Out With The Old, In With The New- Offices Going Paperless

3 10 2012

We all know that feeling of anger and frustration that we get when arriving to a Doctor’s office for the first time. The moment you walk in the door the polite nurse says to you “I’m going to need you to fill out this paperwork for me!” Then off we go to our seat in the waiting room, armed with a pen and a clipboard, to fill out these papers. We all think “It’s probably not going to be so bad,” until ten minutes later when your hand starts cramping up and you begin digging through old papers of your own and calling every office on the planet to obtain the information needed to fill out the form. Finally done, you walk up front, where they either hand you more forms or tell you to sit for a long period of time as they process the paperwork.

Finally time to go back to the room. After waiting another fifteen or so minutes, the doctor walks in and greets you. Now, you patiently stand there as the doctor reads the extensive amount of information you filled out in your paperwork at the front desk. By now, your hand and your brain are probably hurting you! Or how about the time when records become lost? When we go to ask for some information or they try to pull up a file and all we get are an “I’m sorry but I seemed to have misplaced your file!” At this point, we just want to throw our hands in the air and give up. 

This used to be the way of things, no questions asked. However, in the past thirty years, technology has advanced to such an impressive point that we can literally do almost anything on the web. So with the technology we currently have, what can be paperless today? How about billing, receipting, letter management, clinical notes, appointment and procedure booking, prescribing, test ordering, income documentation, and much much much more. 

So yes this all sounds fantastic in theory, but what are the real benefits of this? How will my company be improved? Well we are glad you asked! When an office says they are going paperless, they are scanning documents into their computer system to eliminate filing cabinets! This allows for a multitude of different things. For one, you can safely access your documents from anywhere, such as from the web or synchronizing files. Let’s not forget about natural disasters. What if a robbery occurs or a fire burns the place down? Now, poof, your files are gone. When stored electronically, you can rest easy knowing your patient information is safe!

One of the most basic benefits we have here is MORE SPACE! We all remember walking to the front desk of an office and seeing a wall full of files taller than Yao Ming! Hundreds of thousands of files, most looking cluttered, overstuffed, or unorganized. With electronic files, all of your files are in your computer, eliminating the massive (and potentially hazardous) file cabinets! There are many cases of injury via these monstrous metal sliding file cabinets like those found in doctor’s offices! Read once instance here

One often overlooked benefit of electronic filing is the ability of a company to handle growth.Let’s say you opened a business anticipating about 500 clients, so you purchased an office to accommodate that size. After a few years, your company grows in popularity and now you have about 3,000 clients. Now you have a little over 30,000 pieces of paper to track and store in the 3,000 client records! With that much paper to keep track of, you will not only need to purchase more space and hire more people to track and file these items, but if one gets misplaced, government laws such as HIPAA regulations can shut your entire business down. Do yourself a favor and make things a little easier!

Lastly, let’s not overlook the cost of paper itself! On average, you can get about 500 sheets of paper for $2.99. Let’s say over one year you use about 30,000 for each client, throw in 5,000 for messed up forms you discard of, and 15,000 for office materials. That’s 50,000 sheets of paper. This is a SAFE estimate, usually people end up using much more than this! So for 50,000 sheets of paper, that’s about $300.00 a year. If the businessman in you sees that as no big deal, then we can at least play at your heart strings. One tree can be used to create roughly 8,300 sheets of paper. If you are using 50,000 sheets per year, that’s 6.25 trees. And that is a rough estimate, and your office alone! Think of every doctors office in the world!

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Here at Advantec, we create software that enables you to transform your business into a paperless one. Our auditing tools record every key piece of information so you will never need to dig around looking for a paper trail again. Also, our client and employee managers allows you to store the basic information about each employee. If you need to schedule appointments and bill your customers, we have a module for that, too!

So if you were hearing all the buzz about paperless offices and wanted to learn a little more, hopefully we gave you some quick insight into why this conversion is so advantageous! If you have any questions or want to learn how to take the first steps into becoming a paperless company, visit our website! We would be happy to provide you with all the information you are seeking!





The AmTryke Road Show!

20 09 2012

Here at Advantec we support many different clients over a multitude of different industries. Our clients work in industries ranging from the Legal Industry to the Medical Industry. In order to best serve them, we always try to keep up with the current events that are happening in each individual history, especially when it involves our clients themselves!

One of our clients, AMBUCS, is known for creating tricycles for children with special needs. As a non-profit organization, AMBUCS consists of a diverse group of people who are dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities. 

