HIPAA Security Rule: Your Guide to Administrative Safeguards

A healthcare data breach could have massive ramifications for your medical organization and result in expensive fines from the government. That’s why it’s crucial you adhere to HIPAA administrative safeguards — a set of security standards that protect your patients’ health information.

Healthcare data breaches have impacted 26 percent of consumers in the United States, according to research. Administrative safeguards, however, reduce the risk of unauthorized persons accessing valuable patient information. Here are three things you need to keep in mind.

1. Improve your data security

HIPAA has laid down a number of administrative safeguards for security management — procedures that improve the safety of your IT networks and systems. Taking the following precautions will improve the security of the data you collect and store in your medical organization.

  • Use anti-virus software to safeguard your IT systems. These programs minimize the risk of hackers stealing valuable patient information. Make sure your software is up to date and you download and install the latest security updates and patches.
  • Train your staff to use your IT systems properly. Human error makes up 52 percent of all security breaches, according to one study. Proper training will reduce the number of mistakes your employees make when collecting and storing data.
  • Update legacy programs with the latest software. Some software developers no longer create security patches for old programs, and hackers could exploit these security vulnerabilities.

2. Have a contingency plan — just in case

HIPAA recommends that you have a contingency plan in the event of a data breach. This will reduce the amount of downtime you experience if hackers access your IT systems and steal patient information. It’s a good idea to keep your data in the cloud. You will be able to obtain information from another location in an emergency.

“Your business data is your most valuable asset. If it was stolen or destroyed, would your business be able to quickly get up and running again or even carry on at all?” says The Balance Small Business. “Data protection is one of many advantages of switching your business to cloud computing.”

3. Enhance your identity management processes

Make sure the right people access your data at the right time. Otherwise, you could jeopardize confidential patient information. TechTarget describes identity and access management as “the framework for business processes that facilitates the management of electronic or digital identities.” In other words, you need to monitor employees who use your IT systems and networks. Why is this so important? One study suggests that insider threats make up 75 percent of all data security incidents.

Enhancing your identity management processes is easier than it sounds. You can set up password controls for staff who use your systems and track your employees with identity management software.

“Policies that limit access, combined with employee education, are also important,” says Security Intelligence. “Maybe once more organizations get a sense of how insider threats hit the bottom line, they’ll invest more in preventing these security incidents from happening.”

HIPAA takes healthcare security seriously, and you should too. Improving your data security, devising a contingency plan and enhancing your identity management processes will protect sensitive patient information and reduce the risk of a data security breach.

Want to keep reading? Check out 3 healthcare technologies that will revolutionize the patient experience.

Growing your business? Here are 3 things to consider.

Growth is the goal of every small business — whether you’re running an e-commerce business or a brick-and-mortar service company. That’s because more growth typically means more sales and increased profits.

However, when your company expands, it’s vital to think about how you’ll scale your technology to support that growth. The great news is that there are some effective ways to scale your technology as your business grows. Here’s what you can do:

1. Consider buying bundled technology.

While you should ideally track what you are spending on software and other technology expenses, some expenses sometimes go unnoticed (such as one-time software purchases). If your small business is in the growth stage and lacks a robust IT and accounting department, it’s easy for these expenses to get overlooked.

When you spend on individual software or even individual technology subscriptions, you might be paying more than you would pay for bundled services and technology. Because of this, it’s crucial to consider buying your technology in bulk via bundles to take advantage of built-in discounts. This also allows you to manage all of your applications from one central source, giving you the opportunity to better track and monitor technology spending.

2. Leverage cloud services.

Data is growing at an alarming rate. It’s forecasted that every person who is online will produce about 1.7 megabytes of new data per second per day. Even if all your customers don’t end up creating that much data, it’s still important to have a plan to support the exponential growth of data that will likely occur as your business grows.

One way to manage ever-expanding data is by subscribing to and using a cloud service. Not only can you get access to your content, you can also take advantage of business applications without the need to download content to your desktop.

Moreover, when you purchase cloud services, you can reduce system hardware, such as on-premise servers. You can often opt for a monthly subscription and use business applications as needed, too.

