Author Archives: NCN Technology

Why DevOps? Answering your Questions about DevOps and Web Development

Why DevOps? Answering your Questions about DevOps and Web Development

Who, What, and Why DevOps? Answering your Questions about DevOps and Web Development

Businesses adopting DevOps is on the rise from 10% in 2017 to 17% in 2018. And with the new trends making it easier, faster, and safer to enjoy the many benefits DevOps has to offer any business.

Not every business is aware of what DevOps does or why they should jump on the bandwagon. We want to help your business grow and succeed and DevOps can help you do just that.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the who, what and why of DevOps.

What DevOps Is

DevOps is an umbrella term for the culture, mindset, and processes used to shorten the life cycle of software development and produce better products. DevOps automates processes between software development teams and operations.

This helps both departments to build, test, and release software more quickly and reliably. The faster feedback enables teams to deliver features, updates and fixes more frequently.

There are five steps that a company can take to implement DevOps into their business best practices. And done correctly, there is a myriad of benefits.

Why DevOps Is Beneficial

Finding ways to increase productivity is always at the forefront of any successful company. There are a few ways DevOps increases productivity:

Shorter Development Cycles and Faster Innovation

It’s difficult to know if an application is successfully operational when you’re getting a biased response from development and operations teams. Joining development and operations enables the team to create better applications that are ready to use more quickly.

Reduce Failures, Reflections, and Recovery Time

Getting feedback from operations is a primary reason it can take longer to develop.  When operations are more engaged in production; development lifecycle timelines can be reduced.

Development teams can get the feedback they need to improve the functionality and finetune the products as per the product owner’s requirements. This can reduce the number of builds and development iterations by collaborating amongst the two divisions.

Increased Efficiency

Automation means there’s less of a chance of human error coming into play, which translates into increased efficiency. And there are ways to automate DevOps tasks such as:

  • Reducing manual work, automated compilation
  • Automating the process of testing code

Software engineers have more time to focus on tasks additional tasks.

Accelerations Tools Increase Efficiency

But DevOps also uses accelerations tools which can also increase efficiency in the following ways:

  • Use build acceleration tools to compile code more quickly
  • Avoid delays by embedding parallel workflows in the continuous delivery chain
  • Speed up testing and deployment operations by implementing scalable infrastructures such as cloud-based platforms
  • Increase team access to hardware resources

DevOps also lets teams use one environment for better efficiencies and reduced risks.

Increased Cooperation and Collaboration

Since all teams are working together, their increased communication leads to an increase in cooperation.

Teams can now collaborate and develop better ideas faster than ever.

Save Money

The DevOps cycle helps reduce costs through efficiencies and reduced project risks.

Work With Us

Why DevOps? Because it helps your company achieve a better end product in less time.

DevOps can help you anticipate and share unplanned work proactively. And we can help you improve your processes today. Click here to contact us and to learn how we can help.

Automation is On Your Side: A Guide to Using SharePoint for Businesses

Automation is On Your Side: A Guide to Using SharePoint for Businesses

Automation is the future of business.

While automation can seem scary to business owners, embracing new technology and the benefits it brings can actually improve your business and your bottom line.

One of the easiest and most popular ways to start automating your business processes is to use SharePoint for businesses. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of using SharePoint for automation.

The Important of Automation

Automation is not something to fear. Rather, automation can save you time and money.

Many business owners find that too much time is spent each day on repetitive tasks. These simple workflows can easily be automated using SharePoint for businesses.

Automation can cut down on human error, which is probably costing you more than you realize. Finally, automation can decrease incidences of compliance breaches by maintaining security and giving you visibility into business processes.

The Benefits of SharePoint for Businesses

SharePoint is one of the most popular platforms for companies looking to automate business processes. If you’re already using Office 365, integrating with SharePoint is easy.

Here are some of the best SharePoint workflow examples you can use for your business.

Task Management

SharePoint for businesses comes with task management functions that can help make project management easy.

Managers can assign tasks for their employees, set start and end dates, and even monitor task progress. Employees can easily plan their workflow and prioritize tasks by looking at the implementation steps, due dates, and assignees that are visible.

