Man working in home office

4 Things You Should Know About Virtual Medicine in 2019 (and beyond!)”

Man working in home office

The rise of the digital age continues to change the way the healthcare industry does business in 2019. Whether you’re looking to start a new career in the healthcare industry or you are looking to gain valuable knowledge and insight to further your career, some smart learning can only help. Here are a few things you should know about virtual medicine.

1. Social Media Is Key.

With the rise of social media, most major healthcare companies – and most companies across all business sectors – now know the importance of social media. Whether you are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, for example, social media helps you to stay up to date with industry trends, if you are a healthcare professional, or learn about the way surgeries are performed, learn how to connect with other healthcare professionals, or learn how to find a job if you are new to the healthcare field, for example.

2. Apps for Real-Time Online Patient Interaction.

These days, you’ll have to look pretty hard to find a business without – at least – a website and possibly an app. As the digital world evolves, it’s becoming the norm that patients are able to do everything from set appointments to viewing their medical charts all from the comfort of their home. As a medical professional in almost any position, you’ll want to be comfortable working with computers in a digital setting.

3. Telecommuting for Work.

As the cost of technology continues to go down and the percentage of people with access to the Internet goes up, telecommuting for all professions – including healthcare – will continue to rise. For you, it’s great, because you don’t have to dress up and leave home to get paid. For your employer, it’s great, because they don’t need to pay overhead. Avidity Medical Design Academy offers a course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working From Home (Full Time!) ,” where  you can learn about careers such as medical coding, medical transcription, medical claims processing, medical writing, healthcare teaching, and healthcare customer service, for example, that allow you to work from home.

4. Online Security and the Future of Healthcare.

Last but not least, as a healthcare professional, you’ll want to be aware of online security and privacy concerns, especially if you’re telecommuting full- or part-time. Whatever your role, you will likely be exposed to private medical history covered by federal laws such as HIPAA. Review our article entitled, “Everything You Need to Know About HIPAA” to learn more about what HIPAA is and what it means in terms of your work as a healthcare professional.

With the rise of virtual medicine, the healthcare industry will continue to evolve, and you’ll want to keep up with the current trends. Visit the Avidity Medical Design Blog for more information on many different topics pertaining to the healthcare industry.

new healthcare job with doctors speaking in hallway

5 Ways to Be Successful on Your First Day on the Job as a Healthcare Professional

new healthcare job with doctors speaking in hallway

The first day on a job is stressful. You want to present yourself as responsible and enthusiastic. Here are five tips so you can make the best impression possible in your new healthcare position. 

Be On Time

Arriving late on your first day gives the wrong first impression. You want to start out on the right foot, and you want your immediate supervisor, as well as her manager, to know they made the right decision by hiring you, rather than another candidate with similar qualifications. So, give yourself some extra time when you start your commute. It is better to arrive too early than too late; if you arrive too early, you can always stop and grab a cup of coffee or pick up a breakfast sandwich if you need to kill some extra time. You will feel a lot calmer if you can start your day without feeling rushed. It is also a good idea to stay a little bit later if it looks like you are needed. There will be a lot to absorb and staying late shows you are a team player. 

Be Professional

People expect professional dress in the healthcare environment, especially if you work in management. So dress professionally. Also, it is important to interact with people in a professional manner. You want to look people in the eye, smile, give a firm handshake, and employ active listening. Refrain from joking around until you know people better. For more thorough recommendations, enroll in our course entitled, “How to Learn Professionalism in Healthcare (with REAL-WORLD Examples).”

Ask Questions

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You won’t learn everything the first day. There’s a lot to learn, in terms of the processes and procedures that you need to follow to do the job effectively, so go easy on yourself. Ask as many questions as you can think of, and keep a notepad nearby to write down the answers, so you don’t have to ask the same question twice after you receive the answer to your question the first time. You don’t want to pester your supervisor with questions but you do need to know what you are supposed to do. In addition, asking questions shows you are interested in learning the job. If you don’t have a notepad nearby, open your phone and add a note as a memo to yourself. When you compile a list of the questions that you asked, and the answers you received (and the person that gave you the answer in case there are any contradictions in the answers you receive), make a copy of your questions and answers and keep them all in a safe place.

Take A Break 

You will have an opportunity for a break at some point in the day. Although it may be tempting to skip the break (or skip lunch) in order to make yourself look committed, take the break and take lunch. Your first day on the job can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when you are working in the healthcare environment, and especially if your new job involves dealing directly with patients, nurses, physicians, and upper-level management. Use your break to regroup and relieve some stress during on your first day. Taking a short walk and some deep breaths are always a good idea. If co-workers ask you to go to lunch take advantage of the invitation. It is an opportunity to get to know people better and gain more information about the job you’ll be doing, other people that you will be working with, either directly or indirectly, the environment that you’ll be working in, and some things you can do get up to speed quickly with the job you’ll be doing.

Expect The Unexpected

You never know what your first workday might be like. Hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices are often busy environments where everything does not go as planned. So reach out to your supervisor if you need help, and be prepared to “go with the flow” when learning your new job, especially since your job might be slightly different than the job description posted online or in a newspaper ad.

