prevent medical identity theft

Medical Identity Theft – Detection & Prevention Tips

prevent medical identity theft

The following guest post was submitted by Ryan Moalemi. 

In this day and age, people get increasingly restless if they don’t get their daily ‘fix’ of substances. The main cause for medical identity theft is trying to get drugs which you otherwise can’t get. Drug users who are addicted to certain drugs need a special pass if they want to get those drugs. If you don’t have this pass, you cannot buy the drug.

prevent medical identity theft

Follow these simple tips to prevent the dangers of medical identity theft from jeopardizing your patient safety.

Medical Identity Theft isn’t something that occurs rarely. Unfortunately, it’s a daily happening, and it can get pretty nasty if left unchecked. There are numerous ways to protect yourself against Medical Identity Theft, but you’ll also need to know how to react if it happens. When people are desperate, they can do desperate things, going as far as stealing your identity to buy themselves drugs. Here are some tips on how to prevent and detect Medical Identity Theft:

Medical Identity Theft – What is it?

Medical identity theft isn’t much different than regular identity theft. However, the purpose here is to buy drugs, get health care at your expense, etc. Anything related to the medical field is a reason for people to steal your identity if they can’t get what they want. Most countries don’t have pictures of patients on their medical cards which is why it can be pretty easy for people to steal your identity. Of course, there are countries where are the details are listed and available to the medical staff to prevent theft and make it easier for them to go through your details.

Protecting your Personal Information

If you want to avoid having your identity stolen, you will need to know how to protect your personal information. The first step is to keep as much information about yourself to yourself except in cases where it’s necessary to share. Don’t let too many people know all of your personal information. You can also check out some Identity Theft Protection to get even more protection. There are various measures you can take to do this, but the best thing is not to share too much.

Stay Away From Common Fraud Schemes

The most common fraud schemes involve offers which you should take instantly because it’s excellent. If you don’t take the offer, you will regret it because it won’t be good anymore. Don’t fall for these tricks no matter how good they sound. That’s exactly it – they sound too good to be true. Also, if you happen to run into a fraud scheme or an offer, be sure to check out all the information regarding the company or people issuing the offer. You want to find legitimate information. If your research comes to fruition and you find out everything is legit – the offer is legit as well. Otherwise, stay far away from that offer and turn it down.

Tips to Detect Medical Identity Theft

While there are some methods of detection which can cost you money, the most common one is simply by constantly checking your purchase history. Visit the hospital where you get your medication and ask them if there were any purchases on your account. You don’t need to do this all the time – do it only when you suspect that someone might have stolen your identity. Also, always keep receipts with you and keep track of your purchase history.

Responding to Medical Identity Theft Incidents – Checklist

The correct way to react to medical identity theft incidents is to report everything to anyone that might help you out. This involves the hospital you visit, police, etc. Also, if you already ran into problems with identity theft, it is the prime time you start keeping your private information protected. Any possible holes that you might have left out could potentially lead to additional medical identity theft. Keep copies of your medical bills, medical records and everything. This way, you’re minimizing the chances of it happening again.


Medical identity theft can lead to many problems if not handled. Things tend to get complicated as more time goes by so it’s best to resolve the issue immediately upon noticing that something isn’t right. Be careful of who you give your personal information to, and stay away from shady offers!

carbon monoxide patient safety

A Guide to Carbon Monoxide, The Silent Home Killer

carbon monoxide patient safety

The following guest post was submitted by Senator Windows.

Carbon Monoxide or (CO) for short, is a colorless, odorless and highly poisonous gas. It cannot be seen, smelled, or heard; which is part of what makes it so dangerous. It is particularly dangerous for children because they breathe faster and inhale more carbon monoxide per pound of body weight.

Carbon Monoxide does serious damage to the human body. When it is inhaled, it combines with blood, but prevents the blood from absorbing oxygen. Blood vessels can become faulty which can lead to swelling in the brain, unconsciousness and nerve damage. In very serious cases, it can be fatal.