3. Take advantage of a managed service provider.

Managed service providers do more than your typical in-house technical support. With the help of a managed service provider, you can get the help you need when you need it. That’s because managed service providers often have solid relationships with industry vendors, as well as a staff that’s able to support different business functions 24/7/365.

But managed service providers go a bit further than run-of-the-mill IT support. They can also provide you with the guidance and consulting you need to find the right technology for your business. With this additional knowledge, you’ll have what it takes to scale your technology efficiently and strategically.

Final thoughts

Scaling your technology is vital when expanding your business. Because of this, it’s important to remain strategic. Consider investing in bundled technology, cloud services, and MSPs and take the steps to invest in the right technology.


3 reasons your SMB should migrate to the cloud

With cloud computing, the sky’s the limit. No longer will you need to spend thousands of dollars managing your IT systems. Instead, you can benefit from dedicated and automated IT support and create a virtual office where you access data on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

If you’re still debating the cloud, this might help: Experts predict that cloud computing will be worth $162 billion by the year 2020. If you’re not somewhere in those billions, then where will you be?

Here are three reasons your SMB should migrate to the cloud.

1. Reduce costs

Operating in the cloud saves you money. You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment to keep your business running — a cloud service provider will take care of that for you and host your equipment offsite. This means you’ll experience a reduction in power usage, maintenance needs, and support costs. Just think about all the cash you could save!

Long story short, cloud computing proves to be significantly cheaper when compared with a self-managed, on-premise solution. Sounds pretty great, right?

44 percent of medium businesses and 41 percent of small businesses said the ability to cut costs was the top benefit of cloud computing.

2. Prevent data loss

Imagine if a hurricane swept through your company’s neighborhood. Or a fire damaged your onsite equipment. What would happen to your data?

With cloud computing, all of your information is kept in a virtual space, so you can protect it from natural disasters or unforeseen threats. This is incredibly important. For example, consider healthcare. Obtaining important information about patients could mean the difference between life and death.  Having access to your data (even during a natural disaster) is a top priority.

Think of cloud computing as an insurance policy for data loss prevention. You get peace of mind knowing a managed cloud service provider is safeguarding your valuable information. It’s no wonder, then, that so many big companies have invested in this technology. Apple, Netflix, Pinterest — these are just some of the brands that use cloud computing.

3. Better collaboration

Cloud computing lets your entire workforce collaborate on projects without the need for multiple pieces of hardware. Employees can access documents and resources from the cloud and share them with their colleagues in real time — which boosts productivity and mobility.

Coworkers can obtain important information in one place and share files within seconds — capabilities any team can benefit from.

But the collaborative features don’t stop there. In some cases, cloud computing even lets you track your employees’ progress as they work on various projects. But don’t worry. Not everyone can access your valuable information. You can set up access controls that limit certain members of staff from reading and sharing sensitive data.

“Cloud computing is made for collaboration and file-sharing,” says Nick Ismail, writing for Information Age. “Cloud computing lets your team edit files in real time and access them from anywhere in the world. Your team can be anywhere in the world and still work together.”

These are just three benefits the cloud can bring your business. And if you leverage a managed cloud service provider, you can save money during migration, uncover a best-fit cloud solution for your team, and migrate to the cloud in less time. Invest in this technology and you won’t be sorry.

5 next-level cloud productivity benefits

Every tool and strategy has a lifecycle. Unfortunately, that includes your IT infrastructure, too. Outdated hardware and software can lead to bottlenecks and other productivity drains across your business. However, replacing or updating that infrastructure will only lead to costly capital expenditures (CAPEX) that divert resources away from your growth and overall company mission.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 5 next-level productivity benefits of migrating your business infrastructure to the cloud.

Related: Managed services will boost the performance of your technology

Software that stays up to date

Anytime your company purchases software, you’re locked into that particular version. If it’s not cloud-based (if it doesn’t live online), then you’ll be forced to work with that version until you decide to purchase the next version — which means that at some point, you’ll be working with outdated features.

