Newsletter – April, 2010


Welcome to our second Synapse newsletter! It’s been a busy and productive few months since we started operating as Synapse Medical Services, with much of that time spent ‘bedding down’ our new transcription service.

You can read all about it here. As with our medical billing service, we believe this will save you time, money, and most importantly, stress.

In this issue we’re also looking at the movement of medical records through cyberspace, and how you can best safeguard patient privacy.

The latest BUPA (HBA and Mutual Community) table came out a fortnight ago. We’ve pulled out some of the most common items for you to review at a glance. You’ll find that in the members’ area of our website together with our new Anaesthetic fee table.

Thanks for your feedback to date and please keep it coming. We’re serious about providing the best service and we know there is always room to improve.

Margaret Faux

Just Your Type

When we started trialing our transcription service, we had a couple of very keen doctors who wanted to be first in. One was going to be without her secretary for a few weeks and desperately needed a temporary solution.

Her secretary is now back on deck, but she was so impressed by her experience with us that she has decided not to wait until her staff are on leave again before coming back for more. She’s using Synapse to supplement the work of her regular typist by getting us to prepare her medico-legal reports.

With feedback from this doctor and our other ‘early adopters’, we’ve tweaked the transcription service we offer. We know that it is the most economic in Australasia and provides the quickest turnaround. And unlike other transcription services, you don’t need to download any software.

Added to this, our professional medical transcribers only do medical work. They are not from a large pool of typists who are assigned whatever work comes through the door. Our small team, many of whom have tertiary qualifications in the area of health, have received intensive training in medical terminology. Usually, your work will be done by the same transcriber who builds up familiarity with your style and practice.

As with our billing service, you can use us for transcribing whenever you want. There is no start up fee, no cancellation fee, no minimum use. One letter every few months or all your correspondence while your receptionist is on annual leave. It’s up to you.

The other advantage of using Synapse for your letters and documents is that you can choose to store copies of your correspondence on our secure website where they are available to you out of clinic hours; from the hospital, your home, or anywhere in the world. Just log-in, type in the name of your patient and your letters will appear.

If you want to learn more about it, click here.

Email is great – but not for medical records

Emailing has changed the way we communicate, making it quick and easy to be in touch with anyone, anywhere. Unfortunately, email is not secure, and when it comes to patient records, that means privacy cannot be guaranteed.

The AMA advises that while faxing of medical reports and health information is permissible if the fax machine is secure and out of sight … “Appropriate security safeguards need to be in place for the emailing of information, including encryption and ensuring the identity of the receiver. Note that unencrypted email is not a secure means of transmitting information.”

That’s why we encourage you to upload your billings and your transcription files to our secure website. Logging onto Synapse and uploading is secure, emailing is not. Unlike sending information via email on the world wide web, whether you submit a file to us, or vice versa, all data transmitted and stored is via a secure connection. All files require security log-in access and are 128-bit encrypted. This provides protection for you and your patients.

Of course, you can also choose to fax your documents. The AMA does advise, however, that your fax machine should be positioned so that it is out of sight from your patients.

When you fax information to us it arrives as a scanned document. There is no fax machine, as such, at our end. We then securely upload your faxed files to your log-in area which acts as your electronic office. Synapse operates an almost completely paperless office, saving cost and minimizing the environmental impact.

Using our website is as easy as emailing and you can access our secure Synapse site, and any information you have already uploaded to it, from your home at night or from anywhere else at any time. When you upload to the Synapse website, we guarantee that best practice in health record storage is being applied.

Storage of your files

We often receive enquiries from clients about whether they need to keep their own copies of billing and transcription records they have sent to us for processing.

We are fastidious about record keeping and secure data storage and keep two copies of everything.

One copy of your records is permanently stored on the website in your client log-in area. This is the copy that you have 24/7 access to from anywhere in the world.

A second copy of all of your files is kept on the Synapse server in your client folder.

The only files we delete (due to the very large file size) are voice files. However, we only delete these files after the dictations have been transcribed, corrected by you and stored by patient name.

So, while it’s not necessary, you can keep a third copy if you want to. But remember: we’ve got you covered anyway.

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