Tag Archive for: SaaS tools

Google Apps for Business: Exceptional Suite for Providers

We’re a big fan of Google Apps because of the consumer-centric nature of the experience, the seamless integration across applications and devices, easy to set up security requirements and restrictions, and the ability to run analytics to improve efficiency of use. Google Apps is well-suited for healthcare, and reasonably priced for businesses of any size (especially considering many organizations in aging services lack the IT expertise to effectively and efficiently manage local resources).

So how can Google Apps drive efficiency and help your organization?

  • Gmail, which millions of people use for their email already: powerful, intuitive UI, and massive storage.
  • Drive: A shared server and secure document portal for sharing materials internally, with trusted partners, and with the general community or prospective residents. Drive also makes collaborative editing of documents, presentations and spreadsheets a snap, which can save enormous amounts of time when writing P&Ps, preparing actions plans, or creating Board presentations.
  • Calendars: Intuitive calendaring platform that’s easy to share and simple to create group and resource (e.g., room, equipment, etc) calendars.
  • Storage space: 30GB per user is included.
  • Hangouts: A fantastic combination of instant messaging, video conferencing, and outbound call manager. Video calling is particularly valuable when you need to quickly touch base with someone about a sensitive topic and want more interaction than a phone call, but don’t need actual face-to-face contact.
  • Vault: An add-on that makes it simple to archive, retain and respond to discovery requests.
  • Remote, secure access: Google Apps is easily accessible from any location, any time, securely.
  • Integrated MDM features. Provides an easy way for IT staff to manage personal mobile devices to help ensure security and compliance.
  • Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook. Many people find Outlook easy to use– or at least familiar. With GASMO, you can continue to use Outlook on desktop computers to manage Google Apps email and calendar functions.
  • See a full list of features here.

Be sure to check out the use case video of SF Bay Pediatrics available here, which highlights a lot of the healthcare-specific benefits in action.


Google Apps for Business starts at $50/ year/ user, which easily pays for itself with most small to mid-sized organizations. For a limited time, eSSee Consulting is also able to offer a coupon for $10 off the first year of service if you would like to set up the service on your own, or a complete assessment and implementation package for organizations without the on-site IT capabilities. Contact us to learn more or to get a coupon code.

Software to Support Self-Managed Care Teams

Self-managed work teams are ideal for providing resident-focused quality care. For communities utilizing self-managed care teams, one of the biggest challenges is facilitating communication effectively between team members who work on different shifts and different days of the week. Shift-to-shift communication books are challenging to keep up, and information oftentimes is quickly lost; team meetings are effective, but rarely can all team members attend. While unfortunately EMRs are far behind on collaboration features, several software solutions are available to help overcome communication obstacles, share documents and projects, and strengthen a community within teams.

Here are three of our favorites:

1) Confluence by Atlassian: A combination wiki, task management and enterprise social feed. With pricing that starts at $10/ 10 users, Confluence is a fantastic bargain. Information can be organized through separate wikis; for instance, each team or neighborhood can create their own with resident profiles, team agreements and workflows, while group spaces can be used for workgroups and departments. Policies and procedures can be developed and updated collaboratively, and then deployed for all to see. Because each space can be edited easily, it’s easy to create answers to common questions, and provide routine guidance that allows for greater decision making at the staff level.

2) Yammer: A private social network perfect for connecting teams. Think of it like Twitter and Facebook, but structured for a workplace. It allows for easy team discussion, facilitates document sharing and group announcements, and can be organized around multiple groups (by neighborhood, license type, department, etc.).

3) MangoApps: An enterprise social feed, project management, and wiki solution that also provides online meeting and event management support. Sharing documents is a snap, and it’s even easy to track page views and downloads, which can help ensure accountability within a team. Groups and projects can invite guests to either provide comments or participate fully, which expands opportunities to connect with vendors, providers and family members.

Enterprise social networking tools can dramatically improve communication and provide true empowerment opportunities to work teams. They can also expedite staff announcements and drive engagement on important workplace issues. Project management support can help integrate quality improvement activities, and social components can allow for better cross-shift and cross-functional relationships.

Whatever tool you utilize, it’s important to ensure policies and staff training address potential HIPAA concerns. Hosting software locally allows for tighter controls, but SAAS solutions can be appropriate with sufficient safeguards in place.


(For a great primer on self-managed work teams in long-term care, I highly suggest Empowered Work Teams in Long-Term Care: Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Residents and Staff By Dale Yeatts, Cynthia Cready, Linda Noelker.)

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