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EHR Hardware Basics in Health IT Guides

EHR Hardware Basics in Health IT Guides | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Hardware Basics for Electronic Health Records

 

Basic Terms


Workstation - This refers to the hardware that holds everything a physician or office staff worker needs to perform their jobs: word processing, practice management software, EHR software, fax software, etc.


Desktop - One of three basic types of workstations. This describes a fixed, hard-wired computer that does not move around. The computer can actually sit on the top of the desk (desktop) or on the floor (tower).


Laptop - One of three basic types of workstations. This is a portable computer that has a keyboard and either a touchpad, stick, or mouse for moving the cursor around the screen. It is a fully functioning computer that can be carried or placed on a cart and moved around the office.


Tablet PC - One of three basic types of workstations. Tablet PCs contain built-in handwriting recognitions software that allows the user to "write" on the screen using a stylus, much as they would write on paper attached to a clipboard. Tablet PCs can have add-on keyboards for instances when typing is preferred.


Desktops


The basics:

 

  • A desktop computer usually has a standard configuration consisting of a CPU, monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  • It is stationary; it resides in one location and cannot be moved from room to room.
  • It can stand alone or work with any of a variety of network arrangements

 

Advantages:

  • Desktops are low-cost and available from a wide variety of vendors.
  • Because desktop PCs are standardized, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to find spare parts and support, or to replace a machine.
  • Desktops will run just about any software you need.
  • Additional devices such as microphones, speakers, and headsets are readily available at low cost.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Because it's stationary, you need to buy a desktop PC for each room in which you need access to your EHR software.
  • Desktops typically take up more space than a laptop or tablet PC. While flat screen monitors and tower units save actual desktop space, the standard desktop computer requires more room than either a laptop or tablet PC.
  • You must purchase additional equipment to take full advantage of voice recognition and/or handwriting recognition programs.

 

What your peers have to say:
"Have had wired computers [desktops] in the exam room since 1998 and think it is the best way. I find it less hassle than carrying a computer around all day, worrying about batteries running out or losing wireless connectivity or dropping the computers. The computers are much cheaper both to buy initially and fix if something does happen. Tried a tablet but did not like it all. Never had a problem with children or adults interfering with the computer in the examining room and if you log out when you leave, HIPAA is not an issue."
-- Keith Stafford, MD, Greenville, South Carolina


Laptops


The basics:


A laptop is a fully functioning computer that is small enough to be portable. Laptops can take advantage of wireless as well as traditional networks. A laptop can easily serve as a desktop machine and can connect via a docking station to a larger monitor and a standard keyboard.

 

Advantages:

  • A laptop has a smaller footprint and can easily be turned to allow patients to view information on the screen.
  • A laptop is less obtrusive during patient interviews.
    Most have fairly long battery life and/or an A/C adaptor.
    Laptops use standard PC inputs such as keyboard and mouse and/or touchpad.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Although laptops are portable, they can be heavy to carry, typically weighing five to eight pounds.
  • Repairs and maintenance tend to be more expensive because laptops use non-standard or proprietary parts. You may have to send a laptop off-site for diagnosis and repair.

 

What your peers have to say:
"

  • We work wirelessly with laptops. All [prescriptions] print from one central printer right outside the exam rooms. Benefits of laptop:
  • Can open the note and chart before entering the room and bring up appropriate templates. Can enter the room already knowing what HM is late and what the purpose of the visit is.
  • Can close the note right outside the room if you want to go ahead and have the patient leave before finishing a note.
    Can see with bifocals; no neck strain.
  • Can have all my personal settings and programs handy all the time - PDR, links, hospital links, etc.
  • Can look at patient easily over the top of the laptop and can easily show patients what I'm doing.
  • Touchpad is always in the same place in relation to keys; easy to switch from it to typing or tabbing without looking. I like having a full size keyboard.

 

"I'm hooked on my laptop and am so accustomed to carrying it around that I don't even notice even though it is Dell's heaviest one."
-- Sue Andrews, MD, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

 

Tablet PCs


The basics:
There are two main types of tablet PCs: a slate tablet PC, which is a tablet with no attached keyboard (although one can be added), and a convertible tablet PC, which is basically a laptop computer with a screen that can swivel and fold onto the keyboard to create the tablet.

 

Advantages:

  • Tablets are truly portable and lightweight, typically weighing three to four pounds.
  • It is as powerful as a PC, but it doesn't require a keyboard. Instead, you add information by writing on the screen with a digital pen or stylus, much like you do in a paper chart.
  • Handwriting recognition software developed for tablet PCs is excellent, even for very poor handwriting.
  • Tablet PCs have integrated dictation capability with voice recognition software that transcribes directly into the patient record.


Disadvantages:

  • Writing with a stylus takes getting used to; there is a longer learning curve in adapting to a new way of using a computer.
  • Handwriting recognition dictionaries have not yet fully integrated medical terminology and acronyms, requiring more correction.
  • There is not as much standardized software yet available for tablets.
  • Screens are easily scratched and can become unusable without screen protectors purchased at additional cost.

 

What your peers have to say:
"I have been using a Gateway tablet in the room with my OB patients for the past two years. We use an ASP prenatal record called eNatal. I wouldn't trade for it. It has three methods of entering data on the screen, all vastly improved with the SP2 for Windows XP for Tablet.

 

"The first method is through tapping on a screen-based keyboard with the stylus (slow but very accurate). The second is through straight handwriting recognition. I have relatively poor handwriting, but it is amazing how accurate and fast this is! The only thing that seems to trip it up is some abbreviations, acronyms, or words that it can not find in the dictionary. The third option is a letter-by-letter handwriting recognition panel that is slower but extremely accurate.

 

"We've had no downtime. The wireless connection works well. The battery life is good (I plug it into the docking cradle between OB patients). We have used laptops and desktops for eNatal in the rooms and the tablet works best by far. As we look to add a full EMR, we hope to use a tablet-based system, probably the Motion Computing tablets with the biometric (fingerprint) access."
-- G. Jeffrey Young, MD, FAAFP, Levelland, Texas


Using EHR technology require a certain adjustment in the way you're used to interacting with your patiens and their charts. Deciding how to do this in the way that makes you the most comfortable will help guide your choice of hardware -- e.g. using a desktop, laptop, or tablet PC.

