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20 DAYS TOWARDS HAPPINESS AND HEALTH: DAY 19

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on July 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

19. BUY A PLANT

Fact: A NASA study found that common house plants could improve air quality. In fact, they reported that houseplants were able to remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. The recommendation? Use 15 to 18 “good-sized” house plants in 6- to 8-inch diameter containers for a 1,800 square-foot house.

Plants are a great asset to any home or office. They depict Life and Growth. Green color has a very deep meaning to it. It is the color of nature. It relates to growth, peace, freshness, fertility and safety. Green color has wonderful healing powers. It is the restful color for the human eye; it can improve vision. Having a plant also increase oxygen content in air giving your more freshness and vitality.

If you already have one or many plants, rearrange them. Change their position. Or add a new plant to your existing collection.

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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 8

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 30, 2012 at 8:00 am

8. EAT YOGURT

 

Fact: An average 8-oz. serving of yogurt has 8 to 10 grams of protein and up to 35 percent of the recommended daily intake of Calcium.

 

The benefits of yogurt have been underestimated by most people. Yogurt has millions of healthy bacteria which are helpful for colon health. Colon is a very important organ to detoxify our body. These bacteria work in conjunction with each other to make sure we digest the food right and eliminate the toxins.

Eating yogurt 2-3 times a day with meals or as snacks will promote healing. It is a rich source of calcium, protein and vitamin d. It improves bone and muscle strength, improves immunity and improves joint functions.

20 DAYS TOWARDS HAPPINESS AND HEALTH: DAY 5

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

5. FORGIVE 

Fact: “Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” ~Sri Chinmoy

 

To err is Human. We all make mistakes knowingly or unknowingly on a daily basis. Mistakes are our best teachers. They always teach us something. We get wiser with each mistake. It’s hard for people to forgive others and sometimes own self for things that happened. Whether someone has done it deliberately or undeliberately, it has happened already. There is not point holding it on for long. When we keep things unsolved for too long, it settles in the subconscious and creates waves of unpleasant neurochemical reactions which are harmful for mind and body. So forgive self or others for what they have done so that you can settle your subconscious.

20 DAYS TOWARDS HAPPINESS AND HEALTH: DAY 3

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 25, 2012 at 8:00 am

3. CALL AN OLD FRIEND

 

Fact: If you cannot think of any nice things to say about your friends, then you have the wrong friends.

It is always good to connect with friends. Our memories make up our sub-conscious mind. Reviving good memories creates multiple effects in body.

a. Relaxes our mind

b. Creates positive self esteem

c. Improves brain function

Friends are people who we grow with as a person we are today. They are very important. We cannot choose our parents, but we can choose our friends. Friends help us when we are in need. There are many instances in life where the only people you can think of are friends. We cannot even share some things with parents or siblings. Good friends are strong walls you can lean on anytime without fear of being hurt.

Just remember the one instance from your memory lanes when you were really having a good time with a friend. Call him or her and try to relive those memories whenever possible.

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.

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.

‘Doctors do not Sign Up for Sainthood’

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

Each society in this world has many ‘Bad Fish’ which make it all dirty looking. We just blame the whole water to be dirty instead of getting rid of the bad fish. ‘Doctors don’t sign up for sainthood.’ But the general public seems to knows better about doctors. When people make derogatory comments on the medical profession and healthcare, they only highlight the presence of unacceptably high numbers among them some who deserve such criticism.

To err is human and problems exists in all professions. But since medicine concerns a person’s health, drawbacks and failures of doctors are over-projected. Doctors may be hindered by: hospital owners who make heavy investments and encourage them to ensure maximum revenue; inefficient staff in laboratories and radiological centers; pharmacies which dispense incorrect, spurious or stale medicines; pathological and radiological centers which corrupt them with lures of incentives for referring patients to them; and the failure of patients or their attendants to follow their advice.

While we should take note of all these points before passing a judgment on doctors, we have a right to expect them to abide by the solemn oath they take before they enter the medical profession.

Corruption and malpractice are common in all professions. I don’t understand why a particular profession should come under the scanner. I agree though that present-day doctors do not have the same degree of dedication as old-timers. When education becomes a business to make money, we cannot expect to have true saints.

When doctors get attached to money, the noble quality of their work suffers. So does the effect of their medicine and treatment. History has seen a number of doctors who worked purely to alleviate the sufferings of the sick, not to accumulate wealth. They were concerned about our health rather than their wealth.

We should have a social responsibility to get together to fight the wrong-doings wherever it may be. Sometimes you have to play part of a doctor to cure these social diseases. But do not blame all doctors to be making money by corrupting the system. Most of them just want to help you and make a living as everybody else.

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.

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