By Karen Conway, vice president of healthcare value, GHX.
The disruption wrought by COVID-19 is unmatched in recent history. While the lasting implications have yet to be fully understood, the limitations of the global healthcare supply chain have been exposed. While it is impossible to predict when another crisis will hit, there are steps healthcare organizations can take now to mitigate future risk.
1. Collaborate with Key Stakeholders on Continuity Plans
Excellent crisis management begins with pre-planning. Bring together key internal stakeholders, such as clinical, financial, risk management and operational leaders, as well as external contributors, including public health agencies, local government officials, distributors and manufacturers. Pre-planning builds relationships and trust as participants anticipate needs, identify necessary resources and develop contingency plans.
2. Create Evidence-Based Protocols for Supply Utilization with Clinicians
There is a growing body of evidence surrounding the safe and sustainable use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical resources, including scenarios in which alternative products or protocols may be required when demand exceeds the capacity of traditional sources. This evidence can support advance work with clinicians to determine how and when to source comparable alternative products or implement conservation measures. Pre-planning will help reduce clinician stress when changes are required during times of crisis.
3. Recognize Risks Associated with Current Supply Chain Practices
COVID-19 has called into question reliance on Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory practices, which are pervasive across most supply chains as hospitals seek to reduce costs. JIT delivers products on an as needed basis in contrast to keeping large quantities on hand. This can increase risk when there are upstream supply disruptions or unanticipated spikes in demand. COVID-19 has led supply chain leaders to rethink the risks associated with JIT and consider how improved inventory visibility and demand planning across the supply chain can enhance the ability to respond quickly to avoid potential shortages.
It takes a pandemic to reveal how much digital technologies are ignored in the healthcare sector. The COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically transforming the healthcare sector and how professionals gather medical intelligence. Almost every physician worldwide has been part of a telemedicine movement to encourage patients to embrace safe and virtual appointments.
Consequently, preparing for a virtual appointment requires some getting used to. As a rule of thumb, patients can struggle to explain some of their symptoms, even in face-to-face interaction. That’s where real-time medical examination can help reduce misunderstandings.
In the virtual world, gathering evidence such as taking photos or filming a video that shows your symptoms and asking the right questions can guide the doctor to the appropriate diagnosis.
However, while we focus on making telehealth more accessible to patients, we also need to prepare doctors to make the most of it.
Find reliable HIPAA-compliant hosting
Gathering and storing digital data is not a novelty for healthcare centers. Nevertheless, keeping data storage HIPAA-compliant can become a challenge with the increased number of telehealth appointments. Protecting patients’ records in a fully digital world means relying on a highly secured data hosting strategy, as per Atlantic.net.
Contrary to common belief, there is no such thing as a HIPAA hosting body that can verify the compliance claims of each provider. For healthcare centers that need to adapt to the growing telemedicine demand, the quest for a robust, reliable, and HIPAA hosting provider becomes tricky and expensive.
By Devin Partida, technology writer and the Editor-in-Chief of the digital magazine, ReHack.com
The healthcare industry, like many other sectors today, is becoming increasingly digitized and data-driven. This transition into a digital landscape comes with various benefits but can complicate some matters as well. As medical trends lean toward digitization, solutions for accessibility and interoperability are essential.
On average, healthcare organizations manage 8.41 petabytes of data, up 878% since just four years ago. At the same time, most of these organizations experience at least one data disruption a year. The medical industry needs better data management, and vendor neutral archives (VNAs) provide it.
VNAs give medical facilities an interoperable solution for data access. Here’s a closer look at how these solutions are changing the industry.
Increasing Data Accessibility
VNAs are one of the most promising healthcare trends today because they address one of traditional systems’ most glaring flaws — inaccessibility. A VNA is an archiving system that stores and consolidates data from across all departments in a facility. Thanks to their neutrality, VNAs can store nearly any kind of file and work on any system.
Vendor-specific systems make it challenging for staff to access data from different departments. With these approaches, doctors have to use various platforms to view different files, which can take precious time. The time doctors spend trying to access all the different data they need is time spent away from tending to patients.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered service delivery in a big way. Even services such as healthcare that rely heavily on in-person meetings have had to bow to the “new normal,” with practices being forced to embrace telemedicine.
If you are here because you have an upcoming virtual appointment with a healthcare provider, you are in the right place. We have provided six great ways to prepare for a telemedicine visit and make the encounter with your doctor more seamless and productive:
1. Get in touch with your insurer
To avoid being surprised by a hefty healthcare bill, it is worthwhile to get in touch with your insurer to know if you are covered for telemedicine. Many insurance companies have added telemedicine services to their coverage due to the Covid-19 situation, but it is worth the effort of getting confirmation from the horse’s mouth.
With the continuous improvement of people’s living standards, the demand for health has gradually increased, and family oxygen inhalation has gradually become an important part of family rehabilitation. However, we sometimes encounter some small problems in the process of using the oxygen generator.
Today, the editor summarized a few common problems of home oxygen concentrators to share with you, and attached the daily maintenance methods of the oxygen concentrator. Friends who use oxygen concentrators at home should not miss it.
Most oxygen concentrators are equipped with a self-check function. When we turn on the oxygen concentrator, the machine automatically enters the self-check program. This time will last for two to three seconds. During the self-check, the oxygen concentrator lights up all The indicator light and the buzzer will sound, this is the performance of the machine’s normal work, not a reminder of a fault alarm.
We are all busy with a lot of things at any given moment. This becomes even more pronounced when we live in busy cities like Seattle and New York. Simply put, we don’t really have time to be sick. However, things sometimes go out of control and we begrudgingly fall ill. It’s better if it’s just the common cold, but events sometimes turn for the worst and we are forced to seek medical assistance.
