10.04
2020

Weathering the Storm: Healthcare Management During the Pandemic

It’s no secret that many heroes are braving public life to keep serving those of us who are self-quarantining. At the forefront of that fight are the many healthcare professionals helping to tend to patients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re doing our part to help others as best as we can, which is why we want to discuss the ways our software can help those who are still in the field each day, working tirelessly to help flatten the curve. Our software can help healthcare officials complete their duties while also helping keep others as safe as possible. With the Vault version of our software, we’ve taken extra measures to boost the security of our software so that it supports HIPAA compliance, meaning you can be sure that each patient’s confidentiality is safeguarded.

Wireless Forms
By implementing our Wireless Forms, healthcare officials can collect important patient information and send it to administrators for processing without ever running the risk of exposing those in the back office — who may be working remotely or never actually have a need to see patients in person. This allows your “paperwork” to be processed as quickly as possible while minimizing risk.

Mobile Timekeeping
Additionally, to better track your hours, we can give healthcare workers the ability to do this using their mobile devices. So, if you’re a field worker helping patients, you don’t have to stop by the office to begin and end your day. (This not only helps keep administrators safer but also gives field workers more time to devote to the influx of patients.) Our Timekeeping functionality can also pair with many payroll programs, simplifying the payment process.

GPS Tracking
Keep your mobile team members safe by always tracking their whereabouts in near real-time. You’ll also be able to pull a historical breadcrumb trail to view their exact route while on the clock, so if anyone were to get sick, you can easily pull an accounting of where they were and for how long, helping to determine exposure levels.

Job Dispatching
Healthcare workers are exceptionally busy right now and some patients are experiencing worse conditions than others. Job Dispatching lets you assign new work orders to your field workers and/or rearrange the priority based on proximity or urgency. Workers will receive notices right on their mobile devices as updates arise, and administrators can later run reports to better determine how much time is needed for each patient so they can plan accordingly.

We hope that we can play even a small role in helping healthcare workers perform their truly heroic duties amid this pandemic. Working together, we know we’ll be able to make it through this.

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18.02
2020

Recap: Actsoft’s Visit to the 2020 Synapse Summit

Last week, a few of our staff members were treated to an incredible experience, gaining the opportunity to attend the 2020 Synapse Summit at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. As a convention for all things entrepreneurial and technological, the Synapse Summit gave our team the chance to take a couple of days to learn more about startup business and city development as a whole in the Tampa area.

Speakers at the event included Jeffrey Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx, Jeff Hoffman, founder of Priceline.com, and Steven Currall, president and CEO of the University of South Florida, just to name a few. Each keynote brought a unique perspective to the table about scaling a company, personal growth, and the future of business. Separately from the main stage speakers, smaller breakout sessions took place, with industry experts offering discussions on topics ranging anywhere from trends in healthcare to new advances in military applications.

Out of all the valuable information the Actsoft team received at the Synapse Summit, one of the most crucial things we took away from the event was that the Tampa tech community is truly sprawling, and we’re so proud to be a part of it. Getting a chance to see where many of the industries our mobile workforce management solutions play in are headed was also immensely beneficial, as we plan to take our findings to the drawing board in an effort to continue pushing the boundaries of what our solutions can do.

The Synapse Summit reminded us as a company that the future is brighter than ever, not just for local developments in technology, but more specifically, the future landscape of software as a whole. We’ve returned from it inspired and rejuvenated, ready to provide an application that provides even more return on investment for your mobile workforce.

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08.11
2019

Radio Waves and Data Security

If, like me, you have a propensity for following tech blogs, you may have heard about a recent snafu that occurred across the pond. The incident I’m referring to involves an amateur radio enthusiast who set up an automatic feed that picked up stray radio waves and converted these transmissions into text. This text was then displayed on a computer screen and its content was broadcast via webcam onto a live feed that was open to anyone who stumbled across it.

The biggest issue here: This setup was picking up messages from the pagers — yes, those seemingly archaic devices we all wanted back in the 90s still do exist — used by medical professionals and, as such, the information that was being recorded and transmitted included sensitive patient information from emergency ambulatory calls. Names, addresses, and injuries were being put on display for anyone to see.

Upon discovering this, the radio enthusiast’s internet provider was contacted and the user — who said he was unaware of the type of information that was actually being recorded and shared — ended the webcam feed. But who knows just how many patients had their personal information splashed across the page of an otherwise innocuous, automated web feed? And it begs another question: How many more patients will have their personal information broadcast over an unsecured network? The UK’s National Health Service said that medical facilities have until 2022 to convert from pagers to a more secure system. That’s a long time to wait for patient confidentiality!

