How To Improve Patient Experience When Faced with Overflow

How To Improve Patient Experience When Faced with Overflow

We all need to keep our patients happy, and it is paramount that you and your staff do everything possible to facilitate this. On a busy day when time is in short supply and your team is rushed off its feet, you may feel like all you are doing is making apologies. But, as long wait times have a negative effect on patient satisfaction, it’s crucial to eliminate the apologies and provide your patients with a good experience. After all, this may well determine how many repeat or referral patients you get in the future, which is fundamental if you want to grow your practice.

How To Improve Patient Experience When Faced with Overflow

1:  Communication is Key

Brushing up on how you communicate with your patients can improve their experience immensely. You should seek to understand how you can improve the experience of waiting and invest in developing patient-centered information and communication.

As a service-based business, you should be setting clear expectations for your patients. If you are having a particularly busy period and appointment times are stretched, make sure your team is aware that they will need to manage wait times. Be honest and up-front with patients if their appointment is delayed and provide them with accurate information about how long the wait may be. Patients can then decide if they want to wait, or they may prefer to rebook. It’s not a perfect solution, but it gives patients the choice.

Today’s technology is making it possible for patients and healthcare providers to communicate in ways we never dreamed of 20 years ago. Voice mail, faxes, and mail are giving way to instant messaging and telehealth video consults. Not only does this enable you to contact patients immediately if you foresee a problem that may result in their appointment being delayed, but it also reduces the time spent in the waiting room. In a pandemic, reducing potential exposure to the virus is beneficial not just for patients but for your team, too.

With all the means of communication we have at our disposal these days, there really is no excuse for not getting in touch with your patients. Unfortunately, technology does not teach individuals how to communicate with patients. Staff training in this area should be a priority as even the most technologically advanced communicator should ensure their face-to-face communication skills are equally as good.

2:  Revamp Your Waiting Room

The waiting room is a crucial part of a patient’s overall experience, and it should be welcoming, aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, and clean. A waiting room with tasteful décor, filled with color and natural light can influence patients positively on a physical and psychological level. It has been found that plants in the waiting room favorably impact patients and staff – even if they are artificial. Let your patients know you care about their experience by creating a modern waiting room aesthetic where your patients feel comfortable and able to relax.

Creating a Relaxing Space

De-clutter your waiting area by removing old magazines and keeping stacks tidy with baskets or magazine racks. Update your seating, choosing fabrics that are functional, comfortable, and match your brand aesthetic. Have a variety of ambient light sources in the room that contributes to a tranquil atmosphere much more than functional, overhead lighting.

Provide WiFi

Reliable, complimentary WiFi will be a huge benefit to many patients who can entertain themselves using their smartphones or tablets. Parents will find it useful to keep their small children occupied and for anyone needing to keep a check on emails or work, Wi-Fi will provide functional and practical service.

Customize TV Content

Customized TV content can deliver a variety of tailor-made messages to your patients. Far from just showing TV programs, you can create local interest content, such as ads from local businesses, or display information about your practice or dental health issues.

3:  Mitigate Long Wait Times with IT that Suits Your Business

Scheduling Tools

It is a common misconception that if you cannot see patients expediently, then it is because the practice is too busy. From time to time, this may well be the case, but one of the main reasons for limited appointment options could be due to inefficient scheduling. With the right healthcare scheduling software for your clinic, you can improve wait times for your patients and minimize staffing shortages that can contribute to overflowing waiting rooms.

  • For patients, filling in long forms in the waiting room should be a thing of the past. Digital health tools include portals that allow patients to fill in their information securely online before they arrive for their appointment – resulting in less time in the waiting room. What’s more, the information can integrate seamlessly with the dental management software suites you use to streamline other processes, such as administration, appointments, patient records, treatment planning, test results, billing. This saves you and your staff time so they can concentrate on patient care rather than administrative tasks.
  • For even greater improvements, staff shift scheduling can present your whole team with a valuable tool for managing their time. The fact is, you and your team must juggle patient waits, treatments, medications, insurance procedures and administration among other things and things can go awry swiftly if members of your team are absent. Shift scheduling software enables all members of your team to manage their work schedules and as practice manager for you to see at a glance who can step in to cover.

Telehealth

Although telehealth has been around for some time now, the pandemic has brought it truly into the mainstream. It is now an essential tool to aid communication between healthcare practitioners and patients, helping to keep patients and your staff safe and eliminating congested, chaotic waiting rooms. It has been estimated that 20% of emergencies can be seen using teledentistry, which itself can have marked improvement on congested waiting areas.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is already saving time for patients and for your staff. Rather than having to phone in and wait in line for your office to answer, a website chatbot can often answer questions frequently posed by patients – even out of hours. Additionally, it saves both your team’s and your patient’s time.

