In The News

HIPAA vs. HITRUST, And Why It Matters

Health IT Outcomes – November 5th, 2019

As technology continues to permeate the healthcare industry, ensuring that technology partners are compliant with the most current security regulations in order to protect sensitive patient data has become critically importance. With more data in the cloud than ever before, and the imminent threat of a data breach continuously on the rise, it is no surprise just how significant protecting patient data has become. IBM’s 2018 “Cost of a Data Breach” study reports the global average cost of a single data breach is up 6.4 percent from 2017 to $3.86 million. The average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information also increased by 4.8 percent, to $148. …Read more

AI’s Mark on UC, and How it’s Shaping the Future of Engagement

No JitterOctober 16, 2019
Over the last few years, digital transformation has had a dramatic effect on the way businesses communicate with consumers. Now that smartphones are the main way that consumers engage with an organization, the focus is shifting toward creating a better customer experience overall. In fact, according to Forrester, 72% of today’s businesses state that improving customer experience is a top priority.
As the percentage of consumers interacting with businesses via digital channels increases, organizations are adjusting to meet consumers where they are — and trying to anticipate where their preferences are headed in the next three to five years. Although the outlook of retaining loyal customers may appear grim for certain organizations, the same advancements in technology that ignited this focus on digitization are now offering businesses the opportunity to elevate their customer experience to retain and satisfy customers … Read more

How AI Can Help Seniors Navigate Care

Health IT OutcomesSeptember 11, 2019

Whether it’s shopping from a mobile app or having a video visit with a nurse to diagnose a minor illness, technology has certainly enhanced daily interactions, especially in the healthcare industry. In this digital transformation, artificial intelligence (AI) is also taking healthcare by storm.

Innovation For An Aging Population

While many assume that recent advancements in technology primarily impact teenagers or young adults in particular, healthcare’s digital transformation affects patients of all ages. And, as America’s population continues to age, innovations in healthcare technology could not come at a more opportune time. The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) reports that the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent … Read more

Why Banking Contact Centers are Looking to Chatbots in 2019

CustomerThink July 25, 2019

From applying for a car loan online rather than in-person at a local bank branch to buying clothes from a mobile application instead of at the mall, today’s consumers are communicating with businesses through digital channels at an escalating rate. And, because of this massive increase in consumer use of smartphones and mobile devices, nearly every industry has gone through a digital transformation to adjust their communication options to meet the increasing expectations of customers … Read more

Elevating the Customer Experience in Banking 

No JitterJuly 15, 2019

As digital transformation continues to shape the ways in which consumers communicate and interact with businesses, nearly every industry has undergone (at least to some degree) a digital transition. In finance, which has seen the rise of fintech models such as Apple Pay and Venmo, traditional financial institutions are struggling to compete for the business of today’s tech-savvy consumers.
Banking’s Transformation
Digital transformation in the financial industry has completely shifted the way customers do business with their banks. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “2018 Digital Banking Consumer Survey,” a clear preference exists for using smartphones to interact digitally with banks. And unlike years past, as the number of smartphones and mobile devices grows, digital conveniences like peer-to-peer payments are becoming more of an expectation than a preference … Read more

Three Common Cybersecurity Scenarios and Tips for Preventing Them

SC Magazine – July 10, 2019

It happens to the best of us. We open our laptop to browse the web or check emails when all of a sudden our computer freezes, and a message appears informing us that we’ve been hacked.Despite the amount of vigilance businesses have in regards to cyberattacks, particularly following the high profile security breaches, scenarios like these are continually occurring, negatively impacting businesses and their daily operations. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to avoid becoming the next infamous security headline … Read more

How UC Analytics Can Personalize CX

CustomerThink – June 7, 2019

Technology is dramatically changing the ways consumers interact with businesses today. Because of the explosion of digital technology in particular, customer experience has quickly become the main focus across the board in terms of business success and retaining satisfied customers.

