Alert Solutions Blog

Nina Russo

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Alert Solutions Named to Inc. 500|5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, Sep 02, 2014 @ 13:09 PM

Alert Solutions is excited to announce it has been named to Inc. Magazine’s 500|5000 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America.

This is the first time we’ve been recognized, posting 121% growth over three years and placing us at number 2,972 of 5,000. We’ve also been named amongst the top 10 Rhode Island-based companies, within the likes of Alex and Ani and Carousel Industries.AlertSolutionsInc5000

“Alert Solutions is thrilled to be a part of this prestigious list,” stated Dave Baeder, our president and CEO. “This recognition is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our entire team in delivering the highest quality products, services and customer support.”

The Inc. 5000 rankings are based on revenue growth between 2010 and 2013. To qualify, organizations must be privately-held, for profit, independently owned, and based in the U.S., with minimum 2013 revenue of $2 million. This was the 33rd annual Inc. 500|5000 and the most competitive crop in the magazine’s history.

Click here to read the rest of our press release.

Topics: Medical, power announcement, powerschool, education

Use Automated Reminders to Boost Patient Communication at Your Medical Practice

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:08 AM

According to the Institute of Medicine, up to 98,000 patients die each year because of clinical communication failure.

From critical test results to follow-up notifications and appointment reminders, medical offices should always provide excellent patient communication.  This not only benefits the patient, but will also benefits the medical practice by increasing patient satisfaction and decreasing the potential for malpractice.

Automated notifications can be delivered via patients’ preferred communication methods including email, voice and SMS text messaging. This better ensures patients are receiving the message quickly and reliably and allows for medical offices to confirm delivery through real-time reporting.doctorpatientmedication-1

Other uses for these automated reminders include:

Medical offices should be aware, the greater patient communication there is, the greater patient retention they will experience. Through increased patient retention and cost reduction from benefits such as decreased missed appointments, decreased medical non-adherence and other issues facing the healthcare industry, medical offices can drastically increase their bottom line with automated notifications.

To learn about improving patient communication in your medical practice with automated reminders, download our brochure!

Alert Solutions' Patient Communication Suite Download Our Brochure!

Topics: appointment reminders, Medical, patient communication, patient retention

K-12 School Districts Explore a Four-Day Week to Reduce Absenteeism

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:08 PM

K-12 schools across the US have been developing new ways to go about their school year. One option that has been recently explored by several school districts is the four-day week.

This cuts the week for students from a five-day week to a four-day week. Copan Public Schools in northeastern Oklahoma, is one school pursuing this new structure in order to attract teachers and reducing absenteeism.

“We realized there were a lot of positive outcomes from the four-day week,” Superintendent Rick Ruckman of Copan Public Schools says. “If we didn’t have activity absences on Fridays because we didn’t have class on Fridays, it would help those kids be involved in any activities they wanted. So far, it’s been great.”

The benefits of a four-day school week may include:attendnace

Reducing Absenteeism: Many students who participate in athletics or other extracurriculars use up their allotted absences early in the year for tournaments and competitions that occur on Fridays. Parents can also use the extra day off for things, such as appointments, reducing the amount of school absences.

• Lower Costs: Schools utilizing the four-day week will save on transportation and utility costs. This is especially true for rural districts where students taking the bus are spread out across a large geographic area, increasing transportation costs.

How do you feel about a four-day school week? Share your thoughts on our blog!

For more tips and tricks on reducing chronic truancy in your school, download our best practice guide! Reducing Chronic Truancy Guide Download Now!

Topics: attendance, power announcement, powerschool, education

Lease Renewals: How to Win the Tenant Retention Chess Match

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 @ 14:06 PM

Lease renewal time can be very stressful for property managers and landlords.  As we have mentioned in previous blog posts, tenant retention is extremely important since it is much less expensive to keep a current tenant than find a new one.

Although things like lease renewals or rent increases are just part of doing business for property managers and landlords, it is important for them to remember that to the tenant it’s personal.  By putting themselves in their tenants’ shoes, property managers and landlords can focus on what is really important to the tenant and be strategic in planning for lease renewals.

