Thursday, 22 October 2015

Donation Update

Recently we made the decision to start giving donations to charities as a thank you to new clients coming on board. Basically, our plan is that for every new client that comes on board we're taking a % of their payment and giving it directly to someone in need.

Today we made our second major donation to two of our favorite charities.

1 - Doctors without Borders Canada / MSF
http://www.msf.ca/
For more than 40 years, MSF has been providing medical assistance to people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters, disease epidemics, malnutrition crises and other emergencies. All of these types of situation call for the rapid deployment of  specialized medical and logistical expertise and equipment. MSF is world renowned for their ability to respond quickly and for their efficient work in complicated crises.

2 -  Free the Children
http://www.freethechildren.com/
Founded in 1995, Free the Children works to free children from poverty and exploitation by empowering communities with the skills and resources needed to change their lives. The charity implements the Adopt-a-Village development model in rural and marginalized areas in 8 countries: Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua, China, and India. This model has 5 pillars: education, health care, alternative income, clean water/sanitation, and agriculture/food security. FTC builds schools and water wells, and provides medical treatment and income sources to the developing regions. These projects are designed to address the root cause of poverty and remove the barriers to children's education in the developing world.

Thank you to all our new clients for making this possible.


Cheers! Have a happy and healthy day.
The whole OscarHost team.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Watsi donation update and Ontario fee changes | OscarHost blog

We recently made a Watsi donation to help a young girl in Thailand receive the medical care she needs. You can find out more about our first donation below.

Changes have also been made to fees for physicians in Ontario. Further details on this can also be found below.

Watsi donation update

Crowdfunding has recently revolutionized the healthcare world, especially in developing nations. It has allowed people that would otherwise not be able to receive the care they need to get access to that care through the donations of others. We recently did some research into how crowdfunding has improved healthcare and made the decision to regularly donate a percentage of our revenue to those who need it most.

Our first donation was to a nine-year-old girl name Naw who lives in Thailand. She developed tumours on her leg and tongue and required surgery in order to remove them. We were able to contribute to the full funding of Naw's care. You can find out more about our donation by reading our first donation update. We will keep you posted on future donations as well.

Fee changes in Ontario

As of October 1st, 2015, fee-for-service rates in Ontario were reduced by 1.3%. Additional cuts to specific fees for certain specialists were also made.

To update the fees in your OSCAR EMR, please download the new OHIP Fee Schedule Master file and import it through your OscarHost account. If you need assistance with this, please email us at support@oscarhost.ca.

The action is part of an ongoing dispute between the Ontario government and Ontario's physicians. It has been speculated that the issue could escalate into job action from physicians. The Ontario Medical Association has suggested the matter be settled through binding arbitration.

Hopefully, both parties will be able to come to a resolution quickly and patients won't be affected by these changes.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback regarding these updates!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Crowdfunding improvements in Healthcare

The concept of crowdfunding has really taken off in the last five years thanks to the internet. Globalization and interconnectivity has made it even easier for people to find out about new ideas, products, and projects around the world. It has also made it easier for them to contribute to and support these initiatives through donations. Sites like Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe have provided avenues for products and ideas to get funded by fans, allowing projects that may otherwise not have existed because of a lack of funding to take off.

The possibilities have filtered over into other industries as well. In the healthcare industry, the freedom that crowdfunding provides has been transformed into creative ways to deliver healthcare and improve the industry as a whole.

Crowdfunded health startups

Crowdfunding in healthcare gives startups focused on the industry a chance to get the support and resources they need to develop and expand. Many of these companies are using crowdfunding to enable doctors and other medical professionals to give patients that cannot afford the care they need access to that care through the help of donors.

One such example, Crowdfundhealth.org, is run by a non-profit organization called Possible and its goal is to “make healthcare possible in the world’s most impossible places”. With a current focus on Nepal, Possible delivers treatments and safe-births through a network of partners, including Watsi.org and Kangu.org.

Watsi and Kangu are two more examples of organizations that use donor contributions to help patients around the world receive the healthcare that they otherwise are unable to afford. Similar to an adopt-a-child charity, Watsi and Kangu allow contributors to learn about various patients, their stories, and their health conditions. Donors are then able to donate money to help a particular patient get the care they need. The organizations will provide the donor with updates about the patient they are supporting.

