Medical Scribe Program at AHDPG

Check out our short video about our Medical Scribe Program on YouTube  and see if you are as excited as we are.  Give us a call today to find out more.  Ask for Lynn, our Admission Coordinator.



A Key to Increasing Your Productivity – Your Workstation

What does your workstation say about you?
Mine says I spend a lot of time in my chair; I like to pile (ahem, file) papers on one side of my desk; and according to the crumbs in my keyboard, I like bagels.  Fortunately, it also indicates that I have taken time to set up a space where I am comfortable, have good body positioning, and have easy access to all that I need to perform my work tasks.

As healthcare documentation specialists and healthcare documentation students, much of our time is spent trying to be the most productive and efficient we can be. We focus on learning and understanding terminology, developing our expanders and shortcuts, proofreading our work to ensure document accuracy, and keeping up with industry trends.

Sadly, we neglect to pay attention to one thing that is very important to our overall productivity and health – our work spaces.

Ergonomics refers to the science of how we set up our workspaces for maximum efficiency and reduction of injury. Proper body positioning and ideal placement of furniture and equipment are important in determining if your workstation set up is properly for you. Have you considered your workstation ergonomics?

Your desk and chair. You should have a desk with a comfortable, adjustable office chair. If you are sprawled out at the kitchen table or sitting in a recliner with your laptop on your lap, you are not positioning your body in a way that will promote efficiency, and you will likely feel the strain on your muscles and joints over time. Having an adjustable office chair allows you to set the chair’s height so that your feet rest on the floor, your knees are bent at about 90 degrees, and your elbows are also at about 90 degrees when working at your keyboard.  You will also feel more professional and have a better mindset for work, which will lead to greater productivity.

Your computer and keyboard. Are you transcribing on a laptop? Not recommended! A laptop does not allow you to adjust the position of the monitor, keyboard, or mouse. Your workstation is not a one-size-fits-all arrangement, and neither is your computer. You may need to raise your monitor up an inch or two so that you are not looking down at your screen; likewise, you may need to make adjustments so that you are not looking upward at it. You may need to change the position of the keyboard (or invest in an ergonomic keyboard) to fit your hands best. If you must use a laptop, purchase a peripheral keyboard and mouse so that you can position these to fit your needs, and just think of your laptop as the CPU tower of a desktop computer.

Work tools.  Have the items you use most often within arm’s reach at your desk.  If you have to twist, bend, or stretch to use the item, it is not placed in a location that would minimize strain and stress on your body.

Lighting.  Make sure that you have positioned your computer monitor so that you minimize any glare from room lighting or sunlight. This will reduce eyestrain and headache associated with long hours at the computer screen.

Your work habits. Do you sit at your computer 8 hours straight so that you don’t lose productive time at work? If so, you are likely indeed hurting your productivity. Getting up for short breaks throughout the day will help you feel more refreshed and able to focus more clearly. Taking time to stand up and move and stretch will reduce the strain on your body from sitting for long periods, get your blood circulating, and invigorate you so that you will be at your most productive and efficient.

Take some time today to evaluate your work space and make any immediate changes you can to improve your body positioning.  Make changes as you are able to ensure a comfortable work space and avoid stress on your joints.  It may take some time for your new arrangement to feel comfortable, but over time you will feel the benefit.  Be sure to review your workstation regularly and make any changes necessary to ensure that you have the setup that is right for you.

AHDPG is proud to be named a Military Friendly School for the 6th year in a row!

Welcome to Our Military Personnel and Their Spouses!

AHDPG is proud to once again be named a Military Friendly School for 2015. This is our 6th consecutive year winning this distinction and something the entire team at AHDPG is extremely proud of. Now in its sixth year, the 2015 list of Military Friendly Schools ® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 VA-approved schools nationwide. The survey tabulation process, methodology and weightings that comprise the 2015 list were independently verified by Ernst and Young LLP. Each year schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country.

AHDPG is an active participant in the activities of the U.S. Department of Defense to promote medical transcription as a viable occupation for military spouses.

Military Spouses Jobs and Training
Those who dedicate their lives to service for our country and risk their lives while separated from their families are often acknowledged. We see the stories of our military all over the media, and at AHDPG, we are proud of those who choose this life of service for our country.

Military Spouses Jobs and Training
There is another important segment of this group, however, and that is the often-forgotten military spouse. In the same way that the military personnel give of themselves, so too does the military spouse. Benefits of a healthcare documentation position for a Military spouse:

• Portable profession (take the job anywhere your spouse is stationed)
• Work at home opportunities
• No more feelings of being uprooted from a job

We have a heart for the military and the military spouses. Simply put, we know the challenges you face as a military spouse and we welcome you to AHDPG!

*MyCAA funding program administered by the
U.S. Department of Defense and Military Onesource*

Military Spouse Training
Call today for more information. Ask for Lynn.

Technology, Data Security, and the Wall of Shame

A Surprising Statistic
A recent blog article on the Modern Healthcare web site states that 12.1% of the U.S. population has had their protected health information (PHI) compromised in data breaches. That amounts to approximately 1 in 8 Americans that have been affected.

With assurances of doctor-patient confidentiality, notice of HIPAA practices at the doctor’s office, and the need to sign a release form to get one’s own medical records, this is a staggering number, and it’s a tough pill to swallow.

More clinicians are using portable devices such as laptops, tablets, and even Google Glass in an effort to better coordinate care and increase provider productivity. As a result, patients’ medical information is no longer contained just within the medical records room but is transported in and out of the office and even maintained on the cloud. While there are many benefits to the implementation of these technologies, the opportunity for data to be misplaced or stolen is increased.

What is The Wall of Shame?
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the watchdog for compliance with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. The OCR Secretary must publicly post any data breaches affecting more than 500 patients, and that data can be found in a searchable database on the OCR site.  Many in the industry refer to this as the Wall of Shame.

When the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH, went into effect in February 2010, it strengthened the existing Privacy and Security Rules under HIPAA.  One key change made was that business associates of covered entities are now equally responsible for complying with these rules and are subject to the same fines and penalties.  Medical transcription companies, healthcare documentation specialists working as independent contractors, or any vendor or third party working with protected health information are examples of business associates.

Data breaches may take many forms. Laptops containing PHI are stolen or accidentally left behind; electronic protected health information (ePHI) on an organization’s server becomes available on Internet search engines due to changes in server configuration; ePHI stored on a photocopier hard drive is not erased when the equipment is returned to the leasing company. This represents just a few of the many scenarios reported on the HHS web site.

There has been a steady increase in the number of breaches on ‘the wall.’  For example, in 2004, there were 2 incidents posted in the HHS database; in 2013 that number soared to 242. This year already shows more than 100 reported breaches. Again, these are breaches where PHI for more than 500 individuals is involved. As one might expect, there is a noticeable jump in reported cases in 2010, after HITECH went into effect, incorporating not just covered entities but business associates as well.

The advancement of technology in healthcare documentation has the potential to improve the coordination of patient care and improve productivity for providers; however, with the increased number of avenues where information may be breached, we must be ever vigilant to protect that data.

Want to learn more?  Join us for AHDPG’s free online HIPAA training. This training is an Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) Preapproved Activity for 2 CEC (Medicolegal).