Technological innovation has changed all industries including healthcare. There have been great changes in the healthcare industry where technology is increasingly playing vital roles in almost all processes including patient registration, lab tests, data monitoring, and consultation.To bring about these changes great innovations have been made. Here are some of the most influential technological innovations in the healthcare industry.Electronic health recordTen years ago, all health institutions had many systems that did different things. For example, there was a pharmacy system, documentation system, and an order system. These systems made it very cumbersome to work in a health setting.Creation of an electronic health record revolutionized everything. The record integrated all the systems into a single platform which has made it easy to work in hospitals. Patients are also able to get better services since the healthcare providers are able to get their data with the touch of a button.Portal technologyThis is a tool that enables patients and physicians to access medical records online. The technology makes it possible for patients to easily get information about the diseases that they are suffering from and as a result they are more closely involved and better educated about healthcare.As a patient, you know what you are suffering from and the cure of your disease. This empowers you as you know what is required from you and from the physician.Remote monitoring toolsThis is a system where patients are being monitored from home without the need of travelling to a health facility. This is very advantageous since it saves the patient a lot of money that he/she would have spent in travelling.Here a gadget such as a pacemaker is installed in your body and the data collected is transmitted to a remote center monitored by medical professionals.Medical professionals take a look at the data and if you have any problem, you are notified and advised on what to do. While the system may seem invasive, it’s very great for people suffering from chronic diseases.Sensors and wearable technologyThis technology is used to notify a healthcare provider about the occurrence of an accident. For example, the sensor can be used to notify a doctor when a patient falls or when the pH levels in a wound rises as a result of infection.Here the sensor is placed on the patient’s body and the doctor gets a notification whenever something happens.
If the business you work for is involved in healthcare sales, then it is important to have a formal Healthcare Sales Plan devised. A healthcare plan designed for sales generally identifies a specific market in which your company wants to sell to. To do so, you should consider the type of product you are selling as well as the natural market for your product. Generally speaking, many healthcare companies concentrate on the elderly as a core demographic as they represent a large percentage of the customers for healthcare products. However, if you have a specialty heathcare product that is for athletes, the elderly as an core demographic would not make sense.After a core market is defined, it is important to find the distribution channels where the products could be sold. For example, if you typically sell a lot to retail locations, can you also sell over the internet or through buying clubs? There may be a variety of options to explore as to where you can access a good market for your product.Consideration should also be given towards how you can market or advertise your product. For this, you should consider who your audience is and what forms do they receive information. Public television may be a good option for the elderly, or by advertising on the radio, if you are servicing older people. Otherwise, consider different means of communication to advertise. Effort should also be made to use the free advertising, through your internet website, through blog articles, or through social media.If you have just finished a sales plan, or if you already have a plan, review it and make any modifications needed to expand your products sales. Consider entering new markets by selling to different segments of the population who would be interested in your product. Consider what it is that makes your product special, and apply to those markets that have needs that should be bet. Consider any design advantage; be that producing items cheaply, more technologically sophisticated, or simply easier to use.Having a successful sales plan for your heathcare company involves identifying the natural and best markets for your product, advertising and marketing towards this segment, using means of communication that they rely on. From here, consideration should be made as to whether it is beneficial to expand your market, either internationally or domestically from here, or whether you would be better served concentrating on selling to your core demographic.
