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Thread: Paperless Office

  1. #1
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    Confused Paperless Office

    We are looking to open a new office and want to consider going paperless. Is there a system out there that everyone is happy with. We are looking to open up in a month and a half and would like to start it in our existing office first.

    :cheers:

  2. #2
    One of the worst people here
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    Just a warning, there is no system out there that is completely paperless. We use the computer for our accounts, bookings, sales, inventory, and everything and we still have a lot of paper.

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    If you start out that way, as opposed to trying to catch up on an old paper system and back-up every day plus have some way of operating with paper when the computer goes down (they all do) you will probably be O.K.

    But of course you must personally be able to operate the computer and the system, as even key employees quit, get sick, or whatever. Plus it's nice to be able to have some idea about what is going on and what the help is doing.

    Chip
    Last edited by chip anderson; 07-09-2006 at 07:44 PM. Reason: More comment

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    OK but who do you recomend

    OK ... but which software do you recomend?

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    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    You will find everything you need in Microsoft Office Small Business Edition. With Office and a little bit of talent you can do anything.

    As to the term “paperless.” It’s baloney. Paper sales have increased dramatically every year since the acceptance of the computer as a business tool. My nephew has been a salesman with Hammermill since the early eighties and business just keeps getting better and better.

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    I remember promises of a paperless opticians when computers were being introduced. Now it seems you cannot sneeze without a piece of A4 being printed to record the fact.
    Optical technicians in Britain.

    http://www.optiglaze.co.uk/forum/

  7. #7
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    We use maximeyes.

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    We uses EZ-Frame for our sales, Quick Books for our accounting, and Access for our appointments.

    I am happy with Quick Books and Access, not really ecstatic about EZ-Frame. It is bulky, slow, sometimes difficult to keep up to date. The biggest problem these programs do is their hire some smart punk who thinks he or she knows everything about computers, and then instead of making the program easy, fast, useful, and ideal, they make it fancy, slow, big, and difficult to uses.

    I remember the old Dos type program, that is the way all of these programs should look. I recently bought a laptop from Future Shop, and the fancy computer store did not have a fancy computer program. Instead it had a practical computer program to ring up the sale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VVC
    We are looking to open a new office and want to consider going paperless. Is there a system out there that everyone is happy with. We are looking to open up in a month and a half and would like to start it in our existing office first.

    :cheers:
    Paperless sounds great on paper!:D
    Pun intended.

    But you could easily be in trouble if the computer crashes with irrecoverable data.

  10. #10
    One of the worst people here
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsandr
    Paperless sounds great on paper!:D
    Pun intended.

    But you could easily be in trouble if the computer crashes with irrecoverable data.
    Well we have had computers since 1989. Have not had a problem like that; however, we back up daily.

  11. #11
    Optiwizard making films Audiyoda's Avatar
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    I could go on and on about CompuLink's Eycare Advantage - suffice it to say I don't like it.

  12. #12
    Guerrilla Optician OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Framebender's Avatar
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    Marchon just bought it. . .

    but we like RLI although we don't use the paperless feature. I agree with cjcarlen about Compulink. We tried it and it was a nightmare.

    Good luck to you!!
    Days where my gratitude exceed my expectations are very good days!

  13. #13
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    VVC,

    Just how far do you intend to go with a paperless system? Are you going to record your clinical notes on computer as well?

    I ask because my initial experience with a paperless system was disastrous. We set everything up with the program vendor. The developer hmself come to Vancouver to train all the staff and set up our backup system. A couple of months later, our network crashed and all data was lost. The backup was totally useless, even though we followed his instructions daily. The company insisted it was our fault and we insisted it was their fault. They provided no help whatsoever, and all we could do was reconstruct the clinical data as best we could.

    As well, for the first 2 years of using a paperless system, some of the staff were so uncomfortable with the idea of scheduling on the computer that there was a schedule book and the computer schedule going at the same time. I thought it was ridiculous; twice the work and twice the likelihood of double-booking by accident.

    Other things to consider:
    - Does the program and your equipment give you the flexibility to draw clinical findings?
    - What will you do with reports coming in from GPs or OMDs? Ideally, your program will have a feature to scan those documents in.
    - Do all your staff have enough basic computer knowledge to learn the system?
    - What will you do if you do have a system crash? (Tip: Test your backup frequently to make sure it really works.)
    - What kind of technical support will you get from the program vendor?
    - Do you have a reliable computer technician locally to manage your hardware?
    - From what I understand about HIPAA, if you have internet access at any computer in your network, you'll have to take precautions to make sure your data is secure.

    I'm sure you've thought about these already. Just from an optometric assistant's view ... paperless seems like a great idea, but all of the glitches and problems and crashes will fall on the assistant to deal with. All the ODs I've worked for don't want to deal with computer issues. If something doesn't work, they don't care how it gets fixed as long as it's fixed. I'm not saying this is a bad thing (I figure it's part of being an assistant). I'm just saying be aware of what will happen.

    My 2 cents (or I guess that's 2.25 Cdn. cents)
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    Quote Originally Posted by For-Life
    Well we have had computers since 1989. Have not had a problem like that; however, we back up daily.
    What do you back up onto, some type of 100% fail safe media?

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    We use My Vision Express. It is newer but the guy will work with you to get a system set up just how you want. There are draw and scan features as well. There is a learning curve to anything but the biggest thing is to make sure the employees are comfortable with it or it will not work.

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    Nothing out there will be totally paperless. Insurance companies like DavisVision, EyeMed, and others require signatures from some patients...

