IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
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IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
News, Information and Updates on Hardware and IT Tools to help improve your Medical practice
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What is involved in telemedicine and how much does it cost? 

What is involved in telemedicine and how much does it cost?  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Now that the use of telemedicine is surging to an all-time high, organizations can easily get lost in implementing the technology just to stay on top of the latest and greatest, but it is easy to get lost in the vast amount of telemedicine technology and equipment options available.

If you are researching your telemedicine options, applying for a grant or just need to put your budget plans together, here are six key elements and associated costs for you to consider.

1. Medical Devices for Specialties

The specific medical devices you need may vary depending on the specialties you plan to serve with telemedicine. The good news is you don't need to have all the answers right away because many equipment providers have scalable and modular telemedicine systems. This means you can purchase just what you need to get started and then add additional devices later on as your program expands into additional specialties. 

The cost of medical devices for basic primary care services can range from $5,000-$10,000, and this would include devices such as an examination camera, ENT scope and digital stethoscope.

2. Communication Platform and Video Conferencing Needs

How you plan to manage the patient-to-remote encounter is also a key component to consider for clinical telemedicine applications. Since you are communicating a patient's critical diagnostic data, the optimal choice is to do it securely and in real time. After all, the beauty of telemedicine is the functionality to have a live interaction between a patient and a remote specialist.

 

AMD Telemedicine recommends using a Web-based encounter management portal to communicate and aggregate medical device data and share it live with the remote physician. This is truly the best way to offer telemedicine services that are as close to an in-person visit as possible. For video conferencing, it is best to first evaluate any video conferencing investments your organization might have already made to see if these can be leveraged for your current application. Many times they integrate seamlessly with encounter management platforms.

Depending on your video conferencing needs, you can complement a Web-based telemedicine portal with either software- or hardware-based video conferencing. To go the software-based route can cost as little as $1,500 per patient site with no cost for the remote provider. The cost for hardware-based video conferencing can start around $10,000 per patient site and increases with the number of remote provider sites you need.

3. Packaging Design and Mobility

Telemedicine carts, cases, wall mounts and other equipment are all just various ways to package the telemedicine hardware and software. Although there is a difference in how aesthetically pleasing they are (or are not), the main thing to keep in mind is whether this packaging will fulfill your intended use, not just now but also in the near future.

Ideally, you want a telemedicine cart or case that is modular and can be easily configured for additional medical specialties so it can evolve with your program. For some applications, such as school-based health centers or long-term care facilities, it is helpful to select a telemedicine system that is an all-in-one package. This helps streamline the purchasing, maintenance, and support for those that don't have a dedicated IT team for their telemedicine programs. All-in-one telemedicine systems that include the telemedicine software, primary care medical devices and the mobile cart/case can range from $20,000 to upward of $28,000.

4. Bandwidth and Internet Connection Recommendations

You may be pleased to know that you don't need to invest in a significant infrastructure overhaul to make telemedicine a reality for your clinic. Of course, your specific needs will vary depending on factors such as location and size or your organization, but the most important consideration is not how much bandwidth you need, but rather how reliable and consistent your bandwidth is.

The most common Internet connections are shared with others, which can cause the upload and download speeds to lag and be interrupted at busy times. So finding a reputable Internet service provider with a commitment to reliable service is the first step. If possible, purchase a business-grade service so you experience a more consistent bandwidth capability to ensure your real-time data is not interrupted or compromised in any way.

5. Training

You already staff your organization or practice with top-notch doctors and nurses, so the next step is to provide these healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to best make use of your new telemedicine technology in daily operations.

Fortunately, clinical telemedicine equipment training isn't a complicated need to meet, especially if your staff has any familiarity with basic medical devices and modern communication technology. There are two types of training programs to ensure the long-term success of clinical telemedicine programs: user training for clinicians and nurses, and technical training and installation for the IT staff. Training programs like these can range from $200 to $2,000 per site depending on the complexity of equipment, a number of users and other factors. Additionally, the American Telemedicine Association is a fantastic resource for training and education.

