IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
31.7K views | +9 today
Follow
 
Scoop.it!

Analysis of wiper malware, implicated in Sony breach, exposes Shamoonstyle attacks

Analysis of wiper malware, implicated in Sony breach, exposes Shamoonstyle attacks | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Findings linking new wiper malware, which was the focus of a recent FBI alert, to a crippling cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment have emerged.

Earlier this week, news surfaced that the FBI was warning businesses that data-wiping malware had been used in a U.S. attack – which quickly led to speculation that Sony may have been the intended target of such exploits. The confidential “flash” alert (detailed Tuesday by Reuters and later published in part by Ars Technica) warned that the malware was capable of overwriting data on the master boot record (MBR), making it “extremely difficult and costly, if not impossible, to recover the data using standard forensics methods.”

According to Jaime Blasco, director at AlienVault Labs, who has continued to examine the so-called “destructive” malware, his research team has uncovered at least three variants of the malware detailed by the FBI.

In a Wednesday interview with SCMagazine.com, Blasco said he was able to link the malware samples he found to the FBI's findings using the indicators of compromise (IOCs) released by the agency.

“We cannot say if all of them have been used in the Sony attack,” Blasco said of the malware variants. “But we can tell that at least one malware sample we have found has been used in the Sony attack, because it contained information about the Sony internal network within the malware.”

Of note, Blasco found hardcoded names of servers in Sony's network contained in the malware, as well as a username and password set, which the malware used to connect to internal network servers, he explained.

In emailed commentary to SCMagazine.com, Blasco also said that attackers used the “Korean language in the systems they used to compile some of the pieces of malware.”

His findings come as reports continue to surface about North Korea's potential involvement in the Sony attack. Officials in the country recently expressed their disdain for a Sony Pictures movie, “The Interview,” slated to hit theaters this Christmas, as the comedy centers around a planned assassination on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

On Wednesday, security firm Trend Micro detailed its own findings on the malware described by the FBI. Calling the threat, “BKDR_WIPALL,” the company found several variants of the malware.

BKDR_WIPALL.A  was notably encrypted with a set of user names and passwords, which were redacted in part in a screenshot taken by Trend Micro.

“Once logged in, the malware attempts to grant full access to everyone that will access the system root,” the Trend Micro blog post said. The other variant, BKDR_WIPALL.B, deletes users' files (a reference to the wiper component), and also disables the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service, a central data storage repository for Microsoft Exchange Server that contains mailbox store and public folder store data, as a description from the tech giant says.

The backdoor will then sleep for two hours, and force the system to reboot, Trend Micro said. “Additionally, BKDR_WIPALL.B accesses the physical drive that it attempts to overwrite,” the blog added.

Offering a potential connection to the Sony attack, Trend Micro updated it blog post to detail two more variants of WIPALL. One variant (WIPALL.D) was used to drop another malware variant (WIPALL.C), which then drops a wallpaper file in the Windows directory. The wallpaper displayed the message, “hacked by #GOP,” or the “Guardians of Peace,” a group that claims to have hacked Sony and, subsequently dumped a massive amount of corporate data online.

“Therefore we have reason to believe that this is the same malware used in the recent attack [of] Sony Pictures,” Trend Micro concluded.

AlienVault's Blasco, who examined the attack methods of the group using the wiper malware, said “it was hard to tell,” so far, if the attacks were nation state-linked or hacktivist in nature.

He did say that the techniques used by perpetrators was “very similar to Shamoon,” (malware that struck oil company Saudi Aramco in August 2012 wiping data from machines) and a wiper trojan, called Jokra, used by the Dark Seoul cyber gang that targeted South Korean banks and news organizations last year.

“I'd have to see more details on similarities between the malware samples, but it's likely that some of the techniques they used are more or less the same. It could also be a copycat [attack] from different attackers,” Blasco said.

In a Thursday blog post, Symantec, which initially shed light on the Dark Seoul attacks, corroborated such theories about the malware detailed in the FBI flashing warning. The firm did not mention a Sony tie, however, in its findings.

Symantec detects the malware as “Backdoor.Destover,” and revealed that some samples of the malware shared similarities with Jokra and Shamoon.

“Destover also shares some techniques and component names with the Jokra attacks against South Korea in 2013,” the blog post said. “However there is no hard evidence as yet to link the attacks and a copycat operation can't be ruled out. Links also exist to the Shamoon attacks, with both attackers using the same, commercially available drivers. However, in this instance it appears highly unlikely that the same group was behind both attacks and instead it would appear that the Destover attacks copied techniques from Shamoon,” the firm said.




Via Paulo Félix
more...
No comment yet.
IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
News, Information and Updates on Hardware and IT Tools to help improve your Medical practice
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scoop.it!