 

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5 Ways Text Messaging Improves Patient Experience

5 Ways Text Messaging Improves Patient Experience | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

These are 5 major ways SMS can upgrade your patient care experience:

1. Appointment Booking and Confirmation

Missed appointments are a major problem for healthcare practices, causing hours of lost time and reducing the number of patients you are able to see.

 

In England, no-show appointments cost the National Health Service 216 million every year. SMS reminders are a useful tool for tackling this issue.

 

Text messages are usually read quickly, so they can be used to send last-minute reminders on the day of an appointment, lowering the chance a patient simply forgets.

 

Texting also makes it easier to manage your schedule. By enabling people to rearrange or cancel their appointments by SMS, your schedule can be automatically updated to keep your healthcare team aware of any changes.

 

Being able to quickly arrange appointments by text can be vital for reducing your wasted time. 91% of patients are willing to take last-minute appointments if you are able to respond in time.

2. Prescription Reminders

Texting can also help your patients manage their prescriptions by sending alerts to renew and collect their medication.

 

This is patients’ preferred way to get refill reminders. 51% of patients want to receive refill reminders by text, while 36% want reminders by email.

  • SMS can remind people when to take their medication.
  • SMS can give clear instructions, for people on multiple medications, to help them take their medication correctly and timely.
  • Text messages can confirm prescriptions and also improve efficiency, by reducing the amount of medication that goes uncollected, making it available to other patients who still need it.

Scheduled text reminders from healthcare workers are more effective than medication apps, for a few reasons:.

  • Alerts can reach patients without needing them to download an app or be online.
  • Test messages can put patients in contact with healthcare professionals. People are more likely to comply with instructions from a real person instead of an app.

3. Follow-Up Texts

Text messaging enables better patient care between visits. Sending patients a follow-up text after bookings can encourage them to bring up issues they forgot to mention in person, or discuss concerns they have following their appointment.

 

If your patient has an important healthcare decision to make following your check-up, a text summing up the key information can help make an informed choice.

 

Scheduling texts for the weeks after a visit gives patients the opportunity to raise issues with their treatment or medication before their next check-up.

 

As a result, you can get an earlier warning about their issues and potential health problems or complications from treatment. Giving patients more ways to raise concerns and provide feedback is a vital part of listening to patients and improving their healthcare experience. Furthermore, it helps open a dialogue about chronic illnesses or ongoing issues.

 

Using SMS to follow up with people on your waiting list can also improve the patient care experience by removing people who no longer want to join your practice from the loss, leading to shorter delays for patients still on the list.

4. Promote a Healthier Lifestyle

In addition to helping patients with their treatment and prescriptions, texting can also support people with making healthier lifestyle choices. For example, people trying to quit smoking could benefit from texts offering encouragement and advice. This also makes it easy to get immediate help by texting for a live response or call-back.

 

Texting quick tips and links to articles provides an engaging way to educate people and give them diet and exercise tailored to their health needs. Patient engagement is vital to establish long-term positive changes when it comes to encouraging a healthier lifestyle.

 

An American Heart Association study found that using automated text campaigns to motivate and educate patients increased their average steps per day by 2,500 compared to those who did not receive the messages.

5. Staff Scheduling

Keeping track of a tight schedule can be a challenge for healthcare workers, especially for workers who need to travel to patients or multiple practices. Integrating text messaging into your healthcare scheduling system can help them be in the right place with automated timetable reminders and updates.

 

Furthermore, when healthcare workers are able to report lateness or absence via SMS, this gives your practice more time to arrange cover or notify patients.

 

In addition to helping employees stay on top of their schedule, this gives patients a chance to respond and get an alternative booking if their doctor or nurse is absent.

 

Texting can also advise patients of shorter delays so they can arrive later instead of filling your waiting room with people whose appointments are delayed.

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Why Cyber Hygiene is Critical During the COVID-19 Era

Why Cyber Hygiene is Critical During the COVID-19 Era | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Cyber hygiene has a heightened importance in the COVID-19 era as cyber-attacks are drastically increasing.  

 

The most common attacks are through emails sent with nothing but lies and harmful malware. For example, attackers have impersonates the World Health Organization (WHO), trying to get recipients to download infected files.  

 

WHO released a statement about how cyber-attacks have increased as credentials of retired employees were leaked and now attackers are impersonating these employees.  

 

With many businesses now switching to an online form of work through a remote workforce, it is extremely important to take action and make sure you maintain good cyber hygiene.  

A few tips to keep in mind

Here’s how companies can enhance employees' cyber hygiene: 

  • Administer Cyber Security Awareness Training to employees. 
  • Create a system based on practicing good hygiene that employees must follow.
  • A good policy should consist of installing anti-viruses and keeping them updated, backing up data, installing security features, to name a few. More information about maintaining good cyber hygiene can be found in our other blog post Cyber Hygiene 101. 
  • Update your system software whenever possible. Cyber-attacks are an ever-evolving field with new ways to scam people that are being created daily. It is always important to stay on top of the latest scams hackers are creating. 

 

If you feel as if you don’t know where to begin for practicing good cyber hygiene, 24By7Security recommends a hiring a part-time CISO to guide and help you and your company take the steps needed to protect against cyber-attacks. 

How COVID-19 has affected cybersecurity

Cyber-attacks are increasing due to COVID-19. Hackers are using new ways to trick people.   

 

For example, HawkEye is a new malware being used to infiltrate systems. Attackers are also spoofing domains such as Google and Microsoft in order to trick people.

 

As I previously mentioned, 24By7Security highly recommends cyber security awareness training. It is important to be aware of these new methods in order to stay protected and secure.  

 

While all of this may be alarming, there are many actions you can take in order to have good cyber hygiene and protect yourself.

 

Creating a plan for action and sticking to that plan will keep you safe which includes installing anti-viruses and keeping them updated, backing up data, installing security features etc.  