While AI is still in its infancy, machine learning will transform patient care in the future with algorithms that will be paramount in the way we treat patients – from diagnostics to holistic treatment plans. There will be numerous benefits to patients, including spending less time in a waiting room because AI-driven systems will be able to accurately detect their problems and prescribe a course of treatment.

The Bottom Line

In the world we live in today, patients have high expectations. They want to be seen with little wait times; they want their treatment options explained simply, and they want their dentist to be attentive and caring. Moreover, healthcare providers need to ensure that they are providing the appropriate treatment to the right patient. A touchless patient identification platform like RightPatient can help with that, preventing patient mix-ups, duplicates, and overlays in the process. 

Making improvements for your patients is just as likely to be beneficial to you and your team, too. The pandemic was not good for dental health and has already changed workflows dramatically with the increased use of technology solutions. But, moving forward it’s important to know your business and invest in the most appropriate technology and training that meets your practice’s needs, rather than the latest “cutting-edge tech” that may not fit in with your workflow.

Easier Ways to Guide Patients to Healthcare Services

Easier Ways to Guide Patients to Healthcare Services

In the healthcare industry, it is extremely crucial that patients can easily find the right information at the right time to ensure the highest quality of Healthcare Services. Here are some tips to make crucial information easier available online.

Healthcare communications are becoming a crucial part of making sure the patient will get the right treatment. Quick access to the right information can be crucial for starting the right treatment, even before the patient will encounter the healthcare system. Therefore, providers in the healthcare industry can take a service check on their online services to make sure that the most important information is easily available to patients.

Easier Ways to Guide Patients to Healthcare Services

Avoid Specialized Language

A primary task in healthcare information is to convert medical terms into simpler terms that can be understood by laymen. Few of the patients have the right education to understand the doctors’ language and will probably not obtain it before it becomes crucial information for the patients. The main task here is to simplify without giving wrong information.

Use Easy-to-remember Intuitive Domain Names

When a patient sees a doctor and gets advised to read more information on a webpage, it’s important that this webpage is easily accessible. Some companies tend to have special shortenings of names that are difficult to either spell or remember for the patients. Therefore, it can be useful for health care services to use a premium domain name.

A premium domain is living up to the criteria for a user-friendly experience. Such domains might already be occupied or bought by other companies. But at Domainify, you can find some of the best healthcare domain names. These names are all living up to the criteria for a premium domain name, and it even comes with a pre-designed logo. It is even SEO-friendly and all of them are easy to remember and spell for patients.

Make Communication More Visual

Medical terms can be abstract and difficult to understand for patients. Many people don’t know about the body’s mechanisms. They can feel pain and discomfort but might not know exactly how a knee or stomach is functioning. Therefore, doctors and health care personnel have a big task of communicating this information in an easily understandable way.

For a lot of patients, descriptions of the body can be quite abstract in words. Often a feeling in the body is difficult to translate into words. This is leading to a huge potential in visual communication like infographics in health care. Here health care providers can more easily give instructions, communicate about specific body parts or symptoms.

The brain is processing visual communication thousands of times faster than text according to TechSmith. Research also shows that people are more likely to remember communication when it is delivered visually instead of by text. The explanation is not so weird. Visualizations show things like they are. Text is a transformation of events in the world transformed into letters, that are forming words, sentences, and texts. Texts might be easy to write, but visuals are easier to use for learning.

3-Innovations-That-Can-Improve-Your-Patient-Experience

3 Innovations That Can Improve Your Patient Experience

Being in the healthcare business, it’s a timeless trend to improve your patient experience at all costs. It’s not just about how you interact with them when they’re visiting for an appointment. Instead, the overall patient experience encompasses an array of interconnections that your customers have with the healthcare system as a whole. While it’s good to invest in establishing excellent interpersonal relationships with patients, the health sector should seek more ways and innovations that can make the experience better for patients in every aspect possible. 

3-Innovations-That-Can-Improve-Your-Patient-Experience

If you’re wondering what these innovations are, here’s a list you might find helpful: 

Modern Health Supplements   

Back in the day, the supplements marketplace was pretty simple and with not a lot of options. From delivery forms to specialty ingredients, consumers can make a quick stop at the supplements aisle and settle for what’s available. Today, a plethora of dietary products are manufactured and offered, not to mention more specific and targeted, giving patients more flexibility and preference when deciding which ones would suit their health concerns better. 

Modern health supplements are now available to help contribute to improving patient experience. Consumers can pick based on what particular health aspect they want to focus on – skin, hair, immunity, bones, etc. – then choose from multiple product types, from essential multivitamins to probiotics, energy bars, and herbal drinks. Among the modern health supplements gaining momentum right now are cognitive enhancers which can help improve an individual’s cognitive abilities such as memory, learning, and concentration. The product is also said to improve mental alertness, concentration, and energy levels. 