By accessing cloud-based programs such as Office 365 on a subscription-basis, you eliminate this potential issue. Your software will automatically update to the latest version, and you’ll always benefit from the latest innovations and versions of that software.

Better backup and disaster recovery

Most companies realize the need to back up their mission-critical data. But onsite backups (and the infrastructure required to maintain them) have drawbacks. For example, data and programs stored in onsite servers becomes more vulnerable to natural disasters and security complications.

And storing your files strictly on individual machines’ hard drives creates even more vulnerability, considering that 140,000 hard drives fail every week in the US.

Migrating your data backup solution into the cloud means your files are backed up offsite. So even if a natural disaster destroys your entire office, your backups will be safe. You can reinstate your data and applications quickly, allowing you to minimize downtime and get back to work.

Related: 5 foreboding reasons you need a disaster recovery plan

Empowered mobility to work on the go

Like mentioned earlier, cloud computing gives your employees the option to work from anywhere with an internet connection. And you don’t have to sacrifice access to your critical data and software to get that mobility. Any updates you make to your documents or platforms show up in real time company-wide

This mobility enables a greater work-life balance and improves your company’s ability to grow. It opens the door for potential new hires and specialists outside your locale; it offers remote work capabilities, and it allows you to compete with larger companies.

Related: 5 key strategies to minimize downtime

Scalability that keeps growth in focus

When you make CAPEX investments in on-site IT infrastructure, not only are you responsible for maintaining that infrastructure, you’re also running the risk of being limited by it.

By shifting to a cloud-based model, you no longer run the risk of technology limitations to growth. Cloud computing provides virtually unlimited vertical and horizontal scaling while allowing you to access the right solutions for your present and future needs. This goes beyond storage and software concerns. It can also include your phone systems and collaborative apps.

Related: Grow your business with IT consulting

Collaboration and communication tools that connect better

We talked about the benefits of real-time access to file changes in the cloud. Not to mention the on-the-go connectivity it provides. But the cloud offers plenty of other functional tools that can help your team collaborate and connect better.

For example, hosted VoIP phone systems can support mobility through features like chat-based workspaces and video conferencing. Hosted VoIP can turn your smartphone into a mobile desk phone and keep communication channels open even during disasters or other downtime incidents.

With onsite infrastructure, when the office is down, so is your phone system. With hosted VoIP, mobile apps allow employees’ smartphones to fill in the gap and keep customer communication flowing.

Is the cloud right for your business?

Every business has unique needs. But almost all businesses could improve their productivity by migrating their IT infrastructure to a cloud-based model.

Gartner predicts that cloud computing will be the default option by 2020. Which means that if your business IT feels outdated or you’re experiencing poor performance and stifled growth, now might be a good time to consider the switch.



3 healthcare technologies that will revolutionize the patient experience

Technology has a long history of improving the way healthcare organizations treat their patients. And that will continue to be true in new and innovative ways as technologies outside the medical industry are adapted to improve the patient experience.

Here are 3 examples of healthcare technology that will continue to revolutionize the patient experience in the future.

Mobile apps for preventative care

There’s an app for that. We’re all familiar with this saying, and it’s true even in healthcare.

One of the biggest developments on the rise is fitness apps and the wearable technology they interact with. More and more apps are interacting with and measuring the health of the patients who use them. This process keeps people living healthier and spending less time in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.

Apps also help patients communicate better with their primary healthcare physician without breaking HIPAA compliance. They can even allow patients to keep better track of their own symptoms and manage things like blood sugar or sleep schedules.

The interaction between these apps and the sensors they use to monitor health brings up our next technology: the Internet of Things (IoT).

Related: 3 steps to HIPAA security rule compliance for your business 

The Internet of Things for better data

The IoT is all about sensors and connectivity. And when it comes to healthcare technology, the applications for medical devices are seemingly endless, from streamlining testing procedures to improving the way critical patients are monitored.

As the future plays out, IoT technology will also enable better first responder coordination and faster health data communication when critical patients are en route to the hospital.

And imagine how much more in-depth that information will become with the rise of IoT smart pills that will monitor patient health from the inside. Before long, sensors could be detecting cancer and treating internal injuries.

