Five Things You Can Expect From Your Local Urgent Medical Care Facility

We've all been there. You're looking forward to an eventful, fun-filled weekend, yet Saturday morning greets you with a sinus infection. What to do now? Here are five great reasons to head to your local urgent care facility for quick and reliable attention to your illness or minor injury.

1. Quick Wait Times
Urgent care clinics pride themselves on offering some of the shortest wait times around. When you're sick, you do not want to have to wait around to get medical attention. At quick medical care centers, most doctors often see patients within 20 minutes. This means that your visit is homeless, giving you more time to spend the day how you wish.

2. Basic Preventative Medicine
Doctors at local centers can provide general health readings for cholesterol and blood pressure. They also offer flu shots and do basic health checkups. These doctors also do routine blood work and x-rays.

3. Prescription Medication
If you need a basic prescription, your local urgent care provider can write one for you. You may even find that it's less of a hassle to get a quick prescription through the clinic than it is to go through a doctor at a private office. Clinic employees often fill prescriptions for antibiotics, antivirals, and medicine for short-term treatment. Need regular refills of medication? Some clinics can help refill longstanding prescriptions when a visit to your primary care physician is not possible.

4. Insurance Options
Urgent clinics often accept a variety of insurance plans. It's important to keep in mind that the business often expects a co-pay up front immediately following the visit. Sometimes, the bill can be cost due to the location's overhead. Still, the price out of pocket can be roughly the same if your insurance company offers you a low co-pay.

5. Supreme Convenience
Finally, it's important to consider just how convenient care centers are. Many cities have multiple locations, so there's always an office near your home or work. When you unexpectedly wake up with a cold that will not quit or accidently injure yourself, there's no better place to go.

If you are experiencing a major emergency, such as difficulty breathing, seizures, poisoning, or another serious ailment, the urgent medical care center should be bypassed in favor of emergency medical services. Although the quick clinic is the most convenient option, it is not equipped to deal with serious or life-threatening situations. Please head to the nearest hospital or ER in those situations.

The next time you need the cure for what ails you, visit the local clinic and experience convenient and reliable service. Save yourself the hassle and cost of the emergency room when you have a non-critical issue and make an appointment at the local urgent medical care center.

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Love It or Hate It: Clinical Decision Support Is Here to Stay for Healthcare

The general concept behind clinical decision support is great. It includes software and processes to help doctors and other clinicians make appropriate care decisions by delivering clinical knowledge and patient data tailored to the situation at hand. ESPecially in our age of information overload, it's hard to keep abreast of all the latest on specific procedures, and CDS can act as that expert by your side.

In addition, important patient information could be located in multiple places within an electronic health record, and intelligent software for decision support can help synthesize all that information. Imagine how patient safety, for example, can be more efficiently protected when a doctor is immediately alerted when a patient who has metal in her body is scheduled-erroneously-for an MRI.

Here are some of the other features provided by clinical decision support :

  • Warnings relating to drug-drug interactions, allergies, and dose range
  • Mechanisms for automatic selection of standardized, evidence-based order sets (packages of orders for a clinical scenario)
  • Links to knowledge references
  • Safety alerts
  • Rules that promote adherence to clinical best practices and achievement of quality measures
  • Delivery of evidence-based care guidelines at the point of care.

So, with all these benefits, what's the issue?

The tools, implementation, and ratione for clinical decision support vary broadly. And some of the mechanisms of this support-namely, alerts that fire too frequently and operate in interrupt mode-have given clinical decision support a bad name.

When clinical decision support is rolled out because of external requirements, such as to obtain reimbursements for Medicare services or to help meet regulatory requirements, it can get off on the wrong foot. For some clinicians, for example, the automatic application of evidence-based guidelines is tantamount to “cook book medicine” and limits their autonomy. And it bears repeating: No one likes being interrupted in the middle of carrying out their responsibilities.

The fact remains, though, that clinical decision support can reduce errors, promote best practices, and eliminate unnecessary procedures that bring associated costs and potential harm to patients.

All of us, including doctors, are creatures of habit and most of us will tend to believe that what we've always known is correct, even if new evidence contradicts that. As reported in a recent article in The Atlantic and ProPublica :

It is distressingly ordinary for patients to get treatments that research has shown are ineffective or even dangerous. Sometimes doctors simply have not kept up with the science. Other times doctors know the state of play perfectly well but continue to deliver these treatments because it's profitable-or even because they're popular and patients demand them. Some procedures are implemented based on studies that did not prove either they actually worked in the first place. Others were initially supported by evidence but then were contradicted by better evidence, and yet these procedures have remained the standards of care for years, or decades.

Clinical decision support has an important role to play in making sure that we adhere to the latest and greatest in evidence-based care, and not to fiercely held misconceptions.

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Clinical Trial Budgeting and Technological Impact

The current clinical trial and drug regulatory process have lagged behind advances in scientific research. Regulatory approval is based on the evidence of efficiency and safety collected from pivotal trials. Most experts agreed that traditional approach to drug development institute a blunt tool where a more focused experiment could suffice instead of a one-size-fits-all approach which is ineffective and wasteful.

According to studies conducted by New England Journal of medicine, almost nine in ten clinical trials do not meet FDA requirement and then do not reach the market. Project fails when they do not meet endpoints. Lack of efficiency and complex protocol are the major cause of failure. To reverse this trend, productivity must be directed towards the poor predictive capability of the current experimental model.

Clinical trial plays a major role in drug development and advancement in technologies such as drug positioning, the therapeutic target, and drug efficacy prediction are helping researchers and pharmaceutical companies in drug development.

Traditional trials have fixed parameter that is determined in advance and remain constant through out the process. One advancing approach to modernizing clinical trials and maximizing efficiency is by adaptive trials which allow for certain parameters such as sample size and treatment regimen to be modified or replace on interim results.

The major hurdle is that investment in clinical research is dwindling as government and stakeholders tightened their budgets. As major sponsors revenue stabilize and cost continue to rise, the clinical trial finds itself in a financial squeeze. Pharmaceutical and medical-device companies have been intent on trimming budgets. Lean contract negotiations are the norm these days, no sponsor is walking around with money burning hole in their budget and most are responding to mandate to save cost by requiring CROS to provide unrealistic competitive budgets which are disastrous. With tight budget, short-sightedness has become the order of the day and as a result, both sponsors and CROs reputation suffered.

Cutting back drastically or unwillingness to adequately fund a project will produce a poor result. This simplistic strategy is unrealistic and unsustainable. It is important to note that focusing solely on short-term strategy will be detrimental in the long-term. If sustained research climate is created, prosperity will inevitably grow.

