Patient Apologies in EMS

When something goes wrong during an ambulance transport, sometimes the most important thing to do is to apologize to your patient. Join Matthew Streger, Esq. of Keavney Streger for a brief overview of the Dos and Don’ts of saying, “I’m sorry.”

Member Savings: Rugged Notebooks & More from TKK Electronics

Savvik Savings for Members

savvik-logo-transparent_burnedAAA members have free access to amazing bargains on everything from computers to PPE to ambulances through Savvik Buying Group. Check out the deal below, or contact Savvik’s friendly staff for assistance!

Not yet an AAA member? Join today to unlock access to Savvik deals, as well as all of membership’s other great HR, operations, and consulting benefits.

AAA members save 15% off MSRP on all products available from TKK. Additional discounts are available based on volume and/or opportunity.  Please contact your TKK Electronics sales rep for more information—don’t forget to mention “Savvik”!

Example Bid Units from the Savvik TKK Contract

tkk-electronics-b300-laptop
Getac
B300 Fully Rugged Laptop

Configuration Part #: BWJ117EMS $3,385.00

Intel i5-4300M 2.6GHz Processor, 3MB Cache 13.3” 1400 NITs QuadraClear™  sunlight readable touchscreen 4GB DDR3 RAM 500GB Hard Drive Mechanical Backlight Keyboard SuperMulti DVD 802.11ac WiFi Bluetooth PCMCIA Type II+Express Card 54/34, Smart Card eSATA/USB 3.0 (1x USB + 2x eSATA/USB) Low Temp -29C Fingerprint Reader TPM 1.2 MIL-STD 810G and IP65 certified WIN7 Pro 64-bit OS (NO RF Pass-Thru) 5 Year bumper-to-bumper warranty standard

Getac Fully Rugged Tablettkk-electronics-tablet

Configuration Part #: FLA103EMS $1,965.00

Intel i5-4300U 1.9GHz Processor, 3MB Cache 11.6″ – 800 NITs Touchscreen (Non-Digitizer) 4GB DDR3 RAM 128GB SSD Dual batteries 5MP camera 802.11AC Wireless Bluetooth   -21C cold weather operable MIL-STD 810G and IP65 certified WIN7 64-bit Pro No DVD or CD Drive 3 Year Bumper to Bumper Warranty

Contact Information

Mike Kirsch
Toll Free: 1-888-968-6844 ext. 407
Direct Phone: 414-255-0482
mike@tkkelectronics.com
Don’t forget to mention “Savvik”!

Contract Details

Savvik Vendor Page
Payment Terms:  Net 30 days
Current Contract Ends: May 23, 2017
Competitive Bid Award Detail Sheet:  Savvik Bid Award #2014-0001
Product/Service: Information Technology – Rugged Computers and Electronic Equipment
Service area:  United States, Canada and International
Available to:  All current Savvik and AAA members

Savvik Buying Group: ZOLL AED Giveaway

Savvik Buying GroupAAA members have access to deep discounts on products ranging from staplers to medical supplies to ambulances through the Savvik Buying Group. Featured vendors include ZOLL, Henry Schein, Grainger, 5.11 Tactical, Safetech Solutions, and many more.

This week, ZOLL and Savvik are giving away 10 AEDs. No purchase necessary, just complete their brief survey for a chance to win!

Enter to Win an AED

What is Reddit? (And Why EMS Leaders Should Care)

If you were asked to name the top 10 most popular websites in the United States today, I’m willing to bet that you could guess most of them: they are, in descending order of Alexa page view rankings, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Twitter, Reddit, Ebay, and LinkedIn.

“Wait,” you may be asking, “what is ‘Reddit,’ and how can it be in the top 10 most popular American websites if I’ve never even heard of it?”

As a self-appointed cultural ambassador for the millennial-heavy EMS workforce, I’d love to give you a basic introduction. Seasoned Redditors, feel free to skip this post. But those new to Reddit, or even social media in general, please hang in there—it is increasingly important for ambulance executives of all age groups and technology skill levels to “get” what is going on in influential online communities.

What is Reddit?

Reddit describes itself as “the front page of the internet.” What does that mean?

Reddit (usually styled lowercase as “reddit,” but I’m capping for clarity) is an online community platform allowing users to anonymously share, comment, and vote on links, images, personal stories and more in topic-specific “subreddits.” A user’s self-selected subreddits are merged into a personalized feed, which is often very different than the generic Reddit Front Page generated from the posts voted best across the whole site.

