Technology today is ever growing; and to keep up with it requires constant learning and dedication. For instance, the computer software is just one thing to learn for your medical office staff; but now we have smart cell phones, smaller smarter computers, social media, and many other areas on which to focus our learning attention. How is this new technology affecting your medical office today?
You may think that technology is a slowly invasive means to an end with healthcare reform and adapting an EHR (Electronic Health Record). However, it could actually be creeping in on you in unsuspecting ways such as texting on phones, internet gazing, apps for phones, and the whole arena of social media communication going on right under your nose.
If you have internet connection at your medical office then you will be facing the challenges with preventing viruses to your computers from downloads. You will also most likely be installing firewalls and possibly private secure networks to protect patient data and information. Some medical office managers go as far as installing monitoring software on office computers so that employee activity can be monitored throughout the day.
How will you control the use of digital devices that use applications, texting, social media and other new software within your medical practice? Are you aware that there are smart pens that record audio and written material? Oh yes, technology could be coming into your practice at a much more rapid rate than going out it appears.
The importance of up-to-date policies and procedures cannot be stressed highly enough for the medical office especially. You will need to create a policy for internet usage, cell phone usage, and other similar devices and software. Knowing exactly what your practice needs will help you determine the correct policy limits for this type of situation. Your policy needs to include acceptable behavior which is clearly defined. It also needs to include a clear definition of unaccepted behavior and the consequences for breaching the policy.
Lastly, you will be required as the medical practice manager to implement and enforce the policy within your practice. How do you enforce a new policy? Most office managers will hold a meeting to distribute and discuss the new policy information, and provide time for questions and answers. It is also a good idea to have employees initial or sign acknowledgement of the new policy with its clear effective date.
Revisit your policy from time to time to make sure it is current and covers up-to-date material and situations. As we all well know, new gadgets are added to the mainstream every day and will soon find their way into your practice. It is just part of our life, like it or not.