The longer a person breathes in carbon monoxide, the more heightened their symptoms become. It is strongly advisable to get out into fresh air ASAP and away from the area that contains the gas, in addition to calling for emergency medical help.

To prevent it building up in the home, install a reliable alarm and open windows to allow fresh air to circulate and adequately ventilate rooms. For more information, have a look at the infographic below which has been created by Senator Windows. 

carbon monoxide patient safety

home healthcare is a fast growing business and requires accurate patient ID

Homecare: The World’s Fastest Growing Industry?

home healthcare is a fast growing business and requires accurate patient ID

The following guest post on homecare was submitted by Be Independent Home Care.

As of now, the US healthcare industry is worth $84 billion and employs 1.7 million people. Employment in homecare as a home health aide is one of the fastest growing occupations in the country, with a growth rate of 38% expected by 2024 from a decade previously. On the basis of those statistics, the industry appears to be thriving.

A further inspection of the full picture, though, shows that even this substantial growth rate might not be enough to keep up with demand. The number of senior citizens in the U.S. is getting larger and larger every single day, with the senior population projected to reach 83 million by the end of this year. Where once there was 11 prospective family caregivers per person in need of care, that ratio could dwindle to four possible caregivers per person in the next 30 years. The days of lay caregiving seem to be coming to an end.

Furthermore, the need is not just for more healthcare professionals to provide the necessary care; the requisite standards of care are growing higher all the time. Healthcare providers and agencies need to meet strict licensing regulations which, while necessary in order to ensure that patients are cared for adequately, will further limit the pool of potential caregivers.

Be Independent Home Care, an Irish provider of one-on-one homecare, has produced this absorbing and thought-provoking infographic on the current state of the healthcare industry and the road down which it is traveling. The demand for healthcare services means that the industry should be booming, but is the supply of qualified healthcare professionals there to meet it?

home healthcare is a fast growing business and requires accurate patient ID

patient safety

Infographic: What You Need to Know About Stroke

patient safety

The following patient safety guest post on stroke prevention was submitted by Ireland based Home Care Plus.

Did you know that there are six stroke-related deaths in the world every single minute? Indeed, somewhere on Earth, a person suffers a stroke every two seconds. It is frightening to think of how frequently strokes happen, especially when the likelihood of suffering one can be minimized with just a few simple lifestyle changes.

Home Care Plus, an Irish-based provider of home care services, has created this excellent infographic which provides hugely important information on recognizing the warning signs of stroke, understanding the factors that increase the risk of stroke, and how to provide care for a victim of stroke.

Time is a critical factor in responding to a stroke, so much so that swift, correct action can prove the difference between life and death. If you see somebody with a notable weakness on one side of their body, slurring their speech or finding it difficult to maintain balance, these could be signs of a stroke. Check to see if their face is falling to one side or if one arm is numb, and also ask the person to recite a simple sentence. If one or more of these warning signs is prevalent, contact the emergency services immediately.

Also, if you know of a friend or family member with high stress levels or a poor diet, or if they’re a regular smoker and/or get little to no exercise, gently advise them that they are putting themselves at risk of suffering a stroke. Of course it isn’t easy to tell a person that they should lose weight or obtain regular exercise, but it’s certainly a preferable alternative to needing to provide constant care for them after they’ve suffered a stroke. Given the frequency with which strokes happen, we simply cannot take a chance that it won’t happen to us or to someone we know and love.

patient safety

patient safety at senior living facilities

Measuring and Assessing Safety at a Senior Living Facility

patient safety at senior living facilities

The following guest post was submitted by Daniel Lofaso

Safety is the primary concern when looking for a senior living community for your loved one. With today’s technology, it would seem easy enough to find security in residential settings, however additional factors should also be considered to ensure your loved one is safe. Visit and tour potential communities and facilities, and consider some of the following safety elements:

patient safety at senior living facilities

Checking safety levels at senior living facilities is important to ensure loved ones are protected.

