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July 29, 2014, Electronic Health ReporterBlessing in the Delay: ICD-10

The recent postponement of the implementation of ICD-10 is nothing but good news. Moving the deadline to next year gives providers an opportunity to conduct further research and select the software that is compliant and the least disruptive of their existing processes while keeping the best interest of the patient in mind.

ICD-10 was the first step by the Obama administration’s healthcare plan, Obamacare, which revealed the need for a universal software platform that could work in all medical areas. Some professionals say the ICD-10 and other requirements of the new healthcare plan will cause physicians to spend more time on paper work and less time with patient care. If that is the case, healthcare providers will need a system that will cut down on the amount of time needed for paperwork. With the extension in ICD-10’s implementation, now is the time to make decision about keep or modifying current systems or investing in new ones.

The new regulations proposed through Obamacare will have more of an effect on small to mid-size healthcare providers and the IT companies that cater to them. Larger IT firms are not affected as much because their clients are the hospitals and large research clinics that do not have to adhere to the requirements of ICD-10. This means that these firms are less likely to understand and provide compliant software to smaller, special medical centers, such as diabetes, mental health and podiatry to name a few.

Healthcare providers should look for systems with the following characteristics:

A)  More efficient front office
1)  eFax for an ability to fax from within the system,
eliminating the need for a fax machine.
2)  Integrated email, so you can email from the patient’s file; eliminating the need to save a document to a local computer which improves security .
3)  Integrated email, so you can email from the patient’s file; eliminating the need to save a document to a local computer which improves security .
4)  Claims processing integration within the software.
5)   Granular security. Role-based permissions to allow access to information only to employees with the clearance.

B)  Patient Portal
1)  Engage and capture information from patients outside the office.
2)  Appointment modifications within the portal.
3)Patients should be able to see their medical history through the portal.
4)  Patients should have to ability to view and pay invoices through the portal .

These are the characteristics of a software company that wants to grow with its clients, not use their clients as stepping stones to charge higher fees.

As more regulations become a part of the healthcare industry, providers need access to technology that will make them feel comfortable in how balance staying compliant with patient care and running a business. Technology that helps bridge the communication gap between physicians and patients and improve internal processes will keep the industry moving forward, even if there is a delay.

July 18, 2014 , Electronic Health ReporterA Guide on How to Select the Right Electronic Health Record

No one will argue that there are not benefits to EHRs (electronic health records). They eliminate paper, enable providers to track data efficiently over a period of time, create a clearinghouse of patient health information in one place, just to name a few. Some argue EHRs improve the overall quality of patient care and business management. However, with so many EHRs on the market, hospitals and doctors’ offices face the daunting task of selecting the right system. Like the general population, most healthcare professionals’ exposure to technology has been limited to that of a consumer, making the selection of the right EHR system a process out of their comfort zone. Then getting trained on how to efficiently use the system while maintaining a high level of patient care comes into play. This has proven to be frustrating, ineffective and possibly dangerous in extreme cases when information is incorrect and/or cannot be accessed. This situation has put healthcare providers in a challenging position, to say the least.

Since 2009 when the federal government rolled out the $30 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as an incentive program for the healthcare industry to go digital with its records, the landscape has changed. One of the first things that happened was the huge influx of technology vendors who decided to make their foray into the healthcare space. Unfortunately, most of these companies did not understand how the industry operated, no pun intended. In fact, the average vendor just launched its first product to the industry in the last year so that does not provide a lot of industry longevity/credibility. Many vendors were focused on getting the peace of $30 billion pie at the cost of their client not getting what the system they needed. Established technology vendors, who shifted their focus on solving the industry’s problems, were outnumbered by the new players who entered the market chasing government grants. The availability of these grants actually created an EHR technology bubble in very short period of time. To make matter worse, well-intended government rules only focused on the end users’ ability to implement technology correctly instead of the technology producers.

With the overwhelming amount of information out there about EHR technology and the providers, healthcare professionals must do thorough due diligence to find the best system that fits their needs. This will take both a time and resource commitment. Let’s look using a metaphor that most people understand or at least have had some experience with, dating. The same principles used in dating can apply when selecting the right EHR technology. Here are four simple rules that can help any healthcare provider make a good business decision when looking for an EHR solution.

Rule#1: Starts with you   Know what you want. Whether you are using dating sites or meeting someone at a bar or social gathering – you must set and have realistic expectations. What do you like, what do you want and what would be wonderful to have? These are questions that are posed when creating your profile on dating sites, but they often get overlooked meeting someone in person first. The primary reason that you establish preferences is to make sure your needs are well understood, so a suitable match can be determined that meets your criteria.

The same is important when selecting EHR technology. You need to first think about internal operations and the service your office performs (urgent care, specialized care, complete test, etc.). Additionally, you need to take into account how you want to provide patient service, what is working, what is not working and how you want technology to play role in your business operations. All of these areas must be addressed BEFORE embarking on a technology decision. This will save you valuable time and possibly thousands of dollars.

