IT support for optometrists brings together general tech support, maintenance of specialized machinery, patient management software support, and HIPAA guidelines. Optometry practices have highly unique needs when it comes to their technology. At catmandu, we already provide tech support to several eye doctors in Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle. We have been meeting their specialized needs for several years and will continue to do so far into the future.
We support the technology of optometrists in several ways:
Optometrists constantly use a variety of machines to examine and help their patients. Most of these machines are connected to the office’s private network and will transfer patient data over the network to the server. If any one of these machines stops working properly, it could easily lead to the office losing thousands of dollars in lost productivity. While we don’t work on the machines ourselves, we have good relationships with the companies that perform the maintenance and repairs. We will be able to call those companies directly and get a broken machine up and running quickly.
Specialized Patient Management Software
As with most industries, there is industry-standard software that optometrists use to manage patient data, appointments, insurance information, billing, etc. We have a thorough knowledge of many of these software packages such as ExamWRITER and OfficeMate, both made by Eyefinity. We also have experience in troubleshooting problems with these programs should they arise.
The most important thing we do for eye doctors in relation to their technology is to make sure that the portions of their business that we have control over are HIPAA compliant. HIPAA guidelines, which are notoriously strict, are put in place to protect patient information. We protect patient data while it is being sent over the network and while it is stored by providing optometrists with secure technological solutions. We ensure that any copy of patient data is encrypted if it is to be sent over the internet.
Also, since it is against the law to email anyone with patient data, we can set up a HIPAA compliant email service. With this type of email, the optometrist office will send an encrypted email to a service provider and the service provider will then email the patient with a link to login to their account.
We keep up with HIPAA changes and we let the optometrist know if they need to change or fix any of their practices. HIPAA laws are muddy and confusing but we believe it is our job to clear that up and to protect our clients. The consequence of HIPAA violations is hefty fines from the government, which have the potential to put people out of business. A violation of HIPAA guidelines could also result in data loss which could cause thousands of dollars in lost productivity and loss of patient trust. It takes active participation on the part of the optometrist to remain compliant.
Another part of HIPAA compliance (and general good sense) is to ensure there are backups of important data - such as financial or patient information. When it comes to backing up data, we recommend using Carbonite, a cloud backup solution that is fully HIPAA compliant. For onsite backups, such as those on a server, we make sure that the server is secure behind a locked door as is required by HIPAA.
There may be some optometrists in the Texas Panhandle reading this blog right now and you’re thinking, “Oh no, I’m not HIPAA compliant at all” or “Wow, there are some technological solutions out there that could really boost my productivity.” If that’s you, the best place to start is by getting a free network assessment from catmandu. We will come to your office, fully analyze your network and get a plan in motion for making you HIPAA compliant and technologically sound.
To get started, fill out this form for a FREE network assessment.
cat.man.du equips businesses with technology solutions – from servers & networks to web development & digital marketing - but what we really do is allow people to do their jobs headache free.