Stateside, however, healthcare providers are governed by regulations set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. With HIPAA, patient confidentiality takes center stage. There are serious repercussions here if it’s discovered that a patient’s private information is leaked, including hefty monetary penalties.

Data security — particularly within the healthcare industry — is a big part of why we developed the Vault version of our Encore solution. With Encore Vault, you get a solution with end-to-end data encryption that guarantees all information recorded is fully secure while at rest and when being transmitted to the home office. We even enlisted a neutral third-party company to verify that our software meets the standards of HIPAA compliance.

Whether you’re an at-home care provider and simply need a secure digital form that allows you to satisfy the requirements of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) as mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act, or you need the benefits that come with the more robust, complete version of our software — which includes Job Dispatching, Timekeeping, near real-time GPS Tracking, and much more — we can help bring greater efficiency to your company while keeping all of your important information leak-free.

Don’t let your healthcare company become a front-page headline for all the wrong reasons. Give us a call and let’s chat about the ways Encore Vault can boost your efficiency and keep your private information secure.

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23.09
2019

Practical Uses for Form Workflows

As one of the most dynamic tools that our Wireless Forms feature has to offer, Form Workflows* is an essential way for companies using our solutions to streamline their documentation processes. This is done through employees digitally sending incomplete forms from one mobile device to the next, allowing them to fill out any relevant information in a seamless chain of command. In addition to helping your staff save time, Form Workflows can also help enhance the accuracy of your documents’ data, as well as allow you to implement authorization processes for submitted forms. Personnel who have greater permissions are able to reject and send back an electronic document once it’s been submitted to them to the previous user if there are certain portions missing or if the data is incorrect. Here are a few practical ways that Form Workflows can be used in three different industries:

Construction

A construction company can rely on Form Workflows to track the near real-time progress of their building projects with documentation routing. As certain aspects of a project gradually become finished, the teams that were responsible for their completion can fill in details about the construction site’s timeline and send them back wirelessly for management at the home office to review.

Healthcare

For healthcare organizations, monitoring medical services delivered remains key for quality control and verification purposes. Using Form Workflows, these companies can store and transmit data back to headquarters in a highly secure environment, giving individuals on their administrative teams extra abilities to sign off on and evaluate details about conducted patient visits.

Transportation

Moving cargo is easier to do by using Form Workflows to help trace vehicle stops and shipment statuses. Truck drivers who are taking goods from the warehouse to the airport for worldwide distribution can use a tandem of Form Workflows and Signature Capture to ensure that deliveries are successfully handed off. As a result, customer service can remain optimized, as increasingly efficient workflow tracking provides more realistic package arrival times for the clients awaiting them.

Find out more about how Form Workflows can help your organization implement accuracy checklists, save your company time and money, and improve its service levels to customers today.

*Form Workflows is a feature exclusively available to users of Encore’s Ultimate tier.

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10.09
2019

The Benefits of Encore Vault’s EVV Solution

We’ve already discussed the upcoming Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) mandates that mobile healthcare companies must eventually have an answer for, but aside from just simple compliance, what are some of the extra benefits that an EVV system can provide your workforce with?

From a perspective of running the most efficient mobile healthcare operation possible, taking advantage of an EVV solution’s feature set is nearly as essential as remaining in regulatory compliance. After all, if you’re paying for an EVV solution, it’s wise to use it for the most possible enhancements to your business, while it helps your team stay in line at the same time. Our EVV solution, offered through Encore Vault, is designed to provide your organization with a treasure trove of features and valuable benefits for upgraded operations, including:

Verification of delivered services

It’s within the acronym, and it’s perhaps the most important aspect of our EVV solution: Verification. An ability to document and save data about patient visits made by your mobile medical staff is crucial for success, and in addition to helping track service quality, it can offer your team greater protection, as well as a dynamic new way to submit information.

Redirecting mobile nurses with ease

For mobile healthcare teams that must make multiple trips to different clients daily, the ability to schedule and reroute staff members on the fly can make things infinitely easier. Encore Vault EVV helps your business save fuel, reach patients quicker during emergency situations, and see the near real-time GPS positions of its personnel during working hours.

Helping eliminate insurance fraud and reducing overbilling

Recorded histories of patient visitations with accompanying location markers can help enhance the quality of your healthcare company’s reputation amongst its clientele by fostering consistency. With our application’s ability to notate precise start and stop times for delivered services, you can also help eliminate falsified claims and boost the accuracy of submitted logs.