    RLISys (150/mo) has no real paperless setup. The closes ones are VersaSuite(10-20k), MaximEyes(15-25k), and Officemade/ExamWriter(900+/yr).

    RliSys is being phased out. End-of-Life for RLI was announced a couple weeks ago. If you currently run it, you will have to PAY to convert your database over to OfficeMate. The time frame is 18-36mos.

    My office uses some web pages/php/mysql. Everything is scanned with an HP Digital Sender and shreded. Our server and backup server are housed in an 84" Rackmount cabinet, and the database replicates to my home on the other side of town.

    The beauty of our setup? No ledger, schedule book, or charts. Everything is PDF and there's no ongoing expense.
    -Brian

  17. #17
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsandr
    What do you back up onto, some type of 100% fail safe media?
    We back up onto 2 thumbdrives; one goes home with me, the other goes with a key employee. I also back it up directly onto my laptop so I can SEE that the info is actually there, and not just have to hope.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsandr
    What do you back up onto, some type of 100% fail safe media?
    We back up onto the hard drive and an alternative server.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsandr
    What do you back up onto, some type of 100% fail safe media?
    The server itself... raid mirror to an identical harddrive.
    The on-site backup server has 4 drives in it. Each one backs up the previous day (so 4 different backups)
    The backup server off-site is an up-to-the-second replication of the main server.

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    We use OfficeMate....its great! We scan everything in....HIPAA, insurance cards, medical hx...you NAME it. We use a back-up tape every night too of course.....and one of us takes at least one tape home every week in case of a break-in. I highly recommend OM if you are looking to make it really easy.

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    ABOC, NCLEC, COT nickrock's Avatar
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    I have really enjoyed using First Insight's MaximEyes. It literally does everything, but is not ideal for multiple location integration. RLISys was sold recently, but I have not heard if it will fizzle out. I'm sure Marchon will have something new and spectacular out soon. I have also heard good things about Officemate and Examwriter.

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    Rising Star OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    I know this is hard to generalize... but how much space are these backups? I realize it has to do with the amount of patients. so, i guess how much per patient on average?

    I would recommend to backup the backup on occasion too. You can buy a dvd burner for about $40 and 100 good DVDs for $30. Very cheap way to have an extra bit of comfort.

    Also, I've heard of one person that backed up everyday. One day they had a problem and the backup was corrupt. So, check occasionally to see that the backup doesn't have corrupted data.

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    Lightbulb Backup Help Guide

    Crystal Practice Management has come up with some backup answers that work for any office.




    Common Data Backup Media Types

    There are a variety of backup media types available. The most common are:

    ·USB Drive: (Also know as pen drives or thumb drives) Small portable hard drives that connect via USB port.

    ·Zip Drive: Similar in shape and size as a floppy disk, but with a higher storage capacity.

    ·CD-RW Drive: A CD drive that allows you to record data to blank CD-R and CD-RW discs.

    ·DVD Drive: Similar to a CD-R/-RW, Records data to blank DVD disks.

    ·Tape Drive: Looks almost like a combination of an audio cassette and VHS tape.

    ·Offsite Backup: Service provided by a company allowing storage space on their servers. Up and Down bandwidth contributes to total cost.


    Backup Data Software

    Once a backup media is picked, backup data software must be installed. The ideal backup software automates the process as much as possible. With backup software properly configured, it is just a matter of inserting the backup medium into the computer or verifying online backup properties when backups are scheduled to run.

    Backup Data Regularly

    Most backup programs allow you to program automated backups of your data. At the very minimum, data should be backed up weekly or even more often, depending on the importance of the data you need to protect.


    Backup Data Offsite

    Data backups should be taken to an offsite location to protect the data in the event of a natural disaster (fire/flood) or not so natural (theft).



    Ensure Data Backups Work

    Check to see if the backups are running correctly on a regular basis. This is accomplished by taking the data backup and running a data restore from the media and then checking all the data being backed up is being restored correctly.


    Types of backup

    There are different types of backup techniques, here are some of the most common ones:

    Local Backups - files are backed up to a folder or drive on your computer
    Network backups - files are backed up to a folder or drive on a network
    Remote Backups - files are backed up to a remote server (usually FTP)
    Backup media - files are backed up to a removable media (tape drives, CD/RW disks, ZIP disks etc.)


    Full or incremental.
    A full backup will backup all your files every time, while an incremental backup only backs up the files that have changed since the last backup. Some backup programs also let you keep multiple copies of your files, which can be useful for files that are frequently changed, allowing you to "go back" and find or restore older copies.


    Good backup practices


    Backup regularly

    Try to keep your most important stuff in a central location (e.g My Documents), this will make it easier to specify backup locations.

    Backup vital files to a USB drive, Zip Disk, CD-R/CD-RW or any other removable media independent from your hard drive.

    Even with a secure computer setup you never can tell when a disaster will occur. From lightning striking to receiving a malicious virus on an email your patient data is always at risk. You can never be too careful.

  24. #24
    Rising Star motelska's Avatar
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    Program

    I've worked with Officemate, Compulink, and Maimeyes.

    Of the 3...

    I would say Maximeyes. No doubt about it. It makes sense, has been fully integrated with VSP for YEARS and is a VERY Stable program. We Backed it up every night and once a month did a Full system back up. Then we transfer 1 copy to an External Hard Drive, and burn 2 DVD's with the information. The office manager took 1 disk home and the Dr took the 2nd dish and the External Hard Drive.

    I just wish the Dr I work for currently would switch to Maximeyes.
    Smile, it makes people wonder what you're up to :bbg:

  25. #25
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    Nice, 3 year old thread and no where near the record, but I'm sure it's helpful to the OP.:hammer:

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