7 Reasons How Goa Will Blow Away Your Winter Blues

According to experts, the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter blues affects millions of people around the globe. People of any age may get effected by it. If you have been suffering from winter blues, you are not alone. It’s said that traveling can help you deal with your SAD, and if you happen to be from India, you may get ready to leave for Goa. Here are 7 reasons how Goa will blow away your winter blues.

Amazing Natural Beauty

Goa has incredible natural beauty with a great deal of green forests and beautiful beaches. Some of the must-visit beaches include Baga beach, Anjuna beach, Calangute beach and Candolim beach, just to name a few.

In the majority of shacks, you can get umbrella and beds for free if you love to eat at beach shacks. Aside from this, most of these places offer different types of Indian, continental and seafood. You may also get to South Goa to take your time at the serene beaches.

Old Goa

Old Goa is a beautiful place to visit the popular places, such as churches of Francis of Assisi, St Augistine and Basilica of Bom Jesus, to name a few. In the evening, you have the option to visit Panjim. Old Goa also has some of the finest Casinos of the country. Just be careful, as you don’t want to spend all your money over there.

Electronic Music

If you love Electronic Music, Candolim and Vagator are your places. During the last 7 days of December, you can attend the popular Sunburn and Supersonic events. Usually, visiting Goa will cost you more money during New Year, but it will be worth the money. The crowd during the New Year makes an incredible atmosphere.

North Goa clubs

If you love to party, you may head to the dance clubs of the North Goa. The majority of the clubs are not that expensive. There you can enjoy music late at night. Clubs that are the most popular include Sinq, LPK, Club Cabana and Curlies.

Food Lovers

If you love to eat seafood, Goa is the best place. Throughout the state, you can find a variety of sea food as well as cheap alcohol. You can also eat alcohol Fenny, which is made from coconuts and Kaju.

Adventures

For adventure lovers, Baga beach, Calangute beach and Sequirem beach are your places. On these beaches, you can play a variety of sports, such as water scooters, Para sailing and scuba diving.

Biking and cycling

Throughout Goa, you can hire bikes or cycles at many of the rent shops. If you want, you can hire cheap Royal enfields and 4 wheelers for a couple of days to have fun. You can cruise along the streets of Goa and drink roadside tea or coconut water.

So, if you are having winter blues and would like to go somewhere for a few days, we suggest that you give a go to Goa. This beautiful state has a lot to offer. Hopefully, you will have a great time over there.

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5 Ways of How to Destroy a Business Partnership: Don’t Start That New Business Until You Read This

Let any one of these 5 situations into your business and you’ll ravage your entrepreneurial career:

1st – Stop needing each other:

There’s a considerable chance that the partnership power and responsibility structure will start to shift and will look very different starting anywhere from 3-12 months after inception.

In the beginning of any new venture, a dynamic and compelling new venture phenomenon, made up of fear, anxiety, stress and excitement, emerges and makes for an impressive personal barrier disintegrator. No facades and no charades are the hallmark of a new venture. The partners forget about their own needs and are on their best behavior. Everyone is madly in “love.”

“Needing each other” is a compelling power source in successful business partnerships. In most partnerships that “need” is the bond that keeps it all together. As time passes, especially after the 12th month of being in business, everything and everyone starts to shift, evolve and a displacement arises that will be unsettling and transformative for the business and all the players.

See #4 for more information on “not needing each other”

Solution: Accept the fact that the above information is valid. Discuss it openly with your business partners. Be vigilant and sensitive to your business partners and what they say and do and how they say it and do it. You don’t have to be “a touchy feely kinda person.” Think selfishly. Think protection for your future. Think protection for your business’ future. Communicating, openly and civilly, is the only preventive measure that will increase the chance for a favorable outcome.

2nd- Allow your significant other to point out all the expensive gifts your partner’s significant other is receiving and they’re not:

Significant others, and other family members, can be the source of great pain and distress when it comes to the relationship you have with your business partner.

Greed, jealousy, being overcritical, being generally resentful, tactless and being superficial are some of the flies swimming around in the business partnership ointment. Money and power sometimes brings out the worst in “significant others” and family.