Just as patients rely on healthcare providers for remedies and answers, working with a technology expert who understands your business is critical. He or she can help identify and address what your most pressing needs are. Reading books and purchasing tech gadgets or just having an interest in technology does not make someone a technology expert. You may have seen the commercial for prescription acid reflux medication Nexium in which a doctor is shown digging a hole at a construction site and a construction worker is selecting an over-the-counter medicine for heartburn. The commercial reminds us to not self-diagnose and to let the doctors do their job; the same principal applies to technology assessment and selection – let technology experts do their jobs.

Rule #2: Do your vendor due diligence   Dates that are matched through a match-making service do so based on the preferences and characteristics of the person who input them. The profile can be detailed or sparse, exaggerated or truthful, you do not know until you do some research or meet in person. The same standard should also apply to selecting a technology partner. Research the provider’s history; consider the company’s reputation in the industry as well as in other industries (if company is recently entering the healthcare market) and then after carefully weighing the results, request a meeting or presentation.

Obtaining this information is easy; a simple Google search of the company can provide numerous details. Request client references from companies whose business model is similar to yours. Like being set up on a date by a mutual friend (a reference), asking a potential vendor for references should not come as a surprise to them. Your goal is to learn as much as you can about a vendor’s ability to meet deadlines, how attentive the firm is to client request, what is the customer service like, etc. When making a section from a group that includes new vendors, focus on its ability to deliver what was promised. If the vendor is established in another industry, research the company’s record and references there to determine if they meet deadlines and delivery what is promised.

Develop your own questions based on your criteria to weigh each of the answers to determine what vendor may best meet with your business needs. Due diligence before you make a selection can save you from making a costly mistake.

Rule #3: Take your time   Most people do not usually go from the first date to the wedding chapel. They take it slow, building a relationship and getting to know one another before making a commitment. The same approach needs to be used when selecting a technology and a vendor. Despite federal regulatory requirements and the occasional internal looming deadlines, it is important to not rush making a vendor decision. The technology may be spot on but you may not be ready to implement every feature of the system on the first day. Carefully review all options, do not rush into a hasty and unwell-thought-out decision simply to be able to say you have installed a system.

This also means do not try to accomplish too many system changes at one time. Immediately dismantling your internal system without a thorough assessment of your current and possible future needs is short-sighted and irrational. Taking the time to understand how a new system will affect the existing processes and the effect it will have on currently used systems is paramount. You do not want to fix one problem only to create another. Just as you get to know the good and the not-so-good characteristics of a date once you go out a few times, you should be aware of all of the features of a system.

Too often, people are afraid of change; this applies to employees, as well as venturing into the world of dating. Switching systems in itself is a big step so; do not complicate it by adding too many new processes. It will be easier to implement new processes in stages while keeping some of the current methods to allow people to adjust their perspective. Progressive migration has a better chance of success than a total disruptive migration.

Rule #4: Give an opportunity to for things to work   Just like any relationship that runs into some obstacles, becoming accustom to a new system takes time. After integration, training and necessary tweaks to the system and/or an internal process, it still may take a couple of months to realize the benefits of the system.

Keep in mind that new technology will take time to get used to and daily habits may need to changes. Some employees may complain with the implementation of a new system. Much like when you find out that your date may travel a different way to the restaurant than you do and they avoid traffic and get their faster. If you had complained earlier on drive to the restaurant, you may have incurred unnecessary delays. A positive attitude will go a long way in helping others users give the system a chance to work.

Columbia, MD and Atlanta, GA-- IndiSoft, a leading provider of practice management software for the healthcare and legal industries, and financial technology leader Bluefin Payment Systems have partnered to offer a fully integrated payment and security solution for IndiSoft clients.

Through the integrated partnership, IndiSoft clients using the company’s RxOffice® platform will have access to Bluefin’s PayConexTM payment processing platform which includes tokenization and transparent redirect security features, as well as Bluefin’s PayConexTM point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution.

“The RxOffice suite caters to several industries where secure payment processing is particularly important, and partnering with Bluefin provides an integrated payments option with a powerful security solution that protects cardholder data without requiring any fundamental change in how our clients process payments today,” said Keith Boyce, Vice President of Business Development for IndiSoft. “We value Bluefin’s commitment and dedication to developing payment and security technologies that benefit our clients, from mobile and tablet payment processing, to point-to-point encryption.”

Bluefin specializes in integrated cloud-based payment and security solutions for independent software vendors (ISVs) and SaaS providers. Bluefin recently introduced the first, and to date only, PCI-validated solution for P2PE in North America. PayConex P2PE encrypts credit and debit card data in a secure point of entry device, ensuring that clear-text cardholder data does not reach the merchant’s POS systems and networks where it could be exposed to malware.IndiSoft develops SaaS solutions for the healthcare, legal and financial services industry, including RxOffice® Legal, RxOffice® Mortgage Insurer and RxOffice® Reporting Portal. IndiSoft recently introduced three new products for the healthcare market: the RxOffice® EMR practice management suite, the RxOffice® Patient Portal and Rx® TextSave. Each IndiSoft solution helps increase practice efficiency while protecting sensitive information.

