The Book on Integrated Mobile Technology Software to Improve Efficiency

If you are in business or run a government agency that had many workers out in the field that you must keep track of then, which book might you most like to read? “The Book on Integrated Mobile Technology Software to Improve Efficiency” might be a start, unfortunately no one has ever read it, because, well, no one has yet to write it you see?

Indeed, I would like to read that book too! As the CEO of WashGuy.com, operating a family of mobile service franchise businesses, one of the biggest challenges was efficiency. Today we find fuel prices up over $3.00 per gallon way too often and pay scales up also. We cannot waste money or time with lost appointments or poor routing.

There is traffic to deal with and communications that are needed between the teams, the customer and the base of operations. Now multiply that problem operating in 450 cities, 110 markets, 23-states and four countries, help. When we need a solution, we need it Now!

In the past, before now that is, there were nothing but promises from mobile technology software companies, the burn-rate of the VC funded mobile technologies business was all too common, as one bright shooting star after another did not make the grade only to crash and burn leaving their customers holding the bag. Now technologies and integration is much more robust and it is going to take someone who gets it to put it all together.

It appears that there are indeed a few up and coming companies that may actually have the answer that mobile businesses and employers have been waiting for. Think on this.

Incentives With Healthcare Information Technology Software

The Health Care Industry is focusing on ways to provide better service to patients and cut cost for all entities involved. One of the major pushes for improving the quality and cost of health care has been the movement toward better Health IT.
Health IT is defined as “providing the umbrella framework to describe the comprehensive management of health information and its secure exchange between consumers, providers, government and quality entities, and insurers.” The advances in Health Care Information Technology Software aim to improve health care quality, prevent medical errors, reduce cost, decrease paperwork, and more.

The Health Care Industry has made significant strides in their technology with the development of electronic prescribing and electronic medical records (EMR). Electronic Prescribing is the ability to send error-free, accurate, and understandable prescriptions electronically from the provider to the pharmacy. EMR is a computerized history of patient health information. EMR’s are housed on health information systems that allow storage, retrieval and manipulation of records by health care providers. These electronic capabilities have proved to assist in the goals of improving health care quality by decreasing medical errors and reducing costs.

Health Insurance providers are expected to see major benefits from the ePrescribing and EMR programs. For instance, Medicare could “save up to $156 million over the five-year course of the program due to avoided adverse drug events.” Another area to benefit is doctors. Studies have proved that doctors using ePrescribing software “save about $0.70 per patient per month, which translates to $845,000 annually for each 100,000 insured patients filling prescriptions.

If the direct cost-saving benefits do not entice health care providers enough, they also receive savings through many of the health acts and services currently in place. Incentives are given to those that participate in ePrescribing software and Electronic Medical Records, and in future years penalties will be given to those that do not participate.

Examples of incentives are through the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), the Health Information Technology for Economics and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). They both offer a bonus for those that participate in the electronic medical record and/or the e-prescribing programs.

MIPPA has designed a year by year percent bonus for ePrescribing participants and a year by year penalty for non ePrescribing participants. Starting in 2009, they rewarded 2% and took no penalty. This year (2010) they will also reward 2% and take no penalty. In 2011, MIPPA will reward 1% with still no penalty. In 2012 the penalty begins. They will still reward 1% to participants but will also begin penalizing non participants at 1%. In 2013 the rates move to 0.5% reward and 1.5% penalty. Beyond 2013, those participating in electronic prescribing programs will not receive an incentive but if you choose not to participate you will be hit with a 2% penalty.

The ARRA HITECH incentives deal more with EMR’s or EHR’s (Electronic Health Records) but also include eprescribing. President Obama signed this act into law in February 2009. Medical professionals who provide Medicare and Medicaid Services as well as EMR’s are eligible to receive as much as $44,000 in incentives.

MIPPA and ARRA HITECH are just two examples of the many incentive programs that the government has approved. Health care providers that do not participate in electronic prescribing and electronic health records miss out on these as well as the ROI and cost savings. And, this is just the beginning. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services is continuing to put efforts toward Healthcare Information Technology Software and developments. It is the wave of the future- the sooner you jump on the better.

Surveillance Technology – Software is As Key As Hardware

Even people with an incentive to keep up on surveillance technology – the many businesses and homeowners with property and people to protect, for starters – often focus on the amazing hardware that is available. With wireless cameras the size of a wristwatch and point-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras with optical and digital close-ups of 50-100X or more, the field is full of great gear. After you’ve finished “oohing and aahing” over the latest miniature marvel or long-distance lens champion, take a look at the new generation of surveillance software. It’s nothing short of amazing.

With the right equipment set up in the proper way, a business owner can keep watch over his 20,000 square-foot hardware store, the warehouse in the back and every approaching street and sidewalk, too. Early on in the computer era (back in the Stone Age, 20 years ago) one of the first ideas for surveillance software was to split the screen and let you see two camera views at once. That is a quaint memory now that today’s software lets you view 16 or even 32 cameras in any grouping that you like, across one, two or three monitors – even more if you want!

Total flexibility

There are commercial software packages that are quite capable, and customizable, too. Then, too, there are any number of proprietary applications that are bundled with certain manufacturers’ gear, and you can always hire a programmer to create something special for your unique needs. Most of these packages will share common capabilities, and differ on the implementation, the number of cameras supported and connectivity schemes. However, they all share a common feature set.

You can record the camera feeds if you choose, and often into various formats and on various media. Gone are the days when all surveillance video feeds were recorded to VHS tapes, a costly approach that is also an archivist’s nightmare. Today the video can be compressed and saved to hard drives, flash memory or burnable CDs and DVDs. With the advent of Blu-ray recorders, and their recent price drops to around $100-125, 25-50GB of video can be written to one of the new discs (single or double-sided).

Compressed with quality

The new compression schemes such as mpeg4, particularly Apple’s h.264 version, can compress video files to a fraction of their usual size, while maintaining excellent definition and resolution. These compression schemes are called “lossy” since there is some loss of original information with them. There are also “lossless” compression schemes if it is important to save as much detail as possible while still conserving storage space.

You are advised to check out a variety of compressed video types to see what it is you will get from your system. You need to know the quality of the archived video that you need, before you can decide how to proceed. Then you can calculate just how much media you will need to save what you are recording. It may also be, of course, that you only save segments of the video stream in which there is movement or other activity. The hardware and software available today can be motion-sensitive, light-sensitive, sound-sensitive or some combination, in order to trigger the recording only when it is necessary.

Your call

Whether you need a record of an eventless night or not, it’s your call. You can save everything, you can save only activity, you can save only certain kinds of activity – it’s totally up to you. Your decision will be driven by your particular needs, and when you decide what those are, you can easily “reverse engineer” the storage system. You can use hard drives and/or flash memory, or burn discs with 800MB, 4.6GB, 9GB, 25GB or 50GB of storage (from CD to Blu-ray double-sided) that should keep for several decades.

With a reputable company to deal with and a wealth of info on the Internet, you can easily customize a system that addresses your specific needs and that you can install, maintain, troubleshoot and manage on your own. Depending on your budget, you can even go wireless with much (even all) of your installation, although having a redundant, wired system (a back-up, in other words) would be a smart move. Making sure you have modern, capable hardware and software protecting your property and people, whether at business or home or both, is the first smart move, of course. Don’t wait too long, because surveillance equipment is like insurance – if you want until you need it to buy it, it’s tool late!