Solution: There’s two parts to the solution:

a-It’s the smart business person who pays extreme attention to the health and tone of his business partnership. It should be the number one concern, above and beyond anyone else in your life. I know I’ll get a lot of Boos and Hisses but, if you take care of your business and the business partnership, it will always take care of you and the people you love and who love you. Everyone will be happy and satisfied.

b- Going to, or inviting in, a counsellor or therapist to meet privately once a month, individually and aggregately, with the business partners will always be money well spent. I’ve seen the wreckage that family members have created in some very successful businesses.

You will have partnership strife and discord. Bet on it. Prepare for it now and have the preventive and supportive resources at the ready and/or in play from the beginning. It will be a shame if one day you’re standing outside your padlocked office wondering what happened.

3rd – Have sexual relations with a family member of your business partner:

I “feel” the smirks already. Talk about destruction. This is an insidious act of extreme betrayal. It not only will leave your business ripped apart, it will destroy precious family and personal relationships. People will be crushed and devastated for a lifetime.

The reputations of all the partners will be tainted. You’ll be amazed and appalled at the same time to find out how many suppliers, banks and customers will turn their back on you. They know that with a soiled and stained situation like this, destruction and failure may be close by. No one wants to be part of this, especially if it hurts them financially. Something many people take for granted is that It takes years to build a reputation that’s respected and trusted. It takes 24 hours or less to blow it up.

Are you are going to make your bed and Lie in it, or not?

Solution: If you’re over 18, take a wild guess. Under 18? Talk to someone over 18.

4th – Do some self-talk about how you deserve more money than your business partner:

“I’m working so much harder than her.” “He was supposed to be the sales end of our business but…” “Our biggest customer can’t stand her.” “He can’t handle the pressure.” “I never realized how much she talks.” Do I need to go on? You may recognize one of these.

In the beginning of a new venture there’s “reality” and there’s “wishful and well-intentioned thinking.” The responsibilities and strengths that you bring to the new venture are not necessarily the responsibilities and strengths that will be in play when things get started and are rolling along.

Being aware of each partner’s powerful strengths and their ‘vulnerabilities’ will allow weekly partner meetings to be productive and allow for everyone to be open, honest and transparent. Staying flexible and being willing to adapt, not only leads to a sustainable business but what’s more exciting is, it leads to personal growth for all the partners.

Solution: There’s 3 parts to the solution.

a-Mandate, enforce and re-enforce up close and personal, respectful and empathetic communication meetings on, at least, a weekly basis. These meetings are confined to the partners only and are done behind locked and closed doors. Bring in food. Do not go to a public place to talk.

b- There are always 3 realities: Yours, theirs and the business’ reality. Work with the reality of the business only and adjust your life to the needs of the business. I repeat, make your business the priority above and beyond all others and the “others” will have a phenomenal life.

c- Accept as fact, that you may have to change your place and responsibilities in the business as time passes. Welcome it with open arms. If you have a problem with this I say, respectfully, get a therapist as soon as possible. Your reluctance is connected to, and about, ego, self-image and self-confidence. It pays to have someone help you disentangle your emotions and consequently save your entrepreneurial career.

5th -Start the new venture on a 50/50 ownership platform:

If you’re forced to initiate an equal stock partnership, then having or learning patience, empathy, and anger management becomes even more crucial and essential than ever before. A 50/50 is fine until the “cracks” start to appear. If you don’t follow the advice in step #4, it could be the beginning of the end for everyone.

Some interesting points:

a-In a partnership breakup your net worth is never, I repeat, never what you think it is. It’s always much less.

b-Banks, customers, suppliers and even employees will scatter when they get a whiff of bad news on the horizon. Your net worth could entirely dissipate in the time it takes you to say “Wait, I changed my mind.”

c-Make the partnership agreement as simple as possible (two pages is good) or you’ll find that the lawyers will make more than you.

d-You could make a 51/49 % stock ownership with a 50/50 % profit split. It’s worth it to give up more on the profit split in order to get 51% ownership of the company. In any event, no matter what you decide it’s always wise to have salaries, expenses and benefits remain equal.

Solution: See the solution in step #4

“Now go with your eyes wide open”… Good Luck out there.

