DOES DOING NOTHING – ACTUALLY WORK?

At a time when employers have only recently discovered that offering unpaid internships is bordering on the immoral – we ask; are there times when doing things for free – actually work?

The surprising answer is – actually yes it might. But there have to be clear reasons and clear benefits that you can touch and feel. So, – having started at the end of this piece, let’s go back to the beginning.

The timing of this article is set to coincide with the new wave of young hopefuls who graduate from our universities every year, and who are unprepared for life’s work experience. It’s not to say they themselves have not been working. But this time, we are talking about earning a living. Its a different sort of work, less idealistic, more practical, and it can be where we get our first dose of cynical reality.

This is the launchpad of this article. The lack of experience on the part of our young people leaves them open to accepting “work” that is neither paid nor even useful, and can be seriously demotivating. But it does not have to be like that, and as said above, there are options that make doing things “for free” do work out. So the question is; how do you know?

We have set out a GuideLine that sets out the options, and there are basically three choices:

1. Working as unpaid internment. Absolutely never, on any account, accept this sort of nonsense. The key thing to remember in Life is that you have a value, and not just a spiritual value. Your “employer” is making use of your services, and they are a business, not a charity. Likewise, so are you. Your value is what people are prepared to pay in real money. Disregard, and walk away, from any company that gives the bullshit of “good experience”, “working with your peers”, and so on. We have found at every stage in our business and corporate relationsships, that if a company wants you, they will put money on the table. Please be arrogant, you are worth it.

2. Minimum salary first placement. Yes this can work, as long as you can actually afford to live. This is where both parties accept they are taking a risk – yours is you don’t know if your skills fit the work; and in essence the same for the employer. If the salary means you cannot afford to even rent a place, anywhere – then think again. But on the flip side – be realistic; living with Mum and Dad is not so bad, as a short term solution if it gets you on the ladder of your chosen career or enables you to decide you never wanted that career in the first place. 90% of all graduates quit their first job within the first year of work.

3. Make a clear choice that doing work for nothing for someone – can get you somewhere you want to be, – let’s say industry recognition, or even the dreaded “experience”. But absolutely make sure that this option costs you no money whatsoever. Feel free to give your time, as your investment in the process. Just be clear – you are making an Investment, and there has to be a Return on that Investment.

We at ProfoMedia every now and then write articles to support companies we believe in, for free, because we too gain from a greater good.

But let’s get back to reality. As a rule of thumb, never forget that you and your work are worth something, and that “something” is what pays your food bill every month.

Does Your Cybersecurity Program Have What It Takes?

At a time when the risks of hacking into our health data has never been higher, we catch up with Dan Dodson, President of Fortified Health Security – to give us his views on where the risk is – and what you can do about it. This is what Dan says:

Hackers have clearly placed a bullseye on healthcare organizations. Cybersecurity breaches continue to occur among healthcare providers so pervasively that their numbers exceed those of health plans and business associates combined. Steps must be taken to protect patients, whether from ransomware or connected medical devices attacks, the stakes are simply too high.

Any significant cybersecurity breach results in a big drop in patient confidence. Pressure for patients, as well as inside organizations, are forcing healthcare providers to guard their reputations, develop strategies for better patient engagement and provide increased amounts of sensitive data to multiple interconnected devices.

It’s important for a healthcare organization to recognize the potential impacts of a breach on their organization before one occurs instead of only investing in cybersecurity after they have been negatively impacted by an incident. Yet, at that point, it may be too late for some patients. Reports suggest that nearly forty percent of consumers would abandon or hesitate using a health organization if it is hacked. Fifty percent of consumers would avoid or be wary of using a medical device if a breach was reported and thirty-eight percent would be wary of using a hospital associated with a previously hacked device.

The best prevention against any attack is understanding the fundamentals of a strong cybersecurity program. With proactive employee involvement, a clear process to identify and prevent cybersecurity threats, and understanding that technology is only part of the equation, healthcare providers can better serve and protect patients.

In my view, there are three simple steps that you can take.

Employee training is the first line of defense against hackers.

