June 2010

Betty Bouchie

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

It’s Quality Week here at Capital Health. The theme this year is "Action, Agility and Accountability.” It makes you think, which of course is the idea.

To be a quality organization, business or person, we need to take action on items and issue that are brought to our attention but also seek out action items. We should also be agile or flexible. Most times the solution is not a nice even straight line laid out clearly in front of us. Often, the path upon which we start may not be the one upon which we end. We need to be accountable for the things we do. Accountability means we take responsibility not just for the good work we do but also for the "learning experiences” we struggle through. We give our very best so we can feel confident in the work we do. Action, Agility and Accountability.

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Be Inspired

"The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: he stood under the arch."

- Michael Armstrong

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Something to Smile About...

HEMA is a Dutch department store. The first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam. Now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands.

Take a look at HEMA's product page. You can't order anything, and it's in Dutch - but just wait a couple of seconds and watch what happens.

DON'T click on any of the items in the picture, just wait and see what happens. HONEST!

This company has a sense of humor and a great computer programmer who has too much time on his hands.

Click link below and enjoy - you need sound to enjoy it best!

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Plan now to attend the 2011 Conference in New Orleans!

March 13-14, 2011: Pre-conference
March 14-16, 2011: Conference

Have you had a chance to visit beautiful New Orleans? To walk down Bourbon Street or see the French Quarter? If so, you know what you would be missing if you don't mark your calendar now and save the dates for the 27th Annual NAEO Conference, March 13-16.

This is truly an experience you won't want to miss. This wonderful area is filled with history, combined with friends and colleagues to learn and grow with and exchange ideas that will help you to shape your business of tomorrow.

You won't want to miss our fantastic lineup of conference sessions:

  • Breakout tracks for Sales/Marketing, Operations and Technical topics
  • General sessions on the latest Amtelco technology
  • Round Table discussions

Hotel Reservations

The Roosevelt Hotel
123 Baronne Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-WALDORF or 504-648-1200. Ask for the group rate for National Amtelco Equipment Owners.

Room rate is $199 single/double.

Pre-conference workshops:

  • Supervisor Workshop
  • IS Programming Workshop
  • 1Call Seminar, brought to you by Amtelco for Hospital staff

Don't forget the valuable networking opportunities you get whenever our members gather together, virtually guaranteeing you the chance to bring home at least one idea to pay for your whole trip!

Watch for conference details at or visit our fan page on Facebook at

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Billy Peppard

Member Spotlight: Billy Peppard

1. Could you tell us how and when your business began?
In 1985, my father limited his surgical practice here in Dallas to create a cost-containment company called Health Economics Corporation in response to the HMO experiment of the late 80s. Part of the process involved providing a 24hr line staffed by registered nurses to process utilization review and precertification calls for HEC customers. Having been a surgical nurse for over 20 years, my mother, Sylvia Peppard Keizer, was recruited by HEC to run the after hours support center, named "Response Network.” Response Network quickly developed into a small answering service that specialized in providing after hours support for physicians and healthcare in general as well as continuing to provide support for HEC’s pre-cert and UR calls. Shortly thereafter, HEC and its subsidiaries (Response Network included) were sold to Halliburton. After an unsuccessful attempt to purchase Response Network from Halliburton in 1988, Mom started Medical Connections, Inc. and opened the doors with 30 accounts on a paper-based system in March of 1989.

2. What are your most common accounts?
To this day, I’m very proud to say that we’re 99.999999% medical. However, we do have a few non-medical accounts that were referred by existing customers nearly 20 years ago and have remained loyal customers to this day.

3. When did you start using Amtelco equipment and why?
In an effort to keep up with technology, we began calling vendors for a quote on a paperless system in early 1991 as an upgrade to our existing paper-based system. After getting no response from our existing vendor, our next call was to the folks at Amtelco. Kevin Ryan showed up with his fancy little PCMX demo unit within the next day or two if memory serves, and the rest, shall we say, is history.

4. When did you join NAEO and why? After installing PCMX in 1991, we quickly joined IAPO for the networking opportunities the exposure to other owners with the same equipment would present us. I believe we officially joined the NAEO we all know and love today in 1994 when it expanded to include all Amtelco equipment owners.

5. When did you begin in the business?
I started in the business in the summer of 1991 during summer vacation from college. Apparently, I wasn’t trying hard enough to find a summer job. It would have probably only been a "summer job” had Kevin Ryan not shown up with his fancy little demo unit. Before I knew it, a summer job quickly became over three years. I quit and returned to school only to receive a job description in the mail some three years later on Medical Connections’ letterhead with a handwritten note at the top that said "Know anyone that’s interested?” That was 11 years ago this past April. I purchased the Company from my mother upon her retirement nearly three years ago, all with about 10 days notice. According to our CPA, the end of the 3Q is the same as the end of the 4Q, and I still haven’t forgiven Mark for that one.