If you’re thinking of changing careers, you could do a lot worse than to look into the many opportunities offered by today’s rapidly growing healthcare industry. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a big shift away from goods producing industries over the next few years towards those that provide services. Far and away the largest of these is expected to be the healthcare and social assistance sector, where about one quarter of all new jobs in the US will likely be found.Why Is Healthcare Are Booming Industry?The reasons for this employment boom are not hard to understand: as medical science progresses, people are living longer and the population is gradually comprising more and more of the elderly. The so-called “baby boomer” generation also is contributing to this trend, so that the 55+ age sector is growing faster than any other group. As they advance into old age, these people will likely have continuing need of medical services, including screening, diagnoses and treatments. This implies a similar demand for the support roles on which healthcare providers depend, from medical secretaries and insurance personnel to nursing aides, occupational therapist assistants and pharmacy technicians.Job Training for Health CareMany of the skills needed for these healthcare service industries go beyond those that can be acquired through simple on-the-job experience. But an important attraction for many people is that the vocational training required can often be completed in just one or two years, depending on the subject concentration and degree of specialization. For example, it may be possible to earn an associate degree to become a physical therapist assistant after five semesters, or just under two years. Other certificates or diplomas may be achieved in even less time. After training, you may also need to be licensed or gain certification to practice in some fields — requirements may vary from state to state.These days, many students are taking the opportunity to complete all or part of their academic training online. While they may very well need to complement their studies with real-world clinical experience, online study programs allow enrollees to gain a qualification at the same time as holding down a full-time job. They can organize their study schedule at times which fit in with their other commitments, and avoid the expense and hassle of having to attend classes on campus.Whether they opt for an online course or a more traditional class, it’s important for any student to make sure that the school and the program they select have been properly accredited. For some healthcare support professions, this may even be a precondition of employment. But accreditation also provides a measure of quality assurance, and may make it easier to do things like transferring credits if a student needs to change schools in the middle of the course or wants to go back for retraining later on.Healthcare Is a Socially Minded CareerMany individuals are drawn to the idea of a career in health care because they like the idea of working with people on a daily basis. There can be great job satisfaction in knowing that your work contributes to the public good, and there are also many opportunities to exercise analytic, managerial and technological skills as well.
Skills in DemandWith the consistent upward trend in the healthcare Industry there is huge demand for specialist doctors and experienced Nurses in the respective specialties. Survey respondents were allowed multiple answers.Average hiring for a single hospital per year is around 50 from the different departments and specialties.When asked which overall category was experiencing the most growth within their Hospitals, the top reply was Gynecology, with 23% of the response. Cardiology followed at 15% and Pediatrician was third, with 13% of the response.Hiring MethodologyA usual trend in the healthcare industry was considered to be through personal references and through newspapers, but surprisingly the demand for right personnel has forced the healthcare industry to bank on electronic media like job sites and emails.The highest attrition is for Nurse and Duty doctors who are also high in demand. The finding of the report is startling and reveals the correlation between the hiring and attrition rate in organizations.With the scarcity of healthcare personnel, even hospitals are finding it difficult to hire fresh candidates.Unlike other Industries, there is no specific hiring period and almost all the healthcare organizations hire round the year.Keeping these trends in mind and going further will maximize your potential towards the healthcare niche.Regional Outlook
HR Managers in the West North South states forecast the strongest hiring activity. 78% of executives expect to add staff and only 2% anticipate personnel cutbacks.Survey Methodology
The national poll includes responses from more than 400 HR Managers from a stratified random sample of Hospitals and Healthcare firms with 50 or more beds.
