Archive for month: June, 2018

Let the Patient Inside Before Their Visit; The Benefits of Virtual Tours

Categories: Articles

It’s safe to say that most people do not stroll around town to look for healthcare practices when they need a check-up or to see the doctor for a sore throat. Besides word-of-mouth (no pun intended), how do they find the right doctor’s office? Google tells us that consumers use mapping tools (like Google Maps) 44% of the time when they are searching for businesses. After they find you, they need a reason to learn more and book an appointment. The longer they engage with your site, the more likely they are to make an appointment. A Google Street View Virtual Tour is an easy, low maintenance, one-time investment that lasts forever and can increase both web traffic and in-office visits.

We’ve all sat in the waiting room for what feels like forever, anxiously waiting for our doctor to provide us some relief or at least some answers. When someone searches for “doctor’s office near me,” they want to find a place that looks comfortable and clean. This is where Google Street View Virtual Tours come in. The 3D tours are an addition to the Google Maps platform. Anyone with a physical location listed with Google My Business can integrate a tour into their listing. As one of the most high-impact marketing tools available, a virtual tour literally gives a potential patient the ability to move around inside your business, choosing what they want to see.

Meet Medicus IT, a leading Healthcare IT Support Provider serving the Southeast. Nichelabs gave Medicus IT the power to leverage Google Virtual Tour Technology and showcase their beautiful new office in Alpharetta, GA.

What does the 3D tour tell us about Medicus IT?

Benefits of Google Virtual Tour, Medicus IT - Image 1

The vibrancy of their office exudes the energy of their brand. Polished and professional, the space gives the correct impression that they are a successful business. Any website can go on boasting for paragraphs about how fantastic their patient services are and how great their practice’s reputation is because of it. Why not just SHOW the prospective patient the fruits of your labor and instill the confidence that you are an established, active healthcare practice of integrity. The most powerful copywriting imaginable still could never produce the impact that we get from this virtual tour.

Benefits of Google Virtual Tour, Medicus IT - Image 2

In order to take care of your patients, you must first take care of your medical and administrative staff. We are able to see the office lounge area, complete with comfy couch, pool table, and even a foosball table. Notice how it is right next to a mass of spacious cubicles; In fact, the whole office has an openness to it. This Virtual Tour allows us to SEE that they promote an atmosphere of open communication and idea sharing, which for a doctor’s office would leave less room for patient cases, inquiries, and test results getting lost in translation.

Benefits of Google Virtual Tour, Medicus IT - Image 3

Notice the adorable “DADDY” drawing from an employee’s son or daughter. Clearly, you will not be dealing with “robots” if you call Medicus IT.

Benefits of Google Virtual Tour, Medicus IT - Image 4

“Take a walk” down the hall and you will see the impressive lunch area. They clearly care about employee experience.
There are so many positive mental notes that the visitor can infer as they navigate through this 3D tour. The interest it creates quickly turns to interaction to see and know more. Click, Click, Click!

Google Virtual Street Tours Enhance Your Online Visibility

Benefits of Google Virtual Tour: Enhance visibility

When it comes to online presence, it pays to look good, but it is important to understand that you are also aiming to impress Google’s algorithms. There are certain factors that Google looks at to determine whether your business is relevant to a community, including distance. What better way to show Google that you are a real and credible practice than visual proof that you are where you say you are?

Beyond instant credibility, virtual tours help to boost your Local SEO, search engine rankings, and website traffic. The point of local SEO is to increase your visibility in your community.

After searching, “doctor’s office near me,” or “IT company near me,” the user may see a box on the right side with information about a local company (in the respective industry) such as hours of operation, phone number, address, and reviews. This box is called the Knowledge Panel. One of the sources that “influences” the Knowledge Panel is Google My Business. Google Street View Tours are a great way to optimize your Google My Business Page, improving your Local SEO. Google’s research indicated that 41% of the searches through mapping tools (mentioned earlier) resulted in site visits, and business listings with photos and virtual tours were twice as likely to generate interest.

More Interaction = Enhanced SEO

Click-through rate is another factor that tells Google whether you are important or not. It is a measurement of how successful an ad, post, campaign, or link is at capturing interest. It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks (interactions) by the number of impressions (views). Increase click-through rate by getting your users to interact! It only matters that you are found if users visit your site and stay there long enough to complete a desired action. If your content is boring, why would they stay? If you fail to give them a reason to look any further than your landing page or homepage, you will have a high bounce rate and a low click-through rate.