A Personal Note:

I’ll be accused of being negative and shortsighted. My response: That’s Crap. This is reality. This is life. It’s raw, pure, up close and certainly personal.

You don’t like the article? I understand. The truth and reality have a way of making people feel uncomfortable.

Just do me one favor. Print it and put it in a drawer, in a sealed envelope. Open it 12 months to the day that you started your business. If I was right you unfortunately learned a valuable lesson and if your verdict is that I was wrong, please take a closer look and search for cracks in the partnership relationship. You may be in the “subtle stage.”

Partnerships are great when they’re solid and built on mutual respect. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. This article is about possibilities that you must be aware of and in tune with. Consider this article a practice “fire drill.” Adapt now, because when the flames start to roar, it’s too late.

This article is about coating your business relationship with empathy. It’s about knowing that you’re not only responsible for your welfare and performance, but you’re also responsible for your business partners state of being. I’m not advocating that you become super-parent. I’m advocating for you, and this article is all about your protection and your financial and mental well-being.

Once again. Good luck out there and never, ever give up on your dreams.

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How to Get Inspired Online When Everybody Is Criticizing You

In a world full bashers and trolls, it’s quite easy to succumb to negativity. The internet is creative for people who seek a thriving environment but it can also be destructive to those who are subjected to public shaming.

Staying positive online can be challenging but here are a few thoughts to inspire you:

Everyone has imperfections.
The term “Facebook envy” is true for the majority who think highly of others because of what they see and read on social media like Facebook. Some individuals belittle themselves because their lives are not as good as what others portray online.

However, according to experts, people tend to always show their best side, so whatever posts or pictures we see is only the nice aspects of their lives. Everybody has deep dark secrets too so when someone criticizes you online, just remember that they also have unpleasant realities.

Most have fake identities.
A lot of those who are online are crass because they can easily hide their identity. They aren’t worried about real-life repercussions so they can be rude to their heart’s content. When someone online confronts you, remember that these are mere virtual components who only muster courage from word war. Maintain your decorum and ignore them.

You are worth the attention.
Negative criticism stems from the personal emotions of the person giving it. Bullies hate being topped by others that’s why they bring people down. When you are criticized, just remember that these people are interested about your life or personality and bullying is a means to get close to you. They won’t waste their time on someone not worth it.

People criticize because they don’t understand.
Closed-minded people cannot accept changes, thus they tend to oppose people who are open to it. When you receive criticism from them, just think that they are only manifesting their fears and it has nothing to do with your actions.

You are better than them.
Most of those who criticize people online are bored individuals with no accomplishments so they get envious of those who are much better than them. Look at the bright side and tell yourself that they hate you because they hate themselves.

Staying Positive

There are simple ways to boost your enthusiasm and optimism despite being surrounded by negative energy so read on.

Do what makes you happy.
Keep doing the things you love and feed your passion. Inspiration comes from personal fulfillment.

Think of inner kindness.
Think that everyone possesses innate kindness. Despite their insensitivity, people are always receptive of goodness.

Be grateful.
Always express your gratitude for the little things. Be thankful for even the bad experiences because these teach you valuable life lessons.

Rewards Yourself.
Give yourself a good massage or buy something you like. An incentive for working hard makes you feel valued.

Spend time outdoors.
The influx of technology declined people’s longing for soulful connection. Break the habit and take a vacation to rest your mind. Go on a short trip to rejuvenate and disconnect from your gadgets. Regular breaks prevent burnouts and improve mental health.

The online world can be cruel and overwhelming at times and it can be hard to manage your emotions if you tend to dwell on them. Success online can be achieved by detaching yourself from feelings and expressing your individuality.

John Richards has many years of experience creating and developing books, eBooks, manuals, and videos, on a variety of subjects, including online wealth, pet care, Internet marketing, direct mail, health and wellness, and CD/DVD distribution service.

John’s website provides ideas and practical advice for people who want to enjoy the rewards of earning an income from home using simple websites.

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Online Presence And Reputation Are Key Factors Behind Successful Businesses

Online directories can be quite beneficial for startups and small business firms. Business owners just need to understand how online business directories work. Online directories are site submission services which allow businesses’ sites to be added to particular categories where the websites become easy for interested visitors to search.

