Remote desktop support in the medical office

Sunday, April 22, 2012

These days, it seems like there is almost no reason for a computer support technician to visit your office if he/she can access your PC remotely. Simply turn on your PC and let the remote person take over. That's why remote desktop support has gained such popularity in the medical community and we can all anticipate the need for more support as hospitals and medical offices turn to computers for health records and order entry.

A few months ago, I was speaking with several physicians who were looking for remote support for healthcare because they were dealing with electronic health records (EHRs) that also included personal health records (PHRs) for patients. They wanted to make sure that remote support providers were going to operate in a manner that would not violate any HIPAA regulations concerning patient privacy and data security. A related issue to data security and privacy surrounds the type of remote support software that you'll need to install on your computers. Some applications may open up your network of computers to malicious attacks from hackers. Some may conflict with other remote access software that you may be running for your office staff or other support teams that need to access your EHR or your lab data.

Before you completely rely on remote desktop support, make sure to invest in a backup Internet connection. The simplest form is a 3G or 4G wireless Wi-Fi hotspot that will allow you to connect all your PCs to the Internet. If you have desktop computers, get wireless access cards (Wi-Fi) for them as well.

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