 

Cyber hygiene is very important to maintain during this time, so as we are maintaining our physical health, we must also maintain our cyber health.  

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Will AI Become a Crucial Part of Healthcare Post COVID-19?

Will AI Become a Crucial Part of Healthcare Post COVID-19? | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

COVID-19 Made Us More Involved in the Healthcare Industry

All of the superstitions flew out of the window when the coronavirus broke out since it leveled the playing field—we were all impacted, and it wasn’t somebody else’s problem anymore.

 

People demanded to know more about what was going on and how they could keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

 

Once the healthcare systems across the planet started collapsing, even the most passive ones realized that something had to be done. Being invested, interested, and asking questions was certainly the first step.

 

If we look closely at everything that went wrong, it’s easy to understand that AI can help prevent the same scenario from happening again.

Can AI Help Healthcare Reach New Heights

Everything that happened since the pandemic started became an uncharted territory that caused a lot of insecurities. This certainly wasn’t the first global pandemic, but it might go down in history as the most influential one. So, what’s the connection between AI and the healthcare industry?

 

Well, paradoxically, the answer is in the connections. In addition to using technology to improve healthcare, implementing new systems and devices, AI can be a part of a more well-connected system that communicates both ways.

 

One example is the use of big data. Not only can AI gather it, but it can also use it to make predictions, connect the dots, and create solutions for the outcome no one can even see coming.

 

Implementing artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry means being able to make fact-based, informed, and strategic decisions. That was crucial when the pandemic broke out, which was the reason why most healthcare professionals relied on guesswork.

 

In addition to this huge benefit, AI can help workers in the medical industry by performing routine tasks and allowing them to have more time for activities that bring value and change. It can enable them to have the necessary data in real-time and react accordingly, without questioning their moves and decisions because of the lack of resources.

 

It isn’t surprising that people are skeptical about mixing their private medical records and a technology that has been designed to think.

 

AI will certainly be developing for years to come, and it’s foolish to say that it won’t cause a single problem for any user. Still, its implementation is an improvement of a system that’s in desperate need of one.

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4 Ways Hospitals Can Prepare for COVID-19 Using Virtual Care

4 Ways Hospitals Can Prepare for COVID-19 Using Virtual Care | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Here are four ways to prepare for COVID-19 using virtual care:

1. Triage incoming patients using virtual care

Virtual care has that important degree of separation you want between a contagious patient and a provider. By using virtual care to triage you can be confident that your staff is protected from unnecessary exposure.

 

Also, patients who stay at home limit more unnecessary exposure to the public. Virtual care allows your providers to evaluate many more patients in less time than if they came to your hospital. Keeping the virus contained is one of the top strategies for slowing the spread of this virus.

 

2. Move in-person appointments to virtual care to reduce exposure

 

By moving your new and upcoming sick-patient appointments to a virtual visit you can be assured they’ll still receive quality care, but you have just reduced the exposure risk for your providers and staff to zero.

 

That’s impactful! If a patient worsens, their provider can reevaluate them and make a safe and informed decision whether or not they require an escalation in care, e.g., if shortness of breath becomes unmanageable and they require respiratory therapy.

 

3. Give sick employees a virtual care option to limit exposure

 

Your healthcare organization needs to stay staffed and working efficiently, especially with the rapid spread of COVID-19. The risk for exposure and transmission is high, especially in hospitals and clinics, and this means that some of your staff will get sick too.

 

Provide them the same virtual care triage when they feel unwell. This option is an excellent way to limit exposure and transmission amongst those that care for patients. They can be evaluated before they come in, and if it’s determined they’re ill, they can stay at home without ever having come into the hospital.

4. Reduce avoidable ED visits to prepare for higher ED volumes

There will be an inevitable increase in patients who come to your ED because of COVID-19. That, in and of itself, puts more strain on your ED. Use virtual care to treat and redirect the 30% of avoidable ED visits your hospital sees every day so you have the resources and beds ready when ED volume increases. 

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The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the COVID-19 Pandemic 

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the COVID-19 Pandemic  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

All this is leading to persistent updates on the virus becoming the norm for most of the public as angst across the globe continues to grow.

AI has several uses in supporting all areas of the fight against the pandemic and some of these have been outlined below.

  • AI is assisting in detecting the spread of COVID-19 with predictive models forecasting where it is likely to be spreading to next and projecting likely number of cases and deaths.
  • Researchers are deploying AI to better understand the Coronavirus. AI is mining through vast amounts of research and discover patterns and effective treatments.
  • AI is helping to accurately diagnose the virus to detect and monitor patients with the virus.
  • Doctors used a robot to treat the first person admitted to the hospital in the U.S with the Coronavirus. It also has additional uses in delivering food, medical supplies, etc.
  • Chatbots also play a crucial role to support assessment and triage those who are experiencing symptoms to the correct level of care. It is also alleviating overburdened call centers in healthcare.
  • There is an AI-powered mobile app that is performing at-home risk assessments to direct possible Coronavirus patients to a testing facility.
  • Interactive maps are monitoring patterns and identifying relationships. Insights analyzing the outbreak are frequently being shared as further information is known.

 

This accelerated use of AI is enabling us all to learn so much more about the Coronavirus despite the short time period that is has been around.

These insights allow us all to prepare, as best as possible, for the emergency that is unfolding.

 

AI alone will not solve all answers and we will still need to work together as a population to do all that is in our individual power to slow the spread of the COVID-19 with actions that flatten the curve to support the healthcare system capacity.

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How AI is able to Predict and Detect a Stroke

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Exploring Artificial Intelligence and Stroke Response

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

 

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

 

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

Why is it so hard to predict and detect stroke?

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

 

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

 

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

How AI Can Predict and Detect Stroke

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Other companies using AI to predict and detect stroke

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

 

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

 

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

The limitations for AI technology and stroke prediction

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

 

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

 

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

AI technology and stroke: Forecasts for future success

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

 

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

 

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

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The Importance of Medical Apps During a Crisis

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

  • Greater Accessibility

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

  • Calling Services

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

  • Leverages service providers

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

  • Quick deliveries

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

  • Convenient Payments

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

  • Track Health Data

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

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What is a Security Patch?

