Is AGM Report Significant in African Hospital Institutions?

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) report of any institution / organization is an opportunity to share the progress and set backs with its stakeholders. This is also a chance for the quakeholders to have an insight into the progress and performance milestones of the institution.

From the stakeholder's perspective, the vision of the hospital, its values ​​and service delivery are critical to the success of its operations. In most African countries AGM's happened behind closed doors and AGM reports are not routinely shared with the stakeholders. As a result the protesters are unable to challenge clinical operations, administrative procedures and the financial health of the institution. Some senior Doctors have often used their positions as a protective factor and resist being challenged.

However in Ghana, new Government initiatives are beginning to challenge the system and holding institutions to account for their performance. There are many health clinics and hospitals who are not using AGM reports and linking it into their information technology processes.

It appears the dynamics of information technology has not fully been exploited to benefit the delivery of health care services in many African countries. As a result there is hardly any information to compare AGM reports electronically. In contrast, in the Scandinavian countries where AGM reports are significant and have been used to enhance their service delivery back in 1980's.

The National Health Service in the UK has been using AGM reports to improve outcomes but more so since the introduction of electronic reports. The business world on the other hand, has always exploited AGM reports as a source of data. They evaluate each other's AGM reports covertly. This has helped businesses to appraise their competitors' ability by gaining an insight into their business with the mission of not only gaining a competitive advantage but also strategic positioning.

Interestingly, in many African National Health Services, like Ghana, AGM reports and information technology is not viewed in the same light as a business activity. This is where directors, performance evaluation, arrangement and financial review are critical to the success of a company. This is something which would help to enhance services in many developing countries.

For example, if African hospitals were to share AGM reports to further stockpilers and be more open about clinical governance it would have helped in educating the general public. Having AGM reports which could be accessed online could have helped institutions willing to help others affected by problems, by accessing reports and other information remotely.

On a different note, the irony is that one would find that in Africa many hospitals do not have the basic equipment for tackling infection control. Surely, having an annual AGM, clinical governance would alert areas needing to be addressed. There seems to be no regular updates on compliance as compared to what is seen in a developed country with mandatory training requirements. If health institutions in the developing countries can not share its AGM reports online how could it then offer any assistance to a neighboring country in times of crisis. This could have the deciding factor which would determine if a country is likely to be the next Ebola victim or other health crisis.

How could the National Health Service in African countries boost its image and profile. If globally every health institution is working towards the goals set by the World Health Organization on health improvement and developments, then we need to share best practice and cost of effectiveness of approaches.

Perhaps having a Patient survey in African hospitals re the following would have been a helpful tool to use.

Are hospitals performances performance done quarterly?

Is there an ongoing review of clinical governance performance?

Do patients have a voice via the AGM?

Do hospitals provide helpful contact information to register complaints?

Is there a patient advice service and public involvement in African hospitals?

Many African Governments are not bold enough to hold the heads of all hospital institutions to account. As a result huge sums of money are lost through a weaker management system which has given rise to corruption in many health institutions in Africa.

The effective strategic management of the Ebola crisis provided that the developed countries and developing countries can work together to form a health alliance to address future challenges.

A recommendation for the way forward on health issues would be for African countries to share their AGM reports online if possible. The report would help other holders to analyze and exploit information which could benefit both institution for future development and progress. Health problems are a global issue. Evidence and interventions of the Ebola crisis proved that a global management of the approach is certainly helped in containing and preventing the spread on a global scale.

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What You Need to Know About Executive Health Screening

Human beings are vulnerable creatures as superior as they may consider themselves to be above all other living things. Illness and disease are two of the most crippling factors that affect us and can strike down at the most unpredictable times. Back in the day, medical conditions were unfortunately hard to treat due to lack of technology and education. Facilities were also far less in comparison to what we have available today. However, modern day advances and progress have opened up new avenues for medical treatment and allows us to diagnose and treat an issue quite effectively. As such, an executive health screening is now a reality enabling you to keep a check on your health.


If you have not been to an executive health screening before, you should probably get it as soon as possible. It is extremely valuable to have it done in periodic intervals just to ensure there is nothing abnormal … and even if there was, chances are you will be able to nip it in the bud fairly early without allowing it to grow and spread. Generally, a health screening involves the following:

– A full medical overview: History of your health and questionnaire
– Urine test
– Lung function
– A complete medical examination
– An overview of your lifestyle
– The balance between your height, weight and BMI
– Blood pressure measurement and testing of blood
– Hearing test
– Tests for vision (glaucoma etc)
– X-ray

The above are the basic checks that are included in a screening, and these can change depending on where you go. If you would like to include any particular exam you can ask your doctor to include it. Women and men also have check-ups that are individual to them which you can add onto your session such as testicular examination and pelvic examination.


A medical examination of any kind is considered to be an invasive and uncomfortable situation especially when it comes to a full executive health screening. There have been numerous stories and accounts from all over the world of places that have lured in women in particular in the guise of a clinical offering medical examinations to harass them. It is of extreme importance that solid research is done prior to booking an appointment with a clinician to ensure you are in safe and professional hands. Read sample reviews and trust recommendations as you will also receive the best service. Prior to booking your appointment, try and make a visit to the clinic so that you can gauge it for yourself.


When it comes to an executive health screening, the first instinct is to call up a hospital as they are known to have all the facilities that are required for all the different examinations. While there is nothing wrong with this, you may make life easier for yourself by checking around for options as now even private clinics are able to offer the same services. In a sense they are preferred as it tends to be less crowded which means waiting time is greatly reduced and you feel more connected to the situation which is important when it comes to your health.


Many people tend to postpon a health screening which is a very bad idea. It is always good to go even every six months to have an idea of ​​your body and what you need to do to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. Some check-ups even offer a nutritional guide sometimes for an extra fee if not inclusive in the package which will help manage your diet not just for weight loss but also for optimal functionality of the body and mind. Should you run into any abnormalities, this will enable you to attend it immediately which in cases of serious situations such as cancer, can even save your life.