There has been increasing effort in utilizing technologies to streamline protocol and boost efficiency in clinical research. The use of technology is empowering research professionals by helping them to make a decision based on resulting data. With the aid of technology, organizations are reducing cost and speeding up evaluation process. Technology allows for accurual of data faster and that information can be distributed in real time. This can lead to a better decision being made on protocol, patient recruitment, and trial sites.

Here is the list of technologies impacting clinical trials today

Risk Based Monitoring (RMB)

Companies use risk based monitoring to target and prioritize resources, identify risks relating to quality, safety of subjects and integrity of clinical trial data. Risk based monitoring (RMB) can incorporate targeted monitoring or triggered monitoring and reduced source document verification (SDV).

Traditionally, source data verification (SDV) were generated 100% via on-site monitoring, a labor intensive approach. Reduced SDV limits the measure of SDV at the site, study and subject level.

The quest for more key ways to manage clinical trials has distinguished risk based monitoring which attempts to manage resources without compromising on clinical quality.
The variables of protocol compliance, data integrity, and patient safety etc. impact how assets are deployed.

The impact of technology in risk based monitoring is substantial and currently in markets are clinical trial management systems (CTMS) and remote data capture (RDC) which can support risk based monitoring system. Some systems still support manual reporting and reporting of clinical trial data, for this reason, there is a need to setup more robust systems for flagging and alerting data automatically, these alerts can be developed for notifying those who need to act when an issue arises.

According to Medidata, the cost of onsite monitoring is approximated at 28.7% of study budget and project management at 26.47%. In moving to RMB, monitors can spend their time more judiciously and reduce cost.

Electronic Trial Master File

In biopharma industry, every organization involved in clinical trial maintains a trial master file containing several thousand pages of regulatory documents needed for each clinical trial.

Using a paper-based or hybrid trial master file system to manage thousands of clinical documents, processes and tasks can be overwhelming and can cause errors or misunderstanding that can ruin clinical trial and put it at risk for noncompliance.

Organizations typically employed an Enterprise Content Management System (ECM) to manage clinical trial regulatory documents. The ECM based eTMF offers automated methods to index, archive, and report on documents and content.

To eliminate paper from a clinical trial study, electronic signing utilizing digital signatures from verified users is being employed. Globally, most countries including the US and many countries in EU are accepting digital signatures in place of wet signatures thereby eliminating the need for scanned documents.

An electronic trial master file (eTMF) offers a robust platform to document management which allows study team members to gain a quick insight necessary to efficiently manage clinical trials and speedup time to market. Electronic document management processes are being adopted at a steady pace as it becomes vital to business productivity, shortened biopharma product development timelines, and cost cutting.

eSource

In 2013, the FDA release its Guidance Document on Electronic Source Data in Clinical Investigations, since then sponsors and study sites have been adopting and employing eSource as a method of recording data in clinical trials.

The definition of electronic source (eSource) is a clear concept – to capture or process source data electronically, this data exclude the source data that was captured on paper and transcribed into an electronic database. In eSource, the source data element itself must be electronic.

The benefit of eSource is appropriate and the FDA approved it because it will be useful in: facilitating real-time entering of electronic source data during subject visits, removes the need to duplicate data, allows for accuracy and completeness of data by using electronic prompts for inconsistent and missing data and lessens the chance for transcription errors.

The need to modernize and streamline the way data is collected are evolving, as a result, much of the exploratory done that far by several pharmaceutical companies have been mostly to build internal competency. In moving forward, it is critical that standards and interoperability within different eSource modalities come together to help create systems that provide accurate data in clinical research.

Using Clinical Data Repository (CDR) to drive optimization

The ability to effective manage, report and analyze data is of paramount importance in clinical trials. The major hurdle is that data from clinical trials are frequently entered by clinicians electronically or manually across multiple channels including EDC, LIMS, CDMS and IVRS and other systems each with unique underpinning needs. This approach causes data to end up in different databases making it complex and time-consuming to leverage and synchronize the data.

There is confusion as to what institute or defines CDR as distinct from a clinical data warehouse (CDW). CDR can be thought of as consolidated storage and transfer of data for clinical trials including security, workflow, and systems for performing daily task all under one umbrella.

Centralization of the storage and management of data results are the purpose of CDR and to provide a steadfast and reliable infrastructure that supports clinical data analysis and management, facilitating standardization and secure transfer of data, allow for analytics and cross-trial analysis and to leakage data from trials across the pipeline.

In conclusion, progress in clinical trials and development has been the backdrop to scientific success. While new technology is helping streamline protocol and save cost, the future also requires savvy integration by linking data collected in trials with data generated in the clinical treatment phase, study goals should be aligned with protocol to eliminate activities that do not support endpoints.

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How Using the EMR/EHR Can Increase the Revenue in Practice

Healthcare is often reactive, rather than proactive, when it comes to opportunities for improvement. It is often a race to fix what went wrong, not institute infrastructure to prevent it.

Tied to the above is the fact that EMR / EHR is a significant outlay of cash for providers for something that is not directly a medical product. EMR / EHR is not treating patients, but rather it is often something more easily interpreted as administrative as many physician offices are only focusing on capturing incentive dollars.

EMR / EHR companies are using any and every angle they can to make their product stand out above the others. Some EHR / EMR vendors are including billing software and telling providers that their EMR “software” does the billing too. They also push the fact that the EMR and the billing are “linked” to each other. They tell their prospects that they can save money by not hiring a billing service to take care of the billing and collections (Revenue Cycle Management), but anyone who is an expert in RCM knows this is just not true.

Personally, I see EMR as a totally separate entity from the billing. Having billing software does not mean it is smarter for a provider to keep the billing in-house. Actually, most providers who outsource their medical billing already have software capable of billing. The issue for most providers who choose to outsource is that they realize that they must maximize their reimbursements at every turn and they do not have experienced staff who expertly and consistently handle the billing, the claims tracking, the phone calls, the denials and appearances process, keeping up with the continuous healthcare mandate changes, the clearinghouse and electronic submissions, credentialing and they recognize that the experience that they get from outsourcing their billing and collections to a billing company is crucial to keeping the doors open. Many providers realize that they save money by outsourcing. Some have difficulty hiring, training and keeping a knowledgeable person in that position in their office.

Bottom line, no matter how good your billing software is, it is only as good as the person using it. A provider's income relies on the billing. If they do not they will lose money, no matter how good their software is and whether or not it's tied to their EMR / EHR.

Ten key features within your EMR / EHR and Practice Management solution can help the transition go more efficiently and provide you some savings.