Professional Development Advice from Technology Leaders

Professional Development Advice from Technology Leaders | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

This edition of AppointmentPlus Radio brings together two industry leaders within the tech sector. Raymond Wiley, a general manager with Sun-Tec America, shares the story of how he landed his current position, as well as the philosophy that shapes his professional interactions. Dhruv Bhate, a senior technologist who works in 3D printing, offers insight into how reflection on your true values can lead to a meaningful work life. The two also discuss:

 

  • The importance of finding your professional “sweet spot”
  • How to understand, and communicate your professional value
  • Why defining what you do also mean defining what you don’t do
  • Plus: 5 must-have personal technology recommendations and 2 must-read books to overhaul your professional mindset

 

 

About Raymond and Dhruv: 

Raymond Wiley is the general manager at Sun-Tec America, LLC where he is responsible for the go-to-market strategies for Sun-Tec’s high precision lamination, labeling, and taping equipment portfolio for the Americas and European markets. He is the primary interface between the customer and the Sun-Tec design engineers located in Japan and is charged with overseeing the entire sales process through every phase of the project. Previously, Raymond spent 21 years at Motorola in the Semiconductor Products Sector serving in a variety of increasingly responsible positions including operations manager for the Small Signal and MEMS Sensor Businesses in Japan.

 

Dhruv Bhate is a Senior Technologist at Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) where he leads R&D efforts in Additive Manufacturing, with a focus on high-performance polymers and metals. Prior to joining PADT, Dhruv spent 7 years at Intel Corporation developing laser-based manufacturing processes. Dhruv has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and a Master’s from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he developed fracture models for ductile metal alloys and to simulate adhesion in MEMS.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

How the Cloud Benefits your Healthcare Workforce

How the Cloud Benefits your Healthcare Workforce | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Most Australians are familiar with the benefits of the cloud and whether you realise it or not, the majority of us are already using cloud services of some description, be it Gmail, Dropbox or Office 365. While healthcare is an industry that is commonly known for resisting change, entrepreneurial products and services, first adopters and government legislation for healthcare information and data privacy are driving a change from paper-based to digital record keeping. This, in turn, is allowing a further transition from reliance on on-premise resources to a more collaborative environment in the cloud.

 

At this point, we are aware of the elevator pitch on cloud adoption, where cost reduction, pay-as-you-go subscription models, scalability, flexibility and automated backups are just some of the benefits involved. While all of these are certainly true, healthcare professionals care about the tangible benefits of their practice or clinic. Will this benefit my business? If so, how? Will my staff require training? What processes are open to improvement? Will it increase the bottom line at year end?

 

There are no one-size fits all solution to these questions as each business will operate differently from the next. Cloud service providers that specialise in healthcare will be very familiar with the problems facing healthcare professionals, whether they are in the process of scanning paper-based records to digital, have completed this process and are wondering how to improve efficiency, or are looking to utilise the cloud to roll out additional patient services. Whatever stage you are at it is worth discussing your options with an experienced professional that can offer advice that suits your business.

 

Assuming you are interested in futureproofing your business using the latest technology, the cloud offers specific advantages that make your business easier to manage. These include but are not limited to:

Data Availability

When medical files and data is hosted securely on the cloud it means that any member of your healthcare workforce can use and access centralised data, which reduces administration costs and increases the speed of clinical service delivery. It is worth mentioning that when data is on the cloud, it can be accessed from anywhere by those with the correct user permissions. All that is needed is internet access and a web browser. In other words, even when not on-site, authenticated users can view, add or update existing information as if they were sitting at their office desks.

 

Data availability at all times is key and avoids unnecessary delays when collaborating with fellow colleagues, specialists or patients. Alternatively, you could use fax or perhaps a courier?

Mobility

Data availability is key to successful mobile deployment and both are needed to allow the creation of on-the-move mobile clinics, which are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, given that many patients are located hours from their nearest healthcare provider. The use of mobile clinics allows healthcare professionals to go on tour, much like a rock band but without the noise, and provide first-rate care to their patients as all the information they need is available on the cloud. Add the necessary medical equipment and clinical staff and it is no different from the level of care offered in a brick and mortar practice. It is also cheaper than leasing multiple business premises to cater for a small population in each location. Mobility, in this case, is more than just smartphone or tablet access but the facility to create a mobile version of your clinic headquarters.

Workforce Management

Administration and practice management take up a substantial amount of each working day. Or, at least it used to. Nowadays, many clinics use practice management software for administration tasks and clinical software to handle patient medical records, including x-rays and any other pertinent data. When these are in the cloud, everything can be accessed remotely when necessary, saving time and improving efficiency. A specialist can update records or view appointments during a commute to work or during lunch. No training is required as the practice and clinical software behaves in exactly the same way as in would in the office.

