Clear concepts CDN 100
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Published: September 11th, 2013

Nominee: Clear Concepts from Winnipeg, Manitoba

Describe the solution, service or initiative

Imagine the frustration of not being able to provide your community with adequate healthcare services because your network was not capable of supporting industry standards to allow for the approval of a community doctor. Even worse, what if you were in a remote community with very little resources or support to implement such a solution? This was the situation for our client, the Opaskwayak Health Authority (OHA). The solution we provided included the implementation of new desktops/laptops, servers, printers, secure network infrastructure, and cabling. The entire project was completed a week earlier than scheduled with zero downtime. Subsequently, we arranged to support the client on an ongoing basis through remote network managed services and remote hosted backups. The customized managed services we supply to this client are: • Ongoing End User Support • Server Management • Hosted Secure Backups • Network Device Management • Desktop / Laptop Computer Management • Network Security (Firewall) Management • File & Print Management • Product Procurement and Deployment Clear Concepts provides expert remote IT managed services and small business support to over 40 First Nations and over 30 remote health centres. Our clients are met with several challenges to becoming self-sustaining as well as providing quality healthcare to their people. We offer expert services and solutions to help them overcome those challenges.

What makes it original or innovative?

Many of our Northern clients have come to us either through acquiring the Cowichan Tribe’s Mustimuhw cEMR (community electronic medical records), for which we are the sole authorized installer and support, or through word of mouth. With approximately 40 employees, our client, the Opaskwayak Health Authority (OHA) is a small but important health centre in the community. Originally, they signed on with us for Mustimuhw installation and support in 2008, but after signing up with a managed service contract in 2012, they have now become one of our top clients and more efficiently managed sites. Through our association with the Cowichan Tribe, we have developed a solid remote/secluded client base that has allowed us to streamline our support and logistics systems with ultimate precision. We also have a cultural sensitivity to the needs of First Nations which allows us to work effectively within their structure with a relationship of mutual trust and respect. In order to explain why our business solutions are original, we need to provide a bit of background about our client’s situation and location. The Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) is a thriving community situated 632 km north of Winnipeg in The Pas, Manitoba and is home to over 4,500 people of Cree descent. OCN is the second largest employer in the area along with being one of the main self-governing economic leaders among Manitoba First Nations. The Opaskwayak Health Authority (OHA) is one of many community services provided by OCN and their plight is the subject of our submission. OHA’s main function was to arrange medical transportation for patients in their community. They had several operating challenges due to failing computers, loss of network connectivity, and no reliable support to solve their issues. One of their goals was to offer onsite medical services to provide more efficient and effective care. However, an unreliable network prevented them from moving forward with full electronic charting; therefore, they were unable to get approval for an onsite physician. They were extremely concerned about patient safety and quality of care as their network was down more than it was up. Without reliable communication, they feared a medical disaster was looming. This is where we came in with a full solution to address their network issues (details in answers below). The reason our services go beyond the accepted norm is because of the established connection we have with our client. There is a strong association that drives us to help them achieve their goals of maintaining a thriving and healthy community. We also have a respectable understanding of their cultural uniqueness and processes. The best practices that we uncover through our discovery process allows us to replicate scenarios for the benefit of other clients who engage our services. It’s through this process that we continually improve our services and logistics to provide even more cost-effective solutions.

Describe the improvement this solution made to the customer’s sales or revenues and provide measurable evidence of such.

We understand the critical nature of their work and the importance of immediate access to patient information. Therefore, we ensure all support calls are dealt with promptly and effectively by processing them through an internal escalation procedure, if required. Although there are 632 km that physically divide us, it does not have any effect on the service they receive. They understand they can pick up the phone at any time and call our toll-free number to get immediate technical support and solutions regardless of the size of the problem. The new building with its enhancements has allowed the medical team at OHA to accommodate a larger volume of patients. With the use of Mustimuhw, they can schedule patients quicker and more efficiently than before. They are reducing paper records and converting them to electronic. This dramatically reduces the amount of misplaced charts and decreases the chance of medical error. Client wait times have been reduced through faster e-charting. According to OHA’s administration staff, overall efficiency has increased by 85% from the old building to the new one. “Before, we went down every day and it was just a regular thing. Now, even if something minor happens, it’s a big panic because we’re not used to being down at all”.

Describe the improvement that was made to the customers efficiency, with measurable evidence.

