Showing posts with label Healthcare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Healthcare. Show all posts

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Online interactive yoga course via Citrix GoToTraining

About the company

Mr and Mrs Pose was founded in Sydney in 2011 by Jennifer Taylor to provide greater online access to yoga, meditation and the wellness lifestyle throughout Australia and New Zealand.
With a combined history of over 20 years’ worth of yoga instruction experience, business owners Murray and Jennifer Taylor treasure their daily personal practice and strive to inspire everyone to practice yoga and meditation with their loved ones.


Challenge

With our society continually looking for new ways to remain fit and healthy, yoga has long been a staple in the weekly exercise routines of many Australians. In recent years, yoga’s profile has grown, reaching broader demographics than ever before.
The steady popularity of yoga has given rise to an abundance of yoga studios, making it especially challenging for small, independent businesses to find ways to differentiate and remain competitive. With limited resources and space, Jennifer and Murray couldn’t afford to lease a yoga studio and also reach those unable to attend a class.
They needed to find a way to tap into the potential of the online world, whilst maintaining the intimacy and interactive feel of small-group yoga training.
 
“Our vision is to inspire men and women to practice yoga and meditation with their loved ones, partners, friends, children or colleagues — regardless of location. Without GoToTraining enabling us to approach our business in an ‘out of the box’ way, we would never have been able to reach the client base we have today. Not only have we created a small business based solely on mobile-app technology, we’re encouraging flexibility and a healthy work-life balance for our clients, which is what we’re all about.”

-Jennifer Taylor, co-founder, Mr and Mrs Pose

Solution

Mr and Mrs Pose is the first online yoga studio to offer live, interactive classes via Citrix GoToTraining. Launched in December 2013, the classes have been designed in response to student feedback about interaction with teachers.
The classes can be joined live or accessed via a recorded version if students can’t make the session. Class participants share webcams so the teacher can correct them as they go and also so students can see others in the class.


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Benefits
Jennifer Taylor now offers up to 15 live, interactive classes via GoToTraining and earns around 70 percent of her income from the online classes. Feedback from online participants continues to be highly positive.
One student said, “I am a yoga beginner and tried the online introductory class to see how it worked. It was amazing to have an instructor beamed into my living room.”


Others : Software for Healthcare Industry

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Consulate Health Care connects and supports their growing workforce with Citrix solutions






Consulate Health Care was founded in 1997 with a single care center. The company is now the largest provider of senior healthcare services in the state of Florida and the sixth largest in the United States. Headquartered in Maitland, Florida, Consulate operates more than 200 care centers across 21 states, providing services that include short-term rehabilitative programs, post-acute transitional care and Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Consulate’s 23,000 employees serve more than 40,000 patients annually.

Challenge

Over the past few years, Consulate Health Care expanded rapidly. Along the way, the company wound up with multiple conferencing tools across offices, which complicated administration and collaboration. “All cost a different amount per minute. Some had exorbitant charges. Some were reasonable but the quality wasn’t great,” explained Kurt Rodriguez, vice president of telecommunications. At the same time, the team was moving to a centralized model of IT and needed an effective way to support their systems and employees nationwide.

"We need the best tools to support our caregivers as they care for our patients. That’s why Citrix is part of our continuous commitment to find the best technology."
- Mark Crandall, Chief Information Officer


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Solution

After evaluating four different products, Consulate Health Care settled on Citrix collaboration solutions for their ease of use, mobile performance and flexible pricing. “GoToMeeting and OpenVoice were our choices because they gave us everything we need,” said Rodriguez. The centralized IT team soon followed with GoToAssist to streamline support to their remote workforce. “We’re looking to Citrix GoToAssist to help us provide the best service possible,” said Mark Crandall, chief information officer.



"Citrix tools enable us to provide care with our hearts in our hands, and that’s really why we all come to work every day."
- Mark Crandall, Chief Information Officer




Benefits

  • Teams in offices nationwide and caregivers in the field collaborate through GoToMeeting and OpenVoice to help provide the best possible care to their patients.
  • GoToMeeting and OpenVoice offers Consulate Health Care a flexible platform where they can review usage on a quarterly basis and adjust their subscription accordingly. GoToAssist allows the IT team to provide support to their remote workforce while keeping their resources centralized, enabling the team to effectively scale for growth.
  • The Citrix cloud-based solutions help Consulate Health Care cut down on their datacenter footprints and capital costs by reducing the need to own and update their own facilities.