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

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

 

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

What is the Importance of a Security Patch?

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

 

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

 

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

What is a Patch Management Process?

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

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

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

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

Keeping security patches up to date allows you to:

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

When Is Patch Installation Required Under the HIPAA Security Rule?

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Benefits of Cerec Systems and Intraoral Cameras in Your Practice

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

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

 

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

 

CEREC SYSTEMS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

INTRAORAL CAMERAS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Essential Questions For Dentists To Ask Before Investing In New Technology

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

1. WILL IT IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF PATIENT CARE?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The equipment you purchase should have an impact almost immediately.

 

4. WILL YOUR STAFF MASTER THE NEW TECHNOLOGY QUICKLY?

 

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

 

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

 

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

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3 Keys to Effective Use of IT in Healthcare

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

2. Advanced Interoperability

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

3. Analytics Maturity

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Why Cyber-Security Is Important For Your Dental Practice

Why Cyber-Security Is Important For Your Dental Practice | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

If you run a dental practice, keeping your computer systems secure at all times is essential.

 

Due to the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber-threats, it’s more important than ever to keep your computer systems secure. However, if you’re unsure how to protect your data, you certainly aren’t alone.

 

The data that you store on your computer systems contains highly sensitive information about your patients, which can make it a target of hackers.

 

Not only do these records contain important identifying information of your patients that could be targeted by identity thieves, but they also contain protected medical records that are protected by HIPAA.

 

PROTECTING YOUR DATA REQUIRES MORE THAN AN ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM

 

An effective antivirus program can play a major role in protecting your data and improving dental practice security, but it’s not the whole story.

 

You need to make sure that your employees are trained on how to avoid malware on the web, avoid falling prey to phishing, and are well-educated on the importance of cyber-security.

 

In addition, it’s essential to make sure that your employees are familiar with how to identify suspicious emails and ensure that they avoid clicking on links from an unknown sender.

 

WHAT CAN THREATS & ADVANCEMENTS BE EXPECTED IN THE FUTURE?

 

While cyber-security threats are likely to become more advanced as time goes on, health IT security systems are likely to advance as well, which means that there will be new ways to protect your computer system from hackers.

 

For instance, antivirus programs are becoming increasingly effective at detecting new forms of malware, and many antivirus programs now make it possible to flag websites that could be dangerous.

 

Using a certified EHR or Electronic Health Records system will help keep your patients’ information safe, certified EHRs are tested by the government to make sure it is of the highest security standards.

 

These programs are likely to become far more sophisticated, which is likely to thwart a large portion of cyber-attacks. Furthermore, IT technology is being increasingly utilized for a wide range of dental devices, such as dental cameras, CNC machines, and 3D printers used in the dental industry.

 

As a result, the list of dental devices that you’ll need to keep secure is likely to increase considerably in the future. Luckily, you’ll have the opportunity to protect these smart devices with cyber-security technologies that are more advanced and effective than ever.

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High-Tech Dental Cameras Can Improve Your Practice

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

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

 

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

 

HOW HAVE DENTAL CAMERAS IMPROVED?

 

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

 

This allows them to capture much sharper images, which can

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

 

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

 

HOW ARE THE NEW DENTAL CAMERAS USED?

 

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

 

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

 

THE PRICES OF HIGH-TECH DENTAL CAMERAS ARE DROPPING

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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COVID-19 and Online Learning

COVID-19 and Online Learning | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

With the cases of coronavirus on the rise, there has been a shift to virtual learning which may last longer than anticipated. This sudden worldwide transition has left no time for schools to figure out the best course of action and how to make sure sensitive student information and classes are secure.

 

Students from primary school all the way to college and graduate school are putting information onto online platforms.

 

Many of the software programs being used might put student personal information at risk.

 

With teachers teaching from home, they are forced to use personal devices to handle student information. These devices, which may have weak spots for hackers to insert malware and other viruses, could result in schools having data breaches in their servers putting not only students at risk but faculty and staff too.

 

In this blog post, we will go over security problems with online learning and how they are impacting the online education of students.

Cyber-attacks becoming increasingly relevant

With more and more businesses moving to online platforms, there has been a 33% increase in ransomware and other cyber-attacks in Q1 of 2020

 

Since schools had to shift to e-learning, there have been cases of people joining classes uninvited and showing inappropriate videos and images.

 

These were very problematic concerns especially considering that many of these students are minors.

 

In spring of this year, Zoom received a lot of complaints about how secure its platform really was.

 

More than 500,000 hacked Zoom accounts had been sold on the dark web. In response to these security issues, Zoom updated its platform to resolve security vulnerabilities. 

opinion as a student

As a third year college student at Florida State University, I have firsthand experience of online learning during this pandemic. It was a drastic adjustment having to change my whole method of learning just weeks before taking final exams.

 

It was even more worrisome considering that lectures were going to be conducted via software that I knew nothing about, making me entrust my academics to a new system overnight.

 

I did not know if I were going to fall victim to a cyber attack. I just had to use whatever software my school deemed fit and trust that my information and privacy were safe.

 

When hearing of the recent increase in cyber attacks, I became more worried.

 

I thought to myself, if hackers can come onto meetings and stream whatever they want, what is to stop them from intruding on personal information from students?

 

Schools need a better solution on how to conduct online learning, especially when it comes to students younger than the 18. It was not smart to entrust this large task to software not designed to handle these tasks.

 

Personally, I think a solution would be for the department of education to design and implement an online learning solution that could be customized to fit the needs of online learning for all ages.

 

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Technology's role in Healthcare and Society

Technology's role in Healthcare and Society | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

There is no better time for the health IT community to come together under one umbrella to raise national awareness of the benefits information technology can bring to the US health system.  National Health IT (NHIT) Week is a nationwide awareness week focused on the value of health IT.

 

Each year, NHIT Week Partners educate industry and policy stakeholders on the value of health IT for the US healthcare system.  Every Tuesday leading up to NHIT Week, our valued partners will share their voice and experience on how they demonstrate the value of health IT.   