Examples are natural nootropic products known to help in productivity and motivation. They can give you the boost you need to get things done, specifically when working on critical tasks such as studying or working. Some people use nootropics to boost their social abilities, thereby helping them increase their confidence, especially in public speaking and doing presentations. If you want to learn more about their potential and how such products can help your patient, you can read this great post by WholisticResearch.  

Online Therapies 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can effectively treat a variety of psychological conditions such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and the like. CBT works by regularly targeting negative thoughts and behaviors that can have a detrimental effect on your daily life. It can help you learn how to use your problem-solving skills effectively to cope with different situations, learn how to calm your mind when stressed, and gain a better understanding of your surroundings.  

Now, CBT can be done online through online chats or video calls. The internet can serve as a means of communication between patients and mental health practitioners. Online CBTs can be used as an alternative to face-to-face sessions. It can be done through video conferencing, instant messaging, or online forums like group therapy, thus significantly contributing to improving patient experience even from the comfort of each other’s homes.  

What used to be books, videos, or audio series can now be adapted into websites that publish interactive content. Online-based therapies, as the core concepts of CBT, can be done through text, video, or audio instructions. There are several self-help programs guided by cognitive behavior therapists that can be done online. However, do note that online CBT providers must keep the patient identities confidential and secure, especially when storing and transmitting patients’ information online – a touchless biometric patient identification platform like RightPatient can help with that, as it can be used to remotely authenticate patients as well. 

Telehealth 

Technology continues to transform multiple industries, including healthcare. What used to be impossible back in the day is now readily available for patients to enjoy and take advantage of, such as the innovation of telehealth. Telehealth involves using communication technologies and digital information so both patients and providers can work together in managing health care remotely.   

Devices such as computers and mobile phones are utilized to support and improve patient experience. Take, for example, a patient who has diabetes. They can use their mobile phone to keep track of their food intake and blood sugar levels with the help of a nurse who interacts with them electronically. There’s also an online portal where patients can schedule appointments, access their test results, and request a prescription refill when needed.  

As you can see, telehealth reduces the need for physical contact or consultations. It makes the interaction more technology-based, but without eliminating access to information and specialists that the customers need to learn more about their condition and make progress with their treatment. 

The Bottom Line 

Industry trends come and go, but one thing will always stay the same – keeping customers happy and satisfied never gets old. The same goes for the healthcare industry, where you deal with countless patients every day. No matter what service or treatment they undergo, their overall experience must remain positive. Satisfied consumers equate to higher revenues for the business, but in healthcare, there’s also the priceless fulfillment you get when you contribute to your patients’ well-being.

The Wave of the Future - The Importance of Digital Health

The Wave of the Future: The Importance of Digital Health

When it comes to healthcare, it hasn’t exactly been the easiest path for both patients and physicians. Present circumstances have made it challenging for patients to find the treatment they need, as most medical professionals are often overworked due to understaffing issues. Moreover, issues such as medical identity theft, duplicate medical records, and patient mix-ups make it hard to provide accurate treatment to the appropriate patients – many are using patient identification platforms to prevent these problems.

The Wave of the Future - The Importance of Digital Health

It doesn’t help that when it comes to traditional channels, most people prefer to wait until there’s something serious to get medical advice. However, such things are slowly but surely changing for the better, thanks to the digital health movement. Here are just a few reasons why digital health is such a vital piece of the puzzle in the world of healthcare.

It allows medical professionals to breathe and get the job done

With the digital health movement, there are more and more options for medical professionals to do what they do best without suffering from extreme burnout in the process. For example, more and more people are getting used to the idea of online consultations – something that eases the burden for most physicians.

It has also paved the way for new ways to tackle the same career. For example, locum tenens companies are convincing physicians, new and old, to give the alternative career a chance. Locum tenens is all about traveling to a medical facility of choice and filling in their desired role for the duration of their assignment. It is a less stressful career overall and one that gives medical professionals much more freedom. Digital health eases the burden all around, giving physicians the chance to tackle alternative routes to their careers.

A move toward preventive measures

As stated above, most people prefer to wait until something is truly wrong before getting medical advice, which may be understandable due to long wait times and catching potential diseases from spending too much time at the hospital.

The most significant advantage of digital health is the accessibility of doctors and medical advice from the comfort of your home. The result is that most people are now comfortable speaking with doctors about the small things – a path toward preventive medicine rather than looking for solutions to big problems. While it doesn’t fix everything, it’s a habit worth having as prevention is always the better option.

Accessibility and affordability

With the dawn of accessibility and convenience comes affordability. For example, trying to get a consultation with a doctor used to be a lengthy process of back and forth, but these days it’s far more straightforward and more affordable. As healthcare becomes more readily available for patients no matter the location, especially with a preventive mindset, it opens the possibility for an easier and more affordable solution.