Wildly popular with millennials, Reddit is one of the most engaged and active digital communities in history. Reddit communities’ collective taste-making influence drives modern pop culture and politics in unprecedented ways, and the popularity and sway of the site is only growing.

I am sticking mostly to practicalities in this post, but highly recommend reading a little bit about the history of Reddit (2014 Mashable article, 2016 WSJ CEO interview), if you have a moment. The Wikipedia entry also gives a great overview.

Why should EMS leaders care?

Large swaths of your staff are routinely participating in Reddit communities, likely many times per week. For all that we hear about generational conflict in EMS organizations, wouldn’t it be great to gain some firsthand insight into the candid thoughts of EMTs and Paramedics across the country? Of course this only works if leaders approach Reddit (and the subs and threads of varying merit within) with an open mind—because of its inherently populist and anonymous nature, there is an ever-changing mix of valuable and abhorrent content that sometimes takes a little time to sort through.

Additionally, more and more people are electing to get their news, pop culture, and entertainment first through Reddit or other social media, instead of mainstream news sources. EMS leaders relying solely on information from TV newscasts or even the websites of traditional print journalism outlets are missing the backchannel dialogue and meta commentary that is shaping the way our industry is perceived.

Can Reddit participation help with EMS advocacy?

Many ambulance execs are unfamiliar with the fact that top politicians as diverse as President Obama and Gary Johnson choose to interact directly with Redditors, personally fielding user questions in the r/IamA sub. Reddit’s political commentary subs are also famed for the sometimes prescient, sometimes wacky user analysis of current affairs and election hoopla. Start with r/politics, the largest sub, to get a feel for the Reddit politosphere, then find your niche in some of the more targeted subs below. Not seeing your interest? Search the site for hundreds of other options ranging from radical to reactionary—or start your own.

How can I get started on Reddit?

We all have that kooky relative who doesn’t “get” Facebook, and so posts inappropriate rants or the equivalent of text voice mails on our walls. Don’t be “that guy” (or gal) on Reddit—although most people are nice, not everyone is patient, and some users may report your post to moderators for removal. Also, it is just good manners to follow the norms of any community in which you participate, be it face-to-face or online. Here are some easy steps to ensure that you become a valued contributor to the Reddit community.

  1. Create an account. Note: Do not use a variation of your real name or company name in your username. This is not Facebook, or even Twitter. It is crucial that unless you are a world leader (u/PresidentObama), celebrity (u/GovSchwarzenegger, u/williamshatner), or other very public figure (u/thisisbillgates, u/ColChrisHadfield) that you keep your personal information as private as possible for your own safety.
  2. Curate your subs.
    • Login to reddit, then visit your subscription page to remove yourself from any default subs that don’t interest you. For me, this meant immediately axing everything related to sports (sorry, I mean, “Go Sox!“).
    • Next, find and subscribe to many subs that interest you. There are thousands of subreddits for everything from r/cooking to r/gardening to r/motorcyles to r/parenting to r/books, and that is just scratching the surface. Typically large, general-interest subs will list more niche subs in their sidebars to make them easy to find.
  3. Lurk and get used to voting. Read your feed, or peruse a specific sub in-depth, upvoting posts and comments based on quality, not your level of agreement with the poster’s opinion. Typically, it is best to lurk (read without posting) for a month or two before you leap into the fray to get a sense for how each community interacts.
  4. Start posting and commenting. Now that you have some context for the types of conversations going on in your favorite subs, you’re ready to start submitting new posts and commenting on the posts of others, in addition to voting. It is really important to read Reddit’s content rules and Reddiquette guidelines, as well as the sidebar rules for your particular sub, before posting. Also, it is pretty much universally forbidden to share with the group any personally identifying information, even about yourself. Don’t get overwhelmed—most of the rules are common sense, and the time investment will pay off when you experience the thrill of sharing ideas and news with like-minded people from around the world.

Are there EMS-specific subs?