6. Tell us a little personal information about you, your family and your hobbies or interests.
My wife Helene and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary this coming July and we have two sons: Chase (8 in August), and Brandon (3 in June)…three if you count our white lab, Dasher. We enjoy pretty much everything outdoors, and we are lucky enough to spend many weekends at the lake house (Lake Whitney) riding jet skis, fishing, and simply spending the days on the water. I don’t get a chance to play much golf anymore but still love to get out whenever I can. My wife is originally from Canada (Montreal), so it’s nice to get up there every other year or so to visit family and spend time. I just wish it were easier to get Tim Horton’s coffee and Sleeman’s Honey Brown in Texas!

7. One is one thing about you or your business that is different or unique?
I really don’t consider us to be any different from any other small-medium sized business, especially in this industry, honestly. Of course, one could say that no one else is quite crazy enough to deal only with doctors 24hrs a day, but that’s our little niche. Having been around them my entire life, it’s almost second nature building those relationships and keeping them happy.

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IS Tip: Returning a "True" When the Operand is "False"
by Jennifer Terragni, Database Administrator, American Medical Alert Corporation

This is a Boolean operator that returns True if its operand is False and will return False if its operand is True.

What this example does is see if the ID = NUM. So if ID=1 and NUM=2, it will return False in that section. NOT will turn that False section into a True.
Then the expression will evaluate True=True. If it is correct, it will display Different Numbers. If not it will display Same Numbers.


IF( ( NOT (ID=NUM) ) = True, Different Numbers, Same Numbers) IF( ( NOT (1=2) ) = True, Different Numbers, Same Numbers) IF( ( NOT (False) ) = True, Different Numbers, Same Numbers) IF( ( True ) = True, Different Numbers, Same Numbers) IF( ( True ), Different Numbers, Same Numbers) Different Numbers

Here is the opposite:


IF( ( NOT (ID=NUM) ) = True, Different Numbers, Same Numbers) IF( ( NOT (2=2) ) = True, Different Numbers, Same Numbers) IF( ( NOT (True) ) = True, Different Numbers, Same Numbers) IF( ( False ) = True, Different Numbers, Same Numbers) IF( ( False ), Different Numbers, Same Numbers) Same Numbers

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Get Rid of These Bad Work Habits
by Anthony Balderrama, writer

Who doesn’t have at least one habit that drives everyone else insane? You might bite your nails, slurp your coffee or tap your pen incessantly. Annoying? Yes. Serious problems? Not really.

In the office, however, some habits can go beyond annoying your co-workers; they can damage your career.

For the sake of your career and your co-workers’ sanity, here’s a list of bad work habits that can harm your career and how you can break them. If you’re guilty of one (or more), it’s time to get them under control.

Bad Habit: Missing deadlines.
What you think: "If it’s only a little late, it doesn’t mean anything.”
What it really says: Your colleagues and boss can’t count on you.
What to do: Don’t view deadlines as negotiable. Remind yourself that people are counting on you to do your job well, which includes completing tasks on time. Even if you just barely missed the deadline and everything turned out OK, you probably caused your teammates a lot of anxiety and extra work, which they won’t forget.

Bad Habit: Dressing unprofessionally.
What you think: "I’m the office free spirit with a quirky sense of style!”
What it really says: You don’t take the job seriously.
What to do: You don’t have to be a boring dresser to be professional, but you shouldn’t look like you’re about to go clubbing or strutting down a runway. Take a cue from your co-workers to see what’s considered acceptable in the office.

Bad Habit: Not being punctual.
What you think: "As long as I get all my work in, nobody cares.”
What it really says: You think your time is more important than everybody else’s.
What to do: Stick to the schedule. Everyone in your office would like to sleep in a little or leave early, but they don’t because people rely on them to be on time.

Bad Habit: Checking your e-mail, playing games, shopping.
What you think: "I’m discreet.”
What it really says: You’re not doing your job.
What to do: Keep the fun stuff to a minimum. Most employers don’t mind if you check your e-mail every once in awhile or read your favorite blog for a few minutes in the morning. They begin to care when you minimize that game of Scrabulous every time they walk by your desk. You’re being paid to work, not play.