We all remember being young and learning to ride a bicycle, but for some children with certain disabilities, they often do not get the chance to create this important memory. Thanks to the AmTryke Therapeutic Tricycle, individuals who are unable to operate a standard bicycle can learn to ride and enjoy the experience. To date, over 15,000 AmTrykes have been distributed, most being purchased through volunteer donations and many simply donated.  The tricycles are so unique because they can be hand and/or foot operated and accommodate various degrees of physical limitations. 

Another service that AMBUCS is dedicated to is their scholarship program for therapy students in their junior or their senior year. They have awarded scholarships to over 14,000 students pursuing degrees in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, and audiology. The total amount in scholarships that they have awarded thus far totals over $7.7 million dollars.

 

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This amazing organization has a recent event coming up that we thought our readers and friends would like to know about. The event is called the AmTryke Road Show, which is a collection of events held throughout the year and across the country that has a goal of creating awareness among therapy professionals of their program. An AmTryke trailer filled with equipment and accessories is brought to organizations such as clinics, rehabs, and children’s hospitals. Each stop on the road show can include an in-service training and/or a bike day event.

For more information about an event coming to your area, check their Events Calendar page! It should be an amazing event and you get the chance to help an amazing cause! As always, for more information about our clients and our products, visit Advantec’s Website





Double the Trouble- Transplants Saving Lives

13 09 2012

There are many reasons why people live out their lives missing one or more of their limbs. Sometimes a serious accident occurs where it is just impossible to save. Other times it is a disease or an injury that eliminates the possibility of re-attaching that part of the body. In the case of Katy Hayes, a flesh-eating bacteria was the cause of the amputation of not just one arm or one leg, but all four limbs. 

Hayes is only 44 and resides in Texas. As a mother of three children and a career in massage therapy, she relies heavily on the use of her hands and feet. After the bacteria got a hold of her, she found herself a quadruple amputee. Living life without any arms or legs may seem unbearable, but there is hope on the horizon. Hayes was recently approved to be the first person in the United States to get not just one, but a double arm transplant.

The infection started two years ago, and doctors said she would probably not survive the ordeal. Fortunately, enough nerve and muscle was saved and the transplant is possible due to the fact that the amputation occurred about mid-bicep. If successful, the surgery will allow her to bend her elbows and lift herself out of a wheelchair. Image

Because so little has been done on research and surgeries in this field, there’s no way of determining a statistical probability that this will succeed. One similar procedure occurred in Germany, however the results were not disclosed. Being formally approved, the surgery is planned to happen soon and attempt to return to her the independence that she once had. 

There may not be many statistics on double arm transplants, but there are quite a few on amputation in general. The top four causes of amputation in the United States are congenital, cancer, trauma, and dysvascular.Flesh-eating bacteria, which is not one of the most common causes by far, is a rare infection of the deeper layers of the skin. It spreads quite rapidly and release toxins which cause destruction of the tissue. It is a serious threat, because as you can see it does so much harm to humans. 

Hayes’ surgery is being planned and we plan to follow it every step of the way. We here at Advantec support many of our clients who work in the medical fields. One of our clients, AMBUCS, even helps to create bicycles for children that enable the use of peddling with their hands so those with disabilities can enjoy the same physical joys as those without them. Many clients also work in the assisted living and personal care industries, helping people with disabilities to overcome challenges and live the life they always dreamed of. 

For more information on Katy Hayes’ case, visit her family blog. For more information on Advantec Software and how we can help YOUR organization, visit us at www.findsocialservicesoftware.com!

 





Unlimbited Possibilities

7 09 2012

As a company who supports clients that provide aid to the disabled, one of our favorite things to do at Advantec is to read stories of those overcoming their physical capabilities. Thanks to science, technology, and generous strangers, people all across the world are learning to not only live with disabilities, but to tear down the barriers they create and excel in a field that they are passionate about. 

 

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One such story that touches our heart is that of Ryder, a three year old boy from Buffalo, New York. Ryder is a little boy with aspirations of becoming a hockey player. In utero, Ryder’s leg stopped growing, and at just one year old his parents made the difficult decision of choosing to have his leg amputated. Playing hockey is hard enough with both limbs, so they were at a loss for what to do.

Despite the physical challenge, Ryder excelled at Hockey! However, his leg wouldn’t twist on the ice, capping his abilities and putting a halt to his talent. In February, in hopes of inspiring someone through her son and beginning a foundation, Ryder’s mother, Mindy, posted a YouTube video. Thousands saw it and became inspired by the little boy’s passion and determination. Miraculously, someone who wished to remain anonymous saw the story and contacted the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. That generous stranger paid for a trip to the Windy City and two prosthetic legs for the young boy.