Monitoring at every level of healthcare will change for the better as the IoT continues to make inroads into healthcare.

Related: Starter devices for the Internet of Things 

Artificial Intelligence for patient scheduling and monitoring

And since we’re already talking about the IoT and patient data collection, we need to discuss the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare technology. Though still in its infancy, AI will soon have the power to digest information and suggest appropriate actions based on the data IoT sensors collect.

This will cut down on staffing difficulties and allow nurses to better monitor their patients.

AI already has a big impact on the patient experience now. Chatbots help clinicians schedule appointments with patients. Programs monitor patient symptoms so human nurses can be more prepared for checkups and other visits. Algorithms help patients search their own symptoms online.

As AI and machine learning continue to develop, all of these features will become even more effective and helpful.

Healthcare technology will bring much more in the future

Though healthcare technology is already revolutionizing the patient experience, it will do so much more in the years to come.

For example, technologies like blockchain are just beginning to make their way into healthcare. These technologies promise to reconfigure the entire experience for both staff and patients.

And you might have noted how each of the three technologies we mentioned above feed into each other. Where this kind of collaboration and incorporation will lead is really anyone’s guess. But you can bet it will change the way doctors and patients interact in amazing ways!

Related: Medical ransomware attacks on the rise


HIPAA compliance in the cloud? 3 things you need to know.

We often hear from clients that they have concerns about maintaining their HIPAA compliance mandate should they want to transition their IT to a cloud-based approach. And, of course, many of their concerns are valid. HIPAA compliance matters.

The cost of non-compliance includes steep fines and potential legal penalties. And, what’s more, a huge drop in confidence from the consumers who trust your company with their Protected Health Information (PHI).

Here are 3 things you need to know about maintaining HIPAA compliance in the cloud.

Related: 3 steps to HIPAA security rule compliance

Business associates have mandates too

There are a variety of cloud solutions: public, private, and hybrid. And each will have their own unique set of characteristics. But no matter what solution a HIPAA-regulated company decides to leverage, one thing doesn’t change.

Any potential partner who will store PHI is considered a business associate by HIPAA. This means you’re required to execute an agreement with that associate that outlines permitted uses and disclosures.

Likewise, should that business associate sub-contract out to another entity such as a third-party data center, they must also execute an agreement with that entity that outlines the same permitted uses and disclosures. Both entities are then liable for maintaining HIPAA compliance.

The good news is, when a company’s data is stored in a third-party data center, that center will likely have military-grade security that massively restricts physical access. What this means in terms of remote access to said servers depends on the specific type of cloud solutions the healthcare provider engages.

It’s likely that the right cloud services provider already has systems and policies in place that meet HIPAA compliance.

Related: HIPAA omnibus rule

You still need to restrict access

Moving your clients’ PHI into the cloud doesn’t relieve you of your liability to protect that data. That includes the electronic protected health information (ePHI) the cloud service provider handles.

You still need to instate proper levels of password complexity to control access to ePHI on the cloud servers. Also, you need required standards on how often employees update their passwords. This should include policies on logging out of unattended devices. Basically, any policies you kept in place at the office-level need to remain in place using the cloud. This is key to maintain your HIPAA compliance in the cloud.

Related: Medical ransomware attacks on the rise

Periodic audits should be standard to your approach

This one is not only mandatory to maintain your HIPAA compliance in the cloud, it should also be obvious to your business associate. As part of the business associate agreement you create, you need to be sure that your cloud service provider and their subcontractors perform periodic audits of their systems and approach to ensure compliance.

Such audits have the power to save both you and your business associates from expensive violations.


HIPAA compliance in the cloud may sound complex. But with the right partner and the right approach, you can enjoy the conveniences of cloud computing and maintain HIPAA compliance at the same time. If the subject sounds like a lot to take on, consider seeking out professional advice and help.

3 steps to HIPAA security rule compliance for your business

HIPAA non-compliance fines can destroy your business. You know that, no doubt. But often the path to compliance can be confusing for medical businesses. Particularly in today’s technology-driven business world.

