IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
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Cloud performance tests reveal the impact of location

Cloud performance tests reveal the impact of location | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

If a cloud-based EHR isn’t fast enough to meet the needs of hospitals and other medical facilities, quality of care will suffer, clinicians and support staff will become frustrated, and provider organizations operating on thin margins will have wasted valuable IT dollars on inadequate technology.

 

Several industry trends make it clear that providers are increasingly confident cloud-based EHRs can deliver data and applications at sufficient speeds because vendors have dramatically reduced latency. Epic Systems, the largest EHR vendor in the U.S., began offering cloud services in 2014 to medical groups and small hospitals. The company said in 2016 that it has seen a big shift among its customers toward cloud-based systems. One of those customers is University of California San Diego Health, which announced in August 2017 that it is migrating its Epic EHR to the cloud.

 

Cerner has also revealed that a number of healthcare systems are moving onto its hosted cloud environment. Inspira Health Network, a nonprofit healthcare organization that serves communities across New Jersey, and Bay State, an integrated health system in western Massachusetts health system, have both moved to Cerner’s cloud hosting model.

 

Another EHR vendor, Athenahealth, offers only cloud-based EHR services to its network of 56 hospitals and 106,000 providers that serves more than 100 million patients. Ellenville Regional Hospital in upstate New York, reports that running its EHR on a single network gives staff in all departments real-time access to patient records.

 

For health systems that will select their own cloud host, after considering the cost of strategic planning and security, the success of a migration ultimately rests on performance. Can EHR data, applications and services be delivered fast enough to support the needs of clinicians? Cloud performance is generally measured by average latency which represents the delay between the time when a client computer requests data and the cloud platform responds.

 

Tests have shown that distance between the cloud provider and the enterprise can have a significant impact on latency with delays of as much as 50 percent when the cloud is at a great distance.

 

Cedexis tested services and found distance was a leading indicator of performance

 

Monitoring company Cedexis performed tests throughout the United States that quantify this. Tests were performed on all of the major cloud platform vendors. The determining factor in latency performance was distance from the test client system to the servers at the cloud data center, with a deterioration of as much as 50 percent seen over longer distances within the same region.

 

For example, tests performed in the northwest region recorded latency was as low as 63 ms. when the cloud was near; a latency of 92 ms. was recorded on a cloud system at a greater distance from the test location. A test on cloud platforms in the northeast found 66 ms. latency on the low end and 78 ms. on the high end.

 

A number of vendors offer cloud performance tests that are free to be used during an evaluation process. One example is

 

CloudHarmony who offers a free service that will test performance for many of the leading vendors at a variety of their geographic locations. The test, at Cloud Harmony Speed Test will provide results for DNS query, downlink and latency.

Integration challenges


Migrating an EHR system to the cloud rarely is an all-or-nothing process. Rather, many healthcare IT managers are moving incrementally, evaluating the success of each application migration, learning from mistakes, and carefully preparing the next move based on need and experience. For example, some may decide to first migrate back-office or HR applications, and eventually, migrate clinical apps and billing data at a later date. Providers certainly can choose a one-shot migration to the cloud, but they run the risk of network and system disruptions, loss of productivity, and bandwidth limitations.

 

After cloud migration goals are set, computing models are chosen, and a migration plan established, healthcare providers can begin choosing a CSP (or more than one). For providers with concerns about potential latency issues, selecting a CSP with a hosted location close to the provider’s facilities makes sense. The provider’s IT staff and the CSP can then begin the cloud migration. This process involves addressing several integration challenges.

 

Perhaps the primary challenge is to prevent disruptions to systems or services during or as a result of the migration that would impact clinical care, staff productivity, or IT processes. Other challenges include protecting and backing up migrated data and connecting to and integrating disparate systems.

 

Integration may involve linking cloud-based apps and data with non-cloud apps in legacy systems. “An illustrative scenario could involve a multi-hospital operation which chooses to retain on-premises EHR for inpatient operations but wants to leverage public cloud services for geographically distributed outpatient clinics,” according to the Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC).

 

The CSCC argues that a successful cloud EHR migration depends on security and network connectivity.

 

“Whether you are ensuring insurance coverage for the public, developing the next generation of cancer drugs, or providing critical care/tier I trauma services, the new emphasis is being put on providing network availability, performance and security,” CSCC writes. “Although creating a highly available network might be expensive, those costs can be offset by the capabilities provided to the organization.”

 

The vast majority of healthcare providers today have moved or are moving applications, infrastructure, or development platforms to the cloud because they recognize the performance benefits and cost savings. For a cloud migration to pay off, providers must develop a realistic migration strategy and goals, choose the appropriate cloud computing and services models, find one or more CSPs whose services, support, and pricing match their needs and ensure that their networks have the bandwidth capacity to handle cloud-based workloads.

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8 Health IT Trends to Watch

8 Health IT Trends to Watch | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

“We’re in the middle of an incredible moment in the healthcare industry, where expectations and standards are shifting.”

 

That statement was part of the opening remarks from Cerner’s Senior Vice President of Population Health John Glaser at the 2017 Cerner Health Conference. His position was a strong one: The industry, he says, is shifting from reactive sick care to proactive health management, from fragmented niche care to a cross-continuum care system and from reward for volume to reward for quality, efficiency, and safety.

 

Today, we’re watching as the physician, long considered to be at the center of the healthcare universe, is moving aside in favor of the consumer.

 

These shifts aren’t happening in a vacuum: They’re touching in every area of the industry, and they are reshaping the way the business of healthcare is done. Here’s a look at some of the top trends that will push the industry forward in 2018.

 

Consumer-centered health care


We talked a lot about the rise of consumerism in health care over the last year, and that train is not going to slow down in 2018. Increasingly, we're seeing people wanting to have a more active role in managing their own health and care (this is particularly clear when we consider the rise of mobile health apps and wearables). They expect the same level of information, detail, and options that they have in other industries when it comes to making purchase decisions, and there is a rising call for data transparency and access.

 

While there have been some great strides toward empowering the individual with healthcare organizations working to improve the patient experience, we're still waiting for the healthcare industry to wholly adapt to the needs of the consumer.

 

At Cerner, we recognize this as a new era, where the consumer will, at last, join their own health care team. That's why, at this year's CHC, Cerner President Zane Burke announced that we’re making a free consumer-directed health record available within our clients’ enterprise portals, providing individuals more control over how their data is used and shared. Each patient will have his or her information compiled on their behalf and can direct the use of that information to create their own experience.

 

The era of the consumer is here – and it’s time for the healthcare industry to embrace that.

 

IoT


From controlling the thermostat on your phone to monitoring your health with technology, the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the way we work, live and interact with the world around us. IoT has been a popular phrase in health care for the past few years, but today, the conversation is shifting. The primary issue now is understanding how we can take the plethora of big data available from connected systems and tailor it to provide person-centric care.

 

Moving forward, we need to harness the potential of IoT to drive better efficiencies. From a data collection perspective, the advantages of connected medical devices are vast. When we can provide data bridges from disparate health care systems within a single organization, we’re making critical patient information more accessible to clinicians and care teams and ultimately impacting patient outcomes.

 

Through the use of IoT devices, we have the opportunity to deliver true virtual care for chronic condition management, virtual visits, and other care coordination activities to streamline and benefit the patient. Connected devices enable more real-time insights and health status for a person.

 

“IoT is tied to consumer enablement, which ranges from remote patient monitoring to mobile applications,” Hamilton says, “and it certainly includes the ever-increasing trend of telehealth, which isn’t going to go away.”