Your employees are your first line of defense to prevent successful attacks and/or breaches. Educating your employees/users on threats to your organization, safe web browsing practices, the hazards of clicking embedded links or opening attachments in unverified emails, and to scrutinize emails before opening them are just some of the basics.

In order to take your employees’ education to the next level, you should conduct simulated social engineering exercises and campaigns. This will give employees “real world” experience in dealing with such attacks. Social engineering is still the easiest and most effective way that malicious individuals are able to access sensitive information.

Have a process to identify and prevent cybersecurity threats.

Cybersecurity starts with people, but must be strengthened by processes for backups, incident reports, breach notifications, and disaster recovery. It is critical that organizations develop a multi-phased vulnerability management process that includes vulnerability scanning, risk acceptance, and remediation for security risks.

This process is critical to recognizing the potential impacts of a breach on your organization before one occurs so it is clear what steps your team will take to protect patient data. Far too often, healthcare organizations only start investing in a cybersecurity process after they have been negatively impacted by an incident, and at that point, it may be too late for some patients.

Cybersecurity is more than just technology.

Technology by itself is not the answer to protect an organization from a cybersecurity attack, but combined with dedicated people and a defined process, it completes the cybersecurity prevention trifecta.

Technologies such as Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Data Loss Prevention or Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) can be leveraged to identify and even react to a ransomware attack as it is happening. Custom policy and rulesets can be utilized to alert in real time that there is something awry within the operating environment. Additionally, Network Access Control (NAC) platforms could make the isolation of infected devices quicker and easier.

Stakes are too high to put patients at risk.

Cybersecurity threats at their core are patient safety risks. The stakes are high and if you wait until after a breach or attack to take action, it’s too late. The best prevention against any attack is a proactive security strategy built around people, process and technology. Now that you know the fundamentals, lead your healthcare organization through a HIPAA Risk Analysis to see if your organization has what it takes. Remember, protecting your organization from a cybersecurity threat is a journey that requires constant attention and never stops.

About the Author

Dan L. Dodson serves as President of Fortified Health Security where he helps healthcare organizations effectively develop the best path forward for their security program based on their unique situation. Dan currently serves on the Southern Methodist University Cyber Security Advisory Board. Dan holds a M.B.A. in Health Organization Management and a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Texas Tech University.

FUTURE OF FINANCE 2018 CONFERENCE

We take a look at the latest IQPC Conference formula and ask – does it work for us?

The man opens the inner door as I and my two colleagues from Portugal – who I have never met before- enter from the outside courtyard.

He is dressed in a Polo shirt, and a bath towel. He has no trousers, and his hair is damp. He has some soft leather sneakers on.

“Are you lost?

Yes of course we are. It is a ten minute walk from the Putney Bridge tube station, past the security barrier and through the immaculate lawns of the Hurlingham Club, and the arboressence of pathways. We are trying to find the Conference.

“Then let me show you a shortcut”.

The man beckons us through, we enter a further courtyard, the man slides into a black 4×4 and we walk up the stone steps into a modern but eloquent glass atrium, which is indeed – where the Conference is.

The Hurlingham Club is as distant as it needs to be. This is no typical Conference mingling among the tourists who are checking out of whatever four star hotel they have found in the city. This is a venue for serious players. The 100 or so Delegates who have found their way here, a sort of crystal maze if you will – are all serious players. Large corporates do not send their key financial execs to this sort of Conference unless they can deliver, and can feel at home on this global stage fo financial business decision makers.

The Future of Finance Conference is three days long. It is a Management Conference, not a Tech event. Sure, the topics discussed inevitably contain technology, but this is no GDPR Roadshow. Life has already moved on. The focus is as much about corporate vision than AI and Robotics. Typically, the 40 minute sessions – and there are many and varied and you pick and choose the ones that work for you etc – focus on Transformation – how to bring your team with you, establishing a culture of improvement – and inevitably, something about Brexit. I could go on. And in between, people mingle and chat in the frequent coffee breaks. Everybody shares anecdotes and business cards.

I had long gone by that time. But it establishes a central truth, that the value in IQPC Conferences is as much in the informal networking amongst peers, as in the more formalised presentations.

My colleagues from Portugal are taking a quick cigarette outside the exit as I make my own way back to the exit. They give a cheerful wave – “see you in Lisbon?” It turns out we both used to work for the same company. The next IQPC Conference will be in Lisbon, and I have been invited.