Staff style. Try to get a feel for the personality and style of the team behind the senior community. Engage staff to determine if they seem capable of handling day-to-day operations, but also how they might respond in an emergency situation, should one arise.

Level of training. While training may not be an issue in an independent living situation, you will want to find a setting with skilled nurses on staff for a residential or assisted living lifestyle. Make sure that there are team members with experience working with an older population, which may contribute to more comprehensive care, increased engagement, and activities that focus on this particular demographic.

Size of Staff. There are mandates set by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) that dictate the staff-resident ratio in assisted living residences. Typically, senior communities employ more administrative staff than medical or direct-care team members, due to the independent nature of these settings. Perhaps the best solution is a marriage of modalities, such as a step-down senior community that offers both independent living options and skilled-nursing facilities at the same site or on adjacent properties.

Security. You can’t be too vigilant when it comes to security, and most senior living communities are well-equipped to provide safety and peace-of-mind to their residents. When visiting or touring potential living situations, look for cameras, security guards, and protection against potential intruders or predators. A gated community may be the most secure, and could help to keep unwanted visitors, solicitors, or trespassers at bay.

Step-down Systems. When checking out potential living options, consider asking for step-down systems that provide a continuum of care throughout the senior’s lifespan. This could be a residence that offers both independent housing, with assisted care and skilled nursing on the same property, or nearby, to accommodate the resident in the event that they need more intensive care during their tenancy. This can be a great comfort to those living there, as they won’t ever have to face the worrisome prospect of moving again due to illness or injury.

Access to equipment. Based on the senior’s current health and needs, it is integral to find a living situation with access to on-site medical equipment. Devices such as a defibrillator, EDG machine, and oxygen tanks are important in the event of a medical emergency; depending on existing medical conditions, it might also be wise to choose a senior community with access to stress-test machines, sterilizing and diagnostic imaging equipment, too. Ask staff during visits to area residential facilities for more information regarding what equipment is on-site in case it is imminently needed.

Distance from EMS. The most prudent housing solution for any senior is within close proximity to emergency medical services (EMS), should it be needed. Also, be sure that there are some transportation services nearby to assist residents in getting the medical attention that they need promptly. This also makes it convenient to get to area medical appointments for those seeing providers off-site.

Amenities. Choosing a living situation with on-site amenity options can decrease risk of injury and incident. The convenience of on-site amenities can also contribute to the senior’s comfort level and feelings of independence, as they are able to make their own appointments and enjoy services, such as hair, nails, sports, dining, and leisure activities, without requiring the assistance or intervention of family members, friends, or others. This may also appeal to seniors that prefer the security of participation without worrying about getting off-site and transportation issues.

Ramps. Even if seniors don’t need ramps or assistance with mobility now, there is a comfort in knowing that the building has easy-access and handicap features to assist throughout the lifespan. This can parlay any concerns about moving or relocating should the senior experience future limitation, illness, or injury. There are distinct requirements in place regarding accessibility, and more information can be found through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and guidelines.

Dining options and meal service. Be sure that your senior has ready-access to groceries, meals, or dining options that will appeal to them. Furthermore, if there are specific dietary needs or allergy restrictions, let staff know about these requirements when visiting the site. Some senior communities may have a communal dining room option which can foster interaction and socialization among residents. This is a great way for new tenants to make friends and acquaintances in a safe, secure setting.

Safety comes down to more than mere locks on doors when it comes to a senior living situation. Assess and interview residential settings to determine the level of security, staffing, access, and features your potential dwelling has. Take a tour of facilities to find the best fit based on the senior’s needs and possible limitations, as well as those communities that will foster and encourage independence. Be sure to confirm and ask about the privacy policies of the community, to ensure that the confidentiality and autonomy of the senior is a priority.

