2 min read

Including IT in Business Continuity Preparedness Is Essential

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 @ 08:15 AM

business continuity and disaster recovery through ITAccording to experts, disaster recovery (DR) is how a business restarts itself following a disruptive incident that is natural, man-made, or a systems failure. On the other hand, business continuity implies a more comprehensive consideration of how your business continues to operate not only following a disaster, but also the departure of a key member of your management team or department head or any other incident or event which could interfere with daily operations.

Recently, we have witnessed the severe impact that weather has had on entire communities, their people, property, and infrastructure. While these tragic events certainly get our attention and cause us to reevaluate, reinforce, and rehearse our existing disaster plans, do we really give due diligence to planning for business continuity (BC)? To most people, BC and DR go together. That being the case, you will be well served to consider particularly the role IT can play to insure that any interference to your business's work flow is as small as possible.

Stepping back and examining the possible consequences of each type of adverse incident is an important step in performing a business impact analysis (BIA). By doing so, you can anticipate and plan specifically for each such event. Handling the consequences of a fire is much different than handling the sudden departure of the corporate IT manager or payroll manager.

First, you need to consider your most valuable asset – people. After a disruptive event, how will your employees communicate, where will they work, and how will they continue to perform their jobs? Who needs to take the leadership role and under what circumstances? What aspects of the workflow are essential and how will they continue?

Second, determine which systems, processes, and business units are essential. Particularly when it comes to IT assets and resources, you should consider not only your internal and contracted resources and assets, but also the businesses which develop and support the critical software applications you use. For example, while IT Asset Management is useful, it may fail to track which software versions your business is using.

Recent developments in technology, such as virtualization, cloud computing or other data center technology-enabled business solutions, social media, or mobile devices, can facilitate business continuity.

This blog cannot begin to cover all aspects of BC/DR, but anticipating, planning for, and rehearsing how you will handle a disruption to your business is well worth the effort, time, and money. Just ask someone who didn’t. Keep in mind that IT plays a major role and should be an essential part of your planning.

What are your doing to insure BC in your business? To learn more about how PCT can help, contact us.

Topics: IT disaster preparedness IT asset management business continuity
2 min read

Long Term Care and IT

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Mon, Mar 05, 2012 @ 04:54 PM

A Major Health Care IT Paradigm Shift

“Best Practices” in the old days – paper pushing.
Historically, health care in general and long term care specifically, has been intensively paper based - forms, spindles, chart tables, racks, and binders. Documentation was (and still is) the name of the game and pushing paper was the only way. Even regulatory enforcement surveys were based on paper compliance with bedside visits to verify the documentation. Paper-based documentation consumed a lot of trees and filled a lot of storage files and storage units.

On the upside, a paper-based system never froze up, crashed, or hung. The staff never had to worry about connectivity, rebooting the computer, unplugging and plugging a cable, or finding a wireless access point and rebooting it. They just needed to make sure they had a pen with the right color.

LTC and IT, EHR, tablet PC“Best Practices” today – Getting past the paper paradigm
Only recently has long term care demonstrated a grudging willingness to adopt IT as the way to communicate and document. Narrow margins, suspect IT promises, and resistance to change have contributed to this lethargy. Further, what technology has done to society it has done many-fold to LTC. Staffers have discovered that the promises of “increased productivity” have in reality resulted in increased demands.

However, the outside pressures of increased competition, a shrinking skilled labor pool, a younger, more computer-savvy cadre of care givers, more restrictive regulations and reimbursement, and opportunities posed by HIEs and ACOs have become the incentives for a more rapid LTC IT adoption. Providers across the country have begun to realize tangible benefits to their operations through IT. For example, with the advent of real-time reporting and Business Intelligence, such as PCT’s primeVIEW digital dashboard, health care executives are able to identify and respond to problems and opportunities quickly. This results in real savings, expanded market penetrations, improved bottom lines, increased efficiencies, and better resident care.

Consider this, a recent LTC provider’s initiative capitalized on the flexibility and accessibility of its company Intranet and focused on assessing and improving weekly weight and skin condition assessments. Recording their assessments electronically yielded a significant reduction in staff documentation time; this means more time face-to-face time working with residents and less time pushing a pen.

What’s the impact that IT can have on the facilities and their residents?
It means an improvement in the quality of life and care for residents. For providers it means, among many benefits, a healthier bottom line, reduced DSO through automated claims management, reduced procurement spend through procurement automation, a stronger competitive edge over those facilities which are IT resistant, and being well situated when working with other providers along the continuum of care.

  • How has IT helped your operation?
  • If you have embraced IT, how has it benefitted your operation and the services you deliver?


