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!

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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!

 





Ancient Girl Brought To Life!

31 08 2012

Recently, a team of scientists has sequenced the genome of a very rare specimen. That specimen is an archaic Siberian girl! Using genome sequencing 31 times over, and using a new method that amplifies single strands of DNA, they have produced a near-complete genome of the girl! The genome was so complete that researchers can compare it to a living person’s. Just by looking at this genome, the researchers were able to establish that the girl had brown eyes, brown hair, and dark skin. Exactly how big of a feat is this? Considering the girl lived in Siberia’s Denisova Cave…over 50,000 years ago.

So what does this mean for modern science? Well DNA makes up all of who we are, and is also linked to diseases, illnesses, and defects. Using the genome from this girl, researchers have been working on producing a near-complete catalog of the small number of genetic changes that make us different from the people of this time. It provides much insight into our own DNA, and human evolution in general. 

Using some of the DNA obtained from other specimens, such as the Neandertals, comparison was made and has revealed much about the ancestry, migration habits, and interbreeding that took place 50,000 years ago. This may sound pretty simple, but it is not! To get a genome this complete, a very long and complex process took place. The process involved sequencing with single strands of DNA instead of double strands. Binding special molecules to the ends of the single strand, the DNA was held in place using enzymes that copied its sequence. The result was 20 times more DNA extracted than by previous procedures. 99.9% of the sequence was able to be used.

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Fun fact: Cultures who also contain some inherited Denisovan genes come from New Guinea and China!

Here is how it is already making an impact on the medical industry. The near complete catalog of the genome enabled researchers to see differences between our ancestors and ourselves. 111,812 nucleotides  have changed in modern humans in the past 100,000 years. Of those nucleotides included eight that were directly associated with the nervous system. These are associated with the growth of axons and dendrites, and most importantly a gene implicated in autism. We could be on the break of something huge here!

At Advantec, we will support anyone or anything who helps our clients! Many of our clients work in the medical industry, and we would be overwhelmed with joy to see new research help to cure their patients! This may be a few decades out, but hey why not get our hopes up? We have learned more as a race in the past century than we have for 400,000 years. 

For more information about this amazing new finding, check out CNN’s Article. And, as always, for more information about Advantec Software and what we can do for your business, visit us at Advantec’s Website!





Aging With Grace- The ‘Super Agers’ Phenomena!

30 08 2012

With many of our clients in the health care industry, we here at Advantec have come to know a lot about the struggles that many of their patients face. A major problem is that the older we get, our cognitive skills decline and our brain matter changes. Neurodegenerative diseases seem to take hold of many of us at a certain age, such as Alzheimers.

Despite the once-thought inevitable loss of our minds with the increase of our age, there appears to be a new phenomena. A group of 80 year-olds is making scientific waves because of an uncanny ability to age gracefully in a cognitive sense! With their age, their brains seem to somehow be immune to the typical declines in memory and thinking.

In a study published this Thursday, doctors had found something remarkable in the brains of these individuals. The area of brain housing is the most dense concentration of cells. This is also known as the outer layer of the brain, the cortex. In the ‘Super Agers’ this area was extremely thick compared to others their age. One of the primary functions of the cortex is memory. The thickness of the cortex was comparable with people in their fifties and sixties, which is quite amazing! That’s a twenty or thirty year difference!

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What does this mean for the world? It means that the insight their brains could provide could help potentially find a cure for cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s. What does this mean for the medical industry? Lots of new research and potentially saving lives- and memories! What does it mean for us? It means we get to proudly support the industries that are helping the ‘non-super agers’ to regain their health! 

For more research about cognitive diseases, visit Local Health’s Website. As always, for more information about Advantec and the software we custom-tailor for people, visit Advantec’s Website!





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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Exoskeleton Helps Toddler Play For First Time

22 08 2012

A two year old named Emma was born with a condition called Arthrogryposis, where she was born incapable of moving her arms. The devastated family was at a loss for what to do, and relentlessly searched for information about the condition and how they could help their daughter. 

While most of the doctors in the industry said she would not be able to move her arms, there were a few dedicated professionals who sought to disprove this fact and continue to look for alternative ways to help people with this disease. One of these individuals was Doctor Tariq Rahman. The family met Rahman when Emma’s mother heard about a conference in Philadelphia that was all about Arthrogryposis. 

At the conference, families of patients come to meet each other and share information. It was here that Rahman introduced the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton to the families. Since the condition makes it near impossible for the patient to move their arms, a metal exoskeleton was created to aid the patients. Using this exoskeleton, the movement of the arms is made easier.

Rahmna invited Emma and her family to his workshop, and here Emma was given a chance to use the exoskeleton. For the first time, Emma was able to lift her hands up to her mouth. What is even more amazing is the way in which this exoskeleton is created. A new phenomena known as 3D printing enables the engineer to create the item on the computer, specify its dimensions and attributes, and then print the item! So if a piece of the exoskeleton ever breaks, all they need to do is re-print the same piece again!

Emma and her family are currently fully accustomed to the exoskeleton, with Emma referring to them as her “Magic Arms.” One day, the doctors came by to make a few edits to the exoskeleton. When they removed them from Emma, she cried out “I want those!” It was then that her mother started crying, because that was her first sentence.

If those in the medical industry just settled for average, experiences like this would never be possible. With technology advancing every second, the possibilities for the future really are endless. We at Advantec are proud to support people in this industry. They not only save lives, but change them completely. 

To see a short video about Emma’s journey, visit Fox 19’s Video.

For more information on how Advantec software can help businesses in this industry, visit us at theAdvantec WebpageImage








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