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Boomers, Seniors & Ageism – Affects Ageism Has on Healthcare & Caregivers – Healthcare

Age 65 you have a disease!The assumption is age causes decline when in fact illness is more often the cause. Ageism also causes complacency in healthcare and affects the quality of care. It is also a serious issue that is perpetuated by our healthcare system, institutions and society in general. According to the International Longevity Center report Ageism In America:1. 60 percent of victims identified from Hurricane Katrina were age 61 or older.2. Within 24 hours following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, animal advocates were on the scene rescuing pets, yet older and disabled people were abandoned in their apartments for up to seven days before ad hoc medical teams arrived to rescue them.3. 35% of doctors erroneously consider an increase in blood pressure to be a normal process of aging.4. Only 10 percent of people aged 65 and over receive appropriate screening tests for bone density, colorectal and prostate cancer, and glaucoma. This despite the fact that the average age of colorectal cancer patients is 70, more than 70 percent of prostate cancer is diagnosed in men over 65, and people over 60 are six times more likely to suffer from glaucoma.Services and Assistive AidsAgeism has a serious affect on the lives of seniors and caregivers. Most seniors have chronic (long term) conditions not acute (short term) conditions. Those you may look to for advice, have little or no training on the aging process (like social workers, therapists and doctors). There are services and assistive devices available that can help the caregiver and those they care for. Your biggest obstacle may be ageism and/or a lack of knowledge by those in healthcare. You have others that may just be looking to make a buck. Then you have home healthcare providers that have little if any incentive to focus on prevention and safety. Ask yourself this question:Why would a home healthcare company tell you about assistive aids or provide other information that could reduce the need for their services?They won’t until they are forced to do so. A perfect example is what Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) did in hospitals with Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC’s) to improve patient safety. Hospitals had little incentive to prevent falls and infections until CMS stopped rewarding them for causing the fall or infection by paying for it. The same thing needs to happen in home healthcare. We need to reward quality outcomes and prevention not a proliferation of needs often based on greed. Many people will not perform a daily task if they are not encouraged to do it for themselves. It’s a fine line for ability verses actual inability to perform a task. It is also a fine line between need and greed.Those in healthcare are not sensitive or aware of the physical or physiological effects of the tools they recommend. Often the recommender does not know the intended use and many times seniors blame themselves for injuries that are not their fault. Injuries are rarely reported which increases injury risks and promotes the proliferation of unsafe ineffective products. This is another part of how ageism affects the health and welfare of our seniors and caregivers. Misleading marketing is prolific in this arena. Many companies want a piece of the healthcare market without following basic consumer labeling let alone regulations that may apply to products. Assistive aids can truly make a difference yet many lack quality or a design to address needs.Ageism opens all of us up to the affects and consequences of what it creates. It takes a toll on caregivers many of them are boomers raising a family and often dealing with their own health issues. All of which affects lives personally and financially adding to healthcare costs for all. Seniors pay a higher price for the lack of care and concern in their well-being and value. We are finding out where government stands on ageism as they cut valuable services in hard financial times, which creates a higher cost to our society as a whole. Will we learn in time that ageism doesn’t pay!

Lean Six Sigma Can Help a Healthcare Organization – Healthcare

Healthcare organizations are tight on their budgets today because of so many people that lack insurance and the numbers of emergency room visits or hospital stays that go unpaid. It can be hard for a hospital to remain open to the public, and lean Six Sigma can help to reduce costs so that the financial issues of our healthcare system are not such a burden. When you send employees to Six Sigma courses, they learn how to spend money wisely and how to cut wasteful expenses that are not necessary for everyday operations.Processes can always be improved upon, especially in a hospital system. Patient care is vital when it comes to running lab reports and tests for the doctors. Many of these processes today are run by individuals at a computer. Human error is a factor, and it can mean the life of a patient. The great thing about Six Sigma training is that you will learn how to automate some of these critical processes. Not only can this benefit a healthcare organization in minimizing human error but it can also cut down on labor costs as well.Resources are often limited in healthcare organizations. Lab equipment such as x-ray machines are extremely expensive, and if budget is tight, then departments often must go without. This can slow down productivity and cause patients to have to wait. Six Sigma online training courses offer helpful tools to show you ways that you can make the most use of resources and get the most productivity. This might include repairing broken x-ray machines rather than buying new ones, or redesigning an entire patient floor to make things flow more smoothly.Healthcare organizations really need the ability to cut costs and lean Six Sigma Training is the best option. Six Sigma courses will teach employees and management ways to cut costs by eliminating wasteful processes, equipment, and other things that cause productivity to slow, affecting the patients in a negative way. Six Sigma training will show a healthcare organization how they can begin saving money by automating processes also. Not only will human error be minimized but better use of employee’s efforts can be managed.