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How to More Fully Engage Your Patients

In its landmark report, Crossing the Quality Chasm, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) defined patient-centered care as “care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values ​​and [ensures] that patient values ​​guide all clinical decisions “(Institute of Medicine, 2001). In a nutshell, providers, both clinical and administrative staff, must work hard to understand their patients and earn their trust.

One critical aspect of providing patient-centered care is engaging the patient at all levels of his or her contact with your organization. Most providers when thinking about patient engagement focus on improving the communication between clinician and patient during their one-to-one meeting. How can the clinician empower the patient to be more active in self-care, in understanding what he or she must do in order to achieve the best outcomes? This episode of contact between clinician and patient is critical to achieving optimal outcomes but engagement between patient and other staff can improve outcomes too, while also improving patient loyalty.

Consider, if you would, the encounter between the patient and front office personnel at patient check in. How should staff interact with the patient so as to more fully understand the patient, to improve patient engagement? I consider a warm welcome using the patient's first name a good beginning. At the skilled nursing center where my mother is now living I am always greeted warmly, even patted on the back by some staff when they see me. When I have questions, the staff is more than willing to take time to focus on me. I believe that they try their best to follow Robert Covey's maxim, “Seek first to understand and then be understood.” (Robert Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) . Do your patients feel the same way about the staff at your site?

Beside a warm greeting, you should consider having your staff gather information such as current insurance provider and current phone and address. You may even have the staff collect data with a short survey that would be useful to your work. For instance, you can collect ethnic group data that can be used to populate your EHR. You can collect data that you do not have so as to qualify to become a patient-centered medical home. Collecting data to see if the patient was able to access the provider in a timely manner is useful for improving patient attitudes and for improving the management of chronic care patients. That is, was the patient able to see his or her provider as soon as needed?

Improving the encounter between the patient and front office personnel takes some careful planning and execution. A good starting point for planning is to know if management is engaged with staff. “Nurse and staff loyalty and engagement play the most important role in generating patient loyalty-it's where we begin,” says Kevin Gwin, vice president of patient experience and communications for Ardent Health Services, in a recent article published online at HealthLeaders Media. One way to find out if staff members are engaged is to assess their attitudes towards their work with a short survey or with a focus group.

The next step in improving the encounter at the front office is to have executive leadership at the site form a small team, no more than eight members, of front office staff and lead administration with a charge to improve the check in of patients. The charge should include the goals of the team, who will lead the team, who will be the executive that the team leader should report to (champion) and a basic timeline for the staff to report out with a plan for improvement. The team may consider using a kaizen blitz to do its work; that is, they may want to meet continuously over a day or two to consider what data to collect, including patient feedback on check in and propose an initial plan on how to improve the check in procedure. The plan could include an approach on how to train the staff to be friendlier at check in, how to make the patient feel welcome. Include also questions on the patient survey about how they would rate the “warmth and friendship” of their check in experience. The plan should also include a specific timeline of the implementation of the plan and how to measure the success of the proposed improvements.

After planning the team's leader should report to the executive champion, who hopefully has stopped in to encourage the team at its work, the plan of improvement and the timeline. The team leader will also request the leader the resources needed to successfully implement the plan if it is approved by the executive. If the plan is approved as presented the team leader or team member designated for implementation should carry out the steps of the plan. The staff person in charge of implementation should arrange for training and see that it is carried out. Surveys and other data collection tools should be created to measure the success of the improvement initiative.

As the plan is being executed data should be collected and reported to the front office staff to inform them of the success of the plan. Mid-course corrections can be made at this time if needed; this correction can improve the probability of creating a warmer and friendlier environment for the patient.

Once the end as designated by the timetable of the improvement project has been reached, the team leader should report the results to the executive champion and the rest of the team, as well the front office. If the measured results indicate success, then the team and front office staff should celebrate their achievement. The champion should take time to personally congratulate all those involved.

It will be up to the team leader to monitor the improvements that have been made after the celebration event. An organization focused on continual improvement will want to ensure that the improvements achieved remains in place, that there is no backsliding to old habits. Such an organization will also schedule a new initiative in the future to again tackle ways to make further improvements to the check in process or will keep the improvement team intact so as to meet occasionally to monitor the check in process metrics and indeed plan new processes to improve the check in experience for the patient.

Improving the check in process is just one way to improve patient engagement and loyalty. The same process illustrated can be used in the clinical setting to help improve the engagement between patient and physician or other clinical provider. This process can be used to improve patient check out. In fact, this improvement should be used at all points of contact between clinicians and staff to improve the patient experience and to improve the clinical outcomes for the patient.

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Why The Right Software For Successful EMR Implementation Is Imperative

Many times, you will see attractive advertisements for software in a variety of industries trying to entice you to purchase their products. Some of this software applies to the electronic medical records (EMR) industry. The sights and sounds of the advertisement might look amazing and you will feel compelled to click on the tab, but there are a few things you need to know first.

Deciding on the right EMR software to implement into your healthcare system is very important and there are varying factors that play a part in this decision such as the other IT hardware and software already installed. If you fail to perform the proper EMR research before going on a product, you could find yourself facing many problems down the road.

First of all, before implementing any EMR software into your healthcare database, an informal meeting with the board members of the facility is in need. EMR implementation can be a costly venture and this is certainly something that needs to be addressed and voted on with corresponding members of the medical staff.

When consider cost, you need to think about the type of EMR system you are looking to utilize. Consider the technologies involved such as the servers, networking costs, computer systems, peripherals, and adjoining medical devices. Did you know that the server and network are the heart of the whole IT infrastructure?

There are a handful of important factors that need to be addressed when looking into the IT aspects of EMR implementation. Some questions to ask yourself and the members of the medical board include whether or not a cloud or Saar-based EMR will be used. Do you know if you will be using a basic server or no server at all?