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05.09
2019

Why Data Encryption Matters

In today’s digital age, data is increasingly valuable. With that, however, comes an even greater necessity to protect it. Hefty fines can be leveled against organizations that fail to adhere to federal regulations on certain data types like Personal Health Information (PHI). Any kind of financial information that becomes compromised can also subject the firm in charge of it to massive data breach payouts.

The answer why is simple: Data is crucial to personal security. The potential damage that leaks or hacks can wreak on anything from privacy to financial health can be devastating to both the customer and the company storing it.

So, if your organization is in charge of keeping data heavily secure, what are some of its options? One of the most cost-effective but secure ones lies with our Encore Vault solution. Along with being backed by mandatory and thorough compliance training for our employees on a routine basis, our application is equipped with a slew of security levels to help you truly lock down client information, including:

  • TLS 1.2 data encryption
  • FIPS 140-2 compliance
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Advanced Data Security (ADS)
  • Microsoft Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  • Support of HIPAA compliance for sensitive medical information

Encore Vault’s proficiencies aren’t strictly limited to efficient data collection and highly secure storage, however. The solution provides tools for you to coordinate all aspects of your mobile workforce on a platform that’s even more safeguarded. Powerful features like Job Dispatching, Intra-Company Messaging, and GPS Tracking still allow you to monitor points of interest regarding your workforce in the field and adjust workflows in near real-time. Encore Vault is designed to give companies in finance, healthcare, the public sector, and more all the functionality they’ve come to expect from a top-tier workforce management solution, but with the uncompromising levels of encryption they require.

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23.08
2019

The Urgency of Adhering to HIPAA Compliance

Without a doubt, when you work in the healthcare industry, the one thing that should always remain on top of your priority list is patient confidentiality. Keeping personal health matters private is so important, as you (hopefully) know, there is an extremely rigid set of rules that all businesses in the industry must adhere to … or face steep penalties.

Known as HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 has been doling out hefty penalties to companies that fail to comply with the strict standards it put forth. It doesn’t matter if breaches are big or small, intentional or not, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have made it clear that patient rights come first.

In fact, last year alone, a whopping $28,683,400 worth of fines were distributed to HIPAA violators. Now, you may be thinking, Well, that sure is a high number, but it’s probably the result of a lot of smaller fines. You’d be wrong. More than half of that came from a single source: a $16 million fine delivered to a single company due to a large data breach … the largest healthcare breach in U.S. history.

While the chances of your business — particularly if it’s a smaller one — incurring a fine that hefty are probably on the slim side, it’s in your best interest to avoid any fine. Not only is it good for your bank account, but for your company’s reputation. The last thing you want is your name dominating the health industry blogosphere for all the wrong reasons.

And don’t think you can fly under the radar simply because you are one of the smaller healthcare businesses out there. The OCR sent a powerful message in 2016 to show that no violation is too small to pursue. Whereas in the past it would only go after data breaches that involved the information of more than 500 individuals, its regional offices now go after smaller cases.

Here at Actsoft, we’ve made strides in taking our solution to the next level when it comes to features and customization. Most recently, we implemented major improvements to the level of security our software can provide. With the help of a third-party cybersecurity firm to help make sure we didn’t miss any steps along the way, we developed the Vault version of Encore.

With Vault, healthcare companies can rest easy knowing that their patients’ information is protected by software that supports HIPAA compliance. Whether it’s at rest or in transit, our end-to-end data encryption keeps it from would-be prying eyes, so your company can focus on what really matters: addressing your customers’ needs and delivering the stellar service they’ve come to expect.

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02.08
2019

The Do’s and Don’ts of HIPAA Compliance

If your company has a long history of working within the medical world, then there’s a good chance that you have a deep-seated understanding of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The rules, which were passed by Congress back in 1996, were put into place in order to protect patients’ coverage and personal information, as well as reduce the instances of healthcare fraud.

But if your company is still in the early stages of branching off into healthcare-related services, or you just want a refresher course, you may not be as familiar. For those in need of some brushing up, we thought we’d share a list of some of the biggest do’s and don’ts to make sure you’re staying compliant when handling such sensitive information.

DO
First and foremost, it’s of the utmost importance that you know exactly what is considered protected health information (PHI). Examples include names, addresses and contact information, social security numbers, medical record information, personally identifying dates (birth, death, appointments, etc.), and photographs. If you’re unsure whether something qualifies, your best bet is to err on the side of caution and treat it as though it does.