The Great Healthcare Debate – Healthcare

Promising to go down in history books, the President spoke to Congress last month about his thoughts on implementing healthcare reform. Here are some thoughts on the topic.What is it? How will it affect me?Very good questions without any concrete answers yet. Yes, there is yelling on both sides but does that help us in our decision-making process? Absolutely not! There is a lot of talk about “nationalized” healthcare, socialism, death panels and waits for procedures. Are they scare tactics? Maybe but we should take a very careful look at what comes out of Washington.To get an idea of a nationalized healthcare system we could take a look at Canada and Great Britain, there are some issues that we should be aware of. There are 6-month waits for MRIs in those countries. Do you want to wait that long? A close friend recently had an MRI and was mildly upset at having to wait two hours. Do you know there are more MRI machines in Los Angeles County than in all of Canada? The same holds true for many procedures such as kidney, liver and circulation procedures. Does a long wait increase your chances of survival? You will have to make that decision yourself.The other side of the story is that not everyone is covered in the United States. Canada and Great Britain cover all of their residents and that can be conceived as a plus. Depending on who you listen to, there are between 11 and 50 million uninsured people in the United States. Who are these people? It’s a mix of unemployed, those who voluntarily go without coverage, people in the country illegally, and people who have pre-existing conditions.The Government’s proposal would be similar to the care our military servicemen and their families receive. According to a colleague who has experience with this system, “When I gave birth to my son in the San Diego naval facility, I lay in wait for a room…in a gurney, in the hall, with twenty other women – all of us in various stages of giving birth,” said Deanne Hollis-DeGrandpre. “Additionally, I was not able to receive an epidural to block the pain because it was unavailable.” Do we want to wait like cattle to receive health care? Additionally, Medicare and Social Security are on the road to bankruptcy, is this what we want for our healthcare system?No doubt, the current system has flaws. There are a few things that could be done to help solve the issues as alternatives to the current healthcare reform being proposed by Congress. By no means is this a panacea but it is at least a start.How about considering the following:oThose who voluntarily refuse to be covered, (mostly the young) should be held responsible for their medical care. No free ride.oCitizens here illegally, should not receive free care, since they do not pay into the Federal or State tax system. Emergencies should be taken care of but any expensive procedures should be done in their home country.oTort reform! Physicians and all providers are scared to death to make a mistake. Many OB/GYNs are no longer practicing due to the high costs of liability insurance. The patient ultimately pays the price for this in higher insurance premiums. We have to have SOME limits!oA pool of insurers could be set up for those who don’t qualify for insurance due to pre-existing conditions. All insurance companies should share the risk for these citizens and hold down premiums to an acceptable level.oFor the unemployed, one possible solutions is to add a benefit to unemployment compensation with an end date.oIncreased regulations for health insurance companies and access across state lines, so people have more choice.Again, these are just suggestions. Until we see what Congress will finally propose, we will have to wait.

