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Wednesday, 6-Mar-2013 07:07 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Does the cloud provide an easier route to HIPAA compliance?

A lot of confusion has been raised regarding the compliance of cloud to the HIPAA. On the contrary, the healthcare community itself is not very sure of it and is looking at it as a double edged sword. The cloud presents you a shimmering picture of cost-effective option. It provides you a solution due to which analyzing massive data and the ability to store will become affordable. But the other side seems be bleaker as there are many who are yet to come to terms with this new rule-set of HIPAA, especially those that are now part of the recently published HIPPA omnibus rule. It is better to dig deeper on this to understand instead of merely speculating on the fringes whether to migrate or not to the cloud?

The omnibus rule that was put forth in the last month has further tightened the grip of HIPAA on those who are entrusted with responsibility of protecting the health information.The rule also has increased penalty on the business associates and covered entities, who fail to comply with the HIPAA. At present, there a lot of misconceptions as well as fear regarding use of the cloud. As a result many healthcare organizations and health service providers are shying away from switching over to the cloud. Not taking rescue under the in the latest cloud technology umbrella might result in loss a good deal in terms of both compliance and finances for organizations that wish to play safe.

Can Cloud Computing Really Rescue Health Care And Make It HIPAA Compliant?

Recent times has revealed to the health care sector the various weird and amazing ways in which data breaches can occur and do occur. Many times it occurs due to infrastructure loss, physical theft, or due to sheer negligence (when someone forgets a laptop or forgets to shutdown their PC).

The above scenario of data exploitation and data theft is easily manageable through use of cloud technology. Cloud computing can be more helpful in such cases because herein you can stop the breaches by using services of physical security policies such as the Amazon wherein all the things that can be carried out with the data can be published. Cloud technology is most certainly is far more efficient than what a single group running its infrastructure can accomplish after a lot of personal investment. Of course, reduction in the amount of health data breach is the first benefit of cloud computing.

Deft monitoring of security and the privacy of the infrastructure through automation is the second benefit of cloud. Basically, when the infrastructure program is being written, the infrastructure is coded and thousands of tests are conducted on various levels. Such through levels of tested programs provide a secure base that everything is done in order to automate the expected results and that the infrastructure automatically works the way in which you want it to. Hence, when things start showing changes in the infrastructure code you immediately smell smoke and try to find out the reason for it. Trying to search for the reason for changes in your infrastructure ultimately makes you provide more security to your data.

HIPAA omnibus rule has placed great emphasis on the factors that can risk the health data and the breach notifications. The cloud services developers provide you with the documentations that carry highly detailed processing systems due to which remaining HIPAA compliant as well as cost-efficient does not seem as uphill task. All the instructions that are part of the cloud computing program are written in plain and simple readable English which can be easily defined by anybody in the health business. This gives the HIPAA operators full knowledge about the compliance and non-compliance and related decision. It also helps even the non-technical staff to gain an insight into overall work pertaining to the HIPAA compliance owing to which the overall efficiency of an organization is certain to elevate.

Only six months are left for the covered entities and the partners to become HIPAA compliant and hence it is important that they take steps to understand these benefits of the new cloud computing.

Data breaches in health sector have been damaging the credibility of many health institutions and many times the culprits were left untracked as they were much smarter than the security system of the institutions. Shifting to the cloud is a major decision, which can be taken by the entities only when they thoroughly understand its contribution in lessening the burden of finance as well as maintaining to the strict rules of the HIPAA compliance.

One wonders, what is keeping these people at the fences when one way or the other they are not left with any other alternative than to migrate to the cloud!

About emPower
emPower is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.

Media Contact (emPower)
Jason Gaya
marketing@empowerbpo.com


Monday, 4-Mar-2013 06:35 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Safeguard the potential of the Contingent Workers

We all are aware of the fact that today workers or employees are not safe at their working premises, as they confront a wide range of emerging health and safety issues that requires to be noticed. OSHA has introduced its future direction towards the health and safety of contingent workers. The health section comprise of threats from operating respiratory illness, combined exposure to latest mixture of harmful chemicals, and exposures to radical fine particulates, as well as amphibious and unreal vitreous fibers. Within the safety space, rising problems embody, fall hazards from wireless communications and high-definition television tower construction, noise in construction, and difficulties in reaching the increasing population of mobile employees.

OSHA SAFETY RULES

OSHA provided safety and health support for 1st response, salvage and recovery operations, and hygiene operations in hazard analysis, monitoring, and refinement. Extra activities are already current to boost OSHA's readiness. This space would require continued attention throughout the look amount. OSHA tenders a good choice of training compliance courses and academic programs to assist broaden employee and leader information on the popularity, avoidance, and interference of safety and health hazards at their workplace. OSHA, in addition to this also tenders training and academic materials that facilitate businesses train their employees and suit the activity Safety and Health Act.
OSHA plays a vital role in supporting contingent workers by polishing off programs designed to save lots of lives, stop injuries and diseases, and shield the health of America's employees.

