Top 10 Advantages and Benefits of Electronic Appointment Reminders

The emergence of electronic appointment reminders via text messaging and the Internet has given doctors a new avenue for accommodating their patients. This kind of service benefits not only the doctor and the doctor’s medical staff, but the patients as well.

Considering all the different features of automated appointment reminder programs and services, the following have been deemed the most important advantages of this technology:

1. Adherence to Appointments

The likelihood that a patient will keep the appointment is higher when he or she receives an alert through SMS, electronic mail, and voice calls. Because they are informed of the date, time and the name of the doctor, there is little chance that they will miss the schedule or be late for it. On their end, doctors can also use appointment reminder software to keep track of their meetings with colleagues or consultation schedules with patients.

2. Reduction in Wait Times

Patients who know what time they should come in for clinical visits do not have to wait in line for their consultation. As a business, clinics can take advantage of this technology as a form of customer service strategy. The more satisfied their patients are, the more likely they will return to seek medical assistance.

3. Potential for Revenue Growth

The numerous benefits that an automated reminder can provide to patients guarantees quality customer service and can translate into higher revenue from repeated consultations and treatments.

4. Multiple Communication Portals

E-mail reminders are ideal for patients who have regular access to the Internet, or those who use their e-mails as part of their work. Voice calls are most beneficial to older people, who spend less time online and know less about mobile phones. SMS text messaging is perhaps the most effective patient appointment reminder, as it sends the message directly to the device of the person involved in the appointment. Doctors and their staff can use any or all of these options to help patients remember their schedule.

5. Compliance with Electronic Records Rules and Trends

In the United States and a growing number of countries around the world, the public and private health sectors are switching to a paperless system of record-keeping. Appointment reminders are often part of web-based offerings that help organize and store patient information. These programs are ideally compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act under U.S. health care law, which means they are considered part of the treatment covered by insurance.

6. Customer Service Features

Many automated reminder services are available in multiple languages to cater to patients of different nationalities. Patients can also respond to the reminder by confirming or canceling the appointment upon receiving the call. In addition, they may have a function that lets the patient opt out of the reminder service.

7. Physician-Friendly Features

Doctors can customize the files according to specialization so that the scheduling and reminding of patients’ appointments are more organized. They can also attach additional notes to the reminder call or message. A lot of programs offer unlimited text message reminders.

8. Cost-Effectiveness

Although appointment reminder tools may appear to add costs to a medical establishment, it can actually save clinics money in some ways. Since the calls are automated, physicians do not need to hire additional staff to contact the patients for their upcoming visit. Administrative staff can be assigned to do other tasks instead of organizing patient appointments.

9. Data Security

These programs come with solid security features that ensure confidentiality of patient information. They also have maintenance functions that allow for daily database backups and lower the risk of misuse of data.

10. Accommodation of Multiple Customers

Automated reminder programs can handle simultaneous calls, e-mails and SMS messages to a multiple number of patients. This saves time, money and avoids the inconvenience of making the patient wait.

The Role of Internet in Business

The internet plays a major role in every aspect of our modern life. Internet technologies play a major role in business. As a business owner, knowing the role of internet in business will help you take advantage of the powerful opportunities it offers to grow you business and make operations more effective.

Here are different ways in which the internet has contributed to the success and growth of businesses.

Communication: The internet makes communication fast and cost efficient. Businesses use internet technologies such as Skype internet and video calls, email and video conferencing to make communication virtually instant.

Growth: The internet plays a big role in the growth of businesses. It gives businesses an opportunity to reach a wider global audience. Promoting through the internet is also a way to increase sales and reach the desired growth level. Business can also expand by having an online division.

Marketing: One of the role of internet in business involves marketing and advertising. Most businesses are taking advantage of the internet to market their products and services to a global audience. The most notable internet technologies here include search engines such as Google.

Networking and Recruiting: Social networking websites play a role in business networking by connecting like-minded professionals. Through the internet, people have found business partners and great employees.

Outsourcing services:The internet has helped cut costs by outsourcing services to countries where it is cheaper to provide these services. Apart from the cost reduction through the outsourcing role of internet in business, outsourcing enables businesses to concentrate on their core services and become more efficient.

Online Shopping Role: One role of internet in business is the birth of ecommerce websites and online payment solutions that allow people to shop online from the comfort of their own homes.

New Opportunities: The internet has opened up new business opportunities and giving rise to a group of successful online business owners. This is a powerful role as anyone can now start an online business.

The role of internet in business cannot be overstated. New businesses are taking advantage of the powerful role the internet plays in business to grow and succeed at a faster rate than was previously possible. Traditional businesses are also not being left behind as they are creating online divisions. A business owner can only ignore the role the internet plays in business at the peril of his or her business.

Cultural Differences In Communication Style – Why Arabs Are Not Effective Communicators In Estonia

We all know that our success in life depends in a great deal how good communicators we are. New immigrants often believe that just learning vocabulary and grammar makes them effective communicators in Estonia and solves all the problems. However, in the long run they notice that they have misunderstandings and conflicts everywhere. By observing cultural differences in communication styles and practices of new immigrants in Estonia and other European countries, I have recorded several cultural differences that lead to conflicts and misunderstandings instead of success.

Recently we saw a case in media where a group of Arabs tried to change their drivers licenses in Estonia, however, caused a media event by threatening officials instead. The main reason for the conflict was that although Arabs spoke Estonian, they used totally different communication style than Estonians do. It was really interesting to see how the officials tried to explain the regulations according to their own direct communication style, however, as Arabs and Estonians have very different listening and speaking habits, Arabs did not get the message but perceived it as an unfriendly behavior and responded with threats. For Estonians, on the other hand, it is difficult to grasp that speaking volubly and with a rising tone might show sincerity in other cultures and thus they usually perceive it as an aggressive behavior.

