77
16Chapter
Information Technology (IT)
Writing Guide
I. Questions to Answer
1. How are technical services for information technology provided (internal, external)?
2. Inventory software and locations
3. Do you have an electronic health record system that is substantially compliant? Is the
system being used to its potential?
4. Have we adopted an e-prescription program?
5. Can practice communicate securely with patients, other physicians, and providers?
6. Are systems all backed up securely? Are backups current? Have backup plans and proce-
dures been tested?
7. Are all IT equipment and systems protected by antivirus, antimalware, and other neces-
sary security techniques?
8. What mobile communication and digital devices are used in the practice for practice
operations and clinical care?
II. Data Sources and Applications
1. Financial records
2. Manual inventory
III. Issues/Problems to Explore
1. Security of equipment and software
2. Degree of EHR use
3. Are there better solutions for the current IT equipment, including smartphones, scanning, etc.?
4. Are there problems that IT can help to solve? What are the problems and possible
solutions?
IT is likely to be where a practice will be making major investments over the next ve years.
EHR systems are here, and it is incumbent upon practices to adopt these systems. Healthcare is
a data-intensive industry with multiple, independent providers of services for a patient. e only
way to eectively and eciently transmit, analyze, and manage this data deluge is to use electronic
systemsthe human brain cannot manage this degree of data.
78 ◾  Medical Practice Business Plan Workbook, Third Edition
IT can grow insidiously within an organization, and the introduction of sophisticated, small,
aordable mobile devicessmartphones and iPads—adds to the complexity and volume of
hardware and locations where protected clinical data resides and is being transmitted. e real
question is this: what is the problem you are trying to solve, and what are the (current) best
solutions?
When looking at IT, approach this from the perspective of looking for solutions to problems
capturing, manipulating, and transmitting data and information, and for communication. Seek
professional help—this is beyond the capabilities of the most tech-savvy person in your oce.
A good tech support company will integrate the multiple programs and devices in use and keep
them functional and current.
A word about EHR systems: you may need to make changes in the way that you work to gain
the full benets of the systems. EHR is a major investment of dollars, and changes the way in
which you capture, manipulate, and analyze data. Study rst, perhaps attend a seminar or confer-
ence, and try to visit a practice that is already running a system.
1. Inventory equipment
Description Purpose Purchase Date Source/Cost Expected Life
2. Software inventory
Description Purpose Purchase Date Source/Cost Expected Life
Where
Installed
3. Mobile devices inventory
Description Purpose
Purchase
Date Vendor/Cost
Expected
Life/
Contract
Expiration
Information Technology (IT) ◾  79
4. EHR system assessment:
Functionality
Ease of use
Reliability
Degree of integration into clinical practice
Degree of integration into management operations
Security
Degree that aids performance of job tasks
5. Assessment of overall IT use and capability:
Functionality
Ease of use
Reliability
Degree of integration into clinical practice
Degree of integration into management operations
Security
Degree that aids performance of job tasks
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