Daniel Lofaso is the Community Outreach Manager for Lourdes Noreen Mckeen, a retirement and independent living facility in West Palm Beach, FL.

nursing leadership style have a direct impact on patient safety and patient outcomes

Infographic: How Nursing Leadership Styles Can Impact Patient Outcomes and Organizational Performance

nursing leadership style have a direct impact on patient safety and patient outcomes

The following guest post on improving patient outcomes was submitted by Bradley University

As in any profession, nurses can only perform as well as their workplaces, teams, and managers allow. While all healthcare employees are responsible for an organization’s performances, nurses are in an important position to directly influence patients’ experiences and outcomes. But in healthcare, performance doesn’t just have consequences in patient satisfaction; it can also affect recording errors, medication errors, and ultimately patient mortality rates.

Since managers are in a position to directly control the environment in which nurses work, their leadership style can have a tremendous impact on how patients are cared for and how the organization performs as a whole. Research has found that there are distinct correlations in how each of five key leadership styles can positively — or negatively — sway the quality of care provided.

Leadership styles can be fluid, and there isn’t necessarily one correct approach which will suit every organization or situation. For example, transactional and authoritarian leaders can excel during emergency situations, whereas democratic leadership is at its best when collaborating to refine processes and workflows. Transformational leadership can inspire nurses to perform at their best, demonstrated by research indicating reduced patient mortality in three of six studies.

Learn more about these leadership styles with the infographic below, produced for Bradley University’s Online Nursing Program. This graphic gathers research examining the link between different management styles and how they can influence an organization’s performance and patient outcomes.

Infographic: How Nursing Leadership Styles Can Impact Patient Outcomes and Organizational Performance

urgent care centers and women's health

Women’s Health: What Type of Care can Female Patients Expect at an Urgent Care?

urgent care centers and women's health

The following guest post on urgent care was submitted by Nathan Bradshaw with UrgentWay.
Going to the doctors or an urgent care center can cause an uneasy feeling for many people. White coat syndrome is prevalent in many people, where their blood pressure sky rockets, and there pulse rate increases. Urgent care centers can be anxiety provoking because some women are not aware of what they can expect when going. Knowing what to expect before you go can make a big difference, and reduce nervousness, and anxiety. I am going to shed some light on what type of care female patients can expect at an urgent care, and why visiting an urgent care can lead to quick treatment options, and very little waiting time.

urgent care centers and women's health

Urgent Care Centers are playing a more important role in women’s health.

What is an Urgent Care Center?
First off let’s talk about what an urgent care is. An urgent care center is a walk-in clinic that treats injuries and illness that require immediate attention, but not as serious as conditions that you would typically go to the emergency room for. Urgent care centers are used to treat conditions that are not life threatening but conditions that should not wait to be addressed until your primary care physicians next available appointment. Some of the reasons people may go to an urgent care center include things like accidents, and falls, sprains, and strains, mild to moderate back issues, bleeding or cuts that may require stitches without an excessive amount of bleeding, fever or flu, sore throat, urinary tract infections, or minor broken bones or fractures. (1) Urgent cares are very convenient for serving as a middle of the road treatment center between your primary physician, and the emergency room.

Female Patient’s and Urgent Care Centers:
When women go to an urgent care center, it is important to know what type of care you are going to receive in order to make the decision about going to the urgent care center in the first place. Urgent care centers are able to see patients with a wide variety of conditions. One of the reasons a women may visit an urgent care is for a urinary tract infection, and according to fast med, urinary tract infections in women are very common. “At least 1/3 of all women in the United States will have been diagnosed with a urinary tract infection by the age of 24.” (2) Urinary tract infections are painful, and should not wait to be treated until your physician is able to see you. A women may not feel comfortable going to the emergency room for a UTI, so an urgent care center is a perfect choice. When going to the urgent care for symptoms of a UTI, the physician will evaluate your UTI symptoms, and possible run a urinalysis screening. The urgent care can easily treat this condition with a course of antibiotics.

Another reason women may visit the urgent care center is for issues such as emergency contraception. The physicians at an urgent care center are well equipped to manage the need for emergency contraception, and can do so without the patient needing to visit the emergency room and be subjected to long wait times, and countless germs. Birth control, STD/STI testing are also available at your local urgent care, and can serve as a more convenient option than waiting for a doctor’s appointment. All of these conditions require immediate attention, and the urgent care center can provide care to all women needing care for UTI’s, STD testing, birth control, or emergency contraception.