Web directories and their importance

Online business directories let the target traffic to search for businesses and websites which they want to know more about or find interesting. Adding a business’s site to an online directory can increase the site’s online visibility. Moreover, online business directories can make it simple and easy to find what people are searching for.

The concept of such business directories is a simple one. These directories are quite similar to the Yellow Pages. Online business directories are just listing places for business websites. Any kind of site can be listed in online directories. Some directories are enormous and cover all topics that people can create websites for. On the other hand, there are small online directories that cover only a particular niche.

Get listed in a web directory to improve your business performance

To keep it straight, online business directories can direct people to any site which they want to find. People just need to search for particular categories or different types of categories till they find the kind of sites they are searching for. When someone browses through an online directory, they will be given lists of sites which relate to their keyword. They will also be given a list of links to the sites. These links will also have short descriptions about the websites. People can go through these descriptions and decide which one they want to choose.

Online reputation is vital any business these days

Exposure is a vital requirement of all kinds of marketing strategies. In fact, when people are more exposed to a business, they most likely will make use of the business’s services. When a business doesn’t have a proper online presence and online reputation, even its existence might not be known to people. If this happens, then business has great chances to become a failure.

Listing businesses’ sites in online business directories can help sites in gaining exposure. Tons of online visitors get to make use of such directories for finding things that interest them. These are prospect buyers who actively search for sites which are related to services or products that one’s business may be all about. Web directories can expose businesses to the target visitors. Hence, websites will get an increased amount of target online traffic. Apart from getting listed in online business directories, it is also important for businesses to have positive reviews online.

What more you need to boost your business

There are a few important reasons why businesses should take advantage of reputable online business directories for getting more prospects. On a daily basis, prospective customers keep searching for different types of business for finding solutions to their problems. This is when they may come across online business directories that may list of the types of sites they are in need of.

Make sure your business has positive reviews online

When potential customers find businesses on the internet, they go through online reviews for making sure that they get in touch with the right company or people. When businesses have good reviews on the internet can build their credibility. Such reviews can also let people know that businesses are reliable so that they can trust them. In addition to increased online exposure and positive reviews, online business directories don’t bother people’s budget.

Money matters at the end of the day

There are loads of online directories which can be used by business owners for free to list their businesses. This is one aspect that makes online directories one best marketing strategies, when it comes to running a business successfully. Any small business owner who wants to improve the online reputation and presence of his or her business may utilize the service of an online business directory.

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How to Make Social Media an Asset for Your Network Marketing Business

With many different social media platforms to choose from, your head may be spinning and you could be confused about which ones to use and why you would use them. In this article, we are going to talk about how to make social media an asset for your network marketing business.

Network marketing is very much a business of influence and emotion. If people don’t feel like working with you or they don’t feel like buying from you then they won’t. There are plenty of other people they can find your product and service through and that is why you want to use social as an asset to get in front of more people and help them choose you.

Building Know, Like & Trust

If people feel like they know, like and trust you because they have been following you on social, they are much more likely to buy from you than someone they just met. Social media can be used to share inspiring messages, family photos, dreams, and goals. Share these things with people and you they will be more likely to do business with you. This is one of the ways to make social an asset for your business.

Getting In Front of More Eyeballs

Social media helps you get in front of more people. Having a consistent social presence will help you leverage this virtual real estate to share your message with people. Instead of having to run around all over the place in your car, you can find people through social media and generate sales and new team members online.

It is very simple to be able to build social media into an asset but you have to be consistent. You at least want to post once a day so that you can stay top of mind with your audience.

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Ethernet Cables – Red, Yellow, Or Blue?

Ethernet cables come in many colours, it’s common to see red, green, blue, yellow, white and grey leads in every office. A lot of people get confused when they are buying a new lead as they wrongly believe the different colours do different jobs. A coloured Ethernet cable is used for identification. If you have an office network that has many connections, it can be difficult to know which cable goes where. This is why coloured leads are used, you can easily identify that the blue cable is connecting computer A to the network whilst the yell one is connecting computer B and the green goes to computer C. It’s not uncommon to see leads being sold in twenty plus different colours.

