Take a Self Assessment
Q: Do I have dual redundant ISP’s providing Internet Access to my office today?
A: The eCW Software As A Service (SAAS) model means that all your patient and practice management data will reside at a secure datacenter which you access with an internet connection. Therefore, to maintain access to your records, eCW requires redundant ISP connections such as Cable, FiOS or T-1. eCW requires all practices to have redundant ISP internet access or sign a waiver acknowledging risks involved in single point of failure on internet connection to the data centers. DSL is not recommended as the upload speed is too slow to function as a primary connection, although we have had success with DSL as a secondary connection. Click on Bandwidth Requirements.
Q: I have an existing ISP connection—how do I determine if it is fast enough?
A: eClinicalWorks evaluates minimum network requirements based on the following parameters:
- Latency: Minimum 50MS latency round trip on a standard ping packet
- Packet Loss: Less than 1% packet loss
To determine your practice’s ISP bandwidth, go to www.speedtest.net
Remote Connectivity for SaaS Deployment
Q: My hardware is a few years old—will it still work with eCW?
A: Many times a simple upgrade to RAM memory or a cleaned-up hard drive is all that is required to become eCW compliant. If you know specifications of each of your machines, you can compare it to the eCW Minimum Requirement list and determine if a device is usable. Click on SaaS Hardware Requirements.
Q: What computers do I need for each person on my staff?
A: This will vary with the way your practice operates today. Generally we see at least one desktop for the front desk and one desktop for Billing. Nurses generally like the use of laptops which gives them wireless mobility between Exam Rooms and the Nurses’ Station. Most providers quickly become enamored with using a tablet which gives them the freedom to take notes in the Exam Room and provides wireless mobility around the office. Click on Workstation Requirements.
Q: I have a wired Ethernet LAN today. Do I need to install a Wireless Access Point, and how will it be secure?
A: You can certainly enjoy the benefits of eCW in a wired network environment. You would simply disconnect and reconnect a CAT-5/6 cable from your computer as you moved about the office at different locations. A Wireless Access Point gives you the freedom of going anywhere in your practice while still maintaining connectivity. We use a CISCO Aironet Wireless Access Point that we configure with security so you remain HIPAA compliant. If your practice’s floor space is quite large, we can install repeaters to give you additional coverage in all areas.
Q: I want to scan my paper charts into Patient Records as I see them – How do I get the information into the EMR?
A: We see most practices take a J-I-T (Just In Time) approach to migrating paper data into their EMR. As patient appointments approach they have their staff pull the charts the day prior and scan the relevant pages into the EMR. We suggest for this purpose that a scanning station be set up near where the chart storage is located. A scanning station will consist of a desktop or laptop with a Fujitsu 6130 scanner attached. The 6130 is a small footprint workhorse with duplex scanning performance of up to 80 images per minute in monochrome and grayscale, the fi-6130 scanner handles up to 60 images per minute in color at 300 dpi, offering unparalleled image detail as well as speed. See Fujitsu 6130 Datasheet.
Q: I have a paper fax machine today – can I still use it?
A: Having paper defeats the most efficient use of your EMR. Instead, a fax server (most times a robust desktop PC with a specialized fax card) now accepts your inbound faxes through the same Analog phone line that you use today. The faxes are electronically stored in an Inbox which you go through daily and attach the inbound faxes to your patient record. eClinicalWorks has an integrated feature that enables the practice to fax information such as prescriptions, progress notes, lab/diagnostic imaging orders, and results directly from the software environment. Practices should do an analysis of the number of faxes sent and received on a daily basis. If you have multiple locations, this analysis should be done at each location. Client should monitor what type of documents they are sending out (referrals vs prescriptions) as well. If you plan to use SureScripts-RxHub, this will decrease the number of faxes sent significantly as your prescriptions will be done electronically. For practices with a high volume of faxes, sometimes we recommend a 2-port fax card that has separate lines for inbound and outbound faxes. Many times this will alleviate any traffic jam you might experience.
Q: What other equipment should I consider?
A: There are many other devices available to enhance your office’s productivity with the eCW EMR which include signature pads, insurance card scanners, label maker printers for patient lab tests and specimens. There are optional integration features that will allow you to directly connect certain Midmark and Welch Allyn devices to your EMR as well as Dragon voice recognition software for transcription. You will need each provider to have Microsoft Office installed on his/her device so that reports can be read and sent. You can add a patient portal for sharing information and communicating with your patient. Providers can access patient information now from a hand-held device like an iPhone or Blackberry. A&T can help with integration installation and configuration of these devices. See Optional Integration Features.