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Sycle.net Frequently Asked Questions

General Product Questions

Reporting Questions

Data Importation Questions

Registration/Administration Questions

Security Questions

Direct Mail Questions

General Product Questions

What is sycle.net and what does it do?

A. Sycle.net is a web-based application that offers real-time appointment management, patient management, patient retention, direct mail management and patient database management. Sycle.net creates management and marketing reports specifically tailored for managing an Audiological practice at the click of a mouse.

Sycle.net tracks:

  • Appointment history
  • Direct mail history
  • Hearing aid history
  • Marketing referrals
Sycle.net sends:
  • Automated time-sensitive, customized, patient-by-patient direct mail offers and reminders

Sycle.net creates:

  • Daily appointment confirmation call lists and sales reports, referral reports, and management reports

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Q. How does sycle.net work?
A. Sycle.net is a web-based application housed in a secure IBM data center. Users simply login to sycle.net via the Internet. In the same way that you would log on to your favorite web site, you can connect to Sycle.net and make appointments, send direct mail, manage patient appointments and purchases and view reports. If you have a web browser and an Internet connection, you are ready to start using sycle.net.

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Q. Do I need to be connected to the Internet to use sycle.net ?
A. Sycle.net is a web-based application; therefore, you do need to be connected to the Internet to use it.

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Q. Do I need a dedicated line to use sycle.net ?
A. Sycle.net recommends that you have a dedicated line because you will be online all day.

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Q. What platforms do I need to have in order to run sycle.net ?
A. Because sycle.net hosts the application, all you need is a computer that can run Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher. It doesn't matter what type of hardware or operating system you're running.

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Q. How do I get upgrades to sycle.net ?
A. Because sycle.net is a web-based application, any time we add a new feature, it will be available to you the next time you visit the web site. There is no need to download any software or make system adjustments.

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Q. What involvement is required from my clinic's IT department?
A. None. Sycle.net applications are accessed through the Internet via a web browser and require no modifications or upgrades to your existing environment. All you need is Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 5.0 or higher), and you are ready to use sycle.net. Because there is no hardware, software, or network equipment to purchase, and the application is accessed through a standard web browser, your IT department will not need to implement or maintain the Sycle.net solution.

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Q. Is any training required to learn to use sycle.net ?
A. Sycle.net is designed to be easy to learn and can be used immediately. Our customers report that sycle.net is extremely intuitive and user friendly. If you know how to use the Web, you will know how to use sycle.net.

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Q. Is training available if I need it?
A. While training is not required, we offer free training for you and your staff. The sessions run less than one hour and cover typical usage by a user and administrator. We will also send you a Quickstart Guide to refer to at any point during the session. Trainings are held through the Internet, conveniently allowing you to participate right from your office.

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Q. What do I do if my Internet connection goes down or my computer breaks?
A. If either your Internet connection goes down or your computer breaks, you can call
888.881.SYCL (7925). If you have not already printed out your patient schedule and outcome forms for that day, sycle.net will fax them to you. In the event of a computer replacement, you need not install anything other than an Internet connection and web browser on your new computer to log back on to sycle.net. We also keep a back-up of all your data.

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Q: What is HIPAA?
A: HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability Act of 1996) is a regulation designed to protect confidential healthcare information through improved security standards and federal privacy legislation. It defines requirements for storing patient information before, during and after electronic transmission. It also identifies compliance guidelines for critical business tasks such as risk analysis, awareness training, audit trail, disaster recovery plans and information access control and encryption.

The HIPAA regulation has three main components that apply to "covered entities" (a covered entity is any provider of healthcare services that charges the government or insurance for their services):

1. Standard Transaction Code Sets
2. Patient Information Privacy
3. Patient Information Security (both electronic and physical records)

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Q: Is sycle.net compliant with HIPAA regulations
A: Sycle.net was designed to be compliant with HIPAA regulations as they pertain to the security of patient records and how they are stored electronically. We have had our system tested and have enabled the highest levels of security which, in some cases surpass the government regulations for security.