Another reason to use coloured leads is to help set up new equipment. Many internet service providers will send a free modem to the customer when they take out a new connection. Not everyone is confident at setting these modems up, they can come with two different types of lead, an RJ11 ADSL lead and an Ethernet cable. Both of these cables look very similar and many people try to connect the RJ11 lead into the Ethernet socket. Internet service providers use coloured leads for this very reason. The instruction book will advise the customer to connect one end of the blue Ethernet cable (or whatever colour is supplied) to socket A on the modem and then to your computer, this avoids any confusion and probably saves them from thousands of technical helpline calls each year.

Whatever the reason for replacing your Ethernet cable, maybe you need a longer length as you have moved the computer, the dog may have chewed your original, you may be trying to increase the speed with a better quality cable (we cover that in another article) or you may simply have lost the lead when you moved house. You can rest assured that you can use any coloured Ethernet cable. The only caveat to add would be to ensure you do not buy a Crossover cable, these are used to connect two computers together without using a router, they are always clearly advertised as Crossover and it would be difficult to buy one in error.

If you are looking to upgrade the speed of your connection, an easy and cheap upgrade is to opt for a Cat6 cable. Cat6 cables are cable of faster Gigabit speeds and are backwards compatible with standard Cat5e systems.

When buying a new lead it’s a good idea to look online, there are big savings to be had. Many online stores can sell at a fraction of the price a high street store as they have less overheads. For a short two meter cable, you should expect to pay around three pounds.

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Why Electronics and Technology Are Important

People today live in a world that relies greatly on electronics and gadgets to make our everyday activities easier and faster. Most of us could not fathom what life we be like without computers, cell phones, iPods, televisions, or electronic toys. Over the years, technology has continued to advance, improving the quality of life for people who use electronics and gadgets to make their lives more convenient.

When we wake up in the morning, we are often greeted by our alarm clocks. How many people would be late for work if they had to rely on their internal body clocks to wake them up at the same exact time every weekday morning? Once up and out of our bed some people may enjoy a cup of coffee or espresso from the convenience of their own kitchen coffee making appliance. Others may head to the bathroom to start getting ready for the day. This may include using a hair dryer or curlers to style their hair, or maybe an iron to de-wrinkle their clothes. All the while, people may be catching up on the day’s news by watching their local news station on television. All this use of technology and electronics and they haven’t even left for work yet!

The list goes on and on. The advancement of technology has allowed us to enjoy our favorite music while we exercise via the use of an MP3 player, warm our food in seconds with the convenience of microwaves, and even read our emails from anywhere in the world with the use of smart phones and laptops. This is just the tip of the iceberg. While most people understand that electronics and gadgets are important, they don’t take the time to really comprehend just how much we use this type of technology in all aspects of life. Certain electronics and equipment have made medical procedures easier, not to mention just plain possible. Life expectancies have increased with the advancement in technology and suffering has lessened due to the invention of medical equipment and technologies.

Whether it’s the coolest new GPS gadget to help you located and get to your favorite vacation destination along with every restaurant, store, and gas station in the area, or the newest sonar machine that can allow a doctor to see any possible development issues with a mother’s unborn baby, technology and electronics means more to us than we can realize. New products are developed every single day and the more people shop for fun gadgets and electronics, the easier and more fun life will become!

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What Is Computer Aided Engineering And Computational Fluid Dynamics?

Computer Aided Engineering (CAE)

CAE is the broad use of computer software with the aim to aid engineering tasks. It is a broad field that involves computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, optimization and multibody dynamics. Software tools developed to support the activities are known as CAE tools and they can be used in different application, including analyzing robustness and also performance of assemblies and components.

Computer aided design has indeed revolutionized modern engineering as it allows easier development of products and management integration of the same. It has also made modeling greater and offers basis for virtual networking. In the engineering world, the design is used widely to develop products to meet consumer expectations. It is this knowledge that makes engineering students and professionals important because of the benefits they bring to the engineering workforce.

