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Working from Home Tips from HIStalk Readers – Software

March 12, 2020 News No Comments

Our company uses MS 365 plus a VPN for remote work. Our phone system is a ShoreTel VOIP solution. We cannot use personal systems for work.

Only that well-behaved software that can be used natively in a browser. Everything else has some idiosyncrasy. Leads to shouts of “It dropped me again.”

Whatever you use at the office. Don’t get fancy.


Any web conference tool, favorite is Slack.

Webex works fine for meetings. ShareDrive + Teams for collaboration.

We use the same software that we use when working in the office. Only difference is a VPN connection into the office network.

We use 8×8 VOIP phones which includes IM and videoconference Internally. Externally we use GoTo products for accessing customers remotely.

Zoom is hands-down the only platform that never fails, is intuitive, and quick to get started.

My company uses Zoom for meetings. It works pretty well. We also VPN into our network.

Very enterprise specific. We use Virtual Desktops, so a remote user gets the same “computer” they have a work.

WebEx, secure text messaging,

My company recently switched to Microsoft Teams which, for me, is a must to keep in contact with my co-workers. However, it lacks some of the functionality needed for client meetings, so for those I stick with WebEx.

For our remote workforce, we use Citrix and VPN to provide remote access to all of our applications, both on premise and in the cloud. We use Okta for two-factor authentication. We use Zoom for video conferencing, and we typically supply staff with laptops and tablets with camera, audio, and some sort of headset. Those of us that use personal devices still use the same software to engage. We use Jabber for chat, but moving to a new platform for unified communications that will support mobile workers securely no matter where they are. (Dr. First Backline with RingCentral WIFI calling for clinical staff at the bedded facilities).

Slack or similar company wide collaboration software. We use Google Suite because it is easy to share / edit documents from anywhere, while still maintaining the proper permissions. And we have a Confluence based company wiki that is a key part of how we share information. We just created a Coronavirus Information page for all employees.

I use Office365 with all work files in Dropbox plus local external backup and additional cloud backup (loss of files is a disaster). The fastest bandwidth available also helps – I am fortunate to have Gigabit optical via FIOS. Meeting software is Zoom although I connect to whatever the other participants use. Most external meetings are done without video. A headset makes a huge difference.

Jabber or other instant messaging program for quick communication. Confluence for maintaining single location for file access.

Zoom. And any of the many online document collaboration systems (OneDrive or Google Docs). You have to start thinking outside the local computer and local network. Starting working on things in shared locations.

Video conference apps/software are extremely useful to feel more connected to colleagues and supervisors – I’ve used Skype, MS Teams, Zoom, and Webex, but I think Google offers something like these also.

The laptop from the client is already well outfitted. I add Toggl for timekeeping.

Zoom for meetings (less distracting in my opinion than Google meets since you can see everyone at once). If you work late, use f.lux to help your eyesight. Slack for communication (you can do a free trial).

Microsoft Office suite is my go to. Jabber for IM and phone.

Test the VPN / remote access software and web meeting software in advance of having a collaboration session. Some organizations do not have the bandwidth or licensing for all the potential remote access sessions, so be aware and have contingency plans (e.g., direct calling, call trees, sending documents in advance, use of other forms of web collaboration like Office 365). Stick with the software used by your employer that is supported and secured. You don’t want to break policy and place your company, customers, and self at risk.

The list of software I use is extensive, a blended set of local, enterprise and cloud-based applications. I also us a cobbled together unified communications system based on Microsoft.

Zoom, BlueJeans, Skype, Facetime.

Zoom – over any other web conference software.

We use MS Teams. Some of us use the video option and some of us (me and the majority of my teammates) don’t. Chrome browser.

Microsoft Teams is essential to staying connected and collaborating with my coworkers.

We use Zoom for conferences, Slack for communication, BaseCamp for project management.

Zoom and Skype for business are great for keeping in touch with your team.

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