An ordinary blood test & use of the protocol may protect almost 70,000 people in America annually of deaths due to sepsis in the hospitals, based upon a content by Donald Berwick, M.D., & Robert Pearl, M.D., posted in Forbes. Regardless of such availability, affordable preventive steps, sepsis remains a prominent reason for death in the US hospitals. Some other sepsis intervention programs in addition have given a hand to reduce infection percentage. A two year combined program in 9 hospitals in USF’s Integrated Nursing Leadership Program really improved sepsis death rates by 54.5% every year, along with nurses screening new patients during admission and also at the start of every shift, fast-tracking a diagnosis for the patients with a minimum of 2 signs of possible sepsis. During August, last year, 2 doctors written in the Forbes debated that the simple blood test along with adopting a protocol could quite possibly protect around 70,000 People in the America every year from being killed of sepsis in the hospitals. Continue reading Prediction of sepsis is easy with EHRs
Health Level Seven International (HL7) and the American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA) have announced the new user group. Wherein members can look for help in regular monthly meetings to overcome with issues that may or might hinder development on immunization-related healthcare interoperability projects. A new HL7 Immunization User Group would provide members accessibility to industry experts and also peers for assistance with solving challenges associated with implementing HL7 immunization standards. It is announced that on 2nd Thursday of every month, the group will meet through web conference at 2pm EDT. The first online meeting was said to be on 10th April. The meeting was open for all, irrespective of membership status.
According to Nathan Bunker, co-chair of the HL7 Immunization User Group, on a release, they think the group comprises a great resource for anybody assigned with implementing User Group. He further said, having a national forum for the concerns will need a huge resource load off IT managers who’re presently the only source of information about the complexities of this area, and also will help standardize these projects throughout the nation. Charles Jaffe, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HL7 stated that the new unit “reflects the growth of HL7” in regards to allowing members to more efficiently implementing interoperability standards. It definitely is within our interest to generate a new group of members. We presume that their interest comes from their concern regarding usability, workflow, and also domain content. An easy example is that of a pediatrician, requiring an electronic health record which more precisely reflects the particular requirements for taking care of children. So would the allergist and immunologist, since there are lists of issues that glibly are called allergy, that really get into the group of ‘I think I don’t like this medicine.’ The allergy community is dismayed they own so little to express in the growth of this significant component in the EHR. He said that they believe this particular program will push extremely valuable venture and trigger more efficient and streamlined registry project implementation. He further said that they expect continued organic development of User Groups with growing demand from other stakeholder communities.
HL7 was formed in the year 1987 and was recognized by the American National Standards Institute in the year 1994. It’s an international authority for the health care information interoperability and it has now established in more than thirty countries. Health Level 7 International (HL7) is an organization dedicated in developing standards for exchange of electronic health information. It’s aim is to enhance the interoperability of software applications utilized by medical care industry. The “7” in the organization’s name means Layer 7 in the OSI reference model. Layer 7 stands out as the final layer.
AIRA (American Immunization Registry Association) is the membership organization which promotes the growth and the execution of immunization information systems (IIS) as a significant tool in preventing and managing vaccine preventable diseases. The organization offers a forum by that IIS programs and also keen organizations, individuals also communities join efforts, share knowledge, and promote tasks to progress IIS and immunization programs. An excellent, specific voice for standards, policy and financing, AIRA is a resource for the data exchange standards development, information sharing, knowledge and training. AIRA members consist of IIS and Immunization Program professionals such as state, local, registry vendors, electronic health record (EHR) vendors along with other interested individuals and organizations. AIRA has been working over the past fifteen years in promoting knowledge sharing as well as peer-to-peer learning which advantage IIS at all the stages of development.
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Nowadays more and more consumers are using health applications. Based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, approximately 500 million smartphone users will use at least one health-care application by 2015. According to IMS Health, a health-care performance information group located in the city of Danbury, Connecticut, there are over 40,000 health and fitness applications available in the market. Many of these applications are prepared for doctors and rest are for the consumers. The applications not only saves time and are cost effective but also comes with easy-to-use guide.