 

It’s impossible to truly appreciate the current state of health IT in the U.S. without reflecting on how far we’ve come and where we have been. Not that long ago, all records were captured on paper.

 

Charts could only be shared via fax machine or courier. You saw your local doctor for everything – visited your local hospital. Accessing healthcare information was difficult and tedious. Monumental advances have been made in the last 20 years that have improved the way the healthcare industry delivers patient care and the way the public expects to be treated.

 

Not only is the industry increasingly reliant on technology, our patients are tech-savvy and expect to be treated as such.

 

One of the most important, and highly debated, elements of our society is the quality of healthcare available to patients.

 

And, undeniably, a driving force behind quality healthcare is the adoption of technology that enables clinicians to provide better patient care. National Health IT Week is an opportunity to highlight the value and importance of information technology in healthcare throughout the country.

 

With an increased reliance on technology, it’s important to take the time to convey the mutual benefits for patients and providers to the public and policymakers that rely on healthcare IT and influence its use.

 

Technology’s role in healthcare has expanded exponentially over the last 20 years and figures to increase in conjunction with our societal technological advancements.

 

Our ability to store, share and analyze health information is directly tied to improved technology.

 

The use of technology increases provider capabilities and patient access while improving the quality of life for some patients and saving the lives of others.

 

We’re moving into an era where physicians can see patients remotely and accurately diagnose t a patient’s problems, even in the most rural areas, through telemedicine.

 

We’ve progressed from using technology to improve patient care and the healthcare industry, to impacting our society as a whole.

 

However, the industry is entering a pivotal era. As EHR adoption increases, will the technology movement grow stale? Will it plateau or continue to evolve to support the new challenges faced by the industry and society? Odds are it will continue to evolve as technology evolves and technological capabilities offer new ways to treat, communicate and care for patients.

 

NHIT  Week is about raising awareness for the value of health IT. It’s a week that gives those invested in health IT an opportunity to band together and ensure that the message is clear to all that will listen. Health information technology brings a multitude of benefits to our U.S. healthcare system.

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5 Tips For Improving Patient Data Security

5 Tips For Improving Patient Data Security | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Healthcare cybersecurity has been a hot-button item for some time now, and given the current environment, the healthcare industry is facing a growing number of cyber threats each day. As we make the transformative shift to digitized medical records and telemedicine,

 

we must also consider the opportunity this increasingly accessible data presents for cybercriminals. To ensure private patient data stays private, we’re sharing five tips for improving cybersecurity in healthcare and ensure the security of patient data.

1. Staff training

Often, the common denominator in cybersecurity failures is the user. Neglecting to properly train staff on cybersecurity best practices puts everyone at risk, and with more than four out of five physicians having been victim to some type of cyberattack, there is no room for human error.

 

To avoid this heightened risk and ensure everyone feels comfortable handling confidential information, regular staff training sessions demonstrating how best to protect patient data and what to look out for in the event of a breach are highly recommended.

 

Depending on your resources, staff size, and other relevant factors, there are a number of ways to go about developing the most effective program for your staff-specific cybersecurity training. Essentially, however, the same general topics should be covered when educating staff:

  • Common causes of a breach
  • Prevalent types of cyberattacks
  • How to identify an attack
  • Precautionary best practices

Additionally, a comprehensive cybersecurity training program should include hands-on activities to keep staff engaged both during training and beyond.

 

Healthcare professionals can engage their staff through applied training formats such as simulated phishing emails to help identify red flags or walking through past real-life scenarios of healthcare-related cyberattacks and discussing or role-playing what happened, how it happened and how one should go about reporting and preventing similar incidents in the future.

 

To keep best practices top of mind and staff fresh on the latest trends in cyberattacks, it is recommended that training activities are held on an ongoing basis rather than solely during onboarding.

2. Password protection

A simple-yet-commonly-overlooked component to a strong cybersecurity defense is proper password protocol.

 

Healthcare facilities and managing staff should recognize the importance of password best practices and ensure all relevant employees are made aware of the organization’s policy.

 

One simple password implementation to improve patient data security is utilizing different passwords for each website, device, and application your facility uses.

 

Once these passwords have been set, an overall rule of no password sharing among employees should be enforced, as should a rule of no office-wide password usage for any device or application. Although these best practices may seem elementary, according to a study of 299 medical professionals and practices, staff used a password that was not their own an average of four times, stating the case for improved password protection.

 

Similarly, as telehealth becomes more popular and patient documents incidentally become more available, strong password usage should also be emphasized to patients accessing data through patient portals and other web-based files.

3. Layered Defense

Although the people-first cybersecurity protocols are important, there is only so much an employee can do if malware infiltrates your system. Therefore, the next step in strong cybersecurity is a ‘layered defense.’ A layered defense essentially means having multiple steps, or layers, in place to prevent someone from accessing patient data. This way, should a hacker gain access to your system, there will be defenders in place to slow the hacking process and deny full access to your system data.

 

Depending on your specific system and organization’s preferences, there are several forms this defense structure may occur. Recommended practice for a layered cybersecurity defense includes up-to-date antivirus software and a strong next-generation firewall, whereas a more physical approach may include surveillance equipment and entry security to IT rooms.

4. Software maintenance

A standard practice in cybersecurity is requiring all work-related activity to be performed on a company-owned and maintained device. However, in the healthcare industry, this can be difficult. As patient data is often passed around to different healthcare professionals and remote patient access must be factored in, threats become increasingly prominent. Although seemingly inconvenient, regularly updating your software is a crucial element of cyber defense.

 

As technology continues to evolve and advance, criminal capabilities do as well. The problem here is that if your organization should fall behind on essential software updates, and you significantly increase your vulnerability to hackers with technology more advanced than your own. 

 

Software updates are designed not only to patch security flaws, but they also add new features to your system and improve existing ones, keeping you in line with the times and safe from infiltration. A good rule of thumb to follow is to always accept software update notifications.