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Q: Are the other patient management systems available in the marketplace HIPAA compliant?
A: Other patient management systems installed locally at your clinic may not be compliant. The security measures needed to comply with the electronic security of patient files would be dependent on how your network is set up and the types of security access given to your employees.

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Q: Will my practice be considered HIPAA compliant if I am using sycle.net for my patient management and retention system?
A: Yes, sycle.net has taken care of the secure storage of your patient records electronically. The security of the physical files located in your office would need to be addressed at the clinic level.

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Q. What administration features are included in sycle.net that I will have control over?
A. Sycle.net is very easy to customize for your specific needs. From appointment types and times, clinic hours and employee information, to discount levels offered by your company and security levels, sycle.net makes it easy for you to customize and manage your clinic.

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Q. Can my clinic(s) configure sycle.net?
A. Yes, you can configure the following once you have been set up and given your main owner password:

Appointment types including length
Discount types
Extended warranty types
Clinic hours
Clinic contact information
Employee passwords
Employee contact information
Employee hours

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Q. How will my staff and clinics see my data without me having to synchronize it?
A. No waiting or synchronization is necessary. Sycle.net manages one central database for your organization. Whenever a user adds or edits a record, this information is automatically captured in the centralized database and available for others to see immediately (as long as the users have sharing privileges to view such data).

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Q. How do I remove an employee from the system once they have left the company?
A. Login using your "owner" password; then simply go to the administration page and delete the employee's name and password.

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Reporting Questions

Q. What is a referral report?
A. The referral report details how many appointments and subsequently how many sales were made from each referral source. Referral sources include the Yellow Pages, newspapers, physicians, TV, other patients, direct mail, unknown and more. Every appointment has a referral source attached to it.

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Q. Do I need a report writer to create and run reports?
A. Sycle.net includes a number of pre-configured reports designed to help you manage your business. Revenue, binaural rates, close percentages and scheduling efficiency are just a few of the reports that are available for you to view. These reports can be pulled by clinic or provider, as well as date range specified. Marketing reports are also available; these include referral reports and clinic database reports.

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Q. Can I get my report information out of sycle.net ?
A. All reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel™ and other desktop applications by selecting the "Export to Excel" button in the display of every report.

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Data Import Questions

Q. How do I import my existing data into sycle.net ?
A. If your data is in an electronic format sycle.net can import the data for you. If your data is in file or paper format, you will need to import it manually using the patient backfill area of the Administration section. You can, however, start using sycle.net immediately and add your existing patient data over time.

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Q. How will my data be transferred to sycle.net ?
A. If your patient records are currently in an electronic format, you can either email them or send them on a disk. We will import them for you. If they are not, we suggest you begin using sycle.net and enter existing patient data over time.

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Q. How long does it take to import my data and set up my clinic?
A. This depends on the data itself; getting set takes just a few minutes.

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Registration/Administration Questions


Q. How do I sign up for sycle.net ?
A. Most users will sign up online, directly from the sycle.net web site. The process is completely safe and secure. If you prefer, you can also sign up by phone. Sales and support representatives are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time at 888.881.SYCL (7925).

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Q. How can I get access to sycle.net ?
A. Because sycle.net is web-based, there is no hardware or software to buy, install or maintain. Just point your web browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 5.0 or higher), to the login page and login.

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Q. How quickly can my clinic(s) be up and running?
A. With sycle.net you can be up and running immediately. It typically takes less than 24 hours to set up your login and password. Importing existing data may take a little longer, depending on the format.

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Q. How much does Sycle.net cost?
A. Sycle.net is billed on a monthly basis. The cost is $149.00 per month, plus the cost of any mail that you send using sycle.net.


Most other patient management software available today costs between $3,500.00 and $5,500.00, in addition to a yearly upgrade fee of $300.00 and $500.00. This does not include costs for installing and maintaining software.