Watsi focuses on various treatments in 20 countries, sending 100% of the donations they receive to the patient. They also have a universal fund that donors can contribute to on a recurring basis. Kangu focuses on providing healthcare services to pregnant women in the regions in the world with the highest maternal mortality rates, including Uganda, Nepal, Burundi, and India. Kangu’s main goal is to provide expecting mothers in these countries with access to safe birth practices and care.

Samahope.org is another example of a crowdfunding health startup. Samahope allows people to support the work of specific medical professionals around the world. By donating, contributors are helping doctors continue their work to care for patients in areas like Somaliland, India, Ghana, Uganda, Nepal, the US, and beyond. Each doctor’s specialty helps him or her provide necessary care to patients that would not have the resources required to receive effective help for their conditions.

The idea of crowdfunding opens a whole new world of possibilities for patients requiring care in rural, often impoverished areas of the world. It also provides medical professionals with another source of funding to help them continue providing crucial care.

Supporting healthcare’s tech advancements

Aside from directly supporting patients or healthcare professionals, companies that provide services to the healthcare industry have also tapped into the crowdfunding possibilities.

Approaching the problem from another angle, MedStartr.com offers companies and people with innovations in the healthcare industry an avenue to raise the funds they need to put their innovations into production. These innovators are able to find partners, mentors, and funding through MedStartr, allowing them to develop their ideas into realities.

Another example of health tech crowdfunding is one that’s very close to home. OscarHost recently crowdfunded the development of Alberta lab integrations for the OSCAR EMR through gofundme.com. While we didn’t raise 100% of the money we were looking for to complete the project, we were able to raise enough to justify funding the rest ourselves. We’ve now finished the development of the Alberta Labs feature for OSCAR 12.1 and have also committed the code back to the open-source OSCAR EMR source code which will make it available for public release soon.

The developers of OSCAR EMR are using crowdfunding as well to sustain development for a number of module re-designs and a health registry.

Why is crowdfunding important for healthcare?

Health issues and complications are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States and they often make the lives of people in countries both wealthy and poor exceptionally difficult. Even with today’s technological advancements, it is all too common that those needing life-changing healthcare are unable to afford it. Through the internet and the rise of crowdfunding, more of the people that could greatly benefit from proper healthcare resources have been able to access what they need.

Crowdfunding has provided a new source of means and impacts the healthcare industry on all levels. From those able to contribute to caring for someone that desperately needs it through donations, to those providing the care, to those receiving the care they otherwise would not, to the people developing the innovations in the healthcare industry, the opportunities that crowdfunding creates may be limitless.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

New OscarHost support portal launched for OSCAR EMR users

We're excited to announce the launch of our new support portal! More details can be found below.

New support portal is live!

Our brand new help centre is ready to go, full of useful information to make sure our users know the ins and outs of OSCAR. The portal is quickly and easily accessible through the "Help" link in the top right corner of our users' schedule screen or by going to help.oscarhost.ca.

This new portal will provide OscarHost users with a one-stop shop for help with common issues and frequently asked questions. It also collects various demonstrations videos, training videos, and other resources relevant to our users in one handy spot.

The Community Forums section provides users with a place to discuss OSCAR functionality, as well as OscarHost-specific topics. The forums are a great way to connect with colleagues and fellow OSCAR users while also giving us an easy way to see what is important to our clients.

In order to post a new topic, users will need to log in to the forum. This can be done using a social media account or by making an account on the forum itself. Support tickets can be created and sent to us directly through the help portal as well. A status update will be available for any tickets created.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding the new support centre, please let us know by contacting us!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Email notifications feature update, OntarioMD funding ends, and BC MSP fees increase

Just a few quick updates regarding the email notifications feature, the OntarioMD funding program, and a recent change to BC's MSP fee schedule. Find out more about the changes below.

Email notifications without online booking

The feature that sends email notifications for appointments is now available for Oscar without needing the online booking module as well! If you'd like to find out more about how this works with Oscar, please get in touch!

OntarioMD funding ends

Going the way of the dodo (like PITO in BC and POSP in Alberta), the OntarioMD funding program has now officially come to an end. Physicians in Ontario can no longer be funded for using an EMR.

