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11 Simple & Effective ways to Super-Boost your Immunity

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on October 5, 2012 at 9:39 am

11 Simple Effective ways to Super-Boost your Immunity

What is immunity?

The immune system protects the body from possibly harmful substances by recognizing and responding to antigens. Antigens are substances (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Nonliving substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles (such as a splinter) can also be antigens. The immune system recognizes and destroys substances that contain antigens.

Your own body’s cells have proteins that are antigens. These include a group of antigens called HLA antigens. Your immune system learns to see these antigens as normal and usually does not react against them.

So, how can you Super-Boost your Immunity?

1. Sleep for no more than 8 hours and no less than 6 hours.

2. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, totaling 64 ounce.

3. Take over-the-counter vitamin C pill daily especially during the change of season.

4. Deep breathing: Enhances the vitality of the internal organs and detoxifies the blood.

5. Exercise regularly at least 3-4 times a week with a minimum of 20 min of aerobic activity.

6. Meditation: Relaxes the mind and muscles, improves oxygen uptake, improves bone marrow functions and overall improves immunity.

7. Kill the stress: Stress is the most common cause for reduced immunity.  Try to stay more happy, calm and relaxed.  Avoid getting angry.  Whenever stressed, take a moment and say to yourself 3 times “Relax…… Relax…….. Relax…..”.

8. Listen to calming music.

9. Stretch your body.  Avoid sitting or standing for long hours.  Make sure you take a break every 30-45 minutes to stretch your body.

10.  Do your best and leave the rest.  We cannot control many things in her life.  So stop controlling the outcomes.  Make sure you perform your best with good thoughts and actions.  That is the most important thing in life.

11. Eat healthy: Fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains and fish gives you abundant antioxidants, proteins  minerals and vitamins necessary to skyrocket the immune system.

Follow these 11 simple and effective ways to approach your immunity for a week and see the big difference in yourself.  You will feel much stronger in your mind and body.

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HEALTHCARE MANGEMENT BUSINESS MODELING

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on September 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

 

Current Healthcare situation is changing. Performance is awarded, not value.

HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT ISSUES

1. Cost

One of the biggest issues in healthcare management is the cost of medical care services and insurance. Health insurance rates often increase faster than inflation, which means they consume a larger portion of an employer’s money or an individual buyer’s income. Some employers cut their health benefits to employees as costs rise or during a period of financial distress, forcing more people to pay for their own healthcare. Those who can’t afford to do so add to the number of uninsured Americans or receive benefits from a government-subsidized program such as Medicare or Medicaid.

2. Litigation

Litigation is a significant issue for medical practices and healthcare providers alike. The threat of malpractice suits forces doctors to spend a great deal on malpractice insurance, and practitioners must pass some of this cost on to patients. Legal disputes between patients, insurance providers and healthcare providers take time and money away from medical research and treating patients.

3. Access

Access to affordable, high-quality healthcare is far from a given for millions of people. Programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are only available to elderly and low-income individuals and families that qualify. Group insurance is only an option for members of groups that receive reduced rates, such as employees of a company or members of a social club.

4. Staffing

Staffing is an ongoing issue in hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes and other facilities that needs trained specialists on hand to assist patients. The broad shortage of nurses means that many duties fall to untrained or inexperienced assistants, thereby driving up the likelihood of error. Discrepancies in pay draw medical students away from certain fields and into others, resulting in a lopsided distribution of doctors and a lack, or surplus, of options for patients.

5. Types of Care

Healthcare management seeks to offer different types of care to patients. For example, terminally ill patients may elect to receive end-of-life palliative care, which focuses on alleviating symptoms instead of aggressively combating disease. Preventative care takes place before symptoms appear and saves time and money in the long-term, but requires an early awareness and up-front spending by insurance providers or patients. Electing between different types of care requires healthcare providers to educate patients and also demands that individuals take control of their own healthcare needs.
Do we have the Right Models?

Health care is the country’s economic black hole, rising from about 13% of U.S. GDP in 1999 to 18% in 2009. By 2025, it is projected to soar to 25%. Legislation and regulation can only go so far in fixing the system, and new technology can’t do much on its own. To truly combat health care’s cost challenge, the focus must shift to disruptive business models–innovative ways of delivering existing treatments at a much lower cost.