1. Implementation – Can not be stressed enough. KNOW your needs and wants while choosing your EMR / PM solution. An EMR / EHR should enable physician practices achieve greater patient efficiency by streamlining day-to-day operations, strengthening the patient-physician experience and improving patient quality.

2. Management Commitment – With that being said, need to have providers and staff on-board for a successful transition. Perhaps this means having small but focused project team that is made up of “systems thinkers” – these are people who understand how the current organization works, but more importantly have the vision of how it could work.

3. Robust software emphasizing practice specifications – Define which billing data the practice would like to capture that is specific to your practice and / or specialty. Does the EMR convert encounter / super-bills to claims? Does it “interface” with the practice management software? If not, the process will definitely increase time and cost to the practice. The correct charge application, taxes and discounts for claims should be applied to this feature (critical for ophthalmology and optometry) practices.

4. Real-time electronic eligibility and electronic claim submission – These features should be a given in any EMR / EHR. Is the software capable of checking patient eligibility in real-time? Will the clearinghouse supply direct claim verification?

5. Robust accounting and financial reports – Report management is imperative to any billing features of an EMR / EHR

6. Electronic tracking of payments – All details should be tracked in the payment process. Features should include the ability to log and communicate every action performed in order to get a claim paid.

7. Real time claims rejection analysis – Error codes should be displayed clearly. This feature can enable users to: immediately resolve problematic claims, analyze the reasons for claims rejection and gives the practice an opportunity to monitor red flags as they arise and to implement types of audits.

8. Billing codes directly excluded from EMR / EHR – This automated feature incorporates pulling (interfacing) the E / M codes and procedures directly from the EMR / EHR documentation. By pulling patient data as it is being entered during patient history, medical notes, pathology and radiology entries, procedures and prescriptions, services rendered are recorded immediately.

Embedded Meaningful Use dashboard helps providers track progress towards meeting Meaningful Use certification.

9. Multi-User, secure and user friendly – Users should be able to utilize strong embedded claims editing solutions, claim status technology that automatically checks claims status for improvement in reimbursements, automatic claims submissions to name a few.

10. Monitoring, backups, and data recovery – Prevention is always the best measure and a system should be firmly in place for system monitoring and backups.

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An Introduction to TeleMedicine

Why TeleMedicine?

TeleMedicine is a way to reduce costs at the same time providing consumers with the convenience they want like reduced travel time, fewer hardships. It solves the current problems like shortage of qualified medical professionals. The communication technology has advanced to an extent where doctors can provide good virtual consultations.

Increasing popularity of TeleMedicine Technology is transforming every sector including Healthcare. Modern information and communication technologies (ICTs), like computers, the Internet, and cell phones, are transforming how individuals communicate with each other, seek and exchange information, and enriching people's life. This has great potential to solve global health care problems.

A few factors which have made widespread adoption of TeleMedicine possible are

  • The availability of High-speed internet access and mobile phone
  • People already have computers and smartphone using which access the internet and are using telecommunication technology in different contexts.
  • It provides efficient and cost-effective care to older patients who require extra care than younger generation

Types of TeleMedicine

The practice of TeleMedicine is divided into three types of solutions

  • Store and forward – This is also called asynchronous TeleMedicine. It is a method in which the patient's medical information like imaging reports, diagnostic reports, videos and other records are stored and forwarded to a medical care professionals for remote assessment of patient's condition. In this method, medical care professionals can analyze the patient's information effectively at their convenient time. In this solution, a medical specialist can be in a different timezone. This solution is applied in radiology, dermatology, and ophthalmology.
  • Remote monitoring (Telemonitoring) clinical measurements of patients can be monitored from a distance. This is beneficial for older patients at home who have illness persisting for a long time like heart disease, diabetes, and even asthma.
  • Live Interactive or Real Time TeleMedicine – Synchronous TeleMedicine Video conferencing facility gives doctors to offer immediate advice to patients who require medical care. It is useful in primary care and followup visits. These technologies used in TeleMedicine are designed to protect patients privacy and advances HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards

TeleMedicine Technology Overview The Principle element of TeleMedicine are

1. Equipment – Telemedicine systems capture voice and image data

2. Transmission method or Connectivity

1. Equipment – TeleMedicine Units

  • Room systems with viewing screen and microphone are stationed in a room. They are used for continuing education, medical therapy, and administrative meetings.
  • Mobile Systems have small footprints and are easily moved. Telemedicine units which can be moved to different places
  • Desktop Systems – Small units which can be placed in clinician's office

Equipment -Principal Common Components

1. Camera is used for clinicians to see the patients and patients to see the clinicians.

2. Viewing Screen – Sometimes multiple screens are available so that medical provider can view the patients as well as the diagnostic reports and other medical information.

3. Microphone allows clinicians and patients to talk to one another.

4. Codec – coding and decoding. It is the heart of the system. This compresses the outgoing audio and video data and transmit the information to the far end decompress the incoming information. It also provides security encryption.

5. Scopes and Peripherals

Use of peripheral equipment like specialized cameras and diagnostic scopes.

A specialist can examine without having to be in the same location. General use of cameras allows dermatologist to view the skins. ENT specialist uses Otoscope to view inside of the patient's ears. Stethoscope allows listening to heart and lung sounds. Non-mydriatic cameras allows capturing the retinal images in case of Diabetic Retinopathy screenings

2. Transmission method or Connectivity The network is necessary to establish connectivity between locations and transmit clinical data. Telemedicine equipment needs to be linked together for interaction.

Top TeleMedicine Specialities

TeleMedicine can be applied to any specialty. It can be said as a virtual hospital.

1. Teleradiology – get a consultation on patient's health condition by sending x-rays and health records securely to a radiologist at another location

2. Teleophthalmology – examines a patient's eyes and provide treatment from a distance.

3. Teledermatology- images of rash or skin disorder are sent for remote diagnosis. 80% of dermatology cases involving rashes are resolved by TeleMedicine.

Benefits of TeleMedicine

1. Elderly people with chronic illness can be treated by doctors miles away without leaving their Eldercare facility.

2. A worker who becomes ill or injured on oil well who is 100s of miles away from land can be treated by doctors remotely via TeleMedicine.

3. Video conferencing facility helps medical practitioner interact with the patient almost immediately with a reduction in cost and increase convenience.