In case you struggle taking care of an ear infection or of a strange rash, you usually visit to a doctor’s clinic and additionally time out of your job, if you’re working away from home. But if you have an application related to such problems, you can simply snap an image of your rash or ear canal, and send that to your physician. For an example CellScope Oto and application having an attachment which allows you to switch your iPhone to an otoscope. The tool doctors frequently use to look at the interior of an ear canal. As per Erik Douglas, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of CellScope has stated that ear infections had been a high reason behind visits to a doctor for your child, now Oto device could help in removing unnecessary appointments. A variety of applications and online services nowadays enables you to correspond with your skin specialist by simply taking an image of the rash or mole and sending it electronically. The concept behind an innovative variety of applications and devices which progressively put health tools within the hands of consumers.
According to Ceci Connelly, Managing Director at Health Research Institute, consumers are comfortable and progressively using walk-in health centers for little health problems and they also see at-home electronic tools so far an additional standard of convenience. The development of do-it-yourself examinations and tests belongs to a move in healthcare in the direction of consumer involvement which started with online health information websites and it is quickly moving at improvement in mobile technologies. The founder of the Center for Connected Health, Joseph C. Kvedar mentioned that during these initial phases of mobile health tools, physicians may be most comfortable making use of them to speed up follow-up treatment, or even deal with issues having a low volume of risk, For example, the patient who does well within a treatment for acne could possibly send images and reply a couple of questions for the skin specialist to feel comfortable suggesting the patient to carry on a plan for treatment without an in-person examination. Dr. Robert L Quillin from Webster, Texas is a pediatrician has used Cell Scope’s Oto for months during its testing stage. He explained, in the shape of a regular otoscope, it fits on the phone’s camera, that has plastic tip which is put into the patient’s ear, and functions the phone camera to take the snap or make a video clip of the ear canal and eardrum. He could show the image to the patient instantly. He explained, a doctor or nurse practitioner should understand the picture, create a diagnosis and recommend the essential treatment. It also helps in teaching about ear infections to medical students, he said.
Health and fitness apps became progressively common in recent times. Some of the applications which physicians recommend their patients such as Diabetes App for patients with diabetes; Diabetes in Check for type 2 diabetes; Glucose Companion for blood sugar and weight tracker; Blood Pressure Monitor – Family Lite for patients to monitor their blood pressure and weight; HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker for recording blood pressure, resting heart rate, and weight; Tweetwhatyoueat for weight loss; iPregnancy for my pregnant patients. There are many more applications which doctors recommend their patients.
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With more and more people accessing internet on their mobile devices, mobile health (mHealth) has emerged as a popular sub-segment of eHealth. The term mHealth is being used to refer the practice of medicine and public health supported by smartphones, tablets, phablets and mobile-enabled diagnostic devices. In addition to gathering clinical and community health data from various sources, the mHealth applications further enable the patients, clinicians, researchers and caregivers to access both healthcare information and health related services through their mobile devices. Many organizations, nowadays, invest in mHealth application development to improve and expand healthcare services, while reducing costs of care. A number of reports have also highlighted how mHealth applications can contribute hugely towards treating the elders more effectively.
Why mHealth Applications are Effective in Treating the Older Adults?
Chronic Disease Management
The cost of healthcare is hugely impacted by chronic diseases. As a person ages, his burden of chronic diseases grows. Further, the prevalence of multiple chronic conditions is much higher among older adults. The multiple chronic conditions also make the health care needs complex and expensive. For instance, an elder must avail effective care immediately to avoid frequent hospitalization, duplicative tests, adverse drug events and conflicting medical advices. The mHealth application will allow the elderly patients to support and manage their personal health efficiently by accessing the required health information and care.
Along with facilitating chronic disease management, the mHealth application will further help the older adults to adhere to the relevant medication. As poor medical adherence affects the individuals and community negatively, each patient must adhere to the recommendations made by the healthcare provider. However, the medical adherence of a patient can be affected negatively by a number of factors including understanding the instructions, forgetting to take medication and remembering the medication-taking instructions. The mHealth applications make it easier for the older adults to understand and remember the medication regime. Further, they can receive regular notifications to obtain proper medication information on a regular basis.
