Articles in the ‘Healthcare IT’ Category



I don’t think i need to show you how to use the spell check.  Most of us have used this feature in email clients, word processing software like MS Word and many other places.

This feature is also available in Dentrix.  Next time you are entering the notes in patient record – take a quick look at the ABC icon.  Simply click on this icon to check the spelling in your notes.  You may also press “alt” plus “number 1” key at the same time.  


Have you tried using the Dentrix Screen Capture tool ?  



This tool is very similar to “Print Screen Button” available on most standard keyboards.   You may find this button coupled with other button.  On my keyboard I can see the “insert/print screen” button in the top row of my keyboard, next to f12.  Pressing this button (in some machines you may have to press function key + print screen button) will copy the entire screen (everything you see on your current monitor screen). Now you can simply paste the screen in email or in word document.  You can also open image editing program like “paint” and edit the image after pasting it.   This tool is really cool for saving the screen shots.

Now, lets get back to Dentrix.  Yes, you can use the print screen button if you want to capture an error or problem that you may later want to show to your IT Manager (hopefully that is one of us).  However, what if you want to save that data in your patient record ???

This is where Dentrix Screen Capture Tool can be really helpful.  Here is how you can access this tool:

Please open up the Dentrix Document Center. You can click on file and select the document center.

1. From the Document Center toolbar, select Acquire > Screen Capture.
2. From the Screen Capture dialog box, select  Start Capture. The mouse icon changes from an arrow to a cross-hair icon.
3. Click and drag over the area of the screen you  want to import into the Document Center. When you release the mouse, the image is automatically stored in the patient’s Document Center

You can use this really cool Dentrix Screen Capture tool to save any image on your computer screen,  including graphics, images from third-party software, X-rays, perio charts, and Web pages. These images can be stored directly in a patient’s Document Center.


Report of numerous data breach events has created panic in people. Patients are no longer sure whether to trust doctors or the management authority. While HIPAA constituted safety rules against theft of Protected Private Information, no concrete implementation of Violation laws can be cited.  However with reputation at stake, hospitals and other medical care units are trying their best to follow HIPAA measures that has been designed to protect health care sector from external technical raids, interference and data breach incidents.

 HIPAA / Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act focuses on security aspects of using electronic medical reports (for storage and transfer) . For an administrator of a hospital it is impossible to file records in the manual way. Therefore most hospitals have a computing system that can help with remote access, data collection, and maintenance and relocation of important documents and records. To secure such extensive information, HIPAA recommends using security tool-kits. One such tool was recently introuduced by The  National Institute of Standards and Technology.  You can download a free copy of here.

 HIPAA security tool-kits can be applied to both small and large scale business. Such tool-kits contain operation manual in the form of guide book, video etc. security tool kit   helps in thorough risk management. There are numerous HIPAA security tool kits in the market: CPRI kit, NCHIC’s HIPAA overview tool, SEI’s Self risk assessment tool, WEDI’s HIPAA security summit implementation and many more.

 CPRI kit can mitigate daily risks through constant updates on security laws, implementing deploy technology and augmenting patients co-operation. It also caters to issues in Electronic usage; like faxing, mailing, maintaining HCFA internet policy and prevention of internet hacking. Overall such program consolidates disaster recuperation and business expansion plans,

 To properly utilize security tools the first and foremost thing that the management can do is prepare a risk-assessment plan. This way identifying the problems will become easier. Designing appropriate policy and contracts pertaining to the industry (look up HIPAA, FTC, PPI, and HHS laws) is also an important step. security tool-kits are designed to perform such tasks in a calibrating manner.

 To avail HIPAA security tool kit, look up internet and start analyzing. To choose the right application/ tool-kit, you can consult online personnel. Security tool-kits should be able to address all HIPAA concerns. Another alternative is to check with NIST’s (National institute of Standards and Technology) advanced HIPAA toolkit that has been recently launched.

 This one encompasses all basic security issues, like access control, physical security and back-up; disaster-management program, like legal procedures to undergo after a breach event; risk management issues; and both employer and patient’s personnel issues.


Have you ever wonder if long working days make you tired or if it is your desk, chair, computer, or significant other  that is draining your energy?  You take eight hour of sleep, drink lots of water, eat properly and exercise as needed and yet deal with lack of energy and painful joints.  It’s like pain never goes away, no matter what you do.  Pain medication some time give temporary relive but problem revisit within a day or two. You ask yourself, why, what am I missing?  