For instance, Harvard Business Review reported in 2017 that 73% of consumers used multiple channels to shop, and a 2018 Salesforce study found that 87% of consumers begin their shopping journey with digital — up from 71% in 2017. Whether shopping online for new clothes or engaging with a local credit union to apply for a mortgage, it is evident that today’s consumers hold a strong preference for using digital channels to communicate with businesses … Read more

The State of Telehealth in 2019

CustomerThink – May 31, 2019

To say that technology has had a strong influence on the healthcare industry in the last two decades is almost an understatement. Telehealth has developed considerably in the last few years, and its capabilities today look far different from they did 20 years ago — when it consisted of more basic communication functionalities, like SMS text or web chat … Read more

How UC is Impacting the Future of Senior Care

No Jitter – May 08, 2019

The 2017 U.S. Census reported that approximately 47 million seniors live in the U.S. — a number that the Population Reference Bureau projects will double to 100 million in 2060. As the number of patients 65 years of age and older increases, providing quality care to the nation’s aging population is of great concern to healthcare systems today — and one that is bringing unique challenges as well … Read more

Fintech & Banking: The Shift in Customer Experience 

CustomerThink – April 11, 2019

Digital transformation has taken a hold of the financial services industry. Today’s banking landscape has been divided into two main roles: traditional financial institutions and disruptive fintech applications. While the differences between the two are stark, a shared goal remains: improving the customer experience … Read more

4 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience

Health IT Outcomes – April 5, 2019

The healthcare industry has experienced a large number of changes over the last decade. Whether it’s the transition of paper records to electronic health records (EHR) or a new emphasis on healthcare analytics as a way to improve care, technology has been the catalyst for many of the changes to the industry over the last 10 years. Most recently, digital transformation has had a rippling effect on the healthcare industry, furthering the technology framework that was laid years ago … Read more

Zero-Trust, Session-Based Models Overpowering Legacy Technology for Healthcare Networking Enhancements

Electronic Health Reporter – April 3, 2019

Amid the latest security breaches at well-known companies like Facebook and Marriott, cybersecurity has never been at the forefront of conversation more than it is today. No other industry knows the dangers of information vulnerability better than the healthcare sector, where confidential patient data is stored and shared across often obsolete systems on a regular basis. Although advancements in technology are allowing hospitals and clinics to digitally transform their networks, maintaining a high degree of security continues to be a challenge, which is why it’s important for organizations to carefully evaluate their current processes and decide which networking models to implement for the future … Read more

Telemedicine: Reaching Rural Communities In A New Way

Health IT OutcomesDecember 18, 2018

A few years ago, industry discussions of telehealth’s impact on rural healthcare in America began to surface, begging the question of its ability to transform the experience of patients residing in rural areas across the nation. With so many new capabilities resulting from healthcare’s digital transformation, telemedicine has often been pegged as the solution to close any gaps in providing care for rural patients today. Looking ahead to 2019, it’s important to evaluate what still needs to happen in order to ensure that journey continues to unfold … Read more

Closing the Healthcare Gaps with UC & Data

No JitterDecember 03, 2018

Technology is undeniably reshaping the healthcare industry by making daily tasks more efficient and effective than ever before — in large part, thanks to the digitization of data over the last 10 years as electronic health record (EHR) adoption has risen.

Before healthcare organizations and hospital systems were able to digitize their health records, doctors and nurses spent most of their day updating patient records with pen and paper and storing physical paper files as records. Even today, as EHR continues to be deployed, this is a common practice. However, for those currently leveraging EHR, those advancements have not only resulted in streamlined processes, but in significant improvements in the patient experience as well. This is because, as healthcare’s digital transformation continues, advancements in technology are also seeking to close certain gaps in care … Read more

What’s the Potential for Real-Time Analytics in Healthcare

RT Insights November 28, 2018

As new tech like wearables and connected medical devices grows in use, how will real-time analytics impact healthcare deliverables?

From ordering groceries online for delivery to using a virtual assistant to create a to-do list, employing connected devices to accomplish daily tasks more efficiently has quickly become the new standard — and the same is becoming true in other rapidly evolving industries.

Healthcare, in particular, has experienced a vast amount of change in the last five years. For example, in the age of all things mobile, virtual visits and real-time patient scheduling are more popular since patient expectations are greater. With the rise of the internet of things (IoT) — estimated to reach 161 million devices in 2020 — wearables and connected medical devices have also grown in use and are providing care outside of the traditional four walls of a clinic … Read more

Why Salesforce’s Disruption of Siebel Should Matter to UC Now

CustomerThink November 02, 2018

Tech advancements have clearly marked the last 30 years — as names like Apple, Google and Microsoft have emerged to the fore. But if we rewind the clock, there was one equally influential player in the beginning whose name has been often left out of the 2018 mix: Siebel Systems.