Full Episodes Worth 11 Times More Than LUPA EpisodesAmong the most costly groups of Medicare patients are those subject to LUPA. Using the most recently available national claims database, Healthcare Market Resources’ research shows that a full episode patient is worth 11 times more than a LUPA episode patient. Furthermore, the indirect costs in servicing a patient – including intake, medical records, billing and quality review – are practically the same regardless of whether it is a LUPA or full episode. The average labor cost per visit is also higher for a LUPA episode, since the added effort of the initial and discharge visits are balanced by fewer “regular” visits. LUPA episodes are financially unattractive and, therefore, every effort should be made to minimize their frequency.Understanding Why LUPAs Occur Can Help Minimize Them in the FutureThere are three types of LUPA episode patients based on the reason for the adjustment: Inevitable episodes, intake episodes and operational episodes. By understanding why an adjustment is made, an agency can take steps to minimize the occurrence of LUPA episodes in the future:1. Inevitable LUPA EpisodesThese types of LUPA episodes are very difficult to prevent. They can happen if a patient is readmitted to the hospital or transferred to hospice before a treatment plan is completed. Another example of an inevitable LUPA episode is a patient service who requires a re-certification period, but achieves the treatment plan goals before completion of the full episode visit level. Other than making sure that the transfer to hospice occurs after the fifth visit, there is little that your agency can do to prevent these inevitable LUPAs.2. Intake LUPA EpisodesAs you can see in the Metrics Matters section of this newsletter, patients with certain primary diagnoses are more likely to generate LUPAs than others. The prime offenders – diagnoses that generate the most “intake” LUPA episodes – include:Mental health
B12 shots (Blood)
Once your agency has decided to admit a patient with one of these diagnoses, there is little that you can do to avoid the LUPA. If your agency has programs that serve these patient populations while your competitors do not, you’ll likely end up with a disproportionate number of LUPA cases. Several of Healthcare Market Resources’ Market Profile Reports can help your agency determine if it’s bearing the burden of LUPA diagnoses for your community.Certain referral sources, such as ambulatory surgery centers, may also generate a disproportionate number of LUPAs because of the limited needs of their patients. Only an agency that is built around a per-visit model rather than an episode model may have the cost structure to serve these patients. As the impact of the reimbursement cuts begin to affect the survivability of home care agencies – especially local visiting nurse associations (VNAs) – tough decisions may have to be made as to whether an agency can afford to continue to serve these patient populations, particularly if the long-term survivability of the agency is at stake.3. Operational LUPA EpisodesFrequently caused by patients missing visits, this type of LUPA is the most preventable. Monitoring these “absences” on a real-time basis and holding staff accountable for rescheduling the visit is essential. Also, your agency can contact projected LUPA patients between visits to see if their condition has changed. If a patient’s condition has changed, your agency can respond by contacting the physician to get an assessment visit authorized. In any case, this practice is good customer relations. Additionally, agencies should conduct periodic chart reviews to determine how many LUPAs were preventable.LUPA Rates Vary Among Different MarketsLUPA rates also vary significantly from market to market. Healthcare Market Resources demonstrated LUPA levels vary dramatically by state, for example, in a previous newsletter article, “Metrics Matters: What Percentage of Your Home Care Patient Episodes Are Subject to LUPA?” In fact, we found a negative.65 correlation, which is statistically significant, between recert rates and LUPA levels. That means the higher the recert rate, the lower the LUPA levels. This strong correlation indicates that LUPAs are less likely to occur if agencies serve a highly chronic population.Each market has its own LUPA level, caused by:The types of patients referred to home health
At what point in the disease process patients are referred
How long agencies are “allowed” to keep patients.Managing your agency’s percentage of LUPA patients can have a significant impact on your financial results.
