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Safeguard your confidential data by implementing HIPAA Privacy Rule’s De-Identification Standard


A legislative act passed in year 1996, called HIPAA or in other words the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act affected the health care administration. For years, we have researched upon the safety rule along with three types of security safeguards based mainly on technical and physical grounds.

Amongst the above mentioned three safety points, we delved at the administrative safeguards and its obligatory as well as addressable implementation specifications. In this article, we will examine the main key factors pertaining to the technical and physical safeguards of the security rule. The motive of this article is to simplify and state the main concepts of HIPAA Privacy Rule’s De-Identification Standard.

Physical Safeguards

Physical safeguard rule laid by the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s De-Identification Standarddeals with the strategies and procedures required to be implemented in order to control physical admission to systems or devices containing health information and facilities covering electronic records.

It is therefore mandatory to take maximum care when beginning and removing hardware and software that deals with secured Health Information (PHI) from the network. Utmost care must be taken in disposing off any equipment which is on the edge of retirement, so that PHI contained within such systems is not compromised.

  • Health data stored in the equipment must be controlled and monitored carefully.
  • Access to the hardware and software must be operated by proper trained and authenticated individuals.
  • Make sure that workstations must be situated away from high traffic areas to avoid direct view of the monitor screens to the public.
  • The main person taking the services of contractors and agents must assure that the contractors and agents are professionally trained and are aware of their duties and responsibilities.

Technical Safeguards

Technical security measures deals with factors that require to be executed when transmitting health information electronically over open networks in order to ensure that health information do not go into wrong hands.

  • Responsible entity must follow a strict procedure to make sure information integrity which includes digital signature, check sum, message confirmation.
  • Execute right methods to confirm that the entity entitle to access the electronic records is the one it claims to be. There are some signs to confirm the same that includes card systems, password systems, giving a return call, and hand showing signs
  • Drafting and maintaining all policies implemented and practices followed for HIPAA Privacy Rule’s De-Identification Standard that needs to be presented as and when required by the compliance auditors.

Implementation Specifications

We cannot ignore with the healthcare compliance, as it becomes essential to safeguard Protected Health Information.

It is required to employ a system that will take utmost care of the health information, for this our heath care providers like doctors, hospitals and health plans must be given a unique identifier. At present most of them are using either tax-id numbers or employer identification number.

The security and privacy rules have laid down certain provisions to assure that the personal records of people is not misused, secured and kept confidential, any person failing to follow the rule will be fined up to $250,000 and possible jail time for severe enough violations by HIPAA. HIPAA rule was indeed designed and created to ease the massive process of health care administration.

About emPower

emPower is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as O.SHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.

3 Components for Developing a Great eLearning Game


As technology has advanced, lots of innovative ideas are being tried in the education domain to make the experience of children pleasurable. Keeping this in mind, this article focuses on crucial components for developing a great e-learning game.

Combining education with entertainment is not a cup of tea for ordinary developer. It requires lot of creativity and patience. The smooth layouts and graphics add to the visuals of the game. But the major purpose of the e-learning game should be to impart knowledge to the students. But it is quite subjective to define a good e-learning game. It is still an unknown entity which has not been answered properly. This article talks about different components which help in developing a great e-learning game. Let us look at these components in detail:

  • Perfect combination of learning and entertainment: Always ensure that there is a perfect blend of learning and entertainment while developing an e-learning game. Care should be taken that the learning objectives behind developing the game is fulfilled. For example; for English you can have various word jigjaw puzzles and memory games to strengthen the memory of the student. Always try to integrate all the crucial aspects that are important from the learning perspective to be present in the game.
  • Give impetus to the students to play the game: Children are the most difficult target audience to attract because they genuinely like or dislike the game. Hence, it is very important to provide proper impetus to the students to play the games. For example; if there are puzzles in the game each level needs to present different challenge so that children do not get bored with the games and play to learn something from it. Engagement and attraction are two things which make children focus on the game.
  • Target the essential elements of learning in the game: Always focus on the learning aspect in the game. Try to eradicate those portions wherein the learning aspect gets diverted. For example; if you are playing a game on grammar which deals with identifying verbs and nouns from a group of sentences. If you are constantly clicking on the ground to walk around, examining surroundings to identify boxes and then picking them up, the verbs that get collected are not of relevance as they are not part of the learning mechanism.

Context is of prime importance in an e-learning game. An experienced e-learning provider would follow the points mentioned above and create extravagant e-learning games for children.

About emPower
emPower  is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.

