This article was originally published on LinkedIn as a part of their Influencer series.
Summer is traditionally the slow time of the year for healthcare. Summer in medical settings means vacations and staff coverage, new physicians fresh from residency, and more chances for the local kids to get creatively injured with school out. Even though summer might not have the intense volume of cold and flu season, or the intense number-crunching of the end of/beginning of the year, as a manager there’s always something demanding your attention. So when you need a vacation, you Need A Vacation. How do you achieve the balance of taking time off with being able to step in and manage if the need arises?
Access is the name of the game in achieving balance. I want to be able to go away knowing that I can easily get to things I need without a lot of fuss. That’s why I am such a fan of mobile technology that lets me stay informed or in touch when I’m away – whether at a conference, on vacation, or fitting in family or personal time.
The key to access is using your phone or tablet to enhance and protect your out-of-the-office time, not invade it. Access equals peace of mind and allows the total unwinding that is so critical to rebuilding your energy for the next round. While I’m taking time off this summer, these are the apps I’m using to stay in touch and give me the confidence to let go!
At Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, doctors are saving time and sharing ideas using Box, a file-sharing and collaboration software that lets providers browse available medical documents and communicate with each other about treatment options. We are big believers in Box at Manage My Practice – we use it, and most of our clients end up using it too. Box is the only HIPAA-compliant file storage and collaboration service, and just like the doctors at Wake Forest, it makes our lives easier countless times a day. Wake Forest uses Box to store all of their medical journals and articles, as well as commenting on each file so that physicians can discuss procedures and treatment options. The doctors can access the repository from their tablets and smartphones, so that accessing detailed disease or treatment information is always as close as their mobile device.
Box is a simple and secure solution for sharing content with your coworkers, customers and audience. If you have moved your organizations’s practice management, electronic health record or email service to “the cloud” then it only makes sense to move your paperwork and content out of boxes and storage and into the cloud as well. If you have are using email attachments, a network drive, FTP server, or a non-compliant solution like Dropbox, then switching to Box can help your practice reduce your liability, stay HIPAA compliant, and store all of your digital content in a secure and accessible manner.
Box also makes mobilizing your workforce across locations easy. Box means your content is always available in a web browser, a phone or tablet, or synced on your desktop. Many of our consulting clients also use it to coordinate work and file across locations. If you have outsourced your billing or human resources, a shared folder in Box allows both locations to have the latest information and stay in touch.
Manage My Practice is a Certified Box Reseller, and would love to help you leverage Box to improve your practice’s workflow.
Since its release in 2008, Internet File Storage tool Dropbox has been a big hit with people who have to keep track of files on multiple computers. Users can download a free program that lets them upload files to “the cloud” (see: a server or servers connected to the Internet), and then can access the files on any other device: other PCs or Macs, any web browser, even a smartphone or tablet. The program puts a small, “dropbox” in the bottom corner of the user’s screen and any file dragged into the icon is automatically uploaded. When the user looks at the dropbox on another device, the file is there waiting.
Dropbox has been wildly popular because it is extremely useful: it saves people time and makes them more productive, and is free for the first 2GB of storage. Users can either earn more free storage by referring friends to the program, or purchase more storage with plans that start at $9.99 per month. There are also group plans that allow for centralized file sharing.
In fact, some of your employees could be using Dropbox in your practice right now to let them work from home or the road, or sync multiple work computers, or even give them access to work data on their mobile devices. As all healthcare management professionals know, this has the potential to be a huge problem. The data that is handled in many daily tasks in a medical practice is protected not only by patient confidentiality, but also by federal regulations with some serious financial teeth. On Dropbox’s website, they go after the question head on:
“Unfortunately, Dropbox does not currently have HIPAA, FERPA, SAS 70, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, or PCI certifications. We’ll update this page with any new certifications as we receive them, so please do check back”
Record retention can be a significant problem for healthcare groups. Different federal and state regulations require different retention schedules for medical records and other medical-service related documents. Many managers and physicians are confused on how long they should maintain records and how best to store all this paper. Here’s an updated record retention schedule that is in sync with medical malpractice insurers (check with your malpractice carrier) and accounting firms.
There are all kinds of numbers floating around for retaining records, but unless you are focusing ONLY on record retention, you”d have to be very organized to separate what can be shredded in 1 year, 3 years, 6 years, 7 years, etc. I prefer to categorize everything into three basic categories: Save it Forever, Save it for 7 years, and Save it according to state requirements. Here is (almost) everything broken into my three categories.
It is my pleasure to announce Manage My Practice’s first product in our new Manage My Practice Tools section – MMP FileConnect.
MMP FileConnect is a simple and affordable way to:
Increase efficiency in your practice by reducing workflow issues and duplication of paperwork.
Cut expenses for on-site and off-site storage.
Promote collaboration and teamwork between departments, locations and employee silos.
Reduce risk by keeping critical documents secure.
Access files anywhere from any browser or mobile device (especially great for the docs!)
How does MMP FileConnect work?
MMP FileConnect is similar to a new and improved filing cabinet that resides in the cloud (a secure Internet domain), not on your server. It allows the administrator to design a folder and file system and assign users permissions (view, upload, download, edit, etc.) in their practice.
The administrator can set up groups of users with the same permissions, and can easily add or delete users, change existing groups’ settings, or change file organization. In my practice I have a structure something like this:
Office Forms such as PTO requests, fax cover sheets and reimbursement requests
Patient Forms such as demographic sheets and financial agreements
Calendars such as call calendars, vacation calendars and birthday calendars
Lists & Reference Documents – internal and external phone lists, practice abbreviations, and insurance plans the group participates with.
Physicians & Administrator
Time Off Notifications
Provider CME records
Provider Credentialing Records
Payer Contract Summaries
Payroll Files & Compensation Spreadsheet
Contracts & Leases
You can also invite external users to be a part of MMP FileConnect for easy communication surrounding documents. My benefits broker is a user so I can place new employee benefit enrollment forms on FileConnect and she is immediately notified without me having to send an email. She can download the enrollments and process them immediately. An added benefit is that I have a tracking record of when I placed the forms there and when she picked them up.
What about the security of MMP FileConnect?
MMP FileConnect is built on the Box.net platform. Box knows the healthcare industry is one of the world’s most demanding marketplaces when it comes to data security and customer privacy. The implicit trust between a provider and a patient is critical to all stakeholders. With MMP FileConnect and Box you can be sure that your stored data is absolutely safe. Box has a SAS 70 type II certification, meaning it has been independently audited by the AICPA for sensitivity in handling healthcare data. All of your data on MMP FileConnect is 256-Bit AES encrpyted both in storage and in transfer. There is the capability for a complete audit, giving you the tools to monitor and manage your information with peace of mind. On top of that, Box.net has a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%, so you can count on your data being there anytime you need it.
Do I have to logon to a website every time I want to use a document?
One of the best features of MMP FileConnect is the desktop file sync feature. Every user can keep a desktop folder of most-used files and folders stored on FileConnect and can utilize them without going to a browser or using a login and password. Anytime a file is updated by any user, the newest version automatically syncs to the appropriate desktops.
What else can it do?
For more ideas on how to use this amazing tool, see my post on “76 Ways to Use the Cloud” here. Every one of those 76 ways is doable with MMP FileConnect!
What does MMP FileConnect cost?
A very affordable $25 per month per user, with discounts for paying annually and for groups of 50 users or more.
Tell me more!
For more information and an opportunity to try MMP FileConnect free for 28 days, click here to contact us.