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Active at Any Size Day 6: What can I do?

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on August 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

Water Workouts (Nonweight Bearing)

Exercising in water:

◆Helps flexibility. You can bend and move your body in water in ways you cannot on land.

◆Reduces risk of injury. Water makes your body float. This keeps your joints from being pounded or jarred and helps prevent sore muscles and injury.

◆Keeps you refreshed. You can keep cool in water—even when you are working hard.

You do not need to know how to swim to work out in water—you can do shallow-water or deep-water exercises without swimming.

For shallow-water workouts, the water level should be between your waist and your chest. If the water is too shallow, it will be hard to move your arms underwater. If the water is deeper than chest-height, it will be hard to keep your feet on the pool bottom.

For deep-water workouts, most of your body is underwater. This means that your whole body will get a good workout. For safety and comfort, wear a foam belt or life jacket.

Many swim centers offer classes in water workouts. Check with the pools in your area to find the best water workout for you.

Where to Work Out

You can do many activities in your home. But there are other fun places to be active, including health clubs, recreation centers, or outdoors. It may be hard to be physically active around other people. Keep in mind that you have just as much right to be healthy and active as anyone else.

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Don’t Take a Vacation From Your Healthy Habits This Summer!

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 14, 2012 at 8:00 am

1. Choose water workouts and make a splash as you get fit and strong.

2. Add color and variety to your meal by including seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh from your local farmers market.

3. Visit museums, the zoo, or an aquarium and walk for hours without realizing it.

4. When the temperature sizzles, get moving to a fun fitness video at home.

5. Start a small garden in your yard or in a community garden to combine healthy eating and physical activity.

6. Plan a weekend hike through a park, a family softball game, or an evening walk around the neighborhood.

7. Boost the flavor and nutrition of your meals with garden-fresh herbs.

8. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise, especially when the temperature soars.

9. Buy only as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you will use, so they won’t spoil.

10. Beat the heat with an early morning activity. Go for a walk or bike ride while watching the sun come up.

20 DAYS TOWARDS HAPPINESS AND HEALTH: DAY 15

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 7, 2012 at 8:00 am

15. CLEAN YOUR CAR

 

Fact: Maintaining the cleanliness of car makes driving even more pleasurable and helps prevent accidents while your eyes are on the road. That is why poorly kept cars are more prone for accidents statistically as compared to well kept ones.

 

For a lot of us these days, cars are the main means of transportation. Ideally, car is like a mini room, air-conditioned with nice seats and good music. But a lot of times we forget to clean the junk in the cars. All those dirty tissues, gum wrapper, non sense flyers and dust are the most common of things that do not deserve to be in the car. The car mats get allergens and dust mites overtime leading to breathing and allergy issues.

The other benefit of cleaning the car from outside is that cleaning car consumes lots of calories which are good for body. It involves use of various muscle groups and helps stretch them for the good. Not to say it keeps your car shining in the lot and you can save a few bucks which you would have spent in automated car wash.

The 8 Habits For Healthy Living

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 16, 2012 at 8:00 am

1.Eat smaller meals every 3 hours, for a total of five to eight small meals per day, every day.
2. Eat a lean protein source with every meal (meat, chicken, fish, eggs).
3. Eat fruits, vegetables or both with every meal.
4. Make sure that almost all carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables.
5. Make sure that at least 25 percent of your calories come from fat sources, including animal fats and oils (flax, fish, coconut, and olive).
6. Drink 8 glasses of 8oz water  daily. Drink only beverages that have zero calories. Stick to just water and green tea if possible.
7. Eat only whole foods (as opposed to liquid nutrition).

