As talk of tablets and Cloud computing hits the small business sector, one industry that is left out of discussions is the medical field. But doctors, dentists, and their staff members need access to the best tools available to serve their patients.
To avoid falling behind the competition, small clinics and medical offices must stay on top of today’s top medical technology. Thanks to a wide variety of hardware and software solutions, even the smallest office can automate processes for more efficient operations. Solutions range from products designed to give the best possible care to apps designed to comply with regulations.
“Medical offices need to reduce costs and improve efficiency and I.T. is one of the vehicles to achieve this,” I.T. security expert Leo Bletnitsky of LBA Networking states. “Many offices I visit have ancient computers and their staff spend hours looking for lost patient charts. This costs the practice real money and now with stringent HIPAA enforcement, can put a practice out of business for not safeguarding patient records and data.”
Compliance with HIPAA regulations is a high priority for any doctors office. As HIPAAAudit.com’s John Brewer says, “For every medical office, HIPAA compliance is one of the most important issues they have to deal with each day. The big deal with this is data security, more specifically, computer security. Every electronic device that touches PHI is now tainted and must be considered a controlled item.”
One software solution relates to the way medical records are transmitted to patients’ doctors. In the current medical environment, medical records are no longer transported back and forth. Medical offices are able to deliver images and video online for demonstrating to patients. This new technology brings a few requirements with it, however.
“With the rise of online medical record and imaging delivery and online video consults, doctor’s offices should have at least one high-end computer that can handle high quality imaging output, video conferencing and 3D rendering,” Tim Lynch of PsychsoftPC says. “The ability to handle 3D virtual walk-throughs will also become increasingly important as medical technology continues to advance. And as diagnostics become more technology-driven, fast, high-end computers will become vital to data analysis in the practice of medicine.”
One thing is clear: for small medical offices filled with rows of filing cabinets, scanning is not only a nicety, it’s a must. “While great strides have been made with electronic medical records, doctor’s offices, clinics and others are still swimming in paper.,” Digitali’s Billy Cripe says. “Clinics and doctor’s offices should seriously consider cloud based storage software paired with a desktop scanner that has OCR capabilities. When these are combined, those necessary but onerous pieces of paper can be easily and immediately scanned by front-office staff then automatically stored in a Cloud-based content archive.”
As Cripe points out, this scanning and storing process frees up office space, protects documents in the event of a disaster, and ensures patient data is safely secured behind firewalls. This, in essence, is the future of medical offices. When combined with Cloud-based patient scheduling and claims software like MediTouch, medical offices can operate more efficiently, while better serving patients.