4. Patients can be seen soon by doctors for treatment

5. The cost of patients traveling to hospital and waiting time are drastically reduced

6. Expert Medical advice, one on one consultation, 2nd opinion, online medical record

7. It protects one's Privacy and from the comfort of your home

8. Patient Health records are stored strictly following the HIPAA standards

9. Patients can be diagnosed and treated earlier which leads to improved outcomes and cheap treatments.

Conclusion

TeleMedicine offers extraordinary potential for delivering faster, better, less expensive and more convenient care. As the TeleMedicine sector evolves and expends, it provides extensive opportunities for the health care profession, particularly in its ability to reach, engage, and improve the health of patients who might otherwise not have access to care

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Getting the Right Medical Equipment Is Key to Opening a Successful Private Practice

Opening a medical practice is a risky, yet rewarding process. The main challenges of opening a clinic in the Indian market scenario is purchasing the right equipment. Owing to the high cost, there are very few players in this field and. However, in order to run a successful medical practice, it is essential to procure the right equipment within the right price.

To understand the importance of medical equipment while setting up a medical practice, we need to understand the speciality of the clinic that we are setting up. The clinic that we are planning to setup could be an Ophthalmology clinic to address the issues related to eye. If such is the case, we may need to procure equipment that is related and relevant to Ophthalmology. Color Vision Test, Vision Testing Projector Slides, Consumables that come to mind when we think of setting up and Ophthalmology clinic.

On the other hand, if we are planning to setup a Cardiology clinic or Endocrinology or Obstetrics clinic or gynecology clinic then we not only need to employ and Sonographer who performs the ultrasound scans but we also need to procure an ultrasound machine or scanning equipment. With the help of ultrasound scanning equipment, the sonographer performs a scanning or muscle or organ visualization technique. The role of ultrasound scanning is pivotal in diagnosing various disease conditions. Not to mention, its importance in understanding the development of foetus in carrying woman. The field of Ultrasound itself is a separate study and the subject is unarguably vast.

As discussed in the beginning, setting up medical clinic along with the purchase of medical equipment is a costair. The process involved and the cost associated in procuring a MRI Scanner, its installation and hiring a radiologist proves that the process is a high cost affair. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging technique. It is a medical imaging radiology technique that uses magnetism. The cost of an MRI scanner can be anywhere between 2 crores to 6 crores. Installation and hiring of a radiologist is excluded from the above price. However, there is no denying the fact that it is an invaluable resource for doctors to diagnose a disease or health condition. It is very difficult for doctors to understand the internal damage within the body of a patient who met with an accident. However, the job of the physician becomes much easier with an MRI scan.

There are alternate ways that are available for a physician to dodge away from the high investment that is involved in the procurement of the high cost equipment discussed above. The 2000 Siemens.2T MAGNETOM Concerto is the best example that falls under this category. It is an economic open MRI scanner providing maximum patient acceptance due to the fact that there is no tube like arrangement where the patient has to pass through and feel claustrophobic while at the same time delivering exceptional image quality. To conclude, in order to run a successful clinician, one needs to understand the speciality of the clinic that he / she is planning to setup, review the necessary speciality equipment that needs to be procured, assess the cost associated in procurement and finally find alternate equipment to mitigate the cost.

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Imbibe Copper in Life for Health

Copper The Wonderful Metal

Copper is one of the few elements which are colored in its pure form. The reddish brown shiny color adds the glamor value to this metal. The metal is solid and the best thing is that it is available on the surface of the earth, the main reason for it being the metal used by ancient civilizations. With the discovery of iron the use of this wondrous metal in daily life diminished, and people were deprived of its benefits for a long period of time. However, with recent research revealing the many properties of this metal, it is being used more and more in daily life. It has also been reintroduced into the kitchen increasing the grandeur and making food healthy.

This extremely useful element is present all around us. It is used to make all kinds of electrical equipments right from a small bulb to rockets. The Iron Age is long gone, but the copper age is back.

The effect of copper on our body

Copper has long been used as a medicine by Egyptians and the people of India in the Vedic age. The main use was to store water, so making it fresh and safe to drink. The metal has the unique property of killing microbes by the ionic reaction known as the “Oligodynamic effect”. Being a heavy metal, it should not be consumed in large quantities. But small amounts everyday can work wonders for overall good health. So, do not wait and get a copper tumbler or a copper jug ​​and start drinking from it to good health.

Now, let us check out the various benefits this trace element has on our body.

Benefit Number One: Copper is a brain stimulant

The sluggishness you feel after a long day at office can be quite frustrating. This is due to the brain slowing down, and copper can help you speed it up. Copper is a vital building block of the myelin sheaths which are a key part of the nervous system. Copper helps in repair and production of the membrane around synapses, thus increasing electrical activity in the brain. This is the key to quicker response system, and making the brain healthier.

Benefit Number Two: Copper Relives pain in Joints

How does copper help in relieving joint pain? Well, it does it in two ways. First copper has the natural property of reducing pollution and this is the reason ancient Egyptians used copper in their bandages. The second way it relives the pain is by repairing the cartilage around the joints. Simply wearing a copper bangle can help, as the copper seeps through skin and reduces pain.

Benefit Number Three: Copper aids in Digestion

Adding copper in small amount in daily life can help the digestive system. Copper stimulates the contracting of digestive muscles making digestion systems work better. In addition it kills harmful bacteria, thus reducing the burden on the stomach. However, too much copper can harm the gut bacteria which are a vital part of us. The solution is to drink a glass of water kept overnight in copper jugs, and drink it in the morning. This a trial and tested remedy for stomach ailments recommended by Ayurvedic science.

Benefit Number Four: Keeps the Thyroid balanced

Hyper and hypo thyroids have become common a problem today. This is due to copper deficiency in the body, and the reason is the pollution that takes toll on the copper present in our body. The thyroid gland is the master gland, and essential for a healthy body. Supplementing copper in your diet can help to balance the thyroid so helping you to be in good health.

Benefit Number Five: Copper keeps the heart healthy

Most of the cardiovascular problems are due to clogging of the nerves and arteries. The excess fat intake bad cholesterol builds in our body. This takes the form of plaque and blocks the arteries and veins. The plaque is made of large and stubborn fat molecules. This is the main reason for heart related problems. Copper has the natural property of breaking down large fat molecules in to smaller ones. Thus the plaque is removed making blood flow better and reducing the risk of heart problems. Just one liter of copper charged water from your copper water bottle can do this. Is not that wonderful?

Benefit Number Six: Copper keeps your hair and skin in good health

Copper is a vital part of making the pigment in our eyes, hair and skin known as melanin. Proper intake of copper can strengthen your hair and keep your skin healthy. You just need to be aware and you will look young and beautiful.

Benefit Number Seven: Copper keeps liver and spleen in good stead

Copper keeps the liver, spleen and the lymphatic system healthy. These are vital part of the internal cleansing system of the body. Thus copper is essential for keeping the filtration system of the body in good stead, which keeps the toxins out and helps us to be healthy.