8.Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week

HEALTHCARE PAYMENT SYSTEMS

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 15, 2012 at 8:00 am

GOALS FOR IMPROVED HEALTHCARE PAYMENT SYSTEMS

In order to address the current problems with healthcare payment systems and to avoid the concerns about existing Pay-for-Performance systems, the following are twelve goals that revised payment systems should seek to achieve:

  • Payment systems should enable and encourage providers to deliver accepted procedures of care to patients in a high-quality, efficient, and patient centered manner.
  • Payment systems should support and encourage investments, innovations, and other actions by providers that lead to improvements in efficiency, quality, and patient outcomes and/or reduced costs.
  • Payment systems should not encourage or reward over-treatment, use of unnecessarily expensive services, unnecessary hospitalization or re-hospitalization, provision of services with poor patient outcomes, inefficient service delivery, or choices about preference-sensitive services that are not compatible with patient desires.
  • Payment systems should not reward providers for under-treatment of patients or for the exclusion of patients with serious conditions or multiple risk factors. Payment systems should not reward provider errors or adverse events.
  • Payment systems should make providers responsible for quality and costs within their control, but not for quality or costs outside of their control.
  • Payment systems should support and encourage coordination of care among multiple providers, and should discourage providers from shifting costs to other providers without explicit agreements to do so.
  • Payment systems should encourage involvement of patients in decision making, and encourage patient choices that improve adherence to recommended care processes, improve outcomes, and reduce the costs of care.
  • Payment systems should not reward short-term cost reductions at the expense of long-term cost reductions, and should not increase indirect costs in order to reduce direct costs.
  • Payment systems should not encourage providers to reduce costs for one payer by increasing costs for other payers, unless the changes bring payments more in line with costs for both payers.
  • Payment systems should minimize the administrative costs for providers in complying with payment system requirements. Different payers should align their standards and methods of payment in order to avoid unnecessary differences in incentives for providers.

In addition, an overarching goal is to have improved payment systems maintain or reduce healthcare costs, rather than increase them.

8 Ingredients in order for Primary Care practices to become an Accountable Care Organization

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 12, 2012 at 8:00 am

The core of an Accountable Care Organization is effective primary care. Although the majority of healthcare expenditures and increases in expenditures are associated with specialty and hospital care, some of the most important mechanisms for reducing and slowing the growth in specialty and hospital expenditures are prevention, early diagnosis, chronic disease management, and other tools which are delivered through primary care practices.

8 Ingredients in order for primary care practices to become an Accountable Care Organization:

1)  Complete and timely information about patients and the services they are receiving;

2)  Technology and skills for population management and coordination of care;

3)  Adequate resources for patient education and self-management support;

4)  A culture of teamwork among the staff of the practice;

5)  Coordinated relationships with specialists and other providers;

6)  The ability to measure and report on the quality of care;

7)  Infrastructure and skills for management of financial risk;

8)  A commitment by the organization’s leadership to improving value as a top priority, and a system of operational accountability to drive improved performance.

4 Strong Pillars for Healthcare

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

According to a recent publication from the Institute of Medicine(IOM), Health care in the United States is at a critical point. Excessive costs are no longer tenable and mediocre outcomes are no longer tolerable. For 32 of the past 40 years, health care costs have grown faster than the rest of the U.S. economy. Federal health care costs—expected to reach $950 billion in 2012—will become the largest contributor to the national debt.

Change is highly needed. Policies and procedures needs another look. Strategies and management from the Healthcare leaders need to be well defined. We need strong pillars to sustain current healthcare and to build the future ones.

The 4 pillars of  a strong and long-term viable organizations are as under.

Foundational elements
• Governance priority—visible and determined leadership by CEO and Board
• Culture of continuous improvement—commitment to ongoing,
real-time learning
Infrastructure fundamentals
• IT best practices—automated, reliable information to and from the point of
care
• Evidence protocols—effective, efficient, and consistent care
• Resource utilization—optimized use of personnel, physical space, and
other resources
Care delivery priorities
• Integrated care—right care, right setting, right providers, right teamwork
• Shared decision making—patient–clinician collaboration on care plans
• Targeted services—tailored community and clinic interventions for resource-intensive patients
Reliability and feedback
• Embedded safeguards—supports and prompts to reduce injury and infection
• Internal transparency—visible progress in performance, outcomes, and costs

25 Ways to Sky-Rocket Patient Experience in any Medical Practice

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

Most healthcare practices struggle on getting their bottom line met in current economic times with everyday changing healthcare trends. Very few of them are using some basic techniques to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes.  I have complied a list of 25 golden principles that a medical practice can adopt to improve their overall turnover and patient experience.

