Jul 31, 2008

New Product Release: Clinic Management System

KAINOS Health IT Team, my project development team, has just quietly released it's very new Clinic Management System (CMS). KAINOS CMS is basically an electronic patient health record designed for small to medium-sized medical clinics.

It is still in alpha stage and a lot of work needs to be done like user interface design and improvements on other usability features. Overall it looks very promising and in the next two months, it will be on beta stage.

Some notable key features are:

1. Built on open source softwares and runs on PostgreSQL server.
2. Provided as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) architecture.
3. Branding: Clinic logo can be placed on the portal.
4. Has over 8,000 drug listing.
5. Utilizes ICD10 codes.
6. Can customize and group classes of laboratory tests.
7. Calendar Management for patient scheduling.
8. Patient-Doctor Private Forum.
9. Doctor-Doctor Private Forum.
10. And it's FREE!

Future updates:

1. Security : Patient name encryption.
2. SMS Messaging: For doctors and patients.
3. A more sleek and professional user-interface.
4. Provide reference links to other medical sites.
5. High Availability: 24x7x365 Guaranteed Uptime

KAINOS CMS is currently being tested by all our medical clinics (KAINOS Medical Clinics). Our main goal is to provide this service to all other clinics and make medical records readily accessible to patients anywhere.

What sets us apart from the rest?

Besides just the software service that many has been offering, we will include the following as value-added service:

1. Doctor Support: Backend clerical support for doctors such as patient scheduling, follow-ups, encoding, research and many other stuff.

2. Patient Support: Back end support for patients who wishes to acquire our services to manage their medical records and other health related errands.

We would surely appreciate if you can post your comments and/or suggestions to help us improve this free product and service for everyone to use.

For Demonstration:

Visit: http://www.syncmd.kainoshealth.net

Username : test_clinic
Password : test

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Jul 23, 2008

10 sure-fire signs that your best IT staff may be leaving.

No IT manager is spared from facing the harsh realities of immediate IT employee resignations, me included. Overtime, I have learned to identify those potential soon to be 'immediate resignees' that will be leaving my team and how I prepare myself before it happens.

1.Consistently reports late for work.
This is the first early sign of lost interest towards work. Employees tends to find it ever more difficult to wake-up early in the morning as their usual interest wanes each passing day.

2.Not meeting project deadlines.
Work tasks slowly and consistently piles up. Not hitting the required turnaround time for task or project deadlines.

3.Leaves work earlier than usual
An unmotivated worker despises to do extended work and therefore leaves earlier than what he usually does. Of course, this alone cannot be used as an for loss interest since reasons for leaving early from work is diverse and may vary from one employee to another.

4.Lost interest and enthusiasm
The employee seem become serious at work and become less and less creative.

5.Receiving more external calls than usual
The likelihood of this employee looking for another work is high and inevitable. There will be times when he suddenly receives more calls on his cellphones and keeps on excusing himself to answer them frantically. Yes, these are calls made from HRs of companies the employee is applying a job for. This is a sure fire indicator that he's bidding farewell very soon.

6.Slowly distancing from colleagues
They don't see themselves staying longer and, as much as possible they don't want to nurture anymore attachment because it will make it even harder for them to separate from your company. A good example maybe, if an employee usually joins the team for lunch, you will slowly notice that he ain't joining them anymore and gives varied excuses why he can't.

7.Not making any more long term commitments
It's difficult to make this guy to say yes on some long term commitments. Like assigned projects or tasks that may take longer than his planned exit. This can easily be spotted during team huddles and strategic planning.

8.Seldom laughs at the boss' jokes
I have the habit of cracking jokes even at the most unlikely hour. I do this to break the seriousness and liven up the work environment. Even if my jokes were somewhat corny and at times, downright offensive, they never fail to laugh at them. If you see one of your guys not laughing at your jokes anymore – definitely he's a big candidate.