While new business models are needed across the spectrum of healthcare, many impediments prevent new ideas from taking root. Barriers stem from the fact that health care in America doesn’t function like the free market. For instance, consumers rarely pay directly for their own care, so there is little incentive for making trade-offs such as choosing something cheaper that costs less. The regulatory environment often doesn’t allow inexpensive solutions to make it to market. Finally, there are mismatched incentives: hospitals want patients to get that operation, but insurance companies don’t.

Health care in America doesn’t function like the free market. Given all that’s standing in the way of enabling new business models, we must take note when promising ones appear ready to take off.

The lesson isn’t that healthcare companies should accept charging less and making lower profits. Instead, through business model innovation, companies need to examine their value chains and throw away assumptions about the way things are done. By reinventing business models we can dramatically reduce costs and greatly improve care.

 

What does this all mean?

Successful healthcare organizations have to excel in:

  • Forging Trusted Relationships: Between Management, Providers and Patients
  • Building Networked Business Models: Connecting value-exchanging entities
  • Realizing Sustainable Economies of Scale: On both a discrete and networked basis
  • Focusing on Core Competencies: Borrowing skills and assets where required

To perform well, a healthcare organization needs,

1. Strong Management

2. Healthcare Information Technology

3. Employee Satisfaction and Retention

4. Patient Satisfaction

5. Quality Improvement

6. Training

7. Data Tracking

Q: How can changes be made?    

 A:  BY INNOVATION

Innovation of Management tools

1. Setting Goals

2. Value of Organizational Behavior

3. Develop workable business and IT infrastructure models.

4. Extending the patient-physician interaction beyond the office visit using telemedicine tools, as well as using health information exchange (HIE) to aggregate data from multiple sources.

5. Meaningful Use Guidelines:

  • Patients View, Download and Transmit Their Health Information
  • HIE Crossing Vendor and Organizational Boundaries
  • Secure Electronic Messaging
  • Summary of Care Documents
  • eMAR
  • Medication Reconciliation
  • CPOE
  •  Clinical Quality Measures

6. Applying Lean and Six sigma to current Management and workforce.

7. TELE-HEALTH: Being able to communicate using IT tools to help patients stay healthy and get rewarded well.

8. Transparency: Everyone should know what is happening in the organization.

20 DAYS TOWARDS HAPPINESS AND HEALTH: DAY 10

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

10. EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST

 

Fact: Researchers from the National Weight Control Registry, a database of more than 3,000 people who have lost at least 60 pounds and kept it off for an average of 6 years, found that eating breakfast every day was a weight control strategy for 78% of the people in the registry.

Eggs, juice, milk, wheat bread, whole grain cereal and oatmeal are the best choices for a healthy breakfast. According to research, skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger. Several studies suggest that people tend to accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals. You do not have to have the same thing everyday. Change creates spice in life.

20 DAYS TOWARDS HAPPINESS AND HEALTH: DAY 7

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

7. DRINK MORE WATER

 

Fact: 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Over 70% of human body is made of water, making it the most valuable energy source.

Benefits include

*Clears all body toxins

*Improves colon and bladder health

*Improves circulation

*Improves muscle strength

*Improves skin texture

*Promotes muscle growth.

*Reduces weight

*Better mood

*Better exercise

*Increased productivity

*Reduces fatigue and tiredness

20 DAYS TOWARDS HAPPINESS AND HEALTH: DAY 1

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 23, 2012 at 8:00 am

1. CHANGE PERCEPTION

Fact: Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.

For a change, see positive in everything that happens in your life. Right from getting up to going to bed at night, see everything with a positive attitude. Humans have evolved over thousands of years. By nature, we always try to think of negative first to make sure we are safe. A lot of times, it is the factor of competition or jealousy which stops us from thinking good things about events or people we come across in our lives. By thinking good of events and people, we create a harmonious relationship within ourselves which boosts our confidence and mood. We see things better and better things start happening to us. Let’s say that you feel that your boss has been mean to you for some reason. For a change, try to see it as by doing that he is doing good to you. He may be mean because you are doing well than others and he is scared that his position may be lost because you are a potential candidate. Or, he is going through some trouble in his life and somehow he is projecting the negativity to outside world and you being the most vulnerable, you get to bear the brunt of his behavior.

So, just take it easy, relax and think positive.

