Smart Technology Allows Tech Firms to Jump into Healthcare—for Better or Worse(?)

Smart Technology Allows Tech Firms to Jump into Healthcare—for Better or Worse(?)

We look at the advent of smart technology as a window to closer contact with patients and more efficient, secure communication among providers and various healthcare stakeholders. It also opens a door for technology companies with no history in healthcare to suddenly become major disruptors. While it’s too soon to know whether that would be a good or bad thing for patients, there’s no question it makes some cogs in the supply chain nervous. If …

Read More
Beware Overly Intrusive Online Patient Check-In Systems

Beware Overly Intrusive Online Patient Check-In Systems

On the surface, offering online check-in sounds like a can’t-miss proposition that combines the organization of an appointment-based practice with the convenience of a walk-in system. As with most innovations that purport to solve all your problems in a given area, however, this option is not risk-free for urgent care operators who want to drive up visits while offering a better experience for their patients. According to a new article published on LinkedIn by Alan …

Read More
New App Helps Patients Choose Among Urgent Care and Other Care Settings

New App Helps Patients Choose Among Urgent Care and Other Care Settings

More choices can often lead to more indecision for patients who need same-day medical care. While many have gotten the message the emergency room should be reserved for emergencies, it’s still an option. Some insurers (like Anthem) are making it tough on patients who make the “wrong” decision by refusing to pick up the tab for some ED visits if they’re later deemed to have been nonemergent. A new app developed by a pair of …

Read More
‘mHealth’ May Simplify (and Improve) Patient Follow-Up

‘mHealth’ May Simplify (and Improve) Patient Follow-Up

Patients visit your urgent care center because they know they can get excellent care without waiting days for an appointment or languishing for hours in the waiting room. So why do so many seem to disregard your advice for postdischarge care or follow-up just as promptly? Before you shrug and file that in the “just one of those things” folder, bear in mind that your helping them to follow through may cement their positive experience …

Read More
This Bot’s for You, Aurora Health Care

This Bot’s for You, Aurora Health Care

Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care may soon start offering a new digital concierge that allows patients to enter their symptoms on a computer or mobile device and receive real-time advice on what the most appropriate care site might be. The chatbot, called Bouy, appears in a web browser, understands “natural language,” and adapts to the user’s answers. It operates, essentially, like an electronic decision tree by asking the user a series of questions aimed at directing …

Read More
New Data: More than Half of Adults Have Used Online Resources In Lieu of Primary Care

New Data: More than Half of Adults Have Used Online Resources In Lieu of Primary Care

A new study from the University of Phoenix College of Health Professionals reveals that 59% of American adults have used online resources (eg, WebMD) to explore symptoms instead of visiting a primary care physician. Just 12% have used telemedicine in place of primary care. The data reflect an online survey of 2,201 people from a range of demographic categories. Doris Savron, executive dean, interpreted the data as proof that the healthcare industry is leaning toward …

Read More
More Data Show Healthcare Isn’t Prepared for Cyberattacks

More Data Show Healthcare Isn’t Prepared for Cyberattacks

Yet another new study indicates healthcare professionals don’t think their organization’s information technology infrastructure is save from cyberattacks. Data from the Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) most recent Stat poll show more than half—55%—say their IT system would be safe from such intrusions. The poll, reflecting the views of 1,236 healthcare professionals, also reveals that 30% of participants said their organization has already been the target of a cyberattack. How would you answer those questions if they …

Read More
Another Reminder to be Vigilant for Ransomware Attack

Another Reminder to be Vigilant for Ransomware Attack

Pharmaceutical giant Merck and Heritage Valley Health System are the latest healthcare organizations to be struck with a ransomware attack. The same event created havoc across Europe, as well. Electronic security experts point to a version of the Petya virus as the likely “pathogen.” While Merck was largely mum on how it fared, Heritage Valley said its network had “protections” put in place by its antivirus software vendor to ensure patient care was not disrupted. …

Read More
Study: Risk of Cyberattacks is Growing—But Readiness Isn’t

Study: Risk of Cyberattacks is Growing—But Readiness Isn’t

Most device makers and over half of providers surveyed say a virtual attack on devices is “likely” in the next year. Unfortunately, the new study by the Ponemon Institute, working on behalf of Synopsys, also reveals that medical device manufacturers and healthcare providers are simply not prepared to defend themselves—and the patient data they’re entrusted with. Around 80% of respondents find developing secure devices to be a “major challenge” thanks to coding errors, deficient expertise …

Read More
WannaCry Ransomware Attack Should Make Urgent Care Operators Wanna Take Action

WannaCry Ransomware Attack Should Make Urgent Care Operators Wanna Take Action

In the wake of the recent WannaCry ransomware attacks that left hospitals shaken—and showed there’s no such thing as being too prepared for cyber threats—the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is urging hospitals and large healthcare providers to step up their own security measures. However, every healthcare operation, including single-unit urgent care centers, should increase their vigilance for and institute practices to guard against such attacks. HHS recommends that all workers in healthcare …

Read More