Siebel was a software company that started in the San Francisco Bay Area selling (what was then) a revolutionary customer relationship management (CRM) application. Founded in 1993, Siebel Systems experienced massive growth and success in its first 10 years and was even named the fastest-growing company in the United States in 1999 by Fortune magazine … Read more

Virtual Monitoring & How It Can Improve The Patient Experience

Health IT Outcomes October 22, 2018

In today’s digital world, customer experience is everything. In nearly every industry, consumers who are unsatisfied with the service they receive or by an experience they have with an organization will seek that service elsewhere. The healthcare industry has been known for lacking a positive patient experience, with grumblings of frustration with the healthcare system heard across the country.

So, what is patient experience? And why are healthcare organizations today focusing on improving it? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defines patient experience as the range of interactions that patients have with the healthcare system, including their care from health plans, doctors, nurses and staff in hospitals as well as other healthcare facilities … Read more

Medical Call Centers, Or Next-Generation Clinics?

Health IT Outcomes September 07, 2018

Technology is rapidly changing the way we communicate — not only with our friends and loved ones, but with businesses as well. As mobile devices expand in both quantity and capability, technology is now impacting nearly every facet of our lives. For example, conversations that used to happen face-to-face are now occurring over chat or video. In the medical field, this shift is rapidly changing the way that patients receive care from a clinic or provider as well.

As virtual visits become more common — and possibly a standard feature one day — the role of doctor-patient relationships (or at least their locations) is evolving too. Whether it’s a visual exam of a rash through video or photos, an email outlining concerning symptoms or a brief phone call for medical advice, many of the everyday interactions between patients and doctors are increasingly being conducted through call center technology rather than in-person visits … Read more

McDreary? The Future of Medical Call Centers & DDoS

InfoSecurity Magazine September 06, 2018

As healthcare’s digital transformation continues, security remains a top priority — especially as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks target the click-to-call features on websites.

Click-to-call defines the services that enable patients to immediately call a hospital or clinic directly from a button on their website, either using a traditional phone service or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. This is different from click-to-callback features, which are used for less pressing medical needs, and is an important differentiation when securing hospital communications from DDoS attacks … Read more

The Future of Finance Work – and How to Respond

Credit Union Times August 17, 2018

Walk into any store in the U.S. and it’s clear that digital transformation is making an impact. However, the ways in which it’ll change the future of employment vary greatly depending on the industry.

In Banking, mobility is undeniably enabling more robust service offerings for consumers. At the same time, banks and credit unions are having to compete with bank-less, peer-to-peer mobile payments between consumers through platforms such as Venmo, Apply Pay Cash and Zelle … Read more

UC, Chatbots & Simplified Patient Comms: The Keys to Better Healthcare

UC Today August 03, 2018

As innovations in technology boom and new devices constantly make an appearance, it’s clear that digital transformation has impacted almost every industry in the last three to five years — and now it’s changing again. From the growing popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) to ubiquitous mobile apps, this digital transformation (DX) has simplified everything from buying groceries to renewing a prescription and, as a result, has improved daily tasks for consumers as well as the way organisations interact and communicate with them … Read more

Most Financial Institutions Over-Engineer Their AI Solutions

The Financial Brand – July 30, 2018

When The Jetsons premiered in 1962, the notion of a robot maid was considered an imaginative dream about a futuristic life as opposed to something that might actually happen within the viewer’s lifetime. That same year, the U.S. was heavily focused on the space race to the moon, still more than six years away from the historic Apollo 11 landing. More than 50 years ago, the world began to dream in terms previously unimaginable.

As a result, some of the Jetson generation traded their Saturday morning bowls of sugary cereal for mechanical and software engineering degrees — and in just 56 years, have created a world their parents might have argued was impossible. While the common U.S. household may not have a Rosie yet, consumer robots and artificial intelligence (AI) have never been more commonplace than they are today … Read more

How UC is Helping ACOs Integrate Comms for Better Care

Health IT Outcomes – May 29, 2018

Today’s healthcare system is marked by transformation — whether it’s new models of care stemming from changes in our nation’s administration or innovative digital technologies evolving in response to shifting patient expectations. Over the last five to seven years, one of the most influential changes has been the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that seek to treat populations of patients in a holistic manner with seamlessly coordinated care from all aspects of the healthcare system. One of the goals of ACOs is to achieve the “triple aim” of healthcare — defined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) as the simultaneous pursuit of improving patient care as well as the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare … Read more

How APIs Help Banks Connect with Customers

No Jitter – May 07, 2018

As digital transformation continues to make its impact on every industry, consumer expectations are changing more rapidly than ever before — especially in banking.

New technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots are developing in response to shifting consumer communication preferences. Today’s digital consumers expect to have self-service as well as instant communication with a banking representative from any mobile device. As mobile banking applications expand in both functionality and accessibility, so do consumers’ expectations. As a result, the ability for quick and easy interactions with a financial institution from any device at any time is more of a baseline expectation than a perk … Read more

Self-Service & mHealth: How Tech is Transforming Expectations

mHealth Times – April 27, 2018

In the midst of today’s current digital transformation, recent advancements in technology are causing consumers’ expectations to shift. With new technology appearing everywhere, the healthcare industry is seeing an increase in at-home healthcare services and patient monitoring.

As mobile devices and wearable technology designed to help consumers take their health and wellness into their own hands become mainstream, healthcare is shifting from hospitals and clinics into patients’ homes. As a result, people can now keep tabs on their health without frequent clinic visits and, most importantly, can monitor their own health outside of the clinic with convenient mobile communications … Read more

Why Innovative Health IT Designs Must Consider Security First

Health IT Outcomes – March 26, 2018

Thanks to advancements in patient-provider communications and mobile capabilities, today’s digitally inclined patients are already using technology to transform their medical care experience — and the expectation around ease-of-interaction will only continue to rise from here.

As proof of telehealth’s growing impact, the 2017 Consumer Telehealth Index Survey reported that 50 million U.S. consumers would switch medical providers based on whether their doctor offered telehealth or not. Compared to just 17 million in 2015, this staggering jump illustrates the powerful role health IT already has on the direction of the industry … Read more

The Ever-Changing Landscape of Health IT and What’s in Store This Year

Health IT Outcomes – February 13, 2018

As Spring approaches and temperatures begin to rise, the shift in season often spurs vision for the unfolding year — building on the previous year’s achievements. While 2017 alone brought much change, the progress in healthcare technology over the past five years is enormous. With expanding deployments and more sophisticated use of telehealth and EHRs, healthcare organizations across the country are evolving at a rapid pace to provide an enhanced level of care and more convenient communications to patients.

Indicative of health IT’s evolution is the increased adoption of numerous new digital technologies with the hope of revolutionizing the patient experience. According to the 2016 HIMSS Connected Health Survey, 52 percent of hospitals indicated the use of three or more of the following technologies: mobile optimized patient portals, apps for patient monitoring, telehealth (audio visual fee for service) and SMS texting … Read more

Why Healthcare Mindsets Need to Change with the Software

InfoSecurity Magazine – November 29, 2017

With recent technologies improving the patient and provider experience, healthcare has seen a dramatic shift toward adopting these new technologies — including cloud-based solutions — to keep up with the rising demand for telehealth services: the distribution of healthcare information and services remotely through telecommunications technology including long distance patient/clinician contact and care, advice, reminders, education, intervention, monitoring and remote admissions.

Although this technological shift is a welcome change for many patients due to its flexibility, it also creates a specific challenge for healthcare organizations in terms of security. Many IT developers prefer to solve security issues through an all-access approach to coding and implementation; however, the key to remaining HIPAA-compliant and ensuring security with telehealth services is to compartmentalize this access … Read more

Modern Healthcare Network Challenges and the Value of Zero-Trust, Session-Based Networking Models

Health IT Outcomes – November 14, 2017

With digital transformation sweeping across all industries, new technologies are streamlining and enhancing lives everywhere. While this digital era symbolizes great progress for society, industries like healthcare would be wise to tread lightly amid such change. Although newfound technology often equates to higher efficiency, it is important to remember that new security concerns may also arise. With 233 healthcare-related breaches already reported in 2017 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, network security is the most crucial component for healthcare organizations to consider as the transformation of the industry continues to ramp up … Read more

Why Cloud UC is Key to Improved Customer Experience

No Jitter – November 09, 2017

The capabilities afforded by unified communications technology should be transforming consumer experiences. However, not all UC deployment models are alike, and a blanket mindset toward adding new features in the name of customer service isn’t enough.

For example, the type of communications capabilities needed for a regional healthcare clinic serving a primarily aging population is likely different from those important to a national bank aimed at serving millennials in metropolitan areas. Organizations and businesses need to take a step back, review their customer services, and determine whether they’re the ones most needed to transform the experiences of their specific user bases.