 

When everything is available online, the clinic will find it much easier to outsource talent when needed. From answering calls (think call centre) during busy periods to hiring IT talent or additional administration staff, your business presence on the cloud allows more flexibility than is possible using a single on-premise IT infrastructure. You can select the most qualified applicant from any location if you open to remote working and many Australian companies are. IT professionals, for example, can maintain your on-premise IT structure and also the cloud by performing updates, security checks and backups. They can do all this remotely, saving your company the expense of an on-site and salaried IT support staff. The same is true of administration. If qualified, is it really necessary to travel to your premises when the same work can be performed remotely?

Setup

All of the above sounds great, right? It is only a fraction of the potential benefits available as telehealth, remote consults, video conferencing and more have not been discussed. Suffice to say, any clinic can make the necessary changes and promote themselves as innovative and forward-thinking. Unfortunately, not all make the transition successfully, as they sometimes rely on poor advice or retain IT service providers that lack experience in the cloud or healthcare or even both. Service providers that lack the skills are unlikely to recommend solutions they are unfamiliar with. When your business is at stake in a competitive marketplace, it is not a time to retain ‘the local IT guy’.

 

Therefore, before making any decisions, contact a service provider that focuses on healthcare clients, can support on-premise and cloud solutions with their own team and can offer advice that suits your business alone and not all businesses.

 

Before calling, think about your existing processes, how you would like to improve them and outline any concerns or objectives you may have. These can include compliance, security, cost or worries about integrating existing hardware and software into a cloud environment. An ethical provider will conduct an on-site audit to identify the best approach for your business and outline a range of options for selection.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Homecare Technologies Extend the Reach of Healthcare

Homecare Technologies Extend the Reach of Healthcare | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Fitness bands may well have been among the first widespread consumer-driven instance of personal health monitoring, but advances in technology have since changed healthcare forever. Clinics, hospitals and healthcare providers throughout Australia are adopting clinical and practice management solutions that reflect advances in technology and related legislation and standards that ensure data privacy and security.

 

The progression from paper-based record keeping to today’s digital medical records and e-health initiatives lead to improved efficiency, proactive healthcare solutions and of course, increased the ability to save lives by using data analysis to predict at-risk groups.

 

As investors and tech entrepreneurs continue to make their presence felt in healthcare, future healthcare applications are only limited by the imagination. Healthcare providers are now embracing technology to provide added healthcare solutions to those most at risk, namely the elderly and those with disabilities or acute conditions such as diabetes.

 

Homecare Technology Overview

The elderly, those with disabilities or acute conditions can avail of a wide variety of health monitoring solutions (generally in the form of wearable devices) that collect data by monitoring vital signs and send it over the Internet to their healthcare provider. This data allows a diagnosis to be made, whether that involves a request for additional tests, a change in medication or a precautionary hospital stay for extensive monitoring.

 

The range of wearable devices is already quite extensive, with the healthcare provider selecting one that is suitable for the condition involved.

 

Who among us is willing to give up our independence? The same is certainly true of the elderly but by using wearable devices, many can stay in their own home, with a home carer where necessary. Medical alerts are possible with these devices and obviously, can also save lives when vital signs reach dangerous levels, immediately alerting healthcare providers.

 

Collaborating to Improve Quality of Life

In the elderly and those with disabilities, improving quality of life is a key aim and again, the use of the Internet and connected devices can certainly help. Video conferencing allows direct consults with medical professionals. Those living alone can contact their family and friends in real-time and ward off any feelings of isolation.

By using these collaborative methods, patients can reduce risks of mental illness and depression. By actively monitoring the health of those at risk, governments can reduce the costs of hospital admissions by using the data received to implement an enhanced triage process.

 

Home carers also benefit as they no longer worry about their patients between visits. They can check on them at any time using cloud solutions linked to onsite cameras in the patient’s home, for example. They are also confident that if vital signs change, they will receive an alert that prompts action.

 

Technology Benefits

It is certainly true that the modern healthcare provider has benefitted from technology. Routine admin tasks are automated, staff training is easier thanks to computer-based materials and with electronic medical records, wait times are reduced as a patient’s medical history is readily available. With ubiquitous high-speed broadband and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, medical professionals can work from anywhere. They can consult with a specialist in other locations, share medical data to aid diagnosis and even use remote video to teach surgical techniques.

 

In conclusion, when home carers, patients and healthcare providers are all connected, it makes sense to assume that a better quality of healthcare will result. With the combination of technology, internet and a growing list of online services available, we, as a society, are better positioned to ensure that our sick and elderly live longer and enjoy a better quality of life to boot.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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?