There are many EMS-focused subreddits, ranging from the (mostly) serious to the ridiculous. Here are just a few:

  • r/EMS – by far the largest, with 21k subscribers as of today. Diverse mix of jokes, personal stories, protocol questions, opinions on employers, and more.
  • r/RealEMS (2k subscribers) and r/TalesFromEMS aka r/TFEMS (3k subscribers) smaller subs focused on the perceived “real” side of EMS.
  • r/911Dispatchers – (2k subscribers) – Sub targeting dispatch professionals.
  • r/EMScringepics, r/LookImAFireFighter, etc – smaller subreddits where some popular EMS sartorial choices are mocked. Very definitely Not Nice, but may strike your funny bone if you have a certain sense of humor.
  • r/firefighting (11k subscribers) – sub serving firefighters, but often touches on EMS topics

Hint: Sort by “TOP” then choose a timeframe to catch up on the best (or at least most popular) posts in a particular sub.

My service is mentioned on Reddit in a negative manner. Should I respond?

If someone posts something negative on Reddit (or Facebook, or Twitter, etc, etc) about the organization to which you’ve dedicated so much time and love, it can be very tempting to fire off your side of the story in response. However, it is almost always inadvisable to go in “guns blazing” on an anonymous message board, particularly if you aren’t very familiar with the norms for the specific sub in which you would respond.

If you really feel you must set the record straight, I suggest asking three other sensible Redditors and your attorney to review before posting, to make sure that you don’t accidentally open your organization up to a lawsuit or media nightmare. You may also want to create a separate “throwaway” username before replying, as anything you’ve previously commented or posted under your usual username is publicly visible. No matter how innocuous your past activity may be, it can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion (see: Ken Bone Reddit controversy).

My service is mentioned on Reddit in a positive manner. Should I respond?

In this case, it is a hard maybe. The tricky thing is that you want your organization to avoid being perceived as “Big Brother,” particularly in response to anything (good or bad) that might have been posted by one of your own employees. Given Reddit’s higher level focus on anonymity than, say, Facebook, even a “thanks so much, so glad to be your favorite employer!” reply can seem creepy or intrusive, depending on context. It may be best to just privately enjoy the knowledge that thousands are reading your unsolicited praises (and likely looking for job openings at your service).

If there are no HIPAA or human resources concerns involved, you can enlist the help of seasoned Redditors in crafting a response that is right in tone for your service.

Can I market my ambulance service on Reddit?

Commercial self-promotion of any kind is very much frowned upon by the Reddit community. Viral marketing, or any post planting or vote manipulation that can be perceived as viral marketing, even more so. For a glimpse at the level of energy around this issue, please see r/HailCorporate, or consider the vitriol directed at users who create alternate “sockpuppet” accounts to upvote their own posts. Any kind of advertising outside of appropriate subs that specifically allow it (or actual Reddit ads) is risky at best, and may completely backfire.

Can I post job listings to Reddit?

Read the sidebar rules of the subreddit you’re considering posting in to see if commercial offers are permitted (for example, counter-intuitively, r/jobs forbids job postings). Your may wish to consider posting to one of the subs dedicated to job seekers, including r/jobopenings, r/youngjobs, and r/jobbit, or your closest local job sub.

Another thing to consider is buying an ad on the Reddit site, then running it in EMS-specific subs, particularly if you’re open to paying relocation for medics from other areas, or if you are willing to train individuals coming from other industries.

Note: recruitment is not yet a primary Reddit focus, so you may or may not have much luck at this point. However, as  more people join Reddit and rely on it new and different ways, this is likely to change.