One of the legs is waterproof, so Ryder can swim or shower with two limbs. Another is a leg specially made for the purpose of playing hockey, so now he can skate more easily. 

The boy’s parents, overwhelmed with gratitude, even began a foundation they named Unlimbited. They want to raise money to help provide prosthetic limbs to other children like their son so they can have the same abilities as Ryder. They even were considering starting a limb bank so those who cannot afford limbs can share them with others.A local hockey team, the Buffalo Sabres, also reached out and Ryder even got the chance to skate with them!

Ryder’s story is among many that can give us strength and hope about life. Disabilities really can’t be classified as disabilities anymore- not with all of the technology and generous organizations that are slowly turning physical barriers into a thing of the past.

For more information about this young boy’s journey, visit Ryder’s Video. To see some of our clients who work in similar industries, or to learn about how Advantec plays a part in helping those with disabilities, visit our webpage!





MIcrosoft and Windows 8 Sharing YOUR information?

24 08 2012

As a company that writes software that holds the important data of numerous businesses, safety is a must. Since our software is run on PC’s, we are always on the lookout for anything that will threaten a computer’s security. With all the talk of companies sharing too much information, it was interesting to come across this next piece of information about Microsoft and Windows 8.

Here in the office I use a Windows XP operating system but at home I run WIndows 8, and I must say from the very start I was awfully impressed with its speed and functionality. The only issue is this one feature they have implemented. It is supposed to be helpful and safe, but it leaves behind a lot of holes in security!

So this new feature is called Windows Smart Screen, which by default is on. Its purpose is to filter every application you try to download from the internet to see whether it is safe or not. Let’s say you want to download a game, so you click the download button and the installer is opened. Here, Windows Smart Screen gathers information about the application and sends the data to Microsoft. If they reply saying the application isn’t signed with the proper certificate, the user gets an error that tries to stop them from completing the download.

That sounds all fine and dandy, right? Hey Microsoft is looking out for me! They’re trying to make sure I don’t download an app with a malicious virus attached, right? Maybe. The biggest problem is that Windows 8 is set up to IMMEDIATELY tell Microsoft about every application you download. Does this strike you as a privacy problem? Because it should! So now Microsoft has all this information about your downloads. They then become a prime candidate for being subpoenaed or receiving National Security Letters that are intended to monitor targeted users. So now, given the right legal documentation, someone can request to see all of your downloads in the past year. Even if you have nothing to hide, that’s still a huge invasion!

But wait, it gets worse! It may even be possible to intercept SmartScreen’s communications and learn about what each individual is downloading! Angry coworker, neighbor, boss, family member? All you need is one unpleasant person from someone’s past to get a little tech savvy and this person’s sensitive data could be compromised! One more fun little fact; the server is configured to support SSLV2. This is KNOWN TO BE INSECURE! In the past it has been susceptible to interception, so that’s what we are trusting our personal information with!

Interesting, right? So now let’s get to fixing the problem. 1. Open the control panel and select the System & Security link. 2.Select Action Center 3. Expand the security list and scroll down, looking for the Windows SmartScreen option. 4. Click the Change Settings link. 5. Change the radio button from the default option to the bottom option. NOW you’re ready to go!

There are many lessons to learn from in this day and age, one of which being “Don’t trust all default settings!” At Advantec, we are always looking for ways to improve our software and its security. For clients in important businesses, we want to provide the safest and most reliable software we possibly can!

For more information about Windows SmartScreen, see this link for a simple FAQ. If you want some more information on Advantec’s security, visit www.findsocialservicesoftware.com!





Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence- Memory Disorders of the Modern Age

24 08 2012

The typical Memory Disorder comes in the form of Alzheimer’s Disease for the elderly, or banging your head hard enough for the accident-prone folk of the world. However, some new types of memory disorders are appearing recently. One man was unable to receive help from most doctors, because the disorder was unlike one that they encountered before. 

The man, who chooses to remain anonymous, had been experiencing very strange symptoms. Usually with Alzheimer’s, one looses pieces of information slowly over a period of time. With concussions, one usually only loses the memory attached to a time frame on or near the incident. In this patient’s case, every piece of information he had gathered were vague memories that laid just outside of reach. He attributed it to an advanced case of déjà vu, but his sense of recognition seemed more advanced than that. It was as if he was reliving all of the past events, recognizing every new moment as an old one. The doctors were baffled, and had no idea how to treat him, until a younger and willing doctor came into the picture.

The young doctor’s name is Chris Moulin. Upon meeting the patient, Moulin noted that he was extremely friendly and sharp as a tack with the exception of any recent memories. He also noted that the patient would often fabricate details to fill in the missing pieces of his memory, making a true diagnosis slightly more challenging. 

