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Beyond the EMR: How else can technology make us better?

December 15, 2008
by Ann Borders
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So often, the centerpiece of the technological discussions within our ranks has been the electronic medical record. What other technological solutions are you using? Thinking about? Wishing for? In this environment, fiscal success goes beyond a positive bottom line—it’s more about optimal efficiency. How are you using new technology to make your organizations better, and what have you learned from your experiences? Brag, sigh, talk, share. We’d love to hear from you!

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Hi Ann,

One area where technology is being used by some Echo customers is for Billing Services.
Several members of The Echo Group's staff wrote an article about Technology assisted Billing Services in the October Issue of BH Magazine.

We have a link to the article here on the right side of the following web page:
http://www.echoman.com/transactions/

-Paul Kirsch
The Echo Group
www.echoman.com

That's a great question, Ann. I hear some agencies are moving toward VOIP, presumably to reduce costs. I think we'll see the reemergence of treatment "hardware" in the coming years, such as the recently FDA-approved Neurostar device for depression.

We've made significant efficiency gains by using web collaboration software (webex), not only when used across multiple offices, but even when everyone is present in the same room. For purposes of viewing or editing documents, or demonstrating processes or software, by sharing the desktop it many times eliminates the need to travel to a single location, and/or to print volumes of supporting paperwork.

This past September I presented a session at our annual "Peer to Peer" conference entitled "Cost Effective Technology Options". This presentation focused on using Open Source tools to enhance and strengthen an organization's infrastructure. Using tools such as Nagios and Cacti to monitor servers, switches and routers allows an organization to be pro-active. Some of these tools automatically send notification when a problem has been detected allowing an immediate response to rectify a problem as quickly as possible, Another useful Open Source tool that would benefit businesses while minimizing costs is Asterisk/Trixbox to build a VoIP phone system. This type of system offers features like voice mail to email, conference bridges, unlimited IVR, visual operator panel, call queues, SMS messaging and more. Using the products from JasperSoft to meet the requirements of internal reporting rival the big competitors on performance while minimizing or eliminating expenses altogether.. The above referenced tools and many more are available today to make organizations more efficient and fiscally responsible. If you are interested in the presentation or discussing the products that we have in use, email me at the address listed below.

Allan Normandin, Director of Information Technology
The Echo Group
allan.normandin@echoman.com

Ann Borders

President and CEO, Cummins Behavioral Health Systems, Inc

http://cumminsbhs.org/

Ann Borders is president and CEO of Cummins Behavioral Health Systems, Inc., serving eight...