Using computer aided engineering designs can be simulated in all kinds of scenarios without any physical change to the model. The technology is therefore widely applied to engineering applications. It comes with drawing benefits, project management benefits and networking benefits as well. It is applied to fields like aviation, space, shipbuilding and automotive industries. Computer aided engineering systems are supportive to businesses because they can place information views into the business process and make reference architectures useful especially when it comes to manufacturing models and products.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)

This is a discipline that falls under computer aided engineering and is used to engineer products and process designs as well as fabricate and analyze all elements involved in the processes. The technology also falls under fluid mechanics that rely on numerical methods and algorithms to analyze and solve problems that are related to fluid flow as well as heat transfer. Computational fluid dynamics are made up of three phases:

· Pre-processing that defined computation fluid dynamics models that include physics environmental factors, geometry and boundary conditions

· Analysis which offer solution of transport equation using the computational fluid techniques

· Post processing which involves results using visualization tools

CFD started way back in the 1960s with the first successes becoming prominent in 1970s. In services industry it took effect in the 1980s and the industry significantly expanded in the 90s. CFD packages continue to develop and significant changes are definitely expected in the future. The knowledge on how fluid flow and the quantitative effects of solids that are in contact helps:

· Architects and building service engineers to provide safe and comfortable human environments

· Power plant designer to achieve maximum efficiency and also reduce pollutant releases

· Chemical engineers in maximizing yields from processing equipment and reactors

· Designers of marine, air and land vehicles to achieve maximum performance at minimum costs

· Safety engineers and risk-and-hazard analysts to make predictions of the damage extent of structures, human beings, vegetation, animals and even equipment as a result of blast waves, explosions and fires

The flow simulation also proves helpful to the metropolitan authorities in determining pollutant emissions, meteorologists in foretelling water and wind current, petroleum engineers in designing oil recovery strategies among many other applications.

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7 Tips to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Windshield Wipers and Fluid – Fog, snow and rain will cut down your visibility in winter, causing you to use your wiper blades and washer fluid much more than normal. An antifreeze solution along with winter wiper blades will help to fight ice build-up. Keeping extra windshield washer solvent on hand is helpful too!

Battery – A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals and fluid will help to make sure your car is ready for winter. The cold weather puts more stress on your battery. Many automotive parts stores will test your battery capacity free of charge.

Inspect Your Tires – If you’re not mounting winter tires on your vehicle, be sure to examine your current tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing and cupping as well as checking the sidewalls for cuts and nicks to help you to know if your tires are ready for the harsh weather. The colder weather will also reduce the pressure within your tires, causing them to perform poorly in the snow. You should frequently check your tire pressures.

Coolant – Along with regulating the engine temperature, a vehicle’s coolant system is responsible for protecting your engine against corrosion. For the winter season you will want to make sure that you are using the right ratio of coolant to water in your system as well as using the right type of coolant for your car. If you are unsure, you can check the effectiveness of your coolant with a simple and inexpensive test found at any car parts store.

Ice scraper – Keep your ice scraper in your vehicle and always clean off your car completely, not just a little peephole in the windshield. You must be able to see all your surroundings, your side mirrors and through your back window. Snow on top of your car could slide down and cover your windshield while you are slowing down or fly off onto someone else’s vehicle while you are driving. In some states it is the law that your vehicle is clear of snow and ice.

Survival Kit – Especially during times of slick road conditions and below freezing temperatures, you will want to keep a survival kit in the car at all times in case of emergency. Some items to consider include extra gloves, boots and blankets, flares, tire chains, a flashlight and extra batteries, car charger or portable cellphone charger, and a whistle. Also check your spare tire and make sure that your car jack is in good, working condition.

Keep Your Gas Tank Above Half – If you get stuck or stranded, the car’s engine will be your only source of heat and you will want to be sure you have enough fuel to keep you warm. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove snow from behind the tailpipe and keep it unobstructed to prevent lethal gas from accumulating in the vehicle.

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Medical Records Retrieval for Law Firms

• MODERN MEDICAL RECORDS RETRIEVAL SERVICE – AUTOMATION, COMPLIANCE, SAVINGS

The modern Medical Records Retrieval (MRR) service is a combination of modern web-based technology and a rules-compliant outsource solution. Historically lawyers and their staff would have to set aside a portion of their time, often a lot of time, to capture necessary information for cases that involved medical records. It’s not that the process is complex. Quite the contrary, every attorney, paralegal, and litigation-support person knows exactly what needs to be done.