 

Artificial Intelligence


“Intelligence isn't a new idea,” Glaser said at CHC. Our cars tell us when the oil is low, and they’ve been doing that for years. But we’re about to take a significant leap in the intelligence of our devices. We’re already seeing this with products from companies like AWS, Azure, and Google.

 

We're in the early stages of seeing how artificial intelligence will play out in the healthcare industry. One example is in precision medicine, an approach for disease treatment and prevention that accounts for individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. This approach relies heavily on big data analytics, where machine learning algorithms and precision molecular tools make it possible to understand the mechanisms of disease and match up individual problems with personalized treatments. The implications for genomics and precision oncology are significant.

 

We’re also beginning to see AI algorithms affect and enhance medical imaging. These algorithms find patterns in images, identifying specific anatomical markers and scoping details that the human eye can’t – while simultaneously combing through a patient’s history, helping clinicians make efficient and quick diagnoses. The future of AI in health care won’t see clinicians being replaced by machines but rather empowered by them.

 

Big Data


“Data is the new oil,” Andreas Weigend, Amazon's former Chief Scientist, said recently. It’s a bold statement, but he has a point: Big data and cloud technology are changing how we interact with data, and previously untapped data sources are now attainable.

 

One of the greatest examples of big data’s implications for the healthcare industry is in predictive analytics, where data is used to identify behavior patterns in a patient or population and forecast outcomes. For example, when EHR data is organized into meaningful groups, such as social determinant factors, it can help predict hospital readmissions and can shed some insight on strategies to improve readmission rates.

 

This power to affect additional value and efficiencies within a hospital setting is no small thing. Perhaps most critically, these newfound big data insights are pushed to those that can make a difference: clinicians and care team members. Acute and ambulatory decision support, for example, can be enhanced by creating an empowered care team with a clear picture of the patient, thanks to increased access to patient data that's built directly into the existing daily workflows. And big data has exciting implications for precision medicine.

 

Whatever route organizations hoping to take with big data, it's clear that it will be a catalyst for change for the better good and health of society.

 

Data governance


As organizations begin to share data across departments and with other health systems, there can be a few questions: Who owns this data? Have the appropriate parties consented to its release? What are the rules, conditions, and terms of data sharing?

 

“Data governance is a huge thing that organizations are struggling with right now, even as they try to solve for it,” says Hamilton. In a recent survey, only 44 percent of hospital leaders said they had data governance capability across their entire organization, while 56 percent said they had inefficient governance standards.

 

What organizations really need is a governance strategy that everyone understands and can abide by, Hamilton says. In the future, we’ll see more and more healthcare organizations looking for help from external experts to create and refine their data governance protocol and practices.

 

Open platform development and API usage expansion


Open data access and increased interoperability are continuing to clear the road for development in health IT (HIT) – particularly when it comes to academic medical centers and rural health care systems. This trend will only continue to grow as open standards, like SMART Health IT and the HL7 FHIR standard, encourage a new level of collaboration and innovation.

 

As the FHIR standard matures, we’re going to see an explosion of new apps that can integrate with EHRs to help improve workflow efficiencies and achieve better outcomes. Application programming interfaces (APIs) offer direct programming access to the underlying health IT system and enable 'app' developers to create tools that can ingest EHR data and provide new services to consumers.

 

In a previous blog post, Cerner's Dr. David McCallie discussed how, through projects like SMART® on FHIR®, providers are becoming familiar with APIs that support customization of the EHR experience. However, API access is not limited to providers. A new class of APIs will give consumers the ability to access their health information on demand via apps of their choice. These APIs are emerging thanks to consumer demand, and they are also driven by major regulations coming into effect – particularly Meaningful Use Stage 3.

 

Consumer-directed access will place control of personal health information in the consumers' hands. APIs that allow the transfer of discrete data will help drive the advancement of interoperability by delivering more specific data where it makes sense within the workflow, in a way that positively impacts outcomes.

 

UX and health IT


On the coattails of the rise of consumerism in health care is a growing emphasis on integrating user-centered design into healthcare products and solutions. To optimize any solution, user experience (UX) must be engineered in at every step of the solution design process. This way, the experience for the HIT user – be they a clinician or a patient – should meet or exceed their expectations.

 

Cerner's Vice President of User Experience, Paul Weaver, discusses the integration of UX design thinking and health IT through the example of mobile health apps. "When you think about consumer apps today, there is a huge amount of competition to get people's attention," Weaver says. "If you search for a notes app on the Apple store, for example, there's probably a few hundred for you to choose from. So, if I'm an app developer, how do I design the app of choice?"

 

The answer, Weaver says, is by providing a quality user experience.

 

"In the health space, historically, this has been a little bit of a walled garden," he adds. "You go to a health provider, and they give you a link to the app they want you to use, and there's no choice in the matter." It's the responsibility of the UX team to think about that application in the context of all their other solutions available so that whatever they're designing sits alongside its contemporaries in an equal level of quality.

 

UX is about more than just creating user-friendly applications. It’s a state of mind – a perspective that favors taking a human-centered approach to creating solutions. "That's what we're starting to achieve here," Weaver says, "and we're on the cusp of it becoming real for our end users, which is fantastic. How there be anything more exciting than an application that actually helps your health?"

 

Payer-provider convergence


One of the most significant trends in today’s market is the blurring of roles between providers and payers. As the industry shifts toward value-based care, it should become increasingly easy for payers and providers to collaborate at the point of care. A person’s relevant medical history, including medications and treatment plan, should be available to both the healthcare provider and payer – that way the patient’s insurance benefits are included in the provider network and are in sync. Shared access to this data means that clinicians are empowered to provide the right care at the right time to the right patient.

 

That’s payer-provider convergence in theory – but the reality is that there are two dynamics happening in tandem.

 

“You've got providers trying to take on characteristics of a payer because they’re doing at-risk relationships, and you’re seeing the payers making a direct play into the provider market,” says Ryan Hamilton, Cerner’s Senior Vice President of Population Health. Recent moves, such as UnitedHealth’s Optum purchasing DaVita Medical Group and Amazon’s push into pharmaceutical distribution, suggest that the trend of payers and providers merging together will continue to rise.

 

Along the same lines, there’s a lot of interest right now around provider network management – and that focus is only expected to grow. “How you actually recruit, manage and maintain a high-quality network of providers is and will continue to be a huge focus for our client base,” Hamilton says.

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Doctors Software for Clinic Management  

Doctors Software for Clinic Management   | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Clinic business is extra complicated than ever, with Doctors Software for Clinic Management, you get easy solutions for each part of your routine work, from scheduling appointments to billing. We take care of your business by providing the perfect solution so you take care of your patients more efficiently. Doctors Software for Clinic Management was designed with the help of a medical doctor and clinic staff to make it a fit choice for your working environment. Our Doctor’s module is easy to use. Connection with Labs, Pharmacies and more, make your work easy and quick and it works the way you work.

 

Doctors Software for Clinic Management is an efficient and automatic way of dealing with health facility with options like Doctor’s appointments, administrative activities, patient’s treatment history, diagnostics information, and billing, etc. Doctor’s software for clinic management is good for a hospital with single/multiple locations. It was developed keeping in mind the small and medium-size polyclinics too, and the focus was especially on portability and ease of use. Doctors Software for Clinic Management covers most of the standard features often found in software made for clinics or hospitals.

 

Ease of use, manageability, multi-user functionality, the fast information retrieving in Doctors Software for Clinic Management are exemplary as compared to other such programs. Deciding to use Doctors Software program based on the cloud platform is very cost effective for the clinics. Doctors Sofware for Clinic Management is a good choice for the small as well as huge hospitals or clinic setup. It requires no much expenditure on equipment, hardware or trained IT staff. Those are the resources that a health facility, assisting an in-house IT setup to have to utilize, which are costly. This optimized Doctors Software for Clinic Management is updated, configured and maintained within the cloud through the skilled IT professionals. The users are, hence, free from the burden. It results in price saving and the staff pays attention to the main functions of the Clinic.

