The Problem With Virtual Care Solutions

The Problem With Virtual Care Solutions

The demand is there.

Nearly 85 percent of all Americans use the Internet in some aspect on a regular basis. Two-thirds have visited at least one health-related website in the past year. This includes both health portal sites like WebMD, and sites dedicated to health, nutrition or diet information.

Despite the desire, less than 30 percent have taken the necessary steps to communicate with a healthcare provider using digital services, the majority still preferring to meet in more traditional ways.

Yes, in some ways this is an age-related issue. Those 35 and under make up the largest population who have connected with medical providers virtually. But that isn’t stopping consumers in every age bracket from quickly discovering the benefits.

  • We refill prescriptions online.
  • We login to view results and make schedule changes.
  • We fill out forms and send email to get answers to small health questions.

Consumer enthusiasm is there. And it can be encouraged in many ways.

But before consumers willingly jump on board, providers must lead the way. A provider’s fervor will validate the growing possibilities virtual medicine has. And in many ways that requires an 180-degree shift in thinking.

For many medical centers, it isn’t about the ability to connect with the patient, many tools make that process easy. Instead, it’s about staying safe in the process, and that’s an issue that is terrifying in many ways.

The more services you offer your patients, the more these systems will test the IT infrastructure and the ability to handle growing traffic, system reliability, and data security.

Traditional portal sites are up and running fine. But what about when you add video calls on a regular basis? There is a lot of variables that enter the mix. While your video communication protocols should match your demand, what about your end user video player configurations? Software glitches can cause all kinds of problems, making it an unproductive session at best. And the larger the volume of traffic out there requesting virtual care, the bigger the problem becomes.

The problems continue from there.

If communication between provider and patient works flawlessly, real-time communications also dictate the need for timely access to health data. Doctors may have the need to move from system to system, retrieving health records and lab results from different sources. And in many cases, these will be accessed from different systems, different vendors. How well do they work together? How accessible are they on the fly? How safe is the process?

Testing the systems ability is only the tip of the iceberg.

Having the correct IT infrastructure with a uniform health IT integration process will move to the top of the priority list as both providers and patients begin demanding more.

Will you be ready?

Why Leaders Should Always Mentor

Why Leaders Should Always Mentor

Every day we strive to learn a little bit more. It may be something simple, or a complex task.

But as we weave in and out of our daily practices, it all comes together in a unique way. We think differently. We understand how things fit together. We see the flow in an entirely distinctive way from others around us.

Chances are you’ve never sat down and contemplated all you know. It’s not something we consider. Until someone around us asks a question, and we pay attention to the answers we can provide. That’s the day you change. That’s the day your leadership skills move to the next level.

Self-Awareness Can Transform Your Leadership Skills

Most of us fall into leadership in the normal way. We work hard, get promoted. Eventually, we’re put in charge.

Then the training begins. To be an effective leader, you’ll start honing in on critical leadership skills. Becoming a people person. Lead instead of following. And become a lifelong learner. You change. You grow. More out of necessity than anything else.

But to become a great leader requires feedback. You can’t dish it out without knowing the impact it has. And the more you learn about how you impact those around you, the better you can be at helping them move forward too.

Communication is key. Provide guidance. Ask questions. Deliver direction through discussions and problems. This is a two-way street. Watching how a mentee uses your insights will only give you more value in what you know. Things you take for granted can suddenly become valuable teaching material. Because you think about things in a unique way.

Mentoring Separates Doers From The Leaders

A part of a leader’s job is to watch for hidden talent. To find the diamonds in the rough. The employees that can easily be taken to the next level, given more responsibility, and become a leader in their own right in the future. It’s always an ebb-and-flow environment, one that helps your organization continue to grow.

We’re in a crossover business society right now. In almost all organizations, departments are transcending upon each other, creating more sophisticated alliances between each.

In the IT world, for example, some of the most interesting projects they can take on no longer happen in the IT department. It’s in other areas, like marketing or finance. IT leaders are figuring out that creating self-serving internal policies and programs no longer work across the board. Instead, IT is taking ideas and suggestions for better service, better performance, and integrating solutions into every department company-wide.

Someone in marketing may have an MBA, be well versed in strategic business applications, and have an excellent understanding of systems design. But what they’re missing is the skills needed to move to the next level.

The mentor/mentee relationship can bring talent across the board, and make them richer, more diverse employees that can offer greater benefits overall. With a little training, a little coaching, they can move your company into a solid, profitable direction.

How do you develop the mentor/mentee relationships within your organization?

The Security Risk in the Application Economy

The Security Risk in the Application Economy

Think back to ten years ago. A phone was just a phone. A tablet was non-existent.

Then in 2008, the iPhone App Store opened up as a way to control the quality of apps, and the application economy was born. Since that time, mobile apps have turned into a billion dollar industry with millions of apps available for download across all platforms. The app economy encompasses everything from the development of the app to the sale of an app, to ad revenue generated by an app, to the hardware device in which an app is designed to run.

And because it’s still in its infancy, it’s ripe for opportunity.

Innovators create and deploy apps on an ever-increasing basis. And once they are released, the risk increases with it. When code leaves the data center in which it was created, black markets are waiting to redevelop it in hopes of capturing a piece of the pie. Once an app is released and available, the code is subject to tampering and reverse-engineering. If you look at the top apps in the marketplace, over 90 percent of them have hacked versions available through other companies as well.