You have two options when it comes to the type of EMR system to be implemented and they include web-based and client-based. Each of these systems come with pros and cons that need to be considered. In other words, you need to decide whether patient files will be stored on an external hard drive or saved to an internet-based website.

Web-based servers are typically more economical in terms of cost but they are less reliable than client-based storage. The server needs to be able to handle a heavy load of traffic each day because of constant interaction going on within the system. From patient's updates being made to doctors accessing medical records, the system you choose must be able to support all of this activity.

New computer systems will also need to be implemented that complement the new EMR software. Hopefully, the systems you already have are capable of doing this but opportunities are, if your PCs are old and outdated, they will not be compatible with the new record keeping program.

The good news is, you do have a wide variety of options available such as desktop workstations, laptops, tablets, and even iPads. Each one of these computers has their advantages and should be considered on an individual basis. You also need to think about whether your EMR implementation will involve wireless components or will only work via stationary systems that are placed through the building.

Did you know that you can connect devices to the EMR system such as ECG machines, hotter devices, vital sign monitors, and even obstetric equipment? Being able to do this requires certain equipment such as wireless computer systems so that the information collected from a patient is automatically transferred to the EMR files.

EMR implementation is a wise choice for healthcare providers as it keeps medical records organized, free from human error, and easy to access at any time.

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Modernizing Healthcare Data Systems With Electronic Patient Record Programs

In the age of the electronic era, computers have taken over almost all industries that need to utilize record keeping, especially the medical field. Instead of paper documentation, companies are now turning to electronic methods. In some hospitals and clinics, this progress has been ongoing since the mid-2000s.

There are numerous advantages to keeping electronic patient records and help the medical team give the best and most concise care to patients that they possibly can. If you are considering implementing electronic patient records into your healthcare facility, or if you would like to upgrade an existing one, there are a few things you should be aware of first.

• Quick to update – Electronic medical records are insanely easy to update. Instead of medical personnel digging through filing cabinets trying to locate a medical record, they simply put in the patients name and or birth date and within seconds, the records appear on their computer screen. The information needed is added to the record and after saving the data, that is all there is to it.

• Always up-to-date – Due to the fact that electronic patient records are so easy to update, this ensures that the records are always staying updated. There are no hassles involved in adding data to a patient record so medical staff are much less likely to cut corners.

• Easy to access – Electronic medical records are extremely easy to access and are always available when needed by medical staff. This means that if a patient requires medical care in a different hospital located in a different town or state, medical records can be shared immediately over the secure electronic network. This comes at a great advantage during emergencies.

• Security – When medical records are stored via the old-fashioned way (paper documents) the incidence of their integrity being compromised I much higher than storing the data electronically. Paper documents can easily fall into the wrong hands or even accidently be seen by the wrong eyes.

• Decreased risk of medical mishap – Because electronic patient records are so easy to read and access, the instance of a doctor prescribing a medicine that a patient might have an allergy too or other pertinent medical instance is rare. Doctors have the ability to quickly view a patient's medical history and determine the appropriate course of action without making any mistakes due to faulty record keeping.

• Efficiency – Storing electronic medical records is efficient as they are kept within a computerized database that can be accessed at any time. The days of sifting through piles of paper document are over because all patient information is neatly stored within a filtered electronic system.

• Improves time management – Electronic patient records are extremely quick to access and really only require a last name and birth date to view. There are no looking for notes or cringing at the thought that the medical records could have been misplaced. Patients being seen in several departments of the hospital or clinic in one day cut down on time doing so as they do not need to stop by medical records in between each visit.

• Easier to store – Think about what a hospital's medical records room looked like in 1960. Imagine the enormous amount of paperwork flooding the filing cabinets and how nurses had to shift through scads of documents to get to the one they needed. Since electronic patient records are stored on a hard drive, this system of yesteryear is long gone and the days of disorganization are over.

Electronic patient record keeping is a modernized practice that should be implemented at every medical facility across the globe. As you can see, the benefits are plentiful.

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How Electronic Medical Record Systems Have Changed The Way Patient Information Is Stored

Technology has come quite a long way from where it was many years ago. It may seem unbelievable to the generation of today to think that 40 years ago, hospitals did not have computer systems in place to keep track of patient records and instead wrote everything down and stored information via filing cabinets. Some institutions used typewriters, but this method was still very time consuming.

The development of EMR systems has always changed how patient information is stored and maintained. This type of technology allows for faster record keeping and also lets medical staff access records faster and cuts down on patient wait times.

Every medical institution, such as hospitals, clinics, and private offices require a reliable system. As aforementioned, stocking and categorizing documents that had been either handwritten or typed used to be the most common way of storing medical records. This method would create piles upon piles of papers being stored in large rolling filing cabinets.

The burden placed upon the medical team under these circumstances was immense because they had to search for medical files on a daily basis. Once the file folder was found, they then had to sift through all of the paperwork within the file in order to find the document needed. The medical staff was also responsible for maintaining the integrity of the files and keeping them safe from harm.

When records were kept in their physical forms, the risk of these sensitive files falling into the wrong hands was high. Sometimes medical documents became lost, stolen, or damaged in natural disasters without any backup measures having been put into place.

EMR systems changed all of this almost instantly. Paperless, computerized record keeping systems have redesigned the entire process of medical record keeping. All patient records are stored in the medical system via computer. These records are backed up a number of times in case a disaster where to happen or a break in the system were to occur.

The incidence of medical errors have been distinctly decreased by using electronic means of keeping records. As we all know, human error happens all of the time but electronics do not make mistakes. Electronic methods of record keeping are far more convenient and provide a high level of accuracy when it comes to storing patient data.