MSP fee increase in BC

As of April 1st, 2015, a fee increase occurred in BC, funded from the 2015/2016 fee allocation. The fee increase was implemented on June 4th, with the most current rates available for download as of June 5th.

Any claims that were being processed when the change was made and have been submitted at the previous rates will be adjusted to match the new rates. The explanatory code BG-Amount will be displayed and a retroactive payment will be applied to a future remittance for any services provided between April 1st and June 4th that have been paid using the previous rates.

The MSC Payment Schedule on the MSP website will be updated with the new rates shortly.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Brand new OscarHost site launched + Alberta lab integration fundraiser

We've got a couple of updates regarding our brand new OscarHost website and a fundraiser we've set up for creating an OSCAR lab integration in Alberta. Read more about each below.

Brand new OscarHost website launched!

We've officially launched our new OscarHost website! We hope the updated look will attract new customers while still providing our current clients with the information and high-quality support that we've offered in the past. Let us know what you think of the new site!

Fundraising for OSCAR labs in Alberta

We're working hard to get a lab interface for the OSCAR EMR in Alberta built. Due to the large amount of development time that this project will take, we've created a fundraiser page on gofundme to increase the financial support required.

We've already passed conformance testing for Calgary Lab services and are just waiting for final approval from Alberta Health Services. If you or any of your colleagues would be interested in helping us cover our development costs, please consider donating! Our goal is $7,500 and we're hoping to commit the final product to the OSCAR source code so that more physicians in Alberta can take advantage of this work.

As always, please feel free to also get in touch with any questions or feedback you have for us!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Alberta Lab Interface for Oscar EMR


*Exciting new update on May 15th!
"We just received final AHS approval for our first two offices! Extremely exciting. We're ready to go live once the interface and Oscar version issues have been solved!"


Oscar Host is  creating a labs interface for Oscar EMR in Alberta. We have already passed conformance testing for  Calgary Lab services and the other service areas should be fairly simple to pass once we recieve final approval from AHS. However, there are a couple of issues that will require further work before we can officially release the product.

First, the current version of the Alberta labs importer has been built into the newer version of Oscar 14 which isn't ready for use in most offices. We need to back-port this to Oscar 12.1 which is what most users are currently using in Alberta and around Canada.

Second, due to the way labs are formatted in Alberta and how conformance requires them to be displayed in the EMR there are some user interface issues involving displaying multiple labs on one page that will need to be solved before the system will be ready for in-office use.

We're simply looking to cover our costs for development and testing to launch this new labs interface and we will be attempting to commit this project back to the oscar source code once finished. In the meantime, as Oscar is open-source, should anyone like access to the code we are developing please just let us know.

If you are interested in the continued growth of Oscar in Alberta and throughout Canada please consider supporting this project.
Jordan Visco
CEO - OscarHost
by Cloud Practice Inc.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Monday, 20 April 2015

Success with Online Booking

Since launching MyHealthAccess.ca in November 2014 we are regularly asked by our users what are some strategies that they can use that will allow them to have the most success with an online booking program. Below are a number of different strategies to get patients to sign-up on their own which are a) easy to do b) high impact c) provide continuous booking stimulation to patients.

1. CHANGE YOUR PHONE MESSAGE
Of all the things you can do to get your online patient booking program jump-started the most important  and effective thing you can do is change your phone message to tell patients to go to MyHealthAccess.ca to book appointments. Patients are currently calling in to book many appointments and putting MyHealthAccess right in the middle of their normal booking path is the biggest thing you can do to change their behavior. A sample message could go something like this:

"Thank you for calling 123 clinic. If you would like to book an appointment with one of our doctors please hang-up and go to www.MyHealthAccess.ca. To continue and speak with a receptionist please press 0."

For an even  greater reponse change your on-hold message to go something like this:

"All of our staff are currently unavailable. If you would like to book an appointment at your leisure please hang up and connect with us online at www.MyHealthAccess.ca"

2. PUT YOUR BUTTON ON YOUR WEBSITE
On your MyHealthAccess clinic dashboard is a small html code snippet that will put a book online button on your website which will direct users to a sign-up/login page that is branded for your specific clinic. This will make it easy for any of your more tech-savvy patients to find your online booking information and get started.

3. TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS FOR ALL APPOINTMENTS
We recently released a great new feature for MyHealthAccess which will allow automated appointment notifications for all patients in your EMR. This means that patients will get emails from MyHealthAccess before all of their appointments which will contain information on their appointment so they show up on time as well as information about how to connect with your clinic online. This provides an on-going stimulus for your patients to begin using the web to streamline their communications with your clinic.

If you have any tactics that have worked well for you in your practice please let us know! 


Thursday, 16 April 2015

OSCAR-CON 2015 details and our WestCoast Midwives client profile | OscarHost blog

OSCAR-CON 2015 is here! And so is our newest client profile on WestCoast Midwives. Find out more about who, what, when, and where below!

OSCAR-CON 2015

That time of year is here again! Are you ready for OSCAR-CON 2015?

The annual BC OSCAR User Group and OCUS Meeting will be held in Vancouver onMay 8th and 9th this year. This event will be a full two-day user conference that will cover OSCAR-related updates, discussions about new features in OSCAR, workshops, and more. The Paetzold Auditorium on the first floor of the Jim Pattison Pavilion South at Vancouver General Hospital will be hosting the event.

Registration for the event is now open. For updates on the agenda and information on how to register, please check oscarcanada.org.

We hope to see you there!

Introducing WestCoast Midwives

WestCoast Midwives is a teaching practice that began in 2001 in Victoria, BC. The team focuses on providing quality, compassionate pregnancy care in a comfortable and homey environment.

Kim Millar Lewis started the practice after many years of experience around the world as a nurse in maternity units and a midwife. Since establishing WestCoast Midwives, the clinic has grown into a teaching site for the Island Medical Program and the Family Practice Residency Program. The practice often takes in midwifery students to work alongside the midwives and doulas.

WestCoast Midwives adopted the OSCAR EMR system in 2009. One of the staff's favourite things about using OSCAR is the fact that the clinic is 100% paper-free. Being able to access patient files any time, any where, and from any device is another benefit that Kim and the other midwives in the office greatly appreciate.

Eventually, the WestCoast Midwives hope their healthcare region will use more systems that can connect with EMRs like OSCAR so that reports and files can be sent directly to and from the office quickly. Kim also hopes that new features will be built to cater directly to midwives and their practices as some aspects differ greatly from those in a general practice setting.

While their practice is quite small, the ladies at WestCoast Midwives keep things fun. They have annual events and retreats that help them connect to one another and to their practice and they also host a yearly Garden Party for their clients and their children.

Thank you for your continued support, Kim and WestCoast Midwives!

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Send automated appointment reminders right from OSCAR! | OscarHost blog

Would you like to send your patients automated email reminders for appointments through OSCAR? We can help your clinic save time, free up resources, and shift focus to more important tasks with a brand new MyHealthAccess feature that does just that!

Because of its integration capabilities, MyHealthAccess can connect to any patient in OSCAR that has a valid email address saved to their patient demographic, regardless of whether or not that patient has a MyHealthAccess account set up. This feature provides you with two main benefits:

1 - it allows you to send more automated reminders with greater ease, saving time and effort for your office staff and,
2 - the reminder email encourages patients to book their appointments online, saving your staff phone time.

MyHealthAccess connects your clinic to your patients online, making booking management much easier for clinic staff. For a quick demonstration of all of the software's features and how it integrates seamlessly with OSCAR, please check out our demonstration video.



If you are interested in finding out more about how to turn this feature for your OscarHost account, please get in touch and we can get you started!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Thursday, 19 March 2015

New features for ClinicAid billing add-on and client profile | OscarHost blog

Spring is upon us and we hope you're enjoying the longer days as much as we are!

We've been using the extra light to update the ClinicAid billing software, a module that can easily integrate into your OSCAR instance. This update allows for automatic code associations to facilitate even faster billing.

We also have our first client profile, a brief introduction to one of our oldest OscarHost users, Amari Medical Clinic. More details about the BC billing updates and our brief interview with Dr. Sachit Shah from Amari Medical Clinic can be found below.