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

How to Choose the Best Dental Software for Your Practice 

How to Choose the Best Dental Software for Your Practice  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Are you considering purchasing a dental management system for your practice? It’s essential to choose a software system that will enable you to not only maintain rigorous data and records but also to better manage your enterprise, no matter its size or location. Here are a few tips to get you started.

 

Cost
This would have to be one of the main considerations in any practice, as purchasing software and hardware is usually a costly affair, and often involves paying for annual upgrades as well. However, the important thing here is to get value for money, rather than simply going for the cheapest option. 
One way round the matter of cost is to use an online (cloud) program rather than buying a software package and downloading it to your system. With a cloud program, you get to use the software over the internet for a monthly fee, and backup services and upgrades are included in the cost. Other savings can come from a reduced need for hardware and IT specialist fees, and the fact that you only need to pay for the modules you really need.


Training and Support
When things don’t go as expected or you have some questions about using the software, one thing you would certainly want is support from an expert from an Australian company who understands how your business operates and what it needs. Make sure to look into the levels of training and support that are included in any systems you are considering.


Integration and Flexibility
An integrated system is one where the various software modules you use ‘talk’ to each other, and where data entry is minimised and data integrity is maintained. This makes it important to look for a system that provides an integrated approach for all the data modules you use, and one that is flexible enough to provide you with the extra features or add-ons you need as your business grows and changes.


Practice Management
In any dental clinic, it’s necessary to keep all data and customer records up-to-date and accurate. However, equally important is that the software system you use assists you in better managing your practice. This can come through additional modules such as digital imaging, 3D charting, appointment books, patient plans, accurate reporting, communications and invoicing.


Capability and Access
If you run multiple clinics you may want to consider software that will enable you to manage all your clinics from the one location, such as through multi-practice integration. 
Ease-of-access is another factor you should consider. Cloud-based programs enable continual access from any location where a secure internet connection is present.


Centaur’s Solution
All these features are available with Centaur’s Dental4Windows (D4W) software system. Add-on features of the program include eAppointments, which allow patients to book online, eForms for capturing patient data, Mediasuite dental imaging software, 2D and 3D clinical charting, HICAPS / Medicare link, stock control, and many others. The system also comes with initial and ongoing training and ongoing support.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Design Of A Mobile Health Clinic

Design Of A Mobile Health Clinic | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

A mobile clinic allows the health provider or health business to deliver its services from multiple locations. Simply put, you go to the patient, they don’t come to you.
The concept of mobile and virtual health clinics has grown rapidly and both are now key business models for health businesses in Australia.

Mobile health clinics have certainly grown in both numbers and services offered, as you now have clinicians and health practitioners flying into towns to hold a clinic or even doing a roadshow-like journey through rural and remote areas.

Mobile health clinics are also increasing in metropolitan areas where health practitioners or health businesses are going into the corporate, government and educational sectors to offer their services to the staff of those organisations.

Simply put, doctors, allied health professionals and community workers are now becoming more mobile and as such, are having a bigger reach.

Most health practitioners agree that the biggest challenge in a mobile health clinic is to be mobile. In order words, the ability to access all the necessary clinical and business tools and offer the same service as an in-house health clinic is the greatest challenge.

Below are some tips on how to design a mobile health clinic (from an IT perspective)

Know what tools you need to complete your tasks in a mobile environment, this includes:

  • The clinical software applications you currently use (MD, BP, Genie, Pathology)
  • The billing applications you currently use (BP Management, eClaims)
  • The communication/messaging applications you currently use (Argus, Healthlink)
  • The administrative tools you currently use (Outlook, calendar)

Ask your current eHealth IT consultant to perform some research on

  • Cloud solutions specific to the health industry
  • Remote desktop solutions
  • Remote access solutions

At REND Tech, our Cloud for Health solution allows mobile, virtual and FIFO businesses to access their complete clinical IT environment from anywhere (home, office, mobile office), at any time and using their preferred device (iPads, tablets, laptops).

Before agreeing on a solution/vendor, ensure that

  • You have thoroughly tested the solution and it meets your requirements
  • Your data and applications are hosted in Australia
  • Your data, applications and complete IT environment are backed up daily
  • You are happy with the security levels provided
  • There is ongoing IT support and maintenance to ensure that your solution is always available.
  • You have tested the solution using wireless, networked and 3G/4G connections

By following the steps above, you should be well and truly on your way to having an excellent IT foundation for your mobile health clinic.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

5 Steps to Becoming a More Effective Clinic Manager 

5 Steps to Becoming a More Effective Clinic Manager  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it
1) Choose a practice management system

Using a practice management package like e-clinic makes managing a clinic significantly easier. A good practice management package will allow you to store patients’ personal data, book appointments and keep a record of appointments and their outcomes, record clinical information, manage invoicing, keep track of stock levels, contact patients via email, text or letter, and target patients with appropriate marketing campaigns. An effective practice management system should lead to a reduction in your workload and a decrease in your stress levels. Having a good computer system in place should also improve the accuracy and reliability of your data. Although the quality of your data is very much dependant on the person who enters it, there should be less scope for human error.