Medical records are important because they let the medical team know what occurred with you during your last appointment, surgery, or checkup. These records contain vital information about your health and well being. Imagine if your child was allergic to a medication and this info was noted in his or her records. You can be sure that the pharmacy and prescribing doctor would not issue this drug.

Medical records can save people's lives and provide the medical staff with a clear history of your health. Electronic book keeping of these records ensures that your information is easy to access, kept safe, and let your doctor know everything he needs to know about your health history.

In this day and age, records can be shared (with your permission) electronically from one health professional to another. This can mean sending your electronic records within the same healthcare system or sending them to another country all from the push of a button.

In other words, electronic medical record systems have completely revamped how the medical system keeps patients records on file. These types are records can also be used in the legal system to either prove or disprove claims within the medical realm. Error free charting is important in this instance and electronic medical records can provide just that.

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Will Price Transparency Be Enough to Change Behavior?

Industry studies often show statistics stating that having access to healthcare prices could significantly reduce health spending across the United States. However, there are also studies which show that in states where hospitals were required to publish charges; there was slightly little change in consumer behavior. Take the many studies and projections that continue to be published, and then consider an ever-changing payer and insurance marketplace and it becomes anyone's guess as to what price transparency will or will not do.


Unfortunately, purchasing healthcare services is not like buying a new car-or buying just about anything else for that matter-where it is reliably easy to obtain understandable, usable data and information to make an informed decision about purchases. If you were to pick up the Consumer Reports New Car Buying Guide, you would have a much more practical information about purchasing a new car than you would ever find to make an informed decision about where to purchase healthcare services. With healthcare, consumers are primarily concerned with cost, quality and outcomes. Let's start with the “charge-master” (full-retail price), then the contractual adjustments, then co-pays, deductibles, etc. We may also have both facility charges and professional fees to add to the mix. If charges originate from multiple providers, more complexity is thrown into the scenario. Let's not forget about different reimbursements methodologies based on insurance plans (discounted fee-for-service, case rates bundled payments, etc.).


Consumer-driven marketplaces tend to assume that higher prices equate to higher value. For example, in the same marketplace, a house valued at $ 800,000 will tend to have a higher value than a house valued at $ 400,000, a car valued at $ 50,000 tend to be nicer than a $ 20,000 car, etc .; but you can not make that claim with healthcare services! In other words, a $ 40,000 hip replacement will not necessarily provide more value that a $ 15,000 one. In fact, the $ 15,000 hip replacement could actually have better income for a lower price. Consumers have been accredited to higher cost equating to higher value, so understanding how the healthcare marketplace works involves a steep learning curve.


Statistics and data analysis can provide consumers with useful information, however, it needs to be easy to obtain and understand, much like picking up a copy of Consumer Reports prior to buying a new car. The problem with a lot of the statistics available is that data can be made to say pretty much anything the source wants it to by just leaving important information out, or only telling half of the story. College ratings come to mind where one publication has a college rated in the top 10 percent category and another publication has that same college ranked as number 64? There is also a problem on how various providers classify data. Uniform standards of measure are needed so that data is not subject to each provider's interpretations. For example, when we file our income tax returns, the categories are well-defined. There should be no discrepancies between what I classify as earned income versa what someone else classifies as earned income. Earned income is well-defined. In healthcare, when trying to compare something as simple as, say, the cost to collect a claim between two facilities, you often get an apple-to-orange comparison, since one facility may include a percentage of fixed costs as part of their calculation while another does not, etc. Then we also have to look at who is providing the data. Is it coming from an already overworked staff accountant that may not be so concerned with accurate reporting?

Healthcare reform was designed to look at costs versa outputs, and to drive out inefficiencies, but can the data available clearly show which organizations are doing the best job?


If we want price transparency to change the behavior of consumers, we need to look at who is paying the bill. This is where I see a big stumbling block with rising on price transparency to lower healthcare costs. If it was not for consumer-driven healthcare (costs being shifted to patients via high-deductible plans), price transparency would be insignificant since consumers are only concerned with what they have to pay. Do we really think that if the consumer only has to worry about paying a $ 10.00 co-pay and a small annual deductible that he or she is going to care what provider is the most-cost efficient? Under this scenario, convenience and referrals usually drive consumer behavior. The fact is that the majority of healthcare costs are still being paid by insurers or government payers. Even with high-deductible plans, it is usually the provider that ends up taking the hit with unpaid co-pays and deductibles.

Providers do not want the negative publicity associated with chasing the patients for what they owe. Also, many consumers believe that if they have insurance, that is all they need, and they should not have to pay additional costs. Industry professionals realize that all insurance plans are not the same, and many employers are switching to higher deductible plans to save money, but their employees may not be well-informed or may not understand the impetus for that change. It is much easier for an employer to choose this route than to tell employees that the company can not afford a 50 percent premium increase so they will need to pass that cost along to them to keep the plan that has a low deductible and co- pay.


Consumers will spend hours searching to save a relatively small amount of money on the purchase of a big screen television or a piece of furniture. For those purchases, consumers are paying 100 percent of the bill. Also it's very easy to analyze this type of purchase. For example, a Sony XYZ model is $ 1,200 at one store and $ 999 at another store. The savings are obvious.

Just like in retail, consumer demand is forcing healthcare providers to be more open to sharing pricing for the care they provide to patients.

When healthcare providers make pricing more available available to consumers, will consumers be willing to select one physician to perform a procedure over another because of pricing? Pricing transparency may be a catalyst to drive new patients to different doctors and facilities, however, providers will still grapple with savvy consumers who end up unable to pay their bill and actually having it written off to bad debt. Under those circumstances, transparency of pricing will not have the impact that healthcare pundits have planned.

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How to Find A Good Doctor Online

This article is meant to help you find doctors easily. In fact, this is a great topic for anyone that can afford medical attention and even those that can not because “health is wealth”.