Next step – A Doctor visit.  After shelling $25 or $50 for co-pay you are told to pick up for some over the counter drug.  In some cases, you may also go for fancy X-Ray or some other test.   Your helpless husband or wife may also take you for deep tissue massage for peaceful hour or two.  But you are finding all your efforts to be fruitless with no long term relief.

During my recent visit to one of my customer, Dr. Jack Thomas, I learned how Chiropractor can become really helpful in such situations.  Jack explained me the concept of “back alignment.”   Initially it sounded like a buzz word but Jack sounded very enthusiastic about his practice and totally believed in this method of alternative medicine.  I wanted to believe Jack as well but little voice in the back of my head was asking, “How can you fix back, shoulder, and head pain by adjusting your spine?” 

Dr Thomas was very accommodating and explained me how misalign joints can cause extra pressure around bones and result in pain.  He quickly pointed at my misaligned back and showed me where I was having pain.  “We will fix this today,” Jack further explained. He was not kidding.   Jack advised me on few changes in habits and recommended a regular visit to Chiropractor.

Treatment started with relaxing 30 minutes massage in professional grade massage chair followed by an alignment of my back and neck.   Whole process took about an hour.  This one hour visit rejuvenated me without taking a weeklong vacation.    I found myself free of pain and ready to go back to work.  

 I was very happy with the treatment I received and quite satisfied by Dr. Jack Thomas advice.  He made me true believer of “back alignment”.   I will surely return for my next visit in coming months. 

You can find Dr Jack Thomas online by visiting his website:  Dr Jack practices in Hayward and sees patients from Monday to Saturday by appointments.   Give him a call today to get your back aligned.  You won’t regret it.   

Health care management is lot about analyzing and assorting risk possibilities that can threaten or disrupt the infrastructure and workability of an institution. Unlike other sectors health care industry cannot work on compromises. It has to constantly upgrade itself for better deliverance and to tackle several managerial issues.

 The security factor counts high when it comes to health care management. Several Acts and declarations passed by the federal government deals with protection of risks against:

  • Malfunctioning of computing system because of a malware/ virus
  • Unprecedented accidents like fire
  • Theft of information by employee
  • Unintentional damage to hardware and software
  • Removal of data and records etc

Apart from the aforesaid factors it is also necessary to understand how a management is liable to protect personal information of a patient. Infact with several data breach incidents that has been lately filed in news columns, patients are enquiring about their rights to data protection and are also taking legal aid from professional attorneys in order to safeguard their interests during data breach. This awareness has in turn boosted administrative set up to implement proper protection programs to reduce security threats.

 Some points have been enlisted below that can help medical care units/ organizations reduce security breaches:

  •  Appropriate training for concerned executives is a must. People who are in charge of such security acts should be efficiently trained in soft skill application. Emergency restorative plans should be pre-formulated along with adequate recruitment of trained personnel.
  •  Risks should be analyzed on the basis of Private Health Information Act. Negligence should not be tolerated and an employee should be reprimanded of bad/ indifferent/ ignorant conduct.

 While the above two points illustrates much on employee performance and conduct from hereon we will discuss how important it is to engage technical security tools to properly systemize and mitigate system failure risks.

  •  HIPAA and HITECH has enumerated strict compliance protocol that needs a company to observe severe technical back up plans either or restorative purpose or for performing a calibrating task. NPDB usage has become popular with hospitals and medical centers. They enable remote access, proper data storage and data transfer in a secured manner. Also installing robust anti-virus protection, anti-spam, firewall, VNP and IDS programs are a must when handling security system integral to an industry.
  • Planning a cost effective budget regarding maintenance and security needs is a must. Manual work would probably take much more time and money than technical operatives.
  • Finally having a risk management plan is essential to cope with loss or theft of PHI and NPP.


Practice Fusion, robust free EMR community, recently announced 400 percent year over year growth in 2011.  According to their recent press release, over 130,000 medical professionals serving more than 28 million patients are currently using company’s free, web-based EMR system.

Practice Fusion offers complete solution integrating scheduling, charting, e-prescribing, lab integrations and referral letters for providers in small to medium practices.   It is no wonder that more physicians can now easily earn meaningful user incentive of up to $64,000 over the next few years.

 This would be good time to call Fixtro to set up a complimentary appointment to discuss your EMR/HER need.   We can help your understand Practice Fusion in more details and get you up and running in no time.

 Here are some great reasons to consider Practice Fusion:

 # 1 – It’s Free – Why pay for something you get for free.  No monthly fee at all.  Since you are not paying, you can cancel it anytime.  There is no contract and no money involved.