 

Easy to use, and Efficient

Doctors Software for Clinic Management gives rapid, simple and easy solutions for the Hospitals or Clinics to manage daily tasks. It allows for streamlining report generation, inventory management, patient management, employee’s attendance and other tasks. Doctors Software for Clinic Management smoothly integrates with your workflow. This cloud-based software program easily distinguishes scheduling for different physicians and a simple interface that consists of tabs for speedy switching across different features and functions. With these features, an easy to use patient portal, detailed reporting, and customizable workflow, Doctors Software for Clinic Management covers the various aspects of clinic management and administration.

Doctors Software for Clinic Management is very easy to use, and effective software program to control the management process of clinic or hospital. This Software Program is one of the best for individual Doctor Clinic or a hospital. In case you are looking for easy to apply and easy to keep software in your clinic or small health center, this software program is best for you. At a very affordable price, you not only get the software but also free training and support from our company.

A Product of EVision Techno Services

Doctors Software for Clinic Management is a Module of EVision’s Hospital Management System.

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Avoid Clinical Data Loss

Avoid Clinical Data Loss | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Have you checked your clinical data backups in the last four weeks? Do you have a signed document from your IT vendor agreeing to your patient confidentiality policy? Finally, as a business owner or manager, do you know what security policies and technologies are in place to protect your patients’ data?

 

If you’ve answered no to any of those questions, then you’re not alone and unfortunately, your business might be at risk.

 

43 percent of the health businesses audited by REND Tech Associates in 2013 believed they implemented adequate security measures in their businesses. However, our audit results told a different story.

 

One of the costliest technology risks to a healthy business is the failure to recover current patient data easily and promptly. The inability to do so can have severe medico-legal implications for health businesses and their patients. Such risk is always linked to the backup policy that businesses chose to implement.

 

To minimize the risk of not being able to recover your patients’ data when you need it most, I suggest contracting an eHealth engineer to design and tailor a backup plan unique to your business and available technology.

 

The second major source of data loss risk is the unauthorized access to clinical patient data by IT vendors. Whilst we can agree that not all IT vendors actively choose to access clinical patient data, there have been cases reported where practices and health businesses have faced legal actions due to their inability to provide signed confidentiality agreements from their IT vendors and staff.

 

If you don’t have a signed document from your eHealth engineer stating that they meet your patient data access policy then you need to obtain one now.

 

If you’d like a confidentiality agreement template then please feel free to call us and we’ll be able to send you a generic template.

 

The third security risk to health businesses is the unauthorized access of patient data, which we all commonly know as hacking. However, most health business owners or managers aren’t aware that half the hacking cases reported aren’t external hacks but internal ones.

 

An internal hack is when an unauthorized staff member or stakeholder within the business is able to access clinical or business data that they are not supposed to.

 

To remove the internal hack risk from your business you can implement a few simple steps. The first step is to ask the clinical staff not to share their passwords with other staff members. The second tip is to ensure that no one except the business owner, manager and IT vendor can access the server. The third tip is to audit your business IT platform every 12 months. It is important to have an external eHealth engineer audit your current IT platform and check the level of service that your IT provider is delivering.

 

Ongoing regular audits ensure that your business is protected from downtime due to technology failure, medico-legal complications due to unauthorized data access and most importantly, ensuring that you can always use your backups when needed.

 

If you enjoyed this article and would like more useful tips, then I’d encourage you to visit our website for more useful articles, tips, and recommendations.

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Tips to Make Your Clinic More Efficient

Tips to Make Your Clinic More Efficient | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Business process engineering or business workflow optimization are terms used to describe how an organization and its staff are able to achieve more by changing or improving the way they do things.

 

By ’achieving more‘ we mean either getting the same results from a previous process but by doing less or delivering better results by doing things in a new way.

 

Ultimately business process engineering makes the clinic more efficient AND more productive. We surveyed some of our existing customers (specifically for this blog) to find out areas that they had improved on in their business. The key areas were:

  • Reducing administration work
  • Simplifying the patient journey
  • Reducing staff error
  • Reducing the workload on management and the team in general
  • Promoting a better culture at work by making it less stressful

 

Now for the fun part, below are the top five workflow changes our clients implemented (by using technology) that made them and their staff more productive:

 

Systemise the business via an online portal: We touched on this last week and it’s no surprise that systemizing the business in a way that makes it easy for the staff to follow the processes helps both business efficiency and staff productivity. Our clients (specifically those in the management layer) have found more time to focus on more important tasks by directing the staff to visit the online portals for answers they may require in terms of completing a business task. Systemising all business processes and delivering them in an interactive method will certainly reduce the number of times you will hear “How do I do this?” and the number of times you will think “Why can’t they just do it?”.

 

Technology on the go (Cloud Computing): Are you one of those doctors/practice managers who travel or work from different locations? You see your patient, write your notes then drive (or fly) back to the office to enter the notes into your clinical system? Cloud computing allows doctors to access their clinical software from anywhere. This simply permits you to enter the patient data while you are still with the patient which in turn, cuts down your administration work dramatically.

 

Social media at work: Sure, some managers will say “No Way” to have a chat program at work but the reality is that all high-efficiency organizations are implementing work-specific chat programs to allow their staff to communicate quicker. Whilst Skype is an option, there are many other programs that permit staff to chat and share information with each other easily.

 

Let the website reduce inbound inquiries: This isn’t something new or revolutionary but we still work with businesses on changing their website from a business card to a new staff member. Here’s the tip, write a list of the 10 most common inbound inquiries your staff receive and then put the answers to those inquiries on the contact us page on your website. You’ll notice that the inbound calls you receive are now more relevant and direct. If you could use short videos to answer those questions then you have just saved yourself and your staff a lot of time, freeing them up to complete more important work.

 

Online timesheets: You’re probably thinking, huh? What do you mean by online timesheets? Well, those who work on a contract basis are generally required to submit a timesheet. It’s generally printing out a spreadsheet, filling in the hours, signing the form and popping it into the manager's pigeonhole. We believe it’s easier to complete the time sheet and submit it online. It saves the payroll staff and management a lot of time and processing work. General practice clinics (same as all health businesses) have adopted this technology to reduce user error, payroll issues and most importantly, reduce the time it takes to remind staff to complete their timesheets.

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How to build a strong business worthy password 

How to build a strong business worthy password  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

DO’s

- Use a passphrase instead of a password

o Using a sentence or phrase instead of just one word can be much easier for you and harder for others to guess e.g. allgoodcowsliketoeatgreengrass or if you want it shorter you can substitute it for, agcltegg

- Use abbreviations or purposely misspelled words

o Love to laugh > Luv2Laf

- Replace some letters with symbols or numbers eg. $ for S, 3 for E

o BEST BOSS > B3STB0$$

- Use punctuation! , -

- If you really have a bad memory maybe use:

o A list of password reminders instead of using the password itself e.g. your favorite place may help you remember tr0p1CALPAR1dice

o Passphrases as they can be much easier to remember rather than an acronym of some sort

o LastPass, KeePass, RoboForm, and password keep all passwords accessible and secure with one password

- a hard time figuring out a password? maybe the best option for you is:

o to use a random password generator! The generator will collect letters, numbers, and symbols for a completely randomized password, the catch with this one though is you may have to write this down somewhere for safe keeping as you may find it hard to remember. There are many free services online you can just search ‘password generator’

 

 

DON’Ts

- Consecutive numbers or letters e.g. abcde, qwerty, 1234,

- Including personal information such as a name or birth date

- Reuse the exact same password for everything

o Even the slightest change within the same password can count as a different password

- Use repeating characters e.g. aaaaa, ttt222, 666

- Make all the characters numbers, uppercase or lowercase letters

- Tell others what your password is

- Keep your password the same forever

- Use words found in the dictionary 

o These words can be much easier to guess and spell

 

Date posted: 2018-03-23 | posted by: ozdoc

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Almost all large employers plan to offer telehealth in 2018, but will employees use it?

