Have you been captivated by the evolution of patient-centric health? The broader scope of eHealth, mHealth, and digital health (in its beginning stages) is exciting to watch. However, the concept of a truly “plugged in” healthcare system is far from reality. Still, groups like the Center for Connected Health are pushing the industry forward.
These past few weeks, the WebPT elves have been hard at work getting ready for our December release. The WebPT Members on Santa’s “Nice” List (which is all of them) will see updates and enhancements in their stockings starting on December 17th. Included in this release are some security enhancements, wrist/hand enhancements, the addition of a patient intake form for those with our Front Office Package, prescription tracking, a Medicare compliance check, and additional referral types.
As with any web- or cloud-based system, data security is always a top concern. All of the best systems are highly encrypted. WebPT has a 256 bit secure socket layer (SSL) encryption. For all of the non-geeks out there, that just means that the data is protected as its transferred between servers.
What many users don’t realize is that they need to do their part to ensure the highest possible level of data security. Improve your password! That’s right. Its a seemingly simple part of logging in to do online banking or check your email. Maybe you don’t even think about it. Is your password too tough to crack?
PC Magazine just release the list of Top 25 Worst Passwords for 2011. If yours made the list, it might be time for a change. Some of the worst examples are “password” or “123456.” We were puzzled to find “monkey” and “iloveyou” on the list. Any password that is “guessable” about you is not safe such as your pet’s name or the names of family members. This isn’t meant to alarm anyone, it’s just precautionary. You never know what a nosy co-worker or low-level hacker may attempt.
With several years of experience providing EMR software to Physical Therapists all over the country, we have heard a million different needs for a million different scenarios. One of the more surprising requests is the desire for a system that “does all the work for me.” We have thought a lot about this request and decided that it is rooted in education. EMR is the future of healthcare and with the future comes ideas of artificial intelligence and flying vehicles. We aren’t there yet, and I’m not sure EMR will ever get to that point.
Fits like a Glove? A recent article assessing the effect of EMR Implementation on clinical productivity came to a rather common sense solution. The evaluation found that “different tools work better in different settings and that one-size-fits-all is not a valid approach to EHR implementation.” This finding is predictable and holds true in almost all applications. The interesting part of this article is where the assessment goes next.
By now, everyone is aware of the financial incentives available for clinicians who switch to Electronic Medical Records. The incentives are supposed to help clinics offset their costs while they digitize their entire office, including getting rid of those awful filing cabinets.
Before too much excitement sets in, you should also be aware that while Rehab professionals (Occupational and Physical Therapists) are required to make the switch under the mandate, they are not eligible for the financial incentives. The reasons for this exclusion are confusing, but we will save that for another blog post.
The lack of funds for Physical Therapists highlights a big factor in all of this. The EMR system they choose to put in place must increase profits or save the clinic money. The system must add productivity and lower costs without having a large start up investment. Most Therapists don’t have a large capital reserve to put up $30,000 to $60,0000 to get up and running with a new system.
A great article from Plus91, recently put forth some practical ways an EMR can drive up clinic revenues:
Thank you to everyone who attended our webinar on Cloud technology last week. If you missed the broadcast, you can view the recorded version here at anytime. I wanted to debrief everyone on the highlights of the webinar and also share some of the questions that were asked by attendees.
Here were some of the most common questions about Cloud technology:
- Where is my data stored?
If any of you have used a server-based system in the past, you know that your data was stored underneath your desk or in a closet/private room at your facility. In a cloud-based system, your data is stored in an maximum-security facility complete with armed guards and retina scanning technology.
- How is my data backed up?
The data is backed up regularly and stored in separate, yet equally secure, geographic locations to protect against natural disasters of any kind. In the cloud, your data is protected against flood, fire, burglary, or any other type of unfortunate event that could more easily happen at your clinic. Physical Therapy of Joplin, a WebPT member, was struck by the deadly tornadoes earlier this year. Because their data was stored in our cloud, they were able to recover all their patient information as soon as Internet access was restored.
- What about hackers?
WebPT uses the same SSL encryption that is standard for all online banking applications that you use on a daily basis. The federal government uses this same type of encryption for all of their data and communications. WebPT also employs specialized staff who are well versed in online security measures and who look at ways to further improve security everyday.
There are many costs that go into running a physical therapy (PT) practice that are above and beyond just the equipment and expertise needed to care for your patients.
You no doubt have a statement of purpose or mission statement that you put together when you started your own PT practice. This kind of statement is valuable to keep you focused on the mission of your organization. Without a doubt, the primary mission of your practice is to be of service to your patients, to provide relief for their pain and suffering and to promote wellness.
Thank you to everyone who attended our webinar last week on “iPad use for the Physical Therapists.” For those of you who couldn’t attend the webinar, we will be posting a recorded version of the presentation on our website in the near future. Each of the sessions we hosted for the webinar ended with a 15 minute Q&A period. This gave us at WebPT some valuable insight into the concerns of the modern physical therapy clinic.
We will use this space here to address any questions that may not have been answered in our iPad webinar presentation. We encourage you to ask additional questions in the comments of this post, so we may add them to this list.
Frequently Asked Questions About the iPad
How can I print from the iPad?The new iPad operating system has enabled the ability to wirelessly print. You will have to use the Apple ‘Share’ Icon to use this feature. The final option in the dropdown menu that appears should be print. See if your printer is ‘Airprint’ capable here.
Do I have to install extra security measures to use the iPad in the healthcare situations?
WebPT is an encrypted application that has built in security measures. The iPad will not undermine any of the security features we have in place. I would suggest setting up a password protected wireless network as well as a password lock on the iPad itself.
Does Dragon Voice Recognition Software work with the iPad?
Nuance Communication has created an iPad app for the Dragon Naturally Speaking Software. Our members who use it gave us some good feedback on its efficiency in healthcare applications. Follow this link to learn more about Dragon software.