Struggling rural hospitals face financial pain amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Revenue has been lost as elective procedures have been canceled since patients can’t safely visit in person for fear of being infected or spreading the disease. As a result, rural communities may lose access to critical care as the pandemic progresses.
Rural residents hurt
The financial and operational pressures on rural healthcare facilities can leave patients who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms or require ongoing care for chronic conditions with limited access to critical care, especially considering many rural residents live more than 30 miles away from the nearest hospital. Plus, rural populations are often more vulnerable to severe to serious outcomes with COVID-19. Compared to urban populations, rural Americans:
Are older: More than 20% of the population in completely rural counties are ages 65+, according to U.S. census data, compared to around 15% in mostly urban centers.
Have higher rates of: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cigarette smoking
Have increased mortality rates from: heart disease, cancer, lower respiratory disease, stroke, and unintentional injuries.
Technology must be used to solve the problem
Mobile, Alabama-based healthcare technology company CPSI understands the challenges facing rural hospitals and clinics, so the company is providing a free telehealth portal so doctors can continue to provide quality care.
While telehealth regulations were quickly changed amidst COVID-19, allowing providers to be reimbursed at $220 per remote appointment instead of at $13, telemedicine is not a reality for cash-strapped rural hospitals that:
Lack the technological infrastructure and resources required to implement telemedicine
Require a highly secure, HIPAA-compliant platform (Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams are not secure options)
Need a platform that operates smoothly on low-bandwidth connectivity, common in rural areas
Treat patients who don’t have computers or webcam capabilities
Rural hospitals need an affordable, secure, easy-to-use telehealth platform that can be set up in hours, not months, to give their patients quality care while allowing them to tap into a desperately needed revenue stream that could help them stay afloat. They need CPSI’s turnkey telehealth solution: Talk With Your Doc.
By Lisa Hebert, director of product management, NantHealth.
Our industry is stuck in an inefficient, costly trend—treating avoidable diseases rather than preventing them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, account for 75 percent of our nation’s healthcare spend. Shifting our focus to wellness will improve patient health and reduce overall healthcare costs.
How do we get there? A transition to preventative care requires value-based care that is aimed at the long-term needs of individual patients. Patient-centric and evidence-based, the model leverages vast amounts of historical healthcare data and advanced analytics to provide clearly defined routes to well-established, evidence-based treatments with proven effectiveness. It helps providers assess risks, benefits, and trade-offs of specific treatments, avoid unnecessary treatments and costs, and deliver more accurate, better quality care that keeps patients healthy throughout their lives.
Value-based care benefits all participants—healthcare providers, facilities, and plans, and the patients they serve. It’s dependent on active, ongoing participation from all parties. Collaboration is critical to its success.
Leveraging Technology to Collaborate
A value-based care system requires robust technology to replace manual tasks, reduce inefficiencies, and support the transfer of patient data in a secure, timely and comprehensive way. Done right—interoperable and seamlessly integrated with existing workflows—automation technology can enable patients, providers and payers to communicate and collaborate in meaningful ways, while saving significant costs. It is estimated that the industry could save $12.4 billion by fully adopting electronic transactions that enable them to exchange vital information in near real-time and more readily communicate and collaborate to deliver care with delay.
Hyland Healthcare recently partnered with HIMSS Media to survey leaders from healthcare provider organizations on their current interoperability initiatives for its second annual Connected Care and the State of Interoperability study. The results are published in a whitepaper titled Connected Healthcare: Interoperability Progress and Challenges Ahead and an infographic titled Breaking Down Healthcare’s Interoperability Gaps.
The study indicates year-over-year improvement in healthcare providers achieving their top interoperability goals. However, several obstacles to improving interoperability were also identified, including the management of unstructured data and content. Survey respondents indicated that 73 percent of unstructured patient data remains inaccessible for analysis, leaving a significant gap in health information.