These 7 Strategies comprise of:

Emerging leadership qualities and standards for work safety and health,
Supervising employment premises and coping with employers and staff,
Offering guidance to small businesses,
Providing training compliance help, outreach, academics, and different cooperative programs for employers and staff,
Providing matching grants to help states in administering consultation comes and approved activity safety and health social control programs, and
Developing friendly relationships with different agencies and organizations in order to cope with vital safety and health problems.
Exercising sturdy, efficient, and honest social control

OSHA additionally supports contingent workers by making certain that its rules effectively address policy problems which they are doing not produce inessential restrictive burden.

OSHA Strategic Management set up, focuses on serious hazards and dangerous workplaces and includes ways that emphasize:

Increasing partnerships and charitable programs

Providing and extending academics and training compliance help.

OSHA MISSION

OSHA's mission is to delve and make sure work safety and health safety for contingent workers.

OSHA, along side its valued state partners, achieves its mission through varied means that, as well as work social control of applicable laws and rules, inspections, consultation services compliance help, outreach, education, cooperative programs, and supplying of standards and steerage. So as to extend its effectiveness, bureau collaborates with a spread of organizations fascinated by activity safety and health.

About emPower

emPower is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.

Media Contact (emPower)
Jason Gaya
marketing@empowerbpo.com


Friday, 15-Feb-2013 01:36 Email | Share | | Bookmark
7 Strategies to Improve Safety for Contingent Workers

Construction workers, farm laborers, warehousing employees and hotel workers are more likely to be employed on a contingent basis in the United States, which may make them vulnerable to occupational hazards. In a new white paper, the Center for Progressive Reform highlights the occupational safety and health concerns faced by contingent workers and shares strategies to improve their working conditions.

The white paper “At the Company’s Mercy: Protecting Contingent Workers from Unsafe Working Conditions,” by CPR member scholars Martha McCluskey, Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro and Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Shudtz, highlights the occupational challenges facing contingent workers in the United States and suggests strategies to improve their working conditions.

“Their shared experience is one of little job security, low wages, minimal opportunities for advancement, and, all too often, hazardous working conditions,” the white paper says of workers whose employment is contingent upon short-term fluctuations in demand for employees. “When hazards lead to work-related injuries, the contingent nature of the employment relationship can exacerbate the negative consequences for the injured worker and society.”

Employers of contingent workers often do not pay for workers’ compensation or health insurance and can simply hire replacements when workers are injured – factors that give these employers little financial incentive to eliminate safety hazards or help injured workers return to work. Additionally, employers sometimes misclassify contingent workers as “independent contractors” in order to claim the workers will pay their own taxes and insurance – a practice that reduces the employer’s expenses while also removing the incentive to create a safe workplace, the paper states.

The white paper includes case studies on contingent workers in four industries: farming, construction, warehousing and hospitality. The construction industry, for example, employs a disproportionate number of contingent workers in the United States. Most of these workers are young men, and many are Hispanic or Latino, performing dangerous jobs that have a high risk for falls, nail-gun injuries, musculoskeletal injuries and more.

7 Ways to Protect Contingent Workers
The CPR white paper offered seven strategies to ensure the contingent work force is protected:

1. Empower workers with a stronger right-to-know. “Well-educated and well-trained workers are the most empowered – they know their rights, they know when they have been wronged, and they know the best way to correct a hazardous work environment,” the report states. “Contingent workers do not get enough education and training.”

2. Empower workers with a right-to-act.“Under current law, workers lack the power to commence legal action on their own accord against an employer that is breaking the law; instead, they must make a formal complaint to OSHA compliance and await the agency’s response ...Workers need to be able to wield power that is proportionate to their huge stake in the game. That power should come in the form of an amendment the OSH Act that would create a legal vehicle for enforcing worker rights against employers,” the paper asserts.

3. Strengthen OSHA enforcement. The paper claim that “OSHA could make a significant impact on health and safety in contingent workers’ lives through modifications to existing enforcement policies ... In addition, OSHA has the ability to test the new policies for effectiveness by implementing them in discrete geographical areas or selected industries.”

4. Create ergonomics standards. “Since ergonomic hazards pose significant risks in industries and occupations that employ many contingent workers, OSHA should establish regulations to eliminate those hazards,” the paper states. “...OSHA could issue a series of industry-specific ergonomics rules, geared toward particular hazards. Starting with industries that employ a significant number of contingent workers would lead to better protections for millions of workers without coming close to the alleged $4 trillion price tag that prompted the congressional veto of the broader standard in 2001.”