Other women’s health issues that can be treated at an urgent care can include concerns that you would generally bring up to your OB/GYN. Getting in to see your OB/GYN can take weeks, and sometimes even months, and many concerns need immediate attention. Some of the reasons women may visit an urgent care center when their OB/GYN does not have an immediate appointment include reasons like noticing an abnormal menstrual cycle, pregnancy testing, morning sickness, menopausal symptoms, abdominal pain or mild to moderate pelvic cramping, for a referral to get an ultra sound done, or referrals to see an OB/GYN. Going to an urgent care for your health concerns means that you will most likely get answers the same day, will not have to wait to see a doctor which means your worrying time is much less. Urgent care centers have doctors that are trained to treat many conditions, and you should not have to wait to treat your women’s health concerns.

Urgent Care Centers as a Great Option:
Urgent care centers serve as excellent options for non-life threatening medical conditions. These centers can get your health concerns addressed the same day you visit the clinic, and get you feeling better quicker than having to wait for your primary doctor, or your OB/GYN to see you.

Going to the emergency room may not be necessary for many of your health concerns, and can be avoided by visiting your local urgent care. Emergency rooms can subject you to very long waiting times, higher medical expenses, and even expose you to more germs, Urgent care physician are trained, and can provide you with high quality medical treatment, and have the resources to refer you out to a specialist if needed.

Urgent care physicians can provide excellent medical care just as your physician would. When you visit a walk in clinic, you can expect your care to be very similar to the care you would typically receive at your primary doctors. You will check in, be brought into an exam room where you vitals will be taken, and a physician will do a medical exam, and review your medical history with you. After the medical exam, and a thorough review of your symptoms additional testing may be done, or treatment, and a diagnosis will be discussed with you. You will receive instructions as to how to follow your treatment plan such as obtaining additional testing, or how to take a prescribed medication. You can request a summary of your visit at the urgent care to be faxed over to your primary physician’s office for them to have on file.

Now that you know what women’s health conditions can be treated at an urgent care, and what type of treatment you can expect, I hope that you feel well prepared if you need to make a visit to a walk in clinic, with little anxiety as to what to expect. Going to the doctors can always be stressful, but knowing where to go, and how your treatment will be can make it a much less frightening experience, and can allow you to get high quality care when you need it.

Nathan Bradshaw is an expert marketer who specializes in promoting and growing physician practices. He currently works with UrgentWay to help improve their online footprint and garner interest in their Urgent Care, Occupational Health and Health services.

nursing healthcare technology for patient safety

7 Important Technological Advancements for Nurses

nursing healthcare technology for patient safety

The following guest blog post was submitted by Jessica Kane.

Looking back over the past few years, many people would have never been able to understand how significantly technology would affect the way we work, live, and play. The healthcare industry has been one area that technology has helped. Patient care has been drastically improved by these advances, as have the nurses and doctors who use new measures. The job of a nurse today looks nothing like it did 10, 20 or even 30 years ago.

nursing healthcare technology for patient safety

Seven major technology enhancements have changed the nursing field.

RN’s and Nurse Practitioners have changed the way they administer patient care. They are able to increase their workflow all while limiting their human errors. In return, it makes their job safer, and it is also less challenging on their bodies. Over the years, there have been seven major enhancements that have changed the nursing field Today, these advancements are being used at top hospitals and health care facilities across the world. These practices have made nursing a better profession to be a part of.

1. Enhanced Communication

When nurses received pagers back in the 1980-1990s, they were able to increase patient care. Fast forward nearly 20 years and each nurse carries a cell phone with the ability to order a pizza and medicine all at the same time. Most hospitals have advanced healthcare software to enable communication between medical staff and patients. Using smartphones and apps, nurses can receive text messages and receive alarms from their patients through their phones. Forget those old-fashioned pagers. The entire nursing staff is more in touch with their patients and with each other. It’s efficiency at its finest and the nursing staff of today wouldn’t know how to do it any other way.