Friday, 18 March 2016

Medical Laboratory Maintains High-Touch Service During Geographic Expansion With Citrix Solutions







"GoToAssist Remote Support is fantastic. It allows
our small but mighty IT staff to provide a high level of
support for people across the country."


Steve Klipp
Executive Vice President – Commercial Operations





PremierTox Laboratory is a pioneer in the reference laboratory marketplace, serving clinicians who prescribe controlled substances to treat pain as well as other debilitating disorders. The company is based in Russell Springs, Kentucky, and operates satellite labs in Tennessee and Texas. It specializes in toxicology, urine drug screening and therapeutic drug monitoring and provides services to hospitals and physician practices in 18 states in US. Founded in 2011 by a group of physicians and entrepreneurs, PremierTox currently employs about 200 people.



The Challenge: efficiently delivering signature service during business expansion


In a market sector with significant competition, PremierTox takes pride in its high level of service featuring regular interactions with customers. “A competitive lab’s sales rep might visit a customer’s location, but after signing them up for service, that rep may never be seen again,” said Steve Klipp, executive vice president, commercial operations. “Our sales managers are on site at least once a month and are even available to assist customers after hours and on weekends.” PremierTox
also sets itself apart with unique technology tools and customization capability.


“Unlike the ‘big box’ labs whose dominance allows them to take a one-size-fits-all approach, we are always working on ways to tailor our services, software, testing and report output to meet clinicians’ needs.”


PremierTox has always faced the challenge of geography. “We’re a state-of-the-art, multi-million-dollar laboratory located in Kentucky’s beautiful horse country, which is not just the home of our founders but also the center of the battle against drug abuse,” he said. “We’re very rural, but we have always been committed to hiring the best and brightest executives and sales staff, wherever they are located.


That’s why we brought GoToMeeting in at the beginning. It kept us connected with impromptu and scheduled remote meetings as we were getting the business up and running, and keeps us on track now, wherever in the country we are.”










Rapid expansion over its first three years—plus current plans for extending sales coverage to six more states and opening new satellite labs—have increased the importance of remote collaboration technology for PremierTox. “As a mid-size business, we are up against competitors with extensive resources and much larger staffs,” the executive noted. To continue winning on the basis of its signature, high-touch service as it branched out even further, PremierTox needed other smart
technologies that could enhance operational efficiency, maximize reach without requiring constant travel and support innovative business practices


Expanding the Citrix solution



In 2013, PremierTox upgraded to GoToMeeting Corporate and also added Citrix cloud solutions for remote training, remote support, audio conferencing and data sharing. Enhanced GoToMeeting functionality, including integrated HDFaces video conferencing and apps for iOS and Android devices, enables the company to collaborate more effectively. “HDFaces video increases a feeling of closeness among employees and helps keep people in sync. Also, the ability to hold a meeting in an instant, from any device, is highly valuable.” Klipp praised the high quality of GoToMeeting sessions on mobile devices.



In addition to internal collaboration, PremierTox staff make presentations to states’ governing bodies and key decision makers and interact with customers using GoToMeeting.

In these situations, the company provides integrated toll-free calling with OpenVoice audio conferencing to encourage participation. “It’s important to provide a toll-free number and high-quality audio service so we can impress these audiences,” he said. The company also uses OpenVoice for conference calls that do not require screen sharing.







In a rapidly changing industry, GoToTraining allows PremierTox to train employees remotely on evolving healthcare policy as well as new products and testing capabilities. GoToTraining avoids the cost of bringing people on site while providing interactive features, such as embedded questions and periodic comprehension checks, which enhance learning and provide feedback to the instructor. “We also use it for new hire training. These classes are recorded and stored in a database for on-demand access, helping to optimize our training department resources,” Klipp said.







PremierTox relies on GoToAssist to remotely support customers, sales reps and other employees. Klipp described typical scenarios. One is assisting customers with PremierToxDirect, the company’s proprietary, web-based software for managing and documenting lab specimens. Another is supporting employees who are working on site at customer locations, as well as salespeople in the field. “GoToAssist Remote Support is fantastic. It allows our small but mighty IT staff to provide a high level of support for people across the country.”