5. Limit access

In line with patient confidentiality rules, cybersecurity best practices also recommend restricting access to patient records to authorized personnel only.

 

Maintaining rigid standards on data access should be practiced on both current and former employees. Should a staff member be terminated or leave voluntarily, any informational access they held should be removed. Additionally, data access should be monitored on an ongoing basis to verify who is accessing what records and when.

 

The imminent threat of cybercrime is, unfortunately, something we must face as our world grows increasingly technology-centric. In the coming years, the healthcare industry will continue to digitize, and emerging technologies will become commonplace for both patients and healthcare providers.

 

Although these advancements and their benefits within the healthcare field are something to look forward to, we must maintain strong security over the sensitive information patients share on a day-to-day basis as said technology evolves.

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Five Tips to Enhance Telecommuting Security

Five Tips to Enhance Telecommuting Security | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

5 practices can increase the security of your telecommuting environment:

  1. Don’t make teleconferences public

For IT professionals, this may seem obvious given how easily accessible meetings can be, but this is a step that many companies can take to promote security. Making teleconferences private is a twofold process.

    1. Encourage fellow teleworkers not to share the link publicly or on social media sites. 
    2. Set a password for each and every conference and make sure to only send the password to those who need it. Not doing so makes “Zoom-bombing” and intrusion easier for hackers. 

 

The FBI recently published an announcement recommending that all those conducting teleconferences make meetings private, otherwise hackers could display malicious images and texts on your video call.

 

The FBI reported that two unknown characters appeared on the Zoom classes of separate high schools in Massachusetts. On one call, an unknown character shouted the instructor’s home address and expletives.

 

On the other call, an unknown individual shared swastika tattoos with a high school class.  The Department of Justice has announced now that "Zoom-bombing" is illegal and can result in jail time. When it comes to cybersecurity, this probably isn’t your worst nightmare, but it’s pretty high up there. Refraining from making teleconferences public is an easy fix. 

 

It’s advisable to also utilize all security features provided by the application – for instance, Zoom now enables the “virtual waiting room” feature for all meetings – it prevents attendees from joining before the host and therefore is another way for the host to ensure that there are no unwanted attendees waiting to enter the meeting.

 

There was even an issue when hackers could access computer credentials through links dropped into a Zoom meeting. 

 

Zoom has patched this issue since, but it is important that users update their Zoom apps regularly to ensure that they are using the latest patched version. In response to the rise in hacking of its platform, Zoom recently announced that is it increasing its security measure.

  1. Utilize encryption and Virtual Private Networks.

    Before connecting to your corporate applications or meetings, your employees should be on a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Basically, a VPN, which encrypts your data coming in and out, creates a tunnel between the employee’s computer and their destination on the web. When intruders try to lift sensitive data or interfere with your work connection, the encryption on a VPN helps provide protection. Some say that virtual private networks will not be able to handle the strain of thousands of workers telecommuting, but this primarily holds true for large corporations who have their own corporate virtual private network that’s designed for use by part of the workforce. Small businesses have an edge because they can use any of several VPN providers available like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, LogMeIn and others that are optimal for small business use.

 

While talking about encryption, also consider using email, messaging and teleconference facilities that encrypt their communications. 

 

There are some that provide end-to-end encryption that are obviously the best, but many other solution providers are working towards the goal of providing end-to-end encryption.  

  1. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

    One technique that many hackers use to infiltrate a teleconferencing session or any other corporate application is that of imitating an employee or someone who is supposed to be on the conferencing platform or application. It’s difficult to tell what’s real from fake, so why not let the platform do that for you? Establishing Multi-Factor Authentication, or asking the teleworker to provide evidence that they are who they say they are through their email, their text, and by providing a password in the session, is a great way to reduce the probability of cyber-intrusion. 

 

  1. Educate employees

    A company can do everything right on the backend, but if they don’t educate their employees on best practices to ensure cybersecurity and safety, it will all be for nothing. For example, if a teleworker doesn’t change their router’s password, or they use their neighbor’s WiFi, the probability that your teleconference is penetrated by unwanted individuals spikes regardless of any security measures you may have taken. What’s worse is phishing. If your employees click on a URL or even open a message with harmful content, it is very likely that the details required to enter your teleconference will be compromised. So, making sure your employees understand what’s expected of them is an important part of sustaining the security of your telecommuting environment.

 

  1. Establish robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans

    I know. You’re tired of assuming the hacker will get through your defenses. You made your teleconferences private, you’re using a VPN, you have set up Multi-Factor Authentication, and have educated your employees. What more can you possibly do? Believe me, I get it. But, there’s one last step to cover if everything goes wrong. You need a backup to make sure you can start from scratch if the need arises.  
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Healthcare Snapchat Marketing: Will It Work for You?

Healthcare Snapchat Marketing: Will It Work for You? | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

In the past few years, healthcare organizations have finally embraced social media as an important part of their marketing strategies.

 

But while many doctors, hospitals, and organizations use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to advertise and to keep in touch, Snapchat is a new frontier for most of us.

 

Is Snapchat the right fit for your medical organization? Should you incorporate the app as part of your daily marketing strategies? And what are your options for paid advertisements? You might be surprised at the possibilities.

Who’s using Snapchat?

Few healthcare marketers are currently active in Snapchat. There’s a good reason for this. For many years, teenagers were the primary users of the social media platform, which allows users to upload pictures and short videos that are designed to disappear after they’re viewed.

 

But now, these early adopters of Snapchat are today’s healthcare consumers. Some important stats to know:

  • 78% of 18-24 year-olds use Snapchat
  • 54% of 25-29 year-olds use Facebook
  • 63% of Snapchat users check it each and every day

(source: Pew Research Center)

Clearly, this demographic won’t fit every type of healthcare organization. But these demographics are visiting urgent care centers, searching for long-term primary care physicians, looking up gynecologists and other specialists, and learning that preventive health is worth it. Many are even caring for children or older generations in the family.

How can you use Snapchat to attract patients?

There are many practices and hospitals that post to Facebook daily or weekly in order to stay relevant and market their own content. But this particular strategy may not get you very far on Snapchat.