Physicians examine patients, listen to their health issues, and execute tests to discover what is incorrect with them. They recommend medicines and other kinds of cure to their patients. Also, they provide their patients suggestion regarding exercise, diet, and health conditions. Keep in mind that there're several diverse kinds of health-care professionals. Paediatricians care for newborns, children and teens. Family MDs and standard practitioners are generally the first doctors that individuals search for when they become ill. These kinds of doctors treat common issues and recommend their clients to specialists when required. Surgeons do operations, for example transplanting organs or repairing a broken bone.

When a person is ill, discovering a capable medical professional is an obligation, and there's generally very negligible time to waste. The internet had made it easier to find doctors without leaving your home comfort. Through the internet one can also check out if a doctor is board certified or not. By simply visiting the American Board of Medical Specialties website, you will be able to find a certified doctor in the US to remember that after completing residency training, MDs are entitled for board certification. This signifies the physician has completed a speciality training program and qualified the exam that asses the physician's expertise, knowledge and experience. Also, remember that board certification is not everything and it does not signify that a doctor is compassionate, kind-hearted, and respectful.

Make use of the internet to search for an MD in your locality and read patients reviews. Check out what patients have to state regarding the physician they have hired. Utilize the data to decide which physician suits your requirements. If you find a lot of objections for any doctor online, then you must stay away from such medical professional.

After you collect a few names, compose a list of fundamental questions to ask your doctor. For example, you must ask the physician if they can care for all the associates of your household, if they allow your insurance protection, if they're allied with a hospitality, and if they do lab tests. Also ask them regarding their office time and think if that suits you. Furthermore, check out what the physician charge for visits. The reply to these fundamental questions will assist you to pick the best doctor not just for yourself but for your family as well.

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Cancer Bedside Manner From the Patient’s Perspective

“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you'll win, no matter the outcome. – Hunter Patch Adams. The movie Patch Adams was released on December 25, 1998 and yet the need for improved bedside manner continues. Popular in the health care industry is evidence based or customized patient-centered care. This approach seems heavily weighed on the side of science and lacking on the side of emotional well-being.

Empathy and compassion must be at the core of bedside manner. Empathy is to put yourself in someone's place to express understanding their situation and the desire to help. Compassion eases another's pain; judgment misses the opportunity. Practice the art of awareness to recognize opportunities to express empathy and compassion as essential elements of healing.

Tips: Bedside Manner – Healing

• Be on time. Please understand how we feel sitting in a small sterile looking room with the door closed. If being late, either have someone come in and tell us, open the door, or wait to call our name in the waiting room. We know the last option is challenging, but doable. Doctors can review our case while we are called to the exam room.

• Enter the room with patience. Most likely this is the first time in our life we ​​feel vulnerable.

• Awareness – be aware of the surroundings and mood as well as the case and names. Establish confidence by expressing familiarity with our situation.

• Focus on us and our situation. Appointments are often scheduled, in our mind, in the distant future. Prolonged waiting builds anxiety.

• Acknowledge our struggle and how hard it must be going through this harsh time.

• Reassure us we can do this. Suggest others who have gone through this type of cancer as a source to share thoughts and provide encouragement.

• Feelings matter – early on let us know that our emotions, thoughts and feelings matter with our demeanor, outlook and output and also with the capacity to cope.

• Ask open questions. A common practice is to ask, how you feel, thinking this is an open question. It is, but is usually answered by fine or okay. A better question showing empathy is, tell me how you feel.

• Listen – after asking a question patiently listened from a place of empathy and compassion. Please do not interrupt us or redirect the conversation even though you may feel uncomfortable. Cancer took us out of our comfort zone and we are learning to deal with it. Before asking a question, know you are willing and have time to listen.

• Humility – we know you have mastered the scientific side of cancer. Humility is serving others before self. Help us address the long-term emotional side of cancer. We may not need a therapist, but only encouragement from someone we trust. Be humble,

• Empathy – daily habit of the ability to share in another's emotions, thoughts and feelings. By doing so we see you understand and are willing to help with our situation and turmoil.

• Compassion – the art of easing another pain free of judgment and critique.

• Poise – consists of posture, confidence, in control, mindful, kind, honest, and personable.

• Respect – our dignity, pride and independence. Cancer is a difficult time and has a way of making us feel like less of a person. We want to hold onto as much as we can.

• Connection – position yourself at our level to connect and maintain eye contact. Use our name, talk with hands open and touch our arm or hand. Be thorough, explain at our level and take notes. Express that we are in this together.

• You say, we hear – be mindful to choose your words wisely. Oncology is a tough field. Your intentions may be good, but the result could have been erasing any hope we hold.

• Follow up – if promise to follow up be sure to do so. If not, it indicates disinterest and lack of care.

• Partnership (long-term) – Develop a respectful partnership. To us, this is an anxious time with anxiety persisting long-term and possibly with annoying side effects.

• The conclusion of scientific physical care does not conclude the need for emotional care.

Hindrances to Emphatic, Compassionate Bedside Manner

• “I am busy; I do not have the time.” Everyone is busy. The message sent is we are not important and do you care.

• Computer programs requiring entries to record care. Please complete after the appointment. The time with you is valuable, and we need your attention and care.

• Interpersonal and organizational challenges.

• Limited resources.

• Cost and revenue pressures.

• Lack of coordination.

• Social media's influence to communicate with brief phrases.

• Challenges of a field dealing with life-threatening diseases.

• Lack of emotional support for professionals.

• Reside in a comfort zone fearful of dealing with the emotional side of cancer

Emotional intelligence to improve bedside manner can be learned anytime during a career.

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The Right Technology Can Help Independent Physicians Thrive Under ACA

Nearly half of all independent physicians participating in the 2015 Independent Physician Outlook Survey stated that they're likely to sell their practices to a large health care provider and exit the industry within the next decade. The ACA (Affordable Care Act), also known as “Obamacare” has created a highly uncertain future for independent doctors across the nation. This highly autonomous group of medical professionals now face several new pressures, that when put together, creates a scenario where remaining independent seems an unattainable goal.

