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STAFF MEETINGS

Zoom hiders: Camera shy or disengaged?

By Lynne Curry Question: For our mandatory manager meetings, I show up on time so my attendance is noted, and then get through the meetings by multi-tasking. It’s easy enough to hear what’s said as I get other work done. I cover this up by always making a positive comment on at least one of the manager’s proposals. I leave my video off, though, and when the manager chastised me, I compromised by turning it on at the beginning, saying “hi” to everyone, and turning it on anything important is happening, and when I’m speaking. I thought this was a reasonable compromise, so imagine my shock when my manager said my leaving the camera off was a key reason I wasn’t one of the three managers being sent to a… . . . read more.

COMPLIANCE

5 ways your medical office can violate HIPAA

The HIPAA Privacy Act is a federal law that was established in 1996 to set provisions and standards for the protection of personal health information. The rule puts limits and conditions on the use and disclosure of patient medical information. It also gives patients the right to obtain a copy, examine, and request corrections to their records. Though most medical practices are very careful to keep their patients’ private health information secure, violations of this act can be costly with penalties ranging from $100 to 1.5 million per incident. Regular and ongoing compliance training for all employees is one of the easiest ways to prevent the improper use of PHI and reduce the risk of a violation. Below are a few common HIPAA violations and steps that can be taken… . . . read more.

MANAGING PATIENTS

Make your patients happier with these communication tips

By Mike Rigert Even though modern patients appreciate the ease and convenience of digital communication with your practice through automated text reminders and real-time communication, we can’t lose sight of the importance that personal interaction has in keeping those relationships strong. A HealthGrades study showed that patients’ communication with front office staff are primary factors in online reviews—both positive and negative. The research found that of nearly 7 million patient reviews, the most frequently used phrases in negative comments were related to front office staff interaction. In the busy and chaotic environment your front office staff operate in, it’s easy to forget that patients still expect human connections and quality customer service during a visit. This includes everything from how to greet a patient to individual personal connections that lets each and… . . . read more.

STAFF RETENTION

Over half of workers would quit if required to return to office

After two years of office spaces sitting empty, many companies are eager to call employees back for good. In a survey of more than 800 senior managers, more than half of respondents (55 per cent) said they want their teams to work on-site full time as COVID-19-related restrictions ease, nearly unchanged from a similar survey  conducted last year. Currently, 44 per cent of senior managers support long-term hybrid schedules (where staff can divide time between the office and another location) and employees’ ability to choose where they work. Managers at large companies with 1,000 or more employees (54 per cent) are most open to flexibility, according to the survey conducted by Robert Half, a specialized talent solutions and business consulting firm. The risk of an employee exodus Separate research from… . . . read more.

MANAGING THE OFFICE

7 ways to cut costs with a greener office

By Daryll Esposito The well-being of our planet is a universal concern, but it’s not always front-of-mind when we’re busy at work. The good news is that making greener choices at the office is not only better for the environment, it’s better for your budget too. With Earth Day this week on April 22, it’s time to look at some environmentally friendly improvements. Some common repurposing and recycling advice is not appropriate for a medical office, where confidentiality requires paper to be properly shredded for safe disposal. Infection control requires single-use items, often made of non-biogradeable plastic, and the pandemic has only increased the need for these disposable items. On the other hand, the move to electronic health records greatly reduces paper use. 7 simple, sustainable and cost-saving steps that… . . . read more.

TRAINING

8 simple steps to improve virtual presentations

Today’s hybrid workplace means you may have to conduct training and information sessions for remote staffers. You need to know how to best present yourself and your material virtually, using tools such as PowerPoint slide shows. Consider these tips to ensure your audience gives full attention to your presentation without being distracted by glitches. Format your virtual presentation so it’s easy to read and follow. Use text sparingly on each slide and ensure the text you use is large enough to read. Use visuals/videos that are engaging but also easy to view and follow. Limit the overall number of slides and transitions. Consider sharing your virtual presentation slides separately. If you have the ability, consider sharing your virtual presentation slides or other visuals with your staff ahead of time or… . . . read more.

DATA SECURITY

Is your contact form providing a back door for cybercriminals?

By Doug Striker As automated email filtering gets better at screening for phishing attempts, criminals are responding by looking for attack techniques that evade those tools. Believe or not, their newest tactic is to fill out online contact forms and then use the response process to sneak malware into your system. By now, we are all familiar with email phishing. Most medical offices today are conducting (or should be conducting) security awareness training across their organizations. And, as mentioned above, email filtering technologies have advanced and are quite good at stopping some attacks. But crime never sleeps, and cybercriminals have been creatively seeking new ways to infiltrate our systems. Contact forms and cybercrime A company called Abnormal Security has found that a nasty piece of malware called BazarBackdoor is being… . . . read more.

YOUR CAREER

8 ways to make your meetings zoom by

By Lynne Curry If you dread meetings–attending them, hosting them–and long for meetings to become more than a necessary evil, you can make it happen. Not long ago, I hosted a two-day, 15-hour meeting that the 17 attendees said “zoomed by,” “was fun, kept me engaged the entire time,” and “made an hour seem like five minutes.” Here’s how we did it. 1. A “you” start We started with the “real,” with questions like “how is remote working for you this week?” 2. Real value Before I launched into the first topic, I asked everyone what they hoped the meeting focused on and what results they wanted from it. Everyone listens to the same radio station, WIFM, “what’s in it for me.” If your meeting attendees know from the start,… . . . read more.

TRAINING

3 key training initiatives for healthcare staff in 2022

By Tolu Ajiboye Every year presents a new opportunity to upgrade your employees’ skills. This year the opportunity for staff growth is even greater than normal. With the pandemic and staffing upheaval overwhelming practices over the last two years, routine training exercises (understandably) fell through the cracks for many. Moreover, having to hastily adopt new protocols and technology meant that staff could not receive structured training they normally would when new processes or tools are introduced. Here are some areas you may want to focus on when planning your staff training activities and efforts for the months ahead: 1. Cybersecurity Cyber risks are ever-evolving and your staff needs to be able to implement modern measures and routines that protect patient data. In the bid to quickly set up employees for… . . . read more.

ADVICE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE

Is your medical office vulnerable to Russian cyberattacks?

The White House is urging businesses to review and improve cybersecurity because of a heightened risk of cyber attacks from Russia. A statement from the Biden-Harris Administration advises businesses to take the following steps: Mandate the use of multi-factor authentication on your systems to make it harder for attackers to get onto your system; Deploy modern security tools on your computers and devices to continuously look for and mitigate threats; Check with your cybersecurity professionals to make sure that your systems are patched and protected against all known vulnerabilities, and change passwords across your networks so that previously stolen credentials are useless to malicious actors; Back up your data and ensure you have offline backups beyond the reach of malicious actors; Run exercises and drill your emergency plans so that… . . . read more.


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