12Jul
0

Electronic health and medical records can be found in virtually every healthcare context these days. Dental offices, clinics, hospitals, long-term residential care facilities, and physicians’ offices all rely on digitized patient information. However, healthcare organizations are also responsible for maintaining the integrity and security of their data, protecting patient files from accidental or intentional leaks. If you work as a healthcare leader, here are three things to keep in mind when it comes to patient data security.

Encrypted Backups

Backups play a significant role in your IT strategy, and it is vital that you maintain backups in the event of equipment failure or loss. However, these backups shouldn’t be accessible to just any person who accesses this information. Scrambling your data with encryption can prevent someone from viewing and leaking data, even if they have stolen a backup drive. Only those authorized to decrypt this information can access the data copies. Healthcare organizations should explore encryption for both cloud and hardware backups.

System Security

Data theft is usually a crime of opportunity. For example, someone might steal a physician’s smartphone if it is forgotten on a bus stop bench. If the smartphone hasn’t been secured with a passcode, then all of the data on this physician’s smartphone becomes compromised. This can be a major confidentiality concern, since the physician might have sensitive patient correspondences and documents on the smartphone. You can prevent issues such as these by using best practices to secure both remote and in-house technologies. Require that employees use passcodes on all devices that store work-related information. If possible, use services like Android Device Manager or iCloud to track and remotely wipe devices if they are stolen or lost. This can help ensure that sensitive information doesn’t get leaked out to unauthorized viewers.

Secure Database Software

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommend that healthcare organizations search for electronic health record software with built-in data security safeguards, including database record encryption and audit trails. Before you commit to a particular EHR system, talk to your IT department to ensure that this software solution is actually reputable and secure.

Your patients rely on healthcare organizations to maintain their HIPAA rights. Medical facilities can protect themselves against healthcare litigation by ensuring that their record keeping systems are secure. Your patients can benefit greatly if your organization invests in secure tech solutions and best practices.

11Jul
0

usb

From smartphone chargers to computer mice to fans, plug-and-use USB devices are omnipresent in our daily lives. What few know, however, is that USB devices have considerable limitations, chiefly the relatively small amounts of power most are able to process. This prevents manufacturers from developing larger, more power-intensive devices, and it limits the amount of devices that can be plugged into any one computer. That looks to be changing, however. In June 2014, prominent developer Goodway Technologies unveiled new, powerful USB docking solutions that allow higher power outputs than ever before. These will provide more variety for manufacturers of USB and other mobile devices as well as shore up on recent safety concerns.

The Technology

Goodway began developing the new standard USB Power Delivery specifications in response to increased demand from tablet companies for more powerful USB chargers. While a number of tablets are able to be charged on current USBs, their charge and data transfer rates are severely limited. With the new specifications, however, tablets and even small televisions will be able to share information and charge with any number of computers. Even more excitingly for many, this connection will be two-way: If your laptop is dying but your iPad fully charged, you can set the USB charger to siphon energy from your tablet and direct it to your laptop computer. A number of manufacturers have already picked up on the design, and you can expect to see these new USB devices by December 2014.

Applications

In addition to tablet manufacturers, a number of other designers of USB devices have begun to take advantage of this new technology. First and foremost, the cities of Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, have begun to install USB charging benches in parks. These innovative pieces of architecture will allow park-goers to enjoy devices of any size without worrying about bulky battery cases. Other exciting new offerings include a number of heavy-duty USB routers, for using as many as a dozen devices on the same computer, and high-capacity USB business cards, allowing advertisers to store and distribute promotional products with pizazz and free publicity.

Who’s Excited?

While these applications appeal to a vast customer base of tablet users, the people most excited about this expanded USB capacity are digital content creators and computer programmers. With new tools like the Arduino USB Host Shield, even small-time developers with minimal resources can afford to make and test new content for both computers and mobile devices. While the full details are quite technical, the Host Shield essentially lets users connect development boards and other tools directly to traditional desk and laptops, minimizing the need to purchase special equipment just for software development purposes. Independent animators are particularly excited as previously uploading bulk sketches from mobile devices could take hours. With the high-speed uploading made possible by this latest innovation in USB technology, however, even large transfers can be finished in minutes.

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11Jul
0

As your company grows, its communication platforms must also scale to meet the needs of your business. Unfortunately, many companies outgrow their platforms and leaders neglect to improve these systems. This can result in a range of concerns, such as security, conversation continuity, cost, and support. If your company hasn’t already explored unified communications (UC) solutions, then your leaders should reassess your current strategies.

Security

Consumer level mobile, desktop, and laptop platforms are a poor substitute for your business communications. Popular IM, phone, and video chat platforms might be great for daily casual use, but they are less than ideal for your work-related correspondences. Award-winning secure UC solutions provide employees with secure channels, so that you never have to worry about who’s listening in. Your IT department will breath a sigh of relief, because UC can eliminate many of the data breach and accountability fears that they are subject to when employees use consumer channels to discuss business.

Performance

Have you ever experienced static or interrupted connections during a conference call? This can lead to untold hours of lost productivity, especially if your team relies on remote correspondences to get everyone on the same page. UC systems are built to handle the traffic of group conversations, so you won’t have to suffer through unexpected downtimes, annoying disruptions, and noise pollution.

Support

Companies that invest in UC systems gain the advantage of having dedicated support teams to resolve issues and meet your company’s needs. Unlike consumer communication platforms like Skype, Google Chat, and other platforms, UC support teams are extremely familiar with the needs of midsize and enterprise organizations. Whether you’re trying to troubleshoot call forwarding, group calls, or other telephony solutions, a UC support team will have you covered.

Cost

Since UC systems rely on SIP trucking rather than traditional VoIP technologies, your employees will waste less time jumping into a conversation. UC systems can be scaled to meet your company’s needs, so that you aren’t tied to feature bundles that don’t apply to your needs. These customizable plans can free up your company’s budget so that you can focus on growing other areas of your business.

Growing companies often realize that they must start scaling their communication strategy to meet their needs, in order to remain competitive. Investing in a flexible UC system can vastly improve your communications performance while lowering expenditures. You’ll see a remarkable jump in your company’s internal productivity.

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