Glossary

  • Default sub—Default subreddits are subs considered to have the right mix of popularity and quality to be automatically included in new users’ subreddit subscriptions. You can remove default subreddits that you are not interested in following on your subscription page after you create a login.
  • KarmaWhen a post or comment is submitted, other users can vote it up or down. “Karma,” divided into post karma and comment karma, is a loose indicator of the quality of a thread. You can track your own karma on your profile page, but it has no monetary or other value. In theory, voting is supposed to be based on the quality and relevance of the post or comment, but this doesn’t always play out perfectly. Some users have high overall karma scores because they post very relevant articles or incredibly insightful posts, others because they draw sketches or write poems related to posts, and still others because they are known for submitting posts or comments that the community finds funny.
  • NSFL—an initialism for “Not Safe for Life.” This is used in the title of a post to indicate offensive content that shows or makes reference to gore, death, serious injury, the abuse of animals or people, etc. I would very strongly suggest that even the most hardened EMS folks stay away from most of these posts and the comments sections about them—NSFL posts do not bring out the best in humanity.
  • NSFW—an initialism for “Not Safe for Work.” This is used in the title of a post to potentially sensitive content involving any kind of nudity or sex. Depending on context and the subreddit in which it is posted, this flag can be used for posts covering everything from a news photo of the Janet Jackson Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction to actual pornography. Use your best judgment.
  • OP—like most other internet forums, on Reddit “OP” refers to “original poster,” and is a generic term used in comments to refer to the creator of the thread you’re currently reading.
  • MemeMost folks have probably heard of memes (pron. “meems”, not “meh-mehs,” “me-mes,” etc), or may even have shared some around the office or on Facebook. Reddit has a variety of inside jokes and memes specific to the community. If someone replies to a post with something that seems like a total non-sequitur, but others seem to find it funny, you may want to Google for inside jokes or check Know Your Meme for answers. Be forewarned: while some are funny or insightful, many memes and Reddit inside jokes are crass, prejudiced, or just stupid.
  • Reddiquette—Reddit’s own set of community manners. Read it here before posting!
  • Sub / Subreddit—Although originally not officially recognized, “sub” or “subreddit” are now almost universally used terms refers to self-moderated community centered around a particular topic. Here are just a few examples of the tens of thousands of subs you can choose to subscribe to, depending on your interests.

 

Have questions about Reddiquette or other social media platforms? Please don’t hesitate to reach out at ariordan@ambulance.org. Please feel free to share your own tips in the comments section below. We would love to hear about your ambulance service’s online successes and foibles.

Cataldo Ambulance’s Ron Quaranto on Mobile Integrated Health

As a current mobile integrated health provider, we recognize the values of an MIH program which most importantly provides quality patient care to those in need, often in the comfort of their own homes. This is often done under the direction of the patient’s primary care physician in conjunction with the patient’s healthcare team. This allows for the patient to maintain their quality of life while receiving the medical attention they need—and ultimately reducing the healthcare expenses of hospitalization.

Ron Quaranto
COO, Cataldo Ambulance Service

CMS Medicare Ambulance Transports Booklet — Revised

CMS has released a revised Medicare Ambulance Transports Booklet. To order a hard copy, visit CMS’ Learning Management and Product Ordering System. Learn about:

  • Ground and air ambulance providers and suppliers, vehicles, and personnel requirements
  • Documentation requirements
  • Coverage, billing, and payments
  • Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage

 

 

Sept 28 Webinar: Fallon Ambulance on Alternative Destinations

Join Patrick “Sean” Tyler, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fallon Ambulance Service, on September 28 for Alternative Pathways to Care: The Massachusetts Experience.

Alternative Pathways to Care: The Massachusetts Experience
Speaker: P. Sean Tyler, Fallon Ambulance
September 28 at 2:00 PM ET
$99 for Members | $199 for non-Members
REGISTER NOW►

EMS systems around the US have historically been incentivized by Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), private insurers and other payers to transport all patients encountered through accessing 911 emergency call systems, to an acute care facility emergency department (ED). The reimbursement model for ambulance services in place currently only provides payment for transport of any patient to a state licensed ED according to CMS. The changing healthcare system in the US, through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 2010, looks to healthcare systems and contractors to provide healthcare at a lower cost. CMS is prescribed, as part of the ACA, to test innovative delivery models to reduce program expenditures…while preserving or enhancing quality of care furnished to individuals.”

This session will review the concepts and programs of implementing a modified system of care whereas trained EMS providers, under the supervision of a physician Medical Director, can transport patients experiencing a psychiatric emergency or require drug abuse services to a destination other than the acute care emergency department. This session also will review existing research papers, conclusions and data available for several existing programs for EMS utilization of permissive alternative destination for behavioral and mental health patients and patients requiring services for drug or alcohol use, in the absence of any acute medical condition.

Savvik: Beat the EpiPen (Epinephrine) Price Surge!

Savvik Buying GroupYou may have seen in the American Ambulance Association’s Digest newsletter that many ambulance services are facing a 400% price increase in the price of  EpiPen epinephrine injections. AAA members are beating the surge through AAA’s partnership with the Savvik Buying Group (formerly the North Central EMS Cooperative). Members, save big on Epi-Pen and Epi-Pen Jr today!

