By ALEXIS PARKER
One of the main objectives of any workplace is to be as efficient and productive as possible. Afterall, the more productive a team can be, the more profitable that team will be. One way a medical office attempts to raise productivity is by utilizing technology. In this age, technology is at the forefront of innovation and has the ability to upgrade any office, but what most medical practices don’t realize is that if technology is not being utilized correctly, it can hinder your team’s productivity. This means spending thousands of extra dollars on IT so it isn’t detrimentally impacting the practice.
Failed technology, resulting from lack of proper preparation, brings with it unnecessary costs that can cripple an office. Fortunately, technology has an average lifespan to follow so that the unexpected is prepared for. All practices should have an inventory list of all their IT equipment with the date purchased, expected life span and warranty information. Preparing and budgeting for these replacements will ensure your team stays productive.
Medical offices often report their faxing is slow and printing costs add up. With a HIPAA compliant electronic faxing service, an office can fax documents directly from a computer without printing them first, sometimes directly from inside the EHR system. Another option is to encrypt your team’s emails. With today’s technology, filters can be programmed to encrypt any email containing patient’s personal information like a social security number, any form of payment info, etc. Making these tasks not only as efficient as possible, but also cost effective and HIPAA approved.
Unless you have a psychic in the office, the internet going down is never an expected event. Things happen to take networks down and teams cannot reach their EHR system. What do you do? The good thing is, as time has progressed, the cost of networks is declining and offices are now seeing the benefits of having multiple connections throughout, all while being cost effective. By implementing multiple networks, a productive office can be maintained even when unforeseen circumstances occur.
Another circumstance no one can properly predict with technology is a cyberattack. Cybersecurity risks are on the rise and with them, preventive measures in the office are becoming a necessity. A cybersecurity awareness training program is one of those necessary preventive measures. Repeatedly, training is proving to be the most effective way to combat cyberattacks. For best results, implement frequent, but short training sessions. An email phishing simulator sends fake, but safe, emails to your team to measure their training needs and awareness over time.
IT equipment is, in many cases, large and not exclusive to one sole piece of tech. This leads to too much space being taken up in the office. A cluttered office has never resulted in a more productive environment and is typically frowned upon by patients. Equipment does not have to take up a lot of space, and there are many options available. Wall mounted computer monitors, purchasing special “micro” computers and attaching them to the back of monitors, and mounting keyboard trays under counters or desks are some great ways to make the best use out of your office space.
Quite possibly the best and easiest way to evaluate your tech and ensure it is benefiting your office, is to treat it like an employee. When someone is hired, they typically have a training process and then an evaluation after a certain amount of time, as well as periodic checks for success. You wouldn’t hire someone and then not review their work for a few years, so why would you do that with technology? Similar to an employee, technology is a valuable player that aids practice operations and should be treated as such.
Technology used in the right way can help an office prosper and be significantly more productive. If you’re not positive your technology is doing this for your medical practice, many IT service companies offer inexpensive or free network security audits to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of your network. A workday where your office can have full control over their time and stay focused to be the most productive, is the ideal and can be achieved through IT. When it comes to ensuring your technology is actually benefiting your team’s productivity and profitability, the once imagined is now the mission “possible.”
Alexis Parker is a member of BrickTech, an IT Consulting company. BrickTech primarily focuses on Managed IT Services for businesses looking to promote cybersecurity, productivity and profitability. For any information regarding Bricktech’s services, visit www.BrickTechIT.com or email SecurityFirst@BrickTechIT.com