Notifications

SharePoint also includes workflow notifications that allow workers to be notified of any changes in a workflow.

This means that team members will never miss an important update or new assignment. They also won’t have to worry about regularly checking a website for notifications.

Mailboxes

Workflow mailboxes is an automation tool that helps keep workflow participants in the loop.

Workflow related emails are stored separately and are easy to find and search. You can even designate permissions to dictate who can see what emails.

Built-in and Custom Workflows

Sharepoint comes with 5 basic workflows that you can use to automate business operations. These include the following.

Approval Workflow

This sets up an approval process for documents, lists, and libraries.

Signature Workflow

This is an easy way to collect digital signatures.

Feedback Workflow

This workflow sends documents, lists, and libraries to set users who can review and add feedback.

Publishing Workflow

This is a way to review and approve documents and then post them for all users to view.

Three-State Workflow

This is useful for tracking documents, lists, and libraries through multiple phases, particularly when they require issue tracking.

You can also create custom workflow processes that are more complex and specific to your business needs.

Start Using SharePoint for Businesses Today

If you are interested in learning more about SharePoint for businesses and how automation can improve your business operations, we’d love to talk to you. We can help you integrate SharePoint into your business.

Contact us today to learn more about how SharePoint can transform your business processes using automation technology.

LTPAC Facilities Need Stronger Data Security Measures

LTPAC Facilities Need Stronger Data Security Measures

Last year was a record year for Data Breaches and Healthcare information is now more vulnerable than ever. According to a gemalto report “Healthcare organizations encountered the greatest number of breaches among all other industries in 2017.”

Given the forces at play, LTPAC providers need to make sure patient data is secure. Layering your security technology is highly recommended by Cyber Security Professionals. One type of technology to include in your stack is Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). This gives your IT department control over secure passwords and reduces the threat of weak password creation and management.

MFAs also provides the ability for single sign on to make it easier for users to access their applications. Rather than memorizing different passwords, users login once and connect to all associated applications.

Consider these questions when looking at MFA’s for your organization:

Will it full-fill HIPAA & HITECH Logon Requirements?
Will it provide Secure Logon Access into EMR Data?
Is it Card-based Multi-Factor Authentication?
Does it work with existing physical access badges?
Does it work on Cloud, Enterprise Servers, Small Business, Networks, or Stand Alone Computers?

These are just a few questions to ask when evaluating solutions. For more information, contact us at consulting@ncntechnology.com

Senior Living Marketing Strategies: 5 Best Practices

Senior Living Marketing Strategies: 5 Best Practices

Senior living marketing requires a unique approach. That’s because you’re not just selling a product. You’re presenting a way of life that shows it’s never too late to enjoy the quality of life.

You’re also showing families their loved ones will be in good hands. That’s an important responsibility.

In the following article, we’ll be showing you what to do to make sure everyone is enthusiastic about your facility. Let’s begin!

1. Highlight Your Amenities

According to the National Council for Aging Care, independent living is the top living arrangement choice for today’s seniors. But seniors have choices. To “sell” them on your particular brand, you have to feature the amenities that are going to appeal to that sense of independence.

Take stock of what your best ones are. Place them front-and-center on your website. Make sure you’re showing off both in-house and nearby amenities as well as any transportation choices.

2. Discuss Meal Plans

Who doesn’t love to eat? An enjoyable meal goes a long way into establishing quality-of-life. Promote the kitchen schedule, and update your menus every day or week so seniors know what to expect each day.

Also, make this information prominent on your site so family members and seniors can easily keep up with things. This gives peace of mind that your facility is providing proper nourishment and delicious food options, and it will aid your digital marketing efforts.

3. Talk About the Options to Maintain Independence

Certain health limitations do come with aging. What healthcare assistance options do you have to assist? Promoting those through your site gives prospects the information they need to make a decision.

From a marketing standpoint, it helps you know the type of prospect you have up front. This gives you the ability to better promote any relevant services, and it gives the prospect full disclosure about what you can do for them.

4. Spare No Detail in Your Living Quarters

Your web design should provide a full experience of what it’s like to live at your facility. Consider options like 360-Degree Video to give the prospect a fully immersive experience. This helps you show up rooms, layout, bathroom and shower quality, and space in a way that’s less-limited from standard image posting.