While the specifics of the communications technology in use may vary based on industry, one aspect to improving the customer experience cuts across the board: the cloud … Read more

IT Connection Nightmares and How to Prevent Them

HIT Leaders & News – October 30, 2017

It’s just another day. You get home, make dinner, then flip on the news and grab your laptop, hoping to catch up on email after a hectic day at the office. As you begin to sift through your inbox, your computer suddenly freezes. A message appears notifying you that your email and laptop have been hacked. Unfortunately, scenarios like these are becoming all too common and many businesses are being impacted by these frequent IT security breaches. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent being a part of the most common IT connection nightmares….Read more

4 Ways Millennials are Transforming Healthcare Technology

HIT Leaders & News – October 19, 2017

Older generations have often viewed the younger population as a tangible representation of change in our world. Whether it be the loud “rock ‘n’ roll” music associated with baby boomers or the individualistic attitudes of the “latch-key kids,” younger generations have always led the way toward significant social transformations within our nation. Today millennials are leading our society through another transformation — technology. As the largest generation, numbering 83.1 million per the United States Census Bureau 2015 Report, millennials are changing the technology landscape and spurring digital transformation.

Millennials were the first generation to grow up entirely exposed to major technological breakthroughs like the internet and smartphones, and they’re paving the way for innovations in technology, subsequently impacting almost every industry imaginable. Healthcare in particular is facing a large transformation, thanks to this booming generation. Here are four examples of how millennials are transforming healthcare technology…Read more

3 Steps to Help Healthcare Contact Centers Stay Ahead of Hackers

No Jitter – September 26, 2017

Technology continues to see explosive growth, and as a result, healthcare contact centers are experiencing significant technological improvements. Just a few years ago, patients had no other option but to dial in to a clinic and wait on hold to schedule an appointment. Now, unified communications technology is permeating healthcare contact centers, and both patients and contact center agents are experiencing the convenience and flexibility of communicating via phone, chat, SMS, text, and video.

However, the trend toward unified communications will increase the threat of security breaches. Healthcare contact centers can stay ahead of hackers and keep sensitive data protected by following these three steps: Increase network security, ensure up-to-date and encrypted security systems, and establish policies and procedures for contact center agents … Read more

The Rise of the Mobile Healthcare Workforce

HIT Leaders & News – August 08, 2017

As digital technology continues to transform our daily lives, the number of things we’re able to accomplish from a mobile device substantially increases. One of many industries that has been dramatically impacted by innovative mobile technology is healthcare — especially within the last five years.

The healthcare industry has employed mobile workers for a long time. Before today’s mobile devices and apps were created to simplify the remote worker experience, case managers were mobile, traveling to and from patients’ homes and juggling the tasks of the job while on-the-go … Read more

4 Ways to Prevent Healthcare Cybersecurity Attacks

HIT Leaders & News – August 03, 2017

When the world thinks of the next “big attack” on human life as we currently know it, many conjure up horrific images of atomic bombs, nuclear desolation or even deadly viruses that result in a zombie apocalypse. But what never seems to occur to anyone is that the attack will most likely appear in the form of a cybersecurity breach that could devastate the globe. Healthcare especially remains vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, which have the potential to wipe out current healthcare innovations, jeopardize patient safety and destroy a healthcare organization’s reputation … Read more

What is and What Isn’t Working When it Comes to Cybersecurity

MedCity News – July 04, 2017

When the world thinks of the next “big attack” on human life as we currently know it, many conjure up horrific images of atomic bombs, nuclear desolation or even deadly viruses that result in a zombie apocalypse. But what never seems to occur to anyone is that the attack will most likely appear in the form of a cybersecurity breach that could devastate the globe. Healthcare especially remains vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, which have the potential to wipe out current healthcare innovations, jeopardize patient safety and destroy a healthcare organization’s reputation … Read more

The New Skill Set Doctors Need to Treat a Digital World

HIT Leaders & News – June 15, 2017

Many of us likely had dreams of being a doctor or a surgeon when we were children. For some of us, that calling may have even been inspired by a popular board game called Operation, a make-believe operation table that challenged players to remove objects from the patient’s body with careful precision, using only a pair of tweezers. While Hasbro’s game has remained mostly unchanged since it was first released in 1965, the skills required of the “doctors” in this game differ quite a bit from the skills doctors are expected to have today. Physical dexterity was once a highly coveted skill for physicians, but in today’s world, technology is slowly replacing it. Take, for example, the fact that robots are now able to perform complex operations through the guidance of remote physicians.

Today’s doctors are challenged to keep up with a patient population that thrives off of digital processes, stay up-to-date with all the new technology and tools coming out of the healthcare industry, and acquire a completely new set of skills to succeed in this new digital world we live in … Read more

Telehealth Best Practices: 3 Tips for Ensuring a Successful Virtual Visit for Patients

HIT Leaders & News – June 15, 2017

As digital transformation continues to spread its impact on a global scale, it often feels as though the world around us is shrinking. Innovations like Skype and FaceTime enable us to remain in close contact with family and friends who live abroad, social media applications like Facebook and Twitter allow us to peer into the lives of people who live halfway across the globe. These are just a few examples of digital transformation’s reach and influence.

While digital transformation has had a profound impact on personal interactions and communication in the last decade, numerous industries have also felt the influence of such digital advances. Healthcare is one industry in particular that has experienced a great deal of change, namely the implementation and use of telehealth services. In fact, the number of patients using telehealth services is expected to rise to 7 million this year, according to an IHS report. Telehealth is defined as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) … Read more

How Today’s Technology is Shaping Healthcare’s Future

Healthcare Innovation – May 25, 2017

As industries across the nation continue to digitally transform, healthcare is certainly no exception—and, in many ways, is primed for profound reinvention. Recent technological innovations, such as smart medical devices, electronic health records (EHRs), and online patient portals, have been major players in the industry’s evolution toward virtualizing the overall patient experience. With these newfound technological capabilities, which allow patients and providers to communicate more efficiently and effectively across a wide variety of digital platforms, the delivery of healthcare is being reimagined and its future seems to shift with every new development.

Although there are many innovations currently impacting healthcare’s digital transformation, one of the most significant is the creation of patient portals. Online portals shift the landscape of digital healthcare by offering benefits to all parties involved. However, obstacles still remain regarding security and patient utilization of the platform. So what is it about this technology and its latest advancements that are so key to healthcare’s future? And how can providers address the current obstacles in a way that continues to reinvent the industry’s approach to patient engagement? … Read more

HIMSS 2017: Security, Cloud and the Future of Healthcare

Healthcare Innovation – May 25, 2017

With 45,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors assembled at the country’s leading healthcare conference, HIMSS 2017 bustled with the latest and greatest in health IT innovations. While sifting through the hum of thousands of conversations could be challenging, the discussions spurred from so many key influencers coming together to discuss their visions for the future was enlightening. After three days of mingling with some of the brightest minds in healthcare and IT, attendees came away with two major themes emerging above the noise: security and the cloud.

As Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM, reflected in her keynote, the U.S. finds itself on the precipice of transformation and change in 2017 as the country transitions into a new White House administration. This transformation, paired with advances in health IT, are resulting in a year of tremendous possibility and opportunity for accelerating the quality of care — particularly within the scope of security and cloud technologies for healthcare … Read more

HIMSS 2017: Security, Cloud and the Future of Healthcare

HIT Leaders & News – April 27, 2017

With 45,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors assembled at the country’s leading healthcare conference, HIMSS 2017 bustled with the latest and greatest in health IT innovations. While sifting through the hum of thousands of conversations could be challenging, the discussions spurred from so many key influencers coming together to discuss their visions for the future was enlightening. After three days of mingling with some of the brightest minds in healthcare and IT, attendees came away with two major themes emerging above the noise: security and the cloud.

As Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM, reflected in her keynote, the U.S. finds itself on the precipice of transformation and change in 2017 as the country transitions into a new White House administration. This transformation, paired with advances in health IT, are resulting in a year of tremendous possibility and opportunity for accelerating the quality of care — particularly within the scope of security and cloud technologies for healthcare…Read more

Need for Human Connection in Digital Banking

Fintech Futures – February 23, 2017

Technology may rule the world, but human connection is still king.

While digitally transforming industries such as banking have been focused on conquering the Internet age for about a decade, the world of mobile is looking vastly different – not only in its technological capabilities, but its aptly-evolving consumer mindsets as well.

Gone are the days where customers have to wait to balance their online checking accounts via a desktop computer at home, or visit their local branch for routine services such as depositing a check. Now, mobile deposits, banking apps and the future of all things digital have begun shifting an already evolving industry (and how its customers interact with its services) into a new era … Read more

How Cloud SaaS Models Enable Organizations to Think Outside the Box

Cloud Computing – January 31, 2017

As organizations across all industries continuously look for innovative measures to improve their productivity and expand their reach, cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS (News – Alert)) models have become the norm.