The first day in a healthcare setting sets the stage for your work experience. Your attitude and preparedness go a long way toward achieving a favorable outcome. If you want to thrive in the world of healthcare, visit the Avidity Medical Design Blog to read more articles to help you succeed the first day on your new job in healthcare.

doctor examining woman in doctor's office

Everything You Need to Know About HIPAA

If you work in the field of healthcare, you’ve more than likely heard of HIPAA law. HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This law was put into place to protect the privacy and rights of patients and to safeguard patient medical information. Whether you work in the medical industry, or you just want to understand how your medical information is being protected and secured, you need to understand HIPAA law and how it affects the use of patient information and the transmission of electronic medical records.

What is HIPAA Law?

HIPAA was originally passed in the United States and signed into law on August 21, 1996. The main purpose of HIPAA is to protect and sevure patient medical data, as well as patient insurance information, and other personal information. There are three parts to HIPAA: The Privacy Rule, The Security Rule, and the Breach Notification rule. The Privacy Rule defines PHI, Protected Health Information, as “any information held by a covered entity which concerns health status, the provision of healthcare, or payment for healthcare that can be linked to an individual.” This rules was later updated on April 21, 2005, to address electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). The Security Rule covers how patient information is protected. The third part of HIPAA, the Breach Notification Rule, pertains to what constitutes a breach of security and the steps that need to be taken if a security breach occurs and a patient’s medical information is illegally accessed. If you work in healthcare in any capacity, whether as a doctor, nurse, transcriptionist, receptionist, or even at home as a medical coder, medical writer, or medical claims examiner, you must comply with HIPAA privacy, security, and breach notification guidelines. Mandatory compliance means that anyone who works in the healthcare industry and has access to patient data must take any precautions that are necessary to remain HIPAA compliant.

What Are The Objectives of HIPAA?

HIPAA was created with the following objectives:

  • to “improve the portability and accountability of health insurance coverage” for employees between jobs
  • to combat waste, fraud and abuse within the healthcare and health insurance industries
  • to promote the use of medical savings accounts through tax breaks
  • to provide insurance coverage for employees with pre-existing medical conditions
  • to simplify health insurance administration

The Privacy and Security Rules were put into place to ensure that:

  • a patient has the right to control access to their own health information
  • a patient is not required to disclose information about any healthcare they receive that is privately funded
  • all healthcare providers take the necessary steps to determine how patient information is disclosed, whether the disclosure is in the form of physical documentation or electronic transmission
  • the patient grants permission to use their personal information for marketing, fundraising, or research purposes

Since HIPAA has changed the way that doctors, nurses, and staff handle patient medical records, insurance information, and personal data, let’s take a look at what you need to know about complying with HIPAA law, especially if you are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.

How Do I Comply with HIPAA in the Medical Office?

If you are working in the healthcare field, or you’re thinking about working in the healthcare field, it’s important to comply with HIPAA in the medical office, as well as in your home office if you are working remotely. Here’s how to remain HIPAA compliant:

  • Keep patient records out of public reach. Make sure paper records aren’t left in open areas with public access. If the patient’s records are on a computer, make sure the monitor is facing away from a public area, or invest in a privacy screen. If the computer is in a public area, remember to sign off from your computer if you step away from your desk.
  • Be careful not to reveal personal information about patients to other patients, or to anyone else who is not directly involved with the patient’s healthcare.
  • Do not sell or otherwise release patient information to third parties. This violates HIPAA law.
  • Obtain consent from the patient themselves before releasing information to any unknown party, if someone other than the patient asks for the patient’s medical records or personal information.
  • Protect the unique access ID and password that you use to sign on to your PC, especially if you have access to individual patient charts. This is important to ensure that any information being accessed is accessed only on a need-to-know basis.
  • Ensure that you are only releasing PHI or ePHI to individuals with the right to access it – either the patient him or herself, their medical provider, or anyone the patient has allowed to have access to their medical records. Failure to comply with the HIPAA Privacy, and Security, and Breach Notification Rules places the healthcare organization – whether it is a doctor’s office or an insurance company – at risk of enforcement action which can include fines, loss of license, or loss of ability to provide insurance to patients. If an individual employee contributed to any violations, it also will put him or her at risk of disciplinary action, job loss, or even government fines. 

In summary, the important thing to remember is that patients trust their healthcare providers and staff to protect their privacy and treat their medical records and personal information with the utmost respect and discretion. Whether you are pursuing a career in the healthcare industry or you are already working in the healthcare field, consider enrolling in the course entitled “How to Learn Professionalism in Healthcare (with REAL-WORLD Examples!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy. You might also consider the course entitled, “How to Read Your Own Medical Record (Learn What is in YOUR Medical Files!) ” learn more about HIPAA law from the patient’s perspective, as well as from the perspective of working in the healthcare field. Visit the Avidity Medical Design Academy website to enroll in each of these courses, as well as other courses that might help you become successful in the field of healthcare.