Microsoft Great Plains Implementation: Healthcare/Hospital example – overview for consultant – Healthcare

Microsoft Great Plains fits multiple services market niche and healthcare is not exemption. In the case of Healthcare/Hospital there is usually healthcare patient history tracking system in place and backoffice or accounting application should be integrated on the ongoing basis with the above mentioned system plus often Hospital or association is non-profit organization and non-for-profit accounting specifics should be taken into consideration.o Integration. Great Plains is MS SQL Server based application and SQL scripting/stored procedures is the choice for ongoing integration. The second option is Great Plains Integration Manager – it is end-user tool and it should be considered if the integration volume is low or moderate (up to thousand transactions per day). Usually you do integrate customer billing records and do billing from Great Plains. Great Plains advanced reporting functionality will allow you to control your cost and expenses.o Financial Reporting. FRx is the tool of choice in the case of Microsoft Great Plains. Being healthcare organization you can consolidate multiple companies (hospitals or clinics) and have all standard and advanced financial reports: Income Statement, Cash Flow, Balance Sheet. Reporting tree utilization in FRx allows you to select business units and do performance comparisono Compliance Reporting. Microsoft Great Plains, being SQL application allows you to deploy such tools as Crystal Reports to create healthcare-specific reports for your clients, contractors, state and federal regulation authorities. In Crystal Reports you can create report with the data from Microsoft Great Plains and Patient tracking system., even if the last one if not SQL Server based. Crystal Report can work with heterogeneous queries and stored procedureso Patient Invoices Lookup. If patient calls you and questions the bill – you should have quick lookup from your CRM to Great Plains invoices for this customer. Some Hospitals offer internet bills lookup for their clients. This might become required feature in the following three or five years. You can implement this web-lookups via web publishing from Microsoft Great Plains database.We encourage you to analyze your alternatives. You can always appeal to our help, give us a call: 1-866-528-0577 or 1-630-961-5918, [email protected]

How Healthcare Reform Affects You – Healthcare

The debate about healthcare reform has heated up, cooled down and is still being debated. The question I think people should be asking is how the healthcare reform will affect them personally. Below are some key point which I think are the major issues people should be looking at with this reform and how it affects them directly.1. Taxing the richLast time you looked at your finances your were maybe living pay check to pay check, but if you make up to $280,000 in a single person household or up to $350,000 as a couple, then you have just been upgraded to wealthy citizen status. Anyway don’t panic yet, there were a lot of complaints by legislators and the figure was moved up to $1 million. Once you hit seven figures, there will be an additional 5.4 percent graduated tax surcharge on your household income to help cover the healthcare reform. Are you affected?2. Tax credit for small business ownersIf you own a small business and you have between 1 and 50 employees, you could benefit from a tax credit. The healthcare reform bills that are being proposed have tax credits that will help small businesses buy health insurance for their employees and will not be penalized if they do not, as would large businesses.The idea is to encourage small businesses to buy health insurance for their staff members by providing the small businesses a cheaper alternative to buy through a national exchange where they would get a better deal considering the small pool of workers they have, to buying directly from insurers. So if you own a small business you will be able to provide healthcare for your people at an affordable rate if the reform goes through.3. Keeping your present health insuranceIf you get your present health insurance from your employer, you already know that even though you contribute something, your employer contributes the lion share. Well, the way the reform is structured, you can keep that insurance as it is and continue to enjoy paying the tortoise share of the premium.However, a lot of reform critics are speculating that this ratio will reverse and you will end up paying the lion share of the premium. It has not been smuggled into the bill yet, so it’s still a baseless speculation.4. Pre-existing medical conditionInsurers do take into consideration if you have an on going medical condition before deciding on what to do with you. That is, insure you or not. Normally if you do have an existing medical condition, the insurer will charge you a higher premium or just will not insure you at all. In the healthcare reform proposal, both proposals prohibit insurers from charging people higher premiums because they have an existing medical condition. However, they allow a system know as “age rating” where older people will not be charged premiums as high as twice that of a younger person.5. Taxing your benefitsPresently when your company covers for example, x amount of dollars on your medical insurance premium, you do not pay any taxes on those funds. But, some of the people working on the reform are suggesting that some of these benefits should be taxed so that the government can raise money from the taxes.It’s not in the proposal, but people are again speculating that it might be added and a common ground will be taxing only those with the expensive health plans, whose policy’s are above $13,000.6. Covering the drug loop holeThe proposed bill will eliminate the loop hole in Medicare’s drug coverage used to cap the expenses of the program. It required a senior to have spent up to $4,350 before coverage kicks back in. Under the new bill, it is proposed that drug drug companies will fill in the gap by providing some discount up to 50% on brand name prescriptions7. The Public optionThis will be available to individuals and families that are not covered through work and therefore will be eligible for the public option and have their insurance costs subsidized. They can buy a policy through the national exchange and qualification to be able to participate will be based on a sliding scale and meeting some income guidelines. This includes income of $43,430 for an individual and $88, 200 for a family of four.I hope this gives you a bird’s eye view of what the reform is all about and how it relates to you and your family’s future health coverage.