Will I come?

You bet!!

ENO SCORE ANOTHER HIT!

We look in wonderment at one of ENO’s best productions yet of this classic modern masterpiece.

Alexander Soddy strides into the orchestra pit, waves and encourages his team, and then there is silence for a full five seconds. And then we are off! And its a strange, curious, beginning…

This is redolent of the performance of Wagner’s ”The Mastersingers” a few years earlier; the feeling somehow that this will be the epic performance – when everything goes right. That night, at the end of five hours, all the orchestra hugged each other at the finale. And so it was last night. From whatever opera or music background you come from, this is a performance you have to see.

The secret sauce of this production is the fluidity, sensibility, and sheer forcefulness and continuation of the orchestra – which allows the drama to experiment, to be funny, aggressive, romantic, and convey sincere emotion – without ever losing sight of the fact that essentially, this opera is a dream.

The whole stage is one giant bed. The production relies on the singers/actors/actresses hopping from bed to stage, from awake to asleep, from fantasy to reality. The melodic lines of the music never give away anything you can hum along to, no nice chord progressions and cadences; there is this sense of being suspended somewhere and indeed the third act is precisely that – the three beds suspended in mid air.

And then there is the humour which is less rather than more, – subtle at its best. My standout performance was Eleanor Dennis as Helena, very similar to Mary Bevan some years earlier, also a former Harewood Artist.

But this is to be picky; all of the singing, the characterisation, the direction, was spot on, an integrated whole. Sometimes, particularly at the end of the second act, the drama and clever direction took your breath away

The humour reached its peak at the finale. This was the nearest we got to traditional Shakespeare productions and slapstick humour. It reminded me of the last time I saw this, in Devon – just a couple of years ago.

The difference here – is that the music adds the extra dimension, at times searing, to force the drama.

And then Puck wraps it up… we are back to the original Shakespeare lines…

Was I dreaming? I have no idea. But I am still rubbing my eyes. I can’t believe it.

More from HIMSS 2018

We are pleased to give airtime to several more of the vendors and their PR people, who have kindly contacted us. Please do use our Search bar above, to seek out anything specific that you need to know…

Jennifer Ringler writes to us to say; I want to offer you an opportunity to speak with Lonny Reisman, MD, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, HealthReveal, on the following topics:
·       Why Accountable Care Organizations aren’t resulting in as much savings as expected, and how real-time health data technology can help
·       How health monitoring technology and guideline directed medical therapy together can help deliver equal access to care for all populations, regardless of geography
·       How patients with chronic diseases can achieve better outcomes and lower mortality rates through the use of real-time health monitoring technology and data
·       How acute incidents in patients with chronic diseases can be both predicted and avoided through the use of health technology

We have also been contacted elsewhere to see if we would  be interested in meeting with the VMware or Mercy companies, to discuss today’s top healthcare trends and the future of the industry.

Probably more interestingly, Upland Software have got in touch; they specialize in cloud software solutions for IT project and cost management. What they say is –

“The companies that we work with use our systems to manage the resources, costs and delivery of their projects. Over the past few years, we have come to work with a number of health organizations and what we find is that despite sometimes mature project processes, there seems to be a lack of standardized tools to help them be efficient at their work. Particularly in an environment where their extended team is made of Doctors and Clinicians, not project experts. “… They continue…

“Our solution, Eclipse, is unique in that it provides a way to centralize all project information, including inter-dependencies, status, costs, who is working on which project, and more.  Over the past few years, we have helped almost 300 Health organizations giving them more control and visibility over their projects, so they can better manage project teams, allocate expenses, more accurately update key stakeholders, and keep project delivery on track.

At HIMSS we will be talking about the trends that we are seeing in project delivery, as well as showcasing our most recent release, with an expanded featureset for managing resources, time tracking and capabilities for greater project visibility. ”

Two Speakers have asked their PR people to write to us, and this is what they say; (we include their Links below)…

“Sevenikar will be opening the summit by speaking about how healthcare must evolve from caring for people to caring about people, and the importance of transitioning to a patient-centric revenue cycle in order to make this a possibility.