It may appear simple, but it is a very manually intensive process. Someone at the firm must acknowledge the need for the records. Necessary forms must be completed to ensure compliance with a myriad of laws (including HIPAA), which the firm and often the patient (who may or may not be the firm’s client) would need to initiate a request. Then, the firm must track the progress of the request, and eventually receive, review, and organize the results, or note that there were no medical records available related to the matter.

To support the business of running a law practice, sophisticated and affordable software tools include new client/business intake, workflow automation, and conflicts management. Vendors who provide early case assessment tools and e-discovery-based technology-assisted review have begun to offer solutions for small firm and solo practitioners. In this article, we will show you how you can improve productivity, lower costs, and better manage billing for MRR expenses.

How Medical Records Retrieval Services Work

Here’s how a typical MRR service works for a small firm/solo practice. One of the firm’s employees logs into a secure, encrypted website. He or she then submits an order outlining the patient’s information, the records being requested, and any other data necessary to complete the request. What happens next is truly a game-changing activity. Instead of the firm’s billable resources chasing record requests from hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers, they go back to doing other, productive work, while the MRR process self-executes, and eventually provides you with the requested information and documents or informs you that there were no responsive documents.

Questions Regarding MRR Services

The availability of MRR services presents all attorneys, but especially solo and small firms, with the following important questions:

• How do you start with an MRR service?

• How are the record requests processed?

• Is this process HIPAA-compliant?

• When and how am I alerted to the status of my requests?

• How do I distribute the costs/fees associated with outsourcing medical records retrieval?

Choosing Your MRR Provider

To reduce the risk of choosing the wrong MRR service, consider the following best practices:

1) Ensure that the MRR service can prove secure access to its website (and your records) via a login and password.

2) Understand the MRR service’s processes to ensure protection of privacy.

3) Understand its service level agreements, which explain their process and anticipated turnaround time.

4) Verify that the MRR service has experience with expediting record requests by requesting a list of reference clients.

5) Review the process by which you and/or your staff are notified of updates, including record availability or notice of “no record found.”

6) Ask for the MRR service’s price schedule, preferably in a format that will permit you to do an apples-to-apples comparison of the fees of other MRR services.

When possible, a dedicated MRR service is a better choice than a firm that offers a multitude of legal practice services of which records retrieval is only a small subset of their overall business.

Getting Started with the MRR Provider

Upon choosing your MRR provider, the steps to starting to work with the provider are straightforward and similar to those when signing up with any on-line type of service:

• The firm identifies the approved personnel who are authorized to access the secure system.

• A unique user ID is created for the firm at this time, with a strong password required for all future access.

• Often, this is also the time that billing information is provided, and thus a financial account with the firm and MRR is created for future invoicing.

• Each authorized person completes a new user profile and sign-on request. The user must provide email and phone contact information.

• It is the responsibility of the law firm to notify the MRR as soon as possible in the event that an existing authorized user should be removed from the access control. The MRR should remedy and respond as soon as the user access has been removed.

• While the use of the MRR site should be quite easy for most users with minimal training, additional site support generally is available from the MRR’s services personnel via phone or email request.

Safeguarding Privacy

No matter how beneficial the technology, the firm must ensure compliance of federal and state HIPAA guidelines and any ethical rules about maintaining client confidences. Therefore, they must ensure that the MRR service collects, hosts, and provides access to client(s) records while maintaining compliance with privacy guidelines. Note: This should be part of your due diligence when selecting a provider.

The MRR Service should comply with Federal and state privacy laws. MRR services should keep up to date with changing rules of privacy such as the HITECH Act.

MRR agreements should expressly state that no personally identifiable health information (PHI) can ever be used for non-business related activities such as marketing and/or sales lead generation.

Record Processing

Once you have chosen an MRR service and set up your account, obtaining medical records is relatively straight-forward:

• After you enter a request into the system, the MRR service creates an MRR record request connected to the unique ID of the requester (the specific user at your firm), and confirms receipt of the request via an email.

• A reviewer is assigned to assess the necessary actions to fulfill the request, and will notify the user of any questions regarding the record request. In some states, including California, an electronic request can be executed from the MRR service to the healthcare provider, eliminating the need for paper-based transaction.

