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A FastPass for VA Wait Times?“The waiting is the hardest part”- Tom Petty “Headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place… for people just waiting.” – Dr. Seuss You look down at the face of your daughter as the initial excitement of being at Disneyworld gives way to the reality of the situation at hand. She has had her heart set on riding Frozen Ever After but the full ramifications of a 300 minute wait are starting to set in. The whole day will be wasted waiting for this 3 minute experience to start. If you’ve ever been to a Disney Park, you can identify with the situation above. It is frustrating to say the least, and waiting in line is never any fun. Now take the scenario above, substitute a Veteran for your daughter, a needed doctor’s appointment or prescription for the Frozen Ever After ride, and turn that 5 hour wait time into several days, weeks or even months.

Carey Cox, August 4, 2016

Carey Cox has spent his 17 year career in various roles within the health care industry including sales, consulting, and operations management. Carey has been involved in a number of capital system sales roles including life safety, infant security, audio-visual, and clinical education. He had operational oversight of two Baylor pain management centers and served on various committees for Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. His internal knowledge of health care operations, his leadership experience and his ability to build and strengthen relationships give him a unique insight into clinical workflow and process throughput. Carey holds a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration and also volunteers in a mentoring program for young adults entering into the workforce. During his tenure at TeleHealth Services, he has been instrumental in expanding the TeleHealth footprint in Dallas-Ft Worth (Methodist Health System) and Houston (CHI St. Luke’s Health and Memorial Hermann) health care markets.

The Audits are Coming! The Audits are Coming!Ever since the Woodrow Wilson and the 16th Amendment gave us a Federal income tax back in 1913, Americans have had to worry about being audited by the government. The modern IRS was born in the 1950s and they get very busy every year after April 16th, pouring through millions of income tax filings, looking for mistakes and potential revenue. This year, starting March 21st, another government agency started its second round of audits. These audits however have nothing to do with taxes. The Depart of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is conducting audits on healthcare providers and facilities that focus on HIPPA violations. This second round of audits identifies 180 areas of focus for HIPPA compliance by healthcare providers. If you want to review all 180 of them (and you probably should), there is a not-so-easy to navigate webpage that explains them all at HHS.gov here. Of course we all benefit from the security of our private medical information.

Anthony Paoletti, July 28, 2016

Anthony brings over 23 years of audiovisual experience and has worn nearly every "hat" in the industry; from Consultant to End User; Account Representative to Install Technician; Project Manager to Systems Engineer. Contact Anthony at apaoletti@avidexav.com

Innovation at ATA 2016As a health care professional, if you were in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 14th to 17th this year, you were most likely at the American Telemedicine Association’s annual conference, ATA 2016. If you were not there or if this event has not historically been on your radar… it should be! The ATA’s annual conference is the “world’s largest and most comprehensive meeting focused on telemedicine, digital, connected and mobile health” and “the premier forum for healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs in the telemedicine, telehealth and mHealth space.” It is a place where physicians, healthcare providers, and healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators all come together to share case studies, explore new ways to deliver care, and showcase groundbreaking new technology. With so many talented people all in one place, it seems appropriate that each year several are recognized with ATA President’s awards for their achievements and contributions.

Jeff Miller, July 19, 2016

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidexav.com

Calling in SickWhen you think of a school nurse, you may imagine a cheery, young health professional whose day consists of waiting for the random child to come into the nurse’s office needing their temperature taken, maybe aspirin for a headache, or a skinned knee from the playground cleaned and bandaged. Perhaps if the child is deemed sick and potentially contagious, the nurse may call the child’s parent(s) to come and pick them up from school. The stakes in these instances seem relatively low, so it is no wonder that when faced with budget cuts, schools look at the full time registered nurse as an unnecessary expense. They may instead train someone in the office on basic triage and transfer the responsibility for minor ailments to teachers as well. But are the savings worth the true cost? The truth is, the role of the school nurse has changed dramatically over time.

Bob Higginbotham, July 12, 2016

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

Why You Should Medicare about Alternative Payment ModelsEarly in my career, around 1995-96, I was selected by Vice President Al Gore to sit on a senatorial/congressional Sub-Committee to talk about reimbursement for “video teleconferencing for medicine.” I remember Senator John D. “Jay” Rockefeller, IV, the chair, telling us all in the first meeting that “one day, this will be the biggest thing in medicine.” After putting the first “payment plan” legislation in motion for telemedicine, we are all still waiting for his statement to come true! Today, at last, we are a few steps closer to his famous statement… “Simplicity is the soul of efficiency.” –Austin Freeman If this quote is true, and I believe it is, it is not surprising that telemedicine had a slow start when it was introduced to health care.