To improve click-through rate, you can embed video, photos, text, and links in the tour that, when clicked, will redirect the user to another landing page or part of your website that calls for an action. Ex. When the user views the reception desk, they see a “Book an Appointment” button that takes them straight to a reservation system or contact page.
Besides your My Google Business Page, how can you use your virtual tour?

  • Embed it in your website or feature it on a dedicated landing page.
    Imagine a tab in your website menu titled “See Inside.” The user sees a large, vivid, 3D tour pop up. There is a slim chance of them not clicking one of the arrows to move around and explore. Congratulations, you’ve just engaged your potential client by providing an interactive experience. Visitors will stay on your site longer and are more likely to hop from page to page.
  • Integrate into your Facebook page, Facebook ads, and feature in your social media posts
    Think of how many times you have clicked on a picture on Social Media to enlarge and get a better view. Posts are more enticing when they include a virtual tour that users can interact with to view from different perspectives.
  • Add audio, video, links, and info…
    …to get even more clicks and redirect to more pages. Remember that click-through rate!

A Google Virtual Street Tour is a real “set it and forget it.” No campaign necessary. If you would like to invite your future patients in before they even leave home, contact NicheLabs to create your Google Virtual Street Tour today.

Healthcare is one of the biggest hacking targets for two major reasons: legacy technology and the need to access data to ensure operations..

Categories: Articles

Healthcare is a hacking target

In the article below, the Department of Homeland Security issued an alert to help medical organizations about all CPUs with Intel hardware, who may have potential security flaws. They go on to emphasize the need to one, perform a Security Risk Analysis, and two, place protocols within your organization that will help monitor any suspicious activity. Most practices utilize a third party IT firm to help manage and monitor their networks, and work with them to learn how to mitigate risks. Additionally, a third party privacy & security expert can help create information security policies to help a practice follow “best practices.”

Read Full Article

Submitted by
Bill Steuer
GSG Capital, LLC
GSG Compliance, LLC
877-270-8306 ext. 133
678-209-2021 x133 (local)

Five reasons why your practice should implement a SIEM

Categories: Articles

A Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) system combines analyzing system events and device logs in real time to safeguard against unauthorized access to protected information. By utilizing a SIEM, it highlights the actionable events to proactively prevent a security incident while filtering out the noise found in traditional log data.

To best protect systems and ePHI, Healthcare practices should implement a multi-layered cybersecurity program to help protect their sensitive data and ultimately protect the practice. One way to improve any cybersecurity program is by utilizing SIEM.

Five reasons why your practice should implement a SIEM:
1. Respond to Incidents In Real Time
2. Reporting – Ability to Prove it
3. HIPAA Security Compliance
4. Dedicated Cybersecurity Team
5. A Single Security Breach Could Put Your Practice at Risk

How SIEM Works

SIEM software collects and aggregates log data generated throughout the organization’s technology infrastructure, from host systems and applications to network and security devices such as firewalls and wireless access points.

The software identifies and categorizes incidents and events, as well as analyzes them so practices can address issues that matter before the security incident occurs. The software sifts through thousands and thousands of security-related events, such as successful and failed logins, malware activity, and other possibly malicious activities to find the needle in the haystack.

Quote from Paul Musich, EMA

Why Your Practice Needs Managed Cybersecurity Services

The list of vulnerabilities to protect and monitor for is growing at a rate that IT support teams cannot keep up with and as a result, many businesses are choosing to outsource network security and monitoring to companies dedicated to providing expert security service 24/7.

If you are wondering how SIEM can benefit your practice and why you should consider implementing a SIEM solution as part of your cybersecurity program, then read the five reasons below.

1. Respond to Incidents In Real Time

Hackers, bots, viruses, malware, and, ransomware attacks are occurring daily in healthcare. A SIEM solution logs, reports, and alerts on known items or events out of the ordinary. Our Security Operations Center (SOC) team reviews flagged items and address items which need attention, such as a brute force attack or continued unauthorized access attempts to systems.

2. Reporting – Ability to Prove It

Reporting covers anything security-related such as successful and failed logins, malware activity, and other malicious activities attempting to hack into your network. Having this information helps not only to show compliance with the practice’s required HIPAA Policies & Procedures (P&P’s), but also can help prove whether a cybersecurity incident has occurred or not. When a cybersecurity incident occurs, it is up to the practice to prove that ePHI is not compromised. A SIEM can help in many cases to show what was accessed and even how much data was transferred, which alone could save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

3. HIPAA Security Compliance

Most medical practices don’t have the in-house security expertise necessary to perform the event monitoring and security reporting required to maintain HIPAA compliance, which is where SIEM comes into play. Reports generated by a SIEM allow your practice to demonstrate to the OCR auditor that you have reasonable means for protecting ePHI. Having reports and documentation on such cyber activity is required, according to HIPAA guidelines, to pass an audit by the OCR.