5. Master Your Web Appeal

With best practice Nos. 1-4, we covered the must-have content you need to feature in your marketing. Now let’s talk about the rest.

Your website is your greatest marketing tool, so it needs to load quickly, navigate easily, and be mobile-friendly. Beyond that, there’s social networking.

Social networks are where most of your prospects and their family members will be the most active online. Secure your brand identity on the platforms you plan to use.

Facebook and Instagram are particularly effective for facilities because you can directly target your audience,  they emphasize visual marketing components And there’s a lot of people using them.

Check your branding on your networks-of-choice to maintain consistency and ensure they are featured prominently on your website’s home page.

Senior Living Marketing Is About Visualization

You must go beyond simply telling prospects who you are and what you have to offer. It’s about helping them visualize themselves at your facility. Contact NCN Marketing today if you’re ready to master your senior living marketing touch.

Sharepoint Solutions: Collaborative Efforts in Healthcare

Sharepoint Solutions: Collaborative Efforts in Healthcare

We all want what is best for our loved ones. As older adults enter senior communities, it’s becoming harder for facilities to update their software. Sharepoint provides state-of-the-art software that is easy to install and get going right away.

Let’s talk about why Sharepoint delivers streamlined solutions for senior communities and why you should use it for your patients.

What Exactly Is Sharepoint Solutions?

Sharepoint is a powerful content management system tool that makes information sharing simple. It’s easy to set-up, and you can connect your facilities; pc’s and cell phones make transferring relevant documents more streamlined between team members. Users can share several types of materials, as well as create custom forms using templates.

It can protect your patients’ information from data loss caused by breaches and file corruption with encryption. Sharepoint is HIPAA compliant, which is essential to protect your information. Healthcare security is the number one priority for patients and the ones who take care of them.

What Kind of Information Can I Share?

There are many types of files that you can share with your teammates on Sharepoint. From new patient intakes to medical records, Sharepoint does it all. You can choose who can view and access specific files, so your vital information can go to the right group of people.

You can also set-up your profile to add libraries, blogs, lists and much more. The sky is the limit, and it’s easy to manage what you want to add and share. You can find tutorials on the different types of documents you can share and how to get your My Site up and to run in no time.

Sharepoint and Security

Content management software that medical facilities use has to be HIPPA compliant, especially with the rise in data breaches. It is essential to keep your patients’ privacy and data as safeguarded as possible. Below, are some tips to keep your patients’ information secure and protected:

  • Control User Access
  • Audits Your Account
  • Policy Framework to Reduce Security Risks
  • You Can Put Your Browser on Lockdown
  • Data Loss Prevention From Office 365

Sharepoint takes healthcare security seriously, and the software creators want to make sure that you can protect private data without using third-party software.

Is There a Learning Curve?

Most people do not have any trouble learning Sharepoint, because it is like Microsoft Office. But, if you want to learn more advanced Sharepoint strategies, there are a lot of training courses to choose from on the internet. Some courses offer certificates of completion while others don’t.

Conclusion

Streamlining your patients care is vital for effective decision making regarding their health. With collaboration tools, you can share relevant documents with your teammates that is secure and efficient.

If your senior living community is ready to upgrade to a more efficient solution, then NCN Technologies is here to help. We specialize in custom software and Sharepoint Consulting. Keep up with the competition and let us help you make the right choice for your organization.

Application Security: A Critical Healthcare Requirement

Application Security: A Critical Healthcare Requirement

In the arena of healthcare and HIPAA compliance, ensuring application security from data breaches isn’t an option, it’s mandatory.

Throughout the servers of senior living centers all over the world exists a huge amount of data.

Needed prescriptions, doctors records, and recommended treatments are all examples of this data.

Information technology (IT) applications are used to store and communicate all this data.

A high level of application security within these IT systems is a must for two main reasons. One is the sensitive nature of the data contained within these applications. The other is the importance that it gets communicated in an accurate manner.

Why is application security so important in the sector of healthcare IT?

Application Security and Patient Data

The need for a high level of application security as it relates to the type of information dealt with within the healthcare sector is obvious.