DON’T
If you need to have a discussion about a patient of yours with someone else, make sure that person is authorized and that you aren’t doing it in a public setting. Instead, find a private setting to do so and avoid the potential that anyone else overhears what’s being discussed.

DO
Keep your login information to yourself. Under no circumstances should you ever share this information with anyone else, even if it’s a colleague that you trust. Along the same vein, never write down this information even as a personal reminder for yourself. In both situations, it constitutes a breach of security and counts as an infraction.

DON’T
Never leave patient information in plain sight. This means that, whether you’re at the back office or in the field, don’t leave your devices unlocked and able to be seen by anyone else. It doesn’t matter if you’re stepping away for 20 minutes or 20 seconds.

DO
When patient PHI and ePHI retention periods expire and you are no longer required to hold onto this information, if you choose to dispose of the records, you must be sure they are fully destroyed. Hard copies must be shredded, pulped, or incinerated, while electronics must be securely wiped or the device on which the ePHI is stored can be destroyed, if need be.

DON’T
If your patients want access to their own records, it’s your responsibility to provide them within 30 days of their request. If patients choose to share this information with other entities, that is at their discretion, but denying them the right is a violation and can result in hefty fines.

DO
Implement software that truly supports HIPAA compliance. The Vault tier of our Encore software allows you to collect sensitive customer information and transmit it to your back office with complete end-to-end data encryption. We even brought in third-party experts for an additional layer of vetting to help make sure we covered all our bases and confidently stand by our ability to keep your client information safeguarded.

You can never be too safe when you’re working in the healthcare industry. By taking a few cautionary steps, as well as implementing trustworthy software to help you with your daily needs, you’ll be well on your way to running a HIPAA-ready business.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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30.07
2019

What is Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)?

Technology is rapidly changing the ways that businesses in the healthcare industry reach and serve their patients. A relevant example of this is through Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), a type of system that helps companies document proof of their service delivered to patients. EVV is especially crucial for home healthcare providers with mobile medical staff as they make visits to clients in the field.

Aside from providing key returns like reduced paper costs, more secure data storage and transmission, and efficient workforce coordination, an EVV solution can help your healthcare organization remain in compliance with federal mandates, as healthcare companies will eventually be required to implement one, according to the 21st Century Cures Act. The implementation deadline is January 1, 2020, for Personal Care Services; Home Healthcare Services must have an EVV solution by January 1, 2023, in order to avoid fines and stay in regulation.

There are six key data elements that an EVV system must track: patient names, dates, locations, types of service performed, the home health provider’s name, and the start and finish times of care delivered. Recently, we released Encore Vault, a version of our flagship solution whose EVV options let you capture this information. Encore Vault contains even more features for enhanced security and is in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This new tier’s timekeeping- and scheduling-based options for EVV give healthcare companies like yours the flexibility they need to select a plan that works for them.

Benefits of Encore Vault include:

  • The ability to eliminate overbilling by pinpointing and logging visits
  • The ability to reduce insurance fraud and falsely filed invoices with GPS-tagged records
  • Enhanced worker safety
  • Timestamped trips by caregivers for accurate visit times
  • A highly secure messaging platform to communicate on

Unlike most lower price point EVV applications, Encore Vault also offers GPS Tracking as a complement to all of its proof of service delivery functionalities. See the near real-time positions of your mobile nurses and delivery people to verify that they’re at the correct locations, help them choose the most fuel- and time-efficient routes to patient homes, and increase workforce accountability using this intuitive feature. With our diverse EVV solutions, your organization can stay compliant and optimize its daily visit schedules through improved locational insight. Find out more today about what Encore Vault can do to help your healthcare company better serve its patients.

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27.03
2019

Actsoft and HIPAA Compliance

Actsoft is pleased to announce its compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). We’ve realized the need that organizations in the healthcare industry have to keep sensitive health information secure; in turn, our company has taken steps to ensure that we are able to provide a solution that’s tailored to their necessities.

By enhancing our security levels even more and having our dedicated team of employees undergo extensive training on HIPAA requirements, organizations can rest assured that we’re able to effectively help them keep the Personal Health Information (PHI) of their patients safe. While our solutions have always been able to help businesses of nearly any industry increase their efficiency and productivity, we will soon be able to assist healthcare companies in particular better than ever with Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) and encrypted PHI storage.

The milestone of becoming HIPAA-compliant is a huge step into the future for our organization and is just one of the many goals we’ve accomplished during the process of fulfilling our team’s vision for 2019. Stay tuned for specific launch dates regarding our line of HIPAA-compliant solutions for businesses in the healthcare industry.

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