5. Reform voluntary and consultation programs. “As the contingent workforce grows, OSHA has an obligation to revisit existing programs to ensure that they meet the needs of contingent workers,” the paper asserts. “First, OSHA should revise the minimum criteria that companies must meet to be part of the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) ... Given the health and safety concerns raised by employer decisions to place contingent workers in new and high-hazard jobs, VPP entry criteria should be revised to require that VPP employers only use contingent workers in low-hazard occupations such as clerical work.”

6. Build a case to close statutory loopholes. “OSHA should also determine if there are data that support closing loopholes in the OSH Act that limit the statute’s applicability to domestic workers and farmworkers on small farms,” the white paper added.

7. Improve foreign-language capabilities. According to the white paper, “the high number of Hispanic workers in the contingent workforce suggests that language barriers can create challenges for education and training ... In addition to hiring more bilingual inspectors, OSHA must increase the foreign-language capabilities of staff who develop education and training materials. The agency should establish a goal of making all of these materials available in multiple languages and formats, reflecting not only the spectrum of workers’ native languages, but also differences in culture and literacy.”

“As the contingent worker population grows, the occupational safety and health community will have to adapt,” the paper concluded. “OSHA Compliance Training can lead the way with new rules and better enforcement, but the agency will also need the help of other advocacy organizations, from union-affiliated campaigns to worker centers to faith-based groups. Because the contingent workforce is particularly vulnerable to unfair treatment and poor working conditions, empowering these workers to act will take the support of many advocates.”


Tuesday, 27-Nov-2012 03:36 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Arousing interests in students for e-learning courses through cr

There is no dearth of e-learning courses around the globe. But the question is: are these courses really enhancing the knowledge of children? While researching on this subject I came across staggering results. I found that although the numbers of e-learning courses have increased considerably in recent past; students are still unable to derive 100% benefit from these courses. I know 100% benefit is a mere myth and cannot be achieved in one grasp; but still there has to be a way through which students retain majority of portion in one go without any outside interface or pressure from parents. Once that has been done, the real worth of e-learning courses can be derived.

It is often said that content is the king. This is absolutely true for good e-learning courses. Although designing an e-learning course is also an integral part of the big deal; without game-changing content, it is very difficult to arouse interest in the minds of the students. Now this is a very big deal, because if you make students yearn for your course; half of your problem is solved. With so much competition, the expectations are quite high in terms of quality content delivery and on top of it; the other criteria is that content should be in sync with the designs of the website. This is really a high pressure situation, because you need to be at the top of your game to succeed at this level.

Tutors also need to be in regular touch with the students so that they can provide proper guidance to them after specific period for instance; weekly or fortnightly as per their convenience. This will enable students to get personalized touch from the tutors. The major objective of providing personalized touch in e-learning courses is to make students genuinely interested in the course. They can then ask relevant questions to the tutors thereby getting additional knowledge on the subjects.

Although every e-learning course provider rhetorically knows about these basic ideas they are not able to transform them into realities. Now this is a big problem; and this question always remains unanswered: How does one arouse interests in students through e-learning courses? I know you are jumping off your seats and are saying every other fellow knows the answer. But is the answer really that simple? Are we really able to understand the needs of the students? What are the different factors which make or break the success of an e-learning course? In this blog; I will try to answer all these questions and hopefully when I end this blog; you will have a rough idea of what exactly is required in terms of creativity to encourage students to study hard for the respective courses? How can you make a boring subject interesting for the students?

Now remember that when I talk about students I am talking about children within age group of 4-15 years. This is the age where children learn from their surroundings and are able to grasp things quite easily. This is also the age wherein; the inbuilt creativity in children can be developed without any force or compulsion. The basic objective of an e-learning course should be to encourage the students to use their creativity and get innovative solutions on their own by solving the problems. Remember that getting a different solution for a problem every time does not make a child dumb. It is our perception which makes things right or wrong. Once we have adapted to the way a child thinks, it will be very easy to design a course curriculum which will not only impart knowledge; but also enhance the creativity in children.

I am yet to come across an e-learning course which takes the point discussed earlier into consideration; while designing the course curriculum. This is a very sad thing because it also shows that e-learning course providers are not able to understand the needs of the children and hence, are failing to create interests in students. So, the very first point to consider while arousing interest in students is to THINK LIKE A CHILD; and design the course curriculum keeping in mind the creativity aspect of children that can be enhanced through designing innovative course curriculum.

Thinking like a child is not an easy thing. You might also question me: what do you mean by creating a course curriculum presuming yourself as a child? Now this is a very important question, which needs to answered in detail; because most of the e-learning course providers miss out on understanding this simple criteria; and end up messing up with their entire course curriculum.