Memory disorders are very fascinating to think about, because how exactly is it that our minds retain information so well? Do we understand our own thought processes well enough that we can find the exact step where the process gets halted and call it a memory disorder? It makes you think how exactly do you know when something is familiar? How do we tell memory from dreams? When we search our memories, how do we truly know we aren’t simply making it all up as we go along?

Medical associations have come up with a few simple ways to test and improve memory. One is to check our memories against sources such as books and video. Studies suggest that when we call up memories such as flashbacks or specific moments, our brains replay a compressed version of that memory, with details always subject to change. Some events get emphasized while some get dropped completely. 

Even stranger is the way that modern science is affecting research on this topic. In labs all over the world, scientists are discovering different ways to turn memories on and off. They even figured out how to transfer a recognition response from one brain to the other, what they are now calling “hybrid memories.” They define it as neural activity patterns that encode familiarity with new places and experiences. 

So are they saying that all of our memories are a hoax and that nothing we remember is actually real? No, not at all. We do need to consider that it may not always be the major memory glitch that causes the problem. Traumatic experiences or psychotherapy can distort memories just enough to inspire a false accusation. Every year, inaccurate eyewitness testimony continues to send innocent people to prison. 

So what’s the best thing to do? Take everything with a grain of salt, remain skeptical, and remember that absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence. If you remember the sights, sounds, and smells, chances are you’ve experienced that memory. You might not remember a particular detail, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

We here at Advantec are always keeping up with medical research that directly correlates to the industries that our clients work in. Some of our major clients are in the Personal Care, Assisted Care, Mental Health, and Group Home Industries. We are proud to support them and help their businesses run as planned, so more time can be spent with their clients and less time in the office!

If you want to test your own memory, go to the Selective Attention Test. It is a one minute video requiring no sound that will quickly challenge your memory!

For more information about Memory Disorders, see UCSF’s link! To learn more about Advantec’s software for Group Homes, Mental Health, Personal Care Services, and Assisted Care Services, visit Advantec’s Web Page!

 

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Assisted Living- How the ACA Affects YOU!

22 08 2012

As the software provider for many clients in the Assisted Care and Personal Care industries, we understand that matters that are important to you automatically become matters that are important to us, too! Take, for example, all of the health care reform acts currently being discussed. Many senior living companies, as well as our own, have been concerned about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It could change the way that the companies are run, and how they provide insurance to their employees. Many were concerned at first, however, they may not have realized that the act also comes with many positive aspects as well. The bill contains funding for innovative methods of providing care for senior living residents, and that could have a huge positive impact on the industry.

Health care providers can access these opportunities by getting involved in a number of initiatives and programs that seek to increase the supply of geriatricians, develop managed care models, and promote community-based and non-institutional care. Don’t believe us? Brookdale Senior Living, one of the largest providers of senior services, took advantage of the bill just last month. Through it, they received over $7,000,000! The money came from an ACA initiative that made nearly $1,000,000,000 available to a variety of health care innovators. 

This all happened when Congress passed the health care reform law back in 2010. One of the President’s major plans was to improve health care while saving money. Many provisions of this act strive to improve access to long term care and community based services that support seniors and people with disabilities. This is all great news for our clients!

The ACA launched the Health Care Innovative Awards not too long ago. Organizations were called upon to pitch projects that could improve the quality while reducing costs to the health care system. About 3,000 organizations applied with their programs, and about 100 of them were awarded with $900 million of grant money made available through the health care law- Brookdale being one of them! The one hundred recipients of the awards have projects that are estimated to save the health care system an estimated $1.9 BILLION over the next three years.

Besides the Awards Program, there are a number of programs introduced by ACA taht could benefit our clients in this industry.Most of them involve a transition strategy in which movement away from institutional settings is encouraged and movement towards a community based organization is recommended. 

Another intiative is to push to increase the amount of geriatricians. One primary concern is that the rate of senior citizens is growing at too fast of a pace for the rate of certified geriatricians to catch up, leaving a shortage of doctors. To help solve this program, the HHS is establishing a grant program to help those looking to go into that field of medicine assistance with tuition and fee assistance. 

 

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We will continue to look for and post any information that is applicable to the industries that our clients work in. Here at Advantec, we only want the best for our clients, and we will go to any length to do so. For more information on healthcare and this industry, visit http://www.alfa.org.

For more information on CSM software for the Personal Care, Assisted Living, Mental Health, and Group Home industries, visit us at http://www.findsocialservicesoftware.com. 

 

 








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