Making City a Healthcare Network – Healthcare

Chiang Mai is mapping out a future as a smarter city by using advanced technologies to help transform its tourism and agriculture industries and create other new drivers of creative economic growth.Linking patient databases and healthcare asset information could help create a hub.The use of technology to build a strong medical tourism sector and improve food production is part of the Smart City programme supported by IBM.IBM defines a Smart City in terms of the improvements in quality of life and economic well-being that can be achieved by applying information technologies to planning, designing, building, and operating urban infrastructure.The company is awarding $50 million worth of technology and services to 100 municipalities worldwide over the next three years. Chiang Mai is receiving $400,000 or 12 million baht to bring in global experts to advise on new approaches, said Parnsiree Amatayakul, the general manager of IBM Thailand.Chiang Mai was chosen based on its 700-year-old culture, abundant natural resources and strategic location in the Greater Mekong Subregion.However, Chiang Mai’s gross provincial product (GPP) is only 1.59% of total gross domestic product, and its growth rate has been low because its economy is not very diversified. It relies heavily on tourism and agro-industry in food processing and agriculture.The government, local universities and the private sector have been trying to improve local economic potential through the Chiang Mai Creative City campaign.IT training and creativity will be fostered through a proposed Software park programme.Nat Voravos, chairman of the local creative city development committee, said improving IT capability was one of the aspects of promoting a creative economy, with the goal of making Chiang Mai an attractive city for foreign investment, living, travelling, studying and working,Mr Nat said technology and innovation could add value to products and services, create more job opportunities and increase productivity.The committee is working with IBM to help develop a roadmap for a Smarter City. It envisions using smart IT architecture to expand the traditional tourism industry with a strong focus on medical tourism. A “Smarter Food” project, meanwhile, will focus on increasing yields and managing production plans for farmers.In the healthcare field, public and private service providers can use real-time location tracking of patients and hospital assets to increase efficiency and build an internationally recognised service identity, said David Hathaway, a project adviser with IBM Corp.Electronic medical record (EMR) technology should also be adopted to standardise information exchanges to link all medical service providers including traditional medicine and spas.Niwate Nuntajit, dean of medicine at Chiangmai University, said the city already had some expertise in serving longstay visitors, especially Japanese. Quality services at low prices are also a major selling point in mainstream healthcare, dental and ophthalmological care and Thai traditional medicine.The university had been awarded 500 million baht to build a centre of medical excellence including robotic surgery and geriatric medicine to accommodate the ageing society of the future.Many countries are promoting medical services to drive their economies. Singapore is working to shift from a healthcare hub to a medical training hub for Asia, Malaysia is encouraging medical tourism to make a customized medical tourism network, India is focusing on alternative healthcare, and Qatar is attempting to persuade Thai businesses to open hospitals in the country.”All these moves signal that the medical industry in Chiang Mai is under pressure and needs to increase its comparative advantage,” Mr Niwate said.For the Smart Food project, knowing what to produce and when, using technology-aided forecasting and planning system, will be the key, said Nathalie Gutel, an adviser with IBM France.The government could create an e-Farmer portal to gather data on all agricultural product categories for each season. It could then use those information to create pricing models under a supply-demand calculation system.The information could ultimately reduce the risk of both shortages and surpluses of key crops.As well, said Ms Gutel, smart irrigation could schedule water utilisation based on specific land use types and seasonal needs to reduce waste.Chiang Mai will choose a district and a fruit for a pilot project to test the new applications. An IMB survey identified longan as the most promising candidate since thousands of northern families grow the fruit.Ms Gutel also said that since mobile phones are now ubiquitous, government agriculture authorities should take advantage of their potential for delivering weather information and disaster alerts.Also growing in importance from a consumer safety standpoint is traceability of food products from farm to table. Technology can help improve traceability, build brand reputation and improve export potential.IBM opened a regional office in the city last year, she said.The city, meanwhile, is determined to capitalise on local strengths in software and digital content development to create new clusters and widen employment opportunities.Martin Venzky-Stalling, an adviser to the creative city development committee, said the city had as many as 150 software and digital content firms, many of them freelance operators specialising in graphic design. Some of them can be found working out of coffee shops along Nimanhaemin Road.”The city has an attractive lifestyle with a lower cost of living. It also produces a lot of graduate students attracting new high-tech entrepreneurs,” he said.The committee plans to work on public-private partnership to establish a Software Park with 2,000 square metres space to provide training facilities and working space for IT and design talent.The Board of Investment is also being asked to declare Chiang Mai a special economic zone with incentives for innovative businesses.Mr Venzky-Stalling said the committee expected to propose at least 10 projects with an investment budget of 200 million baht this year.Chiang Mai has been selected as one of the 10 creative economy cities by the Commerce Ministry.”We are applying to have Chiang Mai join the Unesco Creative Cities Network, aiming to build awareness and attract investment,” he added.