6. Support

Finally, the increased reliance on network connectivity and Internet technology at your office means that you'll need to ensure that you have adequate IT staff support. This is likely more of a concern for smaller practices that may not have an in-house IT department. It's a good idea to talk to your telemedicine vendor to determine if it provides installation services, as well as what technical support options are available if you don't have an IT staff of your own.

Navigating the waters of telemedicine can be much easier with the help of industry experts working alongside you and your clinic's employees.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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How to Create A Medical Practice Business Strategy

How to Create A Medical Practice Business Strategy | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

When doctors begin a practice, a great first step is to create a medical practice business strategy.

 

A Medical Practice Business Strategy is a formal process. It helps to identify your mission, values, goals, projects, timing, barriers, opportunities, and strategies.

 

A well-structured strategic business planning process can help your practice in both the short and the long term. Having a clear strategic plan for your business means providing clear direction for your team. It also helps prevent wasted activities that may actually work against each other.

 

It also offers an opportunity for medical practice owners, medical practice team members to collaborate in choosing the future direction of the practice.

 

The 5 Key Parts of Medical Practice Business Strategy

To begin the process of starting a medical practice business plan, set aside several hours as a team, and break the medical practice business strategy into 5 key areas:

1) Medical Practice Mission Statement

Your mission statement is the overall purpose and driver for all behavior. It should be clear, concise and motivating for all team members. Ideally, it should reflect the practice’s direction for the next 5-10 years.

2) Medical Practice Values Statement

Values are a little more intangible at times, but still very important. Consider what’s important to your medical practice, and how you deliver care. They way you interact with patients and each other are all going to reflect the values you espouse.

3) SWOT Analysis

Take the time to think through the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that are specific to your practice in your location. Given your practice mission and values, in what areas do you excel? Where are you weaker? Based on this, what opportunities and threats to do you see to your practice in the next 5-10 years?

 4) Medical Practice Goals

What are the practice’s specific goals? Financial goals are important, but also think about things like staffing, marketing, IT needs, operations, etc? If this is a new practice, this is the time to think in terms of creating an ideal practice. If this is an established solo or group practice, then perhaps it is a revision of what has been set in the past.

5) Medical Practice Projects

Within each goal will likely be several projects that need to be completed. Of course, any new projects come with a price tag. As these projects will likely be in addition to the day to day operations, have you estimated the time cost of each project? Do your team members have the skills and ability to accomplish the projects on your list?


Should you do it yourself, or hire a professional?

In any medical practice, there are likely to be differences of opinion, and someone outside the organization with no personal stake in the outcome can often help to be a guide for the discussion. An experienced external facilitator or medical practice consultant can also bring to the table lessons learned from other medical practice business strategy planning sessions.

It is very easy to skip this process when starting a medical practice. However without a medical practice business strategy, you also are likely to miss opportunities and make some expensive mistakes as you grow your practice.

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

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

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5 Ways To Increase Medical Practice Revenue in 2017

5 Ways To Increase Medical Practice Revenue in 2017 | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

 

   With 2017 approaching, many doctors have a goal to increase medical practice revenue.

For most doctors, staying profitable is be a constant challenge. Many just ignore their bottom line and hope that things work out. Others are very determined to find ways to increase medical practice revenue.

For doctors looking for a profitable start to 2017, here are 5 ways to increase medical practice revenue.

 

1) Streamline patient collections

Patient collections are often the last way that physicians want to try to increase medical practice revenue. But of course, they have a direct impact on your profitability. Remember it doesn’t matter how much make, it matters how much you keep!

If a physician finds they have uncollected bills or are spending too much time and money pursuing overdue payments, this is a good sign they need a practice collections overhaul. Some simple steps to create a better focus and system can be all that is needed to grow the bottom line, and keep more money in the practice accounts.

 

2) Outsource your medical billing

The idea of outsourcing billing can seem like an expensive ordeal, but if done correctly it can actually end up being a profitable decision. Many doctors find they save themselves and their staff both costs and the headaches of processing insurance claims in-house.

If you’re opening a new practice or have complex billing issues, you may consider amedical billing clearinghouse to take care of the medical code checking and bill scrubbing. Choosing the right clearinghouse can take time, so here are 10 important questions to help guide the right decision.