A recent Property Management Insider article compares the lease renewal process to a chess match with the following “moves”:

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Move #1

Affirmation Brings Loyalty:  Property managers and landlords should think of themselves as customer service representatives.  We are all familiar with brand loyalty and how important it is for many retailers; the same goes for property managers and landlords.  When speaking to a customer service representatve about an issue, the call will most likely end with the question of whether everything you need has been taken care of or not.  Property managers and landlords should be doing the same thing.  By asking this question, property managers and landlords are breeding loyalty and affirmation.  This tactic can be used, for example, after a service request has been addressed.  By completing the task and affirming that all of the concerns have been addressed, placing themselves in a positive light in their tenant’s mind when lease renewal time comes.

Move #2

Confidence is Key: In order to obtain the lease renewal, property managers and landlords need confidence.  They must believe that they will receive the renewal because they have given no reason for their tenant not to renew.  Many times, property managers and landlords think a tenant is not going to renew because of an annual rent increase. However, according to the 2014 SatisFacts Index for Annual Surveys, when asked, “What can be done to improve the community?” zero percent of respondents selected “lower rent.”  Property managers and landlords should focus on more proactive concerns such as more timely responses, improved  tenant communication and increased customer service levels.

By thinking ahead to your tenants’ responses to lease renewals property managers and landlords can come up with a proactive and strategic plan to ensure their tenant stays onboard and claiming their “win” in the tenant retention chess match.

View more posts relating to tenant retention.

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Topics: property management, tenant retention

Mobile Technology Thrives as a Learning Tool in K-12 School Districts

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, Jun 10, 2014 @ 14:06 PM

K-12 school districts have seen a growing use of technology in their classrooms.  From smart boards to iPads, technology is an integral part of learning and communication in today’s K-12 school districts.

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Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have increasingly been seen in K-12 classrooms, despite much debate.   Although some concerns still remain, mobile technology has grown as a learning tool and is gaining more support from school administrators.

One way school administrators can deflect the cost of integrating mobile learning into school districts is by implementing a BYOD (bring your own device) program, allowing students to use the technologies they already use in their everyday lives.

A recent eSchool News article shows the results of a study focused on mobile learning in K-12 school districts.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • School administrators say the following devices have had a significant impact on transforming teaching and learning:

    • Tablets - 41 percent

    • One-to-One Programs - 28 percent

    • Mobile Apps - 22 percent

    • BYOD - 22 percent

    • 86 percent of school administrators said mobile learning increases student engagement.

    • 67 percent say mobile learning also helps each student personalize his or her learning.

    • In 2010, just 22 percent of school principals said they were likely to let students use their own mobile devices in school and this year’s survey reveals that 41 percent of principals said they now support the move. An additional 10 percent said they had already changed school policy to support BYOD.

Not only does mobile technology give students access to more digital learning opportunities, but can be used as a communication tool for the school district as well.  

Does your school support mobile learning initiatives?  Share your thoughts on our blog!

To learn more about the School Announcement Mobile Command Center, download our brochure

.       Download our Brochure

Topics: school notifications, mobile learning, educational technology, power announcement, powerschool, education

Blended Learning: A Successful Option for K-12 School Education

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, May 13, 2014 @ 13:05 PM

Blended learning has become prevalent as a learning option for K-12 students today.  With the combination of traditional and online education, blended learning is a way for students to learn at their own pace; however, there are a number of challenges in order to make it work.

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An Education Week study has suggested that 95 percent of school administrators believe students need more personalized pacing in their learning.  85 percent also believe students need more learning time outside of school.

According to a recent eSchool News article, options for implementing a blended learning model include the rotation model, in which students rotate as a group from teacher-led instruction to online instruction and back again; and the flex model, in which students rotate on a customized schedule between online instruction and small group discussions or one-on-one tutoring.

Blended learning has been especially successful in teaching world languages.  Below are a few examples of blended learning successes in K-12 schools include:

  • Coventry Village School in Vermont: Students learn French by working with online curriculum for 45 minutes a day, four days a week.  Melissa Souliere, a teacher who serves as an on-site facilitator, reinforces this instruction by having her students play games such as Hangman using French vocabulary, and by leading other whole-class and small-group activities in French.