Development is often where risk begins. But it in no way corners the market. Hackers are equal opportunity attackers, and will look for all kinds of way to make their mark. They look to:

  • Software piracy
  • Conduct fraud
  • Steal source code
  • Steal intellectual property
  • Unlock or modify application functionality
  • Distribute malware

And once they’ve opened up holes, your data is at risk every time you put an app to use. You, your customers, and your employees.

Protecting yourself from risk involves three things.

1. Understand the entire user experience. A seamless experience allows every party smooth transition, from management, to departments, to customers. That means security must always keep in mind how every level of user will use the app, where the risks lie, and the best way to keep them at bay.

2. Focus on security from the beginning. Choosing applications usually means looking at the functionality for the job at hand. Risk factors should also be calculated to ensure every program adequately protects the users.

3. Understand the threat landscape. Threats can attack in all kinds of ways. And they are increasing every day, thanks to both mobility and cloud computing. It’s not enough to know that threats exist; education is also important to understand what to do in attacks occur. If end users are aware of potential dangers, they can be the first step in helping keep your data safe from every angle possible.

Is SMAC Outsourcing Working For You?

Is this your situation?

You need a service. A program to handle a task. So you do a little research, select a provider, pay a monthly fee, and begin the process.

New situation. New task at hand. More research. Another selection. Another monthly fee.

Over and over it goes.

That’s the new world. That’s the world of IT multisourcing.

But here’s the thing.

Have you ever looked at all those providers as a whole? Have you ever compared their terms of agreement? Have you ever compared their service levels, their functionality, their pricing, and wondered if you’re truly getting what you’re paying for?

Are you utilizing all the tools each provider offers? Are you using each to the best of its ability? And are they all providing the best service for your end user, your customers?

Welcome to the world of multisourcing. Where SMAC outsourcing is simply a way of doing business. Where social media, mobile, analytics, and cloud computing all must work together to automate, make processes easier, and give the perfect amount of service that allows your business to take fire.

Social media has provided businesses with new ways of communicating with their customers. Reaching out to them and interacting is now a twenty-four-hour process. And thanks to mobile technology, that interaction can occur from anywhere, at any time.

Which means the only way to truly keep up with the big picture is to focus in on the data – the analytics – to understand how, when and where their customers are coming from. And when everything is based on cloud computing, the concept of being tied down to one machine, one location no longer applies.

Put the four technologies together and the disruption it causes many businesses can have insurmountable costs. Yet integrate them appropriately and your business can thrive.

That’s why you see the best companies fully integrate wherever possible.

You’ll find companies asking you to login through your favorite social media account like Facebook or Twitter, knowing its that much easier to share with their friends.

You’ll find companies that make it just as easy to find information on a website as they do to download a free app.

You’ll find companies that make writing reviews, rating content, and communicating with feedback as easy as click

Because they understand the value of using technology to its greatest advantage.

And it’s not just for retail or product based businesses; every business can succeed by incorporating SMAC technology into their marketing strategy.

Are you using technology to its greatest ability? Have you utilized SMAC outsourcing to create a business your customers love? What questions do you have?

Connected Health and How Digital Is Transforming Health

Connected Health and How Digital Is Transforming Health

Want to know a secret? Your patients are getting most of their medical information from the Internet.

Not really a secret anymore, is it?

But there’s an inherent risk with patients heading online to do research, gaining access to information, then using it to treat their own conditions. The advice is more than likely wrong. And depending on how they use it, it could even be harmful or deadly.

It’s no longer about having access to information; it’s about controlling the information a person uses to make healthy decisions. And as healthcare providers merge technology with what is available to their patients, better decisions can be made by all.

The healthcare playing field is changing rapidly.

  • Smartphone penetration is well above 70 percent of the population and increasing rapidly
  • Top pharma companies increased their production of unique apps by 63 percent last year
  • The number of health apps has more than doubled over the past two years
  • Chronic conditions are on the rise

And with even small amounts of change in the way healthcare operates, we see significant changes in the day to day practice of medicine.

Health care providers can significantly reduce the amount of time spent on paperwork by being connected and using mobile as they move through their days. Which means they have more time to spend with a patient, and on average can see more patients per day.

Patients are turning to mobile for one very important reason: information. They want trustworthy, accurate data. They want something that’s easy to use. And they want security. They aren’t afraid to use mobile, but it better help them make the right decisions and do so in the most secure way.

There is increasing potential to support the shift from “hands on” and “face to face” contacts with digital communication, such as e-visits, e-prescriptions and remote monitoring. Home telehealth can be used effectively across many practices and fields. Ripe for discovery and change are long-term care treatments and therapies, from mental health, to residential and nursing homes, to chronic illnesses.

Yet both sides of the equation – providers and patients – have to be prepared for the outcomes. That means as providers; it’s our job to think and build from the ground up, structuring the most efficient path possible for both internal and external communications. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Why would my patients want or need digital health solutions?
  • Today’s wearables produce a lot of data, how can I harness that for my patients?
  • Are the apps and wearables used today really secure?
  • With tens of thousands of apps available, how do I know which to choose?
  • Who’s liable if anything goes wrong?
  • Who must pay for this technology?
  • How do I know I can trust the data?
  • How do I use this technology to the best of my ability?

The future is coming at us full speed. By staying ahead of the game and finding the very best solutions available today, you’ll be ready for all that is coming tomorrow.