Almost all large employers plan to offer telehealth in 2018, but will employees use it? | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Faced with another 5 percent increase in healthcare benefit costs, a growing number of large U.S. employers plan to focus more on how healthcare is delivered and paid for while still pursuing traditional methods of controlling expenses, such as cost-sharing and plan design changes, according to an annual survey by the National Business Group on Health.

 

As a result, more employees will have access to broader healthcare services including telemedicine, centers of excellence and onsite health centers during open enrollment while not experiencing major increases in their costs, the business group said.

 

The Large Employers’ 2018 Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey found virtually all employers (96 percent) will make telehealth services available in states where it is allowed next year. More than half (56 percent) plan to offer telehealth for behavioral health services, more than double the percentage this year. Telehealth utilization is on the rise, with nearly 20 percent of employers experiencing employee utilization rates of 8 percent or higher.

 

Employers are looking for ways to reduce healthcare costs while offering services and benefits their employees value, said Ralph C. Derrickson, CEO of Carena, a white-label telemedicine technology and services vendor.

 

“Carena has several health system partners who have established valuable partnerships with employers in their community by offering a competitive benefits package with virtual care,” Derrickson said health systems are increasingly partnering with vendors like Carena to offer competitive benefits packages that include virtual consults. 

 

Telemedicine can help lower costs associated with non-emergent emergency department utilization and reduce fragmentation by preserving and building on existing primary care relationships or establishing new ones, he added.

 

There are two prevailing factors that drive employers so widely into telehealth, said Roy Schoenberg, MD, CEO and co-founder of American Well, a white-label telemedicine technology and services company.

 

“The first are the return on investment numbers showing telehealth replacing higher-cost care settings, primarily urgent care and emergency rooms,” Schoenberg said. “These numbers are coming from payers but are applicable to self-insured employers just the same. Net cost savings around $200 per visit are quoted.”

The second reason is the growing appeal of telehealth as an employee perk, he said. At a time when health benefits are primarily cut, or their cost is shifted to the employee, adding modern and convenient healthcare benefits for employees can be a win for human resources leadership.

 

“There are many other factors that drive higher adoption, among them much better technologies, growing payer consensus, a regulatory requirement for reimbursement, and diversity of services that now go beyond urgent care, for example, behavioral health, child care, maternity, dermatology and more,” Schoenberg said. “But ROI and employee perk are the ones that move the needle the most.”

 

That said, while the Large Employers’ 2018 Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey found that 96 percent will make telehealth services available in states where it is allowed next year, employee utilization of telemedicine services today is only at 8 percent at only 20 percent of large employers. So what will it take to get many more employees to start turning to lower-cost, more efficient telehealth services?

 

“Telehealth is a behavioral change and as such has its own biology,” Schoenberg said. “It is inevitable that a good part of healthcare services will be rendered over technology, as we see in retail, finance, entertainment and everything else in our lives, but it will be a gradual process.”

 

Healthcare tends to be more sensitive to quality and trust concerns than, for example, the retail business. What that means is that adoption of the new ways of getting care potentially could be much faster when they come to patients under the traditional brands they trust today with in-person care. Schoenberg believes employer telehealth branded by providers will be the way to catch more employees.

 

“The growing trend of telehealth services that bring you – the employee, the consumer, the health plan member – not to a telehealth service but to Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger, New York Presbyterian, these will translate to a much easier adoption in the minds of Americans,” he said. “This trend is now happening and will become much more visible in the next 12 months.”

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Latest Technologies Improving Patient Outcomes

Latest Technologies Improving Patient Outcomes | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

The Affordable Care Act has encouraged hospitals and other medical facilities to invest heavily in new technology that will improve patient outcomes and increase the number of lives saved on an annual basis. The best solution to produce a cost-effective, yet high quality experience has been to create technology that will prove to be more efficient in the near future. Through closely watching chemical reactions and choosing laboratory air stirrers of the highest quality, the improvement of healthcare technology has been based solely on evidence of what works and what is desired among the medical community. Based upon this assessment, below are three types of upcoming technology that will affect healthcare in a positive manner.

 

Mobile Stroke Units

Mobile stroke units have been highly invested in to provide critical medical care before ever arriving at the hospital. Mobile telemedicine enables staff members to perform blood tests, CT scans, and TPA tests on injured victims. Mobile stroke units are expected to save thousands of lives and radically improve patient outcomes.

 

New and Improved CT Scanners

 

Old CT scanners will soon be replaced by a new model of CT scanner that can capture a faster and clearer photo in one shot. Prior to this technology, many patients were often turned away for having heart beats that were too quick to take the CT scan. As of now, this CT scan can capture a photo of the heart in one shot. As a result, more people can benefit from the CT scan and more people can get an accurate reading on their health.

 

Cancer-Seeing Glasses

A new form of high-tech glasses has been designed to be worn by surgeons during an operation. This technology has been shown as helpful in identifying cancer within patients. The glasses are able to detect cancer cells based upon the blue glow that appears to the trained eye of the surgeon. Cancerous cells and healthy cells are normally difficult to distinguish. These high powered glasses increase the magnification and can spot cancerous cells at even an early stage. These glasses, if used in every hospital, could reduce both the time and money that is necessary to treat cancer and significantly improve patient outcomes.

As healthcare costs account for around one fifth of the United State’s annual GDP, technological investments have been deemed the best way to cut costs while improving the overall quality of healthcare. Investment in technology is predicted to be significant for the future as patients will be getting better in a faster amount of time. Within the next few years, healthcare technology will expand as long as investment and efficiency continue to flourish.

 

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Healthcare Cloud Security And Data Protection 

Healthcare Cloud Security And Data Protection  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

a report from Gemalto indicated that it is no surprise that security breaches are frequently happening in the healthcare industry. Their Data Breach info-graphic shows out of the total data breaches 34% was reported in healthcare while 31% government files were breached, followed by 15% breaches taking place in technology firm records. What is the reason for the healthcare industry being the main target? The answer partially is money. A report from Security Week notes that hackers and thieves make $363 on an average per medical file. Here is why physician practices, medical providers and enterprises should use cloud based security to ensure safety of patient data.

 

1. Low Cost – Cloud based data storage offers more security and it is less expensive than trying to protect data in your office with motion activated cameras and armed security guards.

 

2. More Protection – Cloud based companies work in association with global web security firms to give multiple layer of protection to your data.

 

3. Greater Vigilance – Cloud based security offers immediate and continuous threat detection which works round the clock. This is not an option seen in most medical practices because they have to employ staff and resources to ensure 24/7 security.

While opting for cloud based security, vendors give healthcare providers the best security measures available in the industry without any initial investment. It is better used cloud based security resources while giving patient care to avoid data breach.

 

 
 
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The IT Benefits Of Cloud-Based EHR Systems

The IT Benefits Of Cloud-Based EHR Systems | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

With cloud-based EHR systems, practices benefit from economy of scale. Many providers use the same system to minimize or eliminate redundant costs.

 

When choosing an electronic health record (EHR) system, providers have the choice of hosting the software on their own network (client-server) or an EHR system where the software is hosted on a remote server accessed through the Internet (cloud-based). While both systems have advantages over paper records, cloud-based EHR systems offer significant benefits to small practices over the client-server model. Let’s examine some of the IT advantages cloud-based EHRs bring to the table.