Bad Habit: Gossiping.
What you think: "I’m just saying what I heard.”
What it really says: You can’t be trusted.
What to do: Sure, everybody gossips a little here and there, but it shouldn’t be your livelihood. Eventually you’ll gain a reputation for not keeping anything confidential –whether it’s a personal matter or work-related. Plus, your chattering could end up hurting somebody’s feelings or reputation.

Bad Habit: Being negative.
What you think: "Everybody complains.”
What it really says: You’re the person to avoid.
What to do: It’s natural to grumble about work once in awhile. If you gripe and moan when you’re asked to do anything, however, people will not only get annoyed, they’ll wonder why you don’t just quit. Keep in mind that work isn’t always fun; keep the complaints to a minimum.

Bad Habit: Trying to be everybody’s best friend.
What you think: "I’m just sociable.”
What it really says: You don’t know how to set boundaries.
What to do: It’s not uncommon for friendships to develop at work, but don’t expect it to happen with everybody. Unless you have reason to do otherwise, treat your superiors, colleagues and subordinates like professionals, not like drinking buddies.

Bad Habit: Burning bridges.
What you think: "I’ll never see them again.”
What it really says: You’re not a professional who thinks about the future.
What to do: As much as you dream of telling off your boss or co-workers after you’ve handed in your resignation, restrain yourself. People change jobs, companies merge – someone you dissed in the past may end up being your boss down the road.

Bad Habit: Always being the funny one.
What you think: "People love me.”
What it really says: You’re really annoying.
What to do: There’s nothing wrong with being funny – most people do like a good sense of humor. Just remember that not everybody wants to hear your sarcastic quips and "Godfather” impersonations every five minutes.

Bad Habit: Forgetting you have neighbors.
What you think: "I’m not as annoying as they are.”
What it really says: You’re inconsiderate.
What to do: Do unto your co-workers as you’d want them to do unto you. Your hour-long conference call on speakerphone is just as irksome to your cube mates as theirs are to you.

Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

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Telephone Doctor's Six Cardinal Rules of Customer Service
by Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor

There are a lot of 'rules' in customer service, but few more important than the six we've listed here from our newly reproduced DVD Six Cardinal Rules of Customer Service. Each makes a valid statement and will increase the satisfaction of your clients.

Cardinal Rule #1 - Personal Responsibility/Accountability: Don't Pass the Buck

One of the most important attributes a company staff member can have is personal responsibility - personal accountability. Those that have it refuse to accuse, blame and complain. Those that do accuse, blame and complain break one of the most important cardinal rules. "Who" statements accuse and blame. "Who took my stapler?" We should use a more positive manner and take personal responsibility by saying, "I seem to have misplaced my stapler; has anyone seen it?" Remember to take full responsibility with the customer. The customer doesn't like to hear accusing, blaming and complaining statements. They know when you're passing the buck!

Cardinal Rule #2 - People Before Paperwork

When someone walks into your place of business or calls you while you're working on something, Cardinal Rule #2 says drop everything. Attend to that person. Remember, paper and other tasks can wait, people should not. We've all been abused when we go shopping and been ignored because the staffer is doing something else and we know how that feels. Let's not abuse our own customers. Remember: People before paperwork.

Cardinal Rule #3 - Don't RUSH Your Customers

Sure, you may understand something real quick, but rushing the customer along will only lead to them feeling intimidated. Remember to mirror their speed. Trying to be "done" with a customer as quickly as possible is seen as being rude and uncaring. Rushing threatens customers. Take your time with each and every contact.

Cardinal Rule #4 - Company Jargon

Ever get a report from a company and not understand it? Some companies have company jargon that makes the CIA wonder what's up. Be very careful not to use your own company jargon on your customers. You and your employees may understand it very well, but the customer may not. And you'll only cause a lot of unnecessary confusion. Spell things out for your customers. Use easy words. Try not to abbreviate. Remember, don't use military language on civilians.

Cardinal Rule #5 - Don't Be Too Busy To Be Nice

Hey, everyone's busy! That's what it's all about. Being busy does not give you carte blanche to be rude. Remember, you meet the same people going down as you do going up. They'll remember you. (What's worse than being busy? NOT being busy.)

Cardinal Rule # 6 - Be Friendly BEFORE You Know Who It Is

There's a good lesson to be learned here. One Telephone Doctor saying is: Smile BEFORE you know who it is. Often times it's too late. Being friendly before you know who it is will earn you classic customer service points. The customer needs to know you want to work with them, no matter who they are. Remember, sometimes it's way too late to smile and be friendly after you know who it is.

Any one of these tips can boost your customer service!

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