Many reports have highlighted that hip fractures, falls and similar injuries contribute hugely towards the death and disability of the older adults. So the mHealth applications come with special features to prevent injuries and promote safety among the elderly people. These features make it easier for the healthcare providers to monitor the patient in terms of his location, balance and gait. As most mobile devices support GPS tracking and accelerometers, the applications use fall detection technology to identify the location and nature of the fall, along with notifying others about the fall by sending alerts.
Access to Health Information
As the mHealth application specifically target mobile devices, it becomes easier for the user to access, share and coordinate his personal health information. In addition to facilitating communication and interaction between the elderly and the healthcare provider, the application further helps the older adult in improving self-management. At the same time, the user can further use the application to access his personal health records (PHRs). So he can constantly track his important health records, along with tracking his healthcare services. Most healthcare providers, nowadays, allow patients to control the PHR and share the information with others. Thus, it becomes easier for the elderly people to share crucial information like allergies, drug interactions and medication along with the narrative of their immunizations and diagnoses.
Facilitate General Wellness
The mHealth applications even contribute towards facilitating general wellness of older adults without any chronic conditions. The general wellness facilitated by the applications, however, can be divided into several categories including nutrition, fitness and overall quality of life. For instance, a user can use the mHealth application to access information related to weight loss, healthy eating, smoking cessation, exercise and yoga. He also has option to use different applications to facilitate fitness nutrition and quality of life. So each older adult can download the application according to his mobile device and operating system, and avail the benefits in a flexible way.
The older adults also have option to choose from a variety of mHealth applications according to their specific healthcare needs. So it becomes easier for a user to avail personalized and prompt care simply by using his mobile device, regardless of his current location.
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In order to truly become a disruptor in the healthcare industry, mHealth needs to break out of the shackles restricting its widespread use. Although the area shows a lot of promise to bring about major changes in healthcare delivery, the slow pace of its adoption has resulted in many industry leaders quoting the benefits to be speculative. They are generally the elderly lots who have throughout their careers seen various such disruptions start, show a lot of promise and then frizzle away. They are waiting for this one to stand the test of time and meet the changing requirements of the industry. There are enough indications already to suggest that mHealth has the elements to change the healthcare delivery on its head and transform it completely. Infact mHealth is the result of unsustainability of current healthcare spending, rapid growth of wireless connectivity, and the need for more precise and individualized medicine.
So the pertinent question which comes to mind is that if certain obstacles have resulted in the emergence of a solution, what has stopped its widespread use? In order to achieve the purpose, some roadblocks have been identified. They are as follows:
- Complexities which exist in the healthcare system related to current drivers of reimbursement
- Apprehensions of the part of clinicians as they expect the patient-physician relationship to weaken further; with a likelihood of an increase in their workload
- Challenges to the appropriate use and validation of mHealth technologies
- Possibility of downloading apps which are not very useful and can possibly even have a detrimental effect if used
mHealth intends to transform healthcare by addressing inefficient practices and various challenges faced by clinicians and consumers. The real beginning of the mHealth surge will start the day Physicians stop being wary of recommending apps. And for that to happen, there needs to be more availability of evidence. It is only by doing a systematic research on the impact of mobile technologies on health outcomes and showing positive results, on a continuous basis, that reliable evidence can be gathered. Also, for its widespread usage and subsequent acceptance, partnerships with governments become a critical factor. The key here is to identify and engage very early, by identifying the right people within the setups to provide support and handing them over to scale up after reaching a certain level of success. Achieving scale without such an approach i.e. involvement on the part of the government, is next to impossible.
Before beginning any mHealth project, it is very important to take into account 4 dimensions – People, places, payment and purpose. Importance of considering these factors is highly critical in determining the outcome. The following needs to be taken into account while addressing the dimensions.
- People: Technological platforms to be used have to be chosen keeping in mind the demographics and preferences of the consumers and health professionals who are likely to use them. A platform with exceptional features and lacking on usability is of no use.
- Places: There is a need to have a strong backbone of network with good accessibility and reliability. This has a major bearing on how and when mHealth is used. If the functionalities available are complex, then in order to leverage those, the required download speed and bandwidth capacity needs has to be available as well.
- Payment: Evidence-based standards should be used to link payment with quality outcomes. Additionally, organizations dealing with patient data should adhere to the required policies to address privacy and security.
- Purpose: In order to be effective the strategy should be such as to align with complexities involved in case management and various clinical objectives.
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