You will not end up with the same fate; as you have already begun the success journey which will guarantee that your course is quite different and unique from other e-learning course providers. Remember when you were a child there were three most important things which created interests in your minds. Let me list these three things:

Engagement
Competition
Rewards

Let me explain each of these points in detail with a scenario-based example which will clear the concepts in your mind:

Engagement: Imagine your childhood days are back again. You are sitting on your couch playing video game. As you cross each level the excitement arouses and you are totally involved in the game. In other words you are engaged in that activity which keeps you from doing other activities till you have completed the game thoroughly. Now get back to the present and visualize whether the course content that you have developed has engaging points in it. Whether it can keep a child involved for a majority of their time without diverting to other activities?

If your answer is yes; then you have found the perfect winning formulae for designing the e-learning course. In that case you do not have to read further. But if you are still confused and are asking the same question i.e., How to engage children in the course curriculum? The answer lies within the problem. Create the curriculum in such a manner that it seems like fun to the children. Make it so engaging that they do not wish you get off their study room till they have completed the specific chapter or the desired objective. You can do it with interactive videos or pictures that engage students to the course. You can also create a unique concept which will give you the first-mover advantage over other e-learning course providers. The key to the solution is to think creatively and differently from others. Remember if your course is not different or unique then it will not survive the tough competition in the market. Be very proactive research a lot and come up with creative solutions. By being creative and different you are giving yourself an opportunity to engage the children to your e-learning course. That should be the ultimate bate to attract parents and children.

Competition: Remember the good old times in your childhood when you used to have a healthy competition amongst your friends while playing cricket or football to become a wicket keeper or goal keeper. Try to visualize the kind of competition that used to take place to bat first or to keep the wickets while playing cricket. Likewise try to remember the competition that used to take place to fight for your place as a goal keeper while playing football. Counting the number of runs or goals scored by each individual to prove your mantle in the entire group and surpassing that figure to become the ultimate winner used to be your sole objective.

Likewise, in the present scenario, games have changed; but with the help of social networking sites it is always possible to share your academic scores with your colleagues, so that there is healthy competition amongst all the children and everyone can give their best to achieve their academic goals. Thinking out-of-the-box can also be quite profitable for an e-learning course provider; as they can cater to an all-together new market. For example; integrating games with course curriculum can increase the potential of success for the e-learning courses.

Rewards: As a child, remember the enthusiasm that you used to feel while getting a reward for a sport. It was considered to be a big achievement. Likewise when children are rewarded for the dedication and application that they show for learning and scoring good marks in the quiz; it results in positive reinforcement. This is the ultimate game changing moment for the e-learning course provider since; they now have all the cards in their hands; and deep down in their heart they know that their course is an instant success with the children. They can then experiment with something unique and different for the betterment of the course curriculum.

In the end; I would like to conclude this blog by highlighting couple of things which will give an opportunity to e-learning course providers to get success with flying colors.

Always give importance to learning and knowledge rather than marks and ranking system.
Even if a child does not score well encourage him/her with positive feedback so that they can get back to studies and perform well in the next quiz/exam.

About emPower

emPower is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.


Tuesday, 14-Aug-2012 09:22 Email | Share | | Bookmark
6 Evolutionary Trends In e-Learning Education

With the advancement in technology, e-learning education has received a tremendous boost. In this article; we look at some of the trending concepts in e-learning education.

Withthe emergence of internet, e-learning education has become a revolution. We have already seen lots of e-learning courses being introduced in the market. There are some emerging trends which can really give real impetus to e-learning and take it to another sphere. Let us look at some of these trends:

SHIFT TO OPEN SOURCE TECHNOLOGY:Learning Management Systems (LMS) have traditionally been a paid service. But with time there are lots of new open source systems like OpenClass have come up which have received a warm welcome from students and educators.
Key integration of e-learning courses by employers:E-learning courses have not enjoyed popularity amongst students and career oriented employees; as the certificates for the courses are not regarded as a valuable thing in the job market. But as the popularity of e-learning courses increases with the number of masses this perception will change.
Assimilation of hybrid courses: Different types of courses have been developed with the assimilation of online education along with face-to-face teacher interaction. This type of education is revolutionary and can change the paradigm of online education system.
Excellent growth in enrollment of e-learning courses in comparison to traditional courses: Enrollment of e-learning courses has risen to 21% growth rate in comparison to a paltry 2% growth rate in overall higher education. As the technologies grow; you can expect the rise of e-learning enrollment at the same pace.
Increasing use of social media tool for education: Social media is often regarded as a tool for masses to interact with friends and be in touch with them. But recently the trend is changing. Increasingly social media tools are being used for educational purposes, and this will enhance the quality of the entire online educational system.
Digital content distribution in lieu of books and closed texts: For e-learning courses; textbooks have been replaced by digital content distribution system. It gives freedom to students and professionals to get the relevant information through various mobile devices.

About emPower

emPower is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.


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