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Blogging IT One Word at a Time

By Bill Elmore ·
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Why must we pay for bad help?

by maxwell edison In reply to Why must we pay for bad h ...

<div>Make a point to the vendor and just send them a bill. Your billing rate times the number of hours (quarter hour minimum and increments) that you had to train the technician. It might be interesting to see how they respond. If they do respond, it might be a good reference for discussing what the tech should and should not know when he's sent out in the first place.</div>

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Why must we pay for bad help?

by Wayne M. In reply to Why must we pay for bad h ...

<p><strong>Custom Costs More</strong></p>
<p>If one wants a non-standard configuration, one must expect to pay more for it.  This includes actual cost, time, reliability, and upgrade costs. </p>
<p>From the description above, it sounds like the product was intended to reside on the C: drive.  By installing it in a custom configuration that has been untested by the manufacturer, one is accepting the risk of increased product problems.  One is also accepting the increased cost of installation, updates, and maintenance.  There may be significant benefits to having a custom environment, but that does not come without additional costs.</p>
<p>One of the basic tenets of quality is that efficiency and reliability arise out of reduction in variation; in standardization.  I do not know the environment and cannot state an opinion on the better approach for this situation.  Realistically, however, I would assert one should not expect custom operations while paying commodity prices.</p>
<p> </p>

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Why must we pay for bad help?

by SQL_Joe In reply to Why must we pay for bad h ...

<br />In reference to the response by Wayne M.<br /><br />If the application requires installation on C: to be stable, I question the quality of the application.  We're talking a drive letter here.  <br /><br />

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Why must we pay for bad help?

by misceng In reply to Why must we pay for bad h ...

<p>For an ordinary consumer life is even worse. I have computer experience but now and then I get a problem which I cannot solve myself. If it is a Microsoft problem I go to "Help and Support" this instructs me to go through all the steps that I have already tried which did not solve the problem. It then tells me to contact my Administrator. Who is the Administrator on a home installation? Fortunately I know how to access the Microsoft Knowledge Base though even that fails me at times.</p>
<p>For other problems the trouble is similar. I contact technical support and have difficulty with the foreign accent but even more difficulty in getting answers of any value because the script the tech support is using covers the checks I have already done but goes no further. This is paid for by high telephone costs. Alternatively I email the company with the problem and get an answer which covers part of the easy bit of the problem but does not offer a solution. I then get an email from some marketing outfit which says how they were glad to be able to help with my query and would I please fill in this survey which in effect wants to know what sales technique will work on me for all sorts of consumer goods..  </p>
<p> </p>

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Life before HIPAA

by Bill Elmore In reply to Blogging IT One Word at a ...

<p class="MsoNormal">I have worked in healthcare IT for most of my professional
career. As I look back, it?s becoming
increasingly difficult to remember what life was like before regulatory
compliance laws such as <a href="">HIPAA</a>
were in place. IT projects were completed
much like they are today, where time is always of the essence and system
stability is crucial. Our main customer
continues to be the medical staff, and the wellbeing of the patient will always
be our highest priority. But there has
been a definite shift in certain aspects of technology delivery. </p>

<p class="MsoNormal">It used to be that support and implementation plans would focus
around what was the least disruptive to the physicians, nurses, etc. While that still holds largely true, HIPAA has
become the trump card to staff convenience.
Several years ago it didn?t matter who was logged into a computer when a
nurse accessed patient data. What was
important was that staff could walk up to the nearest PC and quickly retrieve needed
information. Accessibility reigned. It didn?t mean that was the most prudent way
to secure private healthcare data, it was just the path of least
resistance. A stroll down hospital halls
today, however, reveals PCs with screen savers and input boxes awaiting user
authentication. It?s probably not what
staff wants to see, especially with their busy schedules and the number of
patients being cared for, but HIPAA is now dictating that securing sensitive
data is more important than the few extra mouse clicks it takes to complete a

<p class="MsoNormal">There is something to be said for the weight that physician
voices carry though. They are, after
all, the ones responsible for most of a hospital?s revenue generation. No doctors mean no hospital, and no hospital
means no jobs. The shortage of other
healthcare professionals such as nurses also play a part in the relationship
between medical staff and IT departments.
Prior to HIPAA, hospital users could dictate some of the fine details of
a system rollout and maintenance. They
can still significantly influence the purchase of a new system and its use, but
the new system must now pass a final litmus test for HIPAA compliancy before
being acquired and put into use.</p>

<p class="MsoNormal">Without government regulations in place, which carry
significant criminal and civil penalties, companies previously erred toward the
side of higher efficiency and a healthier bottom line, even well meaning
companies. And even though network
security and data integrity have always been important, companies haven?t
always spent the money or time necessary to sufficiently reach an acceptable
standard. Companies have long known what
should be done to protect a patient?s personal healthcare data, but the effort
generally wasn?t there. However, money
talks and it is now too expensive not to comply with regulatory laws. Efforts presently place an emphasis on
securing data through encryption and safeguarding corporate procedures against
data breaches. Because CIOs and CEOs are
ultimately responsible for violations, the effort for change has trickled from
the top down. </p>

<p class="MsoNormal">HIPAA has dictated important changes to more than just end
users. IT staffs must also adhere to
what it takes to be HIPAA compliant. Regulatory
compliance was a tolerable notion when it only meant users had to jump through additional
?hoops? to complete their jobs. But when
IT departments had to change their <i>modus
operandus</i>, they too discovered that the new laws were difficult to
bear. Domain administrators aren?t used
to having their network or system access restricted, but that?s exactly the
kind of change laws such as HIPAA have brought.
If you don?t have a legitimate reason for accessing private data, access
should be denied. Even the number of IT
staff included in the Domain Administrators group must be considered. Besides being a general sound security
practice, auditors will flag this as a potential HIPAA violation. These are difficult pills for some IT pros to
swallow as they are accustomed to having free reign of their network. But slipping on this slope can mean you?re
searching for a new job tomorrow, so proceed with caution. </p>

<p class="MsoNormal">I would be interested to hear how other regulatory laws such
as <a href="">Sarbanes-Oxley</a>
and the <a href="">Gramm-Leach-Bliley
Act</a> have affected IT in your organization.
Sound off and let me know!</p>

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