2) Train staff well

Training offer businesses the opportunity to expand the knowledge of employees, but some employers see training as expensive and doubt how cost-effective it is. Employers can also be concerned about staff members missing out on work time while completing training. However, despite some perceived drawbacks, training and development provides both the business as a whole and the individuals with skills, knowledge and other benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment.

There are many benefits to training your team. Firstly, an employee is likely to feel loyalty to your practice if they feel that you care enough to spend money on their personal and professional growth. Providing training is also likely to improve the morale of staff at your clinic; this is because a culture that encourages learning and fosters education creates a positive, motivated, and committed workforce. Also, employees who have received job-specific training are more likely to be productive and confident. However, it is important that employees receive ongoing training and support: technology is changing all the time and therefore it is vital that employees keep up to date with changes. At e-clinic, we offer regular training courses to refresh knowledge, learn advanced skills. or train up new starters.

 3) Delegate to others

Delegation is assigning responsibility and authority to someone in order to complete a clearly defined and agreed upon task, while you retain ultimate responsibility for its success. Delegation will improve the efficiency of your clinic as well as the development of your team.

Delegation improves the efficiency of a clinic as it allows work to be transferred to other employees whose skillset is a good match for the work in hand. The role of a clinic manager involves planning and strategizing the next steps for your practice and your team. Delegating work to other employees allows you as a manager to lessen your workload. You can then focus your time on planning the next move for the team and growing the business.

As a clinic manager and team leader, you possess important abilities and transferable skills that can and should be passed on to team members. An effective way of doing this is to give them the confidence and permission to develop their skills and then delegate tasks to them so that they can use these new skills. As an added bonus, delegating gives you as a clinic manager the opportunity to develop your own coaching and mentoring skills.

4) Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty

We’ve discussed delegation, but it’s very important for a clinic manager to remember that they should know how to complete every job role in the office with a certain degree of efficiency and expertise. Members of a team look to the clinic manager for leadership and guidance, so they need to know that their manager will be able to help them if they require assistance. If there are certain tasks that the manager isn’t trained in, there’s no harm in asking an employee to teach them – this fosters a good team spirit and a supportive environment.

5) Create processes for everything

Have you ever had to listen to yourself repeating the same instructions to colleagues? Or struggling to remember how to complete a task you last tackled a month ago? Remember feeling frustrated by the time and effort wasted? It doesn’t have to be this way, and creating processes for every task you undertake in the clinic is the way to solve it.

To summarise: a process is a set of instructions for carrying out a specific task. While you’d expect process creation to take some time, it generally takes an hour or two at first but pays off massively in the long run.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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:
Contact Details :

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Keep Your Appointments Afloat! 

Keep Your Appointments Afloat!  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Summer can be a busy time for sailing and boating businesses as people flock to the beach, bays, rivers and lakes for a fun day on the water. Online scheduling software from Appointment-Plus can be the perfect partner for operators looking to spend less time booking reservations and more time on the water with their customers.

 

Used by businesses coast to coast for scheduling sailing lessons and booking boat rental reservations, Appointment-Plus helps these operations automate and streamline their appointment-setting procedures with such functionality as online self-scheduling, which allows customers to view availability and book their lessons and reservations online, 24 hours a day; automated e-mail and text message reminders, which inform customers of their upcoming appointments and reservations; accurate recordkeeping and report-generating features; and e-marketing capabilities for sending current and past customers information on specials, discounts and other news.

 

“Sailing and boating businesses provide fantastic recreational opportunities for individuals and families throughout the nation,” says Jeff Fleming, marketing director at Appointment-Plus. “Our software helps automate and streamline the entire appointment- and reservation-scheduling process, allowing them to spend more time focused on their operations and their customers.”

 

A Software as a Service (SaaS) application, Appointment-Plus is Web-based and accessible from any Internet connection. This gives operators the ability to access their scheduling calendar from outside of their home or office. Additionally, Appointment-Plus does not require a Web site, expensive hardware or time-consuming installations to use. Pricing starts at $39 per month with no long-term contracts and free set-up assistance with a dedicated coach.

 

Businesses that utilize the online self-scheduling feature can expect a significant drop in the number of phone calls from customers looking to book appointments and check availability. This functionality is especially beneficial if the operator does not have an office or receptionist and routinely takes phone calls at the dock or on the water while giving lessons.

 

“Just think of the convenience of allowing your customers to schedule their lessons or reserve their watercraft at any hour of the day and at their own convenience,” Fleming adds. “Plus, you’ll spend less time answering the phone call and returning messages.”