9.Personal belongings are slowly removed from the employee's desk or locker.
IT guys love to bring toys and some very unusuak stuffs. They fill in their work desks with things like: Rubik's cubes, actions figures, plastic toys, and technical books. When you see them slowly dwindling in number, they will surely be out in 2 to 3 days.

10.Not attending company engagements
Who would miss out a company-sponsored Christmas party or worse, a summer beach party?! If you had one under your department, surely there must be very very good reason for this or it may simple mean good-bye.

My Advice:
If your were able catch this guy early on before he completes everything in the list above, find time to seriously talk to him and understand what needs to be done to save his job. Always remember that nobody wins when you lose your best guy, so give your best shot to spark his interest ones again.

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Jul 22, 2008

My Zen Art of Blogging

When I first started to write my first blog, it took me several months trying to convince myself to get it started. Trying to find good reasons why I should blog like everyone else. Many blog sites I found was just in it for the money like advertising or selling some kind of goods. I almost fell into that scheme and soon realized that it ain't enough motivation for me to sustain the habit of blogging.

One day I said to myself, “What the heck! I will just get it started anyway and write anything I want to write. Inspiration will just set in later - probably.” And so I blogged away. One post followed by another post and another post. Twenty-six posts after, it now became clear to me my real purpose for making a blog and why I should make it a life long habit.

In the course of my habit to blog, I finally found my motivation why I should carry on this habit and why I think everyone should care to blog as well. Here are my reasons:

  • Make your thinking process clear.
  • Improve public perception and reputation.
  • Makes you understand yourself better.
  • Serves as your personal guidebook.
  • Improves communication skills.
  • Clarifies personal goals.
  • Spurs creativity.
  • Blog to learn.
  • It's fun and very addictive.

These are my internal motivations why I continue to blog and why, I think, you should care and start your own as well. I know many bloggers out there would add some more to my list but surely it will just be more of the blog site features rather than real reasons.

My advice is, grab a blog account and just do it! Happy blogging!

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Jul 18, 2008

10 Reasons Why You Should Move to Cloud Computing.

1. High Availability: A 24x7x365 Operation.

Most 'cloud' data centers are designed to be highly redundant. This means that your data are 'mirrored' across several servers that are spread out on different locations. Such setup ensures that when one of the server or data center that host your data goes down, it can still be available on another server without noticing any significant downtime. Besides the basic infrastructure, it is also supported by a promise or guarantee to all its subscribers to maintain a 99.99% uptime. This guarantee is called Service Level Agreement (SLA).

2. Has Enormous Computing Resource

Cloud service providers have invested millions on bleeding-edge technologies such as computer servers and networking equipments. These hardware has tremendous computing power and speed that is dynamically allocated when your computing requirements suddenly peaks.

3. No Expensive Computers Required to Purchase.

Since cloud computing are network-based services and resides on remote hosts, no special hardware purchases are required besides a basic internet connection. This alone is a huge cost savings to subscribers.

4. No Maintenance Needed.

Data centers of cloud service providers are well-manned by highly skilled engineers to do maintenance work. They operate 24x7 and are always on a stand-by mode in case something critical happens. It is just like having a team of engineers in your work place to manage your data!

5. Portable

You can bring your work with you anywhere you go where internet connection is available. More and more people nowadays telecommute and do their business online without leaving the confines of their own homes – fascinating isn't it?

6. Very Scalable

This is one feature is a big welcome among SMEs. Service features and pricing scales up as your business grow thereby, paying only what you need instead of paying for a features that you seldom use.

7. High Quality Software Suite

Software applications that form part of computing service are always made with extremely high quality. These software are continually developed and maintained by an army of software engineers only to give you the best possible user experience.

8. No or Little IT Staff Needed

Cloud computing is a complete, all-in package IT service and that includes sparing you from hiring several IT engineers and programmers to maintain or develop in- house systems for you.

9. Well Supported

A 24x7 helpdesk support is available for you to ask assistance from at no extra cost.