Compliance is way too broad a subject for one post. Let’s break it down into smaller subsections for ease of discussion.

Essentially, there are four rules that all HIPAA-regulated businesses must follow. The Privacy Rule, the Enforcement Rule, the Breach Notification Rule, and the Security Rule.

Today, we’re going to focus on the Security Rule. Here are three steps you can take to make sure you’re on point in meeting the security aspects of HIPAA compliance.

Related: Summary of the HIPAA security rule

Train staff and limit access

If your staff isn’t up to date on what HIPAA requires, there’s a high probability you will violate compliance. First and foremost, you MUST train your staff on the ins and outs of compliance.

Even better, to protect yourself it makes sense to limit the number and scope of employees who can access HIPAA-sensitive data in your business. For this, follow the principle of least privilege along with an increased focus on restricting access only to crucial, trusted employees.

Track access and ensure data integrity

Your technological security protocols should automatically restrict user and system access as mentioned above. They should also allow you to monitor who’s accessing what data and how, in case unauthorized activity occurs, especially if data is compromised or stolen from within your network.

Keep in mind, the protected health information (PHI) that HIPAA defines is among the most sensitive data businesses handle. You should have a way to track and supervise everyone who accesses it, and how they use it.

Furthermore, your technology needs to have proactive protections such as encryption that secures both the data and the network connections to transfer this data from one place to the other. A hallmark of PHI is that it almost never stays in one place forever. Be prepared.

Related: Network Security: I’m sorry, but you’re not on the list

Restrict physical access and prevent theft

Protecting the PHI in your network is one thing. But if you don’t protect the physical records in your office and restrict physical access to the devices on your network, you’re still violating compliance protocols.

Also, locations in your business that store sensitive data and devices that access it should have physical security barriers.  These should include mandatory keycard access points to ensure that no unauthorized clients OR personnel have access to PHI.

While you’re at it, have a plan for how outdated devices will be cleared and disposed of to protect residual data from theft, as well as for how they will be moved from one facility to the next in the event you move to a new office.

A little planning goes a long way toward ensuring you don’t inadvertently violate HIPAA compliance.

HIPAA security too complex to handle without professional help?

If this VERY basic rundown sounds like too much risk to take on alone, we agree. Reach out to a Managed Services Provider with extensive experience in HIPAA compliance to assist you with developing and implementing your HIPAA-compliant strategy.

It could save you the kind of trouble that shuts down businesses permanently.

Related: 5 Reasons You Need a Managed Service Provider with Experience in the Healthcare Industry


5 Key Strategies to Minimize Downtime

An hour of downtime costs the average business around $100,000. Downtime has the power to bring a business to its knees financially and destroy its reputation.

With that in mind, here are 5 simple strategies your business can use to minimize downtime and maximize stability in both your finances and reputation.

Develop and Maintain a Business Continuity Plan

The fact that we chose to lead with this item should really tell you something. A professional business continuity plan is crucial. It provides all the details — both technical and human —  required to get you back to work after a data loss or other downtime incident.

The moments after downtime and data loss occur can make or break your business. By preparing, practicing and updating a business continuity plan, you can ensure that your response minimizes downtime and is highly implementable.

You’ll know how to respond to a data disaster, who’s responsible for which recovery tasks and how long your business can go without its key data.

Related: 5 Foreboding Reasons You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan

Focus on Network Security and Oversight

Is your network’s security up to par?  For example, is someone on your staff overseeing your network? The sooner you catch data breaches or other attacks, the better chance you stand of stopping or minimizing their harm.

Poor oversight or lackluster security can turn an otherwise minimal or inferior threat into a massive downtime incident. It can cost your business considerably more money and time than necessary.

Related: How to Get an A+ in Network Security for Your School

Perform Regular System Audits

Whether your own IT department does these or an outsourced IT company handles the work for you, regular system audits are critical to minimizing downtime. An audit can reveal vulnerabilities, identify potential critical systems failures, and ensure maximum productivity and connectivity.

If you don’t have your own IT department, don’t overlook this tip. Engaging with a qualified MSP to handle regular system audits will likely save you money in the long run.