Key results from 2020 Connected Care and the State of Interoperability in Healthcare include:
Year-over-year improvements to top interoperability goals:
Organizations’ ability to effectively tackle improvements in patient satisfaction increased from 45 percent to 63 percent
86 percent of respondents stated they are better able to meet regulatory compliance requirements
The ability to maximize the value from the EMR investment grew by 23 percent (from 31 percent in 2019 to 54 percent in this year’s study)
Challenges to achieving interoperability goals:
More than half of survey respondents stated the major obstacles to improved interoperability is the ability to keep pace with patient expectations
The most significant obstacles to improving interoperability include: Integration (59 percent); Adoption (58 percent); Consumerism (55 percent); Managing unstructured data/content (53 percent); and Managing Multiple EMRs (48 percent)
On average, 73 percent of unstructured patient data is still unavailable for analysis.
The ability to consistently share picture and archiving communication system (PACS) images
“Healthcare interoperability has never been more important than it is today,” said Colleen Sirhal, chief clinical officer for Hyland Healthcare. “Providers, patients and public health officials need all-encompassing data to better understand the still-evolving coronavirus and inform guidelines and treatment. The more we focus on breaking down the barriers to sharing key health information with varied clinical stakeholders, the better prepared we’ll be to ensure the best public health outcomes.”
Another major gap uncovered by the research was the ability to consistently share PACS images. Ninety percent of respondents agreed that access to images at the point of care is important; however, 18 percent of imaging data is captured offline and not integrated with core clinical systems. Additionally, only 11 percent of respondents connect with a vendor-neutral archive (VNA) for digital imaging and communications (DICOM) and non-DICOM images.
The lingering problems with integrating unstructured patient content is concerning, particularly with the evolution to a value-based care practice. Healthcare providers increasingly need a structured way to see all patient information to know the appropriate tests were ordered, administered and ultimately assess the results. This helps save money by not ordering duplicate tests, but also improves patient satisfaction.
The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the need for autonomous healthcare as frontline physicians and medical personnel struggle to handle overloaded hospitals and overflow facilities. It is imperative to keep non-emergent patients out of emergency rooms and simultaneously empower physicians to deliver diagnoses via telemedicine.
Remote diagnostics will be required to care for astronauts in deep space yet it is incredibly relevant to quarantined populations. It assists healthcare providers see all the possible conditions a patient might have. Remote care helps patient get care while still at home.
The VisualDx’s app combines machine learning with clinical data to accurately diagnose a number of medical conditions. The technology has been implemented by tens of thousands of providers and in more than 2,300 hospitals and large clinics globally. In response to emergent needs of the pandemic, the company modified the app to contain the information needed to differentiate between COVID-19, the flu or a common cold.
“Telemedicine is now a requirement if we are to deliver quality care for all patients during this global health crisis,” said Art Papier, VisualDx CEO. “VisualDx is uniquely suited to provide preparedness in critical situations such as COVID-19 and support everyday clinical complaints.”
The VisualDx app requires internet connectivity so TRISH supported transferring the software onto a local computer so it can be used by astronauts on the way to Mars and by healthcare workers in places where internet access is limited.
“Now more than ever, we’re seeing how the research we fund to help our astronauts survive deep space missions has immediate impact for all of us on Earth,” TRISH director Dorit Donoviel, Ph.D. explained. “During deep space missions astronauts will need to rely on technology like VisualDx’s app, to self-diagnosis health issues when access to a physician might not be possible.”
VisualDx has COVID-19 resources available to the public on their website.
With the COVID-19 pandemic unleashing its impact on a global scale, numerous nations are scrambling to adopt various strategies and protocols to mitigate further spread of the virus. One common protocol initiated across more than 25 nations is social distancing.
In a bid to ensure this social distancing, worldwide economies have begun the implementation of partial or complete lockdowns. While this is considered to be a largely helpful endeavor, one challenge arising from these lockdowns is limitations in access to healthcare. This presents a significant conundrum for global populations as the need for healthcare access is becoming increasingly important in the current scenario.
Amid these concerns, however, technology presents a lucrative solution; telemedicine.
Many healthcare facilities and regulatory authorities are rapidly seeking alternative healthcare solutions to offer seamless medical aid whilst mitigating risk of exposure. Telemedicine shows immense potential in this regard, by limiting the need for hospital visits, and implementing more optimized allocations of hospital capacity to integral cases, by offering access to robust healthcare through digital means.
