Stored on the servers of medical centers all over the world is an immense amount of patient data. These contain written and photographic health data of great importance.

Doctor’s records, imaging, treatment recommendations, etc., all must be stored. This could be for reasons relating to diagnosis, treatment, and legal compliance.

The only way to store this amount of crucial data is through the use of information technology (IT).

The nature of such information leads to the importance of having high data standards in healthcare.

How important is the interoperability of the technology containing such vital information? 

It’s this topic that’s discussed in this article.

Where Do Data Standards in Healthcare Come From?

Technology never stops evolving. This is a fact we all know by thinking about the different phones we’ve had in our pockets over the years. So too are malicious individuals and organizations looking to exploit critical personal information.

These facts mean the standards protecting such information must also evolve. It’s also key that technology in the healthcare sector can communicate such data.

But who is it that governs the evolution of data standards in healthcare?

Organizations, known as Standards Development Organizations, set these for different industries. They define, maintain, and, when needed, update these standards.

In the information technology sector of healthcare in the United States, the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) organization sets these.

Seamless Information Sharing Can Be Vital

In the healthcare sector, there is a vast vocabulary of specific technical terms. Correct diagnosis and treatment depend on the proper identification of such health data.

How can one IT system accurately communicate this information to another? How can it do so while maintaining security and without a clash in data formatting or code reading?

This is the challenge of interoperability confronted with proper data standards.

These standards set conventions which determine interoperability methods between health IT systems. This means to achieve three primary key goals:

  1. One system must be able to acknowledge data receipt from another.
  2. When data moves from one system to another, its meaning and purpose must stay the same.
  3. A receiving system must be able to interpret data coding and structure from the exporting system.

The importance of a medical center accessing accurate information is clear. Wrongful diagnosis, prescription, or recommended treatment could be a life-and-death matter.

This site further simplifies the need for seamless data sharing through different technologies.

Standards Are for a Protection

In all areas of life, we have standards that may limit in some ways, yet are for our ultimate protection. 

A prime example of this is traffic laws. They may limit how fast, where, and how we drive. Yet few, if any, would disagree that these limits are for protection.

The data standards in healthcare are no exception. These protect both the medical and financial data within the healthcare sector. They also ensure comprehensive data sharing to all parties who need it.

For further discussions on the evolution and safety of IT systems and many more tech related reads, check out our tech blog.

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6 Most Important Considerations for Starting a Fitness Business

Starting a new business can be thrilling and challenging. It could be terrifying when you think about all the details and every resource you need to get up and running. If you’ve done your research right, it will be easier to know what you are getting into and exactly what you need to succeed.

Most people choose to start their own businesses because they are ready to share their ideas with the public. And want to do what they love in their own way.

Others want to create a work-life balance that works for them. Ultimately there can be great opportunity to make money if everything goes as planned. The risk is worth it, most of the time for people who are entrepreneurial.

According to The Guardian, consumer spending on UK gym membership soared by 44% in 2014, driven by the growth in popularity of new, budget gyms.

The demand for affordable, high quality, no-contract or flexible contracts fitness centres is continuing to grow. People are now interested in staying fit more than ever. The popularity of budget gyms, including Pure Gym, EasyGym, Anytime Fitness and DW Sports, are most likely driving the increase even further.

If you are thinking about going out on your own and starting a fitness business this year, this will help you get started.

Find your niche

1. Decide on your niche market right from the beginning 

Which market do you want to serve and why? This should be very clear to you. Do your research and find out a profitable niche that can scale. Weight loss is popular. There are other less popular ones like injury management and even endurance athletes. You could also choose powerlifting, crossfit, yoga, or whatever you prefer that works for you.

But remember, going after a popular niche means more competition. It should be a niche you are genuinely interested in. That way making it a business won’t be difficult.

The planning process

Launching a brick and mortar fitness business can be overwhelming but once you get your planning right, you will be off to a great start. Put everything on paper. It pays to keep records.

2. Cost

Consider your fix costs (business registration, legal fees, rent, premise renovations, utilities, hiring and educating trainers, wages, décor items and furniture, initial marketing) and monthly expenditures.

What will be your monthly protected costs? How will you fund the business before you attract paying customers? How many active clients will you need to break-even or generate your desired level of profit? Think of every little thing that you will need to spend money on to before your business opens and plan a contingency.

Getting started right

3. Purchase appropriate equipment

Make a list of all the equipment you’ll need to get started. JLL Fitness have a great range of commercial gym equipments you can check out. Things like dumbbell sets, bars, exercise mats, weight benches, treadmills etc. cannot be compromised. They are the most important things you need for a fitness business.

4. Make it insanely easy to register

Set up a a great and easy to use website to educate and inform prospective clients of your offering and packages. And most importantly give new users the opportunity to register and book fitness packages right at the comfort of their homes. Make it flexible. Your prices should be competitive.

Getting a website up and running is no longer a difficult or expensive. There are great DIY websites available, such as Wix and Squarespace. This is one of the first things you should do once you are ready to kickstart your fitness business.

5. On discounts and special offers

Attracting customers or users is one of the hardest part of starting a business. It’s no different for fitness businesses. Give people a reason to become members. Why should people choose you over your competitor next door?

Special deals and launch offers can be a great idea and really draw people in. You can offer a few days or even weeks for free and start charging once users establish fitness habits. When you are getting started, make it big, exciting and tempting. Set and stick to your urgent end date to get people signing up as soon as possible.

6. Focus on amazing service to leverage worth of mouth marketing.

The first few people who register for sessions at your fitness business can make or break your new startup. Give them the results they crave and make your sessions the best part of their week.

The aim is to get them talking about your fitness sessions to their friends. Word-of-mouth advertising is crucial for every service-based business, and in the case of a fitness business, it’s key.

Final words

Building a successful business takes time, focus, persistence. Starting a fitness business is probably going to end up costing more than you thought. But that’s not a reason to give up or abandon your dream career.

Do everything in your power to sustain the business once you get started. You probably won’t see profits for months. Plan for setbacks.

Focus on attracting and retaining clients and your business will grow as planned. And build a team of trainers who share your same passion and want to see your business succeed.

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