 

Appointment-Plus supplies almost 4,000 clients throughout the United States, Canada and 10 other countries the tools they need to schedule customer and patient appointment times, book rooms, accept registrations and many other services. Geared primarily toward small businesses such as doctors’ offices, spas, health clubs and massage therapists, users of the service also include Fortune 500 companies; colleges and universities; healthcare agencies and facilities; federal and local government; and freight and delivery companies.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Bridging the Gap Between eHealth Vision and Current Realities 

Bridging the Gap Between eHealth Vision and Current Realities  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

The rise of health-related technology solutions is correctly perceived by healthcare professionals as a revolution that will ultimately drive improvement in patient care and increase practice efficiency. This efficiency improvement allows providers to take on more patients and increase profits. It seems like a win-win situation for patients and providers but unfortunately, there are barriers to the adoption of telehealth, telemedicine and mHealth (mobile health) that will take some time to overcome.

What are the adoption barriers in Australia? Why does eHealth offer great potential for Australians? How can we roll out eHealth solutions that benefit healthcare providers and their patients?

 

Go Digital

Perhaps the most visible “challenge” of technology in healthcare was the attempted introduction of personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR), now rebranded as myHealth Record, in 2012. Despite costing $1 billion, adoption rates by Australians were around 20 per cent, with even healthcare providers unsure how to implement the system in their practices. In 2016, policymakers have decided to introduce an opt-out system where all Australians will have an account automatically unless they deliberately cancel it. This may increase perceived adoption rates but actual usage is another matter entirely as clinicians have yet to see value in it. Targeted training and national promotional campaigns are expected to reverse this trend.

 

With the correct security policies in place, changing from paper-based data to a digital format is not only advised, it is essential, especially in a technological age where collaboration is possible between healthcare profession, their colleagues, specialists and patients. When patient care is the focus, relying on couriers or fax machines to share documents is far less effective than many other solutions available today, such as video conferencing, remote diagnostics and health monitoring devices, for example.

 

Early adoption

Hanging on for dear life to obsolete paper-based methods is a mistake when you consider that even government legislation is driving a conversion to digital. It is the early adopters that will succeed, surpassing the efforts of their competitors in keeping pace as legislative requirements evolve. Early adopters are open to change, can easily adapt their processes to meet changing needs and, yes, will also be more efficient. Whether it is the use of practice management software to simplify administration and store medical records or the sharing of data for consultation with specialists in another region, those who rely on paper-based processes are at a disadvantage. Early adopters and the forward-thinking entrepreneurs that provide working solutions to the healthcare industry all encourage Australians to embrace new technology that will provide tangible benefits to all, not only by improving efficiency and level of care but also streamlining processes and increasing practice profits.

 

Technology

Perceiving future trends, an increasing number eHealth firms that bridge the gap between ideas and products is turning vision to reality, providing a wide range of solutions that solve tangible issues in a country where patients are often located a long distance from healthcare providers. These include but are not limited to:

  • Data availability – The use of cloud-based solutions allows any browser-based device to access on-premise data from anywhere. The use of permission-based access ensures all data is safe and can only be viewed by your healthcare professional
  • Integration of practice management data with medical record storage (including X-rays and images) and compliance with industry and legislative requirements
  • Remote home-based health monitoring for patients with ongoing conditions
  • Video communication with colleagues, patients and specialists for quick diagnostics
  • Patients can monitor themselves using mobile apps or specific hardware that uploads data to your healthcare provider in real-time
  • Secure storage and backup of all data that far exceeds paper-based file storage that is easily compromised or destroyed
  • The use of mobile clinics – a fully equipped mobile clinic can perform as well as its on-premise counterpart if the correct technology is implemented

 

The use of these solutions can result in reduced clinic visits without impacting on care levels, allowing clinicians to prioritise clinic time for those who need it. It is only a matter of time before all clinics adopt technology to eliminate the problems associated with the long distances between clinics and their patients. Some will go on the road with mobile clinics and perform their tasks in exactly the same way as from the main clinic. Others may prefer long-distance video consults. It really doesn’t matter what process is used as long as patient care levels are maintained, data is secure and all processes comply with industry best practices.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Online Healthcare Can Reduce Your Printing Costs

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Standardise The Printers

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

 

Use Original Toner

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

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

 

Acquire High-Quality Printers

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

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

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

 

Consider A Print Management Solution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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:
Contact Details :

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

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:
Contact Details :

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Getting Patients to and from the Clinic or Pharmacy Just Got Easier with Uber Health and Lyft 

Getting Patients to and from the Clinic or Pharmacy Just Got Easier with Uber Health and Lyft  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

In the ever expanding world of health information technology ridesharing leaders are getting into the game. Uber Health and Lyft are now offering patient transportation, pharmacy pickup and EHR integration.