But just because the doctor is here to assist us doesn’t mean that we can let our guards down. Our healing is ultimately our business. We must involve ourselves actively in the treatment process. In this article, we identify the things that you should pay attention to so that you can help yourself and your doctor in making you feel better.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity to expand and accelerate innovative uses of electronic health information via health information exchanges (HIEs) to support state and local public health agencies. Strengthening health data exchange and use between HIEs and state and local public health agencies will help communities to better prevent, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies, including disasters and pandemics such as COVID-19.
With $2.5 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will award up to five (5) cooperative agreements under the Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health Agencies via Health Information Exchange (STAR HIE) Program.
Award recipients will focus on improving HIE services (such as last-mile connectivity and data services) in support of state and local public health agencies. The STAR HIE Program aims to strengthen existing state and local HIE infrastructure so that public health agencies are able to better access, share, and use health information as well as support communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“State and local HIEs play a unique role in their communities by uniting health information from many different sites of service, including providers, hospitals, nursing homes, clinical laboratories, and public health departments, making them a natural fit to deliver innovative, local ‘last mile’ approaches to strengthen our overall public health response,” said Don Rucker, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology. “The funding opportunity we announced today will invest in infrastructure and data services for HIEs that provide critical real-time information to communities at the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Award recipients will be required to deploy services that can enable, enhance, or increase the use of health information exchange at the state and local levels among relevant entities, and be inclusive of a diverse set of participating providers, including those who care for vulnerable or at-risk populations. They also will be required to engage in activities that address communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, considering factors such as age, race, ethnicity, disability, and sex.
A storm is brewing in the dental world. Not just your normal storm but one massive data hurricane. Whether it’s through data collection or data mining as some experts call it.
The sharing of data or data analytics there is no doubt the dentistry industry is advancing into the information age.
“It’s important to keep ahead of the game by utilizing the computing power, and specialist IT solutions that we now have to deliver the best service we can provide as health professionals,” says Pravesh Solanki of TheFreshUK, a health and IT expert specializing in dental care.
Health data in dentistry is an amalgamation of routine care reports, personal statements, patient diaries and focus groups. Not to mention data sourced from search engines and even body cameras worn by staff. This wealth of data has led to a more evidence based approach to dentistry pushing it forward as one of the main contenders in technical advancement in the 21st century.
“Recent recognition of the complex interplay between oral and general health has acknowledged the power of oral health big data to glean new insights on disease prevention and management,” per a piece, “Impact of big data on oral health outcomes,” published in Oral Diseases.
While most people get their health insurance from their spouses, jobs, or school, self-employed or unemployed individuals have to rely on the health insurance marketplace to purchase a policy that suits their lifestyle and income. Government and privately-managed marketplaces provide an easy way for individuals to compare various quotes, review different plans without making phone calls, and find answers to multiple questions.
A health marketplace is a useful tool that serves small businesses, families, and individuals. Through this resource, you can enroll in a plan that suits your healthcare needs and detects valuable tax credits.
Public vs. private marketplaces
Either the federal government or state governments manage the public medical insurance marketplace, while private companies run private exchanges. While government exchanges are usually limited to qualified health plans (i.e. ACA-compliant plans), private exchanges have more flexibility to offer non-qualified plans that may be more cost-effective.
For example, compare healthcare.gov versus a private exchange like AHiX Marketplace. The former only offers ACA-compliant plans, while the latter offers all of those plans in addition to cheaper short-term or limited coverage plans. So if full coverage isn’t your primary concern and you’re mostly interested in saving money, you can find affordable health insurance at AHiX Marketplace and other private healthcare exchanges like it.
Private health marketplace
Private exchanges provide a wide variety of options, so you can receive valuable insight into different coverage types before committing to a plan. Using these private health marketplaces, you can find affordable policies with extensive coverage.
Improvements in technology have greatly improved the accessibility to care when it comes to addiction treatment and recovery, and 5G is one of these changes that have been especially beneficial.
Improvements to telehealth, and the possibility of remote care has increased the quality of life for many recovering addicts.
In addition to this, 5G has made connecting to close friends and family, accessing online support groups and additional therapy, and the sending of essential medical information much easier and more reliable.
These improvements have only grown in relevancy as time goes on, and it will only continue to do so. For example, this relevancy is made very evident when considering the current COVID-19 pandemic. Here are 5 ways 5G will improve healthcare.
It Improves Telehealth
Telehealth is life changing for those living in rural and remote areas because traditional addiction treatment programs are often not available to people living in these parts of the world. 5G will make telehealth more reliable and productive.
Telehealth often involves video conferencing, and 5G will improve the video and audio quality of these online calls. This will make these remote appointments more effective. Other elements like the faster sending of emails, documents, and images will improve telehealth and make it more effective as well. Having mobile devices only enhances this accessibility of 5G, and these devices connected to 5G make attending appointments through telehealth even easier.
It allows for Remote Care
5G has made it possible to have reliable and safe real time care from the comfort of your own home. This is especially great for those who live in areas with traditional alcohol or drug rehabprograms that are at full capacity and areas where there are no traditional addiction treatment programs available at all. 5G allows for medical staff and therapists to check in with the recovering addict frequently.
“For example, if a person is detoxing from drugs or alcohol, frequent remote care is ideal and much safer than detoxing on one’s own. Online outpatient care is a type of treatment that has rapidly developed since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Mathew Gorman, CEO of Eudaimonia Recovery Homes. “It allows for proper treatment of withdrawal symptoms and early intervention if those symptoms become life-threatening.”