Sharing large files with customers and employees is now quick and easy with ShareFile. “We implemented Microsoft SharePoint, but it does not allow a link to be provided to external users. In looking for an alternative, we fell in love with ShareFile and use it extensively.” Klipp noted that ShareFile facilitates collaboration with the graphics design team, located in a major urban center, by avoiding the problem of size limits for email attachments. The tool also provides secure storage for confidential information, key to effective healthcare delivery.


Creating new and efficient services


All these Citrix solutions contribute to the company’s strategic goal of maintaining exceptional customer service while expanding into new geographies. Remote collaboration, support, training and data sharing promote strong relationships, enable fast, interactive responses and impress customers—all at “an incredibly reasonable cost,” according to Klipp. “Also, the fact that participants can log in to a session for free is very important to us.”


Citrix tools are opening new opportunities for business innovations that combine efficiency with personal service. “One of our goals is to generate leads, especially for healthcare providers in locations not currently supported by a sales rep. As we envision it, a customer will find us on the web, and we’ll ship them a starter kit and then get on a GoToMeeting or GoToTraining session to guide them through the set-up and specimen collection process and use of our services.”




Currently, PremierTox is conducting a trial program where a representative in Tennessee is remotely supporting customers in Wisconsin and Iowa. “She has met these customers on GoToMeeting, shown presentations and used HDFaces video to demonstrate in real time how to handle and ship specimens. It’s going very well,” he said.






“Citrix solutions are enabling us to accomplish goals that would otherwise require significant time and expense. As we grow, these tools will continue to play a strategic role in customer outreach, competitive advantage and business efficiency.”



Others : Software for Healthcare Industry

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Server Upgrade and Online Collaboration Speeds Patient Care in Malaysia Hospitals Columbia Asia

"Having a fast, reliable server platform has a direct impact on patient services. Doctors can assess, investigate and diagnose much faster because they have patient data instantly at the fingertips."
Yogessvaran Mohantas
Columbia Asia Sdn. Bhd.
Project Management Office, Team Lead



International private healthcare company, Columbia Asia, needs exceptional server and database infrastructure for its highly-advanced core hospital information system. In 2013, they redeployed this core system using Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and helped medical staff share system data more easily and securely with Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based email and video conferencing. Now, medical consultations, specialist discussions and patient treatments all happen faster.




“It used to take two minutes to create patient files: now it takes only few seconds.”
Yogessvaran Mohantas
Columbia Asia Sdn. Bhd.
Project Management Office, Team Lead



Business Needs
Hospitals all over the world want to integrate health and management systems, so they can improve patient services and accelerate decision-making. The challenges are huge, however. Integrated health systems need server operating systems and databases that are not just fast, but exceptionally reliable. Clinical staffs need instant access to patient data and the ability to rapidly and securely collaborate with medical and administrative staff – wherever they are.
Columbia Asia, which is based in Malaysia, has a particularly acute need for robust infrastructure. The company has a single, central, custom-built hospital information system called Care21, which manages patients, operating theatres, staff scheduling, finance and all medical records emphasizing on constricted data security systems. As Care21 is used by virtually all staff members, performance is absolutely critical.
Care21 was originally deployed on Windows Server 2003, with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 for the databases. However, as patient numbers grew, so did the complications. “Doctors were scanning more CT scans and MRIs onto patient records, while administrative staff demanded greater visibility and more detailed reports,” says Thavaseelan Kanasan, IT Infrastructure Executive. “As a result, applications became slow and patients experienced delay.”
At the same time, IT managers needed to minimise the disruption caused by IT maintenance and upgrades. “Disaster recovery took too long and monthly back-end maintenance became very difficult because we had to ask staff to revert to manual processes,” says Seelan. “And if we needed to take our Active Director Identity management offline, access was temporarily impossible.”
For clinical staff, improving communication and collaboration was a top priority. Doctors and other medical staff wanted the ability to access their email from anywhere and securely back up files they kept on their laptops. They also wanted desktop video conferencing and the ability to share CT scan images with consultants, so they could improve clinical collaboration and speed up decision-making.
Most important of all, executives wanted to minimise risk. “We backed up hospital data, including email, every day, but the operation took 30 minutes and we could theoretically lose a whole day of data,” says Mr. Giri, Database Administrator, Columbia Asia. “Care21 was capable of doing amazing things and our staff loved it but we had to make it easier for them to manage and help medical staff maximize the usage of it.

“Managers can focus on operations because applications are more reliable...”
Thavaseelan Kanasan
Columbia Asia Sdn. Bhd.
IT Infrastructure Executive


Solution

In early 2013, Columbia Asia executives decided to upgrade the server operating systems and databases at 10 hospitals and deploy new cloud-based collaboration tools.
With the help of Malaysian systems integrator., Columbia Asia tested Care21 on a new platform comprising Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V and Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Besides improved performance, this also means the company could migrate virtual machines live onto different clusters and replicate the live environment in two to three minutes.
New features in SQL Server 2012 also allowed the hospital to improve data backup and free up databases for more detailed and widespread analysis and reporting. “The AlwaysOn feature means I can permanently synchronise each hospital database. Consequently, the maximum amount of data lost is only 0.001% of daily inputs,” says Vijayaraghavan Yedhugirinath, Database Administrator.
Working with systems integrator, Columbia Asia deployed Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 in a succession of ultra-fast deployments. Deployments took just 10 weeks in each hospital, followed by two weeks of testing. “There were no delays and no postponements—it was a very impressive performance,” says Seelan. “Everything went according to plan despite a tight timeline.”
In addition, Columbia Asia began replacing staff members’ on-premises email with the cloud-based Microsoft suite; Office 365. Besides Outlook email which staff can access from any connected device, this includes SkyDrive file storage, so they can easily save and retrieve documents via the cloud. It also includes the unified communications tool, Lync Online, which enables staff to join video conferences and share documents live from any connected device.
Latter, Columbia Asia began deploying the enterprise social tool, Yammer. This creates a social-media platform inside an organisation, and enables employees to create profiles, list specialisations, create groups and broadcast requests for information. Within Columbia Asia, staff members enthusiastically using it to broadcast status updates and share clinical information across the hospitals.

“...This make a big difference to them: if our core systems are 99.99% reliable, then downtime is no longer a worry—half of their headache is gone."
Thavaseelan Kanasan
Columbia Asia Sdn. Bhd.
IT Infrastructure Executive





Benefits

With a swift, problem-free upgrade to Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012, Columbia Asia has made all its clinical systems safer with high security data protection, reduced the risks of data loss and improved reporting. With cloud-based communication and collaboration tools, staff members work more productively, sharing knowledge quickly and efficiently across 10 different geographical locations.
Reduced patient waiting time
Now, Care21 works noticeably faster. Doctors can open patient files and examine scans at the touch of a button, while admission staff are able to process registration quickly. “It used to take two minutes to create patient files: now it takes only few seconds,” says Yogessvaran Mohantas, Project Management Office, Team Lead. “Having a fast, reliable server platform also improves patient services. Doctors can assess, investigate and diagnose much faster because they have patient data instantly at the fingertips, so patient waiting time is reduced.”
Rapid, secure collaboration
Doctors can also share data more easily, because they have instant access to online collaboration tools. “With Lync, our medical staff can share presentations with each other, call for group meeting with colleagues from different hospitals and observe others’ desktops,” says Yogessvaran. “SkyDrive is extremely useful because each staff member can securely store their own data in the cloud and then retrieve it from home or wherever they are working. More importantly, our data is secured. Doctors don’t lose email or documents if their devices malfunctioned.”



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It gives an easy access to sophisticated reporting. Any hospital staff who want to analyse data be it doctors, pharmacists or marketers can now enjoy stress free experience. “With SQL Server Reporting Services, our staff can research data more extensively and generate reports without slowing down Care21,” added Yogessvaran. “For example, our accounts team generates daily financial reports, which they couldn’t do before. Now, they can even analyse data anytime they need.”
Increased confidence in IT
IT staff can perform the maintenance and upgrading without causing downtime. As a result, hospital managers have greater confidence. “Managers can focus on operations because applications are more reliable,” says Seelan. “This make a big difference to them: if our core systems are 99.99% reliable, then downtime is no longer a worry—half of their headache is gone.”
Better prospects for expansion
Within the next two years, Columbia Asia plans to open two more hospitals in Malaysia and two in Indonesia. According to Seelan, their rock-solid server platform provides an invaluable platform for this expansion. “With a new server operating system it means we can open these new hospitals more efficiently and reliably,” he says. “Whatever challenges we might face in the future, IT will not be one of them.”

Solution Overview

Customer: Columbia Asia Sdn. Bhd. 

Customer Size: 6000 employees 

Country or Region: Southeast Asia 

Customer Profile 

Established in Kuala Lumpur in 1994, Columbia Asia is an international private healthcare company that owns and operates 24 multi-specialty hospitals in Malaysia, India, Vietnam and Indonesia. The hospitals provide healthcare services to approximately 400–500 patients a day. In Malaysia, Columbia Asia operates 10 hospitals in Peninsular and East Malaysia. 

Software and Services 

 Microsoft Server Product Portfolio 

 Windows Server 2012 R2 

 Microsoft SQL Server 2012 

 Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 

Microsoft Office 365 

 Office 365 Exchange Plan 1 

 Office 365 E1 

 Office 365 E3 




 Technologies 

 Hyper-V 

 Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services 

 Active Directory 

Country

Malaysia


2014

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

KPJ Healthcare Streamlines and Upgrades IT Operations With Microsoft Office 365 and Cloud Solutions

KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Malaysia’s first homegrown and largest healthcare group has chosen to implement Microsoft’s Office 365 and Cloud solutions to upgrade and modernize its overall IT infrastructure for its entire network of hospitals in Malaysia and Indonesia.

KPJ is one of the leading private healthcare providers in the region. Embarking on many initiatives to improve the quality of care for patients, KPJ faced a major challenge to identify and implement an effective IT infrastructure across its hospitals that will enable it to make vital management decisions. KPJ turned to Microsoft to overcome these challenges and found a complete end-to-end as well as cost-effective solution, employing a hybrid of on-premise and cloud-based solution. The Group will also deploy 5,200 Microsoft Office 365 and 2,800 Pro Desktop licenses across its hospital network for a truly holistic IT environment.


Solution Overview

Product and Services

Microsoft Lync Server
Office 365

Industry

Health

Organization Size

Large (1,000 - 9,999 employees)

Country

Malaysia



“KPJ Healthcare is adopting cloud computing, and we have identified Microsoft as key partner. We look forward to working together to continue our quest for an improved healthcare system.” —Dr. Mubbashir Iftikhar, CIO, KPJ Healthcare


Business Needs

Like many providers in today’s consumer-driven world, KPJ Healthcare strives to improve how its physicians and staff interact with each other and with patients. The organization has adopted new technologies such as electronic medical record systems so patients can view their own medical histories and doctors can share data in different facilities.
Previously, KPJ communicated with a disparate mix of private-branch exchange (PBX) telephone, text messages, email, and online instant messaging from Yahoo and Google. Without a centralized collaboration environment, doctors and other staff lacked a single point of communication, which often delayed responses, compromised productivity, and negatively affected the patient experience.

Solution

KPJ adopted Microsoft Office 365 to use Microsoft Lync Online instant messaging and web conferencing. With an intuitive, user-friendly interface and integration with Microsoft Outlook, Lync Online helps KPJ staff communicate more efficiently, and Lync Online interoperates seamlessly with the healthcare provider’s existing teleconferencing environment, Telehealth. As KPJ adopts other components of Office 365 such as Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, it will develop a complete collaboration environment.


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Benefits

By adopting Office 365 and Lync Online, KPJ Healthcare has developed a unified communications environment that will help it work more efficiently and improve healthcare delivery. Benefits include:
  • A centralized, comprehensive collaboration package
  • Reliable integration with existing line-of-business applications
  • Familiarity and ease of use for staff
  • Enhanced patient experience

2014

Monday, 5 October 2015

SURVEYS ON MEDICAL BENEFITS, MAN‐DAYS LOSS TO ASSIST EMPLOYERS OVERCOME CHALLENGES 81%企业医药成本上涨

PETALING JAYA, Weds, 30 Oct   40 companies participated in the Medical Benefits and Man-Days Loss Survey by The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) throughout 2014, which found employers lost about 591,199 man-days last year and paid RM50.12mil for outpatient expenses, and paid an average of about RM4,475.36 and RM762.27 per employee for hospitalisation and outpatient treatment respectively. 
MEF President Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Azman Shah Dato’ Seri Haron, in launching the latest ‘MEF Survey on Medical Benefits and Man‐Days Loss’ here today, said that the findings provided a valuable insight into the challenges faced by employers in terms of improving productivity and managing the cost of doing business.

