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  1. 5 Benefits of Moving Your Medical Practice's Technology to the Cloud

    By Dr. Becker, 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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  2. Two Out of Five: How to Deal with Patient Reviews

    By Dr. Becker, 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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  3. Change is Good: Medical Education & Medical Technology

    By Dr. Becker, Feb 14, 2017 11:03:45 AM




    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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  4. 4 Ways to Improve Interoperability at Your Medical Practice

    By Dr. Becker, Feb 7, 2017 12:57:51 PM


    The medical community spends a lot of time discussing the need for interoperability. EHR systems have long been the target of complaints from professionals ranging from nursing staff to hospital administrators. Countless startup companies are building software to integrate various aspects of digital medical records. The idea is to streamline the collection and transmission of patient information so that accurate and actionable insights can be drawn.

    Our industry has a long way to go, though. With EHRs, information is for the most part input manually. This increases the burden on medical practitioners from a paperwork standpoint and reduces the time they have available for patients. Valuable features of EHRs are therefore offset by the disruptions they cause. (For an excellent discussion of this debate, please check out this article from FierceHealthcare.) So, what can you do to help move healthcare in the right direction while pushing your practice towards greater integration of health IT tools?

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  5. Thoughts on Communication for New Physicians

    By Dr. Becker, Feb 2, 2017 9:35:31 AM


    Medicine is stressful. Every aspect of interpersonal relationships, communications, business, finance, operations, and customer service that one would see in any other field are present in medicine. However, layered on top of all that is the simple fact that medicine’s product is healthy human life, and everything gets even more intense. Leaving med school to start a residency, and then finishing residency to take on an attending position, are stressful and intimidating transitions for any young MD. We can’t speak to the challenges of providing actual care, but we did want to give those new physicians reading here our thoughts on communication-related ways to smooth out the process.

    Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments.

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  6. 8 Ways to Reduce Patient Wait Times

    By Dr. Becker, Jan 23, 2017 2:53:11 PM


    “Yes, excuse me? Um, my appointment was scheduled for 1:30. It’s 1:48.”

    You’ve heard that line and, possibly, delivered that line. Nobody likes that line. That line represents a cost in emotional and financial terms. So, how do we make that line obsolete?

    In fact, we have a few ideas. Like them, love them, or hate them, here are several ways to reduce patient wait times at your medical practice.

    A word of warning, though: Wait time in and of itself isn’t the ultimate metric. Studies among cancer patients have indicated that the cause of a wait isn’t necessarily correlated with a patient’s favorable/unfavorable perception of a wait, and that a patient’s feelings about a wait depend on more than just raw minutes off the clock. On top of that, a group of orthopedic patients indicated that time with their physician, play a bigger role in - or at least was more associated with - satisfaction than wait time.

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  7. Relationships & Litigation: Reducing Liability Through Effective Healthcare Communication

    By Dr. Becker, Jan 17, 2017 9:32:24 AM


    Change is coming to Washington, D.C. We don’t pretend to know what that change will look like, and we aren’t going to discuss the politics of everything happening these days. However we, like all of our colleagues in the healthcare space, are watching closely to see how the transition and incoming administration affects healthcare policy. With so much attention directed towards the Affordable Care Act and where it’s headed, we thought this would be a good opportunity to review the evergreen issue of healthcare communications in the context of medical malpractice. As always, this is a brief and casual discussion, nothing in this post constitutes legal/regulatory advice.

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  8. A Brief History of Medical Communications Technology

    By Dr. Becker, Jan 9, 2017 12:06:51 PM


    We take for granted the volume of data collected and stored during routine exams and medical procedures. What is equally remarkable is this data is collected by means ranging from physical palpation by a provider, to highly calibrated machines and software. Technology to disseminate health data has developed alongside the tools to acquire it, although perhaps not at the same rapid clip.

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