Interview with Lloyd Ernst on demand for Medical Transcription

Lloyd Ernst Cloudstaff Medical Transcription

Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest: Lloyd Ernst
Guest Bio: Lloyd Ernst, has had a distinguished career in the Australian IT industry as an Internet pioneer and entrepreneur. Over the past three decades, he has worked for industry leaders including Apple and Microsoft and founded and exited a series of successful IT companies in Australia and Asia. Presently, Lloyd is focused on CloudStaff.com and Process-Box.com. These two new but fast growing outsourcing ventures based in the Philippines focus on supporting startup and entrepreneurial businesses. CloudStaff offers businesses dedicated and talented people in both technical and administrative roles.

TRANSCRIPTION

HPR – Health Professional Radio

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. And my guest this morning is chief executive officer of Cloudstaff, Mr Lloyd Ernst. Lloyd, welcome to Health Professional Radio. I understand that Cloudstaff is finding significant demand for medical transcription.

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. And my guest this morning is chief executive officer of Cloudstaff, Mr Lloyd Ernst. Lloyd, welcome to Health Professional Radio. I understand that Cloudstaff is finding significant demand for medical transcription.
Lloyd Ernst: Thank you, Wayne. And yes, we’re finding a large demand for medical transcription and it’s been driven by the digitization of health records by health organisations. In fact, we’re dealing with data that was hand written in the 1950’s and ’60s that we’re transcribing today. We seem to be in a bit of bridging period between handwritten medical records and medical records which are created electronically, but there’s still a need for transcription which we think is going to last during this bridging period and it’s probably going to run for about the next 5 to 10 years. There are many reasons why digitization hasn’t been done historically but the opportunity and the cost benefits make it a good time to do it. And data security is certainly being the significant part of that problem in the past.
W: How have you been addressing data security?
L: It depends a little bit upon the nature of the information’s being transcribed and what the customer’s requirements are. People are generally concerned with issues that range from data sovereignty through the information leaking; we work with individual customers to establish their requirements which in turn dictate how we secure their data. There’s a range of response levels that we have to offer so if you look at those, the first level is physical security; this is basically where the transcription is done, inside a physically secure environment. This starts off with staff that’ll gonna take a special security training to operate the room, there’s a range of measure whereby we have for instance when the staff arrive at the room, there is biometric access, so you’ll need to provide us hand scan before you access the room. But there’s also a security guard and the security guard will ask people to step through metal detector and make sure that there’s no mobile phones, iPods, cameras, hard disks, laptops, or anything that can be used to capture information when they’re inside the room. And the staff then asked to place that information inside a secure locker. In some cases, we have some customers who have a special uniform that they want the staff to wear, that uniform features no pockets, and so people change before they enter the room and then the security guard will make sure that there’s no metal devices or devices that are taken in with them, so again, it’ll depend upon the customer’s requirements as to what level of security is actually required and it’s also, I think, important to note that you’ll see a lot of buildings will have biometrics access inside them. In our top level security offering, we deploy both a security guard and biometric access and both needs to be activated before the staff can get access to the room. The reason you have the security guard as I mentioned is to actually check to make sure that there’s no recording devices which can be taken into the room. So after the person places the hand on the scanner, security guard needs to also press the button to let the door to be open inside there. So that’s what we call our white room environment and we have several levels which then drop down under that. We also have to be aware that it’s not just the staff who undergo training, who will work inside the room – the transcription people, but it’s also the support staff, you know, the guys that need to fix the PC’s and those sorts of things. So that’s dealing with the physical security and then we also have to understand a little bit about the network security with links and VPNs and those sort of things, so there’s 2 different aspects to security here.
W: So, Lloyd, you have staffs that understand the medical nature of what they’re typing?
L: Yes, we do. In fact, the Philippines has a very good base of tertiary educated nurses and doctors who have gone through and done a medical degree that haven’t been able to find work in their chosen occupation. So they’re able to, they then look for alternatives such as doing medical transcription. And I said, it depends upon the nature, the material, in some cases staff are just required to type exactly what they hear, but in other cases, there’s level of interpretation which is required to make sure that there’s proper sentences and the tense correction from the dictation. In some countries, it’s difficult to ask the staff to adopt some of these security provisions, but, you know, we don’t find that a problem. We are able to have compliance for these issues, it’s not an issue for us.

W: Now, earlier Lloyd, you mentioned data sovereignty and for our audience, mainly, either doctors or nurses or hospital administrators, IT is not their main game, what on earth does data sovereignty mean and how this is affect what we’re talking about?

L: Data sovereignty is basically where is the information being stored and as soon as you start to mention the word off-shore, it raises this concern. Again, it will depend upon the nature of the information and what the customer’s requirements are and our highest level of offering is there is no data which is stored off shore are literally the staff process the information, it’s stored on a file service in Australia, the audio is then played over here, the key strokes are typed but they’re all sent back to Australia where they’re stored. There is no file servers contained here and as soon as the power goes off, any remnant information that may mean sitting inside of a piece of computer memory has actually gone.

W: Ok. So it’s fair to say that you can transcribe an image that’s stored in the host country server, it gets turned in the key strokes to the stored back in the host country server and the data itself is never stored offshore?

L: Correct, and you turn the power off as I mentioned, everything is gone, there’s nothing here left to be at risk. There’s no remnants, no cases, no files, no files servers, etc. inside there.

W: Ok. That’s sounds secure and as we said earlier, in the meantime, there are security guards at the door to ensure that nothing has been copied or photographed or is taken from the room.

L: Correct, yes. And it all comes back to as said that’s the white level of security that we offer. The, I guess the other interesting area is that you schedule different staff to be on different hours so we’ll have some customers that required data to be process overnight so as one shift finishes in Australia, that can come across here and the guys can then process that overnight and they can be ready for when people return to the office in the morning. And again, that’s all supported with the full 24/7 security guard but also all the other aspects of the staff require, you know, the HR people, and the guys that will bring them lunch and make their shakes and all those sort of things.

W: So you’re confident Lloyd that with your arrangements, Cloudstaff can meet the requirements of the legislation in the host country but also allow any political concerns about security in medical data.

L: Yes. And Cloudstaff actually exceeds both of these requirements and we’ve got the ability to ensure that our staff adopt security measures and ensure that the data level of security, in many cases, a lot higher than what there would be in the host country. In fact, some staff in host countries would be quite uncomfortable that the level of precautions that we actually go through, but we don’t find that’s a problem here, we do try to have a really enjoyable work environment for the staff, you know, when you take everyone’s mobile phones and all their other communication devices off them, you have to provide some back up support mechanism so we have outside of the white rooms PCs that staff can access their email on, there’ll be a receptionist there or a secretary who’s able to take a message from a relative who may have a sick child and needs a message to go through the person who’s working inside the white room, so your build a whole range of support mechanisms inside there to make sure that you know the people are able to operate but also have the right support mechanism to help make it enjoyable for them.

W: You’ve been listening to our studio guest, Lloyd Ernst, Chief Executive Officer of Cloudstaff today talking about medical transcription, the increasing demand and what Cloudstaff is doing to make that demand. A transcript of this interview is available on our website at www.hpr.fm and a copy of this audio is also available on Sound Cloud.

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