 

Uber Health allows healthcare providers and caregivers to request rides for their patients. Rides can be scheduled up to 30 days in advance, or can be booked on-demand. Booking requests are made via text message or phone call, so patients are not required to have a smart phone to participate. The service is HIPAA compliant.

 

There are already more than 100 customers using Uber Health, including MedStar Health, Collective Health, LifeBridgeHealth, and Manhattan Women’s Health.

 

Lyft is integrating with Allscripts Sunrise EHR to cut down on missed appointments. The EHR integration will allow prompts from Allscript’s EHR to ask the patient if they need transportation automatically when an appointment is scheduled. Clinicians will then see real time scheduling updates and the ETA of their patients. This niche service has huge potential. According to the Washington Business Journal, missed appointments cost US providers and insurers upwards of $150 billion a year.

 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans are also expanding their partnership with Lyft that provides no-cost transportation to enrolees who request a ride to pick up their prescription at Walgreens or CVS. This program is currently in pilot in Pittsburg, with CVS picking up the bill, and Chicago with Walgreens picking up the bill.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Why every healthcare clinic should have digital displays

Why every healthcare clinic should have digital displays | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Healthcare clinics provide invaluable services to millions of patients every day. Yet with hectic schedules, unexpected emergencies and inevitable wait times, a day at the clinic doesn’t always go as expected.

 

Digital signage helps healthcare clinics improve the patient experience by sharing engaging and entertaining content. With screens in lobbies, waiting rooms and offices, relevant ads and information flows throughout the clinic to inform and entertain patients.

5 ways digital displays help patients and staff members

1. Make wait-times more bearable

In clinics, patients often perceive wait times as longer than they really are. Streaming the news, social media feeds and other media feeds entertain visitors to reduce perceived waiting times.

2. Educate patients with infotainment

A trip to the doctor’s can be stressful, especially with health concerns on patients’ minds. Digital screens are used by clinics to educate visitors with informative content to encourage patients to monitor their own symptoms and prepare questions for their upcoming visit.

3. Keep customers up to date

With digital signage, healthcare facilities easily update patients on what’s new at the office, including recent hires, additional services, opening hours and upcoming office closures.

4. Improve caregiver services with updated information

Digital displays inform employees of room schedules and changes, internal information and facility updates, all in real-time. Alerts can also be displayed on the screen to quickly react to emergencies.

5. Help patients and visitors find their way

It can be difficult to navigate a large medical facility like a hospital, especially in stressful situations. With numerous floors and countless hallways, interactive wayfinding kiosks and screens help patients and visitors find their way.

The added benefit of added revenue from digital signage

Not only can digital signage improve the patients and visitors experience, but it gives healthcare facilities the ability to make additional revenue. With a fairly long dwell time, clinic screens are well suited for brands and advertisers to promote their products.

Waiting room audiences also often have similar needs and interest — everyone waiting for the dentist will have oral hygiene on their mind. This means advertisements can be targeted to the right audience, benefiting brands with better ROI and patients with more relevant information.

Ready to add digital signage to your healthcare clinics? Here’s how:

1. Install your screens

Start by deploying a digital signage network. Individual clinics may not necessarily need this step, as they only have one screen to manage. However, clinic owners with multiple locations should have every screen connected through a digital signage network.

2. Schedule your content

Determine what content you want playing on your screens. Consider how long patients are in front of the screen, what content they will be interested in and what kinds of brand messaging would benefit them.

3. Create your content

From staff bios, wellness tips, promotions and informative messaging, creating your own content can give your clinic an edge and bolster communication with patients and visitors. 

4. Sell your ad space

Ad space can either be sold directly to the advertiser through one-on-one conversations or through automated programmatic purchasing. While direct sales are the traditional way to sell digital out-of-home advertising space, more buyers are looking to buy screen time through automated bidding systems.

5. Subscribe to a service

No time to create and manage your own content? Join a network that will install your screens and deliver effective, targeted and educational content to your patients.

 

Ready to get started with digital signage in your healthcare clinic?

From improvements in patient care to added revenue, a digital signage network enables you to do more with your screens.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Recording clinical data in e-clinic

Recording clinical data in e-clinic | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

There are many ways to securely and accurately record clinical data in e-clinic, and the method you choose is largely a matter of personal preference. We look at all the options below, including Word templates, PDF forms and hard-coded clinical questionnaires.

1) Appointment notes

Some practitioners simply choose to make free format notes which are linked to the appointment record. e-clinic also lets you to set up your own appointment notes templates, allowing you to order your notes into sections and complete text for each section. An outcome can be recorded for every appointment. Appointment notes are logged with the date, time and practitioner and can be securely locked. You can also makes notes on phone calls and other events.

