Save time and resources while saving lives
Healthcare is an essential industry which of course affects the lives of everyone. In order to keep up with needs, demand and technology advancements, software is a great tool to apply to a healthcare company. From barcodes to VoIP, there are a variety of healthcare software applications to complement the industry. Our clients have had great things to say about our work, so we highlighted some of the latest technologies in the healthcare industry and a few ways we have helped our clients gain efficiency in their processes.
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Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, are organizations of health care providers who voluntarily agree to administer high-quality care to Medicare patients. This means they the organizations will be held accountable for quality and costs of the care. A term first introduced by Elliot Fisher in 2006 during a discussion of Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, it was later incorporated in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in 2009.
Barcodes are unique identifiers that represent data most commonly through numbers and parallel lines of varying widths and spacing. Present for over 60 years, we see them in action today everywhere from automotive manufacturers to grocery stores.
There are two types of barcodes, 1D and 2D. 1D barcodes include Uniform Product Codes (UPC), Code 39, POSTNET, Bookland, Code 128, Interleaved 2 of 5 and Codabar. You’d typically see these barcodes, particularly UPCs at retail stores, for instance. 2D barcodes include PDF417, Maxicode, Data Matrix and QR Code. These are typically used to relay large amounts of text, data or messages.
With the help of machine readers, vital information about a product can be identified within seconds. As a result of of this quick access to data, it eliminates the need for manual data entry or research and allows for quicker work processes. Manufacturing software systems keep things organized and can support the businesses by properly reading and creating barcodes.
- Client needed support for an existing database and API system to manage data synchronization
- Spud provided support for the custom API for inventory levels and data synchronization
- Data synchronization
- Information sharing
- Mapping technology
BC / Business Continuity
Business Continuity, shortened as BC, is the strategy, plan and ability to continue operations if any kind of incident, such as a natural disaster or data breach, took critical systems offline. This is a requirement to comply with HIPAA, but it is also necessary to keep patients safe and under care. Systems would need to be restored quickly, and this would be covered in the planning. Additionally, a Business Continuity Plan can encompass the plan for a crisis or epidemic that may affect their area.
COW / WOW
Commonly found in hospitals, a COW, or Computer on Wheels, is a wheeled cart with a type of computer and monitor combination with a battery system and sometimes other accessories. These are also sometimes known as WOW/Workstations on Wheels or simply mobile workstations.
These workstations allow nurses or doctors to bring a computer with them as they visit a patient, as well as to have access to EHR. This solution is more cost-effective than installing a wall-mounted computer to each room, reduce errors and consequently improve patient safety. With less opportunities for an employee to forget an important detail or to misunderstand a handwritten note, the likelihood of inappropriate medication distribution or similar scenario is reduced.
CPOE stands for Computerized Physician Order Entry. According to the Official Website of The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), this means “the process of providers entering and sending treatment instructions – including medication, laboratory, and radiology orders – via a computer application rather than paper, fax, or telephone.” In short, this term refers to the physician orders that are sent or communicated via computer network. These orders can be directed to departments such as a pharmacy or laboratory. This method is safer and more efficient for both health care providers and patients, as it is faster, reduces error and limits chance of interception.
CRM means “customer relationship management,” and nearly all industries utilize some type of CRM. This is the strategy of managing and tracking a company’s interactions with their clients or prospects. There two types found within the healthcare industry, one for contact with their patients and one for contact with referring organizations. Although there are plenty of CRM options available to businesses today, healthcare CRM systems understandably require HIPAA compliance. A healthcare CRM can integrate information from the EHR and your patient satisfaction surveys to have a better understanding of how to best serve each patient.
- System architecture that would integrate a pharmacy system
- Patient care system
- Detailed patient care process analysis, documented the company’s process steps, and translated them into a standardized, automated patient care system
- Patient tracking and support
- Data collection and analysis
Crowdsourcing is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.” Though it is debated within the healthcare industry due to privacy concerns, it is argued that it can ultimately help solve problems and accelerate innovation. Researchers use raw data from Cloud applications, strip it of any identifying characteristics in order to use any information that may help other patients. For example, patients with a certain disease may begin wearing a monitor, and researchers may use this data to better understand the effects of it and collectively generate ideas to help.
- Client worked with others in the healthcare industry to connect patients who have chronic and rare conditions to medication, information and funding
- Spud Software improved their patient care process by designing a system architecture that integrated their system, a new patient care system, their accounting system, and several other downstream applications
- Spud also performed detailed patient care process analysis, documented the company’s process steps and translated them into a standardized automated patient care system
- This resulted in the company’s patient volumes increasing over 200% within 6 months of launching the software and the e-based services being offered to health insurance companies and physicians
- Data synchronization
- Information sharing
- Process analysis
Dashboards are utilized in many industries, but they are particularly important to understand performance and efficiency of a healthcare process. Moreover, with access to production KPIs in one location, a business owner, manager or decision-maker can track productivity. Consequently, they can improve the quality and efficiency of production. In addition, it is imperative for planning, as you can quickly assess any potential capacity roadblocks.