Technological developments are happening at a brisk pace, overtaking existing systems and educational developments.The ever-increasing demand in this sector has had negative impact, leading to overcrowding of hospitals and customer complaints.Main ObjectivesThe Six Sigma methodology aligned with the healthcare sector is a very good option to bring about process improvements with quick results. Improvements are required in common areas such as cost management, service provision and quality of clinical services in healthcare organizations.The major objectives of quality healthcare relate to safety of patients, quality services for patient happiness and reduced turnover of staff by providing good working conditions. Sufficient operating margins are also a main goal.For example, in critical areas, such as the operating room and the entire process of surgery, there may be issues such as pre-op delays, unavailability of surgeons, anesthetists and even some equipment. In these cases, a Six Sigma project that applies the lean concept to pre-op process can bring about major improvements.The safer and more efficient the emergency department is, the more patient satisfaction will increase.Using Kaizen events to monitor equipment or replenish supplies and staffing schedules for medical staff are some of the tools of Six Sigma that can be very useful. In some cases, problems regarding the availability of rooms and support staff at hospitals arise.In this scenario, scheduling processes done using the Six Sigma methodology can prove effective. It helps by reducing defects and medical and prescription errors.Training, Commitment and LeadershipIn the healthcare environment, the management of processes and information is challenging. There is a lack of usage of data in a meaningful way. With lives on the line, hospital administrators tend to concentrate on finding urgent solutions – and the real issues or causes of problems may be forgotten or ignored.Six Sigma defines formal goals for healthcare organizations and the timeline to bring them into force. Well-defined goals are connected to organizations’ performance measures.For a successful implementation of Six Sigma projects in health care organizations, commitment of management and Six Sigma training, coupled with a long-term vision, are necessary. The commitment of top-level management has to be communicated to the lowest levels of the organization and Six Sigma training imparted to the members. The cost of Six Sigma training is justified when the results of the first projects show breakthrough results.In this way, process effectiveness improves, and the reduction in defects and waste brings about savings for the organization as well. Frequent communication of performance helps ensure that everyone connects to the overall goals, be it nursing, housekeeping, billing, administration or any other area.Six Sigma initiatives help increase patient care and satisfaction, physicians’ satisfaction and bring about cost savings that leads to stronger growth of the organization. Each healthcare organization has its own set of distinct requirements, so there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for the healthcare sector.Healthcare organizations can learn from the best practices of the other organizations and use the appropriate Six Sigma approach that fits their specific culture and concerns. They can then live up to their commitment to provide the best services to the community.
Family health care plans or insurance can be extremely beneficial to the well being of the people you care the most about. Let’s be honest, our health is very important to us and as we age it becomes vitally important that we spend some time thoroughly researching the health insurance providers in order to find a family healthcare plan that protects the interest of our family’s health without costing us a fortune in health insurance premiums or monthly rates.There are several reasons why researching a family healthcare plan is a good idea. First and foremost as I’m sure you are aware more and more companies are downsizing or eliminating the benefits they provide their employees. Unfortunately, reducing or completely doing away with health care benefits has become the norm as opposed to an exception to the rule. For this very reason it is imperative that you spend quality time now finding an adequate family healthcare plan that will provide outstanding family health insurance to your most precious of assets.Guess what, accidents happen and they do so with enough frequency that should you need to take a trip to the emergency room or to the doctor’s office it’s better if you go knowing that you have a family healthcare plan that has you covered and will take care of any medical or health related bills that appear as a result of the hospitalization required due to the accident.Being financially strapped for cash is no picnic and can be very stressful for many consumers. Having a family healthcare plan allows you to put aside any financial worries you may have in the event you find yourself or a family member needing attention or treatment at a local hospital. Having proper health insurance also affords you the opportunity to save money for other needed necessities in life because you won’t have to worry about having to cover any medical expenses or bills that may come up due to receiving medical attention from a hospital or doctor.As you do your online research in order to find a family healthcare plan that fits your needs, wants and desires you will be able to compare price quotes between several different health insurance providers or companies. Always make sure to look at deductible costs, prescription costs and of course the doctor’s that you can choose to seek future medical treatment from. The time you invest in finding the best family healthcare plan will save you money and aggravation in all of your future medical emergencies.