Media Contact (emPower)
Jason Gaya
marketing@empowerbpo.com

emPower
12806 Townepark Way
Louisville, KY 40243-2311
Ph: 502 -400-9374
http://www.empowerbpo.com
http://hardik.practutor.com

Online-education lawsuit misfires on state funding


Washington state must embrace online learning, “the future of education,” but a lawsuit against funding cuts interferes with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s right to decide where to allocate dollars.

MANY students in Washington’s K-12 public education system take classes online, some never entering a traditional brick-and-mortar school.

Our state’s challenge to serve these students while creating accountability in one of the fastest-growing sectors of education is complicated by a lawsuit filed by online-learning advocates protesting budget cuts.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction was ordered by Gov. Chris Gregoire to reduce education spending. The result: Previously, traditional and online schools received the same funding; now, online schools receive an annual average of $4,250 per student — 15 percent less.

We don’t like cuts to any part of education. But OSPI had the right, and responsibility, to decide where to allocate education dollars.

Moreover, the complex funding formulas for online education and traditional schools should be different. For example, the state should not allocate transportation dollars for virtual learning. Numerous other examples abound, enough to make a convincing case that online education can be funded fairly and differently from traditional schools.

Meanwhile, cuts in online learning have spurred school districts to rethink how they serve online students. More districts are focusing on serving students in their district, a step away from the current, large, statewide online schools. Steilacoom is an example of a small district with 2,000-plus students in its online-education program. That’s more students than Steilacoom’s physical student population.

About 18,000 students took at least one online course last year, according to Karl Nelson, director of digital learning for Washington state. About 9,000 students are enrolled full time in online schools. More than 50 school districts around the state offer online programs — mostly through for-profit companies.

Online education is popular for disabled students, accelerated learners and at-risk students who don’t mesh well in typical school environments. Working students who must do their schooling on a different schedule are also among those enrolled in online education.

The National Association of State Boards of Education called online learning the “future of education” in a much-touted 2001 report, “Any Time, Any Place, Any Path, Any Pace.”

Washington should continue to support online learning, but a lawsuit wrongly challenges the state’s right to develop a fair funding model and accountability system.

21st Century learning and Teaching Modus operandi and Advantages


With growing technologies, the methods of acquiring education are also growing. It is always better to opt for something that is advanced because if a teacher is departing knowledge then there is a possibility of human error but that is not the case with technology.

With changing time, the method of acquiring and providing knowledge is changing. During olden days, students use to go to the classroom and knowledge sharing use to take place in place in classrooms only but these days advanced learning has become popular. During olden days, the only way available for gaining knowledge was books but now, new methods like that of Elearning LMS and usage of other advanced technologies has started.

Methods using for learning and teaching in 21st century

There are many methods that have being introduced at regular intervals so that the students can learn many things and at a faster rate and at the same time, the teacher’s work is also reduced to a larger extent. Few of the popular methods that are being used are as follows: –

  1. Elearning LMS – Elearning LMS has become a popular thing because of the ease and comfort with which it can be used. With the help of Elearning LMS, the students get involved in what is being taught.
  2. Online learning – There are many online learning classrooms where the lectures are conducted virtually. The user can get access to wide range of knowledge by way of this mode of learning and the quality of education that student from all over the world receives remains same.
  3. Digital learning – Digital learning means carry the study notes in a digital equipment like that of laptop, mobile or e-book reader so that the person can study anywhere as per their convenience.

Advantages of learning and teaching methods used in 21st century

There are many advantages of using advanced technologies to depart knowledge rather the classroom teaching.

  1. If a person prepares an elearning LMS then that can be used by various people and it can be used for longer period of time. Same is the case with Online learning as well, once the course material is prepared, it can used at any point of time as per the users requirement.
  2. If a person is too busy and hence, he doesn’t have the time to attend classes but he is eager to learn then he can take up some online learning courses where he can listen to the course content at any point of time as per his convenience.
  3. Another advantage that is offered by digital learning is access to knowledge anywhere and everywhere because it is merely impossible to carry fat books with oneself at all point of time. Digital learning has reduced the physical efforts of carrying books.

About emPower

emPower  is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.

Media Contact (emPower)
Jason Gaya
marketing@empowerbpo.com

emPower
12806 Townepark Way
Louisville, KY 40243-2311
Ph: 502 -400-9374
http://www.empowerbpo.com
http://www.empowerlms.com

Technology in The Classroom


In the field of technology, the word disruptive is used for a technology or innovation that brings about a radical change in the way a sector functions by introducing efficiency, affordability and convenience. The technology revolution in the business sector is represented by the extensive use of smarter phones or web conferencing in American offices. However, the impact of disruptive technology on the education sector is much higher. A wave of smart classes and e-learning has transformed the way education is delivered and pursued, today.