In short, a dashboard should be customized to provide graphs and information most important to you on one screen. They may update periodically throughout the day, daily or weekly, depending on how you would like to consume this information and how it may affect your process.
- Client needed to be able to feed their internal dashboard for live reporting of current data and have a backup of their cloud data
- Spud built the functionality to pull data from cloud data
- Asset tracking
Used worldwide, Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine or simply DICOM, is the standard for the communication, management and storage of medical images and their related data. The American College of Radiology (ACR) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) introduced the standard in 1993 as an evolution of a previous standard. It is implemented into most hospitals and now even many smaller offices. DICOM allows for the replacement of X-ray film with a fully digital workflow.
DLP, meaning Data Loss Prevention, encompasses the strategy, tools and processes set forth to ensure that confidential data, such as intellectual property, corporate or customer data, is not misused or accessed by unauthorized users. In order to support this goal, rules are applied to search for and detect any sensitive data within electronic communications. Although this is important to most companies, this idea is critical in the healthcare industry to keep patient documentation confidential.
EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, is the electronic transfer of information from one company to another. The elimination of paper processes eliminates many causes of delay, human error and wasted time or effort. As a result, this standard creates a more efficient process.
For example, an invoice or a purchase order would be ideal for EDI. Prior to EDI, one employee would create the invoice or purchase order, print, prepare a letter and send via postal mail. Meanwhile, the recipient would wait to receive the document and enter it into their own system, likely beginning another paper process. However, now the sender can securely send to the appropriate recipient with the assistance of EDI in only 3 steps. The steps would be to first prepare, then translate into EDI format and finally transmit to the recipient.
- Client needed integrations for efficiency
- Spud used API so that they could send invoice data to QuickBooks
- Invoices are automatically generated for each customer containing all vehicles and associated itemized charges
- Purchase orders
EHR / EMR
According to the Official Website of The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), an Electronic Health Record (EHR), is simply a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. This will include a patient’s medical history, including things like allergies, diagnoses and so on. The intention is to give providers access to key information in order to make informed decisions, as well as streamline their workflow. All of the patient’s clinicians access and contribute to this information in order to encapsulate the patient’s total health.
Not unlike EHR, an Electronic Medical Record (EMR), is the digital version of the paper charts in the clinician’s office, so it includes the medical and treatment history of the patient in one practice. However, this information may not easily leave said office though the practice may choose to mail to other specialists. With the key difference in the acronym itself being the word “medical,” EMRs are focused on the diagnosis and treatment of the patient, rather than the overall health of the patient.
According to NIST, IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, consists of “the collection of hardware and software that enables the five essential characteristics of cloud computing.” These characteristics are defined as on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity and measured service. Essentially, these are self-service cloud models for things like storage, networking or networking services in order to not have to purchase hardware.
Healthcare is such an impactful and fast-paced industry, so it’s important that every detail is recorded and communicated. Any delay can cost a company precious dollars and resources. It can be difficult to find a solution that does everything one needs, so the more complex a project, the more systems or applications the project likely requires. Integrations bring these together in one accessible location.
Integrations allow for quick access, preventing business owners and operators from having to navigate multiple systems and applications to complete a project or check in on their status.
Established in 2004, the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) is a program under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The purpose of the program is to provide secure exchange of health information between organizations across the nation and in turn improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare.
A picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is the technology that allows the access and transmitting of medical images and related reports. These systems can handle various types of images such as ultrasounds, endoscopy, mammograms and more. PACS eliminates the need for hard copies and allows practices to access the information from various locations.
Technology has evolved over time in such a way that things that once took up a large amount of real estate are now portable and easily used by many. Society saw the beginning of print technology over 500 years ago with the introduction of the printing press. Subsequently, as technology progressed, printers became an important asset to computers.
Further, printers have now evolved into portable devices which greatly aid healthcare efforts. On-demand and portable printing allow the printing of identity bracelets, prescription labels, receipts, invoices and anything else that may be relevant to provide care in real-time. This modernized process has resulted in quicker caregiving times, less room for error and efficiency.
- Client needed ability to print barcode labels, shipping labels and pictures
- Spud implemented an API to automatically print FedEx labels for title shipment
- Wireless Printing
- On demand unique labeling
SLA means “Service-Level Agreement,” and the monitoring thereof is the assurance of meeting client expectations. Most often, the SLA is the contract between a service provider and its customers, though at times more parties may be involved. Within the SLA, the client and service provider agree to the terms of service and outline expectations.
Once an agreement is defined and agreed upon, it’s important to begin monitoring. By utilizing tools and software, the service provider can catch any problems that may arise. After that, they can quickly resolve them so that their services are provided to the client’s expectations. This is especially important for maintaining good relationships with clients and ensuring future business.