 # 2- Earn $44,000 – Take advantage of govt funding by showing the meaningful use of qualified HER system.  Did I mention – Practice Fusion is a Qualified EHR system.

 # 3 – No Server Needed – Guess what,  This Free EMR system is web based product.  You simply need an internet access and computer.  No server and no gadget is needed.

 #4 – Simplicity – Unlike other vendors, Practice Fusion is relatively straight forward. In most cases, you don’t need a consultant to get started. But consultant can help you put your concerns at ease and help you with training and set up.

 #5 – Security– You gets to keep your data safe and secure.  Practice Fusion use state of the art security and allows you to download your data anytime you wish.

 # 6 – Training – How about some free online training? You can start learning your new EMR system today. Simply log on to Independent consultants like Fixtro are also locally available to help you get the most out of your EMR system.

 #7 – Community – You are not alone!  You will access to hundreds of templates created by others to make life easier.  You can ask question, seek advice or promote concern – all online 24/7.

 #8 – Data Imports – You can easily import your excel sheets into system.  We can also help you import data from your other legacy system.

 #9 – Free Upgrades – We get to take advantage of new features and products every week.  And it’s all free.

 #10 – Quick start Up – You can get up and running today. Just call Fixtro at 510-709-4030 or visit


The importance of technical back-up to an administrative system is an unavoidable reality. The source and significance does not limit itself to prodigious multi-national business firms only. The need has become apparent in medical and health care units as well.

 A supporting case was reported a few days back when the Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia turned down all patients with Non-urgent medical conditions from admission owning to a “Virus” attack in their computing system. This limited possibilities of technical application and the administration found it difficult to cope with quick manual filing of procedure papers. Nonetheless this particular case is not the only instance that rings a warning bell. A similar incident occurred at New Zealand’s St John ambulance service. A certain un-identified malware attacked their computing system and interrupted online connectivity. As a result workers had to use manual radios.

 The primary cause of disruption still remains undiscovered. In all probabilities the management stated that the virus (Conficker or its variants) spread either from a USB stick or a personal laptop that a staff might have used on the sly. In both the above mentioned incidents, situations were restored in due time and functionally the management tidied the matter quite well. Another major instance that can be cited in reference to such technical failure is the London incident in 2008 when three hospitals were pulled down with more than 4700 computers being infected by a malware: Mytob.

 The resolve of such matters is not to keep every worker under physical surveillance; it is not a feasible idea. Rather the use of potent anti-virus protection, robust firewall, Intrusion protection program, Virtual private network system, URL blocking etc are viable options. A strong IT setup is required that will execute periodic scrutiny to keep the system in place and to keep it running unhindered. Industrial usage necessitates an effective technical build-up plan, a supportive strategizing that can work as an alternative in case the central system runs kaput. This is more than essential for a field as important as medicine and health. A little delay can cause loss of life which will go much against the reputation of an institution.

 Serious observational takes require the concerned management to consider all legislative lay-outs, the mandated protocols charted by Public Health Care Act. Conformity and compliance is a must.

 Take a look at your network one more time and ask the following questions.

 What preventive systems do we have in place?

      •  Network Security Devices
      • End Point Security
      • URL Filtering/Blocking
      • Email Security
      • Network Segmentation
      • Strong Passwords

 Are Employees Trained and Aware of Security?

      •  Employees should be trained on monthly basis.  They should be made aware of current trends and attacks going on in market.  They should be aware of the risk and how it will affect the practice and patients.
      • Have a network security policy that should be reviewed with each new employee.

 What will you do if your server or computers malfunction?

      •  Have a plan in place.  Play out the scenario with employees and see how they react to it and how quickly they can move to contingency plan.

 Give Fixtro a call to get a free network assessment.  Learn and understand the risk you may be taking. 


EHR stands for electronic health record, (also known as electronic patient record) and it is an organized collection of health information of patients/group of patients. Comprehensive summaries of health issues are kept in records for time-to-time access by patients and health care providers and such information includes medical history, age weight, radiological images, billing information etc.

 Benefits of EHR:

 1. Sometimes faulty diagnosis leads to major health problems. With EHR such errors can easily be minimized.

2. EHR helps a healthcare provider to have fast access to medical literature and current best practices in medicine; this helps him/her in critical decision making process.

 3. EHR helps to automate day to day processes thus reducing administrative cost and hassle which can then be used for patient care.

 4. Clinical research scopes have been multiplied by the EHR’s presence. It provides huge data that can be utilized by the professionals to further their knowledge.