  • Jessamine Career and Technical Center in Kentucky: Students in grades 9-12 are learning Spanish in a blended model.  Jessamine’s implementation of blended learning includes a supportive administration, access to technology for every student while they’re in school, and robust on-site technical support.  Students express they enjoy the class because of its differentiated learning and sense of freedom that comes with setting their own learning pace.

Does your school offer opportunities for blended learning?  Share your experiences on our blog!

To learn more about educational technology check out our other blog posts!

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Topics: educational technology, power announcement, powerschool, education

Multi-Channel Marketing Campaigns: Expand your Reach with Social Media

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, May 08, 2014 @ 16:05 PM

Businesses utilize various forms of communication for marketing campaigns.  Multi-channel marketing plays a large part in reaching the largest audience possibly through preferred communication channels of email, voice and SMS text messaging.

multiIn recent years, social media has become a great additive to these multi-channel marketing campaigns.  Not only is social media an additional channel to expose the original marketing message, but it can also be used as the icing on the cake, so to speak.

A marketing campaign can now be used in conjunction with social media.  For example, an email marketing campaign for a product that then offers a coupon if you ’Like’ the Facebook page.  Or Domino’s television commercial that promote a “Big Night In” which has become a hashtag trend on Twitter.

This allows for the original campaign to be seen by an audience who then can share the offer or trend with their social media peers.  Although a consumer may not have seen the original campaign, they may become aware of the brand, product or promotion through social media.  A Twitter user may have a friend who posts about their #BigNightIn.  They may decide to ask their friend what their big night in is, or what that refers to, leading to the explanation of the Dominos television campaign.

Alert Solutions offers businesses the opportunity to create a compelling multi-channel marketing campaign that can also be broadcasted across social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.  You can reach a larger target audience, quickly and reliably.

By adding a Twitter hashtag, Facebook offer or any other connection to social media you can “ice” your multi-channel marketing campaign and expand the reach of your multi-channel marketing campaign.

How do youintegrate your multi-channel marketing campaigns to social media?  Share your thoughts on our blog.

To learn about multi-channel marketing download our brochure.

Download Now!

 

Topics: multi-channel messaging, social media marketing

K-12 Schools Fearful of How Far School Lunch Guidelines Could Go

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, May 06, 2014 @ 14:05 PM

School lunch guide­lines have been a continuous debate in K-12 schools across the US.  The balance between student health, school budgets and what kids will eat has been difficult to achieve.

Many K-12 schools have found ways to entertain the new USDA school lunch guidelines through the revamping of recipes to introduce typically unwanted foods to students. However, there are still fears that the future of these school lunch guidelines will prove to be too much for schools to handle.

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The School Nutrition Association is calling on Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ease up on July 1, when the next round of federal healthy food requirements are scheduled to be released.  The goals have been rising steeply over the last two years.

The nutritionists are mainly worried about three regulations. These include:

  • The requirement of all grain servings to be more than 50 percent whole-grain — affecting such items as pastas, bread, rolls and pizza crusts. The current rule requires 50 percent of the grain servings to be rich in whole grains.

  • The requirement that children must pick up a fruit or vegetable with each meal, rather than just expecting servers to strongly encourage it. This leads to a major fear of food waster for K-12 schools.

  • The USDA also is phasing in steep reductions in the allowable amounts of sodium.  The 2017 target is 935 milligrams total in an elementary school lunch and 1,080 milligrams in a high school lunch which could cause some student favorites, such as pizza and chicken nuggets to not survive.

It is not unrealistic for K-12 schools and nutritionists to expect some flexibility by the USDA.  Guidelines have already been tweaked. For example, in 2012 the department scrapped maximums on proteins and grains after students complained they were still hungry after eating a school lunch.

The school lunch guidelines have already imposed a strain on K-12 schools breakfast and lunch programs.  According to a recent article, since the new standards were first implemented in 2012, the number of children participating in lunch and breakfast programs has fallen by 1.2 million, from 31 million to less than 30 million.