The overall effect of copper on the general health is too much to ignore. So, introduce copper in daily life by having copper tumblers, copper cup s for drinking water. Also, buy copper utensils and making cooking healthy and easy. While doing so you will be becoming healthier everyday without doing much. Start today by visiting your nearby copper shop, or just go online and order some copper goodies for yourself. Be selfish, use copper and be healthy!

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How to Stop Restless Legs Immediately

RLS (Restless leg syndrome) can be now easily treated with some flexible treatments. These treatments can be implemented at home only and then you do not require moving to any clinical chamber. Reading special articles or reviews on RLS can cater you detailed knowledge regarding how to stop restless legs immediately with the implementation of different useful DIY treatments at home.

Major treatments:

How to stop restless legs immediately ? There are some highlighted DIY treatments at home that play the most important role in stopping the unseen signs of RLS. Some of the most valuable treatments that can be easily practiced are as follows: –

Cold or heat massage : You will really get absolutely unbelievable results by practicing either cold or heat compression. This is an approved DIY treatment that can cater you instant relief from RLS sufferings and then you should practice the same on a regular basis. Not only pain sensations are relieved, but the leg muscles are also relaxed completely.

– Relaxing exercises: There are some moderate kinds of exercises that can be regularly used for getting instant relief from RLS. But you have to learn the correct techniques of these exercises otherwise you will not be able to receive desirable benefits. You can learn the same either from a professional fitness trainer or else can learn the same from different web-based fitness programs. Muscle tension and stress are being released by practicing these exercises as a result of which RLS comes under control automatically.

– Sleep environment : A proper bedtime schedule or routine needs to be created for escaping RLS symptoms. Moreover, you can create a soothing and relaxing sleep ambience in your bedroom so that you can fall sleep faster. This ambience will keep your mind calm and relaxed as a result of which sleep will come to your eyes faster.

– Mineral supplements : Lack of essential minerals in your body, especially magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus and others can trigger RLS; therefore youought to take potential mineral supplements along with vitamin tablets. These supplements are completely natural and then you will get rid of your RLS trouble soon. Moreover, your health will also get improved with the regular intake of these supplements.

– OTC medications : OTC medicines are safe and they can be collected even without the consent of any doctor. You can now start taking those medications for getting quicker relief from RLS, but you should know the perfect dosage. Before making long term use of these drugs you should take permission from doctors for sure. Some of the most potent medicines in this regard are ketoprofen, Naproxen, Ibuprofen, acetaminophen and many more.

– Gabapentin : This is nothing but an anticonvulsant drug can control severe form of RLS. This drug can be taken for emergency situation. Abnormal brain excitation can be easily controlled along with the regulation of RLS signs. You may suffer some mild side-effects, especially headache, fatigue, nausea, throat and face swelling, breathing or swallowing difficulty and others. It is better taking this medicine on doctor's prescription.

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Medicaid – What Is It?

This program helps to make sure that those below the federal poverty level receive quality health care. The US federal government designed this program. In 1964, Medicaid was established along with Medicare under the Title XIX of the Social Security Act. Medicaid covers doctor and hospital visits, emergency room visits, prenatal care, prescription medications, and more. Depending on the situation, both of these programs may cover:

• Low income families, including the children under the age of 19 and parents
• Low-income pregnant women
• Specialty protected groups
• Those who are unable to work due to a disability
• Senior citizens who have retired
• Foster or adopted children
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients
• Some Medicare beneficiaries

There may be others eligible for Medicaid but that is determined by each state. Most who receive welfare will have a social worker who can advise them on its eligibility and who would be eligible for this program. Medicaid is a very expensive program and at times it is one of those controversial programs that some want to cut some of the fund while others in Congress do not. If any funding for this program was cut, there are many people, including children, disabled, and elderly, that would be without any basic medical care.

Another area that can be controversial is determining who is eligible for Medicaid. To be eligible for Medicaid you have to meet certain income qualifications and different living circumstances. The federal government and state run Medicaid jointly. Each state has various instructions in regards how to enroll in the program. Before you apply and start the enrollment process, you should check the qualification for eligibility. You will also be told which documents you need to have before a determination of eligibility will be given out. Some automatically qualify for Medicaid so there is no need to apply for enrollment. One example of immediate enrollment is those that are on SSI, may automatically qualify for Medicaid so they may never have to go through the enrollment process.

When applying for Medicaid to determine your eligibility you will need to have proof of your income, if you have any, or documentation for Social Security income or Disability payments. They will also need to have your address, names of doctors you have seen, especially if you are trying or disability, disability determination paper, what your monthly amount received, and social security numbers of the children living in the home under the age eighteen. When applying for Medicaid it does not determine that you are automatically approved but will look over your case and then make their decision. Some are denied Medicaid for various reasons like not filling out an application completely.

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Robotic Nurse Assistant (RoNA) System: Advantages & Healthcare Industry Report

Over the last few decades, the advancement in technology has surged at a rapid rate and spread across the globe. The accessibility and affordability of technology has pointed out several benefits, including improved quality of life, better scientific research and a higher average life expectancy in several countries. Since many parts of daily life are mechanized, people can focus on their interests and careers. Currently, in many technologically progressive societies, the population is not only living longer, but is also offering fewer children. Since many people are living up to old age and not many children are born to cover up the difference, there are less and less resources to take care of older groups.

The concept of the Robotic Nurse Assistant System was introduced to take care of older people and is running successful in countries like Japan where 30% of the population is over the age of 65. Currently, these systems are actively used in medical facilities & centers to lift patients safely without the involvement of humans.

Development of Robotic Nurse Assistants

• In 2009, healthcare research company Hstar Technologies started a research project designed to report the numerous clinical and technological challenges faced by different healthcare practitioners. It focused on developing a human-safe and heavy-lifting robotic system which can function in any clinical environment.
• The efforts of the research and development team directed in the creation of the RoNA Robotic Patient Lifting System-a self-directed robotic nursing assistant designed to help health care providers operate and lift patients weighing close to 500 pounds.

Advantages of RoNA

In strong competition with ceiling-mounted lift systems, patient lift teams and mobile sling systems; RoNA provides some distinct advantages such as:
• RoNA is an omnidirectional and mobile system with mecanum wheels to move in any direction. It can work in confined spaces, and explore areas where several portable lifting systems can not travel. It is far better than mobility and maneuverability ceiling systems which are fixed.
• Telepresence support RoNA can function along a trained nurse, or can be supervised by a tenuously located nurse while operating with a less expert attendant.
• Patient Safety RoNA is a smart, learning system, which is capable to sense center of gravity during the lifting process as well as automatically adjust its position. (This is primarily possible due to a unique stability system). It results is making the patient feel more protected during the lift as compared to a physical transfer involving human hands.
• RoNA works to reduce employee injury and premature retirements in facilities which have not yet organized lifting devices. This system will deliver the full benefit of a secure lifting program, reducing workman's compensation along with injury-related costs by almost 40%. In centers where safe patient handling programs are implemented, RoNA will enforce compliance, further reducing injury-related costs.