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Q. Is there a start-up fee involved?
A. For a limited time there is no start-up fee.

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Q. How will I be billed for the sycle.net services?
A. Each month Sycle.net will bill your credit card directly for the service and any mail that you send. You will also receive an itemized statement.

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Q. What do I do if I no longer want to use this service?
A. You can stop using sycle.net at any time. We will return your database to you with address corrected names, in any format that you request (tab delimited, Excel or CSV). Chances are, we will return your database in better condition than we received it!

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Security Questions

Q. How can I be sure my data is secure?
A. Sycle.net has partnered with IBM as our data storage and hosting partner. Your data will reside in an IBM data center in one of the most secure environments available today. IBM uses and often is the developer of some of the most advanced firewall technology in existence. The actual building is encased in two-foot thick concrete walls and requires hand print recognition for physical entry. The data center is directly attached to the internet backbone to ensure a 99. percent uptime; we also have two diesel backup generators and days worth of fuel standing by in case of a major power outage.

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Q. Who monitors the data?
A. IBM technicians monitor the servers. They are less than 100 feet away from our servers and monitor them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Q. How do the technitions know if there is a problem?
A. They send a signal to our servers every five minutes. If for any reason they do not get a response, they are alerted and investigate immediately.

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Q. How many servers do you have?
A. We have two redundant servers. All data is duplicated on both servers at all times. If for any reason one of them has a problem, the other one takes over seamlessly and technicians are alerted.

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Q. How can I be assured my data will be kept private?
A. Sycle.net is committed to keeping your data private and secure. To this end, sycle.net has expressly stated how we will handle your private data. For a greater understanding of the legal obligations sycle.net adheres to regarding data privacy, please refer to the sycle.net Privacy Policy as well as the sycle.net Terms of Use Agreement.

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Q. Does sycle.net ever view or use my data?
A. No. As stated in the sycle.net Privacy Policy, " Sycle.net will not review, share, distribute, print, or reference any such Data except as provided in the sycle.net Terms of Use, or as may be required by law. Individual records may at times be viewed or accessed only for the purpose of resolving a problem, support issue, or suspected violation of the Terms of Use, or as may be required by law. Please note that, customers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality and security of their user registration and password."

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Q. Can I house a backup of my sycle.net data at my own company?
A. You can receive a complete download of your company data on sycle.net by signing up for our Weekly Export Service. Please contact your sycle.net account manager for more information.

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Direct Mail Questions

Q. Can I still create my own direct mail pieces and use my own direct mail house?
A. Yes, you can create your own direct mail pieces and use sycle.net to mail them. You can also quickly and easily download your database, create your own direct mail pieces and use your own mail house to mail them.

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Q. How will I know when direct mail pieces are being sent?
A. There is an area on sycle.net that displays a list of all mail that is queued to be sent. You can locate this information by clicking the "Marketing" tab, then the "Pending Mail" report.

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Q. What is the price per piece charge for the automated mailings? Direct mailings?
A. Most items range from $0.45 to $0.65 per item plus postage, depending on whether you choose color or black and white.

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Q. How does this cost compare to the cost of paying an administrative assistant or mail house to handle automated and direct mailings?
A. We estimate that if you pay an administrative assistant an annual salary of $25,000.00 and you have templates for all your letters, it would take approximately eight minutes to open the file, change the name and address, print it on company letterhead, stuff, stamp and mail at a cost of approximately $2.30 to $2.50 per letter. This takes into consideration: employee time, equipment, letterhead, envelopes and stamps.

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Q. Will I be able to customize and add to the automated letters?
A. Yes, when you subscribe to sycle.net we will let you review the letters that have been provided and make any necessary changes. In addition, if you have mailers that you like to send at certain specified times, we can set them up to mail when you want, to whomever you'd like.

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Q. Can I turn the direct mail items off and choose not to send them?
A. Yes, you can turn them on and off both globally (from the Marketing page) or individually for each patient.

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