How to stay HIPAA-compliant on social media

Social media networks can be used by healthcare organizations to advertise their services as well as communicate with patients and get them more involved in their own healthcare. However, there’s always a risk that Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules and patient privacy will be violated on social media networks. To ensure HIPAA compliance, healthcare organizations must implement social media-related security protocols that adhere to the regulation. Here are some important tips to ensure that your healthcare business complies with HIPAA regulations on social media use.

What social media actions violate HIPAA rules?

Posting patients’ protected health information (PHI) on social media without the patients’ permission or authority, even if it’s accidentally, is a violation of HIPAA regulations. This includes actions like:

  • Sharing pictures with patient information visible in the background
  • Sharing any form of PHI (such as images or videos)
  • Posting any information that could identify an individual
  • Sharing gossip about a patient, even if the patient’s name is not mentioned

What are the consequences of violating HIPAA?

The healthcare industry should never treat HIPAA violations lightly. If an employee is found guilty of breaking a HIPAA rule, they could face fines between $100 and $1.8 million depending on the severity of the violation. They could also face a 10-year jail sentence, lawsuits, job termination, and revocation of their medical license.

How can healthcare organizations prevent violations?

There are simple ways to avoid HIPAA violations while using social media:

  • Don’t post stories about patients on social media. Even if a patient’s name is omitted, they could still be identified by their diagnosis or treatment.
  • Check the background of your photos before posting. This ensures that you don’t violate policies prohibiting the posting photos of a patient or their information, whether intentional or not.
  • Prohibit employees from offering medical advice on social media. It’s best to refrain from posting diagnoses or treatment plans on social media, even if a patient asks for medical advice.
  • Always get written permission. Sometimes, a patient’s story is too great not to share. Maybe they made an astonishing recovery or exhibited great strength in the face of adversity and you want to share their accomplishment. In cases like these, ask for written permission from the patient before posting their story or anything that pertains to them on social media.
  • Train employees on HIPAA security and HIPAA privacy procedures and policies. Make sure to cover topics such as workstation use, workstation security, and personal device usage for work. This ensures that employees comply with HIPAA rules and are protecting patient information, whether it be electronic, written, or oral.

By taking the steps outlined in this article, you can create a safe and confidential environment for all patients. Feel free to call us today if you need help in creating policies and procedures to ensure your staff’s compliance with HIPAA social media rules, or if you need help managing the IT and privacy of your healthcare organization.

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HIPAA compliance guidelines for social media usage

Social media can be a powerful tool for healthcare organizations to spread awareness. But in using social media, these organizations must adhere to specific Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance standards. In this blog post, we will discuss guidelines for HIPAA compliance regarding the use of social media.

What social media actions violate HIPAA rules?

Posting patients’ protected health information (PHI) on social media without the patients’ permission or authority, even if it’s accidentally, is a violation of HIPAA regulations. This includes actions like:

  • Sharing pictures with patient information visible in the background
  • Sharing any form of PHI (such as images or videos)
  • Posting any information that could identify an individual
  • Sharing gossip about a patient, even if the patient’s name is not mentioned

What are the consequences of violating HIPAA?

The healthcare industry should never treat HIPAA violations lightly. If an employee is found guilty of breaking a HIPAA rule, they could face fines between $100 and $1.8 million depending on the severity of the violation. They could also face a 10-year jail sentence, lawsuits, job termination, and revocation of their medical license.

How can healthcare organizations prevent violations?

There are simple ways to avoid HIPAA violations while using social media:

  • Don’t post stories about patients on social media. Even if a patient’s name is omitted, they could still be identified by their diagnosis or treatment.
  • Check the background of your photos before posting. This ensures that you don’t violate policies prohibiting the posting photos of a patient or their information, whether intentional or not.
  • Prohibit employees from offering medical advice on social media. It’s best to refrain from posting diagnoses or treatment plans on social media, even if a patient asks for medical advice.
  • Always get written permission. Sometimes, a patient’s story is too great not to share. Maybe they made an astonishing recovery or exhibited great strength in the face of adversity and you want to share their accomplishment. In cases like these, ask for written permission from the patient before posting their story or anything that pertains to them on social media.
  • Train employees on HIPAA security and HIPAA privacy procedures and policies. Make sure to cover topics such as workstation use, workstation security, and personal device usage for work. This ensures that employees comply with HIPAA rules and are protecting patient information, whether it be electronic, written, or oral.

By taking the steps outlined in this article, you can create a safe and confidential environment for all patients. Feel free to call us today if you need help in creating policies and procedures to ensure your staff’s compliance with HIPAA social media rules, or if you need help managing the IT and privacy of your healthcare organization.