Robotics Nurse Assistant System Market

• According to the healthcare industry report, the market for robotic nurse assistant system is quite flourishing in Japan. These robotic nurseries are also utilized in the United States where they were thought developed.
• It is predicted that in the near future nurse assistant robots may be fully prepared to help take care of the elderly population. In Japan more than a third of the population would be senior citizens by the year 2025, 12% higher than the statistics of 1990. According to reports, Japan required two million professionals in 2010 to offer care for the elderly, but lacking by a count of 700,000. If analytical trends continue, the deficit will double by 2025 to reach 1.4 million.
• Currently, Japan is developing robot nurse assistants to help with mechanical tasks, empowering nurses to give their patients extra quality time. Currently, the only robot fulfilling safety standards in Japan is known to be the Cyberdyne (8C4 Frankfurt) Exoskeleton. Each of these robots cost $ 1,780, which is quite less as compared to the annual average salary of $ 25,000 for a nurse in Japan. This cost-benefit analysis is quite convincing.
• If robot helpers, like the Cyberdyne Exoskeleton, are compared to half of a nurse, then around 2.8 million robots will be needed to complete the shortage, developing a $ 5 billion market involving personal health care robots at current prices in Japan alone. It was revealed that, the sale of medical robots on a global scale valued $ 1.5 billion in 2013. Although not used for surgery, these personal care robots in the hospital environment would significantly surge the market for nursing robots. By satisfying nurse scarcities with nurse assistant robots, human nurseries can grow more productive, adding fineness to the patient experience while dropping costs at the same time; making it a win-win situation for the healthcare system.

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Why Humidity Control in Healthcare Is Essential

For those not involved in the healthcare industry, it can be hard to understand what the link between healthcare and accurate humidity control. After all, what does humidity have to do with maintaining and improving health? Is not the variable nature of humity something we deal with as humans?

The answer to the latter question is yes, but in a healthcare environment, there's no denying that humidity plays a huge role – especially during the winter months when the heaters are run.

Heating systems dramatically dry the air, causing atmospheric moisture levels to drop to as low as 15% relative humidity (RH). In a workplace, humidity this low can have a number of effects, from respiratory problems, headaches, sore throats and even stress. In healthcare environments like hospitals, the effects are much worse.

For example, in an operating room low RH causes moisture to be drawn from all available sources – including skin and blood. During an operation, any body tissue that's exposed to the low RH air will be treated, causing premature drying and promoting the formation of scabs.

There's also the not-insignificant fact that below 40% RH, electrostatic shocks begin to build up. Using metal instruments and working on humans means that these shocks can lead to some dangerous scenarios. Outside of the theater, those same electrostatic shocks can affect sensitive medical electronics.

The way to avoid this is through healthcare humidity control systems, designed to maintain humidity between 45 and 60% RH, subject to your requirements.

Below 45% RH, membranes in the throats and noses of young babies can very easily out, causing a number of health issues and requiring attention from nursing staff. Indeed, in adults with respiratory problems, low RH can also have a negative effect. That's why in healthcare environments, we always recommend a relative humidity above 45%.

In medical environments, it's often the case that typical humidification systems are inadequate – both in size and delivery method. Because healthcare environments require totally sterile air, it's important that your humidity control system has a hygiene failsafe.

Those requirements mean that steam-based humidification systems, which use steam to create the moisture which is then fed into your working environment. This has the benefit of being 100% sterile, but do be warned – some steam based humidification systems utilize additives which make them unsuitable for hospital and healthcare environments where sterility is absolutely vital.

As such, it's always important that you speak to a qualified and experienced dehumidification supplier, with links to the healthcare industry.

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Measure It

“What gets measured achieved improves” is a common business adage. A restatement of it is “What gets measured managed managed”. I believe that this is quite true but want to would add that experience and intuition are important components of an improvement program. If you want to improve patient and client outcomes, then you must actively engage in business process management and a key component of this is developing a metric system to measure your processes and outcomes.

Engaging the customer or patient, striving to satisfify them is an important strategy to retaining them and improving outcomes, whether it be better health or increased sales. Thus, it is very important to measure engagement and satisfaction so there is a basis to measure improvement.

Let me give you an example of this from a population level health management program that I have been involved with for over eight years. The program is a social norms campaign at a local high school what goal is to drive down alcohol and drug use by the students.

At the beginning of the program the principal and staff of the high school worked with my group which main purpose was to drive down the amount of alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and other drugs that students used to 'get high'. Getting high has many negative consequences for young people whose brains are still developing. With this goal in mind my team developed a program that included an annual survey of students at the high school that would provide information on the current use of these substations by the 'average' student as well as other data that could provide data for messages that would be used to alter the behavior of the students. The first survey provided a baseline against which data from future surveys would measure progress. The data collected gave very accurate measures of the progress of the campaign. The accuracy of the data was assured as actions were taken to remove the input of those who lied on the survey.

The engagement of the students in the program was through messages on posters posted in classrooms that stated the actual use levels of the substances by students. For instance, one month the posters in the classes stated that “Students at XX High School believe that 73% of their classmates use marijuana. In reality, 87% do not.” The posters correct the misperceptions of the students. When doing this, according to social norm theory, actual use of the substances decline over time. The engagement has been very successful. Alcohol use has declined 91% and the use of marijuana has significantly declined since 2012, when it reached its peak. Only 5% of students use tobacco products. The leadership of the school and community are very pleased with the opportunities so far.

The data we collect not only provides measures of success but it also helps guide our messaging from year to year. For instance, in for the past two years we have been focusing on marijuana use.

How can you use this approach to improve outcomes for your patients and clients? Following are some basic steps that will help you develop successful processes or programs that is based upon metrics:

1. Set high priority goals that focus upon improving outcomes . I am sure that you can identify many goals for your site but it is necessary to identify the critical few that are key to success. Having too many goals may dissipate the energy needed to accomplish the most important goals. Focus on patients 'and clients' needs and wants.

2. Identify measures that indicate progress in reaching your goals. Use measures that indicate progress in improving the outcomes but also measure the processes used in reaching the outcomes. Do not use too many measures as this too will require too much energy and effort.