The two most pressing issues that independent physicians currently face, according to the survey, are escalating costs combined with increasing downward pressure on practice reimbursements rates. While, on the surface the situation looks grim, the reality is costs can be managed effectively with careful technology spending. Careful consideration for the need to acquire new technology to comply with the electronic health records / electronic medical record (EHR / EMR) mandates under ACA can be part of the solution.

While some health care providers see EHR / EMR as an implementation headache and an added expense, which many doctors fail to realize that patient data stored in digital form is one of the most valuable assets that they have access to because this data helps aid in making better decisions that can positively impact the bottom line of their practices. Likewise, EHR / EMR is really changing the health care industry in a positive way, working as a catalyst for digital transformation within the health care organizations of all sizes.

As the digital migration continues, new opportunities for the delivery of innovative health care products and services are being created in the process, all made possible through the availability of web services in the private, secure cloud environments where patient health information can also be shared with authorized parties and entities for collaborative care.

The greatest barrier to adoption comes from doctors' lacking in-house IT support and being unaware of what their technology options are. In their haste, many turn to well-known brand names in the hope of finding the solutions and service they need to be successful. Unfortunately, these options can leave a lot to be desired if problems arise or training for staff is needed. The obvious choice is partnering with a smaller technology provider who offers the same secure and reliable data management solutions without a formidable price tag, and in most cases, a better, more personalized support team than big vendors can offer.

Physicians can harness the power of cloud computing in their own practices to run a more efficient and profitable organization by incorporating products like our customizable host NAS (Network Attached Storage) solutions into their office administration platform. Cloud migration for healthcare providers is one of the fastest growing segments of our business these days and we are committed to providing all of the technology that independent physicians need to not survive, but to thrive under these challenging conditions and those to come in the future .

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Cancer Survivor’s Needs for Long-Term Care

Cancer's extended journey reveals the need to develop long-term coping skills to address lingering annoyances and prolonged emotional stressors. Although cancer treatments continue to improve and extend lives, the journey remains complex and perplexing. Coping with cancer long-term requires skills to manage psychological and physical conditions. Numerous variables, besides from cancer's cold indifference, impact the individual's ability to cope. Consternation begins at diagnosis; the need to deal with cancer perpetuates the struggle.

Cancer remains void of considerations for age, gender, ethnicity, spiritual beliefs, social environment and more. Outside forces combined with internal strife contribute to eliminating each journey as being unique. Although cancer journeys are unique, they share similarities, which help to form a practical guide to encourage people to agree better in hopes of improving their trek.

A patient's journey may be extended or cut short due to prognosis and available effective therapies. Patients desire extended life and quality of life. How can one begin to forgive that what we do with time may be more significant than the amount of time? Also, how does one begin to prepare for end-of-life knowing that time is finite? Although the time is limited keep faith and hope, as people have beat the odds and miracles can and do happen.

How people choose to prepare for end-of-life is personal with virtually no absolute way to prepare. Personal cancer stories and studies suggest that when the time is limited there is a period of transformation from being scared to a time of introspective exploration and discovery to transition towards a place of peace and serenity. A state of higher conscientiousness coupled with spirituality on their terms seems to comfort the progress for end-of-life. Respect other's choices and preparation to say goodbye. They may see and feel things unknowing to us that provide peace and serenity to a beautiful life.

For those patients blessed with the opportunity for extended life, the journey becomes a time of continued adaptability and adjustments. Some patients experience nagging and lingering side effects for years requiring the need for long-term coping. Cancer survivors have known for decades that survivor-ship post-treatment extends the challenge of coping. For those having extreme difficulty, life feels like a time of purgatory. The American Cancer Society recently published an article revealing concluding statements of a study examining cancer's psychological effects on survivors. “Research supported by the American Cancer Society has added to understanding the physical and psychological effects of cancer on survivors. Nationwide through the Studies of Cancer Survivors surveys. Society researchers hope to identify the needs of long-term survivors and design programs and interventions to improve their quality of life. ” (1) “Even though survivors have won the fight against cancer, the war in their bodies may not be over. , spiritual, and economic matters. As many as 75% have health deficits from their treatment, and up to 68% express fears about recurrence and concern for the future. (2) Also, a scientific study in 2015 confirmed survivor's suspicions that they were not alone. (3) Although the journey of time can be reliably long, it's a constant time of adapting. Hopefully, we feel a transformation to something greater to manage fear and anxiety to again living life.

The quality of life through survivor-ship, individual to time, relationships on sustaining psychological balance to fight off attacks from lingering conditions and anxieties. Consequently, life with cancer is about the journey. Will and determination to stay the course are tested. It is this trek that defines one's ability to accept and hopefully to reveal a driving spirit to be our best through this time of adversity. Unfortunately, there exist a segment of survivors who never come to terms with cancer and the corresponding emotional struggle. Each journey begins with a blank canvas. Ideally the evolution of the journey hopefully paints a satisfying serene tapestry. Wish you the best to live life with a colorful palette.

Realistically for many survivors the journey, unfortunately, reflects the perpetuating toil of dealing with cancer. Lingering contributors of turmoil are many be it physical or psychological. Survivors have known this prolonged struggle for decades. Research continues to focus on the physical aspects of cancer in search for treatment prolonging life. Use of the phrase, quality of life, although often used seems more attentive to the optics of short-term care than addressing long-term care. For whatever reason attention to long-term cancer care continues to fall short of survivors needs. Conflicting reasons could be; the patient has completed physical treatment, the cost of care, an issue of revenue, Medicare / Medicaid and insurance reimbursements and uncertainty of the market for long-term care. It sees from survivor's perspectives and expectations cancer care due to long-term physical side effects and lingering emotional effects describes the commitment of extended care. It's encouraging to see research and studies giving consideration to the overdue subject of long-term care. Hopefully, these endeavors continue to induct responsiveness from the health-care industry to expand services to address the long-term needs of the ever expanding survivor pool.


