Whether you’re a shrimp importer tracking the temperature of shipped shrimp, a nonprofit using state or federal grant funds or a healthcare professional protecting patients, it’s likely you are required to meet compliancy regulations. This, in turn, necessitates a robust compliance management plan.
It’s not enough to track compliance, you also have to be able to collect, secure and report information to regulatory entities. Tracking compliancy is particularly difficult and would be almost impossible without technology as a key tool in successfully meeting regulations.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, most businesses have regulations and requirements they have to abide by, making compliance an essential part of being successful.
The cost of maintaining compliance
The cost of regulatory compliance averages $12,000 a year for most small businesses, says the National Small Business Association. For new businesses, direct and indirect costs to stay compliant in the first year top $80,000.
The long reach of litigation has grabbed onto every element of the healthcare industry, creating something of an arms race between prosecutors and hospital administrations. As technologies, such as electronic health records, keep growing and moving, new issues can be unveiled and exploited. Patient confidentiality, for example, has become significantly more complicated to protect than it was 20 years ago. That doesn’t change the fact that federal and California law allows patients to sue doctors and hospitals for failing to take reasonable measures to protect their confidential information. This means it’s more important than ever before for healthcare facilities in California and throughout the nation to implement security systems that protect their patients’ information.
The long reach of litigation has grabbed onto every element of the healthcare industry, creating something of an arms race between prosecutors and medical clinic administrations. As technologies, such as electronic health records, keep growing and moving, new issues can be unveiled and exploited. Patient confidentiality, for example, has become significantly more complicated to protect than it was 20 years ago. That doesn’t change the fact that federal and California law allows patients to sue doctors and clinics for failing to take reasonable measures to protect their confidential information. This means it’s more important than ever before for healthcare facilities in California and throughout the nation to implement security systems that protect their patients’ information.
The old adage goes that money doesn’t grow on trees. That’s still true, but close to Bakersfield’s numerous (if spread out) buckeye and scrub oak trees, there’s a source of capital that may be just as good for local medical facilities. Your hospitals can get a share of the $6.2 billion in funding that was formally approved as a part of California’s most recent healthcare bill through a combination of applications and incentives. $3.3 billion1 of that goes directly to helping hospitals reform their infrastructure and modernize their technology systems.
The first step, of course, is the examination. What systems are holding you back? Which pieces of infrastructure will work for the next decade? How efficiently is your hospital using its available resources (like electricity, bandwidth, IT staff, and so on)? DiamondIT can help you give your system a “checkup” and identify the strong and weak points within your network so that you can implement an IT roadmap that will make the most of your funding allocation. It all starts with an initial assessment.
It’s never been more important for healthcare providers to be good at what they do. Sure, that sounds obvious, but when you consider the complexities of health insurance and the myriad conditions to be diagnosed and treated, it is irrefutable that the healthcare field is changing. Keeping up with these changes has also never been more difficult. These same challenges facing patients—navigating insurance, finding the right specialists to help them overcome an ailment or disease—are being faced by doctors in a similar direction. Staying up-to-date on the latest journals and information, making sure practice claims are processed correctly, protecting patient rights and privacy while also providing the best possible care is more than a full-time job for most physicians.
That’s why it is so important that doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and their staffs avoid being chained to a single place for their work.1 If patients require care around the clock or if an important record might need to be accessed at a moment’s notice, then being shackled to a desk during normal business hours is woefully inadequate. Thankfully, new virtualized technology and evolving compliance requirements mean that physicians can work from remote locations to provide the best possible patient care.2 Key among this technology are Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP for short) and Virtual Desktop Instances (or VDI).
The San Dimas Medical Group had established strong roots in their old location: 20 years’ worth of roots. In the course of business, however, transitions need to be made to modernize your building, your processes, or your technologies to keep up with the ever-changing needs of your clientele and make maximum use of the technology of our times. For the San Dimas Medical Group, this meant relocating to a new building and rolling out a new VoIP phone system and updating their IT. As a medical services provider, San Dimas needed an IT support team that could deliver a quick and smooth transition to their new location and ensure their ability to provide patients with ongoing care with minimal disruption. They turned to us for the coordination of their new IT rollout, and Peg Board, Director of Operations for San Dimas Medical Group, can speak to the efficiency and positive results of their decision to partner with DiamondIT.
New techniques and tools make their way into the medical field all the time; new ways to treat patients, new medicines that can heal, new tools and procedures to enhance patient care. It takes a lot of effort and dedication to stay on top of all these medical advancements. With so many new things to learn and adopt within your field, incorporating new IT advancements seems like a minor concern. What you’ve got works, so why change it?
There’s something about visiting our clients in the medical field that just buoys my spirits. It’s inspiring to see people working every day to improve patient health and to save lives. It’s an honor to be part of that mission. One particular client comes to mind. Based in Central California, they provide X-Ray, CT, and MRI services for patients when the doctor’s own practice doesn’t have an internal imaging department. We’ve recently helped them incorporate a shared cloud into their network. Because their cloud deployment offers more storage capacity and bandwidth through DiamondIT’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) than they could manage on their own, images taken in their office can be immediately digitized and shared with physicians who otherwise might be left waiting for a courier to deliver physical films. “The old way” of doing things has been upended by transformative technology. More and more, it feels like a lot of the medical sector is embracing this type of change.
In late January of this year, insurance provider Anthem Health let customers know that the personal information of almost 80 million customers may have been exposed in a large-scale data breach. Anthem offered what has become an all too common refrain from companies–including Target and JP Morgan, who have experienced similar massive breaches: we are sorry, the attack was sophisticated, and we’ll pay for credit protection services to help protect your identity going forward. This is certainly the right thing to do for clients, and being proactive about communicating what happened and how you will protect clients going forward is just about the only thing left to do. That being said, an apology isn’t a sufficient remedy. The better course of action is to be more steadfast in the face of attacks and work harder to prevent them in the first place.
The total cost to both Anthem and its clients won’t be known for years. Aside from the financial impact, clients are left wondering if or when someone is going to take advantage of the data that was stolen. As for Anthem, the substantial costs also likely include a crisis of confidence around how safe and secure their network is. If the system was hacked once, then how can the team be confident it won’t happen again?