The telemedicine market is also witnessing great support from global regulatory authorities like WHO and CDC in recent times, in an effort to safeguard medical staff and other frontline workers, without influencing the delivery of healthcare services.
The evolution of telemedicine
Telemedicine refers to the use of software and electronic communication devices to deliver clinical services to patients, without the need to make in-person visits to the hospital. Telemedicine technology is used extensively for chronic condition management, medication management, follow-up visits, and a host of such healthcare services, via secure audio and video connections.
While telemedicine has emerged as a prominent entity only in recent years, it has been in existence for several years. The origins of the telemedicine industry can be traced as far back as the 1950s, when certain university medial centers and hospital systems began to experiment with methods to share images and information through the telephone. Two Pennsylvania health centers were among the first to achieve success with this technology, through the transmission of radiologic images via telephone.
Over time, telemedicine technologies began to evolve, and witnessed a significant turn with the rise of the internet. With the emergence of smart devices, designed to facilitate high-quality video transmission, delivery of remote healthcare solutions to patients in their workplaces, homes or assisted living facilities became more prevalent, thus presenting an ideal alternative to in-person clinical visits for both specialized and primary healthcare.
Rising risk of COVID-19 transmission through contact is necessitating the development of effective telemedicine solutions
As concerns arising from the global pandemic continue to surge, telemedicine is beginning to emerge as a lucrative and sustainable preventative and treatment solution to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Virtual care services are helping bridge the gap between the population, health systems, and physicians. These solutions enable everybody, particularly symptomatic patients, to seek medical health from the comfort of their homes and communicate seamlessly with their doctors via digital means, thus reducing the risk of exposure for both medical staff as well as the general population.
Bits In Glass, an award-winning software consulting firm serving clients across North America, is announcing the launch of its new COVID-19 Remote Care application, developed in response to the global COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The application is HIPAA compliant and helps healthcare providers filter, manage, and monitor patients. It provides COVID-19 test tracking and result notifications, automatic follow-up steps and forms, quarantined patient management, and in-app communication with patients.
It’s estimated that only half of all countries have the requisite health workforce required to deliver quality healthcare services; the U.S. is forecasted to be 105,000 doctors short by 2030. With these individuals on the front line of the pandemic, their health is also at risk, which can further exacerbate this shortage.
“Healthcare workers are stretched to the limit, and our COVID-19 Remote Care application is designed to help reduce that burden while enabling efficient and effective patient care,” says David Hauser, Bits In Glass Partner. “This means enabling care providers to reduce call center pressure, protect staff exposure, and limit testing and resources to those who need it most.”
The total number of cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. reached 213,144 on April 2, with the first case being reported less than three months prior on January 20.
The healthcare provider portal offers:
Direct messaging with patients
A work queue for remote monitoring of patients
Lab system interface for logging test results with automated follow-up tasks
Reports on operations and population metrics
The patient portal offers:
A mobile-friendly symptom assessment form
In-app communication with their care provider
Access to records, test results, and educational materials
Easy to understand steps and notifications for the quarantine period
COVID-19 Remote Care also acts as a central portal for health information and supports wearable IoT device integration to allow patients to take physiological readings from home and have the data automatically synced to the application.
The patient interface is mobile-friendly, making it easy for patients to take a symptom assessment, send messages to their provider, access helpful resources, and manage their quarantine and follow-up if they test positive from any device.
Learn more about Bits In Glass’ COVID-19 Remote Care application here.
Because of the digital transformation of most medical institutions, nursing careers have become increasingly tech-based, and this has brought about both positive and negative changes to the nursing experience and the possible future of nursing. This article will discuss some of the significant impacts that technology is starting to have on nurses within the sector and how their experiences may be different from those of the generations that have come before them.
If you want to know what it is really like to be a nurse, you should know that all of your days will now be technology-centric. From the first days of their nursing journey, technology has become integral to the experience of those that are looking for a career in healthcare. Rather than attending a campus college or university, as many nurses did before them, now, the next generation of nurses are starting to harness technology to get the qualifications that they need. The development of online degrees allows nurses to meet the requirements of specific nursing job roles using the internet and a computer, with many renowned colleges deciding to allow remote students to complete their coursework solely online.