1. Remind patients of their upcoming appointment at least 24-48 hours prior.

2. Patients should be reminded of any paperwork to bring at the time of appointment.

3. Check-in process should be easy and quick.

4. Manage the schedule in a way that patients do not have to wait longer than 10-15 minutes.

5. Rooms should be well lighted.

6. Patients should be told about their vital signs in comparison to the old ones by the Medical Assistant when putting information in.

7. Staff should greet them with a smile.

8. Be a good listener.Let them finish their talking before you start talking.

9. Address the key issues and give specific written recommendations. Provide patient handouts when necessary.

10. It is good to address one more issue as a bonus. Patients feel good about it.

11. Follow up recommendations should be clear and concise.

12. Easy Checkout is must. If it is going to take some time, have patients sit in waiting area and address their needs as soon as possible.

13. Inform the patients of any abnormal labs and actions to be taken as soon as results are obtained.

14. Engage family members in case is Older patients and patients with special needs.

15. Try to know their social engagements. This makes them friendly.

16. Reassure, Manage and Recommend sensitively.

17. Review charts before patients visit so that you may mention what you talked about last time.

18. Offer Same day appointments.

19. Offer access to their own records including lab work and radiology reports.

20. Send them a Satisfaction survey to see what their experiences are and how you can improve.

21. Make them part of the decision-making. Always give them options when possible and guide them to choose one for themselves.

22. Send Periodic Health maintenance reminders. This include follow-up screening tests.

23. Provide Online resources and references to patients to get educated about their health conditions.

24. Have a well-designed and well informative website for the practice.

25. Most Importantly, be clear about your policies and procedures, what services you offer and what you don’t,  before even patient shows up, to avoid any surprises on patient’s end. Patients have  unreasonable expectations sometimes, which can be avoided by giving them clear understanding of what you can provide and what you cannot.

All the above mentioned tips are very easy to follow and the results are amazingly good. See your practice Sky-rocket in few weeks after applying these principles.

Every Doctor’s Dream…..

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 4, 2012 at 9:30 am
  • All available appointments are full.
  • All staff showed up for their shifts.
  • No one burns toast in the toaster oven and sets off the fire alarm.
  • None of the staff show up to work wearing flip-flops or pink underwear beneath their white scrubs.
  • All patients have been reminded about their appointments so they all show up.
  • Patients calling for same-day appointments are able to be worked-in appropriately.
  • No patients give false information at check-in.
  • Established patients arrive on time with their insurance information and co-pay.
  • New patients arrive on time to complete their paperwork, and give their insurance card, photo ID and co-pay to the receptionist.
  • Patients with fasting appointments arrive having fasted.
  • All patients arrive bringing their bag of medications.
  • Patients in wheelchairs and with difficulty ambulating are accompanied by caregivers.
  • Patients who do not speak English or are deaf have notified the office prior to the appointment and the appropriate technology or interpreters are available for the appointment.
  • Patients with procedure appointments have followed their pre-procedure instructions.
  • Patients with procedures have been pre-authorized by their insurance carrier and their personal financial responsibility has been discussed with them and payment arrangements have been made.
  • Patient eligibility has been checked and those unable to be authorized have been called before their appointment to gain further information about their payer source.
  • If computers go down, there are paper procedures in place to enable staff to continue seeing patients.
  • No patients arrive saying “I forgot to tell you, this is Worker’s Comp/ an auto accident/ a liability case and I was told by my lawyer not to pay anything.”
  • None of the patients pee on a waiting room chair.
  • Neither JCAHO nor any state or federal officers show up.
  • The copiers and faxes all work.
  • No subpoenas come in the mail.
  • It’s not your very first day live on electronic medical records.
  • All phone calls are answered before the third ring and no one has to leave a message.
  • No patients walk in the door with severe chest pains and say “I knew the doctor would want to see me.”
  • Patients remember to call the pharmacy for refills.
  • Providers all run on time and seem in particularly good moods.
  • Patients get their questions answered with callbacks within two hours.
  • Someone delivers sandwiches, drinks and brownies to the practice for lunch. There is enough for everyone.
  • No bounced checks come in the mail.
  • Providers spend so much time in the exam room listening to their patients that the patients leave feeling that every question they had (and a few they didn’t know they had) was answered.
  • Providers circle the services and write the diagnosis codes numerically on the encounter form, remembering that Medicare doesn’t pay for consults any more.
  • Sample medications that providers want to give patients are in the sample closet.
  • Records that providers want to reference are in the chart and are highlighted.
  • No one calls urgently for old medical records that are in the storage unit across town.
  • There are no duplicate medical records.
  • Patients checking out never say “But he was only in the room for 5 minutes!”
  • The patient restrooms don’t run out of toilet paper.
  • No bankruptcy notices come in the mail.
  • All phlebotomists get blood on the first stick.
  • No kids cry.
  • Congress announces that the SGR formula has been revoked and a new reasonable model for paying physicians has been discovered.
  • Everyone goes home at 5:00 p.m., glad to have a job, glad to be of service, and happy with their paychecks.