While there are still issues that need to be ironed out regarding digital health, the move toward digital patient care is a good one. It’s a direction with plenty of possibilities, and it’s bound to get even better as time goes on. Digital health benefits both patients and medical professionals alike, as it eases the burden for both and makes it easier to get the desired outcome.

Understanding Patient Engagement and Its Importance

Understanding Patient Engagement and Its Importance

Understanding Patient Engagement and Its Importance

Being actively involved in your overall well-being helps you manage your current condition better, prevent chronic illnesses in the future, and avoid significant healthcare expenses. However, patients need professional support or intervention to implement this better, which is where patient engagement comes in.

Patient engagement is a term that describes the partnership between patients and providers to facilitate better health outcomes. Patients are trusted with decision-making in different areas, including symptoms for their illness and treatment options. The information below gives you more insight into what patient engagement involves, including its benefits.

What does patient engagement involve?

Patient engagement can be categorized into direct patient care, where patients fully understand their health problem and state their preferred treatment approach after weighing the risks and benefits. The second level is where caregivers decide according to clinical judgment and after factoring in the views or opinions of a patient.

The third level is about governance, including regulations governing patient engagement. Understanding the different strategies used in patient engagement broadens your perception and may help you view patient engagement from a different lens. The frameworks for engagement include:

  •  Joint decision making

Shared decision-making applies when a patient and specialist cooperate to offer the proper medical intervention while considering the consumer’s preference and clinical judgment. They judge the patient’s condition, go through the available treatment options and narrow it down into the right one based on one’s preferences and the risks and benefits of the said intervention.

It is consistent in the first level of engagement which is direct patient care. A good example is a choice to treat knee pain with either surgery or pain medications. One may prefer surgery due to the taxing nature of regularly taking medications, while surgery may not be an option for others due to its risks.

Information is a prerequisite for patients to be participants in decision-making. As such, facilities should create various modalities through which this can be conducted. For example, using books and leaflets to educate patients on the importance of annual medical check-ups.

Some organizations reach out to clients through websites with information regarding different medical concerns or other times through interactive media. For this reason, health organizations have to create better and user-friendly educational platforms for patients.

  • Patient activation

Patient activation is a concept that describes patients’ ability, skills, willingness, and confidence to manage their health conditions. Such patients have better engagement with providers and facilitate a seamless health experience. For example, patients who follow doctors’ prescriptions are more likely to recover and have fewer complications.

Low activation scores equal more significant health expenses. Because of negligence and lack of knowledge, such patients can hardly tell when they are sick, or when they do, fail to seek medical attention. Emergency treatment is required in most cases, which is way more expensive than a consultation with a primary care provider.

Implementation of patient engagement

The activation strategy used determines the efficacy of the concept. Various factors like patients’ background, including religious beliefs, cultural differences, sex, age, and personal belief, need to be considered. Since most people factor in cost before seeking professional help, organizations need to give patients alternatives to choose from.

Why is patient engagement critical in healthcare?

Patient engagement facilitates behavior change among patients – an essential component in managing lifestyle diseases like diabetes and preventing chronic illnesses. A healthy relationship between providers and patients also influences better decisions like eating healthy, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking. Informed people translate to improved population health.

While the benefits may be so many, integrating patient engagement with actual care may be challenging for most health organizations. The cost of developing interactive systems between providers and patients is excellent. A provider may also need to spend more time with one patient, resulting in reduced earnings for a medical facility.

Although this may seem to harm the business side of the health industry, that might not be the only case. Patients that are more involved in healthcare tend to frequently visit or consult with specialists in case of any health suspicions. More engaged patients also observe preventive care and are quick to seek help than low-engaged patients.

While the importance of patient engagement is obvious, more research is necessary to determine the best approach or practices for this concept. There is also a need for resources to facilitate patient participation. The good news is more and more facilities are looking into patient engagement to facilitate better health outcomes.

Health Insurance Fraud and Its Impact on Healthcare Systems

Health Insurance Fraud and Its Impact on Healthcare Systems

Fraud and abuse have plagued our healthcare systems for many years.  In fact, the Department of Justice reported a $1.4 billion loss from health care fraud schemes in this year alone. So it is no wonder why there have been several crackdowns on fraud initiated by both the state and federal governments.

Whether it is intentional or not, healthcare frauds have serious implications on all of us. It is not just healthcare service providers or violators facing consequences, it also affects people who rely on federal healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Health Insurance Fraud and Its Impact on Healthcare Systems

Healthcare fraud stresses and puts too much pressure on our healthcare system, which in turn diminishes the quality of the healthcare services that we receive. Some even linked fraud and see it as one of the primary reasons why we have to pay higher premiums as well as receive unnecessary or risky services that we do not even need in the first place.  