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HIPAA-approved social media guidelines for businesses

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was established with the goal of protecting the privacy of medical providers and their patients. The act sets standards for how healthcare organizations must protect patient information, including what kind of security measures must be in place to keep data safe. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some best practices for social media use in HIPAA-compliant organizations.

What social media actions violate HIPAA rules?

Posting patients’ protected health information (PHI) on social media without the patients’ permission or authority, even if it’s accidentally, is a violation of HIPAA regulations. This includes actions like:

  • Sharing pictures with patient information visible in the background
  • Sharing any form of PHI (such as images or videos)
  • Posting any information that could identify an individual
  • Sharing gossip about a patient, even if the patient’s name is not mentioned

What are the consequences of violating HIPAA?

The healthcare industry should never treat HIPAA violations lightly. If an employee is found guilty of breaking a HIPAA rule, they could face fines between $100 and $1.8 million depending on the severity of the violation. They could also face a 10-year jail sentence, lawsuits, job termination, and revocation of their medical license.

How can healthcare organizations prevent violations?

There are simple ways to avoid HIPAA violations while using social media:

  • Don’t post stories about patients on social media. Even if a patient’s name is omitted, they could still be identified by their diagnosis or treatment.
  • Check the background of your photos before posting. This ensures that you don’t violate policies prohibiting the posting photos of a patient or their information, whether intentional or not.
  • Prohibit employees from offering medical advice on social media. It’s best to refrain from posting diagnoses or treatment plans on social media, even if a patient asks for medical advice.
  • Always get written permission. Sometimes, a patient’s story is too great not to share. Maybe they made an astonishing recovery or exhibited great strength in the face of adversity and you want to share their accomplishment. In cases like these, ask for written permission from the patient before posting their story or anything that pertains to them on social media.
  • Train employees on HIPAA security and HIPAA privacy procedures and policies. Make sure to cover topics such as workstation use, workstation security, and personal device usage for work. This ensures that employees comply with HIPAA rules and are protecting patient information, whether it be electronic, written, or oral.

By taking the steps outlined in this article, you can create a safe and confidential environment for all patients. Feel free to call us today if you need help in creating policies and procedures to ensure your staff’s compliance with HIPAA social media rules, or if you need help managing the IT and privacy of your healthcare organization.

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7 PC energy-saving tips

Saving energy can be challenging when you use your PC every day. In fact, a desktop computer setup (i.e., one that includes loudspeakers and a printer) that is on for eight hours a day uses almost 600 kWh a year. Fortunately, following these PC usage tips can help you conserve electricity.

1. Reduce your computer monitor’s brightness

Most monitors have a built-in sensor that adjusts the screen’s brightness according to the amount of light in the room. You can also manually adjust your PC’s brightness to further reduce its power consumption.

2. Unplug your computer when it’s not in use

Many people leave their computers on all day, even when they’re not using them, to save time powering up. However, this practice wastes a lot of energy.

If you’re not going to be using your computer for a while, it’s best to shut it down and unplug it. That’s because a plugged-in computer — even when it’s switched off — still consumes standby power.

If you’re going to be away from your PC for a few minutes or a couple of hours, you can still save energy without sacrificing too much time by turning off your monitor. If you have a laptop, you can put it into sleep or hibernation mode when you’re not using it.

3. Opt for a laptop instead of a desktop computer

Use a laptop instead of a desktop since laptops are designed to be more energy-efficient than desktops.

4. Keep your laptop plugged in only when it is charging

We tend to forget about our laptops while they’re charging, leaving them plugged in for hours. The bad news is that overcharging causes the battery to deteriorate over time. When left plugged in, the charger still consumes power, even if it’s not connected to your computer. To save energy, unplug your laptop charger once you’re done charging.

5. Detach external devices from your PC when you’re not using them

Any external devices (e.g., printer, scanner, or webcam) connected to your PC continues to draw power even when they’re not in use. So when you’re not using them, make sure to disconnect these external devices from your PC.

6. Use a smart strip, especially for computers you cannot turn off

A smart strip automatically shuts down appliances when they go into standby mode. By connecting your computer and external devices to a smart strip, you won’t have to unplug your equipment when they’re not in use.

7. Pick an Energy Star-certified PC

When buying a new PC, look for an Energy Star-certified model. Products that have the Energy Star symbol are guaranteed to deliver both quality performance and energy savings. The number of stars a product has indicates how energy-efficient it is.

In fact, an Energy Star-certified PC uses about 25%–40% less electricity than conventional models by using the most efficient components and better managing energy use when idle. This can translate to savings between $7 and $52 per year in electricity bills.