Online degrees operate by allowing student nurses to access materials and resources on the internet, such as lectures and notes, hand in coursework and conduct examinations electronically, and even speak to their tutors and other students on online forums and by email. For instance, Marymount University offers a range of nursing qualifications, including EDD Organizational Leadership, which can help to advance the careers of those who are looking for senior healthcare positions or who want to focus on nursing research.
Technology in Education
Not only this, but many physical colleges and universities use the internet to aid the study of nurses.
The technology that is used in education includes:
Learning management software
These have all becoming an integral part of most nursing courses worldwide. This technology can always help to give student nurses an engaging experience and allow them to get access to the best training materials. Not only this, but these types of technology can help student nurses to build their interpersonal and leadership abilities through the development of multiplayer and conferencing software, which can allow them to connect with each other, as well as with professionals in the sector.
When it comes to waving goodbye to the office for good, many of us are already counting down the years. But once retirement does arrive, you want to stay feeling positive, happy and youthful to make the most of this special time. Here are some top tips as to how to stay feeling young after retirement.
Find Your Passion
You may have been lucky enough to have spent a lifetime working in your chosen field, but no matter where your career has taken you, we all have passions or hobbies we’ve never really had time to explore. Retirement is the perfect opportunity to rediscover all those interests and hobbies you loved and longed for as a youngster and reconnect with your inner-youth. Why not try joining a new sports club or singing group. Not only is it fun, but it’s also a great way to be social and make new friends.
Children are a source of worry for every parent. You spend several years raising them and hope they turn out alright. There are thousands of books and articles on how to raise children properly. However, they don’t always work out, and it’s generally down to trial and error. Imagining that your teen is abusing drugs is frightening. Needless to say, if your child is caught abusing drugs, they may end up facing trials for their errors.
Teens deal with several physical and emotional changes. This makes it difficult to pinpoint whether some symptoms are drug-related or just mood swings as a result of hormonal changes. Below are red signs that your teen is abusing drugs.
Possession of the drugs
This is a glaring red sign. Some drugs such as marijuana are distinctive, but they may be abusing prescription pills, which may be hard to discover. The Internet has it all, though. Search for the symbol of the pill and see what comes up. You may as well ask the kid.
Another dead giveaway. It could be the smell of marijuana or a new interest in deodorant or perfume. If you can’t tell the smell of marijuana, it’s probably time you educate yourself. Well, it’s not necessary that you smoke marijuana yourself, but you can ask a cop to show you a sample.
A change in your teen’s behavior is probably the first thing you’ll notice. Are they acting differently to a point where it’s affecting their relationships with other family members? That could be a sign of drug abuse. Watch out for the following behavioral changes.
In the world of networking technologies, Cisco is recognized by many as one of the most reputable companies in the field. To ensure that its consumers get reliable and sufficient assistance from the IT professionals who handle its products, this organization offers a lot of certificates at various levels to help prove one’s knowledge and skills in a particular product or technology.
The credentials found at the Associate level are the most popular. As there will be some changes to the Cisco certification program soon, the list of 10 associate-level certificates will be replaced by only two CCNA and one DevNet. That is why a lot of candidates try to pass all the required exams now, and even more individuals are preparing to earn the new credentials. One of those that is going to be retired is 300-420 ENSLD.
In this article, we want to talk about this certificate and the test that you will need to pass in order to obtain a badge. We will highlight what Cisco CCIE DCICN entails and how to pass it.
Cisco CCNA Data Center certification
CCNA Data Center provides the students with the confidence that you will need during your job tasks while installing, configuring, and maintaining data center technology. They will get the required knowledge of data center networking concepts and technologies, data center infrastructure, unified computing, data center automation and orchestration, ACI, storage networking, and network virtualization.
Cisco CCIEis a certification exam that validates your knowledge of data center physical infrastructure, networking concepts, and storage networking. It contains about 55 to 65 questions,and the time allocated for this test is 90 minutes. Registration for it is only available in English and on the Pearson VUE platform. You need to log into your account, select ‘Proctored Exams’, and type CCIE.
To successfully pass this certification exam and get high results, you need to ace the topics that are required to be learned. All in all, you need to study the following objectives: