Posts tagged " paperless business "

GDPR ISSUES FOR THE ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE SECTOR

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, GDPR, Holistic Health, Insurance, Paperless, Security No Comment yet

Most of us are way beneath the higher risk threshold but our insurance companies are taking these levels of risk on our behalf and charging us to do so.

I spent some time this weekend chatting to specialist Healthcare Insurance Brokers at the exhibition and they were very pleased to see me. They assured me that the actuaries will sleep better knowing their clients are using iPEGS paperless forms.

Now I like a well-rested actuary as well as the next man, but my objective is to get them to discount insurance for our users. Not only is your risk less, so are theirs, after all.

For most practices, GDPR creates the need for greater investment either in consultant’s fees or in your own valuable time. Ensuring your operational processes are up to the required standards, ensuring websites, forms etc are designed and optimised for the latest protocols.

Large companies may appoint a DPO (data protection officer). However, for most of us DPO is just another hat to hang alongside the, therapist, counsellor, head of HR, finance, marketeer, sales manager and parent hats ti name a few. Being too busy is no defence in law unfortunately. I’ve always believed it’s a clever man who buys his brains. So if we can rely on professionals like iPEGS and save money into the bargain it’s a bonus.

COMPLIANCE INSPIRES TRUST

Compliance isn’t solely an expense, in order to conform to the rules, it helps to inspire trust and confidence in the eyes of our patients.

Companies who seem to cut corners with data protection might well cut corners elsewhere. Most of us are members of a National Hypnotherapy association and have no problems with Hypnotherapy ethical issues. Cutting corners is not in our DNA we understand our ethics and professionalism are all we have. So going digital make sense.

Compliance not only protects the patient, but it also protects your clinic from overstepping the boundaries.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CONTROLLING DATA

  • Are you or someone on your team trained on data protection?
  • What changes have you made this year to become GDPR compliant?
  • Have you built client consent into your system?

Clients can give consent in various ways, such as email, a contact form on the website, a check-box on your landing page, tick box on the form etc.

Consent records must specify the time and date when consent was given, as well as the exact means that they delivered consent. 

Can you simply and rapidly process data deletion for clients. Is it at the press of a button or will it take hours of work?

Do any 3rd parties have access to your client’s data? Third party access to data is all too common, third parties who might be using the same network or facilities, you need to be aware of any other parties who might have access to the data you’re collecting. This can be a particular problem in mixed therapy practices. Is it kept in a filing cabinet where others have access or a shared network?

WHAT PROTECTIVE MEASURES DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE?

Are there proper security protocols in place that will detect data breaches when they occur? How do you know if your client’s data had been hacked into or copied? The last thing you want is to find out about a data breach from your users and valued client. This is a sure-fire way to lose trust. 

How easy is it to export your data? Is it available at the touch of a button or is it a trip down to the cellar and a root through the filing cabinets?

One component of GDPR is privacy by design. This requires therapists to design their systems with the proper security protocols in place from the start. Failure to design your systems of data collection the right way will result in a hefty fine. It is a good idea to take a good look at your website if it hasn’t had a design overhaul in the last year or so.

Are your forms easy to find and wipe? Who has copies? Are you holding data on your laptop or PC? Do others have access to these devices?

The concept seems sort of complex, but essentially it refers to the need to have business systems designed with proper security and privacy measures integral. iPEGS paperless forms provides such a system.

If you would like to help improve the management of your client data and in the way you collect it please check out our website www.ipegs.co.uk or contact me directly steve@ipegs.co.uk or call on 01244 955350, I will be pleased to help.

Going Paperless in Alternative Medicine and Complementary Medicine

April 2nd, 2019 Posted by Alternative Medicine, Holistic Health, Paperless No Comment yet

As caring members of the alternative therapy movement, whether practitioners of Acupuncture, Reiki, Hypnosis, Homeopathy, Yoga,Vedic medicine or any of the many other fields, like most professionals we have a few differences of opinion.

I would however suggest that one of the many things we do have in common is a holistic approach to health, we can agree the importance environment has on a patient’s outcomes. Keeping pollution to a minimum is an important answer to many modern health problems.

If you disagree, and have a different answer. I would love to hear from you, my email is steve @ ipegs.co.uk I admit I will be surprised to find a deluge of emails coming in anytime soon.

So my next question is are you doing everything to protect your patients and your own environment?

If you are still using paper for your forms, be it for consultation forms, medical history forms, consent forms or others, are you aware of the needless damage they are doing to the environment?


I was doing a little research the other day and I was horrified at what I discovered. I had no idea paper was so toxic to us all and the planet we inhabit. Here are a few of the worrying facts, for you to consider:

Here are some things you may not know:

One mature tree, only produces approximately 16.67 standard packs of 500 sheets of paper.

Just one page of A4 paper uses approximately 10 litres of water to produce the equivalent of the daily ration of five people.

One ton of paper needs approx 253 gallons of petrol to produce it.

The paper industry is the 5th largest consumer of energy in the world.

Over 30 million acres of forest are destroyed annually, 40% of the worlds commercially cut timber is used to produce paper, its production is a big contributor to the problem of deforestation and is partly to blame for the endangerment of some species that live in the forests.

Most of the materials in landfills are made of paper. When paper rots, it emits methane, a greenhouse gas. When it is burned or composted, carbon dioxide another one.

The life cycle of paper is damaging to the environment from beginning to end. It starts off with a tree being cut down and ends its life by being burned – emitting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Dioxin is one of the many toxic by-products of the manufacture of paper and we all know how good that is for you.

Ah yes but we use recycled paper!

Good answer but:

Did you know?

Paper can only be recycled 7 times. On average in the first world 70% of paper is recycled, so in all, recycling only triples the life of your paper. Trust me I did the math.

Each time it is recycled it damages the environment.

Paper recycling involves the removal of inks from the used paper. Recycling facilities use different processes, the chemicals they employ range from detergents to caustic chemicals, such as chlorine.

Print from copy machines and laser printers is particularly problematic because it is not really ink but rather a plastic polymer that the printer or copier burns onto the paper. Removal requires chemicals that are much more caustic than standard chemicals.

Similarly, printing inks contain heavy metals and other compounds that require strong solvents. Your forms probably come into this category.

Recycling paper is a major cause of water pollution

When recycling facilities remove inks from paper, the waste makes its way into the water table. Metals from printing inks, including copper, lead, zinc, chromium and cadmium, enter the stream. Waste water from paper recycling often contains our old buddy dioxins of Agent Orange fame.

Solid Waste

Waste paper reprocessing produces a sludge that contains solids including small fibres, ink from the de-inking process and fillers. This waste, including the heavy metals from the inks, is often sent to landfills.

Incineration is an alternative, but this process releases dangerous emissions, including dioxins and hydrocarbons, as well as the heavy metals from the inks. The ash that remains after incineration also is consigned to landfills.

I’m sure like me, you find these facts worrying? If you do find them concerning why not do something about it?


Oh dear here comes the sales pitch…

I do have an axe to grind, I admit it. Of course, I want you to use our product and help us build our business. Just as you want to treat your patients well and build yours. However in this case I believe we have a mutual interest.

I want you to stop wasting paper, save you time and money and I want you to give your clients a better experience by going paperless with iPEGS electronic forms.

More than that though, I hope you agree the time when we could ignore the environmental effects of our actions is over, the world is too small and too crowded. We have to care about our impact on it and minimise the damage we do. I want my grandchildren to live on as healthy a planet, for as long as possible, don’t you?

So if you care as much about your clients, your bank balance and the world we all share – as we do here at iPEGS then this is something we can do together.

If you are ready to finally go paperless then please send me an email steve @ ipegs.co.uk to ask me how we can start the process of making your forms electronic. It’s up to you of course, but in this case I will be delighted to be deluged with your questions.

References:

  1. The water footprint of wood for lumber, pulp, paper, fuel and firewood
  2. Forest Ethics: The Facts – Paper Consumption and It’s Impacts 
  3. Wikipedia: Environmental Impact of Paper
  4. Natural Resources Defense Council: Using Less and Reusing More
  5. iD2 Communications: Facts about Paper and Paper Waste
  6. The World Counts

Holistic Health Consultation Forms and Intake Forms

April 1st, 2019 Posted by Alternative Medicine, Consultation Forms, Holistic Health, Paperless No Comment yet
Holistic Health Consultation Forms

Many people come to alternative and holistic health practitioners, as a last resort and with some reservations. The popular press love to search out examples of malpractice and scare monger, after all fear is what sells newspapers. They are often in pain and unsure if you can help, a stressed or nervous patient is not an easy one.

So, if you are going to be able to really assist the people who need your help, they must be put at ease as soon as they walk in the door.

Of course, the reception is as comfortable and relaxing as possible, receptionists are trained to be efficient while putting people at ease, but there are the formalities to get done, and this can be an opportunity to give reassurance and confidence to your patients.

An initial holistic health intake form, consultation form and medical history need to be taken followed by a consent form and for people coming for the first consultation this can be stressful. Clipboards and forms have never put people at ease.

That is why iPEGS paperless forms are such an amazing tool for alternative medicine practitioners, everyone is so used to digital devices nowadays, and the forms can be filled in either at the clinic or from home online using a mobile phone, tablet or computer and submitted directly to the cloud. They are quick and easy and as they are digital, they can be made easier to read for patients with poor eyesight, by simply zooming in or increasing the text size.

As well as electronic signatures, you can add photos and you can add your own branding and logos. You can create the forms from scratch with the easy to use form builder, or if you are too busy or a bit of a technophobe then you can get one of the iPEGS technicians to do it for you.

Holistic Health Consultation Form

By giving patients the option to fill in their medical history from home you will often find the resulting information to be far more complete. After all, how many of us can remember what we were doing last Thursday let alone what medication we were on five years ago.