Therefore, it is everyone’s responsibility to self-report or report any healthcare fraud. Apart from it being a great public service, reporting fraud to the authorities would also help mitigate and prevent these adverse impacts in our healthcare systems.

Overwhelming our Healthcare System

The last thing that every doctor or any healthcare service provider should worry about is a lawsuit. Our healthcare system can function more efficiently and effectively if health practitioners only focus on the health of their patients. With a pending violation or lawsuit hanging about, their undivided attention can compromise their work as well as the healthcare service that the patient receives.

As a doctor usually says, “prevention is better than cure.” So in order to not overburden our healthcare system, we must do our best to prevent these frauds from ever occurring.

If you are a healthcare professional or healthcare service provider, one of the best ways to avoid unintentional violation is to be familiar with the laws related to our healthcare system. This way, you would be able to determine what practices are prohibited and then overcorrect those practices as soon as possible.

Otherwise, or if you are a witness or a patient who happens to be a victim of fraud, then your best option is to file a report to your local authorities or get assistance from a healthcare fraud lawyer. It is worth noting that whistleblowers can even get monetary rewards once they successfully report healthcare fraud.

Another reason why healthcare fraud occurs is due to the lack of an effective standardized patient identifier. Fraudsters, when committing these acts, have information on the patients from a number of sources, and can easily pass verification as there’s no effective patient identifier. However, many healthcare providers are preventing medical identity theft via accurate patient identification with RightPatient. It is a touchless biometric patient identification platform that identifies patients using their photos, and since patients’ faces are used for verification, fraudsters are red-flagged easily – preventing healthcare fraud. 

Detrimental to Patients’ Health

Healthcare fraud can come in many forms. It is not just manipulating medical bills or upcoding, it can also be ordering too many tests or recommending unnecessary treatments to patients. These types of fraudulent and abusive activities are detrimental to the health of the patients because doctors can misdiagnose a disease and some illnesses can even resurface due to unnecessary treatments.

Other types of fraud that are also detrimental to the health of patients are medical record errors, false statements, and unqualified medical recommendations. Take the case of the patients in Maryland who paid to get treated but still died because their X-rays were not reviewed properly by a qualified radiologist. It is a perfect illustration of how money and lives were lost due to fraudulent activities.

Unfortunately, the example above is just some of the many examples of fraud that are happening across the country. That being the case, it is then up to us to be on the lookout for these abusive activities; and as much as possible, try to prevent these unfortunate cases from ever happening.

Higher Premiums

If you rely on health insurance to foot your sudden emergency medical bill, then you probably already know how monthly premiums work and how it can sometimes leave a hole in your pocket. But, did you also know that fraud is one of the deciding factors that determine how much your monthly premiums should be?

According to the Department of Justice, monetary losses due to healthcare fraud are offset by higher premiums, increased taxes, and reduced services. Oftentimes, the largest recoveries are due to fictitious or false claims. The DOJ has pursued and recovered thousands to billions of dollars due to violation of the False Claims Act.

Cases like these affect our healthcare systems and increase our monthly premiums because as the cost of healthcare rises, so will the cost associated with these fraudulent activities. As a result, patients would then have to shoulder these out-of-pocket expenses and rising insurance premiums.

With all that said, healthcare insurance fraud trickles down and affects our entire healthcare system. No matter if it is intentional or not, it is apparent that these fraudulent activities are harmful to everyone. So we must assume responsibilities in safeguarding our healthcare system and make sure that these fraudulent activities would not go unpunished. This way, we would not overburden our healthcare professionals and patients would receive the proper medical care they are rightfully entitled to. 

How to Handle a Patient's Insurance Information Securely

How to Handle a Patient’s Insurance Information Securely

The Internet of Things has made healthcare more accessible, affordable, and convenient for patients and providers alike. It’s also helped to ensure health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic. However, telehealth appointments and electronic records don’t come without their fair share of risks. 

How to Handle a Patient's Insurance Information Securely

Criminal attacks and security breaches within the healthcare industry have skyrocketed within the past decade. Patients want assurance that their data is safe, which is why it’s so essential to handle insurance information securely. 

Educate Staff

Many people fear automated intelligence and its role in securing and organizing patient information. However, it’s people that pose the greatest security risk. Simple human error, negligence, and misconduct can result in dangerous and expensive consequences like data breaches and erasures. Ongoing security awareness and anti-phishing training are essential to minimize these incidents and protect sensitive information.  

Restrict Access 

Health care providers must also implement a range of protective mechanisms to make data access more difficult for hackers and workers. Install a firewall to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing your network and retrieving information. Privacy controls that require multiple types of user authentication can also ensure only authorized professionals can view patient information. Use passwords, physical keys, or even biometrics to screen users, verify identification and heighten security. 