Following these tips should help you reduce your electricity costs and make smart hardware choices. If you need help selecting the best hardware for your company’s needs, contact us. We’re ready to assist you.

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How to conserve electricity with your PC

Did you know that putting your PC to sleep when not in use could lead to savings of up to $50 a year? You can further increase your savings by following these PC power-saving tips.

1. Reduce your computer monitor’s brightness

Most monitors have a built-in sensor that adjusts the screen’s brightness according to the amount of light in the room. You can also manually adjust your PC’s brightness to further reduce its power consumption.

2. Unplug your computer when it’s not in use

Many people leave their computers on all day, even when they’re not using them, to save time powering up. However, this practice wastes a lot of energy.

If you’re not going to be using your computer for a while, it’s best to shut it down and unplug it. That’s because a plugged-in computer — even when it’s switched off — still consumes standby power.

If you’re going to be away from your PC for a few minutes or a couple of hours, you can still save energy without sacrificing too much time by turning off your monitor. If you have a laptop, you can put it into sleep or hibernation mode when you’re not using it.

3. Opt for a laptop instead of a desktop computer

Use a laptop instead of a desktop since laptops are designed to be more energy-efficient than desktops.

4. Keep your laptop plugged in only when it is charging

We tend to forget about our laptops while they’re charging, leaving them plugged in for hours. The bad news is that overcharging causes the battery to deteriorate over time. When left plugged in, the charger still consumes power, even if it’s not connected to your computer. To save energy, unplug your laptop charger once you’re done charging.

5. Detach external devices from your PC when you’re not using them

Any external devices (e.g., printer, scanner, or webcam) connected to your PC continues to draw power even when they’re not in use. So when you’re not using them, make sure to disconnect these external devices from your PC.

6. Use a smart strip, especially for computers you cannot turn off

A smart strip automatically shuts down appliances when they go into standby mode. By connecting your computer and external devices to a smart strip, you won’t have to unplug your equipment when they’re not in use.

7. Pick an Energy Star-certified PC

When buying a new PC, look for an Energy Star-certified model. Products that have the Energy Star symbol are guaranteed to deliver both quality performance and energy savings. The number of stars a product has indicates how energy-efficient it is.

In fact, an Energy Star-certified PC uses about 25%–40% less electricity than conventional models by using the most efficient components and better managing energy use when idle. This can translate to savings between $7 and $52 per year in electricity bills.

Following these tips should help you reduce your electricity costs and make smart hardware choices. If you need help selecting the best hardware for your company’s needs, contact us. We’re ready to assist you.

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7 Tips to reduce PC power consumption

In 2021, industrial consumers of electricity in the United States paid an average of $7.26 per kilowatt hour. This amount is a 9% increase from 2020 and the highest figure recorded since 1970. Given the rising electricity rates, it’s now more important to take energy-saving measures, one of which is reducing your PC power consumption. Here’s how to do that.

1. Reduce your computer monitor’s brightness

Most monitors have a built-in sensor that adjusts the screen’s brightness according to the amount of light in the room. You can also manually adjust your PC’s brightness to further reduce its power consumption.

2. Unplug your computer when it’s not in use

Many people leave their computers on all day, even when they’re not using them, to save time powering up. However, this practice wastes a lot of energy.

If you’re not going to be using your computer for a while, it’s best to shut it down and unplug it. That’s because a plugged-in computer — even when it’s switched off — still consumes standby power.

If you’re going to be away from your PC for a few minutes or a couple of hours, you can still save energy without sacrificing too much time by turning off your monitor. If you have a laptop, you can put it into sleep or hibernation mode when you’re not using it.

3. Opt for a laptop instead of a desktop computer

Use a laptop instead of a desktop since laptops are designed to be more energy-efficient than desktops.

4. Keep your laptop plugged in only when it is charging

We tend to forget about our laptops while they’re charging, leaving them plugged in for hours. The bad news is that overcharging causes the battery to deteriorate over time. When left plugged in, the charger still consumes power, even if it’s not connected to your computer. To save energy, unplug your laptop charger once you’re done charging.

5. Detach external devices from your PC when you’re not using them

Any external devices (e.g., printer, scanner, or webcam) connected to your PC continues to draw power even when they’re not in use. So when you’re not using them, make sure to disconnect these external devices from your PC.

6. Use a smart strip, especially for computers you cannot turn off

A smart strip automatically shuts down appliances when they go into standby mode. By connecting your computer and external devices to a smart strip, you won’t have to unplug your equipment when they’re not in use.

