Three Key Business Reasons to Implement a Medical Credentialing Process

medical credentialing for telehealth

Guest blog by Mike Simmons, CEO of CredSimple

Telehealth continues to emerge as an important sector of the healthcare industry but the industry is still working to implement regulations that reflect this new area of patient care. In the interim, proactive telehealth companies will see many advantages to installing a medical credentialing process before outside authorities mandate it. And the good news is, with today’s technology, you don’t have to be bogged down by the manual processes and long turnaround times of the broader healthcare industry.Continue Reading…

5 Healthcare SEO Tips to Win New Patients

Healthcare SEO is an essential way for providers to improve their foot traffic by improving their internet traffic. More than 70% of first-time visitors find their providers through a search engine. That means search is going to be crucial in obtaining new patients. Continue Reading…

How Health Technology Is Changing

It is undeniable that technology is transforming healthcare. New health technology emerges every day, altering the way medical professionals practice medicine. Read all about the ground-breaking developments changing the face of the healthcare sector. Continue Reading…

Are You Losing Patient Engagement With A Bad Symptom Checker?

using symptom checker

The democratizing of healthcare and health information through technology means opportunities for great innovation and improved efficiency. It also introduces new challenges for engaging patients. Using the right kind of healthcare software is crucial to maximizing care and minimizing costs.

For example, almost everyone has used an internet website or health app such as WebMD, ShareCare , Healthline, HealthTap, Mayo ClinicContinue Reading…

2016 HIPAA Survey: Are Your Mobile Devices HIPAA-Compliant?

hipaa compliance electronic devices 2016

Health care workers are getting better at protecting patient information, according to a new health care survey that shows small medical practices and medical billing companies are becoming more compliant toward Continue Reading…

Medwand Uses VSee to Win Health 2.0 Launch! Award

MedWand Virtual VisitAmong the many ingenious healthcare technologies debuted at this year’s 2015 Health 2.0 fall conference in Silicon Valley, VSee partner MedWand stood out to win the Health 2.0 Launch! Award. The Launch! Award has previously been won by innovative health startups such as Castlight Health and PracticeFusion.Continue Reading…

Why VSee Free Video Conference for Education – A School Technology Integrator’s Review

* VSee group video chat is FREE for education.  Just sign up for your VSee account using your .edu or country-equivalent address. Please contact us for your free education account if your institution does not have a .edu email.

Guest blog by Claudia Novak, former Technology Integration Specialist at Nashua NH School District and technology expert for the New Hampshire Geographical Alliance.

school technology integration

For the past 20 years, I have been a Technology Integrator for the 17-school Nashua NH School District. One of the most powerful tools I have used has been video conferencing– both with my students and my teachers. For my teachers, it has been a great way to do training and problem solving when I couldn’t be at their school. For my students, it was a great way for them to connect to students at other schools within the school district or around the globe or participate in my Virtual Fieldtrips from anywhere .

Over the years, I have used several software solutions and even expensive dedicated IP to IP hardware solutions. No matter what software product or hardware solution I used, there was one huge issue – our school district’s lack of bandwidth during peak times of Internet usage. The other issue was ease of use for my teachers.

VSee – It’s Really That Simple for Teachers To Use

About 2 years ago I was introduced to VSee on an education blog. I downloaded the product on my laptop and my iPad. It didn’t require administrative rights for my teachers to download it to their laptops. It didn’t require special setups by my teachers to connect to the laptop/iPad camera and audio. I just sent them an invitation and they were up and working with me in a matter of seconds. It was that easy to use.

My first true test of VSee was when I did a series of video conferences from Gdansk, Poland. I was a tad worried since the hotel I was staying at had horrible Internet connection. I had about 15 classes that were ‘connecting’ to me 1-on-1 over a 3 hour period with teachers that had used VSee only when I was there to help them out. The teachers were using both laptops and iPads.