(1) – American Cancer Society, Explore Research, Treatment and Survival Research, Palliative Care Research, Studies of Cancer Survivors – Retrieved 31 August 2014.

(2) – Help Cancer Survivors Address Extreme Concerns Following Completion of Treatment – Article January 13, 2015, by Elisa Becze, BA, ELS, From ONS CONNECT – The Official News Magazine of the Oncology Nursing Society. Retrieved online 15 January 2015. dpuf

(3) – Cancer Survivors May Face Mental, Physical Issues, Article January 12, 2015 by Robert Preidt Health Day Reporter published on WebMD, Retrieved online 15 January 2015. cancer-survivors-may-struggle-for-years-with-mental-physical-problems

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How To Choose A Hospital?

Getting proper medical considerations is the expectation of all people to achieve fitness and health. You certainly want a comfortable healing facility is not it? Like most people, good hospital facilities participate in the healing process of patients. Additionally, if you have health insurance, you should know the hospital or dispensaries where medical treatment will be carried out as a reference. Sometimes all that is written in the insurance regulation is not in accordance with what you imagine in actual fact. Make sure the hospital has facilities in accordance with what you expect.

You should consider this thing before choosing a hospital:

– Whether the hospital getting a positive response from many people in every age? What if compared with other healing facilities located in the same area?

– Whichever the doctors who work at the hospital have significant experience in dealing with patients? Choosing a hospital facility is an important choice. Tragically, not all hospitals have a facility which allows you to smile because you are not satisfied with the service.

The quality benchmarks of the hospital facilities can be controlled by the reputation of hospital workers and condition of equipment in general. A few hospital facilities offer a complete pack of centers of excellence where different different hospital might just offer lower packages. I also found that treatment service programs and health protection programs also have established a healing center as a center of excellence by considering the criteria established by the hospital.

Whether the waiting room is a boring place? Or make your stress? The answer depends on what facilities can be obtained from the waiting room. So, if you're in the waiting room of a hospital for awaiting the results of the doctor's diagnosis, you can assess about the completeness of the system, and you can make it as one of the considerations of your satisfaction ratings. You can discover what the healing facility offers for adult or kid groups. There may be adult / kids play groups. You can also retrieve information and assessments from people relating the hospital.

Do you require hospitalization? Before you take this important decision, remember this thing there are great and there are awful facilities. Good hospital provides adequate facilities for hospitalization. You can rest comfortably during the healing period without being distracted from the unnecessary commotion. Usually there are hospitalizations rooms with the different classes, and with the different cost of that have been adjusted. If you use the insurance, make sure the inpatient facility had been covered in your insurance, and make sure that you really require hospitalization.

Every year, a large number of health facilities in the world to undergo an audit of the hospital facilities, including doctors. The audit is conducted to ensure technical and non technical functions of the hospital complying with the standards that have been set. Of course, this is a positive program because with this audit, the hospital can provide the maximum service to the society. Shockingly, no healing facility is perfect, but in the end you must choose one, which is best for you.

Other tips for choosing a good hospital for you are based on the type of disease that you are suffering. For example, public hospitals have a wider range than the specialist hospitals, such as cardiovascular hospital, lung hospital, or child hospital. Most specialists get to be specialists in light of the fact that they need to help those patients in need of healing. At the point when done appropriately, patient satisfaction survey is a vital procedure that helps heal centers and their specialists guarantee reliability, brilliant patient treatment. As a patient, you can also provide input to the hospital by completing the form satisfaction survey, it will provide substantive feedback to improve services. There are various hospitals with varying costs, but make sure you choose a hospital that is appropriate to your need.

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Small Business Profit Margins Shrinking

With profits continuously on the squeeze small businesses are always looking for ways to improve efficiency. Medical offices are no exception and actually may be more vulnerable due to traditionally high dependence upon paper documents, labor intensive tasks and unusually high levels of government regulation.

In a 2013 study small medical offices showed an average of 12.7% profit margin compared to 26.95% for medical equipment suppliers.

Among the solutions to better profit margins are: training, new software and other technology solutions.

Many of these options can be expensive relative to the cash flow of an average medical office. Making a purchase decision for one or more of these solutions becomes even more difficult if there is no good measure for ROI (return on investment).

There is also a mistaken but generally held view that all doctors are exceptionally wealthy and are therefore easy targets for new products. One report a few years back measured an average of twenty two sales calls per day coming into a single medical office! Obviously doctors and their staffs must be selective on where they spend their time.

The purpose of this article is to put some relative value on the products and services that a medical office may employ to increase efficiency and profitability. Armed with this information, doctors and their office managers will be better able to choose which, among the many products and services offered, will provide the most cost effective benefit.

First, look to the future of electronic solutions in your office, regardless of how much automation you currently employ. Develop a global plan; it does not need to be elaborate. A simple one-page diagram showing current office functions, will do nicely. On this diagram identify the functions that are automated and note any points of interaction (data sharing) between functions. Label those that are not automated but can be. Give each function a sequential number indicating its approximate priority based on your assessment today.

Training is one way to increase efficiency and ROI.

Next, ask the question: “How well are we trained in using our current automation tools?”

It has been shown in studies over many years that well trained employees perform better for a host of reasons.

  • They make fewer and less costly mistakes;
  • they are happier in their work;
  • they innovate better workplace solutions;
  • they feel valued as employees;
  • and they are likely to feel some obligation to do better work.

Before you consider the purchase of new automation tools and especially before replacing any tool currently in use, give serious consideration to training your staff on the current tools. The cost of training is far less than that of new software.

Training is a fixed cost of new software. Why not consider putting that money into training on the current software.