Implement Usage Controls

Additionally, providers should monitor who accesses data and keep a detailed record of when and where they use the network. Implementing usage controls will discourage and anticipate risky or malicious activity that could compromise patients’ personal security. You can also use these controls to block web uploads, unauthorized email sends, or print sensitive information. This way, the information stays within your network and doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. 

Encrypt Data

There were more than 3,705 healthcare data breaches between 2009 and 2020, which means more than 81% of the U.S. population has been affected. Unfortunately, more incidents occur every year, resulting in the loss, theft, exposure, and impermissible disclosure of millions of health records. That’s why it’s so important to encrypt data. Make it more difficult – or impossible – for attackers to decipher patient information with this one simple precaution. They won’t be able to read details, even if they gain access. 

Secure Mobile Devices

Many patients enjoy the benefits of talking to their doctors through mobile devices like phones and tablets instead of driving to a doctor’s office. However, sharing information virtually always increases the risk of an attack or data breach, so health care providers must take precautions. Secure mobile devices by enforcing the use of strong passwords and encrypting application data. It’s also vital to have users install mobile security software before accessing personal information or attending virtual appointments. 

Conduct Backups

Cyberattacks, natural disasters, and other calamities can compromise data availability, making it impossible for you and your patients to access. Sometimes, these incidents can even encrypt or completely erase information, which doesn’t bode well for anyone. That’s why frequent backups are so critical. Store data off-site so if someone or something compromises your network, you still have accessible information elsewhere. You can also enable remote deletion of data stored on mobile devices in case of theft or a similar emergency.

Scan for Vulnerabilities

Security loopholes and vulnerabilities in wireless networks offer an easy entry point for hackers. Therefore, it’s essential to conduct regular risk assessments to predict and identify potential threats. The 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act made it mandatory for healthcare entities to routinely analyze their risks as part of their regular processes. This stipulation ensures that health care providers take proactive and preventive measures to maintain continuous, reasonable, and appropriate security protections for patients.

Take a Multifaceted Approach

The best practices for cybersecurity involve a multifaceted, sophisticated approach. Monitor, log, authenticate and back up data regularly. Educate staff and patients to maximize security measures and reassure users. If you do all the above and take preventive action, you can mitigate breaches and keep more clients’ information safe.

On the other hand, hospitals and health systems are also protecting patient information using various methods. Many forward-thinking healthcare providers are utilizing RightPatient, a touchless biometric patient identification platform that locks medical records with patient photos. Patients only need to look at the camera for registration and, during subsequent visits, verification – RightPatient does the rest. When fraudsters attempt to pass off as the patients, RightPatient red-flags them during the verification process, preventing medical identity theft and protecting patient information even if there is a data breach. 

8 Ways to Better Secure Patient Medical Records

8 Ways to Better Secure Patient Medical Records

As a medical or medical administration professional, you’re likely familiar with the ways that the digital world has impacted the healthcare industry. On the whole, the technological developments involved in the medical field have caused a variety of positive changes for patients and providers alike. However, there is still the risk that the tech used in medical settings can be put at risk if not treated carefully. Patients’ medical records are private and often sensitive, and it’s important to protect them as much as possible. Here are a few ways to better protect and secure patient medical records. 

8 Ways to Better Secure Patient Medical Records

Regularly Perform Risk Assessment

Although this one might seem self-explanatory, you’d be surprised at how long some people go without assessing risk within their systems. Especially if you make any big changes to things like tech systems or location, those can come with breaches in security that can go easily undetected while you adjust. Additionally, many states require regular risk assessments by HIPAA law anyway.

Encrypt Your Data

This is a tip that anybody can use for data security, and healthcare providers are no different. From emails to patient portals and backend systems, utilizing encryption can keep cybercriminals out of your systems and protect any data from breaches. Especially nowadays, it’s important to protect your data as much as possible.

Keep Organized

Although this has more to do with your end of things than the tech end, it certainly helps with storing the correct information in the proper places. You want to be able to provide people with their medical information and access patient files without going through too much other sensitive information to get to it. Under HIPAA, medical professionals are required to provide a patient with a copy of their health information within 30 days of their request, so you want to be able to get to it as quickly as possible without risking security every time.

Monitor System Access

This is something that you can put into practice right away, without meddling with the actual software or hardware – specifically, you can put this into place by implementing policies within your department. When everyone has the same level of access to your systems, it can risk breaches in security. However, when you monitor who has access to your systems, you can mitigate risk by creating levels of security within the back end. 

Use Two-Factor Authentication For Patient Portals

Many healthcare providers have followed the recent trend of providing patient portals for patients to access their healthcare information remotely. While this is a great idea for ease and accessibility – in addition to keeping track of a patient’s healthcare and insurance information – patient portals can also be a big security risk for outside threats. One way to mitigate this risk is by requiring two-factor authentication for all of the patient portal accounts, so you can better ensure that everyone using your system is actually allowed to be there. 