The presence of technology in classrooms makes the student an active learner instead of a passive one. The education system becomes more student-centric. The student can choose, manipulate and generate what he wants to study and how. The student himself creates the learning environment and the mode of obtaining lessons. E-learning has made the education system more convenient and flexible. The student can learn through his own choice of platform. The role of the teacher also changes as he is no more the sole source of knowledge. He transforms into a mentor and is responsible for providing guidelines and resources to the students.

This system increases the self esteem and motivation levels of a student as he becomes an active participator in the whole learning process. It is known that a student learns more by hearing and visualizing than merely reading. The use of activity based audio visuals in the classrooms generates more interest in the lesson being taught. E-learning portals make education available to those students who did not have access to it before. Different courses and methods are being accessed by students of all age groups at their own choice of time and place. It makes the whole education system more dynamic and learner friendly.

One of the challenges the system is facing is that its standard testing model is not adaptive to children’s varied speed and ways of learning. Some students respond to the audio visual faster while for others the response time is comparatively slow. However, the challenge can be transformed into an opportunity by the teachers. The teachers can use the traditional ways of teaching for regular teaching. The K-12 e-classroom methods can be brought into use simultaneously, depending on the different learning capacity of the students for example, to improve the performance of the weaker students.

The use of technology in classroom encourages creative and out of the box thinking in students, as it presents the monotonous lessons in a very interesting and innovative manner. The process intrigues and stimulates the students. Activity and project based learning is appreciated and encouraged. American Universities were once considered the best in the world but are now striving to catch up on cost effectiveness with their global peers while delivering through the K-12 system.

The concept of smart class and elearning is a revolution in itself, making the education system of the country dynamic, efficient, student-centric and flexible. There are certain challenges, which are being dealt with and would soon be overcome with the introduction of newer technology, techniques and processes.

About emPower

emPower  is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.

Media Contact (emPower)
Jason Gaya
marketing@empowerbpo.com

emPower
12806 Townepark Way
Louisville, KY 40243-2311
Ph: 502 -400-9374
http://www.empowerbpo.com
http://www.empowerlms.com

My Takeaways from the 2012 Digital Learning and Media Conference


On March 2 and 3, I attended the third annual Digital Media and Learning Conference in my home city of San Francisco. Though I missed the first day of the conference, I got so much out of days two and three, connecting with educators and thinkers and other folks who are passionate about how we can use technology in smart ways to improve education and expand elearning beyond the classroom.

I won’t summarize all the panels I went to and the conversations I had, but instead will talk about two panels in particular that I found especially inspiring and that highlighted a concept frequently at play throughout the conference: Learning partnerships do not have to begin in the classroom to affect what happens there, and learning partnerships will be integral to the future of education.

The first of these panels, DML: Case Study in Digital Media and Learning Partnerships: A Youth-Centered Design Framework in San Francisco, featured Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian for San Francisco; Elizabeth Babcock, Chief Education and Digital Strategy Officer at California Academy of Sciences; Ingrid Dahl, Director of Next Gen Programs at Bay Area Video Coalition; and Matthew Williams, Educational Technologist at KQED. These four individuals, and the institutions with which they are affiliated, have come together to contribute the room, the resources and the expertise required to train youth to create digital media. Bourne explained that San Francisco’s main library would be allotting some 5,000 square feet to develop a teen-friendly space for young people to learn all manner of media production under the guidance of instructors from Bay Area Video Coalition. Cal Academy is hoping some of what the students will produce will be interesting multi-media productions aimed at helping children and teens get excited about science. And by airing the content the teens create, KQED can help bring these productions to a broader audience.

Here’s what I love about this partnership: First, each group brings something to the collaboration, and they each get something from it as well. And second, the partnership fills a need. Most schools do not have the money to buy and maintain the kinds of equipment necessary to do high-quality video and audio production, and they also lack the staff with the expertise required to teach these skills to students. This collaboration among various parts of the community helps to fill a void in “traditional” education. Jill Bourne, the Deputy Librarian, told me that she has recently formed working relationships with three different public high schools in San Francisco. I’m excited to track the progress of this partnership and see what the teens produce and how the teachers work with the group to incorporate media projects into their curricula.