“We are very pleased that IndiSoft chose to partner with Bluefin for secure integrated payments using PayConex P2PE within the RxOffice suite,” said Ruston Miles, Chief of Product Innovation for Bluefin. “IndiSoft recognizes that secure, integrated payment processing gives their clients greater peace of mind by protecting customer transactions and their clients’ networks and systems. This provides IndiSoft another opportunity to differentiate and further enhance their value proposition for current and future RxOffice clients.”

About IndiSoft LLC Columbia, Md.-based IndiSoft LLC is a global company that develops collaborative technology solutions for a variety of industries. Through various portals, IndiSoft’s RxOffice® platform enables disparate parties to communicate and transact online in real-time. The transparent workflow technology improves the efficiency of business processes and offers audit, compliance and quality control capabilities to accelerate decision making and support business excellence. For the fourth consecutive year, IndiSoft was named to the Inc. 500|5000 listing of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. and was selected as one of the Top 50 Service Providers by Mortgage Technology magazine in 2011, 2012 and 2013. For more information on IndiSoft, visit www.indisoft.us.

About Bluefin Payment Systems : Bluefin Payment Systems is the leading cloud-based provider of secure integrated payment technologies for independent software vendors (ISVs), SaaS providers and major U.S. and Canadian merchants through the PayConex payment platform. Bluefin’s innovative and proprietary PayConex platform powers feature-rich integrated payments including QuickSwipe mobile POS, tokenization, PayConex P2PE and transparent redirect. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, with offices in New York, Chicago and Tulsa. Learn more about P2PE or download our white paper at https://www.bluefin.com/security-stack/p2pe/.

COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- RxOffice®Inc, Healthcare Technology and consultation services provider has attended and exhibited at Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2014 (HIMSS14) at Orlando, FL. During the exhibition has launched three healthcare products RxOffice® EMR a Practice management suite, RxOffice® Patient Portal and Rx®TextSave.

RxOffice® EMR, helps Doctor to maintain their complete practice management records electronically with user friendly navigation, easy to use functionalities for Doctors, Nurses and Front desk, with integration of ePrescription and Claim Management. It has built in reporting for Meaningful Use, PQRS and Practice management reporting.

RxOffice® Patient Portal, helps Patient to take appointment online, review encounter records, medication records, download health data and pay their bills online.

RxTextSave™, helps to sync Doctor, Patient text messages on Patient portal & EMR systems. This gives peace of mind to Patient and improve patient engagement.

The products are designed to move away from paper records to secure electronic records with role base authorization, improve productivity and efficiency of a practice.

COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- RxOffice®, a firm that develops software and offers design and consultation services, has launched three new products to enable health care organizations to effectively and securely manage patient information while remaining compliant with privacy regulations. RxOffice® EMR increases efficiency by eliminating paper and EMR Patient Portal can be used with RxOffice® EMR or other EMR systems. The mobile RxTextSave™ plug-in can be used with either of the aforementioned systems.

"Today, more than ever, health care professionals should have systems that will give them timely access to the information they need in a secure electronic environment and to encourage patient education while providing a high level of care"

"Today, more than ever, health care professionals should have systems that will give them timely access to the information they need in a secure electronic environment and to encourage patient education while providing a high level of care,” said Ramesh Devare, COO of RxOffice®, Inc. “Our RxOffice® products eliminate paper and save time. Ultimately, properly using these systems will allow doctors to treat more patients, streamline their administrative tasks and provide better patient care."

RxOffice® EMR offers health care providers a system to maintain appointments, review lab reports as well as complete electronic prescriptions and securely maintain patient health records. It also features an online to-do list to help providers better plan their daily activities and appointments. The system is compliant with HIPPA 5010, a new standard that regulates the electronic transmission of specific health care transactions, and is Office of the National Coordinator’s Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) certified, which supports Meaningful Use requirements. RxOffice® EMR is also compliant with Health Level Seven International (HL7), the global authority on standards for interoperability of health information technology with members in more than 55 countries.

EMR Patient Portal further enhances the patient experience with health care providers by offering patients secure access to their medical records. Along with allowing patients the ability to track future and past appointments and download medical health records, the EMR Patient Portal empowers patients to track their glucose and blood pressure levels and alert providers if those levels require immediate medical attention.

RxTextSaves is an easy-to-use, mobile application that provides secure, encrypted access for providers to sync texts to patients’ medical charts. This mobile plug-in eliminates the time-consuming effort of transcribing communications between doctors and patients.

Using RxOffice® EMR and EMR Patient Portal helps health care professionals qualify for the electronic health records (EHR) incentives set forth by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The platform meets the ARRA requirements for meaningful use of EHR technology, which health care professionals must comply with by 2015 or face financial penalty.