I was HUGELY impressed. No problems and every class got to spend time with me asking all their questions without any video or audio breakup. Better yet, not one teacher had an issue connecting to me and I didn’t have to spend any side time emailing or chatting with them about technical issues.

Since then, I have used VSee exclusively not only for my Virtual Fieldtrips but also connecting to my teachers within the school district. VSee is the only video conferencing product that I have used with such low bandwidth that I could have excellent video and audio even during peak times in my school district.

Video Conferencing Beyond K-12 Education

I recently retired from education and am now working with the New Hampshire Geographical Alliance (NHGA) to help promote geographical education not only in K-12 environment but with universities, too. It is a very active group and one of the issues we have is travelling to meetings. At our last meeting, attendance was low because of the 2+ hours drive under difficult winter conditions, so I introduced VSee to our group.

In April, I used VSee to host our first sub committee (4 members) meeting and we got SO much done without leaving our homes.  Everyone was highly impressed with the quality of video and audio and ESPECIALLY the ease of use with multiple platforms.

I am greatly looking forward to how this video conferencing solution will aid all educators concerned with geography in New Hampshire!

Thank you, VSee. Kudos to VSee and its staff!

 

HIPAA Survey Shows Small Medical Practices, Billing Companies Not Ready for Audits

Thanks to Travis McKnight for today’s post! Travis is a journalist who discusses medicine, science and technology. Follow him on Twitter @Khellendos.

A health care study reports that a significant portion of surveyed small medical practices and medical billing companies are not compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s updated Omnibus privacy and security regulations, compliance measures, and communication methods.

HIPAA survey

The HIPAA study, which was conducted by Porter Research, NueMD and the Daniel Brown Law Group, gathered responses from more than 1,100 medical practices and billing companies throughout the country. Researchers interviewed providers, administrators, and medical office staff, 36 percent of whom didn’t even know about HIPAA’s updated rules. Of those respondents who did know of the new rulings, only 58 percent said they have a HIPPA compliance plan — a task required by HIPPA policy.

The 2013 HIPAA updates, which are affected by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, increased penalties for privacy and security violations up to $1.5 million per year, forced business associates of HIPAA covered entities to abide by certain HIPAA policies, and established new rules for notifying patients and the public of security breaches.

Additionally, the survey team noticed a trend suggesting billing companies may be doing better with compliance compared to medical practices, and that there is a consistent information gap between management and staff when handling HIPAA compliance measures.

HIPAA Survey Results Overview

The survey of more than 1,100 healthcare professionals revealed several areas of concern, including:

  • 66 percent of respondents were unaware of HIPAA audits prior to this survey bringing it to their attention.
  • 35 percent of respondents have conducted a HIPAA-required risk analysis.
  • 34 percent of owners, managers, and administrators felt “very confident” their electronic devices containing personal health information (PHI) were HIPAA compliant.
  • 24 percent of owners, managers, and administrators in small practices have evaluated all of their Business Associate Agreements.
  • 56 percent of office staff and non-owner care providers in small practices have received HIPAA training in the last year.
  • 62 percent of owners, managers, and administrators said their business provided annual HIPAA training; of those, only 65 percent said they have proof.

Remote Work: A Big Weapon for Small Companies in the War for Talent

old cannon by gb packards

Guest post by Jessica Stillman – London-based freelancer who has written for Inc.com, CBS MoneyWatch, and GigaOM, among others.

How does remote work impact recruiting for smaller firms? VSee has years of experience with which to answer this question.

Unemployment may be stuck at a dismal 10 percent, but for the best talent – especially tech talent – competition is truly fierce. That means companies are using every weapon in their arsenal to win the recruitment and retention battle – from a company-wide 10 percent salary bump (Google, of course) to a couple of cans of Dr. Pepper. But if your company has got neither the riches and name recognition of Google nor a particularly soft drink obsessed candidate pool, what can it possibly do to compete?