10. It's Either Free or Very Affordable

There are many free services out there that you can take advantage to increase your company productivity and web presence. One free SaaS that has proven its reliability is Google Apps – a web-based collaboration platform that manages emails, calendar, and other office productivity suites.

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Jul 6, 2008

Software-as-a-Sevice : Opportunities and Challenges

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) or Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) as it's popularly called now, has been around since the early nineties presumably to deliver software services over the internet. Beginning on the first quarter of 2007, it has steadily increased popularity and acceptability across different business spectrum – from manufacturing, healthcare, and even banking industry.

What is SaaS?

SaaS is a remotely hosted computer programs (applications) provided to customers/subscribers across the internet. These applications range from a wide variety of purpose, from Customer Relationships Management(CRM), Content Management Software (CMS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to Electronic Health Record.

Common SaaS Infrastructure.

Besides just the software, it also carry an impressive support infrastructure as an added value service.

    • Scalable and redundant 24x7x365 data centers

    • Call center support

    • Security and security management

    • Service Level Agreement (SLA) Guarantee

    • Sufficient network and bandwidth capacities

    • Performance and availability commitments

    • Disaster Recovery Procedures

SaaS Opportunities: the business bottomlines.

Adopting the SaaS initiative takes your business on a level with huge enterprise as to management and service tooling. The bottomlines are as follows:

1. Either free or low-cost.

There are many SaaS offerings that are either free or has scalable payment scheme meaning, you only pay as you use them on a fixed term - usually on an annual. The features you get also increases as your business grows.

2. No required maintenance. In house IT not required.

In a traditional setup, an IT staff is required to maintain the software purchased. Maintenance may be in the form of security patches, upgrades, and bug-fixes. In a SaaS setup, all hardware and software maintenance are completely managed by the SaaS provider, thus freeing your business from additional unwanted costs.

3. High availability of service – mostly guarantees 99.99% uptime.

SaaS providers spent billions of dollars building advanced data centers that are spread across the globe to provide high redundancy and reliability on the services.

These data centers is where they host SaaS and guarantees 99.99% uptime. This means they guarantee 24x7x365 availability of your application.

4. High quality of software service.

Almost all SaaS come in a very rich and complete features.

5. Freedom of Choice

There are literally thousands of SaaS offerings on the internet and you are free to choose the service that is right for you. On the other hand, you can also move your existing SaaS to another whenever you wish. Most SaaS providers provide a free migration tool so you can easily switch your data from one service to another.

6. Focus on core competency.

Since much of the work implementing SaaS are at the hands of the provider, your business can now save on resources (manpower and financial) and focus more on core competencies.

SaaS Challenges:

1. Security

Since corporate data will be hosted offsite, and despite saas guarantee on privacy; many are still very skeptical on adopting it. My personal point of view is, SaaS providers are very good on what they do and that, they can secure and provide better services on managing your data than we do – period.

2. Offline Connectivity

Another front where SaaS is trying to prove itself is its offline connectivity to remote services. Not all SaaS providers can let you connect to your subscribed services offline. Google is leading the pack on offline connectivity with its Google Gears project. Google Docs, Spreadsheets and News Reader are some of its applications that can be managed offline.

3. Speed

Speed is somewhat subjective and relative from the end-users point of view. In many developed countries like the U.S., access to these SaaS are never really an issue. If you live in a country where internet connection is somewhat slow or flaky, this can pose a serious problem when considering to choose SaaS.

SaaS Starting Point

The starting point may again vary from one company to another. It depends on which 'in-house' applications that's taking too much of your company's resources that you wish to address first. If you manage a small or medium size business, a school or any form of organization; the best place to start is Google Apps (GA). It's a free SaaS that boasts tremendous usability and reliability features. You can also try using Salesforce CRM for your sales team as well.

Google Apps can also be extended through it's Google Apps Engine so you can take advantage of the current collaboration features and its enormous 'cloud' computing resources.