 

3) Monetize checkup calls

Many healthcare providers are spending more time on checkup calls or emails with patients. While this is a nice service for the patient, for the doctor, this is an un-documented and un-billable process.

A great option to consider is replacing some of these patient follow up phone calls with online telemedicine video visits that you’ll get paid for. Most patients will happily pay between $35 – $75 for the chance to meet with their doctor from home. This can be a great revenue earner if you are keeping the majority of this money in your practice, rather than funneling it through insurance payers.

 

4) Improve your online presence

It’s a fact that today over 70% of patients search online doctor reviews before selecting a new doctor. That means if you don’t have a working practice website or any online reviews, you’re missing out on those new patients.

Working on your medical practice website may feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Start small by setting up a profiles on Yelp, Health-grades, Vitals, etc. Then ask your happy patients to take a few minutes to review you.

Once you have this done, the next step is to improve your SEO ranking. This is done through accurate targeting for both keywords and location search.

Taking an interest in your online presence and marketing can be a relatively low-cost, effective way to increase medical practice revenue over the long term.

 

5) Include concierge medicine

Currently 20% of physicians are either already practising or considering a transition to concierge medicine. This means that their patients forgo insurance billing, and pay a retainer fee for the chance to visit their practice.

Concierge medicine can often work better for certain patient populations and specialities. Many doctors have found that adding a small concierge offering to their patients can be a great way to increase medical practice revenue.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:

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

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What Software Is Needed In A Medical Office

What Software Is Needed In A Medical Office | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Many medical and clinical offices are progressing to computer-based organizational systems for their offices. Filing, billing, and prescription services are all online now in a majority of practices, subsequently making offices run more efficiently and reducing stress for patients.

If you are preparing to open a new medical office or upgrade your older system to a computer-based one, here are six of the software programs and services you’ll want to look into.

 

Top 6 Medical Office Software Tools for Your Business


There are many different software programs and packages available to suit your needs, depending on your type of practice. Here are 6 ways to schedule patients faster and more efficiently:

 

1. Electronic Medical RecordsThere is a reason that it is difficult to find any medical office that still uses a paper filing system for patient records. Electronic Medical Records, or EMR software, makes all the information you need instantly available without the worry of a page or note getting lost.

 

2. Electronic Prescription software-Prescription software can be integrated with your EMR of choice to automatically submit prescription orders and save time filling medications

 

3. Medical Billing Software Medical billing software can also be integrated with your EMR software to create instant invoices for services rendered. Most billing software also includes the ability to file insurance information and accept credit and debit card payments.


4. HIPAA SecurityIt is always necessary that you have a good security suite to protect your clientele’s extremely sensitive personal information. For any medical office your security system must meet all HIPPA standards.

 

5. Accounting SoftwareAccounting software is designed to help you handle your inventory and general expense accounts without the need for professionally trained and educated accountants.

 

6. Recovery SoftwareIn the event that your computer comes down with a virus, or your computer’s hardware fails in any way, it is very important that you have a system in place to automatically back-up your data to an outside source and restore it when your computer issues are solved.


Keep in mind also that it is very important that you have a decent technical support plan in place also for all of your equipment and software to get you back up and running in case any issues with your programs should arise.

 

How to Reduce Stress in a Medical Office
You will need a scheduling program that automatically protects against common scheduling programs such as double-booking, understaffing, and patient no-shows.

Scheduling software can help you manage patient and staff schedules and send automatic reminders so your patients don’t miss their next appointment.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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Protecting Data and Minimising IT Risks for Your Medical Practice 

Protecting Data and Minimising IT Risks for Your Medical Practice  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

The digital age has revolutionised the medical and healthcare industry in many ways, with technology and innovation serving as defining factors of success. Information Technology (IT) has made the medical practice less stressful by streamlining systems using innovative hardware and software resulting in a positive shift in medical operations and management over time.

 

The IT systems used in a medical practice rely on a high level of knowledge and expertise when it comes to the design and development of hardware and software. To operate these systems, internal staff must undergo extensive training. Alternatively, systems management and support can be outsourced to a reliable specialist company to provide IT solutions exclusively designed to suit the needs of modern healthcare providers.