 “About 81.2% of the companies surveyed projected that the cost to provide medical benefits will increase for the upcoming year, and 91% stated that increases in medical cost was one of the reasons that lead to the increasing medical cost, followed by rising of insurance premium (65.3%), increasing outpatient care cases (45.1%) and increasing hospitalisation cases (43.1%),” said Tan Sri Azman. 
“We must improve the situation so that we are able to improve our productivity. It is critical as we lagged behind our competitors,” he said.
In terms of man‐days loss, the survey indicated that the number of man‐days loss were due to the employee’s failure to report at work or being absent from work when they are scheduled to work; such as visits to clinics, sick leave, prolonged illness, lateness, and absent without leave. 

“In 2014, the average wages paid per day for sick leave taken for non‐hospitalisation was RM390.66, while medical expenses paid per day for sick leave averaged RM165.41,” he said.   
Also present at the launching ceremony were MEF Vice Presidents En. Abdul Wahab Abu Bakar and En. A. Ramadass, Honorary Treasurer Tn. Hj. Mohammed Amin Aziz, Council Members Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Noor Ismail, Tn. Hj. Razali b Dato’ Hj Rahmat @ Ali Mhd, and Executive Director Datuk Hj. Shamsuddin Bardan.  
81%企业医药成本上涨
明年料有81%企业的医药成本会上涨,其中九成企业降至归咎于整体医药成本上涨,另有65.3%归咎于公司保费的上涨。
45.1%的企业认为会出现更多门诊治疗,及43.1%认为会出现更多入院治疗的情况,也有四成的商家将医药成本归咎于年龄渐长的劳工。
大马雇主联合会主席丹斯里阿兹曼宣布关于“医疗福利及工作日损失”的民调时也说,大约有54.8%的雇主已经采取行动来管制日益增长的医药成本问题,但仍有20.4%的雇主没有采取行动。
谈到如何管制企业医药成本上涨的问题,七成的商家提出要提升雇员对卫生和安全课题的意识、也有六成的商家落实防止患病和保持健康的方案、也有近四成的企业推动雇员每年都做身体检查。
6.5万员工门诊费达5012万
根据参与民调的40家企业,他们支付员工看门诊的费用高达5011万9351令吉,这涉及6万5750名雇员,每人平均年看门诊的费用为762令吉27仙。
阿兹曼说,“工作日损失”是指企业因为雇员没能上班而损失的生产力,而这次的民调涉及7万9173名员工,每名员工的平均工作日为263.92天。
“2014年工作日总损失为59万1199天,或是2.83%。”
而雇员没有上班的原因包括要到诊所、医院求诊、病假、工伤,也有人是无故缺席。
阿兹曼说,40.4%的执行人员所使用的病假未足每年限额的一半,而非执行人员的比例则是46.3%,而使用限额50%至99.9%的执行人员有14.1%,非执行人员则有16.9%。
也有雇员请病假是达到每年的限额或是超过限额,其中1.1%执行人员请病假达到限额,也有0.3%人请病假的天数超过限额,而非执行人员方面则有3.6%雇员请假天数达到限额、2.6%人则是超过限额。
每天病假医药费165元
根据民调,雇主为病假支付的平均薪金为390令吉66仙、平均每天病假医药费为165令吉41线,而只要有人请病假就需要付平均52令吉70仙让其他同事加班顶上病假之人的工作。

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Healthcare Provider Gains Robust, Compliant Email; Avoids 83 Percent of On-Premise Cost


October 16, 2014
Compliance with federal requirements is a challenge for medical professionals, as new laws, new technologies, and new ways of working continually call for new solutions. Excel Anesthesia, a 26-physician group, found a long-term solution for secure, compliant e-mail in Microsoft Office 365. By choosing Microsoft, the practice also avoided 83 percent of the cost of an on-premise solution.
  • “Given the crucial issues surrounding compliance, we asked our attorney—not just our techies—to evaluate Office 365. He told us that we couldn’t do better than to choose Microsoft.”
    Michael Walsh, M.D.
    Excel Anesthesia
    Head of Compliance
  • “Given the crucial issues surrounding compliance, we asked our attorney—not just our techies—to evaluate Office 365. He told us that we couldn’t do better than to choose Microsoft.”
    Michael Walsh, M.D.
    Excel Anesthesia
    Head of Compliance
  • “Given the crucial issues surrounding compliance, we asked our attorney—not just our techies—to evaluate Office 365. He told us that we couldn’t do better than to choose Microsoft.”
    Michael Walsh, M.D.
    Excel Anesthesia
    Head of Compliance
1
Business Needs
It can be difficult to meet federal privacy and security requirements for IT when your workforce isn’t just communicating over a protected local area network, but also wirelessly over mobile devices. And it can be even more difficult when your workforce is 100 percent mobile, 100 percent of the time.

