The Business of Healthcare

Keep up with the latest healthcare business news with tips to improve your practice's productivity and profitability.

The Truth about WannaCry and the Healthcare Ransomware Attack

Posted by Tim Lytle on May 19, 2017 7:15:28 AM

Late last week significant healthcare institutions - along with telecommunications, government, and education - were crippled by a rapidly spreading ransomware attack. 

 

Unlike more well known data breaches, ransomware attacks are not based on the value of compromised data to those who should not have access to it - for example, selling a list of usernames and passwords, or stolen credit card data. Ransomware attacks exploit the value of the compromised data to those who should have access to it. In some cases last week, holding medical records hostage, demanding a ransom from medical institutions.

After gaining access to a vulnerable system, malicious software is able to encrypt the data on the physical machine, as well as network shares, while at the same time attempting to infect other systems on the same network. Once encrypted the files are only accessible to those that have the encryption key. It’s that key these data kidnappers offer to provide - for a price.

The truth is that last week’s ransomware shouldn’t have affected anything.

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How-To Respond to Crises in Your Medical Practice

Posted by Dr. Becker on Apr 4, 2017 9:44:04 AM

So much of what we do revolves around communication. That topic is a focus of this blog, largely because we at the company are building a communications tool. Which got us thinking about the importance of good communication when things go wrong. That, in turn, led us to thinking about crises in general - how people respond and how crises can be managed. As we looked around the web and crisis management articles, we pulled some common themes and suggestions, and compiled them here. You’re running a medical practice, so of course we’re not going to tell you and your team how to handle acute medical situations. And any crisis tends to require a similar process as in a medical emergency, so nothing here will be too new. Even so, and even though we’re not a PR firm, we hope that this will be a useful reminder that other situations may come up and help you prepare for them.

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Topics: Practice Profitability

[New from BeckonCall] - Easier Filtering for Message Logs

Posted by Admin on Mar 31, 2017 11:30:32 AM

 


We are excited to announce brand new updates to the BeckonCall message logs!

As you know, all of your practice’s communications using the BeckonCall app are documented and accessible, should you ever need to recreate a situation for legal purposes or otherwise. But now, your message logs are simpler to use and more actionable than ever!

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Topics: New Features

7+ Apps Every Medical Practice Manager Should Know

Posted by Dr. Becker on Mar 27, 2017 10:43:59 AM

We love mobile technology here at BeckonCall. It’s what we do, it’s all we think about. Sometimes, though, we spend so much time working on our mobile platform that we don’t come for air to give props to other people out there making cool apps. So, knowing that we’re all working to make your job as a practice administrator easier and more efficient, here are a few apps we think are worth checking out for you and your providers.

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Topics: Practice Profitability

Patient Engagement: How to Make Your Practice Magnetic

Posted by Dr. Becker on Mar 13, 2017 5:20:06 PM

 

 

Good medical care can’t be a one-way street. Patients must engage in their own care, being proactive in minimizing the risk of problems where possible and adhering to prescribed therapies when things do go wrong. In addition to the primary goal of improving health, good patient engagement has the added benefit of building the relationship between your practice and the people coming to you for care. This has the potential to boost retention and referrals, making patient engagement programs a good business decision, as well. Furthermore, in the age of value-based care, improving outcomes is a critical piece of reimbursement. And when patients take control of their health, outcomes improve.

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Topics: Practice Profitability

Feature Update: Simpler On-Call Scheduling

Posted by Admin on Mar 8, 2017 4:07:20 PM

Now it’s even easier to create and update your call schedules using BeckonCall!

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Topics: New Features

5 Benefits of Moving Your Medical Practice's Technology to the Cloud

Posted by Dr. Becker on Mar 7, 2017 9:44:45 AM

 

As we were drafting this post, Amazon’s S3 storage service went down for several hours. Even if you weren’t aware of exactly what was happening from a technical standpoint, you probably noticed services or websites that weren’t working on February 28. Amazon S3 underpins a lot of the internet so there was quite a bit of consternation when it decided to take a nap. The S3 service guarantees 99.9% uptime and, according to the TechCrunch article linked above, has been consistent outside of two notable events. Despite the high profile problem, Amazon and its competitors offer extremely reliable services. Therefore, that event certainly adds a new context to the topic of cloud-based storage, but doesn’t really change anything that follows. So here we go…

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Topics: Practice Profitability

The Two Drivers of Errors in Medical Communications

Posted by Dr. Becker on Feb 28, 2017 10:14:48 AM

 

On this blog we have thoroughly established the existence of communications breakdowns within and among care teams. We’ve also pointed out the cost of these deficits in terms of patient well-being, dollars, and legal activity. All of that begs the question of how these problems arise in the first place. Glad you asked.

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Topics: Care team communication

Two Out of Five: How to Deal with Patient Reviews

Posted by Dr. Becker on Feb 21, 2017 12:51:05 PM

 

People are talking about you. Not just you, but anyone who offers a product or a service. It’s always been the case that humans seek information and validation about, well, everything, from people they trust. Social proof is an incredibly powerful force. That’s great when the social proof is positive. What about when it’s negative? And, with something as sensitive and emotional as medical care, how should healthcare providers think about online reviews?

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Topics: Practice Profitability

Change is Good: Medical Education & Medical Technology

Posted by Dr. Becker on Feb 14, 2017 11:03:45 AM

Change-is-good---medical-education-and-medical-technology.png

 

 

Start ‘em young, they say. Who is “they?” Anyone with an opinion. What are we starting ‘em on? Anything “they” happen to have an opinion about: Violin lessons, golf, holding the door open for their elders…

In this case, we at BeckonCall are talking about starting young physicians working with good healthcare IT during their training. From a utilization standpoint, IT and communications tools should be approached much the same way as diagnostics, implants and drugs. Namely, if a new tool is evidence-based, useful to a clinician’s practice, and financially beneficial, it should be considered for use. Like a new therapeutic intervention, this doesn’t mean that medical practices should automatically switch to the latest and greatest. But clinicians should have access to select, cutting edge products that will help them advance their nascent practices and medicine in general.

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Topics: Practice Profitability

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