4. Dedicated Cybersecurity Team

Most practices think that SIEM is something that they can implement on their own without realizing the amount of information the software spits out. Also, many who try to analyze the data themselves without using a cybersecurity expert could potentially miss some tell-tale signs of a severe security issue. A qualified team managing your practice’s cybersecurity program will not only give you peace of mind but also ensure that you receive notification of security incidents that need to be addressed.

5. A Single Security Breach Could Put Your Practice at Risk

One single security breach could cost your practice thousands, if not millions in damages, attorney fees, fines and penalties, data forensics, crisis management, patient notification costs, and credit monitoring. Not to mention the damage to the reputation of the practice should you ever have to report to the media about your security breach. The above is reason alone for you to think about your practice’s current security program and what you can do to make it better.

By: Medicus IT

20 Things We Should Never Say to a Graphic Designer – But We’re Often Asked to by Customers

Categories: Articles

a 4 part series…

Graphic designers can be hard to communicate with. That’s the reason we communicate with them on our customer’s behalf.

Having worked with designers for about 25 years, it helps that we know the right kind of questions that will move the project along and create a final product that everyone will be happy with. They expend time and energy to come up with ideas, concept and designs to achieve their goals. Sometimes our customers will ask us to ask our designers questions that bring the project to a crashing halt, with incorrect assumptions about the design process.

1. “We haven’t finished writing the copy, but can you design a draft?”

You’ll often hear marketing experts say that “Content is king.” A design should be built around the content, not vice versa. Presenting content to its best advantage will always look better and get better results than trying to squeeze all the content into an existing design. Plus, going back and trying to re-arrange the design to fit the copy can be time-consuming for a designer and increases the turn-around time for you or your company. Get the copy as close to its final version as you can before asking to get the designer to get started — it’s better for everyone.

2. “Can I get you to do something really quick?”

Are you sure it will be quick? Do you know what’s involved? The designer is more than likely happy to accommodate an extra task or an adjustment here and there, but will definitely appreciate my asking how much time it will take (rather than if you just assume it’s a quick fix). Designers are good at giving estimates and will let you know how much time they need if you ask.

3. “Can you put it in a format that we can edit?”

We’ve been asked if we can furnish an editable source file. To edit a print file would take specialized graphic design software to open the file. Then, if you can even open the file, you run the risk that making edits to your carefully crafted project will compromise the design if you don’t have any design knowledge yourself. If we need to fix the file, that will incur extra fees. A better option when you want a professional-quality design but will need to make edits regularly, consider a DIY online option, where you can have access to templates created by designers that you can customize or tweak at any time without compromising design quality (they say that, but not sure that’s really true). The files must be saved and/or output in the proper format for printing, and without that knowledge of how to do that, you might not like the printed results.

4. “Can you do lots of different versions? I think I’ll know what I want when I see it.”

We get asked this quite often and our response to the customer is usually not well received. It tends to be something like, “sure, if you are willing to pay for it.” A great analogy goes something like this: “Let’s say you’re buying an expensive, tailor-made suit or a fancy, custom dress. Would you say to the seamstress, “Can you make me six versions of the outfit? When I see them, I’ll choose the one I like best and pay for just that one.” Of course not. Just because graphic design is a digital rather than physical/tangible product doesn’t mean that the designer puts any less time and care into the work. I’ve seen it written, “The design process will go more smoothly for all parties involved if we first spend some time developing a detailed creative brief. The brief helps the designer understand exactly what you’re looking for and are trying to achieve with the design — including information like your intended audience, preferred tone or aesthetic, budget, etc.”

After 25 years in business, we live in the real world. We suggest to customers and prospects that they get online and look around at logos, business cards, brochures, postcards…whatever products we are working on. Whether they see something they like or hate, we suggest they copy/cut/paste into a Word document, noting what they like, love, hate and why.

5. Don’t ask: “Can you Photoshop a photo…?”

Yes, Photoshop and other advanced design software can do some amazing things. But it can’t do everything; sometimes we receive requests that really are technically impossible for a designer to do. And just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Some of the more extreme or outlandish effects and treatments that are possible are not necessarily the best choice from a design perspective — plus, we’ve all seen Photoshop choices backfire, such as a model with an oddly angled arm or leg or impossibly thin proportions. Instead, we can ask designer to give some feedback and constructive criticism; she/he will usually have a pretty good idea of what will or won’t work for your design.

Submitted by Sheila Fox-Lovell from Shandy Creative Solutions

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