The state of one’s health is information as sensitive as, if not more so, the state of one’s financial health. The same, someone with access to this type of personal information has the ability to negatively affect your future.

One gives financial advisors access to their financial data in hopes of positively affecting their future in this regard. Similarly, one gives health professionals–doctors, senior living caregivers, etc.–access to their health data in hopes that they can provide proper care to positively affect their future.

In both areas, there are also malicious individuals seeking to access and leak this information. Reports show that 1 in 4 healthcare installations suffered ransomware attacks in 2018.

Again, security within healthcare applications is critical.

Consider again the type of data constantly being traded from application to application. Software within the healthcare sector must rank at the high end of data security, right?

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. One of the three factors with the highest level of vulnerabilities in this regard is information leakage.

Application Security and Data Interoperability

What were the other two factors with the highest levels of vulnerability? Cryptographic issues and quality of coding.

Why is this also so troubling?

It’s because these are key aspects of proper interoperability between such applications. Here is a quick overview of interoperability within the healthcare system. We see it to consist of three primary components:

  1. One application must be able to acknowledge receipt of information from another application.
  2. Meaning and purpose must be accurately conveyed as data moves across applications.
  3. Data coding must be able to be interpreted by the receiving application.

If a system is vulnerable because of cryptographic issues and code quality, all three of these factors are at risk.

When these factors are at risk, so are those in your care. When those in your care are at risk, so is your organization.

Consider if a medical professional or caregiver is either unable to access or given inaccurate information. Wrongful diagnosis or wrongful prescription could lead to improper treatment.

At its most severe, the level of application security had can be the difference between life and death.

Lessen Your Liability

When dealing with such sensitive information, the level of liability you possess can be overwhelming.

It’s for the sake of your organization and those in your care that a high level of security within your IT systems is so critical.

Do you run a healthcare installation, such as a clinic or senior living organization? Are you concerned about the level of application security you currently have? If so, get in touch with us for a consultation on the right security solutions for you.

By doing so, you can rest easy and lessen your liability.

Patient Engagement Strategies for Improved Solutions

Patient Engagement Strategies for Improved Solutions

Primary care practices are tailored to be effective in treating patient issues. While efforts to provide care are in place, there’s no guarantee that patients will cooperate and engage to see results.

There’s an attitude that the patient isn’t as responsible as the practitioner or caregiver in the process of seeing results. This, of course, is not the case.

Patient engagement is essential to seeing quality outcomes, meaning that patient engagement plans must be effective. The key is tuning these plans to the understanding of the patient.

We’re going to discuss a few principles you should keep in mind when creating a patient engagement strategy.

Creating a Patient Engagement Plan

We understand that there’s a broad range of practitioners and patients across the board. No one blanket statement can apply to each situation.

With that in mind, there are general trends that apply to most people. As far as numbers go, it’s best to develop plans that can apply to as many people as possible and leave adjustments to be made when needed. Additionally, make sure everyone is on board when you’re implementing your plan.

Inconsistency in implementation is sure to affect outcomes.

Simplicity Is Key

How can we expect patients to implement plans when they haven’t been trained on the lingo and medical jargon used in them? It’s important to translate the medical language used in your practice to be more accessible to everyone.

If you wouldn’t have understood the words in the plan before you were trained, don’t include it in the patient engagement plan.

Further, each specific idea might not be necessary for the plan. Sure, it’s essential that a patient understands what the process is, but extraneous information is not needed.

For example, you could be helping a patient correct an injured knee. There may be a simple way to describe their home physical therapy processes without going into detail about the nature of muscle regeneration and human biology.

Those details are important, although they should be separated from simple engagement plan. It might be valuable to ensure their understanding before the plan is in place, giving simple guidance in the engagement strategy.

Make the Risks of Non-Engagement Known

Another risk of misunderstanding is that the patient will not see the results they’re looking for. Everyone wants to improve, but how can they be motivated if they’re not sure they have to?

If patient understanding is very low, that person won’t have the same motivation to see results as you do. They might expect you to take the bulk of the work, thinking that anything they have to do or engage in would be minimally important.