WISH IT HAPPENED IN REAL WORLD.

‘Brand’ name: Must for Physicians in Current Times

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on May 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Do you stand out in competition with other healthcare providers? We all know what a ‘BRAND‘ means. It means ‘Value’. How much are you willing to pay for a certain name item depends upon what value you give it. Whether it be shoes, clothes, electronics, cars or whatever, we all have our brands that we prefer. The contents in this post are true for any business.

Giving a ‘brand’ name to a physician is something that was never thought or heard of. It sounds like business. But wake up my friend. Like it or not,” Medicine is Business“. It is a service oriented business where patients are the customers. As a customer, I need to make sure I get the right Brand that meets my needs and gives me peace of mind.

Healthcare has been very ‘Fragmented’. People boast of differentiated markets in healthcare, but that is not true. Almost all have the same services that they provide to the patients. Most of the practices have inbuilt labs and other diagnostics to attract patients.The value of services that you receive is called Branding. We all want the better brands at affordable price. Some segments in society do not even mind paying higher as long as they get what they want.

A lot of healthcare businesses want to grow their market share. But in service sector, as opposed to products, the improvement in ‘Bottom Line’ is more important. Generating revenue is the key. They need not worry about the market share. How many people shop at Jos A Bank stores. Not too many. Does the company want to get most market share. They don’t because they can’t. They focus on the bottom line and generating revenues. Healthcare is specialized service that should not be compromised on. People should know what they can get from you as a provider that they will not get anywhere else.

So how should doctors position their ‘ Brands’?

Many ways:

1. Focus on Service consistency: Make sure all the patients are getting the similar services without any variations. Any significant variations break the Branding structure very fast. For example, make sure all patients are seen within a certain time frame so that they do not have to wait. If waiting times variate, your brand equity goes down. So, focus on Consistency.

2. Connect to the needs of the patients:All customers have a different mindset. they all expect something different. Make sure their needs are assessed and addressed appropriately. It could be overwhelming sometimes to make everyone happy, but try your best.

3. Tap the patients’ emotions: Connecting emotionally is must. It has been a saying that ” Patient gets half better already by talking to a doctor”. I feel it is a true statement. Reassurance and good explanation of the disease process helps patients get a clear idea of their outcomes.

4. relevance to the needs and desires of the patients is must: Stick to the relevance of the issues patients are coming in for.

5. A smile goes a long way: Smiling is addictive. It is hard to see people not smiling back to you if you greet them with a smile. Smile creates positive emotions. It helps the connection emotionally.

6. Social Media: It is a must for Physicians to utilize the wonders of Social media. There are so many social networking sites to help you share the thoughts and ideas you may have with the world out there. An attractive, well informative website always helps. Pictures of the facility and the staff  is a must. New Patients can easily connect with you if they see your picture before. A short video would work as icing on the cake. Tell them what you can offer and your mission. Believe me, it will sky-rocket the practice.

7. Get a logo and Tag Line: It is also a crucial step in getting branded. The Logo and tagline should convey what you can offer.

It is not an easy journey for a lot of physicians to be Brand Oriented, but that is the need of the day. Those who will do it will be successful.

From a patient’s perspective, it is a wise thing to know the provider you will be seeing before hand.See who offers what in the market. Health should not be compromised. The media presence and knowledge of a physician is a very strong factor that you should look for to get the best care. Do your research and make the best decision for yourself. Talk to your friends and family to get some insight about their providers and ‘Get the Best Brand’ for yourself.

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