2) Attaching files and photographs

A practitioner may also typically attach files or photographs to the patient record during the appointment. These may be facial photographs, x-rays, scanned documents or blood tests. You can also attach video or audio files.

3) Annotating images

e-clinic allows you to annotate an image or chart to show things like areas of pain or injection sites. We have some standard images but most practitioners prefer to load their own, which may reflect the paper charts and forms they were previously using.

4) Word templates

Many people prefer to record clinical notes into Word. You can create your own template for any treatment and then copy and paste ‘bookmarks’ into the template. These pull through information from the patient’s file like name, age, date of appointment, date of birth and so on, as soon as the template is opened. You can also add items like checkboxes. Once the template is opened and the patient information pulled through, you can then add your own notes during or after the consultation or treatment. You would then simply save the Word document with there patient record.

5) PDF forms stored as data

A sophisticated way to record clinical data in e-clinic is with a custom PDF form. If you already have skills in creating PDF forms using Adobe Acrobat, you may want to create your own, but we normally find that clients prefer us to do this as bespoke development. A paper form can be transformed into a PDF with drop-downs, checkboxes and free text areas. The form is called up and completed during consultation or treatment, then stored against the patient record. The most impressive aspect is that, unlike with Word template, input is stored as data fields, meaning it can be reported on or exported at a later date.

6) Hard-coded clinical forms

Any medical or clinical form can be hardcoded into e-clinic by our development team. A form created in this way can include drop-downs, checkboxes and free text and fields are stored as data.

7) Consent forms

A basic consent form can be created in e-clinic and signed on an iPad by the patient. Consent forms created in this way would simply consist of text, which the patient reads and then signs. If you want a more complex consent form which encompasses checkboxes for example, it would be better to create it as a Word template or ask us to create a hard-coded form.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

How to Prepare Your IT Department for Telemedicine 

How to Prepare Your IT Department for Telemedicine  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

You've read all about the benefits telemedicine can offer not just to your patients, but also to your practitioners and your clinic as a whole. You've done your research and have decided to take the leap, bringing telemedicine technology and services into your clinic - congratulations!

 

While this is an exciting time for you and your clinicians, it's important that you work closely with the other side of your telemedicine operations - your IT department - to ensure as smooth a transition and adoption process as possible. Here are a few things to make sure you cover with your IT department before you go live with your telemedicine solutions.

Get your infrastructure ready

One of the great things about modern telemedicine technology is the flexibility it allows - aside from the software and hardware, all a clinic needs is an Internet connection. Well, almost. It's essential to ensure that your Internet speed is capable of handling the rigors that may be placed on it by telemedicine technology such as videoconferencing. According to the American Telemedicine Association, any operation that offers one- or two-way videoconferencing should have a broadband connection capable of supporting speeds of 500 kbps both downlink and uplink. With many modern telemedicine encounter management software products used today, the amount of bandwidth taken can be adjusted or allocated between video and data sources accordingly.

The ATA recommends using the most reliable means available of connecting to the Internet. So for many applications such as a clinic, this means your IT department should hardwire your telemedicine equipment directly to your modem rather than relying on a WiFi connection and a router. Satellite and WiFi connection are used frequently for telemedicine applications, but users can experience noticeable differences in the communication speed, image quality and intermittence of signals.

Have a hardware plan in advance

Do you know if your telemedicine equipment will be arriving preassembled, or will you need to construct it upon receiving it? If the latter, are you and your IT department comfortable with doing so reliably and safely?

It seems like a minor point, but if you're a first-time adopter of telemedicine, try and find equipment solutions that are fairly low-maintenance in terms of requirements on your end. This means either shopping for equipment that is available out of the box as a telemedicine system, or trying to find an end-to-end solution provider that can take care of all your requirements. Trying to source multiple pieces of equipment from multiple vendors can make getting support or maintenance a nightmare. Try and find a "one-stop shop" to make the process as simple as possible.

Interoperability with existing software or hardware

Interoperability is a term used widely these days, and everyone claims it. The truth is, it would be impossible to deliver interoperability that would satisfy everyone's needs, but the best case scenario at this point in time is to use telemedicine products and technologies that can be easily integrated with your existing workflow and follow standards-based guidelines for transferring or transmitting data - such as HL7 integration.

Don't forget privacy

One of the sticking points that telemedicine has faced in recent years is that of privacy in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It's a requirement that any Internet connections used to discuss sensitive patient information should have encryption using secure socket layer (SSL) and system-user identifiers such as logins and passwords.

Similarly, any cloud-based servers used to store patient data should be encrypted as well to prevent cybersecurity risks.

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

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

more...
No comment yet.