Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Uncovering Your Needs

As office environments and technology evolve, there are many areas to consider for companies.  This is also where the differences in how this job is done, wins and loses opportunities and separates me from my competitors.  A simple example that I see every day is the wants and needs with in a company.  These are usually so different from one department to another- odd, yet exactly how these folks symbiotically exist together.  I recently experienced this with an owner and staff of a small/medium sized company. They didn't even realize the uniqueness of their needs until I brought it up during the meeting:

The group included the president, IT manager, head book keeper, marketing manager and office manager.  The six of us sat down and I asked "if I could take notes to ensure that I could learn as much as possible as I don't spend nine hours a day, five days a week in their office."  As suspected, they said "please do."

After and hour and numerous topics that I brought up for the group to discuss- I finally said "here's what I heard- and please correct me where I'm wrong:"

"You Mr. Owner have three real priorities that I believe fall in the following order:  financial commitment to the new solution as #1.  Acquiring a reliable system that keeps the troops happy and is a better unit than the current one."

"Mr. Information Technology Manager: you want anything that comes on your network to be up to today's standards, will accommodate the next planned update and never causes you any network issues."

"Mrs. Marketing Manager: you need the VERY best quality, all affordable options for punching, folding, etc. and not only need it fast for your deadlines, but need it reliably so you don't have any other challenges to meet your needs."

"Mrs. Office Manager:  you are the main user and want speed, functionality, top notch training and although it will hiccup, you need a service organization that is timely and tremendously efficient so the technician not only has the parts, but doesn't come back for the same issue 2-3 times."

"And finally Mrs. Accountant:  you've been very clear that none of these things really matter to you.  You need simple, concise and clear monthly bills so you can track, invoice projects for cost recovery and ensure that all $ are accounted for to the penny."

There was a long silence... finally the President said "I bet none of us really considered how diverse the other's requirements are and we surely didn't communicate this the last go around when we looked at office equipment.  Please coordinate to have the system you recommend to be brought into our office with IT and the office manager and send me the numbers and some references I can check."

He and the IT manager left the room, the others stayed and we continued to talk for another 15 minutes about how I could positively impact their work.  At the end I agreed to send the accounting manager a sample billing and how we can track jobs.   The marketing manager  wanted to see some proof files in advance and the office manager wanted to know how fast and how many features I could put on the demonstration unit for their office. 

Most of my job, once I find an opportunity, can be done by asking a ton of questions, listening for a long time- then circling back around to ensure that all the bases are covered- even the ones "they" didn't know needed covering.

Scott Plemmons - CTX Market Director 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

$63,730 for Healthcare Adoption of Electronic Medical Records

Electronic Medical Records (EMS) and Electronic Healthcare Records (EHS) are the terms used to describe a paper-light medical office environment that will get medical practices a payout from the government.

Medical providers that did not take advantage of Oregon and Washington’s EHR Incentive program in 2011 can still begin participation in 2012.  Qualified practices that did not initiate EHR will still get the full $63,750.00 payout over 6 years of consecutive and nonconsecutive compliance until 2016.
Practitioners must bill Medicaid to qualify for the payout. Some restrictions can apply and in certain cases fluctuate. Dental and Chiropractic also qualify.

The first step is to apply for a National Provider Identifier or NPI. This is a unique 10-digit identification number issued to health care providers in the United States by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  More information can be found at https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov

You then register with your state (i.e. medicaidehrincentives.oregon.gov/OHA/mhit/apply.shtml) and adopt, implement, or upgrade to a certified EHR system, based on the criteria set forth by the state. You must then prepare to attest with your state of jurisdiction. Once you have met the guidelines for EHS you will receive payment, and as long as you meet the requirements you will continue receiving pay outs for the term above.

Ways The Northwest Group (CTX, QBSI, Pinnell) can assist with your implementation:
  • The DocuWare Medical Records Division Product Group
  • Finding “Meaningful Use” providers to suit your needs
  • Workflow optimization assistance and training
  • Selection of EMR software that meets your practice culture
  • Back file conversion and digitization of client records
  • Integrating your current assets into your EHS system
The Northwest Group (CTX, QBSI, Pinnell) embraces this process as part of our 360°™ strategy to offer all areas of your business or practice our expertise in workflow optimization.  The outcome will be higher quality, more efficient healthcare for all of us!

-Chris, CTX Solutions Specialist

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) World

Recently, it was reported that over 90 million iPads will be purchased in 2012 –   just a few more than the 40 million purchased in 2011.  Additionally, Amazon reported that a week before Christmas, they were selling over 1 million Kindles a week – thanks in no small part to the Kindle Fire, a $199.00 tablet that does 80-90% of what an iPad can do, for less than a fourth of the price. 

It’s not at all going out on a limb to say that new tablet technology has revolutionized how we think about accessing information. As a consumer product, tablets are amazing: grabbing email, streaming videos, playing games, reading books, browsing the web – there really hasn’t been anything like it since the World Wide Web. 

But what about as an ENTERPRISE device? The Gartner Group estimates over 80% of business will support a workforce that uses tablets by 2013.
You may say, or your corporate IT may say, that “we don’t support these devices”. That’s all well and good, but as you may already know, your knowledge workers don’t really care about your IT rules.

In fact, if John Smith in Accounting already has your corporate wireless internet password and an Outlook Web Access address, that Kindle Fire that Santa delivered to him on Christmas Day is a fully functioning “enterprise device” on your network on January 3rd – with or without your permission or approval. 

These devices are coming. If you were debating whether or not to buy iPads for your employees last year and never got around to making a decision, you are now left with a stark reality: in the coming months, your network will be exposed to and connected to multiple tablet devices from multiple manufactures, all with different interfaces and apps. 

There’s really not much you can do about it. 

The days of a static, one-size-fits-all policy applied to company-owned assets are over. You are living in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) world.
It’s a scary proposition, made even more frightening if you don’t have the right technology partner to assist you in traversing this new digital minefield.  
Here at the Northwest Group (QBSI,CTX, Pinnell), we’re developing multiple mobile and cloud based technologies that will support the onslaught of BYOD.
For example, the Xerox Mobile Print application allows tablet users (any make or model) to print to any Xerox device on their network. Your best customer walks in with a copy of the latest contract on their iPad and they want to review it? No problem. Have them email it to cloud@yourcompanyname.com and let them pick it up at the Xerox device by the reception desk. No fuss, no muss. 

Additionally, by utilizing DocuShare, Xerox’s content management system, customers can take old, paper-based forms and easily convert them to fillable e-forms capable of being brought up on a tablet or a smartphone. Imagine filling out your vacation request form, time-card or adding a new baby to your healthcare plan by simply accessing an App on your Android, iPad, iPhone, Kindle or other mobile device. 

Cloud-printing? Mobile App development? Tablet computing? This doesn’t sound like a “copier company”, does it? 

The fact is, by all accounts, we are in the middle of a sea of devices – devices that our IT departments don’t purchase, don’t control and don’t support. But there they are, connected to our networks, accessing our email, our files shares, our documents – and it’s only going to get worse. 

At the same time, business are moving more and more applications off enterprise servers and off to the cloud.  And what better way to access cloud services than through a Mobile Device? 

So whether it’s something as simple as printing from an iPad or as complex as teaming with Cisco to help develop, deliver and support a “borderless network” cloud service to clients, Xerox is leading the pack with innovative new ideas and new product offerings.

So, we’re not just your neighborhood copier vendor anymore.
The commercials say Xerox is “ready for real business”.
At the Northwest Group (QBSI,CTX, Pinnell) we’re eager to be your real business partners. 

- Derek, QBSI: Solutions Specialist