That’s the challenge that faced Excel Anesthesia and its Head of Compliance, Michael Walsh, M.D.
The company’s 26 anesthesiologists don’t work out of offices; they work in hospital operating rooms and other surgery and out-patient facilities, and travel constantly among those locations. They have to coordinate and update schedules, review patient files, and communicate and collaborate with colleagues, all on-the-fly. Combine the issues of mobility with those of compliance with HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act of US, and other regulations, and few healthcare providers face greater challenges than Excel Anesthesia.
For the past 18 months, Walsh has led a practice-wide effort to upgrade compliance procedures. Ensuring secure email—which often contains private health information (PHI)—has been a key focus. That means more than just securing email transmission; it also means securing email storage. Even when messages are transmitted securely—which can’t be assumed with free, public email—those messages remain only as secure as the PC or mobile device on which they then reside. With physicians often using their own computers and phones, standardization, let alone security, can be elusive. And the risk is immense; the cost of mishandling PHI can run into the millions of dollars.
Excel Anesthesia had no computer servers to support email, and it was reluctant to invest in the hardware and maintenance that an on-premise email system would require. While it wanted to keep costs low, it also wanted a solution that was highly reliable and available. Its practice had reached a critical size and was continuing to grow. It couldn’t wait any longer to address the email situation.
Solution
Fortunately, it didn’t have to. Its technology provider, introduced the company to Exchange Online, the email solution included in Microsoft Office 365.
Office 365 for business provides virtually anywhere access to Office applications, enterprise-grade email, file sharing, conferencing, a public website, and more. Varying combinations of service are available through a series of subscription options.
“Given the crucial issues surrounding compliance, we asked our attorney—not just our techies—to evaluate Office 365,” says Walsh. “He told us that we couldn’t do better than to choose Microsoft: it stands behind its products and will likely be around to provide that support for many years.” Most important from a compliance perspective, Microsoft signed a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Excel Anesthesia. That means that Microsoft—not Excel Anesthesia—takes on the risk stemming from compliance gaps in the technology.
Consultant helped the company to deploy Office 365—along with encryption and passcodes—on the mobile devices that its physicians already used.
The practice introduced its physicians to Office 365 in phases, starting with Exchange Online, since email is such a common, essential function. Links in email messages provided introductions to SharePoint Online and Lync Online.

With guidance from Consultant, the practice used SharePoint Online to roll out a robust compliance program with online policies that replace traditional, often inaccessible, hard-to-update “black binders” containing pages of regulations and policies.



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Benefits
Excel Anesthesia now has the secure, reliable, and cost-effective compliance solution it wants—with a new level of business agility as an added benefit.
Robust Compliance with 99.9 Percent Uptime
The company now tracks compliance tasks automatically and has a central, online location for collaboration among members of its compliance committee. And it spots and corrects chart deficiencies in half the time it used to take.
“The Microsoft data centers behind Office 365 provide levels of security, fault tolerance, replication, and backup that we couldn’t afford on our own,” says Walsh. Microsoft also provides a financially-backed service-level agreement with 99.9 percent availability. Security in the cloud with Exchange Online means that the practice has no on-premise servers to fail, to be stolen, or to be lost during office moves.
Subscription Avoids 83 Percent of First-Year On-Premise Costs
With Office 365, the practice pays a low subscription fee--$8 per month per user—instead of buying and maintaining its own servers. That saved it 83 percent of the first-year costs for on-premise email. Excel Anesthesia pays only for what it needs, and can expand its subscriptions to support continued growth.
“Getting compliant email was our priority,” says Walsh. “We were concerned about cost, but knew we had to spend what it took. With Office 365, we got compliant email and low cost. We didn’t expect that.”
Agility Supports Broader Collaboration
The practice used to choose only local vendors and professional services firms—people it could meet with frequently, and on short notice. But some of the providers that it wanted to work with aren’t in Dallas—such as Anesthesia Compliance Consultants, located hundreds of miles away in Cincinnati, Ohio.
That firm was using Google Docs until Walsh and his colleagues showed them the Microsoft alternative. The consultants made the move to Office 365, and for many of the same reasons that convinced the practice. Excel Anesthesia is now the firm’s client, and the two hold web and video conferences several times each week, without any concern for the vast distance between them.