REDUCED STARTUP COSTS

The cost of setting up a client-server EHR is a significant hurdle to a small practice.  The startup costs can range upward of $40,000 just for a single practice. With cloud-based EHR systems, practices benefit from economy of scale. Since many providers use the same system, redundant costs are minimized or eliminated.

LOWER INFRASTRUCTURE AND IT COSTS

Client-server EHRs require the practice to purchase or lease expensive hardware. Practices must hire IT staff or pay for the services of IT personnel to set up, test, maintain and upgrade the hardware and software.

With a cloud-based EHR, all of the costs of running the system are covered by the EHR vendor or hosting company. There are no hardware, network or maintenance costs to the practice over the typical equipment setup required to run a medical care business.

COST PREDICTABILITY

The costs of a client-server system can lead to unpredictable costs. If the server crashes or an upgrade goes wrong, the practice’s emergency fund takes a hit, or worse. Cloud-based EHR systems have consistent costs that allows the practice owner to feel confident in their financial projections. The practice simply pays a monthly or quarterly access fee, much like the fee for phone or Internet.

SIMPLER IMPLEMENTATION AND SCALABILITY

The process of setting up and testing a client-server EHR is more complex than cloud-based systems, and scaling up as your practice grows usually requires additional equipment or licensing costs. Under a cloud-based EHR the practice personnel access the system through a secure web site or client software installed on their computers. Gaining capacity is simply a matter of contacting the EHR vendor and adding more users.

BETTER PATIENT DATA SECURITY

If your practice currently relies on paper records for storing patient data, imagine what could happen if you had a fire, flood or other disaster. Insurance covers new equipment, but patient data is irreplaceable. While practices with client-server EHRs generally have off-site backups, the data is vulnerable during transport and the practice must pay extra for storage costs. Cloud-based EHR records are transferred using secure encryption and backed up in multiple locations automatically at no extra cost.

 

While it might make sense for a large medical institution with a network and IT staff already in place to adopt the client-server model, we believe new practices and small health care providers looking to move away from paper records or change EHR systems will receive the greatest benefit in going with a cloud-based solution.

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Structured Electronic Medical Records in Healthcare Sector Saves Lives and Reduces Costs

Structured Electronic Medical Records in Healthcare Sector Saves Lives and Reduces Costs | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Last decade witnessed tremendous proliferation in volume and variety of data, across various business domains. Nowadays, not just banking & finance, but every other industry generate and collect gazillion of data, on daily basis. This perhaps provides a very strong reason for businesses to adopt a data-driven and data-reliant approach, and Healthcare, Insurance and Life Science industry are not an exception. They have very well understood that deciphering data unlocks valuable insights, and thus culminating into well-informed decisions.

Global healthcare industry is experiencing a fundamental transformation; it is becoming more competitive in nature. Healthcare Providers, Physicians/Doctors, Consultants, Patient Account Manager, Electronic Medical Records Manager, Medical Records Coding Manager and all across the health care fraternity are working towards not just improving the quality of life and avoid the preventable ailments, but have also realized that they need to leverage the profit margins and reduce overheads – very fast.

Rise in data through various sources like data entry and scanning

Unprecedented rise in data has become a common phenomenon across healthcare industry. Medical facilities constantly generate and accumulate enormous records. Some of it is recorded by manual data entry or scanning of medical documents like clinical history of the patient, insurance claims, bills, prescriptions, etc. Moreover; newer sources of data like biometric sensor readings and other wearable devices have fueled the data-influx.

The data that is collected for years mostly ends up as files, stashed in manila folders, stored onto shelves, and, over a period of time getting locked in warehouses. Apparently, this information is often worthless, since it is outdated, irrelevant and even redundant records. Needless to say, instead of an opportunity, data adds to the already challenging scenario. That’s why most organizations take assistance of experienced data processing experts, since they have the professional competency to manage huge data-sets. Raw and incoherent data gets processed, indexed into standardized formats and converted into easily consumable formats like tables, charts, graphs, dashboards and much more for better data visualization.

How data indexing and data processing helps?

Fragmented and unstructured data results into a vague and hazy picture, making the medicos to end up wrong diagnosis. But this situation can be avoided.

Well-structured medical records, known as Structured EMR (Electronic Medical Records) make it easy for patient account managers, health information managers and many more to see a complete picture of the patient’s conditions. The legacy of benefits continues for insurance companies, actuarial analysts, claims departments and many more.

These structured electronic medical records enables easy access to patient’s past clinical history and treatments – conveniently, to develop a clear diagnosis of the medical condition, while controlling costs. They also are a valuable source of information which can be used for analysis and can be retrieved throughout the course of treatment like in emergency departments, inpatient records, therapies, and outpatient care. Moreover, processed claims data provides great insight about the public health and other research studies. With claims data, we can get answers for questions like:

  • Who received care based on the demographics of population?
  • What are the healthcare settings most people prefer to use?
  • Which are major categories and types of medical care delivered?

Now, with the overwhelming number of wearable smart sensors entering into the market, monitoring ones vitals in real-time has become a reality.

With wellness trackers like Fitbit, Sensogram and so on, monitoring vital signs and receiving valuable information for a healthy and effective workout, has become easy. The biosensor technology have a sophisticated data collection system, which reads, transmits, and stores the parameters like:

  • Blood pressure
  • Respiration rate
  • Heart rate
  • Hydration
  • EKG – electrocardiogram

Since, the device captures the above mentioned vitals, in disintegrated manner, correlating and predicting the any medical complications, becomes a daunting task. However, when this raw data is processed, accessing and analyzing the data becomes quick and less-complicated and thus create enhanced healthcare facilities and balance rising cost factors.

Availability of well-structured and non-fragmented real-time vital data can drastically cut down the development of chronic illness, such heart attacks or strokes. Medicos can take swift actions and formulate appropriate treatments to prevent these ailments even before they show up.

With world population going up and rising average life-expectancy, models of treatments are rapidly changing, and some decisions behind these changes are data driven. Actionable data leverages the medical facilities and quality of treatment, which is in accordance to physical and mental health of every individual.

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5 advantages of cloud computing and how they can benefit your practice

5 advantages of cloud computing and how they can benefit your practice | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

While the specialty may vary, practices of all sizes across Australia are turning to the cloud to run their business. With the launch of Clinic to Cloud (C2C) in early 2015, over 1200+ healthcare professionals, operating from hundreds of different practices are now computing with our cloud-based platform. With new clinicians joining C2C daily, benefits of the cloud services are now being widely recognized and accepted as the norm.

 

So if you’re looking to open a new practice for the first time or hoping to migrate your existing practice to the cloud, let’s look at 5 advantages of cloud computing and how your practice can benefit:

 1. Staying in touch

Cloud computing is storing and securely interacting with data over the internet, rather than your computer or local server. That puts connectivity and real-time data as the clearest advantage of working on the cloud. Yes, someone changed the WIFI password without telling you or the careless construction worker nearby didn’t check before drilling. However, one can argue that servers fail and files get lost. The internet is truly an essential resource, which is why it has become so readily accessible and available from multiple sources, smartphone, portable WIFI device, personal connection, net hubs at cafes, offices and even some commercial planes will essentially keep you connected.

 

What does this mean for the clinician? Not only that your data is stored in state of the art datacentres, as long as you are connected, but you can also run your practice.  Control you practice on-site, from home, hospital, on break at your favorite café or even on the flight to your next medical conference from a desktop or mobile device. Full connectivity anytime, anywhere – this is the cloud.