Epinephrine Auto-Inject Adult

0.3MG 2/Pk
Item# 2771282
Savvik Price for AAA Members: $360.32
Compare at : $689.00—Save 47%

Order Now

New to Savvik? Get linked to AAA’s Savvik account, FREE! No volume commitment, just buy what you need.
Already signed up with Savvik?  Order now, or call your Henry Schein sales rep

Epinephrine Auto-Inject Jr

0.15MG 2/Pk
Item# 2771281
Savvik Price for AAA Members: $360.32
Compare at : $689.00—Save 47%

Order Now

New to Savvik? Get linked to AAA’s Savvik account, FREE! No volume commitment, just buy what you need.
Already signed up with Savvik?  Order now, or call your Henry Schein sales rep

 

AAA Members, need help establishing a Savvik account? Call 1-888-603-4426, or email office@savvik.org.

Not yet an AAA member? Join today to gain access to Savvik savings, plus many more benefits to keep your ambulance service running!

 

Save big on ZOLL with Savvik!

Use the Savvik Buying Group discount included with your AAA membership to save on the ZOLL products you are already buying. Simply ask your ZOLL sales representative to apply the Savvik contract rates to your next purchase. That’s it!

AAA’s ZOLL discount program through Savvik Buying Group can save you BIG!

Automated External Defibrillators, Related Equipment, Accessories & Product Upgrades

  • 32% discount on AED Plus defibrillators
  • 32% discount on AED Pro defibrillators
  • 25% discount on all accessories and disposables
  • 25% discount on product upgrades
  • Multiple Unit Sales: Additional discounts available for 2 or more units in a single purchase order

ZOLL_logoALS Monitors / Defibrillators and Automated CPR Devices Related Equipment, Accessories & Product Upgrades

  • 2% discount on AutoPulse
  • 18% discount on X Series defibrillators and related accessories
  • 18% discount on Propaq MD defibrillators and related accessories
  • 25% discount on M Series & E Series related accessories and disposables
  • Multiple Unit Sales: Additional discounts available for 2 or more units in a single purchase order

Ask your ZOLL rep to use the AAA’s Savvik Buying Group contract to receive these savings. It’s that easy!

Questions? Contact office@savvik.org to learn more, or for full pricing information.

Savvik Discount on Physio-Control

The American Ambulance Association is pleased to announce that AAA members can now save significantly on Physio-Control products through the Savvik Buying Group.

Through Savvik’s partnership with Vizient (formally Novation), the largest acute care GPO in the United States, AAA members now have access to this discounted contract on AED’s, Monitors, and Lucas devices and accessories.

Visit the Savvik site today or contact office@savvik.org for details!

AUCTION: TransCare Ambulance Service Certificates

The Bankruptcy Trustee of Transcare Corporation, et al. is selling seven (7) Ambulance Service Certificates issued by the New York State Department of Health covering New York City, Hudson Valley and Long Island at public auction, free and clear of any and all claims.

This presents an unparalleled opportunity to serve both NYC EMS and many of the largest and most respected health care providers in the area covering nearly 14 million residents and millions of commuters and tourists.

The Service Certificates cover the following counties:

  • Bronx
  • Kings
  • New York
  • Queens
  • Richmond
  • Nassau
  • Suffolk
  • Westchester
  • Rockland
  • Orange
  • Ulster
  • Sullivan
  • Dutchess
  • Putnam
  • Delaware

Bid on one or more of the service certificates!

Auction sale to be held on:

June 28, 2016 at 2:00 P.M.
United States Bankruptcy Court
Room 723
One Bowling Green
New York, New York 10004

Offers to purchase must be made by twelve o’clock noon on June 27, 2016 and are required to comply with prescribed Sale Terms as outlined in the Sale Order filed in connection with the TransCare Corporation, et al. bankruptcy proceeding which is available upon request by contacting:

Salvatore LaMonica, as Chapter 7 Trustee
c/o LaMonica Herbst & Maniscalco, LLP
3305 Jerusalem Avenue
Wantagh, New York 11793
Telephone:  (516) 826-6500
sl@lhmlawfirm.com

or

Jonathan N. Helfat, Esq.
c/o Otterbourg P.C.
230 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10169
Telephone:  (212) 661-9100
jhelfat@otterbourg.com

“Save Lives, Not Seconds” member editorial

Don’t miss the fantastic member-written editorial, Save lives, not seconds, in Wednesday’s Boston Globe. Submitted by Cataldo Ambulance’s Tom Kimball, it gets to the heart of many issues with using response times as the only performance metric. (Emphasis below is ours.)