Vancleave will be speaking shortly after Sevenikar on the transformation that Mosaic Life Care has undergone to transition from a healthcare provider to a lifestyle company. As a result, Mosaic Life Care’s revenue cycle team has undertaken an ambitious overhaul of its financial structure, with more than 15 revenue projects scheduled to take place over five years.

The links below will take you to abstracts about Sevenikar and Vancleave, respectively, and the sessions they’ll lead. I’d be happy to provide you with more information on these two women and the hospitals/health systems they represent.

http://www.revenuecyclesolutionssummit.com/las-vegas/2018/speaker/gerilynn-sevenikar

http://www.revenuecyclesolutionssummit.com/las-vegas/2018/speaker/deborah-vancleave

And almost finally – do feel free to talk to G Medical Innovations, a next generation mHealth company.

Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in May 2017, G Medical Innovations have developed an integrated product suite that includes consumer medical grade and hospital grade monitoring devices set to launch into North America over the course of 2018.

What they say is; “With FDA approval and a strong pipeline of innovation, we hope this is a company you would be interested in learning more about.”

They continue… “Our goal and passion is to increase efficiencies in the healthcare system that both empower physicians and caregivers and improve personal quality of life. We do this by providing innovative medical monitoring solutions that provide accurate medical-grade diagnostics in real-time to save time and offer a heightened level of care.

We will be demonstrating both our consumer and commercial healthcare applications for the very first time at HIMMS, including:

The Prizma Medical Smartphone Case – due to set a new standard in personal healthcare, the Prizma enables you to easily transform your smartphone into a highly-reliable mobile medical device. With this unique device, you can independently manage your own health by continuously measuring, monitoring and sharing your vital signs with caregivers and loved ones. In addition to providing immediate access and updates to your personal health indicators and therefore peace of mind, medical data can be both stored and sent in your personal & highly-secured Data Portal Service where you can easily view, monitor and share it with those involved in your medical care. Prizma is an electrocardiogram, and also measures heart rate, stress levels, body temperature and oxygen saturation.

The Vital Sign Monitoring System with G Medical Patch – a modular, easy-to-use, clinical grade solution for monitoring patients. It utilizes patented wireless technologies, proprietary information technology and service platforms to empower a new generation of medical providers to increase efficiency and the level of healthcare provided to patients. Available for both in-patients and out-patients, the G Medical patch can be used to monitor patients in assisted living residences, hospitals, nursing homes and other in-patient facilities. By enabling patients to be mobile and still carefully and automatically monitored, the G Medical Patch takes the pressure off healthcare providers and personnel while enhancing patient care. Information from this continuously monitoring is transmitted, stored and sent to clinicians for at-a-glance summaries, giving both clinicians and patients peace of mind.

HIMMS will be the first time that both the ‘full flow’ of Prizma and the Vital Signs Monitoring System with G Medical Patch will be demonstrated”.

And finally for the time being…why not meet the Infinite Peripherals company at booth #3271? “They will be showcasing new products that will mobilize the healthcare industry, as well as a big piece of upcoming news.”

And just in case you didn’t know…

Infinite Peripherals, are a leading innovator of iOS business solutions, empowers businesses to operate more efficiently. The company offers barcode scanner data and insights that impact the bottom line in real-time as well as secure payment processing solutions for various industries including healthcare.

There you go…

 

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH MAKING DECISIONS?

We look at the increasing lack of leadership in our UK Public Services, and its negative impact – and we say; its time to do something.

The question really is; “why”, – is it necessary to do something? Public Services are not going to disappear overnight. Whether you take a week to do nothing at all – or a year – will not necessarily impact on your own job. It might, however, impact on someone else’s life – but as a Clinical Director told me recently – “I have a nice house, and nice holidays; why am I putting myself on the line?”

Lack of decision-making means that the people who we entrust to look after us, provide our essential services, and who we had hoped would go the extra mile – have no need to do so. This results either in a lack of engagement, where – according to a colleague of mine recently moved from the private sector into local government – that her colleagues already had their coats on by 16.58 each day… or an increasing level of stress related absence through the paralysis of moving things forward, in times of increasing pressure and demand for the very services they feel unable to deliver.