 

  1. Tools of the Trade

Smartphones, tablets, and ultrabooks are essential tools for any busy working professional. With top cloud services offering dedicated mobile apps, working on the go also means working with your indispensable devices. Like the stethoscope to the physician or the scalpel to the surgeon – The Clinic to Cloud App gives you the tools to stay conveniently connected with your practice whilst on the go. For time-poor clinicians, buying time during your super busy schedule comes from having your entire practice visible from your smartphone.

 

  1. That new software smell

Top cloud providers are regularly updating and improving their software. The moment updates are released, they are made available for the benefit of all customers. You would have noticed those design changes and new features on your social media account without you manually needing to install or upgrade anything. Simply log in and updates are there. Clinic to Cloud follows suit, we typically update every 3 to 4 weeks to better user outcomes and reduce practice costs. On release date, all our subscribers then benefit with the best part being at no extra cost. For the clinician - you are not wasting time having to update your practice software or pay for often expensive IT support to run updates. It’s cloud and it’s simple.

 

  1. Soft on the Wallet

Moving to the cloud can save you large capital expenditure, as you do not have to purchase expensive servers and other I.T hardware to host your data or run your software. Accessing your cloud application, in many cases, simply requires an internet capable device (smartphone, tablet, or computer) and an internet connection. Not to mention, local servers also have expensive on-going maintenance and repair costs and backup requirements as well. Clinic to Cloud does not require complex IT infrastructure and server equipment with messy cabling disrupting the feng shui of your practice. A modern desktop or laptop computer and you are on your way to the clouds.

 

  1. Security and Data

One of the concerns with Cloud is typically security and many are concerned about the safety of Cloud hosted software applications. Although we understand the feelings behind the concern, studies have shown that the cloud is safer than on-premise servers that are susceptible to virus and hardware failure and data loss daily. Cloud solutions can be compared to Airline travel; they remain the safest way to do business.  At Clinic to Cloud, we have taken additional security measures such as to Factor Authentication and high levels of encryption.

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Online Scheduling Software Is Revolutionizing the Wellness Industry

Online Scheduling Software Is Revolutionizing the Wellness Industry | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Appointment-Plus, the industry leader in online customer self-scheduling software, announced several major additions to its growing wellness and health screening client base. Major program providers such as Lifecare, Inc., which serves more than 4.5 million individuals, have quickly implemented Appointment-Plus web-based scheduling software to solve many of the thorny scheduling issues often associated with corporate wellness and health screening programs. Appointment-Plus seamlessly manages these large appointment volumes by allowing corporate employees and healthcare members to self-schedule via a secure Internet portal.

 

In addition to Lifecare, Appointment-Plus was also recently selected to be the online scheduling solution utilized by Self-Insured Schools of California (SISC), a health insurance group of over 300 school districts in the California education system. SISC will use Appointment-Plus software to allow thousands of school district employees and dependents to schedule health screenings across the State of California. With the integration of both the online self-scheduling software and the call center services offered by Appointment-Plus, SISC will maintain a comprehensive scheduling solution that meets all aspects of the employee and dependent scheduling process.

 

The appointment-plus software offers wellness providers the ability to customize the system to meet very specific scheduling needs, including the option to private label both the member scheduling view and the administrative view of the system. In addition, Appointment-Plus offers an enterprise solution if required for large projects. The enterprise solution allows wellness providers a web services toolkit to interface Appointment-Plus information with other systems.

 

Because Appointment-Plus operates on a software as a service (SaaS) model, wellness providers can implement the system with virtually no up-front or capital costs. In addition, because the member self-scheduling process eliminates much of the traditional manual scheduling process, using Appointment-Plus is a cost-saving measure for programs. Appointment-Plus accounts are scalable to allow scheduling across multiple client-companies and client-locations. With its robust reporting functionality, Appointment-Plus also effectively manages wellness project information needs.

 

“The flexibility and functionality of the Appointment-Plus system have been a key factor in its success for wellness providers,” said Jeff Fleming, Director of Business Development for Appointment-Plus, “Wellness providers, their clients, and their members really appreciate the simplicity of member self-scheduling and the corresponding business efficiency.”

 

Appointment-Plus is a technology firm that specializes in the development of web-based scheduling and appointment software for a wide variety of applications and industries. Appointment-Plus software clients include Fortune 500 companies such as Pepsi and Comcast, federal and local government, universities and schools, and small/medium sized businesses worldwide. In 2007, Microsoft Corp. selected Appointment-Plus software as its referral source for all appointment manager software clients.

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Making your clinic & staff more efficient

Making your clinic & staff more efficient | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Data collection on staff activity allows managers and leaders to determine how their team is spending their time and which activities take up the most of their working day. This post will help make your clinic and staff more efficient.

 

Data collection tools give you a clear picture of how your staff spends their time at work and how they can become more productive.

 

This is important in health businesses, as you are able to determine where your front desk and administration staff are spending their time.

 

I will use one of our clients as an example, they have two clinics and the managers found that there was always a workload on the weekend staff for scanning and administration. The staff that worked during the week were never able to complete the scanning, filing and other administrative tasks during their working day, resulting in a backlog of weekend staff.

 

By using the activity tracking software, they found out that the weekday staff was spending all of their time on the clinical software booking appointments and taking calls. This confirmed that the workload during the week was too much for the staff and allowed the client to justify hiring a new front desk staff member to complete the scanning and filing during the week.

 

You can use the data to:

  • Challenge your staff to spend an hour less a day on emails and use this hour to work on a project
  • Determine the average time staff spend on social media whilst they are in the office and raise alarms if, for example, a staff member has spent more than two hours on Facebook
  • Set yourself some goals, for example, spend less time on administration and more time using the clinical software.

 

A product that we use and is RescueTime. It is installed on all the devices in the workplace and it gives both staff and management a report of their efficiency, productivity, and areas of concern.

 

We use this software to determine processes in our workflow that need to improve and find out how productive we are compared to other staff members.

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Simple Tips to Ensure Clinical Data Security

Simple Tips to Ensure Clinical Data Security | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

While we are aware of the importance of the integrity and security of clinical data, recent onsite surveys conducted by REND Tech showed that more than half of the health businesses in Sydney did not implement strong security policies to protect clinical data.

There are a number of steps that will help you increase the security policies around your clinical data. Below are our top five tips:

 

  • To stop unauthorized internal data access, the server must be protected by an administrator password known only to the management team.
  • To ensure that no viruses or malware products are downloaded on your workstations, all computers must be protected with a business grade antivirus product (not the free version of AVG). We recommend NOD32.
  • Management and IT staff should be the only people allowed to access the server. This includes providing server access to pathology companies, Medicare Local staff and so on. If access is required you need to authorize it first and then notify your IT team.
  • To avoid network hacking, change your router password from the generic password to an administrator password. – If you have a Windows XP machine then you need to consider changing it. Recent studies showed that they are six times more likely to be hacked.
  • Never install software on your business computers that have not been approved and authorized by your IT team. Work computers must host clinical and business applications only.
  • If you access your clinical data remotely then you need to ensure that the remote access application you use is secure and password protected. Never share those details with anyone, including your colleagues.

 

By following the processes above, you should be confident in the security of your clinical data. It is highly recommended that you arrange for a security audit every six months to ensure that all the relevant security policies are in place. Take the opportunity to rate your level of data security.

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Cloud Backup Solutions - A Primer for Healthcare Organisations 

Cloud Backup Solutions - A Primer for Healthcare Organisations  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Some businesses rely on onsite backups, whether in the form of external hard drives or perhaps tape or storage media such as DVDs or DVD-RAM, all of which are subject to failure. Hard drives typically have a lifespan of three to five years and even high-grade disc-based media is easily damaged by careless handling or incorrect storage (near a magnetic source, for example).

