Providing high-quality care to senior citizens requires around-the-clock vigilance on the part of long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers. Information technology (IT) plays a critical role in the delivery of reliable care to seniors at LTPAC facilities. Unfortunately, patient care can suffer when LTPAC employees do not have access to a 24/7 IT help desk that truly understands the long term care and senior living environment. Below is a look at some of the signs that indicate that your facility needs to move to a 24/7 IT service desk and the key ways that immediate access to IT support can help your LTPAC facility gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Intuitively, many people think of long-term post-acute care (LTPAC) as a somewhat traditional and tech adverse industry. With the focus so squarely on giving care in perpetuity to patients that need consistent hands-on attention, the core mission of LTPAC is understandably seen as a very traditional hands-on concept. But in reality, the complex needs of patients receiving LTPAC services are actually the perfect environment for many of our most recent innovations from hardware devices to software to services.
Improving Patient Care with Office 365
If provided a way to save money and enhance patient care, you'd probably implement it right? One such way is to follow the example set by the National Health Services of Scotland and of Advocate Health Care, one of the largest hospital systems in Illinois. Both organizations switched from Microsoft Office to Microsoft Office 365 and boosted caregiver efficiency while also improving care consistency.
HIPAA Compliance and Data Security
A study conducted by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) on LTPAC providers engaged in Health Information Exchange (HIE) found that LTPAC facilities continue to have issues with outdated technology solutions, and that some key personnel in these facilities remain unaware of the importance of the security and interoperability of PHI.
The need for senior living operators to protect their vulnerable IT systems and data is underscored by the weekly stories of US companies being hacked, phished and scammed out of billions of dollars. HIPAA and HITECH compliance is the regulatory response to this and puts the IT security responsibility on the operator.
Listen as Chris Lisser from vcpi, Ryan Witt from Proofpoint Solutions, and Rod Brewer from Exceptional Living Centers provide expert advice on IT security for LTPAC.
As Hurricane Florence wreaks havoc in the Carolina’s, it is an important reminder that your IT infrastructure is highly vulnerable to nature’s fury. This includes the very real possibility of extended power and internet outages, as well as physical destruction of IT equipment and loss of critical data. Keeping your residents and staff safe in such during event is of course your primary concern, but what preparation can you do to minimize the impact of these major storms on your IT systems and data?
Mobile device theft constitutes a major source of HIPAA breaches in senior living communities. According to a PubMed study, most HIPAA breaches are caused by the theft or loss of mobile devices on which Protected Health Information (PHI) is stored. The online journal Perspectives in Health Information Management reports that mobile technology is revolutionizing healthcare. Providers who work in the LTPAC industry are increasingly using mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets at the point of care. This is good news for residents and staff alike, but it also means that administrators and employees must be extra-vigilant about sensitive patient data to make sure it cannot be compromised by stolen or lost devices.
Cybersecurity is a concern for everyone as this world becomes more and more connected, but it's of particular concern in the area of long-term post-acute care (LTPAC) for a number of reasons. Here are a few reasons why LTPAC communities should worry about online security, and what can be done for each.
One of the biggest developments in the world of technology back in November was the rollback of net neutrality rules by the FCC. This decision by the Trump Administration has already created contention with many, and the ripple effects are still being forecasted. While it could affect numerous industries, those in senior living could see some of the biggest impact.
You want your business to grow. You write a business plan. You build a stellar online presence that provides a high-quality user experience. You court your customers. You protect your business by obtaining the appropriate insurance. You genuinely try to prepare and grow your business. If you ignore your cyber security strategy though, you are doing yourself and your growing business a major disservice.