The Regulatory Environment
As the industry continues to innovate and leverage new technologies, it is also plagued by a stringent and always changing regulatory environment. Healthcare institutions are always looking for ways to improve clinical trials of medical devices, and incorporate breakthrough technologies to meet the growing demands of patients, healthcare practitioners while at the same time meeting device guidelines and regulations. In addition, the increase in mobility, connectivity and portability of monitoring devices, medical device manufacturers are seeking to build cost-effective and cutting edge connected services.Embracing IT Solutions
Healthcare policy reforms and technological advances have converged to drive demand for new and innovative medical devices for hospitals, healthcare institutions, laboratories and governments. However, with growth come significant challenges (and opportunities) – as guidelines and mandates are constantly evolving and changing the way medical devices are launched, IT solutions can help.• Efficiently manage compliance issues, as well as customer service and complaint issues
• Improve product development and manufacturing processes across key operational functions and meet the demands of an increasingly stringent regulatory environment
• Minimize cost of product development and research while simultaneously improving time to market
• Enable superior research and development activities and ensure richer device (and healthcare) outcomes
• And overcome challenges across clinical development and production, using cutting-edge compliance management tactics, sales and marketing analytics and field serviceSmart Engineering for Improved Healthcare Outcomes
Smart Engineering is the latest wave of engineering processes that’s enabling manufacturers to drive innovation in the product development space:
• With smart engineering, manufacturers can easily and quickly validate error-prone functionality early in the product development
• With such validation, manufacturers can significantly reduce costs and accelerate time-to-market
• Automation of tasks can result in massive productivity gains, and proactive risk mitigation can help ensure safe and reliable products
• Smart engineering enables robustness of product design that delivers high quality to patients and health care providers at affordable prices
• Smart data collection through the design stages leads to predictable outcomes in manufacturing
• Manufacturers can verify changes much before they are implemented, and build safer products with predictable outcome
• Smart engineering incorporates model-based development, with embedded hardware and firmware design, integration and test automation
• Using medical grade communication technologies and protocols, device manufacturers can build a connected ecosystem
• Application development and maintenance medical device design services help in building Electronic Medical Records as well as Personal Health Records(PHR)
• Infrastructure management services enable manufacturers to host solutions on the cloud and leverage the benefits of remote management
• And finally, quality assurance and regulatory services ensure accurate product validation, certification and submission for improved health managementEmerging as Winners
The healthcare industry’s dynamic nature puts continuous pressure on medical device manufacturers to continuously develop products and improve clinical outcomes and patient wellness. Device makers who adapt to industry trends and changes quickly and deliver unparalleled performance with focus on clinical outcomes and reduced support costs are the ones to emerge as winners and become leaders of tomorrow.
While reading some online content the other day, I happened across a paragraph that gave me pause. The article was addressing the work of primary care providers. Nothing earth shaking in what I read until I saw a sentence that said we should ask the patient how they define health. WOW!!! This is a major point that we often overlook. Taking notice of this one item can explain a great deal about our patient’s health behavior.Those of us who have chosen an occupation in the health and wellness field have been well educated in the classic definition of health. We study normal lab values, charts, tables and a plethora of other items that we use to define good health. Variations to these normal values are usually indicative of some disease process. When a healthcare provider sees a value outside of the normal, we have this deep, burning desire to manage and correct the process that produced the offending value. We will often consult fellow practitioners to get their consul on how to best address the problem that we have found. Then we use a variety of medications and procedures to try and bring all of the values we measure back to the physiologic normal. At that point we pronounce the patient healthy.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 12 million workers in the healthcare sector. That seems like a lot of people until you consider the population of the entire United States, slightly more than 300 million people. Thus, only about 4% of the population looks at health the way that a nurse, pharmacist, physician or other healthcare worker does. The other 96% probably define good health or wellness in ways that we find difficult to comprehend.When a healthcare worker sees a patient who is diabetic, they will usually pronounce their management as being good when associated with either a fasting blood sugar between 70 to 120 mg/dl or a hemoglobin A1c of 6 or 7%. We have all read studies, viewed slides and listened to lectures that tell us that these values are indicative of good health. But what about the patient? How do they define good health in their own mind? The variety of answers will truly astound many people, but it will explain a lot of unhealthy behavior.Most people usually seek medical care for one of two reasons. Either they are in pain or they are leaking a red, warm, sticky fluid from their body. Otherwise, they will pronounce themselves healthy. It is easy to see how this applies to those who have not been sick previously. But many people, even in the face of a diagnosed chronic disease, will consider themselves healthy if they subjectively feel good. Never mind the dire warning of future consequences if they don’t take their prescribed medication. They feel good right now, so they must be ok. Unfortunately, this is when the patient decides to abandon their medication or other treatment. You see, by their definition, they are now well again.It is important for us to determine how the patient defines good health. In order to gain their compliance in helping with their treatment plan, we need to know how the patient views what we are doing for them. Some people are inquisitive and will seek out knowledge about their disease process from us or other healthcare sources. Others are not interested in our dire predictions about increased risk of stroke, heart attack or other serious event if they don’t take their medication. They are living in the here and now. Tomorrow is another day that will be addressed when it arrives. Once we determine the patient’s definition of good health, we now have some insight into how we need to approach them. It may mean that this patient will benefit from a support group or more frequent follow up visits. It may mean that they will actually read and utilize the patient education pamphlets we give them.Whatever the situation is, we must take the time to get the patient’s idea of good health. If we ignore this critical point, we may constantly wonder why the patient is not getting any better in spite of all of the advice and medication we may dispense. Working towards a common goal with a common definition will probably make life better for everyone.