• The provider then tracks the request, and conducts any follow-up communication by any means available, including email, telephone or in-person visits if necessary, to acquire clear copies of records requested.

• If the record is available and legible, it is scanned into the secure web-based system for access by the user. Otherwise, a “no record found” is annotated to the request, and communicated back to the user.

Communication Is Key

Nothing can be more frustrating to case management than waiting for needed information from a third party. The MRR service must not only forward the record request to the healthcare provider, but also must provide the firm an ongoing and timely response regarding status. Each record must be tracked in real-time with detailed notes from the MRR agents. The MRR service should send alerts if additional information is required, provide replies via email, and deliver the link to download and/or view completed requests as soon as the records become available. Again, during the selection process, you should ascertain the provider’s practices regarding communications, and include them in the contract.

Speed Is Critical Too

Obtaining the medical records timely is critical, whether to respond to discovery, to make or oppose a motion for summary judgment, to get an expert up to speed, or to settle a case. A reliable MRR service will offer a quick turnaround. They have the experience working with medical locations to obtain records faster than a law firm’s in-house staff. After all, a law firm staff member may encounter (or, in truth, may feel like they have gotten stuck with) the occasional medical record search, but the MRR service is a specialist in the process of collecting information, including “no records found.” So, the MRR service’s very job is obtaining medical records, and therefore will have the process down to a set of specific steps, and can support their clients via a web interface.

Relationships With Healthcare Providers

Sometimes hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other healthcare providers may treat the occasional request by an attorney for medical records as an inconvenience, not respond as quickly or perhaps as completely as the attorney or client would like. A smart MRR service will develop long-term relationships with healthcare providers and their staff to get the data needed promptly and efficiently. This will improve the quality of the document production, reduce its cost, and speed the process up.

Database Strength

Medical records often can be in a different location or city than the healthcare provider. For example, billing records for hospitals are usually in an offsite facility, sometimes in another state. With the advent of electronic records, more healthcare providers are centralizing their records offsite with the umbrella company of their medical group/hospital. Without the information on how and where to request records, in-house staff can waste valuable time sending requests to the wrong locations or having to spend the time to find out where to send the requests. A strong database on where and how to request records from healthcare providers therefore is key to save time, ensure complete result, and save money. MRR services have the incentive and the resources to develop such a database. Law firms, especially solos and small firms, do not.

In addition the importance on the database in requesting medical records, it is equally important on the production side. Virtually all medical records are produced in digital format. Records are typically available in PDF or TIFF file format, making them searchable by many document management systems – including on premise, cloud-based, web-based or hybrid systems. They are usually made available for download and/or viewing from virtually anywhere on any device that supports a secure micro-browser. The MRR service maintains the medical records for ongoing access by the user and any authorized personnel.

MRR Costs and other Considerations

The MRR service will charge you for their services. However, because the firm’s resources are freed up to work on activities that generate revenue for the firm, the costs of using an MRR service will be offset at least in part, and perhaps in full. In addition, depending on your fee arrangement with your client, the invoices from the MRR service may be directly billable back to the client or at least accounted for as a recoverable cost. (Many MRR services charge no monthly fees for having an account, and thus the firm only incur fees on a usage basis, which can then be charged to the cases for which they are required.)

Summary

While many firms may continue the “do-it-yourself” approach, solos and small firms should consider using an MRR service. In addition to the higher costs of installing and maintaining one’s own record management system, the soft costs and resource consumption make this a less favorable alternative. A qualified, experienced MRR service offers a cost effective, robust platform for processing, monitoring, and tracking medical records requests. Record management and processing is HIPAA-compliant, always available, and secure-which in-house processes may not be, with the attendant risks. Use of an MRR service does not require capital expense to leverage digitally filed and maintained medical records. Firm resources can be repurposed from tracking record requests to meaningful and fee-generating activities. Client satisfaction may improve as matters are able to be processed more efficiently, and firm business may increase. The results of using an MRR service are measureable and immediate. It’s literally a one-click quantum leap from manual, resource-heavy processes to a modern, digital, secure web based management for your practice.

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