For example, Missouri has seen a declining participation in school lunch and breakfast programs statewide, down 5 percent in the 2012-2013 school year.

The USDA’s demanding standards “have good intentions,” Karen Wooton, the State Coordinator of Food and Nutrition Services said. “But I think more time would help for getting better compliance. There are not enough products yet. More time would be good for the industry.”

How is your school dealing with school lunch guidelines?  Share your thoughts on our blog. 

To read more about recent news regarding student health, check out more blog posts!

 

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Topics: student health, power announcement, powerschool, education

Boost Patient Communication through Email Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, May 01, 2014 @ 14:05 PM

According to an Athena Health study, patients expect convenient, 24/7 access to their health information through communication channels they prefer. Patients want more information, communication and engagement from healthcare professionals and medical practices must be providing this in order to maintain patient satisfaction.

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In order to help your medical practice achieve optimal patient communication, it is important, to implement an email marketing campaign.  The content of your email campaign can contain information that will help you connect to your patients.

By discussing pressing health issues, healthcare news, healthcare tips or other pertinent information, you will not only be supplying your patients with valuable information, but will continue to position your medical practice as a group of healthcare experts and adv

isors.  By taking the time to do this, patients will see that you care about their health even when they are not in your office, strengthening your connection with them and improving patient communication.

Here are some tips on what to include in your email marketing campaign:

  • Customize the look and feel of your email marketing campaign in order to engage patients.  Even the design and layout can contribute to whether an email is read.

  • If you are offering facts or guidance in the content of your email marketing campaign, be sure your information is concise and easily understood.

  • Ensure your information is
     relevant and engaging from the subject line throughout the content of your email marketing campaign.   By including information and articles with striking subjects your email campaign will translate as an informative newsletter rather than just another email blast.

Timing is also an important part of your email marketing campaign.  You want to send your email newsletter out enough to keep your medical practice fresh in your patients’ minds, but not too much to where they will overlook the email, or associate it with spam.

By implementing an email marketing campaign in your medical practice you can boost patient communication and increase patient satisfaction.

To learn more about improving patient communication with Alert Solutions, download our brochure.

Topics: email newsletters, Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction

K-12 Schools Strengthen School Safety Policies to Dissipate School Fights

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 @ 14:04 PM

Tragic events at K-12 school districts across the US have made headline news over the past few years. School shootings and other violent displays have caught the attention of the nation. Unfortunately, there are less publicly visible violent acts and day-to-day school safety risks that occur in K-12 school districts as well.

School fights are a major concern for many school administrators and staff members.  Many times, school fights take place in hallways and teachers are the first responders.  Although K-12 school districts implement their own school safety efforts and training, the consensus is teachers should not get in between two fighting students.

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“It can escalate the situation,” says Mo Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers. “You’re viewed as a combatant. There are a lot of strong kids on campus and you can get seriously injured.

Although K-12 school districts entertain a general policy about student safety and discipline, American Association of School Administrators Executive Director Dan Domenech recommends having a more specific school safety policy about teachers and staff intervention in school fights.

School administrators can provide staff and teachers with different techniques to prevent or react to school fights and violence.  One way of doing this is by utilizing The Crisis Prevention Institute, a Milwaukee-based company, offering de-escalation training in partnership with school safety consultants like National School Safety and Security Services. They work with school districts to train teachers and staff.

A recent article explains The Crisis Prevention Institute’s techniques that can be used to stop or respond to school fights.  Among the techniques are:

  • Waiting, if possible, for a team of adults to arrive or for a fight to wane before physically intervening.

  • Deflecting blows before they land, by learning how to quickly react and hold up a strong arm to stop a student from hitting another person.

  • Telling the students they’ve made a good choice when they stop fighting and thank them for doing so.

  • Taking the combatants to separate areas as soon as possible.

How does your school deal with school fights?  Do you have a policy in place?

To learn more about the latest news regarding school safety, check out our other blog posts.

 

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Topics: school safety, power announcement, powerschool, education

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