Eric Akstin the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of One Medical Passport discusses security applications and using ASC software at your facility

There's a few things that you should look at when evaluating ambulatory software.  The first thing to think about is where data is being hosted. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers. Ask questions like: is it a large provider such as Amazon web services for hosting or is a vendor hosting with a smaller company or maybe being self-hosted? These are clues that will tell you how seriously the service takes security. Because we’re in healthcare, you also want to verify that it is a HIPAA secure environment.

The way an outpatient surgical software company handles support can give you excellent insight into how the company is run. Support can be handled through a ticketing system.  A Ticketing System is a piece of technology that receives a service request (for support, etc.) from an end-user. Find out if a person or an automated response system is being used.  Also, it’s good to know the hours that the support team keeps as well as the process for account verification and if the support team is US-based. This will tell you how the company is being run behind the scenes that that may not necessarily be apparent without asking those types of questions.

One more thing of note is where the development team is based and what they do.  Development is the team that focuses on building the web product that you use. Your vendor may outsource offshore with contractors or keep it in house.  How about development cycles? Are releases done weekly, monthly, or quarterly?  A release is an update to the website that you are using.  Releases are coordinated and communicated to you as the end-user and should be done on a recurring pattern.  These are again insights into how the company works and if they would be a good fit as your ambulatory surgery center’s partner.  

Finally, you should ask the question: what happens to my data if I decide to cancel the service? Do I get a copy of it or does it get deleted? Does my data live there forever? This will give you deep insights and clues into exactly how your data is being managed and protected.

Want to learn more about best practices for ASC software companies?  Write in the comments any questions or thoughts.