2. Electronic Records

Piles of endless paperwork consumed the nursing staff for decades. Physical paper charts and faxing medical records is pretty much a thing of the past. Hospitals and medical care centers have switched to electronic records. This allows everyone in the hospital to access the patient’s information with the touch of a button. A nurse can quickly see what medications the patient is taking and which ones they are allergic too. They can look up test results and see all sorts of other data. Doctors can put notes that the nurse needs to see about the patient’s needs. Even things like religious preference can be recorded. It’s one way that nurses are connecting with their patients without hours of paperwork.

It should be mentioned that several healthcare providers are enhancing EHR usability by ensuring accurate patient identification. They are doing do so by using solutions like RightPatient. Such a platform can help identify patients across the care continuum – ensuring patient data integrity and preventing duplicate medical records.

3. GPS tracking

Hospital efficiency has been increased through GPS tracking. Tagging and tracking medical equipment is much easier than it was before. Radio frequency identifications tags help nurses find the nearest blood pressure machine or another piece of equipment. It sounds like a simple matter, but being able to centrally monitor equipment has increased bed management and patient care incredibly.

4. Enhanced Diagnostic Devices

Most of the technological advancements are to help doctors, nurses, and the patients. Take for instance diagnostic exams. These can now be performed non-invasively. There are more options for nurses and doctors to choose from rather than the old-school tests and treatments. Not only does it improve the cost-effective nature of testing, but it also lowers the risks of infections. Handheld biosensors have the ability to detect all sorts of diseases. It just requires a small body specimen to give a definitive result. Another tool is ultrasound technology. When needing help placing an IV, an ultrasound machine can pinpoint the exact location to minimize patient distress.

5. Drug Delivery

Numerous hospitals have implemented drug delivery systems that come in an implantable device form. These devices release medication into the patients at the required times. An RN can schedule the dosing and make sure that their patient gets the medications they need, in the correct dosing, at the appropriate time. This reduces the chance of a patient error, potential lawsuits, and also allows the nurses to focus on other areas that need their attention.

6. Smarter Alarm Systems

Go in any hospital across the country and there will be the sound of beeps coming from the patients’ rooms. These beeps kept the nurses from running from room to room trying to see what was going on. However, many times these alarms were false or a machine was just beeping to be reset. It caused what is known as “alarm fatigue.” These beeping devices take the nurse’s attention away from important tasks for things that are not of a trivial matter.

In an effort to correct this problem, smart alarm technology is used to monitor vital signs for the nursing staff. All vitals run through one system. Checking blood pressure or pulse rates has never been so easy. This integrated system measures physiological indicators. If there is a real cause for alarm, the machine will let the nurse know. These alarm systems are more modernized and efficient.

7. Lifting Patients with Ease

According to the Veteran’s Administration, each year more than 2,400 nurses are injured by lifting their patients. Most of the injuries are debilitating and cause the nurse to lose work time and money. If the patient is of a larger size and the nurse smaller, it can be a real challenge to safely move them about. However, in 2008 things began to change. when the VA took notice of all their nursing injuries.

The VA spent over $200 million dollars to create a program that would come up with devices and training for nurses to be able to handle their patients in a safer manner. After much trial and error, new devices have come on the scene that allows nurses to use lifting technology that saves their backs. Now, many hospitals are using such technology in their patients’ rooms. According to a report from the VA, they saw a 40 percent drop in nursing injuries since they implemented this technology.

Technology is ever changing and constantly evolving into new and better methods that can make the life of a nurse easier. However, a nurse must stay up to date on these methods, as well as work in a center that is open minded and willing to invest in technological advances. By keeping up with the trends, a nurse who is well versed in these new technologies will maintain their creative edge and be eligible for career advancement.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes about technology and other gadgets and gizmos aplenty. She currently writes for Total Voice Tech, her go to for transcription equipment.

medical technologies

5 Must Have Technologies for a Successful Medical Practice

medical technologies

The following guest post was submitted by Aiden Spencer from CureMD.