7. Pick an Energy Star-certified PC

When buying a new PC, look for an Energy Star-certified model. Products that have the Energy Star symbol are guaranteed to deliver both quality performance and energy savings. The number of stars a product has indicates how energy-efficient it is.

In fact, an Energy Star-certified PC uses about 25%–40% less electricity than conventional models by using the most efficient components and better managing energy use when idle. This can translate to savings between $7 and $52 per year in electricity bills.

Following these tips should help you reduce your electricity costs and make smart hardware choices. If you need help selecting the best hardware for your company’s needs, contact us. We’re ready to assist you.

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How AI-powered VoIP is changing the game for businesses

The world of business telecommunications is changing. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems have been around for a while, but with the advent of AI-powered automation, they are becoming more efficient and effective than ever before. If you’re not already using an AI-powered VoIP system in your business, you’re missing out on a lot of benefits. Here’s what makes AI-powered VoIP so great for businesses.

AI-powered call recording analysis

AI tools can help improve your business’s customer experience in many ways. For one, it can parse through call recordings to identify issues such as poor customer service. They can also identify trends (e.g., increasing customer satisfaction) and the challenges your agents encounter in providing customer support, such as when guiding clients through a process.

Interactive voice response (IVR) systems with conversational AI

An IVR system is designed to automatically respond to customer queries through AI agents. These agents allow businesses to take on more customer calls, eliminating the need to hire more human agents. Among AI assistants’ most powerful features are the following:

  • Text and speech recognition – the ability to understand and respond to written and spoken messages
  • Intent recognition – the ability to discern what the person communicating with the AI tool wants based on what that person is saying
  • Contextual guidance – the ability to “remember” what was stated earlier so that the AI tool can understand references to those past statements
  • Multilingualism – the ability to communicate in many different languages

While in a call, AI assistants can concurrently gather and assess all relevant customer data such as personal information and recent transactions to resolve a query. In this aspect, they are more efficient than human agents who may have to put a caller on hold to access the caller’s records.

And over time, because of machine learning and natural language processing, AI-powered IVR systems will only get better at communicating with customers. However, for more nuanced queries, AI agents will transfer calls to human business representatives.

Chatbot functions

Chatbots are useful programs that receive instructions via textual or auditory means to perform automated tasks.

Businesses use chatbots to automate customer interactions. However, AI-powered chatbots go beyond regular bot duties by performing more complex tasks like setting up meetings, inviting attendees, managing schedules, and much more.

AI-enabled web conferencing

Developments in telecom technology and faster internet speeds have tremendously improved web conferencing. AI advances this even further with real-time language translation and speech recognition technology, which greatly benefit businesses with offices in multiple geographic locations and stakeholders who speak different languages.

AI-enabled web conferencing can even provide intelligent prompts and relevant data to guide your conversations and ensure a fruitful meeting.

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, businesses that embrace AI-powered VoIP will be well-positioned for success. Contact our experts to learn more about the advantages of VoIP for your business.

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AI-powered VoIP: The future of business communications

If you’re looking for ways to improve efficiency and cut costs, then you may have already made the switch to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). But have you considered using an AI-powered VoIP system? The difference between traditional VoIP and AI-powered VoIP is that the latter uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help provide a better user experience. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the ways that AI-powered VoIP can benefit your business and make your telecommunications operations more efficient and effective.

AI-powered call recording analysis

AI tools can help improve your business’s customer experience in many ways. For one, it can parse through call recordings to identify issues such as poor customer service. They can also identify trends (e.g., increasing customer satisfaction) and the challenges your agents encounter in providing customer support, such as when guiding clients through a process.

Interactive voice response (IVR) systems with conversational AI

An IVR system is designed to automatically respond to customer queries through AI agents. These agents allow businesses to take on more customer calls, eliminating the need to hire more human agents. Among AI assistants’ most powerful features are the following:

  • Text and speech recognition – the ability to understand and respond to written and spoken messages
  • Intent recognition – the ability to discern what the person communicating with the AI tool wants based on what that person is saying
  • Contextual guidance – the ability to “remember” what was stated earlier so that the AI tool can understand references to those past statements
  • Multilingualism – the ability to communicate in many different languages

While in a call, AI assistants can concurrently gather and assess all relevant customer data such as personal information and recent transactions to resolve a query. In this aspect, they are more efficient than human agents who may have to put a caller on hold to access the caller’s records.

And over time, because of machine learning and natural language processing, AI-powered IVR systems will only get better at communicating with customers. However, for more nuanced queries, AI agents will transfer calls to human business representatives.

Chatbot functions

Chatbots are useful programs that receive instructions via textual or auditory means to perform automated tasks.