Disadvantages of EHR:

 Among the significant disadvantages of EHR is the fact that its usage often results in short term decrease in productivity of the doctor as he spends much time trying to learn the nuances of the new system and the techniques of entering as well as storing his data. Apart from that EHR has a steep price tag and that some time deters medical practitioners from using it.

 Nonetheless despite the disadvantages EHR use seem to be on rise among medical professionals as tech vendors offer them products which are moderately priced and easy to use.

 An interesting fact to note is that with enhanced use of EHR, the use of PHR or personal health records is also on an upward growth curve. Even sometime back non availability of electronic medical data from doctors, a tedious setup processes as well as the static nature of personal health records (PHRs) had resulted in the unpopularity of the product. With ready availability of electronic data now PHR use seems to be on rise.

 PHR or Personal Healthcare Record is a highly effective way to keep health records, which can inform and educate the patients about their current health status, medical histories thus guiding the course of their treatment. Having such a comprehensive record makes diagnosis and treatment much easier.

 Unfortunately, however, customers keen on PHR are often provided with compartmentalized offerings –for instance a PHR of an insurance company might have all claim details but not clinical details as lab data which might be needed for diagnosis of a particular patient condition.

 Different IT providers have offered PHR, notable among them being Microsoft and Google. However, there has been a limited usage of this product though as per a 2011 study from consulting firm Deloitte there has been an increase in usage from 8 % to 11%. With an increased number of doctors using EHR, it is predicted that use of PHR too would be on rise.

Medical professionals are always on the go to find the most suitable device to make their work easy. Among their recent list of favorites Apple iPads seems to top the list. A recent survey done by QuantiaMD shows that as compared to 5% total of US population 30 % of the doctors are using iPad.

 So what attracts medical professionals toward iPads? The popular opinion seems to be that these devices are popular as they allow a physician to manage his daily practice despite being constantly on move. Certain popular applications that have made the device a hit among the physicians include:

  •  iPad WebMD: This application, that consists of a drug detection tool, information on treatment and first aid,  neighborhood health register and a tool to check symptoms, is extremely useful as a ready reckoner  for the physician.
  • The Merck Manual: It is like a digital version of the best seller medical text book, “The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy”. This is a handbook which most medical practitioner uses and it is thus extremely useful for the practicing doctor.
  • Medscape: This is a frequently downloaded medical application that provides regular medical update and also has tools to check drug interface and reference procedure.
  • Visual DX: It is a collection of reviewed medical images that allow the physicians to view a   visual representation of the disease thus ensuring diagnostic accuracy.
  • Special Apps for Cardiology and Oncology: The Oncologist and JACC iPad edition are the two specialized medical applications that are used by physicians in the domain of cardiology and oncology.
  • Med Page Today Mobile: The application presents exclusive news from the medical world.

 Such applications have ensured that iPad becomes a favorite among the practicing doctors. However, though most of the medical practitioners prefer it not all of them are favored towards the gadget and they point out that the device has several flaws some of which are as follows.

  •  Most EMR Applications are not built for touch screen devices as iPad. In most cases they need to be used in 21 inch monitor and cannot fit into tiny screens
  • The EMR applications are extremely keyboard and mouse driven and thus they are not fit enough to be used in a iPad. In fact users have provided negative reviews of Critix virtual desktop which is used to access and utilize such applications. The users have pointed out that the Critix virtual desktop is not fitted for the iPad as the users need to pinch and zoom field screens, use ones fingers to put in data to the screen and repeat the process again and again thus accounting for a tiresome user experience.
  • iPad does not have a camera and so you cannot take a photograph of the patient’s condition which at times is needed for diagnosis.
  • iPad touch screen does not work while one is wearing gloves, which is the usual case with medical practitioners.
  • Lots of medical portals use flash plugins. But absence of flash in iPad means those websites are out of bound for the user.
  • iPad is neither waterproof nor it can be disinfected easily.
  • Carrying such equipment can be a headache as it is big enough and cannot fit in the doctor’s coat pocket.
  • The battery life of maximum ten hours a day in iPad does not suit a doctor’s schedule at all. If switched off, it takes considerable time to recharge.
  • Medical practitioners require solid items that would not break the moment they are dropped. IPad is fragile.

Apart from these another major cause of concern for physicians while using iPad is the necessity to use Apple’s new iCloud storage –using this they feel would compromise the security of the data, in many cases which is confidential.

 In the health care world at the moment there is a lot of buzz about the iPad. While some swear by its benefits others are quick to point out its disadvantages. However, only with time we would be able to come to a final decision as whether the gadget is useful for the healthcare industry or simply another passing fad.