US President Obama has just recently passed the divisive shifts to the nation’s healthcare policies. The bill allows for the health insurance coverage of around thirty million citizens not benefiting from the deficiency in proper medical care. Historically, Obama is the first American president to have comprehensively renewed the country’s healthcare system. The clinical and pharmacy businesses, in turn, will have to do big adjustments in line with the nation’s healthcare policies, which are following the model of European nations like the UK. Over 16 million citizens will be included in Medicaid’s policies. This covers low- to middle-income-earning citizens. Private insurance companies are banned from refusing medical care for pre-existing conditions such as heart or bone problems.The reform has been anticipated to have an overall uplifting change on the pharmacy businesses. The bill grants complete insurance plans to an added number of US citizens. In terms of pharmacy industry matters, the bill gives pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) services. It also has a loan forgiveness agenda. On the downside, the Medicare reimbursement to pharmacies is still unclear. It will take several years for businesses to smoothen out these details.Since the US is using Europe’s healthcare model, American pharmacies will have to change their buying systems as well. The demand to change their market will majorly influence the companies involved in driving the national medical economy. With the greater insurance plan, pharmacies will benefit from more customers hitting their stores to buy medicines. They’re no longer restricted by the unemployment or the severity of their condition. The challenge for pharmacies will arise from the deficiency in major choice makers, according to Chris Weight, co-author of the book “Drivers of Change to Pharmaceutical Commercial Models.” They’ll have to advertise their medicines to a larger organizations: Medicaid and Medicare. Pharmacy ratings will ultimately depend on these government payers. In the United Kingdom, pharmaceutical executives market their items to public healthcare payers instead of an individual and specific market. Instead of marketing the medicines at a profitable value, the drugs are sold at the lowest possible price. This will be a major shift for many community drug stores, which supply both generic and branded medications. it’s important for local American pharmacies to consult with European companies about their buying and marketing methods.Pharmacy benefit managers will be boosted from the extended drug coverage given by Medicare, due to this policy. Expect additional medicine benefits part of your company’s medical insurance coverage. Your plan, though, can only be directed by where you work. Anticipate some limitations and added advantages together.Online pharmacies will have fewer adjustments as compared to local drug stores. They presently sell at low and practical costs to customers under a tight and tiny budget. Most online pharmacies supply generics as an alternative to the more expensive brand name medicines. These businesses need to be careful as the bill provides a 75 percent discount to generic and brand name. Nevertheless, because these online pharmacies supply a private market, they’ll have to redirect marketing to public health payers and suppliers. It is obviously a total change for an Internet business. Nonetheless, pharmaceutical websites can continue to profit from persons who favor to obtain their drugs from private suppliers. Online pharmacies continue to be a convenience for individuals who stay in far off areas or require large amounts of drugs. Individuals who’ll be enjoying the prolonged clinical plan should talk about their options with their local or online pharmacy. Buyers loyal to online pharmacies can save more cash by using the insurance plan.