Legislation and E-health Driving Change

With the introduction of electronic medical records and legislation on data privacy, businesses are legally obligated to secure their client's billing, medical and personally identifiable information (PII). Many companies have a disaster recovery plan that includes an offsite data backup solution. For convenience, this primarily takes place in the cloud, as the process of storing onsite backups in a fireproof safe or manually transporting backups to another location is widely considered obsolete.

Business Continuity?

Whether your business network is on-premise only, already in the cloud or a mix of the two (typically known as hybrid IT), business continuity is the aim and most organisations seek to include a solution that allows staff to continue working, even if the power or broadband service is down. When your business processes are in the cloud, restoring from backups is easy and business continuity is assured. Likely, your clients will not even know that there is a problem with your on-premise network as normal service is uninterrupted. Cloud service providers have several redundancy options in place so cloud services are rarely impacted by hardware failure.

Moving to the Cloud

If your business does not have an automated backup solution in place, it is certainly worth considering, as onsite hardware failure can jeopardise your business’s reputation, even if just a few hour’s data is lost. When a hard drive fails, specialist recovery is possible but is expensive and requires specialist knowledge and equipment. When data protection is the aim, an automated and real-time backup offsite is the only failsafe solution and use of the cloud ensures local disasters (whether hardware, fire or water damage, or extreme weather conditions) have no impact on your business data.

Cloud Provider Selection

All cloud providers are not created equal and like any other industry, service quality varies as does administration access. Ideally, your cloud service provider understands healthcare processes and the importance of immediate access to data in a clinical environment. Professionals in this area will offer a customised solution to fulfil all your backup and restoration requirements. This solution should include but is not limited to:

Onsite analysis of your existing broadband solution—Your broadband may well be adequate for general business use but when backup schedules are involved (even if daily backups are scheduled outside business hours, you cannot afford to miss a backup due to a broadband outage. Possible service provider recommendations could include an additional broadband connection, dedicated line or provision of a router that offers a 4G SIM redundancy option.

 

Backup method and process­—The way you backup can determine the success of the solution. The speed of the process is determined by the speed of the broadband connection.

Data Storage—Data must be stored in a location that complies with state laws. For example, selecting a provider with U.S. servers is not compliant.

Remote access—Can the backup be performed remotely if needed? Can the resulting backup be accessed and verified remotely?

Auditing—Once a backup is performed, it needs to be verified as good. Many companies have found that unchecked backups are corrupt, failing when they need them the most.

Exit Clauses—Every customer has a right to change service providers if they wish. Verify that your potential providers offer the facility to migrate your data to a new provider easily and that it is very clear who own the data involved.

 

Disaster Recovery Plan

Auditing and indeed backups themselves are a key part of any disaster recovery plan. To ensure business continuity and comply with governing regulations and industry standards, healthcare organisations are responsible for the storage, backup and security of their data.

Fortunately, cloud service providers are held to a higher standard than typical businesses and their infrastructure must incorporate redundancy options, security and backup processes that are very costly for smaller companies to implement.

In conclusion, from a cost perspective, it makes sense for healthcare organisations to use the cloud for backup, storage and security. In doing so, business owners can relax, secure in the knowledge that real-time automated backups of all data are carried out in a secure manner. All that is really needed to ensure business continuity in a cloud environment is remote access using an internet-enabled device. AND ensuring the internet is present is easily achieved by adding an on-premise router to the network, with redundant connections to a 4G mobile network. If you haven’t already, can your business afford not to automate data backups in the cloud?

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Benefits of telemedicine during pregnancy 

Benefits of telemedicine during pregnancy  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Pregnancy is an amazing experience for mothers, but it can come with a number of challenges. Beyond the sometimes debilitating symptoms of pregnancy, mothers who are expecting must see their doctors multiple times throughout the gestation period. This requirement can be difficult for women who need to see numerous specialists, have busy schedules and have limited means of transportation. Still, expectant mothers are encouraged to attend all pre-term doctor's appointments to receive expert care and necessary monitoring of their unborn children.

To ensure all mothers are receiving the care they need throughout their pregnancies, pre-natal healthcare providers are implementing telemedicine solutions into their current offerings. Read on for some of the benefits of introducing telemedicine to expectant mothers.

Frequent check-ups without the need to travel

The technology already available today for pre-natal care is amazing!  Coupling in telemedicine with the existing practices just makes the reach even farther. Healthcare providers trying to deliver access to care for expectant mothers who might not be able to travel to an urban facility for care, can now easily perform examinations on patients using live ultrasound technology. This opens up a whole new way of doing pre-natal check-ups, by streaming ultrasound images directly to the remote provider at the time of the check up.

Instead of traveling from doctor to gynecologist to specialist to share information in regard to their pregnancies, mothers can also utilize telemedicine to transfer data among many medical professionals. Women who are expecting already have to attend doctor's appointments once a month up until the 28-week mark, when they then have to see their physicians twice a week up until the birth of the baby. If a mother has to see more than one doctor, she may not have the time or resources to make it to every extra appointment.

Offer services where specialists are rare

A mother who is experiencing a high-risk pregnancy will have to see doctors more often than the average pregnant woman. Again, this need can be difficult for someone who has limited access to care, such as a patient living in a rural location, or means of transportation to drive to the city where the specialist provides assistance. When more hospitals offer telemedicine solutions, mothers who need special treatment from a cardiologist or other medical professional during a high-risk pregnancy will have better access to those resources. Remote video conferencing allows for emergency consultations that can save the life of the baby and the mother who's carrying, ultimately improving the quality of care your hospital provides.

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Top 10 Telemedicine Solutions by Hospital Site Implementations

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Protecting Your Personal Data Stored In The Cloud

Protecting Your Personal Data Stored In The Cloud | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

IT professionals, healthcare executives, and clinicians in hospitals, health systems and clinics around the world are expressing great interest in moving more of their organizations’ IT applications and services to the public cloud. The concept of having a more flexible, scalable, cost-effective means to provide information communications technologies for their business both today and well into the future is very appealing. However, in order to make such a move, these same organizations must be extremely confident that any cloud service provider they do business with maintains the highest possible standards for data privacy and security.

 

This week, Microsoft announced a major milestone. Microsoft is the first major cloud provider to adopt the world’s first international standard for cloud privacy. That standard is known as ISO/IEC 27018. It was  developed  by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to establish a uniform, international approach to protecting the privacy for personal data stored in the cloud.  That Microsoft meets the new ISO/IEC 20718 standard for Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online has been independently verified by the British Standards Institute (BSI). Similarly, Bureau Veritas has done the same for Microsoft Intune.

 

ISO 27018 assures enterprise customers that privacy will be protected in several distinct ways. Adherence to the standard means that enterprise customers are in control of their data according to the instructions that they provide Microsoft as their customer. It means that they will know what is happening with their data at all times. In addition, the standard provides a number of important security safeguards. It also affirms Microsoft’s longstanding commitment not to use enterprise customer data for advertising purposes. The standard also requires that law enforcement requests for disclosure of personally identifiable data must be disclosed to an enterprise customer unless this disclosure is prohibited by law. Microsoft has already adhered to this approach (and more), and adoption of the new standard reinforces this commitment.

 

For health organizations, Microsoft has also been a model for meeting the information privacy requirements of HIPAA and for signing Business Associates Agreements with health customers who use the company’s public cloud resources. All of this should give healthcare customers who entrust Microsoft with their data the highest levels of confidence.