Be Careful About Remote Access

Speaking of remote access, it can be tempting to allow your employees – both healthcare providers and other industry professionals – to access patient information and other sensitive files remotely in order to better aid productivity. However, this can also lead to breaches in security, especially if it’s easier to access files on the professional side, it might lead to hacking and file breaches. Sometimes, it can be best to closely monitor remote access, or only allow people to utilize the online backend when they’re on the premises. 

Perform Updates Periodically

Updating the systems as necessary might sound like an obvious tip, but it’s always good to have a reminder. Just like regular risk assessments, performing regular updates can ensure that you have the best and most updated security capabilities available. Even if it might take a little while to fully update everything, it’s absolutely worth the time and effort for the updated security measures. 

Use a Robust Patient ID Platform

Ensuring accurate patient identification helps protect medical records in several ways. It prevents medical record mix-ups, duplicate medical records, overlays, and even medical identity theft. RightPatient, for instance, is a touchless biometric patient identification platform that uses patient photos to identify them accurately across the care continuum. After locking medical records with patients’ photos, they only need to look at the camera during subsequent visits, RightPatient does the rest – preventing mix-ups, identity theft, and protecting medical records in the process. 

Securing Your Medical Files

No matter where you work in the medical sphere, it’s always important to secure your patients’ files as much as possible. With technology moving at a faster rate than ever before to offer convenience and ease, it’s also important to keep an eye on security measures, especially when it comes to sensitive information like medical records.

5 Things you should know about AI, Machine Learning and its Use in Healthcare

5 Things you should know about AI, Machine Learning, and its Use in Healthcare

Every day, the healthcare systems from all around the world have to suffer and lose many resources, especially now since COVID-19 is suppressing it even more. Doctors might sometimes give a wrong diagnosis, treatment plans are also delayed or patients are given a false positive test for different diseases. Many resources are allocated for the healthcare department in order to ensure that patients are given a diagnosis and also the right treatment plan. It might also happen that the patient’s body cannot handle a certain medicine that doctors are not aware of and that can be even worse for the patient.

5 Things you should know about AI, Machine Learning and its Use in Healthcare

AI and Machine Learning are offering opportunities for the healthcare industry

Computers and algorithms can search huge amounts of data, much faster than the human body can, in order to find the right diagnosis, make a treatment plan, and improve the overall healthcare system and safety for their data. Healthcare is now a key industry for the big companies, using their AI and machine learning for certain healthcare projects. Many organizations are already involved in creating tools that will help the healthcare industry, even two big companies, such as IBM and Microsoft. 

Besides the fact that diagnosis, treatment, and tests will be more accurate than ever, the overall costs for the medicine and pharmaceutical industries can be reduced by up to 100 billion dollars every year. Although AI and machine learning might not be capable to find the diagnosis of a patient by themselves, the doctors can use the data provided to ensure the right diagnosis was given to the patient. 

An algorithm will perform better when it has exposure to data. The healthcare system is like a paradise for an algorithm since it contains a tremendous number of databases and information. Right now, all this data is going to waste because the storage systems are so different one from another and there are many privacy concerns involved. 

AI is responsible for Diagnosis

A good amount of work for disease identification and diagnosis is done by the AI. What the AI mainly does is this: vital information, such as lung function, blood pressure, glucose level, etc. is being analyzed by the AI and the results are being compared to the normal levels. By comparing millions of data every second, the AI is capable of finding and identifying the right disease within seconds. 

Heart diseases are one of the main problems that algorithms are trying to diagnose and prevent. The AI is now able to determine the risk factor of a person to develop heart disease by looking at its age, blood pressure, and other aspects, but it can’t make the analysis for the medication that person might be on or the condition of the other biological systems. The main focus now is to realistically make the AI predict who is at risk of developing heart disease and when this might happen, as a study by Stephen Weng suggests. 

Machines are also trained to read CT scans and interpret information from other imaging diagnostic tests. This procedure is still in a trial phase, but it can also act as an assistant for the radiologist or it can indicate an abnormality that the radiologist was not able to detect.

How AI and Machine Learning helps Respiratory Medicine

Since AI is working with huge sets of complex data, it is very useful for respiratory medicine, especially for lung illnesses that develop as a result of toxic exposure, lung cancer, restrictive lung diseases, fibrotic lung disease, and other conditions. The diagnostic criteria might sometimes overlap, which is a reason why doctors should pay attention to the results of the AI and make adjustments accordingly, if necessary. 

The AI can also compare different results of a CT scan for the lungs of a patient or it can compare with the results of other patients. This way, the AI is more effective and can easily find the information about a patient that suffered from the same condition really quickly. Once they have the right diagnosis, they can find the treatment plan and monitor the overall results and improvements of the patient.