Many cities and towns in Massachusetts still judge the performance of their ambulance services using metrics like response times, which can miss the point. An additional two minutes waiting for an ambulance will rarely make a difference for a trauma patient facing emergency surgery that may take hours.

Patient outcome is a more valuable measure of whether a medical service is doing right by people. In many areas of health care these days, it is the gold standard, a key factor in determining how much insurance companies pay service providers. Changing the terms of ambulance companies’ contracts to make good patient outcomes the goal could greatly improve the quality of medical care across the state — and save lives.

Read the full editorial over at the Boston Globe. 

Coming soon for AAA members: Employee Background Screening

Attention AAA members! The American Ambulance Association is teaming up with Sterling Backcheck, the country’s largest and best-respected employee background screening company. AAA members receive deeply discounted pricing, as all background checks for AAA members are treated as one “client.”

Contact Peter.Mulherin@sterlingbackcheck.com for a fast free evaluation today!

(Learn more about the Sterling Backcheck difference.)

Credit Card Processing: Interchange Plus vs. Tiered Pricing

 

When it comes down to the pricing structures offered by different credit card payment processors, how do you determine which is best for your ambulance service? The American Ambulance Association has teamed up with Payline Data to kick confusion to the curb.

Tiered Pricing Structure

Tiered pricing is a rate structure in which several hundred different processing rates are packaged into tiers that represent three different possible rates. Most providers package the rates into three groups with varying markups. Unfortunately, there is no regulation behind how merchant account providers must package their tiers, which prevents merchants from knowing exactly how much a given provider is making on each transaction. Despite the prevalence of tiered pricing in the credit card processing industry, a more competitive and transparent pricing model is available in the form of Interchange-plus pricing.

Interchange-Plus Pricing

Interchange-Plus pricing is the most transparent pricing model and it’s what Payline offers to all AAA members. This model for pricing puts the power in your hands by giving you a straightforward and clear explanation of charges. Interchange describes the rates that come directly from the card networks. No merchant or processing company has any control over these rates. Every merchant pays interchange, which varies based on the type of card your customer is using. The plus is what Payline is charging you for our ​service. It is our​ profit and is shown in terms of a small percentage markup and a minimal transaction cost.

The best-fit pricing structure is one that is designed to help your business thrive. To hear more about our exclusive pricing option for AAA members, call our friendly Payline representative for a free, no-obligation quote today.

Payline DataContact

Steve Marshall
Director of Corporate Partnerships
smarshall@paylinedata.com
(800) 284-7401

Your membership is important to us–let us know what you think of your Payline experience!

Savvik: New Vendor Buying Programs!

Check out the new contracts and specials from Savvik Buying Group! Savvik, formerly the North Central EMS Corporation (NCEMSC), was founded in 1997 as a nonprofit coop that negotiates best prices on millions of items ranging from fully-loaded ambulances to stretchers to office supplies to boots for individual employees.

Get started today, with great deals like these!

 

Shop Savvik Now

Share With Your Team: Taking Care of You

Taking care of yourself means paying attention to both your physical and your emotional needs. It means eating nutritious foods, getting enough exercise and sleep, and carving out time for activities you enjoy and people you care about. Here are a few tips and ideas to help you take better care of yourself.