As defined by TechTarget, cloud-based SaaS is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. SaaS is completely transforming unified communications — and is growing at a rapid rate. According to IDC Senior Research Analyst Benjamin McGrath, “By 2020, about half of all new business software purchases will be of service-enabled software, and cloud software will constitute more than a quarter of all software sold.”….Read more

Breaking Down Healthcare Silos Improves Internal Communications

HIT Leaders & News – January 05, 2017

Step into any hospital or healthcare facility today, and you might notice that each department typically operates within its own distinct silo. Just as farming silos individually store copious amounts of grain, healthcare silos store massive amounts of data, information and ideas that are segregated by different departments.

Unfortunately, the silo method of organizing information creates a disconnect between healthcare facilities, providers and payers – contributing to the lack of communication between groups in the healthcare system. However, by breaking down these data silos, internal communication can not only improve, but it also can become more readily accessible. With better ease of access and sharing of information, all parties involved in the healthcare system can improve patient data flow, achieve a higher level of collaboration and become more efficient. Integrated access to information for providers, payers, and hospitals enables all parties across the board to more effectively communicate and collaborate as one organization rather than divided entities. This ensures that all parties have a common goal in mind: providing patients with the highest level of care possible…Read more

Why Secure Communications Should Be A Part of the HIPAA Compliance Strategy

HIT Leaders & NewsNovember 18, 2016

With the rise in attacks across the healthcare industry, it is critical for organizations to reassess the measures that are being taken to remain compliant. Although the fear of having private health information (PHI) exposed is increasing, there are several steps that can be taken to ensure that confidential patient data is secure.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is continuing to conduct Phase 2 of its HIPAA audit program to “uncover promising practices, or reasons health information breaches are occurring.” The goal of the OCR audits is to “improve the privacy and security of health records.”…Read more

How Connected Communications Enhance the Customer Experience

No Jitter – November 18, 2016

We’ve all experienced this common frustration: You need to make a simple change to a personal account, such as updating an address or phone number, but are unable to find a way to do it online. After exhausting all efforts by searching a bank or company’s entire website, you reluctantly dial the toll-free number — only to become more annoyed as the hold music begins to play, and you realize you’ll need to wait 20 minutes to speak with someone.

Although technology has developed rapidly and become of great importance to consumers’ everyday lives, companies are still behind the curve in many instances, offering limited touchpoints for contact and support…..Read more

Connecting the Continuum – And Beyond

Healthcare Innovation – November 16, 2016

Health information must be shareable and accessible among all individuals involved in the care setting: primary care physicians, specialists, hospital physicians, and patients. I believe interoperability is the ability for information used to advance patient care to move between healthcare entities, regardless of the technological platform in place.

Within healthcare there is no single, agreed upon definition of interoperability. This is one of the challenges within the industry. According to HIMSS, “Interoperability is the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged … [so that] health information systems work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities…..Read more

Security in the Cloud: Why It’s Different and Why Defining Encryption Matters

HIT Leaders & News – October 21, 2016

Easy. Accessible. And always on. These attributes describe a large part of the appeal of the immediate information-sharing made possible by cloud-based digital communications solutions of the 21st century. Ubiquitous in the retail sector, these cloud-based solutions – initially shunned by highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare – are now being embraced by those very industries as they seek to provide customers with the simple, affordable and convenient solutions they have come to expect – and now demand – in other areas of their lives.

But today’s always-immediately-accessible digital information has also given rise to the flip side of the coin: if information is readily available anytime, anywhere, how do organizations ensure that that same information is not readily available to anyone? …Read more

How Connected Healthcare Helps Lower Hospital Readmission Rates

HIT Leaders & News – October 04, 2016

As baby boomers are reaching retirement age in droves and the number of healthcare providers steadily declines, the relentless demand for increasingly elusive care leads to endless scheduling difficulties — waiting lists become longer, travel distances become farther — spurring patients to cancel or delay checkups, neglecting necessary or preventive care when they need it the most.

Pair that with the fact that older patients are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions that require vigilant ongoing specialized care and follow-up, and it isn’t difficult to see why more patients are neglecting their health until an emergency arises and costly ER visits and hospital readmissions have become one of the most pressing healthcare issues today….Read more

How to Improve the Patient Experience Through Interconnected Communications

HIT Leaders & News – September 25, 2016

The “Triple Aim” approach to healthcare has been a key driver in recent developments within the health industry. Most healthcare organizations agree that enhancing the patient experience, improving the overall health of the population and reducing per capita costs remain the highest priorities for the future of healthcare. So, how do healthcare organizations accomplish these goals? Which objective should they address first?