Consumer Genomics Is Transforming Healthcare – Healthcare

With people reeling from the reality of rising healthcare costs, it is easy to think that there is no hope in sight to obtain affordable healthcare for everybody. However, a fundamental change in healthcare is poised to occur within the next few years as personal genomics finally penetrate the mainstream. Genetic sequencing has made long strides over the last 15 years, when the Human Genome Project produced its first rough draft assembly of the genome itself.This effort was achieved by researchers sequencing DNA from a wide range of individuals and then combining that information together into a general average that scientists can use to better understand how individual genes affect an organism in its entirety. Every single human being’s genome is different; while there may be similarities between individuals, but ultimately every person is unique which means that their health is unique to them as well.This concept is already being investigated within the current hunt for genetically resilient people living among us. By studying variations in how certain people are able to combat deadly diseases at the genetic level, researchers are hoping to replicate that information into future generations of drug treatments. Individual sequencing is what drives the concept of personal genomics. Instead of taking samples to find a population’s genetic average, personal genomics advocates sequencing every single person and presenting that knowledge to them, in order to optimize their health and well-being.For example, it can let an individual know with certainty whether or not they are susceptible to certain diseases such as cancer. If so, one can then begin planning for treatment with incredible lead time versus suffering a full-blown outbreak and now be forced to combat the disease at its most deadly. Not only is the person at higher risk but their healthcare costs will inevitably sky rocket. What makes this route even more appealing is the knowledge that DNA sequencing and analysis methods are increasing in accuracy while simultaneously dropping in price.Personal genomics is also poised to affect other areas of daily health such as physical fitness. Companies are now beginning to offer services that, for a set fee and cheek swab, can analyze a person’s DNA for specific genetic markers known to govern the body’s reaction to exercise. By understanding what specific markers and variants a person possesses, he or she can begin optimizing workouts to take full advantage of what the body is best designed to do.Imagine what one could do with this information. Instead of taking a bevy of medications to fix physical problems, one could instead design a fitness routine that could avoid many of those said problems, improve their health, and do so while achieving results in less time. Insurance premiums would plummet as quality of life increases. This technological shift still needs to reach critical mass in the public’s eye but the benefits are crystal clear, while the technology to make it available only becomes cheaper. The future of healthcare is already here, it is now up to everyone else to finally catch up to it.