We understand the critical nature of their work and the importance of immediate access to patient information. Therefore, we ensure all support calls are dealt with promptly and effectively by processing them through an internal escalation procedure, if required. Although there are 632 km that physically divide us, it does not have any effect on the service they receive. They understand they can pick up the phone at any time and call our toll-free number to get immediate technical support and solutions regardless of the size of the problem. The new building with its enhancements has allowed the medical team at OHA to accommodate a larger volume of patients. With the use of Mustimuhw, they can schedule patients quicker and more efficiently than before. They are reducing paper records and converting them to electronic. This dramatically reduces the amount of misplaced charts and decreases the chance of medical error. Client wait times have been reduced through faster e-charting. According to OHA’s administration staff, overall efficiency has increased by 85% from the old building to the new one. “Before, we went down every day and it was just a regular thing. Now, even if something minor happens, it’s a big panic because we’re not used to being down at all”.

How did the solution improve the customer’s ability to serve internal or external clients?

The biggest impact for them was that they finally received approval for an onsite community physician which they were not able to achieve without the recommended enhancements. This has allowed them to reduce their transportation costs by being able to treat more patients locally, as well as realizing the benefit of having regular onsite professional medical advice. Additionally, many community members did not have a family physician which was detrimental to the health of the local people. Now, they have the opportunity to be treated in their home community which means early detection and treatment is more likely for serious illnesses. With the use of Mustimuhw, OHA can now more effectively keep track of and report on community health issues designed around the following application modules: • Community Health Nursing • Maternal Child Health • Immunizations • Chronic Disease Management • Child Oral Health Initiative • Mental Health Counseling • Home and Community Care • Patient Travel/Medical Transportation This has immeasurable benefits to monitoring health patterns that were previously unobtainable, while decreasing the potential for chronic disease with a particular focus on the reduction of diabetes in their community.

In what ways does the solution go above and beyond industry expectations?

The reason our services go beyond the industry accepted norm is because of our commitment to our client’s goals as well as our understanding of their unique cultural differences. • We are able to supply them with all the products and services they need regardless of distance. • We supply managed services with true full remote capabilities including validation and automation of processes. • We have cultural sensitivity to their practices and traditions. • We streamline our logistics processes to provide greener and more cost-effective solutions for challenging physical and time-sensitive deliveries. • We ensure our staff are up to date on the features and benefits of Mustimuhw. The key to any successful IT solution is to clearly understand the client’s needs and goals. We measure our own success based on our clients’ references. In a statement provided by OHA, they had this to say about our services: “We have been working with Clear Concepts since 2008 and I can say their service is top notch. Recently, they helped us move the network to our new building a week under schedule with no downtime. Anytime we call, we always get an answer right away or a quick return call. I can’t say enough about how great the service is. How you treat a client is so important. You could have the best product, but if you don’t treat your client properly, it doesn’t mean much. Even though our office is over 600 km away, I would still absolutely recommend Clear Concepts to anyone needing quality technical services regardless of how far away you are from Winnipeg.” Nicole Lathlin, Administration Opaskwayak Cree Nation Health Authority The Pas, Manitoba We sincerely appreciate the business that is passed on to us from OHA. We believe that when our clients recommend us to others, it is a true testament to our success as an expert remote managed service provider. This reinforces our principles and motivates us to continue to excel in the services we offer to clients.

How does the solution further your customer’s green or environmentally friendly plans?

Regarding OHA’s green initiatives, they have an internal program where they arrange to reprocess all recyclable products such as cans, plastics, toner cartridges, and any old office equipment. They avoid using landfills at all costs. Culturally, environmental preservation is especially significant to First Nation people. They believe it is important to “respect the Creator’s gifts” and it is expected that “each person do their part to sustain the natural beauty of the land”. We also respect and support their beliefs and do our part to enable them to maintain their principles. Since OHA moved to their new facility and are able to use their new communication tools, they are effectively connecting with the community by engaging them in programs to promote healthy living and natural awareness. This includes conducting education sessions, providing garden boxes and composting systems for people to grow their own produce to promote self-sufficiency and reduce emissions required to transport food. Even reducing the emissions of 3 trucks per year travelling 620 km, saves over 12,000 litres of fuel. The computers used at OHA are all enabled with vPro. By using this technology, we encourage them to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve energy by turning computers off when not in use. By utilizing vPro, OHA is able to reduce energy consumption while maintaining peace of mind that their machines will be updated and/or fixed without any user intervention required.

Find out who the big winners are on Sept. 11 when CDN presents them at the CEA Awards Gala.

Learn more about CDN’s Channel Elite Awards 2013

 

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