 

Medical IT service providers optimise medical processes, protect data and minimise IT risks by utilising cutting-edge hardware and software solutions. Another reason more hospitals are switching to outsourcing companies is that they reduce overall operating costs. Medical IT service providers also take care of multiple departments, which in turn allows hospitals and medical practitioners to focus on serving their patients first and foremost.

 

The investment in IT solutions for medical practice has surged over the years. More and more hospitals and healthcare providers are switching to an easier and practical IT solution that offers database integrity, network security, backup reliability and support. Ozdoc have been known to provide the highest quality outsourced information technology and systems management services to the healthcare industry, since their establishment in 1992.

 

Ozdoc provide quality IT solutions for medical practices, drawing on innovation and extensive expertise within the healthcare industry. Ozdoc are the most trusted medical IT support services provider due to their trusted network of highly trained IT technicians and support professionals. They keep hardware and software systems up to date, ensure backup procedures are in place and provide support and training to staff whenever they need it.

 

Ozdoc have transformed medical practices by introducing advanced systems design as well as exclusive innovations in IT for medical practices. With their decades of experience in delivering functional and technical IT solutions for medical practices, Ozdoc ensure the demands of health practitioners as well as the expectations of their patients are met. The professional staff at Ozdoc design, implement and support custom IT solutions that meet the unique needs of hospitals and individual healthcare providers.

 

Ozdoc build an IT infrastructure that provides healthcare providers with rapid access to patient-specific information as well as a robust e-connectivity infrastructure that integrates databases ensuring smooth monitoring and tracking of patient files.

 

From project planning to installation, setup and maintenance, Ozdoc work with healthcare providers every step of the way. They ensure full protection of data by continually monitoring the main server and critical infrastructure to make sure it functions efficiently. Ozdoc ensure there are no data breaches and that no cyber-criminal activity can infiltrate or disrupt operations. Ozdoc IT solutions add efficiency and remove stress with their cutting edge, exclusive IT for medical practice solutions. With Ozdoc's advanced technology, healthcare providers can maintain a healthy, growing patient base, providing each patient with quality care as well as a comprehensive range of services.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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Healthcare IT -- An Investment Choice For The Future

Healthcare IT -- An Investment Choice For The Future | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

The very first time I saw real innovation in healthcare IT was in 2003 in Chicago, when Linda Hall presented QuickMedix (later named MinuteClinic). What really impressed me was the simplicity of the premise, based on the easy “in and out” of 1 Hour Photo. If people could drop off their film and pick up the photos at a mall kiosk within an 1 hour, why couldn’t we do the same for diagnosing and treating common maladies such as strep throat, ear infections, viruses, high fevers and the flu? The technology wasn’t so simple, but it’s what made possible a walk-in kiosk staffed by a nurse practitioner who could see a patient, take a swab, send it via e- processing and get a read-out for a prescription within 15 to 20 minutes. That prescription could then be filled at the in store pharmacy, with the patient on their way in less in 30 or 45 minutes. I just knew this would be a success.

Linda explained what a convenience the service would be, particularly for women who often sacrifice an entire day at work getting to a doctor’s appointment with a sick child, driving to the pharmacy to get the prescription filled and finally returning home to tend to her child. This convenience kiosk, introduced at Target and CVS, could be a real breakthrough in healthcare IT and people’s lives. The company became a national success when it was recognized as a forerunner to urgent care in the US. Linda and her team successfully raised $30 million to market this service which was acquired by CVSin 2006 for $214 million.


Now, years later, one of the most robust investment categories for investors in start-up companies is healthcare technology, or healthcare IT. Much of this has been prompted by the Affordable Care Act of 2010. In that year, there were only 17 seed and Series A healthcare software and application companies that were funded. Even with this astonishingly low number, we began to see more development of healthcare IT atSpringboard Enterprises, where a raft of companies applied to the Springboardaccelerator program and three were accepted.


The numbers began to build from there; several dozen companies were screened by our expert life science advisors and 22 have since been accepted into the program. This isn’t to say that Springboard, the accelerator accepting companies founded or co-founded by women, vetted a majority of the pack out there. We are just one of many, but it was an indication that the demand for technology improvements in the market was there and the investors were buying in.


