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Are you at risk to be on the "Wall of Shame" for breaches in patient privacy?


Jonathan Govette

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of @ReferralMD

Wall of Shame Are you at risk to be on the Patient's privacy is being tested more and more these days due to many forms of communication between practitioners being sent on paper (Ex. Triplicate form or fax referrals) and daily activities done with personal laptops that are easily lost, stolen, or become inoperable.

Did you know?

Over 435 organizations have had breaches affecting more than 500 patients

The "Wall of Shame" has been posted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is updated regularly.  You do not want to have you or your organization's reputation at risk by using antiquated methods to store and communicate data.

Take a quick look at the list, notice anything? There are some very recognizable names on the list.  Do not become one of them.

Do you love statistics? Take a look at a great healthcare infographic about how broken our communication system really is.

How to protect yourself

Browser wars Are you at risk to be on the

1.  Update your browsers to IE9, Chrome, or Firefox
If you are still using Internet Explorer 6, which was released in August 2001, get your IT department, your staff, or the kid down the street to help you.  It's not hard, and will save you the embarrassment and huge liability of potentially being infected by viruses that could destroy or steal data. Technology isn't scary is actually rather useful, and websites will look and run so much better with the newer versions of browsers that are out today.

Side-note: if you are still on Internet Explorer 6, its time to have a nice conversation with your IT staff, and also the vendors that are too lazy to upgrade their software to the modern age. By the way, even if the software you use to run your practices only works on certain browsers (ex. IE6), you can still install the newer versions of Chrome, or Firefox for searching the net. Trust us its well worth the upgrade.

Article that we wrote about - Dangers of Internet Explorer and your healthcare organization's security.

referralmd logo ad Are you at risk to be on the

2. Update your referral workflow to a paperless solution such as ReferralMD's electronic referral service that helps 2 providers communicate referrals online vs. triplicate forms and faxes.

What are the benefits?

  • Process referrals in minutes instead of days/hours
  • Reduce no show patients which can increase revenues
  • Reduce staffing time managing referrals. Save customers up to 96 percent of overhead costs when dealing with referral management.  An average practice that exchanges 200 referrals a month can save up to 1,600 hours a year or $66,000.
  • Identify referral trends within the organization and quickly address problematic clinics with accurate real time reporting of payer mix, referral quantity reports, and in and out of network identifiers to manage leakage.
  • Reduce risk associated with managing paper triplicate forms and faxes which can lead to lawsuits and lower standards of care for patients.

online backup Are you at risk to be on the

3. Backup your data
Believe it or not, many doctors do not back up their files, and just hope that nothing happens.  Best bet to save your data and your sanity is to use a service such as Carbonite which backs up your data daily so you do not have to worry.

If you are one of those offices that still use tape backups or "Gasp" DVD's to protect your data, it's time to upgrade fast.  We know you have good intentions, but do you really backup your data daily?

images Are you at risk to be on the 4. Stop using e-mail to send information
We have heard so many stories about patient information being sent to personal staff accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo, etc, its shocking and against the law.

Here is a short personal story about emailing patient referrals that I have seen time and time again.

Share your best security practices

Share this article with your staff and your colleagues, I bet it gets them talking. Then please come back after and leave a comment.

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@TechnicalJones: Guest Blogger - @ReferralMD

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Three Medical Marketing Tips for Your Online Presence

Medical Marketing | Dental Marketing Services - 3 Tips

You may have a website, a Facebook page, a blog. You have some type of online presence and you are wondering how you might use it to market your practice.

If you're new at this or just getting started, these three medical marketing tips can help you establish and build your online presence into a useful marketing tool. 

Blog. There is no better way to get your presence known than to write a blog. Don't think of it as a marketing piece. Think of it as a way to share information and educate your readers. 

If you write a blog...

  • Have a clear point of view and share it
  • Write in a reader-friendly, conversational tone
  • Keep it to less than 500 words (readers have a short attention span)
  • Add a question at the end to solicit input and generate conversation
  • Wrap it up with a referral to your website

Keep in mind people reading your blog are looking for tidbits of advice and insight. If you can get a discussion going, you are more likely to attract more readers. Additionally, you may get clues to other topics for future blogs.

Dear Dr.  However you establish your online presence, do not give medical advice online. When interacting with patients and consumers they are apt to ask medical questions specific to their particular situation. You may be tempted to respond as a gesture of good will. You're better off directing them to your website or office number. Don't put yourself in the position of potentially handing out wrong advice.    

Connect. In the everyday world, it can sometimes be too easy to think of physicians as cool, clinical, and rational. We often forget the very real human element that plays an important part in patient treatment. That connection needs to carry over into world of healthcare marketing.

Make a connection through e-newsletters, personal notes, press releases, and online postings. Be involved in something you are passionate about in your community and write about it in your blog. Keep in mind you have two audiences: the patient and referring physicians. Connect with colleagues to find out what has worked for them.

Medical marketing is about having a presence, whether it is online or in-person. That means using all the tools available to you, like ReferralMD.

Here are 3 other Medical or Dental Marketing strategies that you may find useful.

What online marketing tools have you found work best for your practice?

Jonathan Govette
Founder and Chief Executive Officer

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