  • Eat a healthy diet. There’s no question that the foods we eat affect how we feel and look. You don’t have to follow a strict diet, but it‘s important to follow a healthy diet. A nutritious, well-balanced diet gives you energy, protects against disease, and helps you maintain a healthy weight.One easy rule to follow is what some experts refer to as the “80/20 rule”: If 80 percent of what you eat is healthy — with a nutritious mix of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — then you can let yourself eat what you want for the other 20 percent.
  • Avoid multitasking at mealtimes. If you always watch television at meals or eat on the run a lot, you may not realize how much you are eating. If you’re on the go a lot, keep healthy snacks in the car and eat a little while you’re out, then a little more once you get home. Avoid eating big meals just before going to bed.
  • Get exercise. People who exercise even moderately have much lower rates of heart disease and other medical problems, and regular exercise helps to reduce stress. But exercise is often the first thing to go when schedules get busy or during difficult times. Experts recommend that adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise that makes you breathe harder on all or most days of the week.
  • Turn family time into exercise time. Try exploring a local park, going for a hike or bike ride, or just walking around the block with your family instead of going to the movies or shopping.
  • Stretch for just a minute or two when you wake up each day. In addition to helping you ease into your day, a brief stretching routine can restore or build flexibility and energize your body.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep experts say most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to be their best.  Sleep difficulties can take a toll on your health and well-being, especially if they persist. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, people who are sleep-deprived are more likely to experience poor concentration and irritability, have accidents, and even suffer from depression.
  • Establish a bedtime routine. Even adults need a bedtime routine. By adopting a routine and then sticking with it, you can train your mind and body to feel relaxed and ready to fall asleep when you start the routine. A bedtime routine can be as simple as listening to soft music, drinking a cup of herbal tea, or taking a bath and then turning out the lights at the same time every night. If you watch TV before bed, try not to watch programs that are violent or make you think too much, as it may then be difficult to turn off your brain.
  • Learn some relaxation techniques. Deep breathing and meditation are two of the most widely used relaxation techniques. To do deep breathing, try inhaling as you count to five slowly, and exhaling as you reverse the count. It may also help to relax each part of their body in succession, starting with the right foot, right leg, right shoulder, right hand, and so on, back down the left side.
  • Express your emotions. Talking with a trusted friend or writing in a journal can help you release strong feelings instead of keeping them bottled up, which can lead to more stress.
  • Do things that make you feel good. Whether it’s going to a movie, spending time with a relative or friend, or going for a walk, it’s important that you schedule time to do things that you enjoy and make you feel good so that you can cope with the pressures that cause you stress.

Want more ideas? Visit www.lifeworks.com (username: theaaa; password: lifeworks) and explore our wide range of wellbeing resources, from a new podcast, Losing Weight Together! to articles like Taking Care of Yourself, and Getting Past Obstacles to Personal Change. You can also practice some of the guided exercises in our new Mindfulness Toolkit to help reduce stress and improve focus and well-being.

Call LifeWorks at 888-267-8126 or visit www.lifeworks.com (username: theaaa; password: lifeworks). 

Choosing a Credit Card Processor for Your Ambulance Service

In the fast-paced life of an American Ambulance Association member, taking the time to evaluate credit card processing needs for can feel like a daunting task.  The idea alone is enough to make some emergency vehicle businesses stick with the same old merchant processor when, unbeknownst to them, they are likely losing out on value added services and low rates that could help their business grow. Here are a few tips for choosing a credit card processor for your organization that will enhance your business operations:

  • Understand Credit Card Processing 101

    Credit card processing can seem like a complicated industry, and while it’s true that payments aren’t always black and white, a quality payment processor will help you understand the gray area. Credit card processing is essentially the backend work that occurs every time your business runs a credit or debit card transaction. The first part of the transaction is known as authorization (getting approval from the bank for the transaction) and the second part is settlement (processing of the actual sale, in which funds are transferred from the issuing bank to the merchant account). What it boils down to is this: payment processing is the expansion of your commerce reach as a business, and having one is necessary to optimize your business’s growth. (MORE: Read AAA’s EMS Card Payment Processing Guide)

  • Make sure your processor is advocating for you and your business

    It’s no secret that finding a best-fit business solution for your business takes time and careful consideration. It’s likely that there are many players are involved in helping you make business decisions, so it’s important to have a merchant advocate when selecting a payment processor. A quality payment processor for your business will provide you with an analysis of your recent processing statements and pinpoint where you might be able to cut costs. Money saved on processing can in turn be invested into growing your business and expanding your client reach.

  • Find a processor with cutting-edge solutions

    Any business that accesses debit and credit cards for payment is equally affected by the threat of fraud. A credit card processor that is truly beneficial to your business will seek out the right value added services that can assist you in the fight against fraud. With the new EMV chip cards that are being circulated, it’s important to consider the need for a terminal that can accept all types of cards. Other services offered by the best processors include ACH processing, USB readers, mobile readers, and cloud-based solutions. As commerce rapidly adapts to today’s merchant and consumer needs, your business needs a processor that will offer these solutions and more.

Sticking with a processor that isn’t providing you with the support your business needs isn’t worth your time. To learn more about credit card processing solutions that can help your business grow, contact Steve Marshall at Payline.

Contact us today via email or by phone (800) 284-7401 and we would be glad to run a statement analysis to show you how you can save money and cut costs on processing fees for the betterment and growth of your business.