The second panel discussion that had me feeling all fired up was Short Talk Panel: Playful interventions: libraries, college access, after school and media arts, which focused on creating richer learning experiences through games. “Gamification” (“Is that seriously a word?” a friend asked, when I was telling her about the conference. “Yes it is,” I replied) was a popular theme at DML2012, and I’ll be honest when I say people might be a little too game-crazy right now, for my taste. Learning activities need more than just badges to be innovative. Still, I also subscribe to the Alfred Mercier notion that, “What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” And I’ve been know to create games in my own classes when teaching elements of syntax and sentence style, and I’ve found those games to be quite effective in reinforcing the “nuts and bolts” of solid sentence structure. So I was down to hear what the folks on this panel had to say about the role of games in teaching and learning.

Adam Rogers, Emerging Technology Services Librarian at North Carolina State University, gave a lively and interesting presentation about how he and his colleagues redesigned freshman library orientation at NC State by using iPods with the Evernote app installed. Freshman Composition instructors singed up their classes for orientation, and the students in the classes were broken up into teams of four or five students each, with one iPod per team. The students were also given maps of the library and a list of scavenger hunt questions to answer and activities to complete. They logged their answers using Evernote, which allowed them to do things like capture pictures of themselves with a librarian and make note of information contained in certain volumes in the library. It was a fun, engaging way to introduce the students to the library, its staff, and even each other, as they worked together to complete the scavenger hunt. I told Adam that I thought his game had potential to be reworked throughout the year to help students become really good at research. Teachers in various disciplines could work with the librarians to craft a similar game that results in the students collecting preliminary research on a specific topic, further helping them internalize where various kinds of information are to be found in the library, and where to turn if they need help finding better information than what their own search yields.

What both of these panels highlighted for me is the idea brought up at one of the plenary sessions–that education is moving from a one-to-many model to a many-to-many model. That is to say, it really does take a village to raise our youth and educate them and give them the skills they’ll need to survive and succeed in this rapidly changing world. Districts can and should capitalize on the potential of this “many-to-many” model by evolving traditional professional development days into learning partnership days. Teachers often have very little time or space for networking with others–inside and outside of their schools–and yet building relationships with other educators and with those who could contribute to education beyond the school walls helps to make the educational experience for both faculty and students so much richer. I left DML2012 full of hope for the future of teaching and learning and fully ready to be part of that future. My hope is that schools will embrace this future by thinking outside the classroom to find innovative ways to help the village contribute resources and expertise to the educating of our youth.

This article was originally posted at http://verbalcupcake.net/2012/03/my-takeaways-from-the-2012-digital-learning-and-media-conference/

New Report Urges Online Learning Expansion in Texas


Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Public Policy Foundation would like to see Texas follow Florida’s lead in increasing access to virtual schools.

A report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation suggests that virtual education and blended elearning both present the opportunity for cost savings and academic gain in Texas.

“At the K-12 level, the potential of virtual education is enormous,” said the report’s author, James Golsan. “Through the use of technology, students in rural districts would have access to the same educational resources as students in more populated areas. Familiarization with technology could prepare students for the work force more quickly.”

While there is some concern about the ability of existing traditional institutions to convert to blended learning facilities, it’s a popular model for new start ups. Virtual education is already a success story in Florida and the TPPF wants Texas to follow Florida’s lead.

“Florida has one of the longest standing and most successful virtual education programs in the country,” Golsan said. “As Texas seeks to improve its own digital learning environment, an examination of the Florida model provides the state with an example by which to fashion, at the very least, its public virtual education after.

Several benefits to a virtual education model are highlighted in the report, such as increased course availability and access to quality instructors. Although virtual education institutions have come under fire in the past for high dropout rates, the report believes that dropout recovery could be best served in the virtual arena.

Another highlighted benefit to Texas expanding its digital education offerings is the potential for huge cost savings. Not only does the report claim that educating students online is cheaper than traditional in-person methods, but that cost efficiencies of scale accrue more under a digital learning platform.

“Currently, Texas funds its students at a rate of around $11,000 per pupil,” Golsan said. “Research suggests that full-time virtual students can be educated for between $1,500 and $3,000 less per student than those in traditional brick-and-mortar settings.”

The perceived benefits of online education have recently come under scrutiny from Great Lakes Centre for Education Research and Practice, but the TPPF remains enthusiastic.

The report also recommends the easing of the course approval process for digital coursework, the promotion of private provider participation in digital learning, the creation of a scholarship program for digital learners, and the opening of the Texas Virtual School Network to private and home-schooled students.

This article was originally posted at http://www.texasinsider.org/?p=59580

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