.

 

So, make sure you purchase the right tool to streamline processes and keep your staff motivated.

 

EMPOWER OFFICE STAFF

 

The dental office software you implement should allow your staff to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.

 

Everyone should feel happy and confident in working with the software and also be satisfied with the accurate results they get.

 

If the system is slow, cumbersome and hard to learn, your staff will not want to use it to its full potential.

 

A good dental software program keeps your staff productive.

 

BUILD PATIENT RELATIONSHIPS

 

Many healthcare providers aim to build and improve patient relationships within their healthcare facilities. Having the right software in place to do this particular job is much easier and more profitable than solely doing it in person.

 

From smooth billing to frequent follow-up and easy scheduling, implementing new dental software into your practice can make a big difference. But if the software is buggy, slow, or causes errors, it can have a negative impact and destroy those precious relationships.

 

Make sure the software you choose helps build strong bonds with patients.

 

Cloud-based dental office software is an important purchase for every practice that wants to shine and stand out from the crowd.

Your healthcare facility can benefit from improved communication, efficiency, and productivity in real-time. 

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6 essential elements for great dental website design

6 essential elements for great dental website design | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

1. Easy navigation

Nearly all people (94 percent) believe easy navigation is the most important website feature, according to a survey conducted by Clutch. This makes sense because it’s frustrating to seek information on a website and not be able to find it.

 

Effective dental website navigation makes it easy for people to move between pages. A header at the top of the page containing information organized in a logical manner is a classic structure people recognize and understand.

 

2. Well-written content

When you think of dental website design, the content might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s crucial. The content on your website tells the story of your practice and what you have to offer.

 

Make content digestible by using headers to break up text and keeping sentences short. When possible, present information in list form, as this is easier to read than a large block of text.

 

Misspellings and grammatical errors will make your practice appear unprofessional, so have multiple pairs of eyes proofread all content. This is important because flawless content will make your practice appear professional and trustworthy.

 

3. Quality images

Nearly one-third of marketers (32 percent) cite visual images as the most important form of content for their business, according to Social Media Examiner. Therefore, your dental website needs quality images that complement the text.

Introduce patients to your team by including professional headshots with bios on your “About Us” page. Include photos of your office — i.e. waiting room, exam rooms, etc. — so they can picture themselves receiving treatment.

 

4. Short videos

Most businesses (87 percent) use video as a marketing tool, according to Wyzowl. This isn’t surprising, as 96 percent of people say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.

 

Incorporating video into your dental website design can add serious value. Engage patients by creating videos explaining the different services you offer, so they can quickly learn more about them and the benefits offered.

5. Clear calls-to-action (CTAs)

The ultimate goal of your dental website design should be to convert visitors into patients. Place prompts such as “Call Us” and “Request an Appointment” prominently on every page of your website, so it’s easy to get in touch.

 

Including a variety of calls-to-action (CTAs) is important because not everyone wants to reach out through the same medium. Some people prefer the phone, while others would rather connect through an online form or email. This covers all the bases, so you can please everyone.

 

6. Responsive design

According to Google, most users now access the search engine through a mobile device. Consequently, the company recommends using responsive web design for many reasons.

 

Google cites some of the benefits of responsive web design as making it easier for patients to share and link to your content and helping its algorithms accurately assign properties to the page. In fact, Google has been practicing mobile-first indexing  — i.e. primarily using the mobile version of the site for indexing and ranking — for all new websites since July 1, 2019.

 

Ultimately, patients will visit your site using a variety of devices. Since responsive web design adjusts to fit the content on a variety of devices and screen sizes, you’re able to provide a positive user experience to everyone.

 

Great dental website design encompasses a variety of features that make it both attractive and functional. This is the first impression many patients will get of your practice, so investing in a quality site will add tremendous value.

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