It’s not our job here to tell others how to do their job. But it is our job to explain the damage that simply putting things off, keeping things the same, and hoping that maybe tomorrow things will work out – doesn’t fly. Particularly as we are moving, and have moved – into an arena of “personalised service”, where our individual use of personal data, our smartphones, our iPads, our fitness trackers – means that technology exists to deliver great improvements in quality of pubic service.

As Bogi Eliasen of the CIFS in Copenhagen said at the HIMSS Conference almost one year ago – by harnessing the data that is flowing, in realtime, across our desks every minute – we can better employ our people, enable them to make decisions related to the data that they themselves have access to, reduce the stress in our places of work – and actually do what the public are asking us, and expect us – to do.

Because – the fact is – we no longer have the option of simply throwing more people, and more cash, to continue doing things the way we always have – because it just doesn’t work any longer. There are just too many people living longer, with too many orthopaedic ailments, exponential rises in diabetes sufferers, that having a few more nurses, a few more clinics, some more phone-lines – can never hope to keep pace with the needs of society that are getting worse.

It is for this reason that the recent PR from NHS England, about its new Diabetes Partnerships, – is like adding an Elastoplast to cover my broken leg. It misses the fundamental point. Hospitals that prefer to use in house resources rather than engage with specialist IT help, are simply putting off the moment of truth – that we have reached a tipping point.

What we have seen is that, due to the new personal focus of our provision of services, we need to move out of the “silo” mentality of me doing my job, and you can do yours. We need to start looking at how we treat society as a whole, in particular the mix of Community based solutions linked to (say) hospital services.

In the same way that “if you always do what you always did – you will always get, what you always got~’ so it is obvious that our current ways of doing things, at just about every area of Management that we have looked at for this Article – simply do not deliver the results that society is increasingly asking for.

This means investment in new technologies, that are proven, and that can link performance to results and to costs. The technology exists and has done for some time. The question tho – is whether our Social and Public Service leaders can take the lead and deliver what the rest of us are asking. After all – they have nice houses and nice holidays to go to. We wouldn’t want them to risk all that, now would we?

TIME TO STOP THE SURVEYS AND GET BACK TO PROPER SERVICE

We look at the plethora of requests for “Hospitality Surveys” and ask – have these people lost the plot?

It is now early February and as night follows day and the sun follows the moon, I have received in my inbox yet another hotel request to complete my satisfaction survey, for a stay I cannot remember.

The dawn of the hospitality survey is becoming inversely proportional to the actual interest that these organisations have in even reading the responses they get. I have no interest in saying that my bathroom was clean. And I am not going to be responsible for getting some poor young girl from Lithuania the sack – if on one day in her life she has forgotten to clean said bathroom.

I can only remember one time when I actually did feel obliged to make a negative comment. I received a standard response, thanking me how much I enjoyed my stay. You get the picture.

The North Stafford Hotel, in Stoke On Trent – does not do surveys. They do what I will call “welcome”. The “good old midlands hospitality” at every point in the hotel, is redolent of my time in Atlanta Georgia and the “good’ol southern hospitality” for which they are famous. The North Stafford does not do segregated lines for “loyalty members”, – and the rest of us. There are no automated guichets for self registration and then pick up a keycard and sleep. Everybody is taken as a “loyal customer”. It understands that the prime requisite for choosing any hotel, is to feel personally valued and where there is a focus on the personal relationship.

The hotel is a rambling and stately classic country house, set bang in the middle of town, right opposite the train station. You literally fall out of your Virgin train into the Reception. Checking in is not a hurried experience. Would you like dinner? Of course you would. A three course buffet is less than £10.00. Breakfast that is as good as anything I get in central London – was just £5.00.

The waitress in the bar engages in conversation, how was my day, before hustling off to make a fresh coffee.

It is worth upgrading to the deluxe exec double room. Mine was bigger than my house. Sometimes it’s just nice to walk around in your own room.

Sure, in the pressurised world we all live in, maybe the depersonalisation of business travel is acceptable. But not for me, and not for most others. As said above, North Stafford doesn’t do impersonal. It simply does “welcome”.

Welcome indeed.