They provide a modem and send the bill, but sometimes you need a bit more help getting your Internet to work – and make it work for you!
Technology is the primary topic of every healthcare reform conversation, whether regarding billing or electronic health records (EHR), medical research, diagnostics, or advancements in treatments. From pacemakers to dialysis treatments, from radiologic magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) to bionic limbs, much of modern medicine and medical discoveries are thanks to technology.
Research hospitals benefit from the latest technology to discover treatments and “cures”, and technology has aided in the diagnosis of broken bones, diagnosis and treatment of major illnesses, and performance of routine tests for preventive care with minimally invasive procedures.
Healthcare clinics rely on technology for daily operations, too. A healthcare clinic contacted us recently after moving into a new location in Fort Worth. After completing the process for moving in their furniture, getting electricity and utilities established, their telecom provider set the office up for Internet access, but the clinic faced the next challenge of making their technology work.
When a telecommunications provider like Verizon, Cox, or Charter work with customers to provide Internet access, this often ends with the provider installing a connection in the wall for a cord to plug into, and offering the customer a modem for Internet access – at a cost, of course. After this, the telecom customer is usually on their own to figure out a plan for making the Internet work in the manner for which they need.
Once connected to the Internet, a healthcare clinic faces a multitude of “how to” decisions:
And that’s just the start – connecting to the Internet is just the first step!
Modern medical facilities take advantage of cloud data storage and EHR. At one time or another, EHRs in small practices may have used software stored on an in-house server, but nowadays it’s more common to take advantage of hosted software through providers like Athena Health which requires using the Internet to access cloud-based EHRs. This is different from practice management, like CareCloud which is still cloud-based software.
The Cloud Connection
If the purpose of technology is to simplify our lives, then cloud computing has only further streamlined everything. The network of devices and technologies that make up the cloud varies from one healthcare clinic to the next, but one thing remains the same: the cloud has improved medicine!
Technology has helped medical practices contain costs while increasing productivity and simultaneously improving patient care. While it’s debatable if productivity and patient care should be mentioned in the same discussion, a medical practice is still a business, and has to be run like any other company. If the practice isn’t profitable, it flounders, putting medical staff out of a job and leaving patients without a care provider.
The cloud can’t sacrifice confidentiality and privacy at the cost of security. The Fort Worth healthcare clinic that had Internet installed in their office needed to make their technology work – and work together!
Several of the questions they had included:
The big question most healthcare clinics ask…
“How can we make sure everything is secure, safe, and compliant?”
Patients view their EHRs as sharing important information about their medical history with their provider at every visit, and eliminating the chance of forgetting critical information – not some high-tech super-secret process. The irony is, it’s both!
Dr. Marie Savard, physician and author of How to Save Your Own Life, hints that an electronic medical record is only as good as its availability, and access is just as important as protecting the data.
Partnering with an IT security consultant like the Fort Worth healthcare clinic did is the right choice for one main reason: expertise. Medical providers oversee medical care, and leave the IT security to the IT experts, so each can focus on what the respective provider does best!
Managed IT services providers like Data Magic focus on protecting healthcare providers from cybercrime and data breaches, with solutions like:
Internet providers install and set up Internet access, but that’s about it – and rightfully so! The next step in going online could result in a life-or-death situation for a medical practice, so take steps to protect your systems. Your technology – and your patients – will benefit from your decision.