It could also avoid potentially disastrous consequences to your company’s reputation related to downtime or data loss.

Consider the Cloud

Moving your IT strategy away from in-house servers and into cloud services is another great way to minimize potential downtime. With the cloud, not only do you benefit from the constant security and maintenance the cloud service provider brings to the table, but you also benefit from the military-grade security their servers employ.

This is because data centers are buttressed against anything from natural disaster to cybersecurity threats in a way that prevents most downtime or data loss incidents. The cloud also provides reassurance that all your data is safely backed up with multiple redundancies.

Outsource What You Can’t Handle

We get it. Maybe you’re a small company and you don’t have your own dedicated, experienced IT department. You’re not alone. That’s where a managed services provider is worth their weight in gold. They’re equipped with the tools, strategies and experience required to shore up vulnerabilities from multiple angles and threats.

IT is absolutely a pillar of the modern business’ success or failure. It doesn’t make sense to take a non-professional approach to your technological needs.

Independent of downtime and data loss, there are a massive number of IT solutions that can maximize your productivity and streamline your growth. Take the time to investigate all of them. Your bottom line will thank you.

Related: 4 Signs Your Business Needs Managed Services

How to Get an A+ in Network Security for Your School

Schools are responsible for not only the education and well-being of students, but also the protection of private data pertaining to everything from health reports and psychological profiles to social security numbers and contact addresses.

As the guardians of so much information, schools should always focus on superior network security.

We’ve come up with three major network security features you can implement in your school to shore up potential ongoing vulnerabilities.

1.) Powerful Passwords

For many students, creating passwords at school can seem like another exercise in creativity. Do any kind of basic survey and you’ll find ineffective passwords that range from the doomed “Password1234” to the sarcastic “JohnnySucks.”

In addition, many teachers lack the technological prowess to instruct students in proper password complexity.

Think of an inadequate password’s effect on your network security like this: You can have an adequate lock on your front door, but if you’re leaving the key underneath the doormat it doesn’t do much good. It’s too easy.

A lazy password is a hacker’s best friend.

The most basic way to secure your network is to create longer, more complex passwords. Complicated passwords should include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and emoticons.

Business Insider suggests creating a password by using the “full-sentence technique.” Start with a single sentence, like “I bought salmon for $20 at the grocery store.” Then, just use the first letter of every word and add in the symbols.

So, the resulting phrase “Ibsf$20atgs” would be a random password that you can remember just by memorizing one sentence.

The longer the sentence, the better, because hackers and/or hacking programs have to work harder when passwords are longer.

Utilizing a password manager to keep track of your stockade of complex passwords is a great way to combine the ease of accessing your various web services as if you had one password with the security that password complexity and variety provide.

Related: The Best Password Managers of 2018

2.) Additional User Authentication

A school network faces a huge challenge in that it is often in contact with a countless variety of devices. Not only do the students and faculty have access to the network via district-provided hardware, but the continued growth of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend means that students are connecting through personal phones, tablets, and laptops created by different brands, which also run on different operating systems.

To further increase security, we suggest implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). In a nutshell, MFA is the process of identifying an online user by validating two or more claims presented by the user, each from a different category of factors.

We already use multi-factor authentication in the real world. One example is when you go to apply for a passport. The passport application requires a minimum of two forms of identification, such as a state driver’s license and a birth certificate. MFA for your network works the same way.

Your school network should establish a multi-factor authentication process that involves:

a.) The complex password we mentioned earlier.

b.) Something the user has on hand, like a cell phone or tablet.

c.) Biometrics like a fingerprint or optical or voice recognition software.


When the MFA process involves a device on hand, there is an inherent check-and-balance to the system, allowing the network to authenticate the device being used.

When the MFA process involves biometrics, your network can cross-reference requested access with the biometric data on hand.

Whichever way you and your managed service provider choose to utilize multi-factor authentication, it is guaranteed to make it more difficult for intruders to gain access to your network, and to keep your data more secure.

3.) Updated Infrastructure

Many schools have hundreds of computers and other web-accessible devices operating on their networks. And often, the network itself is comprised of legacy equipment such as outdated servers, computers, and other devices.

Often this outdated infrastructure has security flaws. Or else it can no longer stand up to the progressive threats of malware and ransomware. It can also be chock full of bottlenecks and bandwidth issues that slow performance across the network.  But that’s an issue for another post.

Related: Why Traditional Firewalls Can’t Keep up With Modern Trends

For many schools, a migration to the cloud is the best way to shore up vulnerabilities while simultaneously fixing the performance problems plaguing their network.

Rather than making a high capital investment in replacing the vulnerable outdated equipment, switching to cloud computing means taking on a lower monthly cost for superior performance and security.

It can even bring about more powerful web filtering tools that block access to harmful or inappropriate sites across the network.

Report Card Time

Do your school passwords pass the test? Are your students and faculty using multi-factor authentication to ensure the safety of your network? And is that network up to modern security standards? If so, you pass with flying colors. If not, it’s definitely time to chat about how to get your grades up.


5 Signs You Need Telemedicine in Your Office

Telemedicine (also interchangeably called “telehealth”) is revolutionizing the healthcare industry and it shows no signs of slowing down. In one recent study, 77% of people said they would consider seeing a provider virtually. Such a high demand does not go unnoticed. 44% of medical practices made introducing and improving telemedicine their top priority in 2017.

We’ve identified 5 signs that you need telemedicine in your office. If any of these signs sound familiar, it’s time to seriously consider integrating telemedicine soon.

1. Your Practice Needs Some Growing Room.

Let’s look at the benefits of telemedicine from a business perspective. Without telemedicine, your practice is greatly limited by geography. You might be the most knowledgeable and capable expert in a certain specialty or condition, but you may very well miss the opportunity to work with a patient just because you operate in a different zip code.

Telemedicine eliminates geographical boundaries and enables your practice to expand organically to serve the patients that most need your assistance.

2. Your Customers Need to Reach You.

Sometimes, patients become critically ill, or even die, because they can’t readily access their healthcare provider’s office. Whether at-risk patients happen to be elderly, disabled, isolated or impoverished, they can benefit from telemedicine visits as an alternative to ignoring or suffering potentially serious medical issues.

Telemedicine makes medical assistance just one internet connection away. Patients who can’t travel or have accessibility issues would now be able to connect to your office and receive assistance with minimal effort.

3. You Have Patients Who Could Benefit From Ongoing Support.

Telemedicine really does have a life-or-death impact on patients, especially with the availability of remote monitoring. With the right tools, doctors can constantly follow up on patient analytics.

A recent report found that using remote monitoring technology to keep tabs on a patient’s blood sugar or cardiopulmonary disease can reduce the risk of patient mortality by up to 45%.

4. You Want to Streamline Operations and Satisfy Customers.

It turns out that making life more convenient for your practice, and saving more lives, makes both your employees and your customers extremely happy to work with you. The satisfaction rates for telemedicine are remarkable.

86% of doctors and 83% of patients have reported that they were satisfied with the level of care given/received. That’s good for keeping your patients and your practice healthy.

5. You Want More Cost-effective Tools.

Incorporating virtual capabilities into your business almost always comes with cost savings. For instance, if you perform 30% of your business via telemedicine, you can increase your volume without extra expense for office space and equipment to accommodate those patients.

You and your customers will also save time and money with reduced travel and schedule disruption. Some routine appointments, such as prescription refills for example, can be handled over a patient’s (or provider’s) lunch break.

Telemedicine is typically covered by insurance plans at the same rate as an in-office visit, so you can apply that savings over a quarter/year to see the quantitative benefits.

Do You Need Telemedicine in Your Office?

At this point you probably know that you’ll need to incorporate telemedicine in one way or another. Not only do you want to remain competitive, but, more importantly, you also want to embrace any opportunity to improve your business and the lives of your patients.

RWA has experience providing network solutions specifically suited for telemedicine and HIPAA compliance. If you are interested in learning more about telemedicine for your practice, please give us a call or send us a message and we’ll be happy to chat with you.