Medical offices are notoriously behind the times when it comes to technology, despite the fact that patients are eager for them to embrace it. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is the time, resources and finances needed to implement such changes. However research has shown that the impact of adopting new technologies, while disruptive in the short-term, will bring time-saving advantages to your practice that will soon outweigh any temporary drawbacks.

medical technologies

Which healthcare technologies are a “must have” to run a successful practice?

Many doctors express reluctance to commit the time needed to adopt and learn new technologies. Some have also voiced concern about losing one-on-one time with patients if they are forced to look at screens during their brief patient encounters. Their concerns may be valid temporarily as they learn how to use the new systems, but in the long term the wealth of benefits these new solutions present will offer time-saving advantages that are easily recognizable.

The abundance of technological options can be daunting at first, so investing in a company such as CureMD to help with practice management solutions may be the first step toward going digital. Consultants like these can lay out all the options and costs involved for your office, as well as implement staff training and smooth the transition to using new technology.

Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Contrary to what you may think, EHR ultimately allows office and professional staff to spend more one-on one time with patients, strengthening relationships and potentially bringing in more business. Eliminating the common front desk clutter, loose papers and racks upon racks of files makes for a more organized office, and one that is likely to be attractive to patients. Once someone’s record is electronic, it is easier to track and make changes to their information. Follow-up appointments, medication reminders and test results can all be emailed to the patient expediently. Less handling of papers leads to fewer errors and creates a digital trail when something is amiss. Office staff will spend fewer hours managing paperwork, freeing up time for better utilization of their skills. EHR allows doctors to access patient medical history going back for many years, and to easily review and integrate information from other providers into their systems.

Patient Portals and Online Scheduling

Research shows that patients are gravitating toward digitally-based practices which give them easy access to managing their health via a smart phone or laptop. Patient portals allow patients to see their medical history and test results, make appointments, request prescription refills and in some cases email doctors or medical staff for help or information. In turn, this may bring in more business as patients are more likely to choose doctors whose practices make their lives easier and limit time spent on the phone. Having access to their medical records can even help cut down on errors as patients are likely to point out any mistakes they see on their record.

Patient portals are also advantageous to physicians, who are better able to manage chronic conditions with online monitoring and communication. They can collaborate with other providers or make referrals and ultimately keep patients happier with more comprehensive management of their health.

Card Scanners

Going digital is made a whole lot easier by investing in a card scanner that takes copies of both sides of drivers’ licenses and insurance cards in one pass to add to the medical record. Card scanners are relatively inexpensive, compact and are powered via a USB connection to your office computer. Card scanners can not only save time but also cut down on errors or missing information.

Laptops or tablets for exam rooms

The benefits of laptops, PDAs or tablets for physicians are abundant. Offering portability foremost, they allow physicians instant access to the entire medical record of the patient they are treating. Over time, the medical record can be enhanced with information from other providers, along with lab and imaging results. An even more substantial medical benefit is that doctors can utilize the latest information on the internet for evidence-based guidelines to help shape their treatment decisions. They can also research less known diseases, which is especially useful in current medicine where scientific investigation has uncovered such a vast array of disorders, it’s not possible for every doctor to recognize all symptoms. It can thus make diagnosing and treating illnesses much easier. Doctors can also access telehealth information and data obtained from remote patient monitoring in order to keep tabs on their patients with more chronic illnesses.

Practice Management Systems (PMS)

Automating your practice using a top-notch management system provides many options that can eliminate the time-intensive administrative tasks of the past. Choosing the right PMS is key and includes not only medical billing software, but also a means to integrate clinical, financial and administrative operations to maximize productivity. Most PMS will include features such as:

• appointment scheduling and text or call reminders
• incorporating demographic information from ID cards correctly into the patient record
• verifying insurance and eligibility
• tracking patient financial responsibilities in order to collect copays
• generating administrative reports

It is important to understand the features and system requirements of PMS and recognize your specific practice needs in order to facilitate an easy transition. Additionally, you need to make sure that your software complies with federal mandates and is backed by solid customer support in the event questions or problems arise.

