If you are opening up a new medical practice such as pediatrics, chiropractor or physical therapy there are some basic technology questions you should figure out first.
Desktop or Laptop
This question recently came up with a new office we are help setting up. While a laptop in a patient room might seem ideal to take up less space you won’t have any flexibility for adjusting the screen for the patient to see it when needed.
A small form factor desktop with a swivel arm would serve you better so you can easily adjust the viewing angle for the patient as well. By getting a small form factor PC you will still save the desk space but have the luxury of a large monitor.
The actual placement of your workstations in the reception or common area is important to. Does foot traffic pass by the reception where they can see the information on the screen? Than you should have a privacy film on the monitor to protect patient records.
Is your server in an open area and might it have a usb drive attached for backup? Imagine someone walking by and stealing the USB drive. Physical locations should be considered as well to make sure the setup is optimal.
If by chance you are using an ISP provided firewall for your network that also has wifi turned on. That means there is only one wireless network which has direct access to your workstations and other equipment.
The solution is turn off this wifi network and use a business grade wifi unit that is capable of hosting multiple wifi networks, the guest network should be on lockdown so guests can’t access any internal equipment at all.
Electronic Health Record System (EHR)
You need to decide if your EHR is going to be cloud based or in house server and there are advantages to both.
In House Server - A server in your office will lower monthly fees compared to a hosted EHR system. These savings might be offset a little by the requirement for a HIPAA compliant backup system as well regular support from your IT company.
Cloud System - As with anything as a service you are not responsible for the hardware or backup system and for the most part it just works. However just because your EHR system is in the cloud your network still needs to meet HIPAA regulations and that includes making sure your desktops computers are updated and have working anti-virus software loaded.
These are just of the main points to consider when opening a new office that has to be HIPAA compliant. If you would like a free consultation on how to be HIPAA compliant please contact us.