Solution Overview

Product and Services

Microsoft SharePoint Online
Office 365

Industry

Health

Organization Size

Small (1 - 49 employees)

Country

United States




Saturday, 2 February 2013

Tiger Balm and Lady Gaga

Mention the brand "Tiger Balm" and an overpowering scent of camphor - or your grandmother - may come to mind.

Those little glass jars are now hot in Hollywood, and celebrities are waxing lyrical about the unassuming white ointment.

Tiger Balm has found fans in celebrities such as actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who told American magazine US Weekly in March that the product was "a topical cure-all balm for muscle aches and pains".

Pop singer Lady Gaga also tweeted a picture of the product in January last year, while she was on her United States tour.

She listed it as a "backstage must-have", along with the painkiller Advil.

Owned by Singapore company Haw Par Corporation, Tiger Balm began to actively introduce product-line extensions in the 1990s to suit the lifestyles of younger consumers.

The brand also expanded its range of products to include items such as the Tiger Balm Neck & Shoulder Rub in 2005, and launched its first sub-brand, Tiger Balm Active, last year.

The sub-brand caters to young fitness-conscious individuals, and includes products such as the Active Muscle Gel and Muscle Rub. Hear that, Lady Gaga?

"To reach out to younger target-market groups, we have tapped into consumer trends and insights to understand their lifestyle needs," said Mr A. K. Han, the executive director of Haw Par Corporation.
Today, Tiger Balm products are available in more than 100 countries worldwide, such as Norway and New Zealand.

Another family favourite - Axe Brand - has also been making its mark overseas.

Produced by Leung Kai Fook Medical Company, the brand is most famous for its medicated oil.
It is distributed in 40 countries, including Panama, Australia and Greece.

Mr Leong Mun Sum, the managing director of the company, emphasised that Axe Brand products are suitable for people of all ages, despite the stereotype that they are used only by the older generation.
"Young people spend a lot of time using the computer. This can result in headaches, stress, neck and back pain, and Axe Oil comes in very handy for relief," he said.

Secondary-school student Kristofer Wong, 15, is one such Axe Oil user.

He uses it whenever he suffers from headaches, stomachaches and nasal congestion, simply because "it works".

He started using the oil as a child when his domestic helper told him that it was a remedy for headaches and other ailments.

Although Leung Kai Fook Medical Company declined to reveal sales figures, Mr Leong said that the company is "doing very well" financially.

The company has been tying up with related medicine and health-care businesses, and it aims to continue marketing Axe Brand products as souvenirs for tourists and as an ointment to relieve aches caused by using the computer.

Health-care and wellness company Eu Yan Sang has also enjoyed increased revenue from overseas markets.

Specialising in traditional Chinese medicine, the company reported record sales of $289.9 million in its latest financial year this year.

More than 100 years after the first Yan Sang shop opened in Malaysia, Eu Yan Sang now boasts an extensive distribution network, comprising 299 retail outlets in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, China and Australia.

Of course, Tiger beer springs readily to mind when it comes to Singapore brands that have found favour internationally.

A flagship brand of Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), Tiger beer has won more than 40 international awards and accolades, and is sold in some 60 countries worldwide, including Canada, Spain and Britain.

Shareholders of Fraser & Neave last week voted in favour of selling APB - of which it has a 40 per cent stake - to Heineken in a US$6.3-billion (S$7.7-billion) deal.

But Tiger beer's fan base remains unfazed, in part because of the beer's strong branding.

For instance, the beer has garnered fans overseas, thanks to heavy promotion, ranging from the use of sexy ads (some were so sexy they were banned in Britain) to its Tiger Translate events, which see the brand tying up with hip artists on design projects.

The events have run in the US, Australia, Britain, China, Cambodia and, of course, Singapore, besides other countries, and have even caught the eye of newspapers like Britain's The Guardian.
The beer itself wins fans, thanks to its taste, and gets tourists interested in our little red dot.
The European-style lager has found fans from as far as Norwich, England.

Mr Kevin Allen, 51, is a managing director of a company that distributes products such as aquariums.
He had his first taste of Tiger beer at a Thai restaurant near his home in Norwich six years ago.
He indulges in the beer occasionally and enjoys its "natural fresh taste".

When he realised Tiger beer was a Singapore brand, he said: "That's another good reason to visit Singapore."

Except from Asia One