There are enormous cultural differences in low and high context communication, in how to approach other people, how to say what is relevant, in body language, in direct and indirect communication styles as well as in values and norms. Officials who analysed the situation claimed that Arabs didn’t listen to them, that they spoke about irrelevant things, didn’t obey rules and threatened officials. Customer servants usually claim that Arabs don’t understand the meaning of the word “no”, they don’t get that it really means that “something is not possible”. They seem to think that they just have to explain longer and come back on the next day with bigger group and speak louder. According to my experience Arabs tend to use the same communication behavior over and over again in different situations in Estonia although they never reach their goals.

Arabic and Estonian cultures may be distinguished in terms of direct versus indirect communication styles. Estonian cultural preference is for clear and direct communication as evidenced by common expressions such as “Ära keeruta!” (Don’t beat around the bush), “Räägi asjast! (Get to the point). As we see from these two examples Estonians use even less words to express these phrases than English speakers which means that they really prefer to get to the point as quickly as possible without wasting time as that is how they feel when someone talks too much about “irrelevant” things. In high-context communication, (such as Arabic) much of the “burden of meaning” appears to fall on the listener. In low context cultures (such as Estonian), the burden to accurately and thoroughly convey the meaning in one’s spoken or written message appears to fall on the speaker (Hall, 1976). Estonians are not good in comprehending or following the real purpose of the indirect message and they perceive it as a waste of time. I have witnessed many conflicts that have aroused only because a person from another culture just talks to much and too long.

The direct style strives to represent facts accurately and avoids emotional overtones and suggestive allusions. Indirect communication style, which is more common among Arabs, is to the contrary, ambiguous and emotionally rich. The desire for precision is not as important as creating emotional resonance. For Estonians, it is difficult to grasp that speaking loudly and with a rising tone might show sincerity in other cultures and thus, they usually perceive it as aggressive and hostile behavior.

Although Arabs are considered as representatives of indirect communication style,the Arabic language seems to be in many ways much more direct than English or Estonian. For example, in Estonian you cannot say to someone “I want this!” or “You must do this!”. Instead, one often paraphrase it as a question or use conditional mood “Ma sooviksin… ” (I would like to have…), “Kas oleks võimalik/kas ma saaksin…? ” (Would it be possible/could I…?). In those cases Arabs tend to use according to the Arabic language structure quite direct approach which may shock officials, customer servants as well as all other people in Estonia because it sounds aggressive. In addition, like in the German language there are familiar and polite forms for saying “you” (Sina – Du, Teie – Sie) and in official communication context between strangers only the polite form is always used as it enables to keep distance and shows respect. This is definitely another reason why Estonians regard Arabs’ communication style as aggressive.

So far we have been training only officials and customer servants on these issues to reduce cross-cultural conflicts in Estonia, however, it doesn’t make new immigrants more successful communicators. In ordinary language courses language teachers are not aware of cultural differences in communication styles and are not able to teach those skills. The Estonian language course books are not designed to teach cross-cultural communication nor how to become successful in business and life. This is why it is relevant offer seminars and training materials for new immigrants to raise their cultural awareness and teach how to achieve their communication goals in Estonia.

12 Amazing Bluetooth Facts

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows personal computers, laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices to communicate with each other over short distances of about 10 meters to transfer information / files from one device to another. It uses radio waves and is designed to be a secure and inexpensive way of connecting and switching information between devices wirelessly.

Following are a few of the most informative Bluetooth facts from the arsenal of thousands.

Fact # 1: "Bluetooth" refers to Harold Blatand who was the tenth century Danish king and unified the Norwegians and Danes.

Fact # 2 : The renowned Andretti Green Racing team communicated during the race using Bluetooth devices

Fact # 3: According to a research the, this device users was expected to rise more than one billion by the year 2006.

Fact # 4: Analysts predict that one third of all new cars in the world will have built-in wireless Bluetooth connections.

Fact # 5: A lot of latest Bluetooth medical equipment, are being manufactured and deployed by hospitals to enhance the patient care.

Fact # 6: Latest wireless communication enabled devices let you watch images on your TV screen. This can be achieved using laptop or mobile phone over a wireless connection to a media viewer.

Fact # 7: Printing can be done wirelessly now! One can send files to print from Bluetooth enabled computer or mobile gadget directly to printer. There are also small home use printers that just print out color pictures by taking wireless input from cell phone or computer.

Fact # 8: The latest Multi point pairing Bluetooth enabled interface lets you connect with more than one Bluetooth devices, for example your cell phone can be connected to Stereo Bluetooth headset and your computer at a time

Fact # 9: One of the fastest growing devices in "Bluetooth hands free" and the second largest overall application, just behind the hands free is "stereo audio".

Fact # 10: Extensive Bluetooth usage is hazardous for health. Blue tooth uses microware radio waves with the frequency range of 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz and the power output from a Blue tooth radio is 100 mW, 2.5 mW, and 1 mW for class 1, class 2 and class 3 devices respectively. The class 1 is almost at the same level as cell phones are, whereas class2 and class 3 are much lower than class 1 and considered less of potential hazard then cell phones.

Fact # 11: Future of Blue tooth is expected to have information points for broadcasting channels, this will start the real usage of wireless connections inside the mobiles and enable advertising models based around users pulling information from the info points, and not based on current limited object push model. One of the best Bluetooth stereo headset companies which is expected to excel in this field is Motorola and Blackberry

Fact # 12: The latest wireless communication devices can now play a role of the "master" and can communicate with up to a maximum of 7 devices as "slave". This group of 8 devices (1 master + 7 slaves) is called a Piconet. At any given time, data can be transferred between the master and 1 slave; but the master switches quickly from slave to slave in a round-robin fashion to see for any further file transfer request.