To combat this, make sure you’re very clear about what will happen if they don’t participate. If they understand what you do, they should be more inclined to engage.

Looking for More Ways to Improve?

Patient engagement will be improved if you give it some thought and construct a plan. When broken down, the principles are simple. That goes for a lot of areas in business, too.

If you’re looking for more ways to streamline your practice and see improvements in business, visit our site for the information you need.

Sharepoint: A Collaborative Effort in Healthcare

Sharepoint: A Collaborative Effort in Healthcare

Sharepoint Solutions: A Collaborative Effort in Healthcare

With healthcare impacted by regulations and competing factors, Sharepoint solutions include clinical protocols, training policies, and HIPAA compliant platforms.

We all want what is best for our loved ones. As older adults enter senior communities, it’s becoming harder for facilities to update their software. Sharepoint provides state-of-the-art software that is easy to install and get going right away.

Let’s talk about why Sharepoint delivers streamlined solutions for senior communities and why you should use it for your residents.

What Exactly Is Sharepoint?

Sharepoint is a powerful content management system tool that makes information sharing simple. It’s easy to set-up, and you can connect your facilities; pc’s and cell phones to make transferring relevant documents more streamlined between team members and departments. Users can share several types of materials, as well as create custom forms using templates.

It can protect your patients’ information from data loss caused by breaches and file corruption with encryption. Sharepoint is HIPAA compliant, which is essential to protect your information. Healthcare security is the number one priority for patients and the ones who take care of them.

What Kind of Information Can I Share?

There are many types of files that you can share with your teammates on Sharepoint. From new patient intakes to medical records, Sharepoint does it all. You can choose who can view and access specific files, so your vital information can go to the right group of people.

You can also set-up your profile to add libraries, blogs, lists and much more. The sky is the limit, and it’s easy to manage what you want to add and share.

Sharepoint and Security

Content management software that medical facilities use has to be HIPPA compliant, especially with the rise in data breaches. It is essential to keep your patients’ privacy and data as safeguarded as possible. Below, I will share some tips, so Sharepoint Solutions can keep your patients’ information secure and protected:

  • Control User Access
  • Audits Your Account
  • Policy Framework to Reduce Security Risks
  • You Can Put Your Browser on Lockdown
  • Data Loss Prevention From Office 365

Sharepoint takes healthcare security seriously and hence ensures that you can protect private data with innate security tools.

Is There a Learning Curve with SharePoint?

Most people do not have any trouble learning Sharepoint, because it is like Microsoft Office. But, if you want to learn more advanced Sharepoint strategies, there are a lot of training courses to choose from on the internet. Some courses offer certificates of completion while others don’t.

Conclusion

Streamlining your patients care is vital for effective decision making regarding their health. With Sharepoint Solutions, you can share relevant documents with your teammates that is secure and efficient.

If your senior living community is ready to upgrade to a more efficient solution, then NCN Technology is here to help. We specialize in custom software and Sharepoint Consulting. Keep up with the competition and let us help you make the right choice for your organization.

The Benefits and Challenges of Healthcare Interoperability

The Benefits and Challenges of Healthcare Interoperability

How do you know if you can trust the healthcare system? Interoperability is the communication between medical centers and organizations that will potentially allow you to do so. The benefits of interoperability are simple: accountable healthcare, streamlined efficiency, and more accessible information. However, the challenges of healthcare interoperability, however, aren’t just technical. Often times, these challenges are social, political, and economic. 

What is Healthcare Interoperability?

Simply put, healthcare interoperability is a means to communicate between healthcare centers so that patient information is readily accessible and accurate. However, it is more complex than this.

Interoperability is the ability for two or more systems to exchange and interpret the information exchanged. There are three main types of healthcare interoperability. 

  • Foundational Interoperability- A basic form of interoperability which allows one system to exchange data, but not interpret it. 
  • Structural Interoperability-Data can be exchanged and interpreted at a base level but the clinical or operational purpose of the data is concealed. 
  • Semantic Interoperability- The highest form of interoperability. Two or more systems can exchange information.  Full information on the patient is usable and interpretable. 

Political Obstacles of Healthcare Interoperability

In 2015, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued a report to Congress on healthcare information blocking.  The report stated that healthcare providers and IT developers use of technology was a conflict of national interest.