 

There are doctors who are active on Snapchat and maintain a steady stream of followers. However, these doctors have put a lot of work into maintaining their brands—people like TV’s Dr. Sandra Lee (@drpimplepopper).

 

One of Snapchat’s most beloved doctors is Dr. Michael Salzhauer (@therealdrmiami), a plastic surgeon who posts both fun and graphic Snapchat stories. (Snapchat does not censor content as other platforms do.) While patients sign consent forms, Dr. Salzhauer’s “snaps” have started a debate about the ethics of posting live surgeries for all to see.

 

Some doctors have found innovative ways to gain views and followers. One British surgeon used Snapchat Spectacles (sunglasses embedded with a small camera) to stream a live surgery as a teaching tool. Of course, this particular strategy was targeted at the medical community and is not optimal for gaining patients.

 

So what strategies can help you use Snapchat as a tool to help patients find your hospital or practice? For the most part, you’ll want to investigate Snapchat’s paid advertising options.

A look at Snap Ads (Snapchat Advertising)

Depending on your target demographic, Snap Ads can be ideal for some marketing goals.

 

There are few restrictions on ad content (at least within the US), aside from restrictions on marketing diet products and weight loss services. And the best part? It’s a lot of fun to create ads your audience will love.

 

Your ad can take on a few formats:

 

Snap Ads

Snap ads show up as users view stories from people they follow. Vertical videos showcase your brand and your services, encouraging your audience to get a flu shot, schedule a checkup, or get tested for STDs—and providing a quick link to your website.

 

Filters

Sponsored geofilters let people in or near your office (or near a target location like a college campus or event) take a selfie and add your custom filter over it.

 

An example filter might be a silly frame of teeth with a reminder to floss and see the dentist. The possibilities are limitless!

 

AR Lenses

Finally, AR lenses are the most advanced option. Custom-designed augmented reality features use selfies to make it appear the Snapchat user has transformed into a doctor, for example. In this case, the surgical mask and/or stethoscope would follow the user whenever she turns her head.

 

Of course, Snapchat advertising won’t be a great fit for every medical specialty or marketing goal. However, Snapchat is an excellent match for many advertising campaigns targeted at users up to age 34.

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Lifesaving Potential of Automation in Healthcare

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

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

 

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

 

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

The Need for Automation

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

This example perfectly illustrates the two main benefits of automation.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Ways to Automate Healthcare

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Brief Overview of the Three Main Benefits

No Wasted Time

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

Better Experience for Everyone

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

Safety and Transparency

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

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Healthcare Cybersecurity: Why Healthcare is Vulnerable 

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

Why Healthcare is Targeted

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

 

  • Outdated Operating Systems

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Employee Training

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

 

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

  • Valuable Data

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

 

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

 

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

Healthcare Cybersecurity: 3 Strategies to Protect Against Phishing Attacks

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

 

Healthcare cybersecurity should incorporate the following:

  • Cross-platform Solutions

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

 

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

 

  • Take Advantage of Teachable Moments

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Privacy as a Priority

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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The Technology Used to Create Dentures is Improving

The Technology Used to Create Dentures is Improving | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

It’s important to make sure that you’re using the most up-to-date technology when you create dentures for the patients at your improving dental practice. Your patients will expect the best when it comes to their dentures, which will improve patient satisfaction considerably.

 

WHICH NEW TECHNOLOGIES ARE BEING USED TO CREATE BETTER DENTURES?

 

Sophisticated computer software is being used to help dentists create better molds of a patient’s mouth, which allows dentists to create dentures that are more similar to natural teeth. As a result, they’re likely to allow patients to eat a wider range of foods and last for a longer period of time.

 

In addition, the latest software helps dentists perform more effective scans of a patient’s mouth. This allows a patient’s mouth to be modeled in three dimensions, which can greatly improve the quality of dentures that they’re able to produce.

 

That’s because these scans allow dental care providers to see areas of the mouth that would otherwise be difficult to observe.

 

Furthermore, the materials that are used to create dentures have improved over the years. They have become much stronger, which makes it possible for patients to eat a wider range of foods. Furthermore, the materials that are used to create today’s dentures are longer-lasting as well.

 

Also, advanced polymers can now be used to hold dentures in place, which can allow patients to eat a wider range of foods.

 

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FOR THE FUTURE OF DENTURES TECHNOLOGY?

 

As time goes on, computer technology that’s used by dental practices will become far more advanced. Also, the materials that are used to make dentures are likely to improve as well.

 

This will dramatically improve the quality of dentures that can be produced, which will greatly improve patient satisfaction.

 

Not only will the materials used to make the dentures themselves improve, but the quality of the materials used to hold dentures in place will improve as well.

 

This will help to prevent patients from having the experience of discovering that their dentures come out when they eat certain types of foods, which will allow you to provide dentures that patients are more satisfied with than ever!

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Why Healthcare Needs the Internet of Things

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

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

 

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

 

What is The Internet of Things?

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

 

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

Why is IoT Important in Healthcare?

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

 

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

 

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

Safety of Family Doctors

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Revolutionizing the Treatment and Diagnosis of Disease

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Benefits of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Healthcare

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Healthcare | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are hot technology topics across many industries right now.

 

In particular, the benefits of AI in healthcare has been gaining traction in the last two years and will continue to be popular as the technology grows and evolves.

 

Here are a few of the top ways that healthcare can benefit from AI and machine learning. 

 

Connecting Data 


Data analysis is a massive topic in healthcare. As a society, we are increasingly adopting digital health, and as that increases, so does the amount of data and a variety of data sources.

 

This data influx is overloading healthcare systems, and medical professionals are having a hard time finding a way to digest all of this raw data effectively.

 

Processing data from multiple sources and providing predictive analysis from that data is one of the most significant benefits that AI can bring to healthcare.

 

The healthcare industry is constantly plagued with the predicament of having data from multiple different sources and finding a way to consolidate and process that data into useful information for clinicians.

 

AI can take disparate data from things like wearable devices, electronic health records, and lab testing and give doctors suggestions for care based on that analysis. This information can include disease risks, diagnosis suggestions, and pattern notifications in an increasingly efficient and accurate fashion. 