SaaS clearly provides more opportunities and far outweighs its temporary limitations. The trend in computing now is inevitably towards that direction and any business will surely benefit from its cost-effective solution than the traditional practice of hosting and maintaining in-house applications.

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Jul 3, 2008

Hiring People: Choosing between skills and attitude.

Hiring the right IT worker is one of the most critical job an IT manager faces on a regular basis. In most cases, we look into the candidate's skill sets first to see if it fits our requirements, followed by work experience and lastly, the character or attitude. When I started out as a new IT manager, I obviously wanted to hire the best people so, I dug deep and looked very closely into their skills and work experience. The more skillful and experienced a candidate become, the more likely he gets hired. Attitude is often times overlooked.

This method of qualifying a candidate has been a wide practice among many companies (mine included) over a long period and noticeably, it coincided with my also long unsuccessful stint of selecting a potential candidate. After several years of interviewing a vast mix of candidates and hiring experience, I finally came up with a conclusion that there are only two types of candidates: 1) Candidates that have skills and 2) Candidates that have the right attitude.

Candidates that have skills - These come in moderate abundance and competition is very rigid. They are usually the more confident types and more expensive ones as well. They are very employable and understandably so, you would most likely hire them on your team. We tend think that these are the people that can get the job done every time .

Candidates that have attitude
– These come very few and often times overlooked by many employers. These candidates have somewhat 'weak' skills but have the right attitude towards work. They are dedicated, humble, excited and very willing to learn new things.

As a CTO, I have always hired countless candidates with high skills and experience so I can comfortably fall back to my usual task and let the new guy handle the job. Despite the high pay and benefits, I always end up losing them due to varied attitude problems. Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to experiment on hiring the second type of candidate – the ones with attitude.

The second type of candidate takes me out of my comfort zone to train and nurture . They are always willing to accept new challenges and finds fun in solving them. Learning is their way of life and are always excited to learn new things. This type of individual struck me at first for I haven't had that type of staff before – very enthusiastic, personable and certainly dedicated. This candidate will surely go along way.

In conclusion, skills are short-term and can easily fade in time. No one gets remembered for long on skills alone but attitude does. Skill is something that can be trained, learned and developed. Attitude isn't. Attitude on the other hand is molded by an individual's social experiences and outlook. Attitude has more value that a ton of gold. So when hiring a new set of people, dare to look and hire the second candidate. You will be surely amazed at what he can do for you can for your

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Jul 2, 2008

Better by Design - A User Interface Heuristics

Here are some simple rule-of-thumb when designing user interfaces for your projects. Try to adhere to this simple yet practical approach and make it work for you to make your project a success!

  1. Usefulness:
    • Upon developing a product, the specifications must be almost entirely centered around what people need and not what you think is hip or advanced. The focus should be on people's needs and what makes them more productive and well-informed once they start using your product.
  2. Fast:
    • Nothing is more valuable to anyone than the end-user's time. It should get to their destination fast. This means cutting down on load times and page clicks whenever possible. Every millisecond counts so cut all the unwanted 'fat' out!
  3. Simple:
    • "True refinement seeks simplicity" -Bruce Lee. Things of beauty always come from simple things. Use natural colors and simple components so it can be readily accepted by end-users. Proper selection of icons and images are included as well. Use minimalist approach whenever possible.
  1. Clean/Organized:
    • Avoid information clutter. Display only information that are most used. Tuck away those that aren't. Provide an easy way where users can easily find what they are looking for.
  1. Personable:
    • Allow customization. Create an environment where users can be comfortable on the choices of information and features they want. Personalization must be limited and must not get in the way of the principles of simplicity.
  1. Consistent:
    • Design and layout must be uniform all throughout the application that will make user increasingly familiar as they use the application.
  2. Unique:
    • Make a design that is identifiable to you. An interface design that reflects the type and culture of end-users. This creates your brand uniquely identifiable among other applications in the market.

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