Bob Higginbotham, May 26, 2016

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

Telemedicine: Putting Inmate Healthcare Costs on Lockdown.Read any of the headlines on America’s prison system today and you will find a common theme. It’s expensive to maintain. Incarcerating people is often necessary to protect society, but it does come at a steep financial cost. We all know the system is expensive, but I doubt many of us know exactly where the money goes. You may be surprised to know that up to 30% of the cost is related to providing healthcare to inmates. “Typically 9 to 30 percent of corrections costs go to inmate health care. This amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars nationally…” -The Urban Institute One of the reasons that care is so expensive is that in the United States, we treat our prisoners rather well, and as such, are required to provide them with medical care comparable to that which they would receive if they were not incarcerated.

Jim Colquhoun, May 17, 2016

Jim Colquhoun is the Chief Technologist for Avidex. Jim brings an exceptional record of management and operational experience, as well as expertise in the design and integration of communications, AV, and broadcast systems. Jim can be reached at jcolquhoun@avidexav.com

Telemedicine: Civil WarThere is no question that in the modern world of medical marvels, doctors have achieved superhero status. Much like Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark they are blessed with charm in their bedside manner and with superior intellect. Now combine these natural abilities with 21st century technology and you have a force to be reckoned with. Illness do your worst! One area of medical technology that has helped doctors deliver care faster than a speeding locomotive is telemedicine. Many healthcare practices have been implementing telemedicine as a growing part of their practice, especially given advances that have been made through both legislation and insurance reform to crash through the traditional barriers that made providing care in this manner somewhat difficult in the past. Now, the challenge can be just connecting patients who value remote care with practices that provide it. And that is where a new app from Astia Health comes into the picture.

Carey Cox, May 10, 2016

Carey Cox has spent his 17 year career in various roles within the health care industry including sales, consulting, and operations management. Carey has been involved in a number of capital system sales roles including life safety, infant security, audio-visual, and clinical education. He had operational oversight of two Baylor pain management centers and served on various committees for Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. His internal knowledge of health care operations, his leadership experience and his ability to build and strengthen relationships give him a unique insight into clinical workflow and process throughput. Carey holds a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration and also volunteers in a mentoring program for young adults entering into the workforce. During his tenure at TeleHealth Services, he has been instrumental in expanding the TeleHealth footprint in Dallas-Ft Worth (Methodist Health System) and Houston (CHI St. Luke’s Health and Memorial Hermann) health care markets.

It’s Good to be an Organ “Droner”Drones are everywhere. Applications range from military use for fighting terrorists to aerial photography to recreational use by hobbyists and even Amazon has announced it would like to start using them for package delivery. Imagine being able to deliver packages in dense urban areas without having to worry about traffic or parking. Now imagine that instead of delivering your nephew’s birthday present, the drone is delivering something much more critical…medical care. Before you scoff at the idea, let me share a quick scenario. Imagine your 21 year old daughter is in desperate need of a heart transplant. You wring your hands, hoping that somehow a heart will become available in time to save her life. 8 miles away, a 27 year old dies in a car crash. It’s both a tragedy and a miracle as he is an organ donor and his heart is a match.

Anthony Paoletti, April 25, 2016

Anthony brings over 23 years of audiovisual experience and has worn nearly every "hat" in the industry; from Consultant to End User; Account Representative to Install Technician; Project Manager to Systems Engineer. Contact Anthony at apaoletti@avidexav.com

Up with Telemedicine. Down with Healthcare Costs.I hate paying too much for anything. Just ask my family and friends. When I need gas, I will drive out of my way to save three cents and use my rewards card to get three more, saving a total of six cents on every gallon. My vehicle holds 16 gallons, so I saved less than a buck, 96 cents, searching for a cheaper place to buy gas. When somebody asks me why, my instinct is to say “because I saved money!” But in reality, did the extra driving really save me anything?  Is going to the first place that has gas, paying a buck more, really that bad? To me it is, and that is why I do it. It makes me feel better. In the health care world, we compare prices, talk about deductions, worry about our out of pocket…when in reality, we just really need to go see the doctor because we are not feeling good and have a need. We just need to go to make us feel better! We rely on the government and insurance companies to keep the cost down…any way possible.

Bob Higginbotham, April 15, 2016

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

Telemedicine: It’s Rocket Science.Two things I want to get out there today: First, I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid (come on, so did you); Second, I use the phrase “it’s not Rocket Science” all the time. But, working in the world of telemedicine, I am working in rocket science, as NASA was one of the first organizations to create “links” from their rockets and space shuttles to their mission control in Houston. They developed many of the technologies used in current day telemedicine many years ago…and they are still helping to generate new ideas in this market sector today. Read on to learn more. As for the astronaut thing, after a few rides on the “whirly bird” at the state fair, you will know why I will never go into space! I like the ground, the stationary feel underneath my feet, way too much! Imagine you are in a rural area and fall ill. You are just over 200 miles away from the nearest doctor.

Bob Higginbotham, March 29, 2016

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com