Businesses use chatbots to automate customer interactions. However, AI-powered chatbots go beyond regular bot duties by performing more complex tasks like setting up meetings, inviting attendees, managing schedules, and much more.

AI-enabled web conferencing

Developments in telecom technology and faster internet speeds have tremendously improved web conferencing. AI advances this even further with real-time language translation and speech recognition technology, which greatly benefit businesses with offices in multiple geographic locations and stakeholders who speak different languages.

AI-enabled web conferencing can even provide intelligent prompts and relevant data to guide your conversations and ensure a fruitful meeting.

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, businesses that embrace AI-powered VoIP will be well-positioned for success. Contact our experts to learn more about the advantages of VoIP for your business.

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4 Ways AI-powered VoIP can benefit your business

In business, time is money. For instance, the faster you can communicate with colleagues and customers, the more productive you can be. That’s why so many companies are turning to AI-powered Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for their telecommunications needs. This technology offers a number of benefits and features over traditional phone systems. Keep reading to learn more.

AI-powered call recording analysis

AI tools can help improve your business’s customer experience in many ways. For one, it can parse through call recordings to identify issues such as poor customer service. They can also identify trends (e.g., increasing customer satisfaction) and the challenges your agents encounter in providing customer support, such as when guiding clients through a process.

Interactive voice response (IVR) systems with conversational AI

An IVR system is designed to automatically respond to customer queries through AI agents. These agents allow businesses to take on more customer calls, eliminating the need to hire more human agents. Among AI assistants’ most powerful features are the following:

  • Text and speech recognition – the ability to understand and respond to written and spoken messages
  • Intent recognition – the ability to discern what the person communicating with the AI tool wants based on what that person is saying
  • Contextual guidance – the ability to “remember” what was stated earlier so that the AI tool can understand references to those past statements
  • Multilingualism – the ability to communicate in many different languages

While in a call, AI assistants can concurrently gather and assess all relevant customer data such as personal information and recent transactions to resolve a query. In this aspect, they are more efficient than human agents who may have to put a caller on hold to access the caller’s records.

And over time, because of machine learning and natural language processing, AI-powered IVR systems will only get better at communicating with customers. However, for more nuanced queries, AI agents will transfer calls to human business representatives.

Chatbot functions

Chatbots are useful programs that receive instructions via textual or auditory means to perform automated tasks.

Businesses use chatbots to automate customer interactions. However, AI-powered chatbots go beyond regular bot duties by performing more complex tasks like setting up meetings, inviting attendees, managing schedules, and much more.

AI-enabled web conferencing

Developments in telecom technology and faster internet speeds have tremendously improved web conferencing. AI advances this even further with real-time language translation and speech recognition technology, which greatly benefit businesses with offices in multiple geographic locations and stakeholders who speak different languages.

AI-enabled web conferencing can even provide intelligent prompts and relevant data to guide your conversations and ensure a fruitful meeting.

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, businesses that embrace AI-powered VoIP will be well-positioned for success. Contact our experts to learn more about the advantages of VoIP for your business.

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PowerPoint tips to impress your audience

Many people struggle with creating effective and engaging PowerPoint presentations. To help you take your PowerPoint presentation to the next level and make a strong impression on your audience, you can try the following tips.

Understand your target audience

Before preparing your presentation, do some research about your target audience. Think about what kind of presentation they would enjoy. What sort of media do they prefer most, and what kinds of images and typefaces should you use to pique their interest?

Doing your homework on your audience will help ensure your PowerPoint presentation receives the full attention of your audience.

Talk about one idea per slide

Never cram several topics into a single slide, as this can overwhelm your audience. Instead, concentrate on one theme or topic per slide. This will help your audience better comprehend the message you’re trying to get across.

Use images instead of bullet points

Using pictures, graphical elements, or other visual components instead of bulleted lists, can help you command more attention during your presentation. Images can help your audience focus more on what you’re saying instead of reading what’s on the screen.

Use white space to enhance readability

White space, also known as negative space, is a design concept that refers to empty spaces in a layout. It isn’t always white; rather, it’s the background of the design, regardless of color or pattern, that doesn’t contain any text or images. When used correctly, white space will draw your audience’s focus to the most essential parts of your presentation.

Practice

Practice delivering your presentation days before a live or recorded event. You can try practicing in front of a mirror or recording yourself to see how well you’re delivering your presentation. Rehearsing several times can help you determine the flow of your presentation and identify areas for improvement.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re making a PowerPoint presentation to increase audience engagement. For more detailed information on how to make compelling PowerPoint presentations, give us a call today.

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