Just a few examples could illustrate the range and targets of these companies. Ubiqi Health, founded by Jacqueline Thong, developed a mobile program for tracking migraine headaches. It not only tracks migraines, but provides the user with tools to help determine what causes their onset and potential options for reducing their effect. One user named Shantel wrote on their site that, “I noticed from my Ubiqi tracker that certain foods triggered my migraines, then I changed my diet”.


The potential impact of managing migraines can be huge. For example, one study on kids with migraines revealed that kids with migraines are out of school 32 days to 3 months a year compared to an average of 3 to 13 days for other kids. Being able to manage the migraine and reduce days absent would have a profound impact on kids, teachers, administrators and healthcare providers. Ubiqi has moved into tracking other chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes.


ZappRX, presented in 2012 by one of our youngest entrepreneurs, Zoe Bary, is developing a mobile wallet for subscription orders. What fascinated me about Zoe’s presentation is that she taught herself to write the patent for ZappRX technology and her investment documents by researching both online. Her start-up costs were next to zilch, primarily because she took on the tasks herself. In addition she was extraordinarily confident.


And it’s a good thing that she is because what she is trying to do is take the pain out of getting prescriptions filled. So many people find glitches in the prescription fulfillment process, from connecting the doctor with the pharmacy, to providing the healthcare provider with accurate pharmacy records. ZappRX intends to make this process a pharmacy agnostic one. While that certainly would make sense for consumers, it isn’t an easy process to penetrate. The biggest pharmacy chains: Wal-MartTarget,Walgreens and CVS are more interested in keeping their customers in-house.

According to a report from CrunchBase, the number of funded companies tackling problems in healthcare rose from 17 in 2010 to 89 in 2013. That doesn’t really speak to the amount of capital invested across all 195 companies in the same period. According to a report from investment firm Rock Health, a total of $1.9 billion was invested in healthcare related-firms that raised at least $2 million in capital during this time.


Funding isn’t the only engine driving healthcare IT. The $10 million X Prize competition funded by Qualcomm and supervised by Dr. Daniel Kraft , a serial entrepreneur and faculty member at Singularity and Stanford University, is another route.  The challenge is to put “Healthcare in the Palm of Your Hand” by  enabling your vital medical signs to be transmitted on a mobile device connected to your doctor for up to the minute tracking. Imagine how that will bear fruit for early detection and treatment. This truly could be life saving


One Springboard company that raised funds is Tiatros, which presented at our class of 2012. Kimberlie Cerrone, founder and CEO, was trying to solve a problem of her own; it turned out that her son had been shipped overseas to the battle zone in Iraq. Kimberlie wanted to have all of his vital mental health and treatment information in one place in case it was needed for emergency life support in battle. She couldn’t find a simple solution to bringing all his vital information together in a combined and secure file where doctors would be able to view all other medical history at the same.


Kimberlie, who has multiple degrees in biochemistry, an MBA and a law degree, started out to find a solution. She began with her colleagues at the San Francisco Medical Center for Research. If she could figure out how to bring together patient research from various potentially unrelated fields, Tiatros could be a life saver for the troops facing traumatic brain injury in war zones.


Already proven successful in beta tests in San Francisco, she may have cracked on of the most vexing problems dogging the healthcare industry: coordination among different physicians treating the same patient, with all the medical partners accessing the same data that’s housed in a secure cloud accessible via any internet connected device. Providing that info in one place could vastly improve coordination among physicians treating a patient and reduce healthcare costs.

Without a doubt, the rise of healthcare IT start-up companies is starting to grow from a stream to a fast flowing river. The San Francisco Bay area leads the charge followed by New York, Boston, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Investors are combing the stream of start-up companies for entrepreneurs and companies that can scale.


companies have been tackling the vexing problems of making healthcare more efficient and effective since the turn of this century but early attempts during internet 1.0 just couldn’t penetrate the complex system. Now nearly a decade and a half later, we are beginning to see real traction. This is good news for the industry and consumers alike.

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Scopidea's curator insight, June 22, 2015 2:54 AM

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