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Philippe Thuaud's curator insight, July 12, 2016 10:20 PM
A new ISO/IEC 27018 standard for cloud privacy. Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM meets the requirement and has adopted this new standard
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9 Ways Digital Marketing Affects The Outcome Of Healthcare Campaigns

9 Ways Digital Marketing Affects The Outcome Of Healthcare Campaigns | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

While digital marketing has become a mainstay in many different industries, healthcare has been hesitant to adopt digital strategies. But now that more and more medical professionals are seeing the advantages of digital healthcare marketing, many see that it’s high time to embrace a more digital direction.

 

To show healthcare marketers the value of diving into digital marketing,HealthworksCollective.com treated them to these nine key reasons.

 

1. Reduces Cost per Patient Acquisition (CPA)


Did you know that digital outreach can slash overall costs by as much as 50%, down to $149 per patient? Compare this to the cost of TV media, which averages $348 per patient. In addition, digital marketing consistently reduces total marketing spend and increases ROI in practically every industry.

 

2. Targets Patients with Certain Conditions


Digital marketing lets physicians target patients in a variety of ways, including by their condition, gender, age, and zip code. And BIA Kelsey research shows that 97% of consumers use the Internet for local shopping. By optimizing search terms in real time, physicians can yield better results and ROI.

 

3. It’s Modern Medicine


According to McKinsey research, 75% of people want to use digital healthcare services. With patients spending more time online and using mobile resources on a daily basis, digital is the modern way for physicians to practice medicine.

 

4. Brings Better Decisions with Better Data


While traditional marketing methods tend to be hard to track, digital strategies are rather easy to monitor and measure, thanks to a wealth of data-driven technologies. This data allows physicians to make more effective and efficient marketing decisions.

 

5. Helps Brands Stand Out in Search Engines


Marketing Land reports that around 20% of Google searches are health related and more than 70% of these searches result in a first-page click. But ensuring that your brand appears on the first page demands savvy SEO strategies and well-placed paid advertising campaigns targeted to your audience.

 

6. Allows for Personalized Marketing Messages


Digital marketing allows for personally targeting people, rather than sending a general message to the mass media audience. This lets physicians target prospective patients with just the right message, in the right context, at the right time.

 

7. Improves Patient Retention


Having a digital presence makes it faster and easier for patients to locate and reach a physician’s website, digital patient portals, and important information. Patients appreciate this convenience when taking control of their healthcare. In addition, patients also value a physician’s social media presence. In fact, PwC research showed that 41% of patients said that social media engagement will determine their choice of physician and medical treatment facility.

 

8. Increases Patient Referrals


More and more physicians are finding that digital marketing strategies help increase their number of prospective patients, as well as lower the cost of connecting and engaging with them. Plus, digital options make it easy for patients to access and engage physicians, which increases their satisfaction and frequency of referral.

 

9. Enhances the Patient Experience

 

Along with easing and expediting patient access, digital marketing improves the patient experience at every step and stage of their journey. Digital tracking systems make it simple to send regular appointment reminders, as well as respond to patient needs with relevant blog articles, and enhance their overall experience with patient satisfaction surveys.

 

By using digital healthcare marketing strategies, physicians can treat both their patients and their practice to a superior level of care.

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Mobile Clinic delivers pediatric care to medical provider shortage areas with telemedicine

Mobile Clinic delivers pediatric care to medical provider shortage areas with telemedicine | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Telemedicine Technology gives providers flexibility and mobility when delivering care, which creates new opportunities to reach neighborhoods and patients that may otherwise lack sufficient access to adequate healthcare.

 

Some communities in the U.S.struggle with food security and other basic necessities, which makes prioritizing healthcare difficult for public officials. Likewise, there may simply not be proper infrastructure or facilities available to deliver high-quality treatment in extremely impoverished or remote areas of the country. Other factors, like natural disasters, for example, could complicate or inhibit treatment. 

 

In Miami-Dade County, The University of Miami Pediatric Mobile Clinic relies on AMD's telemedicine technology to help them greatly improve access to treatment in areas that need it most.

Here are just a few of the challenges that the University of Miami set out to solve:

 

  • Provide primary care services to over 3,000 uninsured pediatric patients each year
  • Increase patient compliance rate for follow-up appointments, care plans and healthy lifestyles
  • Address additional medical needs beyond primary care services including education and support.

The UMPMC was indeed able to bring treatment to individuals and families that otherwise were not getting adequate healthcare. Here are just a few of the results:

 

  • Provided 2,000 clinical encounters and 3,000 immunizations administered
  • Removed the barriers for follow-up appointments,
  • Offered quick on-the-spot access to remote specialists

By bringing patients in contact with specialists and other clinical professionals, the UMPMC achieved a 90 percent patient compliance rate in follow-up appointments, up from just 30 percent prior to this initiative.

 

Humble origins


In 1992, the University of Miami had a unique and powerful response to the immense challenge of reaching individuals and families that had been displaced by Hurricane Andrew. In response, the Pediatric Mobile Clinic was born. Ever since, the UMPMC has been able to offer immunizations and physicals as well as urgent care or mental health support to the uninsured and disenfranchised.

 

The idea of a mobile health center was no unique to the University of Miami. In the late 1980's, Dr. Irwin Redlener and singer/songwriter Paul Simon founded the New York Children's Health Project, an effort to treat the homeless and needy. Through a donation from Simon, a mobile medical unit was used to provide pediatric care to those who otherwise could not access adequate healthcare.

 

The perfect partnership


With the help of AMD's Portable TeleClinic, UMPMC is able to treat nearly 3,000 children each year. The telemedicine system allows the mobile clinic's healthcare staff to consult with necessary physicians and medical specialists. The mobile care center a converted bus that has the clinical capacity of a traditional doctor's office can be brought directly to neighborhoods or communities where care is needed most. Anything from primary care services and chronic disease management to dermatology and cardiac care is provided through the UMPMC.

 

Pediatrician Lisa Gwynn, the director of the Pediatric Mobile Clinic and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, highlights why this program is so valuable.

 

"Our uninsured patients were faced with too many barriers to get to their specialist appointments because it meant they needed to travel long distances and would incur additional costs, so most of them were simply not showing up," she said. "By bringing the remote specialists to our mobile unit via AMD's telemedicine technology, we brought our compliance rate up significantly from 30 to 90 percent, and more importantly our patients are benefiting from all-inclusive care."

 

The UMPMC is using the Portable TeleClinic system as a fully functional exam station By leveraging specialty medical devices, real-time data aggregation software and video conferencing not only can doctors reach new patients, but they are provided with the resources to improve outcomes. In the year 2014, the UMPMC completed 2,000 clinical encounters, which included nearly 200 mental health visits and administered 3,000 immunizations.

For the staff working in the mobile clinic, these telemedicine tools make it possible to work with medical professionals throughout the University of Miami and beyond. Consultation or a second opinion can be accessed with video conferencing. Likewise, examination cameras, electronic stethoscopes and a 12-lead ECG are integrated in a way that allows for sharing patient data and live medical video, all in real-time.

 

"Working with such an established telemedicine partner such as AMD Global Telemedicine, and leveraging their technology has allowed us to have many of the same cutting-edge services as a traditional hospital or medical practice. Through telemedicine, the UMPMC staff can easily and effectively communicate with colleagues and peers as needed," said Dr. Gwynn.

 

Essential services


The UMPMC offers care to uninsured patients, and according to Dr. Gwynn, many of these individuals have never been examined by a doctor. For that reason, not only are general check-ups essential, but access to specialty care is also a critical component of their telemedicine program.

 

Leveraging AMD's Portable TeleClinic and the integrated telemedicine technology has helped UMPMC extend beyond the reach of primary care to 15 specialty services offered today, including: dermatology, cardiology, endocrinology, nutrition, hematology. school physicals, management of chronic/acute illnesses, prescriptions, and many more.

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