EHR: Streamline Staff Work Flow, Improve Patient Care

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Michelle Cooper, OD

Electronic health records systems can eliminate duplications and streamline the daily routines of your staff—letting you concentrate on improving patient care.

Read the entire article: EHR: Streamline Staff Work Flow, Improve Patient Care

Reprinted with permission from Review of Optometric Business.

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Get out of the fog Stay safe in the cloud – Part 1

Andrew H. Lee, Senior Product Manager fogblog_security_150px

How much risk of a security breach is there in maintaining personal health records?
“A data breach on par with last year’s retail sector calamity is a possibility for the health care industry…” according to a recent article on data security by The American Optometric Association.  Unfortunately these prophecies are coming to fruition. CNNMoney has just reported a major hospital network security breach, in which 4.5 million patients’ records were stolen, leaving patients at risk for fraud and identity theft.

Clearly the risk of a security breach is real.  Paper, laptops, and thumb drives can be stolen from your practice.  Network connections can be hacked into if you do not secure your Wi-Fi Hotspot.  However can you trust your cloud vendor? You need to know what to look for in a cloud-based solution to further mitigate your risk.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Security in the Cloud.  We’ll tell you five key factors to consider when selecting a solution to fit your needs and stay safe in the cloud.

Shape the future of practice management!
See what’s up and coming, and let us hear from you about your vision for your practice. Learn more.

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On Task with Security Risk Analysis

17317DR_MU_core9_shadowCore Measure 9

It seems like every time you turn around, there’s another large security breach. The results can be devastating for not only the business that was hacked, but their customers as well. The risk isn’t limited to retailers – it exists anywhere customer information is used, accessed, or stored. With that in mind, core measure 9 was created and included in meaningful use.  As evidence of the gravitas of this goal, there are no exclusions to this measure.

We all know how important it is to protect electronic health information, and the utmost care must be exercised to protect patients’ medical records.

Defined and Deciphered
Core measure 9 seems like a simple concept, but can be deceptively complex. The goal is to protect patients’ electronic health information that was created or is maintained by certified EHR through the implementation of appropriate technical capabilities.

Per CMS, the provider must:

“…conduct or review a security risk analysis in accordance with the requirements under 45 CFR 164.308(a) (1), including addressing the encryption/security of data stored in CEHRT in accordance with requirements under 45 CFR 164.312 (a)(2)(iv) and 45 CFR 164.306(d)(3), and implement security updates as necessary and correct identified security deficiencies as part of the provider’s risk management process for EPs.”

Huh? Exactly!

It seems daunting to decipher what the requirements are, much less figure out how to actually accomplish the task.  Essentially, you’re required to perform a security risk analysis to ensure that your patients’ medical records are secure, and to minimize the risk of a security breach.

The Challenge
Part of the challenge to this measure is the broad nature of the measure itself. Fulfilling the measure doesn’t rely on a simple security feature that can be enabled or disabled. Rather, practices must conduct—at least annually—a comprehensive security risk analysis in accordance with the requirements under HIPAA, and correct all identified security deficiencies.  There is a full list of security criteria that must be met and/or corrected, however, a simple checklist will not satisfy the requirements. Each of the criteria must be sufficiently documented, so that in the event of an audit, you will pass. Also, there are no exclusions allowed for this measure, and since it’s not a percentage based measure, there is no CMS reporting window to track your progress.

Success Can Be Yours
Core measure 9 is essentially the same as core measure 15 from Stage 1. If you’ve already succeeded at this measure in Stage 1, you’re well on your way to success in Stage 2. Unfortunately, because of the broad nature of the measure, it’s also one of the more difficult challenges to master. This is not a measure that can be conquered simply with your EHR system. Still, this is a measure that is attainable. Given the complexities, and myriad of factors to consider, we will take on the required tasks in Part 2 of “On Task with Security Risk Analysis.” Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you have questions or need help with meaningful use, contact us at meaningfuluse@eyefinity.com.

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Cloud Technology in a Flash

blog_stopwatchThe second installment in our series of posts about cloud technology. Now let’s look at speed and bandwidth.

by Eyefinity Senior Product Manager Andrew Lee

Better Use of Time
A cloud-based system can save you time, by removing hardware issues from your practice and providing readily accessible records, but what’s required?

The Need for Speed
Internet speed can be a significant factor. Before taking the leap to the cloud, ask providers about bandwidth requirements for their solutions. This is important when evaluating the cost of a practice management solution. If you’re required to subscribe to a very high-speed internet service, that’s a red flag. This could add hundreds of dollars every month, and suddenly what seemed like a low monthly cost for the practice management system, is drastically inflated.

We recommend a minimum of 3 Mbps (Megabits per second) download and 1.5 Mbps upload speeds. For optimal performance, you’ll want 3 – 6 Mbps, depending on the number of doctors and staff in your office.   Check your current speeds at www.speedtest.net.

Ask the Right Questions
Some practice management solutions require speeds up to 20 mbps, and have response times up to 30 seconds, so be sure to ask what’s required, and how fast the system will respond. A web-based system should respond within a couple of seconds, and an optimized system should average less than one second.

Up next, unlocking the secret to security in the cloud.

We want to hear from YOU.
With your input, the next level of practice management solutions will be everything you want and need it to be. Learn more.

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Eyefinity Sets Its Sights on the Future of EHR Tech

Steve Baker, President, Eyefinity

Steve Baker, President, Eyefinity

Curious about electronic health records (EHRs) and what the future might hold for you in making a difference for your practice and patients? Eyefinity president Steve Baker taps into the potential of the optical industry’s medical and retail strengths.

Read full article.

Reprinted from Medical Design

Health IQ interview with Eyefinity president

The move to electronic health records (EHR), Meaningful Use (MU), and how all of this affects both providers and patients is an important topic. But does EHR and MU create any benefits for providers and patients?
Find out in this Health IQ interview with Eyefinity president, Steve Baker.

The Potential of Google Glass

MattAlpertOD_IMG2

You’ve heard of Google Glass, right? Been thinking about how it might be used in your practice? Check out the article in EYE2 to see more about one of the most exciting technologies in the last decade with so much potential for VSP network providers. Matthew Alpert, OD and VSP board member shares that, “Glass has many potential benefits for the profession of optometry and the patients VSP serves.”

Read article here. 

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