 

Improving Patient Care 


Predicting the chance of and detecting diseases with AI is a use that could genuinely change patient's lives. Using specialized algorithms with patient data sets and sources can help doctors and other medical professionals screen for diseases with a very high level of accuracy.

 

The goal is not to replace medical professionals, but for those professionals to use AI as clinical decision support and “another set of eyes” to decrease the chance of errors.

 

For example, using artificial intelligence to process a patient’s medical records and lab records can help predict the chances of diseases, including things like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.

 

Using AI to process this data can also help healthcare professionals understand patient patterns and see where potential patient needs may arise. AI technology can process more data faster than any human, making it a great compliment to any clinician's practice of medicine and a very efficient way of getting actionable data.

 

Enhanced Patient Communication and Access 


Promoting patient communication is paramount when looking to improve patient care. Utilizing technologies such as virtual nursing assistants can help to improve communication with healthcare providers and potentially reduce readmissions or unnecessary emergency room visits.

 

Using AI, virtual nursing assistants can replicate nursing behavior and assist with patient questions, monitoring, reminders, and providing answers. When looking at patient access, especially in rural areas, AI can help to mitigate the impact of resource deficiencies in under-served or rural areas.

 

For example, if a rural area does not have easy access to specialized radiologists, AI can be used to review x-ray’s and provide diagnostic recommendations.

 

AI diagnostic duty assistance can help in various areas of medicine and can assist clinicians in under-resourced regions or locations. Again, this technology is to be used in conjunction with clinicians to help improve the accuracy of diagnoses and provide better care. 

 

Healthcare is a very complex world, and as with any new technology, AI in healthcare is still being explored and refined. As AI continues to grow, it will continue to support human providers in providing better and faster care while also reducing costs.

 

This technology will extend to different areas of healthcare in the coming years, transforming healthcare as a whole as well as individual patient care.

 

All healthcare organizations should begin understanding the benefits and capabilities of artificial intelligence now to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared for the abilities to come. 

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Cyber-Security Is Important For Your Dental Practice

Cyber-Security Is Important For Your Dental Practice | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

If you run a dental practice, keeping your computer systems secure at all times is essential.

 

Due to the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber-threats, it’s more important than ever to keep your computer systems secure.

 

However, if you’re unsure how to protect your data, you certainly aren’t alone.

 

The data that you store on your computer systems contains highly sensitive information about your patients, which can make it a target of hackers.

 

Not only do these records contain important identifying information of your patients that could be targeted by identity thieves, but they also contain protected medical records that are protected by HIPAA.

 

PROTECTING YOUR DATA REQUIRES MORE THAN JUST AN ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE

 

An effective antivirus program can play a major role in protecting your data and improving dental practice security, but it’s not the whole story.

 

You need to make sure that your employees are trained on how to avoid malware on the web, avoid falling prey to phishing, and are well-educated on the importance of cyber-security.

 

In addition, it’s essential to make sure that your employees are familiar with how to identify suspicious emails and ensure that they avoid clicking on links from an unknown sender.

 

WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED IN THE FUTURE?

 

While cyber-security threats are likely to become more advanced as time goes on, health IT security systems are likely to advance as well, which means that there will be new ways to protect your computer system from hackers.

 

For instance, antivirus programs are becoming increasingly effective at detecting new forms of malware, and many antivirus programs now make it possible to flag websites that could be dangerous.

 

These programs are likely to become far more sophisticated, which is likely to thwart a large portion of cyber-attacks. Furthermore, IT technology is being increasingly utilized for a wide range of dental devices, such as dental cameras, CNC machines, and 3D printers used in the dental industry.

 

As a result, the list of dental devices that you’ll need to keep secure is likely to increase considerably in the future.

 

Luckily, you’ll have the opportunity to protect these smart devices with cybersecurity technologies that are more sophisticated and effective than ever.

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Why Keeping Up With The Latest Dental Technology Is More Important Than Ever

Why Keeping Up With The Latest Dental Technology Is More Important Than Ever | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Making sure that you have an improving dental practice that utilizes the latest technologies is more important than ever.

 

New and innovative technologies make it possible for dentists to provide a standard of care that’s far beyond anything that was possible previously.

 

THE LATEST X-RAY MACHINES ALLOW YOU TO TAKE 3-D IMAGES

 

If you’re not using the latest x-ray machines, you should strongly consider switching over to the most up-to-date technology. That’s because modern x-ray machines make it possible for you to detect problems that would otherwise go undetected and untreated, such as subtler cases of bone loss, decay, small pits, fissures, grooves, and depressions in teeth.

 

This makes using this technology important for the health of your patients, running a successful dentistry practice, and keeping up with the competition.

 

DENTAL LABS ARE USING EXCEPTIONALLY PRECISE EQUIPMENT

 

Crowns, caps, and fillings need to last for years. Making sure these treatments last will improve the reputation of your practice.

 

Nowadays, crowns, caps, and fillings need to be more precise than ever in order to keep up with the competition as a dentist.

 

That’s because software programs are able to precisely model them with the needs of a specific patient in mind.

 

More dentists are using these types of programs than ever, and they’re expected to continue increasing in popularity for years to come, which makes getting this software one of the most crucial steps to take in order to stay ahead of the competition.

 

YOU CAN EVEN GO PAPERLESS!

 

If you’re like most dentists, there could be hundreds if not thousands of documents in your office’s file cabinet. These papers typically contain confidential personal information, such as the dental records for your patients.

 

Not only that, but having to sift through folder after folder to find important records can be extremely time-consuming.

 

Luckily, the latest technologies allow you to ditch your cluttered file cabinet for good! EHR1 is a perfect example of a software that is designed for dentists that can replace a lot of the physical storage options available to you.

 

Going paperless will allow you to locate documents with ease, which will make it easier for your patients to get appointments, reschedule, and access their records whenever they need them.

 

Ensuring that your dental practice offers services that are convenient for patients to access is an integral part of staying ahead of the competition.

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