Training will stretch the value of your investment. As an example, let's look at office billing software. Including the following when calculating the total investment in new software:

  • initial cost of the software
  • consequent enhancements and upgrades
  • annual support
  • ongoing training
  • the cost of lost experience and possibly hardware.

Do not throw it out if you do not know how to use it. You may be tossing out a gold mine. One that is already paid for!

The stand alone purchase cost of office billing software ranges broadly from under $ 1,000 to over $ 100,000. I will use the smaller number so the calculations are easy. Assuming the software cost $ 1,000 three years ago, when you include the items noted above, the total investment over three years is probably $ 7,000 to $ 10,000.

“Do you have a $ 10,000.00 problem?” “If you change to new software will you get features / functions that are not available in the old software?” “What is the cost of equivalent software today using the same measures, over the next three years?” “Can you extend the life of your existing software with training at a much lower total cost?”

Replacing software purchased for $ 1,000 three years ago could easily cost $ 2,500 today without considering any new, extra cost features. If we use the same seven to ten-fold factor for estimating the full three year cost of the software, the new number is in the $ 20,000 to $ 25,000 range. If new features / functions are not your reason for making a change, training on the old system will be a much less expensive way to gain efficiency.

Bottom line, if you are thinking of replacing software or one of your other electronic tools or would just like to get more out of them,

TRAINING may be your best option.

Lastly, when new software or other automation tools are purchased the best protection for that investment is thorough and frequent training.

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Medical Scribe Services Offer Many Advantages To Medical Professionals

There are a lot of different types of opportunities that everyone will have regarding their medical treatments. There are many different types of doctors that provide treatment at many different levels. Medical scribe services are going to be able to help them to create the necessary documentation that they need to have.

There are many different types of medical terms that are used while making these reports. Every report is going to include different information about the patient. It is important to make sure that people have the proper information on their reports too.

There are many responsibilities of every medical professional that is involved in the care of a patient. They may have many specialists that are involved in their care. Everyone will need to know what is going on so that they are not prescribing a treatment that is going to be harmful to the patient.

They do not want medications to react to other medications that are being taken. They also do not want to do any harm to them if they are being treated for an offense of some sort. Knowing what is going on with other treatments is going to be important.

There are many different types of things that are going to be used while people are undergoing treatment options. They have several different choices for treatments that are going to vary from patient to patient. When people have a medical issue, they are going to have a lot of stress that will go along with that too.

Every medical record is going to be a different length. Some people will have very large files, while other people will have small ones. The number of times that a person sees a doctor is going to vary too.
This is something that is going to be very important. Everyone will have something different that they need to consider. Patients need to know that they are being treated properly.

Every patient has something different that they will need to be treated for too. The services that are provided by medical scribe companies are going to vary. They may have to do a report on certain tests as well as for different appointments that may be on the same day.

Incorporating all of this information into one file is not always easy. There are many different types of things that are going to need to be put in these reports even if they do not seem important. There are a lot of things that are very important including the conditions in which they are living or the people that they are living with.

Physicians will notice different things at each appointment too. They need to make sure that they are not everything that is of importance. They may not include the little things in these reports, but some of the little things that they may overlook could be important in the future.

Each service is going to come with a different charge. The length of the report and many other things will be taken into consideration. Every patient will have different information that is going to be included for each report.

Even when someone does not feel that their health record is of importance now, it is important to document everything. A problem that someone has now could affect the diagnosis of a problem that they have in the future. This is one reason why the person creating the document needs to know what they are doing while typing it up.

Medical scribe services are growing in popularity due to the increasing demand for electronic medical records in the medical field. They are used in hospitals, doctors' offices and other medical facilities.

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Medical Scribe Companies Take On Overload Of Medical Documentation

Physicians 'offices across the country have an increased responsibility to make sure that the patients' records are updated properly after each visit. This can create a lot of extra paperwork for doctors and for their staff. Medical scribe companies are able to take on this extra responsibility allowing the medical staff to have more time to take care of their patients.

These companies will take information from the medical record and make a report that summarizes the appointment that they had. They will ensure that the spelling is correct. There are a lot of choices that everyone will need to consider.

These reports have to be accurate so that people are aware of what their medical record says. They have many different types of things that each report will have in it. This can include a summary of past appointments or diagnosis.

This can also include what changes have shown up based on information from the last appointment until this appointment. There are many different types of things that will be on each report that will help with future treatments too. The treatment will be noted on there as well as any concerns that anyone has.

The patient is going to be able to use this report to understand what the doctor is saying. Not all doctors are going to give their patients their summation of the appointments though. Some patients may not know everything that their doctor has noticed during their appointment.

Every appointment is going to be recorded also. This is something that every medical professional has to keep on record. They are not something that can be destroyed over a certain amount of time either.

The responsibilities that doctors have when they are treating patients can affect how well that their appointment is. There are many different types of things that everyone is going to be treated for. This is something that is going to be very important when thinking about their treatment plan.

Using a medical scribe company can have its advantages for every type of doctor. This is something that is going to be very important to them. They have the convenience of knowing that these reports are going to be accurate too.

The people who are typing up the reports will have some medical knowledge so that they can make the report make sense as well. They are not going to be hiring people who do not know about these things. This is something that is a requirement for most of these companies.

Being able to use these services is going to be very helpful to every medical office. There are many different things that every patient and doctor will need to know. There are many choices for each of the different diagnosis that are given.

The treatment plans and referrals that were given to the patient is going to be included in these reports too. Everyone has to make sure that they have accurate information provided in these. They will become a permanent part of the medical records.

These reports can help a doctor to summarize all of the different problems that a patient has too. They may be able to figure out a disease or condition that is causing all of their problems. Not everyone is going to have a diagnosis that is easy for them.

Medical scribe companies do not make any decisions regarding the treatment or diagnosis of a patient though. They are only going to be able to document what was already said about the appointment. Medication that is prescribed during the appointment will be noted. This can include testing and other procedures as well.

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