Healthcare in Australia – Healthcare

Having a medical emergency is one of the greatest nightmares one can face when traveling overseas. Many from the United Kingdom have gotten used to having the National Health Service but when outside the country, they have been unable to cope with emergencies when on the road.There are many discussions online that have been placed in a situation requiring a medical emergency overseas. Adapting to your environment and learning the emergency services in the area where you are located. The risk is increased with availability or unavailability of emergency services. Often mentioned is Australia as it is wide and expansive and the most concentration of emergency services is in the metropolitan areas.It is important that one keeps a healthy diet and be safe when traveling overseas. Avoiding exotic food may be one of the ways to keep safe. You also need to hydrated at all times to prevent getting a heat stroke. You also need to be careful of what you drink when overseas as the water may not sit well in your stomach. Access is also very important be it telephone access or even travel access to the nearest medical facility is imperative.Another important aspect of healthcare overseas is the costs of attendant to an emergency. Medical coverage in your home country is often not extended into the country where you travel. Another issue would be the quality of medical services in the host country. This is most important in Australia, as this is a totally new domain to handle medical emergencies very much different from the United Kingdom.Many online forums suggest that health insurance coverage is one of the ways to be amply protected when moving to another country. The healthcare system in Australia is very different and it is important that medical costs are covered when you do meet an emergency. Thus having medical insurance would be your healthcare in Australia.The healthcare in Australia is free with universal access to those qualified for coverage. The funding for the system comes from a 1.5% tax levy from all taxpayers and an additional 1% from high-income earners. There is also a private health insurance system funded by health insurance organizations. You need to find out the fine print though especially the premiums and coverage so as not to be disappointed when you want to avail of the insurance coverage.A perusal of the online discussions made seem to be light hearted but much of the discussions are often serious and deep. It is important that you know the emergency and medical services access numbers in the area where you are currently located. When Down Under, you need to be well aware of the system of healthcare in Australia in order to be safe and sound. This knowledge would make the difference between life and death. Also, you need to be amply covered by insurance so that you need not have issues on the medical costs for your emergency.The best way to avoid problems when overseas is given in Australia Forum, “You also need to be proactive in protecting yourself when moving to another country such as Australia. Eating good and clean food is essential in keeping healthy when in another country.” If you do this, you will be safe and sound when overseas.

Electronic Medical Records Systems Streamline for Healthcare Processes – Healthcare

In healthcare industry, new technological advancements are taking place day by day. But, the process of storing data by pen and paper is still being used today. This approach is very true for all sorts of industries, but more so as far as the medical industry is concerned. It is very important for healthcare IT Company to implement technological advancements in their process to survive. In order to support this statement, among all the recent advancements, many medical industries are opting to have Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems in their hospitals, offices and clinics etc.Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software will support your business needs in a number of incredible ways, even with greater patient record privacy. Just by setting some the specific permissions on documents, you are authorized to give access to those users who require viewing that document. Instead of this feature, it allows user to keep track who viewed the document recently or on which date document was modified.Let’s have a look on the some of the below listed benefits of implementing Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems:It is more than worth its monetary value.Assessing patient info is so simple and easy.Quickly get prescriptions to pharmacies.End-of-day reporting activities can be generated directly from the EMR system.Best way to communicate with doctors.Increased productivity through the automation of medical records.Increased revenue through better coding recommendations.EMR helps to reduce expenses such as paper charts, folders and poor documentation.Saves your valuable time slot which ultimately saves your money.Retrieve documents quickly without any hassle.Ensure you with greater patient privacy.Not only it increases profit, but also improved patient care and their satisfaction.EMR software will come with numerous in-built tools that help doctors to make improved and most valuable clinical decisions.It enhances the productivity of organization by automating clinical processes.Decreases the chance of error due to poor doctor’s handwriting.With EMR, all the records kept electronically, by which patients are able to get their results quickly. The best thing is that you can have access to their medical information at any time no matter where you are in the world.Easier means for patient documentation will reduce transcription cost. It allows you to share documents easily with other employees across multiple locations. Ensure you with full safety and back-up support as all the files are retrieved and stored electronically. It will leads to an improved and quick insurance reimbursement.EMR systems lie at the center of any computerized healthcare Information systems and without them other modern technologies such as decision support systems cannot ne effectively integrated and implemented into routine clinical workflow. In this race, Prohealthware provides a reliable and efficient EMR solution to keep electronic health records in a managed format for various practices. Prohealthware offers only HIPAA compliant Electronic Medical Record Software solutions developed by Health level 7 certified developers. The approach of storing data electronically, replaces the tasks of pulling and filling patient charts manually.