Monitoring Drug Response

AI and machine learning can gather information from different platforms, as there was an experiment where social media was put to work and connect people that suffer from cancer in order to ensure different treatment options. AI did a very good job and sorted the information from Twitter and Facebook comparing the different answers from the participants. The pharmaceutical industry is now trying to determine what treatment works better for a patient based on their genealogical tree and biology. 

Monitoring Health Epidemics

The algorithms are used to perform regular checks on news reports, social media, and government websites in order to find an outbreak. There was one case when a computer algorithm was able to detect an Ebola outbreak more than one week faster than the World Health Organisation did. 

This is just the beginning of AI and machine learning to perform at their best for the healthcare industry. It might be a long shot for the algorithms to be able to diagnose a patient by themselves, but as they are gathering more and more data, there is a possibility that in the near future they will be able to develop a full diagnosis and treatment plan without aid from a specialist.

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Mobile Hospitals: How They Improve Medical Services

Mobile hospitals are not new. In fact, they’ve been used both for temporary and permanent functions in the past decades. For temporary functions, mobile hospitals are utilized during medical drives, campaigns, and other medical events. Meanwhile, for permanent functions, mobile hospitals are used in rural areas and military stations. Today, the presence and use of mobile hospitals are even more prevalent.

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Recently, the demand for hospital services has significantly increased. This results in the congestion of hospitals in cities and districts. In rural areas where hospitals aren’t available, mobile field hospitals have become a great addition. There are many ways medical services can drastically improve through the presence of mobile hospitals, forming the reason behind their high demand.

In this article, you’ll learn how the presence of mobile hospitals can improve medical services.

 

They Give Patients More Access To Medical Aid And Physicians

Mobile hospitals are the solution to the issues arising out of rural areas with no hospital services available and the need to travel far to receive medical services. Without mobile hospitals, it will be expensive and time-consuming for patients to travel far just to have medical care. If the patient has a physical disability that renders them immobile, the need to travel becomes an even greater inconvenience. 

With mobile hospitals, patients will now have more access to medical aid and physicians. This isn’t to say that the services offered by mobile hospitals are as extensive as those in the bigger, permanent hospitals. But at least patients can have immediate medical care before a possible recommended transfer to the bigger hospitals. This way, their condition won’t worsen due to the delay in medical attention.

It can make a big difference in the prognosis and recovery rate of patients when they can have prompt medical care. They no longer have to be burdened by the fact that medical aid and services are inaccessible right where they are.

 

They Take On A Patient-Centric Approach

A patient-centric approach is achieved when the healthcare system of a particular local area can meet the medical needs of its patients. They no longer have to be affected by the lack of medical services or the absence of a general physician whom they can consult for a health concern.

Mobile clinics can now switch the focus to making basic healthcare services available to those who need them. This results in more patients being cured, and the curbing of possible spread of diseases in a local area.

With mobile clinics, bigger hospitals could be decongested. This means better patient care can also be provided when the various medical concerns can easily be addressed by the mobile clinic. Mobile clinics are equipped with facilities that can help save lives, especially during medical emergencies.

 

They Improve Medication Adherence

Medication adherence refers to the follow-up and proper use of medication once the patient leaves the hospital. Without mobile hospitals, patients will need to travel to the nearest hospital for their medical care.

In a regular consultation, the doctor sees the patient and prescribes medication and home care. Once the patient leaves the hospital, there might be little to no follow-up as to whether the patient has successfully adhered to the doctor’s orders. This results in health issues staying unaddressed and the patient’s condition poorly managed.

With mobile hospitals, medication adherence may be improved. The reason for this is that patients now have the opportunity to access medical professionals easier for any follow-up and other concerns. They don’t have to be hindered by the lack of medical services or the need to travel far just for a follow-up.

 

They May Increase Treatment Accuracy

When more patients have access to healthcare provided by mobile hospitals, a higher rate of treatment accuracy can be achieved. This means that when an individual experiences any medical symptom, they don’t have to self-medicate and run the risk of possibly worsening their condition or affecting their chances of getting cured. 

Treatment accuracy is achieved when, even upon the first onset of mild symptoms, medical care is given to the affected patient. There’s less chance for wrong treatment or misuse of medication if the patient went to the hospital. Thus, possible negative effects could be avoided.

Conclusion

Time and technology have changed the way the healthcare system works. In the past, going to a hospital was enough. It’s even almost impossible to imagine a situation where hospitals will have to turn down patients as they’ve already reached full capacity. 

Today, times have changed and more medical solutions will have to be offered. One of these medical solutions is a mobile hospital. Its advantages, as discussed above, should be convincing enough that mobile hospitals are very much a necessity for many localities today. Especially during this pandemic, mobile hospitals are considered crucial as the numbers of patients increase every day.