Consider the following: A patient goes in for a major surgery and is satisfied with his overall experience with hospital staff and administration. He feels motivated to follow-up as his provider recommended and avoids lengthy complications and possible readmission. This follow-through greatly improves his health and reduces costly medical expenses. By using interconnected communications, the hospital has succeeded in achieving all three healthcare goals…Read more

How Virtual House Calls Improve Patient Experience and Health Outcomes

HIT Leaders & News – September 10, 2016

In today’s increasingly digital economy, consumers can complete an online bank transfer, order a coffee (to skip the line when they arrive), purchase shoes and catch up on their friend’s social media activity, all while using a rideshare service they scheduled with an app ten minutes ago.

Digital technology has made it possible for them to get what they want when they want it, regardless of where they are when they decide they want it – until they want to see a healthcare provider.

Upon attempting to schedule a traditional in-office appointment with a medical provider, it wouldn’t be uncommon for a would-be patient to discover the first available appointment is three weeks and a gas guzzling two-hour drive away…Read more

Specialized Care Anytime, Anywhere: Telehealth Improves Outcomes for Chronically Ill

mHealth Times – August 5, 2016

An increasingly aging population coupled with a shortage of healthcare providers has created a growing demand for doctors that, until recently, often meant a lower standard of customer service in the healthcare industry.

Older patients who are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions that require frequent, specialized care, have been forced to wait months to see specialists who are often located outside the patient’s immediate geography. This delayed potentially lifesaving treatment or diagnosis increases the cost of healthcare for patients, providers and the system as a whole, as patients who are unable to effectively manage their care become increasingly ill and eventually require more drastic intervention….Read more

When the Cloud Calls, Your CRM Should Answer

Destination CRM – July 7, 2016

As technology continues to innovate more rapidly, industries across the board are having to become increasingly digital in order to keep up with customer demands and expectations. Though a full-scale transformation has already taken place in certain industries— namely, retail—many others have been cautious to take the leap.

Pressure to transform digitally to satisfy the demands of smartphone-savvy customers is not the only heat being put on businesses lately though. The demand for cloud-based technology, in particular, has also increased. As more and more businesses implement cloud-based applications and features, expectations of a quick and easy experience are becoming even greater….Read more

Telehealth: The Future of Patient Relationship Management

HIT Leaders & News – July 01, 2016

In recent years consumer focus seems to have increasingly turned toward business models and technology that improve or add to everyday conveniences, including online shopping as a way to quickly complete errands without facing traffic or in-store lines – and even while watching a favorite TV show.

Though it has become simple to buy eggs and milk from a smartphone app and have it delivered a couple of hours later, accomplishing other tasks, such as seeing a doctor for a follow-up appointment, have not been as conveniently realized. That is, until recently – thanks to an increase in secure telehealth solutions and a rise in their deployment across the healthcare industry…Read more

ACOs and Chronic Care Management: What Cloud-based Comms Can Do for You

mHealth Times – June 30, 2016

As a large percentage of the baby boomer population transitions into Medicare, terms like “accountable care organizations (ACOs)” and “chronic care management” are becoming almost buzzworthy.

Looking ahead to how the healthcare industry can help ACOs succeed for both patient outcomes and the rapidly changing healthcare system as a whole, one concept is critical: collaboration.

Since the general aim of ACOs is for providers to work collectively to give their population of patients a high level of care, while simultaneously lowering the total cost, it is crucial that the providers involved are able to work in close collaboration with one another….Read more

The Most Common HIPAA Violation: Human Error

Healthcare & Business Technology – May 10, 2016

Although cyberattacks and other forms of computer hacking, such as malware and ransomware, have been the most recognized forms of data breaches to-date, one of the most common HIPAA violations is actually something called social engineering. In this guest post, Perry Price, president/CEO and founder of a company that delivers secure, compliant unified communications via its cloud platform, explains what social engineering is and why it’s a threat

As the number of data breaches continues to rise, cyberattacks have quickly become a hot topic. Although the primary concern surrounding these attacks tends to come from previous experiences with credit card breaches at major retail stores, there’s a growing concern around the risk of confidential information being exposed in other settings such as hospitals and physician offices…..Read more

How Connected Healthcare Will Change Patient Engagement

Health IT Outcome – April 20, 2016

Over the past 20 years, technology has dramatically altered one key aspect of our lives: the way we communicate with one another.

It’s no secret innovations such as smartphones and tablets have enabled people around the world to communicate more frequently and personally than ever before. This evolution of communication has not only impacted our personal interactions, but many industries as well. While most businesses have experienced success in using technology to improve their relationships with customers, healthcare has continued to lag behind……Read more