Author Bio: Aiden Spencer is a health IT researcher and writer at CureMD who focuses on various engaging and informative topics related to the health IT industry. He loves to research and write about topics such as Affordable Care Act, electronic health records, Medical Practice management and patient health data. You can get in touch with him on Twitter: @AidenSpencer15

disaster preparedness

The Role of Technology in Disaster Management – Some Public Safety Apps to Know About

disaster preparedness

The following is a guest post on disaster management submitted to RightPatient®

Irrespective of whether it is a bad incident of workplace violence or an earthquake or a riot, whenever there’s an emergency somewhere, the responders need to stay updated with the latest updates. Even before the arrival of the situation, they should be briefed and informed so that they can rely on the real-time updates and use the information to direct the common public to some of the safest possible places around. In order to achieve such tasks, there are many emergency response teams which depend on public safety technology including cloud storage solutions and disaster preparedness apps. But is this advancement of technology really changing the way of reacting to emergency situations?

disaster preparedness

Public safety technology is designed to keep responders informed and prepared.

What is the role of technology during an emergency situation?

The pivotal role of technology during a situation of disaster is to keep individuals in touch with each other so that they can work as a team and withstand the hardships. This can not only end up in saving many lives, but it is also transforming the process in which emergency management actually works. Whenever there is a disaster in some place, the very first thing to go is connectivity of network which makes people feel totally cut off from the entire world. Public safety technology is concerned with regaining such networks, allowing the rescuers to carry on with their mission of rescue and connect the survivors with the different communities. For instance, Nokia solutions for public safety ensure secure and reliable services of the relevant devices and applications in any emergency.

The usefulness of various public safety apps

One of the most common instances of technology being utilized in an emergency is the large number of safety and preparedness apps which are available to both responders and citizens. If you wish to prevent loss of lives during disasters, you need to be prepared to face it and hence apps like Preparis allow a business firm to devise an emergency plan through which they can save lives. Have a look at some of the top public safety apps that you should know of.

 H. Kiosk: Humanitarian Kiosk is an app which was introduced by the United Nations (UN) to offer instant and immediate information for the responders. This app provides you coverage against emergencies which happen throughout the world. The H.Kiosk application is categorized into several independent kiosks, each offering some set of information for those areas which are involved in several humanitarian threats and disasters.

 Preparis: Violence at workplaces is a major issue among business organizations. There are numerous businesses which get involved in smaller and bigger scuffles which might lead to an emergency anytime. This app is based on subscription and it strives hard to safeguard its employees from terrorism, natural disasters and various other workplace threats. It also allows the business to share and create plans for the crisis, live news feeds and other vital things.

 ubAlert: Nowadays global public safety doesn’t only depend on the trained staff who are there to cover emergencies but it also depends on the citizens who are striving hard to survive amidst a disaster. ubAlert is nothing but a social media network that allows each user to gain access to statistics, safety alerts images, maps and everything else which can be shared.

 American Red Cross Public Safety apps: Within the United States of America, whenever there’s some disaster, it is the American Red Cross that comes at the rescue first. This is a big organization that also offers a huge range of public safety apps, including one named Shelter Finder. This organization covers serious threats like hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods and also gives first aid to the victims in a step-by-step systematic format. Through these apps, you can even receive warning alerts in case you live in a tornado or flood-prone area.

 Global emergency overview: As we see that disasters and conflicts are all over the news, it can become a herculean task to keep up with the safety issues of the public. With the help of The Global Overview, you can offer a snapshot of what is going to happen every week, giving the users and the residents of a particular place a summary of the crises that they might face.

Technological advancement tools like mobile apps, cloud storage, and public safety have emerged of great benefit for the public. Although all such measures are already taken, perhaps the greatest use occurs after the disaster. Nevertheless, you can definitely be careful and prepared to face the challenges of any catastrophe.