New features for ClinicAid billing add-on

One of the features we've been hard at work on is code associations for our ClinicAid-integrated OSCAR users. This new feature will allow ClinicAid users to create invoices that auto-fill multiple codes associated with one another. For example, when billing an injection, an association can be created for the code to automatically also bill for the office visit. Code associations are easily created within the interface and will allow users to save time when completing their billing through ClinicAid.

For BC ClinicAid users, we've also added age-based service codes that automatically fill the appropriate code based on the patient's age. Once the age association code is selected on an invoice, the billing software will complete the correct service code for that particular patient.

These new features make ClinicAid an even more user-friendly option for BC OSCAR users. If you'd like to see how our ClinicAid billing software can help you bill quicker and easier, please get in touch for a free demo.

Introducing Amari Medical Clinic

Amari Medical Clinic is one of our oldest clients here at OscarHost. The clinic is based in Surrey, BC and serves White Rock, Langley, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and other surrounding areas. Its focus is on family practice, but also offers chiropractic, massage therapy, and rehabilitation services.

The clinic has been making use of EMR since 1999 and became an OscarHost client in 2012. Staff at Amari are currently also using the MyHealthAccess application, integrated with their OscarHost instance, and already have over 1000 patient connections.

Dr. Shah is one of the physicians at Amari Medical Clinic and has worked in Surrey since 1997. Initially starting as a solo practitioner, he now works with over 10 physicians in multiple locations. When asked what he likes about OscarHost's services, this is what he had to say:

"We have had excellent service. We love Oscarhost. We are always pleased with their prompt attention."

Dr. Sachit Shah

One of the clinic staff's favourite features about using OscarHost combined with MyHealthAccess is the ease with which patients are able to make appointments.

Thank you for your continued support, Dr. Shah and Amari Medical Clinic!

We wish you a very bright and warm start to spring!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

New OSCAR integrations released | The OscarHost blog

We're happy to announce a number of new integrations for our OscarHost users across the country! You will find information regarding our ClinicAid billing integration and lab integrations in Alberta below.

ClinicAid billing integration

As you may already know, we've built a billing system called ClinicAid that streamlines the billing process for medical professionals in Canada. The ClinicAid software can easily be fully integrated into the BC, Alberta, and Ontario versions of OSCAR that we host at your request.

If you're having trouble mastering OSCAR's billing system and are interested in trying out a different solution, please ask us for a demo of ClinicAid or view our demo video online. We're happy to walk you through the features in order to help make your billing process easier!

Alberta lab integration with OSCAR

Another integration that we've been working on is a lab integration for OSCAR in Alberta. If you or your colleagues are interested in getting your lab results directly into you OSCAR account, please contact us for more information.

We are excited to soon be launching an open-source and fully functional Oscar EMR alternative for physicians in Alberta which will include lab integrations and billing through ClinicAid!

New support link

You can now also easily access our support knowledge-base without needing to log into your OscarHost account. You will find a link directly under your login that will take you to the OscarHost support portal.


If you have any questions or feedback with regard to these new integrations, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Happy 2015 from the OscarHost team!

Happy 2015!

Happy new year doctor joke
We hope you enjoyed your holidays and are excited for what the new year is going to bring!

2014 was a very busy year for us here at OscarHost. We continued to grow and have doubled in size since this time last year!

We also began offering our free "lunchinar" series for users to learn more of the ins and outs of OSCAR. We will let you know as soon as the first webinar of the year is scheduled!

And, as always, we've continued to do custom development and build e-forms and more for our clients to help them make the most of the OSCAR EMR.
 

MyHealthAccess

We recently also launched the MyHealthAccess online e-booking platform for patients and clinics to connect through. Feedback from users has been overwhelmingly positive so far! Several hundred patients have already started booking their appointments online through the service and many of our OscarHost clients have begun using MyHealthAccess to manage their patient e-bookings.

MyHealthAccess seamlessly integrates with the OSCAR EMR and updates in real time. If you're interested in giving it a try, simply contact us at support@oscarhost.ca and we will get you started!


Lastly, a big thanks to you!

We want to thank you for another great year and we hope 2015 will be full of health and happiness! We look forward to working with you again this year.