Topics: dashboards long term care IT continuum of care best practices DSO
1 min read

Happy New Year! Find Opportunities through IT

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 @ 07:30 AM

Opportunities through IT in 2012Prime Care Technologies wishes you a Happy New Year. I once had a boss whose mantra was, “All problems can be viewed as opportunities.” That being the case, then 2012 should be an amazing year of opportunities for business in general and long term care specifically. I encourage you to look at all of your “opportunities” and to explore how IT can help you convert those opportunities into gains.

To long term care and other health care providers we say, “Thank you for your selfless service to our nation’s frail and elderly in 2011.” To our Fortune 1000 clients as well as state and local government clients, “Thank you for the services and products that make our lives that much better, our country an example to the world of what freedom and liberty can mean.”  

Question: What "opportunities" would you like IT to help your company, agency, or facility tackle?

Topics: long term care IT
3 min read

2011 Blogs in Review – The Role that IT Plays

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 @ 05:42 PM

Be nimble with Information Technology, Survive with ITOver the last several months, this blog has covered topics focusing on various aspects of IT and its impact on long term care. In our Thanksgiving Day blog, we observed how important IT has become to all of us – in how we work, how we communicate, how we entertain, how we educate, how we conduct business; IT is everywhere. Although slow in adopting technology, LTC providers have made significant progress in understanding, valuing, and embracing IT as a powerful tool to meet ever-changing challenges. For example, twice we demonstrated this fact as we momentarily digressed from IT-specific topics to alert readers about changes to billing therapy services to Medicare and avoiding workforce-related lawsuits.

These are trying and potentially dangerous times for the economy in general and long term care in particular. The vital role that IT can play in helping LTC providers survive reminds me of the African gazelle. The gazelle can reach a peak speed of 48-50 mph outpacing many of its predators. However, the cheetah can reach 0 to 60 mph in about 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 70 mph. You do the math. Since gazelles are a favorite meal for cheetahs, the difference between life and death is sustainability vs. spurts of brilliance. Cheetahs can only sustain such high speeds in bursts; gazelles on the other hand can maintain their top speed for miles. They can also make sharper turns and initiate quick changes of direction with minimal reduction in speed. Cheetahs cannot. Although slower, gazelles have the advantage if they are alert, sure-footed, and responsive to threats and opportunities.

Likewise, to survive and thrive, to outpace the “cheetah’s” of poor reputation, burdensome and sometimes conflicting regulation, competition, and reduced reimbursement, LTC providers must be on guard, quick to respond, and nimble. However, they also need vision. To blindly charge day-to-day into the fray without a clear understanding of what is going on around them and within their operations, can be suicidal. Data mining and business intelligence can help providers discover, discern, and act on the data they already have. In real time, digital dashboards can reveal business-critical information (Key Performance Indicators – KPIs) displayed in ways that easy to understand.

In 2011, we also discussed how important protection of your IT assets and data is and why disaster plans must include IT. “After the fact” is too late. Also, IT asset management (ITAM) can help providers to track and protect their IT assets, use, and storage.

Just over the horizon loom major changes in health care, ACOs being one of those changes. The significance of ACOs to IT in long term care can be found in the need for interoperability and IT infrastructure. Whether ACO’s pose a threat or an opportunity will depend on the specific market served and the provider’s willingness and ability to respond. Being uninformed and ill prepared is like a deer facing on-coming headlights. The prospect of becoming health care road kill is not appealing.

Question: IT is here to stay, are you on board? In what ways has IT helped your operation?

Topics: IT business intelligence dashboard ACOs disaster recovery IT asset management ITAM Part A Therapy Services
1 min read

IT helps make Thanksgiving Day a special day!

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 05:13 PM

Thanksgiving and Information TechnologyI know it’s late in the day and many of you are already heading to your turkey feast destination or making last-minute preparations, but I think expressing gratitude is never too late - or too early for that matter. First, if not for the vision, talent, dedication, and hard work of so many, we would not enjoy the explosion of opportunities that information technology offers us. Whether it’s for entertainment, checking on one’s health, mining data, checking on the weather or road conditions, tracking finances, operating a business, promoting ideas, products, and services, or just meeting or reconnecting with friends, IT is everywhere. Some may argue that IT may have complicated our lives, but in the long run, our lives, our play, our work, even our worship have been positively impacted and enriched. For this, we should be very grateful.

Further, our PCT’s team expresses our sincerest gratitude to our customers and partners. We have seen phenomenal growth over the last year and without them, we could not be where are today and will be going forward.

Lastly, to our team members, thank you for your dedication, hard work, and sacrifice in serving our customers and supporting one another. That’s what makes this company work.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Topics: IT information technology mining data customers partners


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