How about dangling remote work, suggests 37signals’ in-house blog Signal vs Noise. It’s basically free, highly valuable to potential recruits, and exponentially increases the talent pool from which your firm can draw. “Every day I read a new article about some company whining about how hard it is to hire technical staff. Invariably it turns out that they’re only looking for people within a commuters distance of their office,” declares the post, “stop whining, spend a day to get up to speed on remote working practices, and hire outside of your commuter zone.”

It’s a strategy that’s well tested at VSee, which has been using its remote set-up to snag the best talent for years, learning several valuable lessons about how virtual work impacts recruiting in the process.

From a Wading Pool to the Pacific

The most immediate impact of offering remote work is that you can offer it to top talent from anywhere. That means your possible pool of hires expands exponentially not only in terms of geography, but also in terms of candidates’ life circumstances, allowing you to attract those with special needs that keep them from making it into the office on anything approaching a normal nine-to-five schedule.

“In the recent past we’ve talked to very highly skilled people who were unhappy with their current jobs because they had a family member at home who needed medical care, or they wanted to move back to Asia for some time to look after their parents. In those cases, VSee was clearly the frontrunner,” explains VSee’s director of engineering, Yuen-lin Tan.

“We have a broader set of people to attract from by [putting no limits on] geographical location and people who have special quirks,” agrees Erika Chuang, director of user experience. The result is not only a hugely expanded search area, but also a uniquely diverse team, staffed not only by the driven twenty-somethings of start-up stereotype, but also talent from many stages of life. “It is definitely more diverse and this is no coincidence, because the way we work has allowed us to attract people from more diverse life situations,” says Tan.

Personality Trumps Geography

While the pool of workers may grow in terms of geography and life circumstances, there are other parameters that narrow slightly when you hire remotely – namely, personality. This is a lesson VSee has learned the hard way.

“We started to make [personality] a priority, because we hired some folks who were technically stellar, but their EQ was perhaps not as high. It did get a bit challenging,” says Tan.

Chuang adds,”We discovered that you have to understand the history of the person a little better when you make that hire.”

So what personal qualities does VSee insist on now in a remote team member? “You have to really be in charge of your own schedule and more goal driven instead of time driven. A lot of people basically like the clock. They go to work in the morning and then by five p.m. it’s time to go home and they don’t want to think about it after that. I think that kind of personality does not work as well,” Chuang says. Tan says he looks for people who are “natural team players, good communicators, good empathy.”

Take That, Google!

Personality fit may play a larger role in remote hiring, but the ability to offer this flexibility is, on balance, still a huge benefit to recruiting. Smaller firms like VSee will never be able to beat the glamour of the likes of Google, but remote work can give them the necessary edge to beat the big boys at the recruiting game. “If you’re Google or you’re Facebook, you have huge brand power, but when you’re the 99 percent of other companies in the world and you need a competitive advantage in hiring then [remote work] really comes in handy,” asserts Tan.

“For a lot of the people we’ve hired, [remote work] has been one of the big selling points. It gives us a competitive edge in attracting the good people that we want,” VSee Mac lead Torrey Lyons concurs. For him, it has been a battle to find and keep in-demand Mac programmers for his team.

“It’s very competitive — iPhone programmers are really hard to find now,” he explains. “Either they work for a really established big company, and they’re comfy and making a lot of money or they’re employee number two and trying to make the next big app where they’re going to get all the rewards for it. And so the middle of the road is actually probably the hardest place to be as far as recruiting people, but the fact that you can work remotely is a big plus.”

The bottom line: with a little thought, remote work can help smaller firms punch above their weight when it comes to recruiting, attracting diverse and highly talent team members.

About our guest blogger

Jessica Stillman, bloggerJessica Stillman writes for entrepreneur and business blogs such as Inc.com, CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careers, among others. A freelancer based in London, she is fascinated with unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work and collaboration! Twitter her @EntryLevelRebel

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photo credit: gb packards via Flickr