In 2016, President Obama signed the MACRA (The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act). It aims to establish culpability among healthcare providers and incentivize better healthcare procedures. 

Healthcare interoperability is integral in the quest for streamlined ethical healthcare. There are some, however, who are concerned with security issues. With technology, comes technical difficulties. 

That being said, there are many technological solutions in progress to ensure the safety of your medical information.  

Technical Obstacles of Healthcare Interoperability

Although this should seem obvious, you are not usually worrying about sensitive information such as healthcare records every day. You’re usually worrying about other aspects of life. 

There’s still a trust issue surrounding interoperability and this lack of trust is because there isn’t a specific standard for record sharing. Data is still be transferred with incompatible fonts, proprietary fields, and external data fields. If data can’t be transferred correctly, what’s the point in transferring it at all? 

The good news is, there’s plenty of systems making it easier to sanitize data and make it compatible across systems. Similarly, there’s no standard way of dealing with errors across systems. So providers are having a tough time dealing with technical issues that vary from system to system. 

The technical issues facing interoperability are a bit of a paradox. Most of them could be solved by improving interoperability. However, that’s easier said than done.

Healthcare Interoperability is Still the Wave of the Future  

Healthcare interoperability is here to stay and the exchange of data will become more accurate over time. Improved healthcare and more liberty in choosing which healthcare provider is best for your current situation is just a small part of the discussion of interoperability. Trust is the main thing that stands in the way. 

Since so many people feel slighted by the healthcare system, it’s natural for them to want security. Interoperability symbolizes the security healthcare organizations can provide.  

Check out these other informative blogs on technology!

How Healthcare Technology is Improving Senior Care

How Healthcare Technology is Improving Senior Care

Baby boomers are aging, and as a result, we have a swelling population of seniors. In fact, the Census Bureau recently reported that 13.3 percent of the residents in the United States are seniors. 

As healthcare improves and baby boomers continue to age, the number of seniors will continue to grow. Seniors are benefiting from the growing field of healthcare technology. There are many solutions now available for seniors and their families to manage different aspects of their health.

Let’s take a look at three ways healthcare technology is improving senior care. 

Healthcare Technology – Smartphone

Software companies have worked hard to produce applications improving patient outcomes and ultimately improving health care overall. Seniors can use apps to manage their healthcare on their computers or phones. 

Smartphones alone have led to some pretty revolutionary developments in healthcare. Seniors can download apps that help them keep track of their medication or set calendar reminders. Additionally, smartphone apps that track exercise is being used by seniors to improve overall health.

Another technology that can help to improve health is the use of Skype or Facetime. Seniors can see children and grandchildren who live far away. This type of interaction boosts moods and will help prevent depression and subsequent health problems. 

Healthcare Technology – GPS

Adult children with senior parents have a genuine concern when their parent exhibits signs of dementia and begins to wander and lose track of his or her surroundings. A GPS tracker can be added to a parent’s phone. 

In addition to trackers on a phone, senior monitoring systems now exist that help adult children keep their parents safe and healthy. Children of seniors can also use in-house sensors to keep track of their parents’ movements. 

Bed sensors and motion sensors developed specifically for the purpose of keeping a senior safe now exist. So for example, if it’s noon, and the senior hasn’t moved from his bed, an adult child living states away can call a neighbor to check on his mom or dad. 

Healthcare Technology – Security Cameras

In addition to motion sensors and GPS to keep track of a senior, security cameras are another healthcare technology available to seniors and their families. This technology provides peace of mind by being able to monitor a family member.

When you live hundreds and even thousands of miles away, you wrestle with the guilt that you cannot be there with an aging parent. So you rely on trustworthy caregivers, neighbors, and nurses to provide care. Sadly, not everyone is trustworthy. 

Small cameras similar to nanny cams can prevent a senior citizen from sustaining abuse or deception.  

Healthcare Technology Means a Better Senior Life

Technology is helping to keep seniors safe and well cared for in their own homes or a senior facility. As discussed, the senior population is growing and access to technology is improving the quality of life for seniors.

Contact us for more solutions that help serve our aging population overall.