3. Implement the metric program. Assign responsibility to someone to exceed the metric program, the identified measures, and to report progress to management and the team that supports the improvement efforts.

4. Act upon the data to further improve the outcomes and processes. It is necessary to identify attainable goals that can be attained in a given amount of time. Once the goals are reached you should set higher goals.

Another view of these steps are SMART GOALS: S pecify, M easurable, A ssignable, R ealistic, and T ime Orientated.

An example of this in a clinical setting could be:

1. Specify: the average A1c level in a physician's panel of diabetic patients will be less than 6.5.

2. Measurable: the clinicians measure the A1c level of each diabetic quarterly and also monitor the diet and exercise habits of the patient through the use of an online journal available on a patient portal.

3. Assignable: the progress of each patient is followed by a nurse coordinator who is a part of the clinical practice.

4. Realistic: the goals of the patient outcomes are realistic based upon the baseline measurements obtained at the setting of the goals and measured at a population level.

5. Time orientated: the clinical staff expects to reach the goals within one year.

Many programs set goals to achiev but fail to establish a metric program to measure progress in reaching the goals. The failure to measure results means that the energy expended to reach the goals is like a stab in the dark-the providers hope that they reach their goals but they really do not know if they do. Intuition and experience may indicate success but without the addition of measurements it is almost impossible to know the impact of the efforts to reach the goals.

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Improving Your Outcomes

Do you want to deliver outstanding results for your patients, your clients? Do you want to deliver the triple aim of healthcare-patient-centered care at a lower price with better population level outputs? If the answer is 'Yes', then you need to continuously improve the quality of the care that you deliver, the service that you supply. I believe that this is the goal of most providers.

If you have been adopting the steps of Business Process Management that have appeared in previous newsletters, then you are ready to move on the last step-managing and improving your processes. As you may recall, the previous steps were:

1. Identifying top priority, critical processes.

2. Validating customer (patient) requirements.

3. Documenting the processes.

4. Developing process measurements.

Many organizations after implementing these four steps move on to actively manage their processes, their services. I do know some that do not. Such a waste of effort, I believe. Armed with the information collected and developed in the first four steps action must be taken to address the findings. Energy must be sent to manage the most important processes so that the quality of care does not suffer. From my experience, this is what most provider and service organizations do. They collect data on their most important processes and identify patient requirements and then keep performing the same processes over and over. They are not interested in actively addressing changes that lead to better outcomes.

Consider a group of primary care providers who have been engaged in patient care for many years. The majority of their income comes from fee-for-service activities. They have many patients who have Medicare. They do work to meet government mandates such as EHR meaningful use requirements. However, their focus is primarily on fee-for-service activities. In the next few years their returns for these activities will steadily erode as CMS switches over to the MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) requirements. They may excel in managing the fee-for-service processes at their site, but still their income will erode.

Healthcare providers who not only seek to manage their processes and meet patient requirements but also seek to improve the quality of their care and will most likely see increases in revenue at their site. If they work on the triple aim-work continuously to improve their outcomes-then they will be rewarded by private payers and CMS.

What are some examples of continuous improvement projects that lead to hitting the triple aim? Houston Methodist Hospital works hard to improve patient health by concentrating on population level health management supported by data collection. Houston Methodist owns seven hospitals, a long-term care facility and contracted specialty and primary care physicians. They have stratified their patients into groups including a high-risk pool. Methodist Hospital provides case management services to this group. Over a six-month period recently they moved 50% of the high risk patients to a low-risk pool, so hitting the triple aim. You can find out more about this accomplishment in an article from HealthLeaders Media online .

Patient-centered medical homes are another example of primary care providers working to improve patient outcomes by focusing on the patient. Mercy Health Physician Partners of West Michigan is certified as a patient-centered medical home by the NCQA. They focus on patients with care plans tailor to the patient. Included in access to care is a well designed patient portal.

Another avenue to hitting the triple aim is through Accountable Care Organizations. Recently CMS added another contract model for ACO's-the Next Generation ACO Model. This model provides several ways to manage risk in a restricted environment. The hope is that more organizations will sign contracts with CMS to provide care in this model.

There are many tools that can be used to improve the quality of care at a lower cost. Healthcare quality improvement managers use programs such as Lean 6 Sigma, Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle and Total Quality Management. Each has a different focus but all are built upon collecting data as a part of business process management and looking at patient and customer requirements. The American Society of Quality and the Institute for Healthcare Reform has many resources that address these quality improvement programs.

The culmination of any business process management program is to continue to improve the service or care offered. In healthcare, this is known as the triple aim-lowering costs while focusing on the patient with population level management programs. There are many approaches to achieving the triple aim. Any program hoping to continue improve should adopt strategies and methodologies that resonate with their staff and leadership wherever it is Lean Six Sigma, Total Quality Management or Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Using these or similar tools will lead to ever better outcomes for all involved.

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Case Management and the Coordination of Care

The delivery of care that is based upon reducing costs while delivering better outputs is becoming more and more important today. It is often termed 'value based care'. It will be the basis of much future reimbursements models whether from private or government payers. Currently, providers are rewarded bonuses for providing this care, especially in patient-centered medical homes and accounting care organizations. One of the keys to achieving better care at lower costs is the integration and coordination of care among providers. The use of a case manager is an excellent way to achieve these goals.

As stated on the GE Healthcare Camden Group Insights Blog in the article “7 Steps to Achieving Clinical Integration,” “New payment models are making it more important than ever for hospitals to collaborate with doctors. have a growing economic incentive to pool resources, share information, coordinate care and services and cooperate on quality improvement. ” Again, the case is made for effective management among hospitals, providers, and payers.

In a recent interview a former manager at a local hospital was describing to me the goals of case managers at a hospital. At the hospital, a case manager is to manage the discharge of the patient from the hospital so as to prevent readmission for the same cause as the initial admission, as hospitals are penalized for doing so. In an interview with my son, who is an RN and was employed as one for a large, national payer, the goal of a case manager was to minimize the costs of medical care for the patient while providing good care. The goal of the case manager in a physician group is to drive down risk, to improve the quality of care, for the patient. The goals of case managers at all three types of sites is the triple aim-improve population level health, improve patient satisfaction and drive down costs.

How do case managers at each of these three sites reach their goals? What is their scope of work at each site? In a hospital setting one typically coordinates the discharge of a patient. This is a very complex task and is fairly new to many hospitals. One make sure that patients have a follow-up appointment with their primary care physician or specialist within two weeks after discharge or sooner if medically necessary. At discharge she will confirm with the patient the date and time of the follow-up appointment. If there is a problem with getting transportation to the appointment then the she will work to find ways to get the transportation, including working with the insurer if needed.