Many patients have had years of ill health, being pumped full of chemicals. We all know how hard it can be to distinguish the ailment from the side effects of medication, so a full history needs to be done. By giving patients time, you have the opportunity to get a fuller account of their health problems a few days before their appointment, and are therefore able to study them in advance, saving crucial time in the actual consultation, even having the time for conferring with colleagues at the earliest stage.

Of course, your patient is of primary importance, but they are not the only person in the room, consent forms are a must and in an increasingly litigious world, protect not only the patient but also the practitioner. Making sure that your patient knows what treatment they are receiving is just good practice, having their agreement to the treatment on file might at some time be vital.

Up until recently a paper based holistic health consent form, had to do, and has since the stethoscope was invented, however, 5 years after the event how easy will it be to find? If you need copies or originals will it be legible, let’s face it, medical practitioners are not known for their calligraphy.

Now again you may well have the most efficient system in the world, but unless filing is your idea of relaxation, it’s a huge pain. Paper files are costly in space and time, not to mention resources, both natural and financial. Being able to pull up a patient’s records instantly saves time and allows you to spend more face time with your patient. It’s not just about covering your back but also about preventing having to.

Electronic Consultation Forms

So how do I get a form completed and signed by my patient:

Using a tablet, iPad or Smartphone you can access your electronic forms through the iPEGS apps, even without a Wi-Fi connection or via iPEGS Web Forms on any device. Simply open the form that you wish to be completed and once signed save or submit it. This is perfect in a face to face situation, free from the barrier, that a clipboard can create.

You can also send the medical history and/or consent form to the patient or guardian prior to their appointment using iPEGS Remote, again via email as a web form or via the free app. They would receive this form on their smartphone, or any device connected to the internet and complete, sign and submit back to you.

Is my patient’s information safe, what about data protection laws and GDPR?

Many laws states that patient records must be kept secure and confidential at all times. The UK data protection regime is set out in the DPA 2018 which replaces the Data Protection Act 1998, and came into effect on 25 May 2018, along with the GDPR (which also forms part of UK law). The law applies to any ‘processing of personal data’, and will catch most businesses and organisations, whatever their size and the law provides stronger protection for more sensitive information such as health related data.

All data submitted via iPEGS is encrypted, transmitted and stored securely. iPEGS is Cyber Essentials and IASME GDPR Governance Standard Certified so you can be confident your data is secure.

You can sign up for your free iPEGS Remote account and get 5 free form credits or sign up to the 30 day free trial of iPEGS Direct via the website.

Or if you would like to discuss the various options why not book in a call here or feel free to drop me an email: steve @ ipegs.co.uk

If you practise alternative medicine or holistic health therapies then why not go paperless today, reduce your carbon footprint, become more efficient and have more time to focus on your patients.

Paperless Consent forms

July 25th, 2017 Posted by Consent forms No Comment yet

If you are offering a treatment or service, then gaining informed consent from clients is extremely important. Due to the nature of the beauty industry, we work with a variety of spas and independent beauty specialists who we have designed digital client consent forms for them to use within their businesses.

iPEGS Remote enables you to operate a paper free business, it improves the client’s experience, saves time, money and improves efficiency. It can also help to protect you from potential legal cases arising in the future.

So how do I get a form completed and signed by my client:

Using a tablet, iPAD or smart phone you can access multiple company branded forms without a wifi connection. Just open the form that you wish to be completed and save the form. This is perfect in a face to face situation (which eliminates the need for paper and a clipboard).

You can also send the form electronically to your clients to complete and sign prior to their appointment. Once completed, this can then be stored on your computer, CRM system or saved on the iPEGS portal for reference.

Click here to see how an example form would look like to your client.

Once this form has been saved you can either:

– Export the form as a PDF and a copy can then be emailed to both you and the client. 

– Export the forms via CSV which can then be imported into your CRM system or used for marketing purposes.

You can also send the consent form to the client / guardian prior to their appointment. They would receive this form on their smart phone, or to any device, to complete, sign and submit back to you.

Features of iPEGS Remote include:

  • Easy to use form builder – where you can build and brand your own forms
  • Folders – To organise forms
  • Feedback forms – Strive to improve your business by customising feedback forms to be completed by your clients
  • Photo and Image Fields – Add before and after photos to your forms
  • Secure Signatures – Add secure, multiple signatures to your electronic form include third party signatures

Why go paperless? 

  • Never receive an incomplete form again! Field types can be set to optional, warning or mandatory
  • Use the unique signature features which includes the date and time stamp of the signature. Even add face stamp for improved authenticity.
  • Save money and the planet through stopping excessive printing
  • Get your business in order with a digital filing system
  • Cut out the administration and have more time to focus on your business
  • Fight off those legal battles with digital consent forms that can never go missing

iPEGS REMOTE PRICE GUIDE

If you would like to have a demo of how the app can work for you then contact Adam on 01244 955350 or email adam@ipegs.co.uk