SODA IS A KILLER…

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Some of the most common issues that many doctors deal with are Asthma,Diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, stress, heart disease, teeth problems and obesity. Our western culture has introduced Carbonated waters over last few decades. The problems have worsened since then. It is a simple logic. Sodas have carbon dioxide as a gas. Carbon dioxide is a toxic product which is actually exhaled out by lungs. It is a waste product. But when we put that carbon dioxide in out Gastrointestinal system, it does not have a way to come out easily. the toxic carbon dioxide gas continues to cause harmful effects in the body leading to all the major health problems as mentioned above. the picture below is a very good representation.

of what sodas can lead to.

BAD FOR TEETH

BAD FOR KIDNEYS

BAD FOR HEART

BEAD FOR STOMACH AND COLON

BAD FOR URINARY BLADDER

BAD FOR REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM

BAD FOR BRAIN

BAD FOR BONES

WORSENS DIABETES

LEADS  TO WEIGHT GAIN

SO OVERALL, SODA IS VERY BAD. STOP DRINKING SODA FOR BETTER HEALTH

QUIT SMOKING

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

 

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.

Measuring Success in Current Healthcare Times: Very Important

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

An implicit goal of an improved Healthcare structure is to create an improved system of care for patients. So in addition to measuring patient-level outcomes, it will be important to measure whether the system itself is improving in ways that are believed to result in better patient care and better outcomes in the future. Some of the questions to be answered and measures to be developed include:

Are we strengthening primary care?

• Do more patients report that they have a primary care physician or team?

• Do more patients report that they can find a primary care team easily?

• Are patients able to communicate with their primary care team more readily?

• Do more primary care physicians report “joy in work” and being “fairly paid?”

• Has access to specialists, as reported by patients and primary care physicians, improved?

• Is primary care becoming more patient-centered?

• Do more patients report that they are getting exactly the care they need, exactly when and as they need it?

• Do more patients report that they fully understand their care, understand what they need to do to stay healthy, and that the care fully reflects their preferences?

Are decisions about payment and other issues more oriented toward patients’ interests than providers’ interests?

• Do patients report that their providers coordinate services effectively?

• Is care of patients with chronic illness becoming more efficient?

• Have expenditures for specific patients and conditions met the target levels?

• Has the percentage of care managed without face-to-face contact and in single visits increased?

• Have hospitalizations been reduced?

• Has there been a decrease in the frequency of procedures that had been performed previously at a rate above the national average?

• Has the rate of test repetition decreased?

• Have patients reported any greater problems in accessing care?

Are outcomes for chronically ill patients improving?

• Have blood pressure levels improved?

• Have Hemoglobin A1c levels improved?

• Do patients experience fewer limitations affecting their quality of life?

Are data being used for management and continuous improvement?

• How many quality/outcome/cost measures are available?

• How promptly are the measures available?

• Does the managing board of the provider review the measures regularly?

• Is the CEO compensation/performance plan tied to the measures?

Ref: nrhi.org

A PAYMENT CHANGE THAT IMPROVED OUTCOMES AND LOWERED COSTS

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 13, 2012 at 8:00 am

There is growing realization and agreement that in order to achieve the most efficient, effective, and sustainable improvements in quality and reductions (or slowing the growth) in costs of the healthcare system, the penalties and disincentives in current healthcare payment systems need to be eliminated or modified, in addition to adding rewards or incentives.

When Starbucks, one of the biggest employers in Seattle, realized that costs for treating back injuries were far higher at Virginia Mason Health System than they were at competing providers, the coffee retailer asked Aetna Inc. to drop the institution from its network. Because dropping providers can limit a health plan’s marketability, Aetna instead helped Virginia Mason analyze the reasons for the big cost difference. The heart of the health system’s problem was much higher use of MRIs and neurological consults, even for patients whose back pain could be readily explained by an injury. So, Virginia Mason worked with the insurer to make physical therapy the first treatment option. Almost immediately, the health system began seeing faster recovery times for patients (which, in the case of occupational injuries, meant less time on workers’ comp) and dramatically lower costs for employers because physical therapy costs so much less than MRIs and neurological workups. However, the steep reduction in MRIs and neurological consults also took a toll on Virginia Mason’s finances. Instead of generating several thousand dollars for treating a back injury, it saw its income drop to a few hundred dollars on each case, which was not enough to cover its costs. Neither Aetna nor Starbucks ever intended to put Virginia Mason out of business, so they did something that instead was a win-win. They restructured payments to reward appropriate care. Instead of staking claim to the entire savings, Starbucks and Aetna took only a portion and directed the rest toward increased reimbursement for physical therapy, which, up to that point, had been a money loser for Virginia Mason.

Ref: nrhi.org

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