The hospital case manager will also go over the discharge instructions from the doctor, explaining what the patient needs to do once she is at home. For instance, in the case of knee replacement surgery the manager will explain to the patient what to do to manage pain, what exercise the patient will need to do at home, including visits from a physical therapist if it is covered. He will also discuss the care of the incision site and what to do if an infection develops after discharge. Good ones make sure that the patients understand the instructions and that they are able to accomplish them.

My son as a one for a large insurer worked with patients who had high risk scores as defined by the insurer. Most had comorbidities. These patients were contacted and asked if they wanted to work with a case manager. If they answered yes, then he would contact them and provide insights into their conditions through education. If he discovered that they were not receiving all the medical help that they needed according to standards of care for their condition he would offer to make appointments for them with their doctor. If they could not afford their medications, he would work to find a way to reduce the costs. If they needed transportation to an appointment, he would arrange that for them. In other words, he made sure the patients were getting the level of care needed to effectively manage their conditions so as to prevent progress of conditions to a state that would need more costly care.

Case managers in physician practices often do the work that a physicist wishes he / she had time to do. For instance, a case manager, having access to details of medical records that managers at other sites do not, may track indicators for patients with serious conditions. He / she may track the A1c levels of diabetics. Registries can help with this. If the level is too high the manager will contact the patient to see if further education is needed. Perhaps the manager will have the patient come in for this education and the two will problem solve how to lower the patient's A1c level.

Managers in the clinical setting also make sure that patients have scheduled appointments when necessary. For a diabetic with poor control they may have the patient come in once a month until the indicators improve. The manager will work with the patient to make sure appointments are available and that the patient can make it to the appointment. For instance, the case manager of the orthopedic clinic that my wife uses has set up two post knee replacement appointments.

As one can see, case managers can be of great assistance in helping patients achieve outcomes so that they can lead lives that have high quality. In doing so they will hit the Triple Aim of healthcare.

Case managers can be certified. One body that certifies case managers is the Commission for Case Manager Certification. In order to be certified a case manager generally needs:

  1. A license as an RN, LCSW, Rx or a BA in a social studies field
  2. Experience of 12 to 24 months in a case management field
  3. Pass board exam

Not only do patients benefit from the work of case managers, their employers do also. Hospitals avoid penalties for 'Never Events' such as readmission of a patient within 30 days for a condition that was related to the initial admission. Insurers save money by helping patients get care that is less costly, helping them avoid conditions that require intensive care. Case managers in the physician setting help practices achieve rewards or bonuses offered by payers for providing care that has high value and lower costs.

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How India’s Mental Healthcare Laws Affect You

India is one of the few countries that has a National Health Policy (NHP, 2002) that categorically mentions mental health, as well as a National Mental Health Program (NMHP) and a dedicated Mental Health Act 1987 (MHA). The most recent one is THE MENTAL HEALTHCARE BILL (ACT) passed in 2016.

The objective of the Act is “to provide for mental health and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfill the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

Simply put, this means that any individual with a diagnosed mental illness has the right to access healthcare and any other related services. These services will be delivered with dignity and respect to the individual.

The act clearly defines all parties and subjects mentioned in the bill. It addresses what mental health is (analysis, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of an individual with a diagnosed or suspected mental illness). It outlines the parties involved including family members and caregivers, psychological social workers and mental health professionals. It very importantly defines and underlines all the aspects of informed consent, a very significant matter in a country where a quarter of the population are illiterate and lakhs are medically uneducated. It also clearly and comprehensively defines mental illness as different from mental retardation.

The bill is very important to the average Indian citizen because it finally opens up the mental health space to anyone who wants help, regardless of the diagnosis. In the coming years, it could go a long way to destigmatise mental health treatment. Here are some of the most important points of the act that we all need to be aware of as its beneficiaries:

Decriminalisation of attempted suicide
In a much needed move, survivors of attempted suicide will not be sent to jail but instead to a rehabilitation program where they can receive treatment for their issues. The individual will be presumed to be suffering from 'severe stress', a term which has replaced the earlier bill's claim of 'mental illness'. They are therefore exempt from trial and punishment.

Empowerment of the mentally ill
While earlier acts bought to 'protect' the general population from those suffering from mental illness, the new bill recognizes the agency and abilities of such people and grants them facilities for rehabilitation and support. This means recognizing the inherent dignity of such persons and according them the right to make decisions regarding their treatment, if they can understand relevant information. It also gives every person the right to make an Advance Directive regarding the treatment that they wish to receive in the case of any future mental illness, and this Directive must be followed without overturned by the proportional Board.

Restricted use of Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electro-Convulsive Therapy will only be used in the rarest cases and and with informed consent. It is completely prohibited as emergency treatment, without muscle relaxants and anaesthesia and minors, although the last one is subject to permission from the guardian and the relevant Board. The Bill also denies the sterilization of the mentally ill without it is part of their rehabilitation.

Empowerment of the police
Police officers will be required to take under their protection any mentally-ill person on the streets within the limits of their police station. They are also to take notice of any case of ill-treatment of a mentally-ill person and report it to the Magistrate, who can then have the individual examined by a mental health professional and rehabilitated if necessary.

The importance of informed consent
In the definition of informed consent, there's a very critical factor marked out: using language that the individual can understand. Too often professionals trained in urban areas consider it too cumbersome to actually break down complex terms and biological processes to patients who, regardless of economic or educational background, may have difficulty grasping these concepts. It's very important as mental health professionals to remember that their purpose is to help, not to dictate. It is the ethical responsibility of treating professionals to work with people rather than simply assume that educational qualifications alone give the power to dictate an individual's treatment. The bill also grants the patient complete access to their medical records without such a disclosure would result in harm to themselves or others.

Placing responsibility on the government
The very first line of the act allocates responsibility to the government to either run or fund mental health care centers that will make a range of quality treatment accessible to all citizens, regardless of economic or social background. The act goes on to make special provisions for those living below the poverty line, destitute or homeless, entitling them to free care.

Placing the quality of healthcare for mental illness on par with that for physical illness
This is another strong step towards the destabilization of mental health. By assuring care equal in quality, the bill aims to bring mental health care into the mainstream, and no longer treat it as rare and specialist treatment only available for the wealthy and urban citizens.

The right to complain
By outlining the steps a citizen can take if discriminated against, and detailing the persons to be approached, the area of ​​mental health care is finally transparent. If a patient sufferers a breach of confidence or poor quality care, they can approach the medical officer or mental health professional in charge of the establishment, the concerned Board and finally the State Authority to seek justice.

To take control of your health, it is important to know your rights. Being informed is the first step towards being a better citizen.

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