The increasing role of the social media in healthcare

 

The increasing role of the social media in healthcare 6With the social media having moved beyond being a platform for sharing personal information; its role in healthcare has nearly exploded of late. This is mainly because the growth of the social media has more or less coincided with that of the electronic records in healthcare.

Whatever the identifiable or unidentifiable reasons for the convergence of social media in healthcare; the fact is that social media in healthcare is a major phenomenon that is here to stay.

Social media in healthcare is being analyzed for potentially huge business opportunity, and it is being taken up for serious discussion in legal circles, with the American Congress and many other legislative bodies around the world thinking of taking serious steps for regulating it.

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The most fundamental aspect of social media in healthcare is that its growth has been helped by the core feature it brings: its ease of adaption in this sector. Healthcare information, as we all know, is very vital, and speed is of great importance. This is why social media in healthcare has come to be one of the most talked about scenarios in the healthcare today, propped in no less measure by the gigantic size of the American healthcare economy.

The advantages social media brings into healthcare

 

The increasing role of the social media in healthcare 1As just seen, the social media in healthcare facilitate great use because they help transmit information at a pace that was difficult to imagine till recently. With the development of the electronic health records (EHR) in the US, technology has made possible the customization of health records. A platform like the social media can help accelerate this pace enormously. It can also help practitioners and other stakeholders of healthcare information, such as Business Associates and Covered Entities and a host of related ones gather information and transmit it and process it at lightning speed.

Concerns

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The enormous benefits that the social media bring into healthcare notwithstanding; there is room for serious concern.

Like all other technology-driven tools, the social media in healthcare comes with an inherent risk: the laxity of records. Loose or nil security or healthcare records are a serious cause for concern. The recent breaches in health data have cost many healthcare organizations in the US millions of dollars.

The social media in healthcare give an opportunity for marketers to pitch their products or services, but they also open up lots of opportunity for the unscrupulous among these to exploit and manipulate this information. This is akin to the potential drawbacks credit cards and other such facilities bring. The social media in healthcare is a tool that is open to a high degree of vulnerability to breach. This is all the more true of new technologies, such as the cloud, which the social media in healthcare have embraced with open arms.

So, while the social media in healthcare is a force to reckon with, it is not something that is totally free of drawbacks. Till regulatory action frees the sector of these, the social media in healthcare will continue to grow, albeit with its concerns.

 

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Export, Import and Trade Compliance Principle – an understanding

Export, import and trade compliance principle is a very important guiding standard for governing trade policies and ensuring compliance with the set national, regional and global trade norms. It helps to define an organization’s adherence to the export, import and trade compliance principle laid out by the government and also offers an understanding of the government’s outlook and stance in these matters.

There are two aspects of the export, import and trade compliance principle:

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General export, import and trade compliance principles

 

As can be understood from the description of the concept of export, import and trade compliance principle; export, import and trade compliance principles laid out by the government and requiring compliance with their guidelines are fixed. Organizations cannot manipulate or tamper them. Doing so, naturally, invites penalties.

However, the export, import and trade compliance principles set out by individual companies are conditioned by their own ethics and culture. These are a reflection of how organizations carry out their export, import and trade compliance principle, something that they themselves have laid out.

export-import-and-trade-compliance-principleAdapting the right export, import and trade compliance principle and implementing it is a reflection of how well the organization understands the business and the market and how well it is able to maintain its integrity among its circles. Needless to say, an organization that says one thing and does another is seen in a negative light by its peers.

 

Organizations specialize in helping to implement export, import and trade compliance principle

 

Just as there are many organizations which are in the business of ensuring many complex fields such as governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and technology compliance; several organizations specialize in helping organizations implement both the export, import and trade compliance principle as laid out by the government, and their own export, import and trade compliance principles.

export-import-and-trade-compliance-principleWhether an organization gets its export, import and trade compliance principle implemented through an outside, third party or does it on its own; there is no escaping the fact that export, import and trade compliance principle is something that is mandatory to state and implement accordingly.

Overlaps and alignments of organizational, governmental and trade bloc requirements

export-import-and-trade-compliance-principleEven when organizations draw up their own export, import and trade compliance principle; they are bound to include the latest and relevant regulations, policies and procedures as laid out by the government. Many internal export, import and trade compliance principles and external (those prescribed and required by the government) overlap on many occasions with those of trade blocs such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), European Union Preferential Trade Agreement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Mercosur, etc. Export, import and trade compliance principles from these different sources should align with each other.

Reasons for export, import and trade compliance principle implementation

 

The export, import and trade compliance principles laid out by respective governments are in place because of many important reasons.

 

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Data Mining and Signal Detection in Pharmacovigilance

Data Mining and Signal Detection in Pharmacovigilance

A signal is described by the World Health Organization as any information that is reported on a possible or potential causal relationship between a drug and the adverse event it spawns. This relationship can be of virtually any nature, so long as it concerns the drug and the subject, and it could be either new or one with a precedent.

Data mining can be described as the method of obtaining data from target groups to help the clinical study come to important assessments and conclusions. Many a time, it is not clear whether a drug’s expected benefits outweighs the potential risks it brings about or vice versa, till the drug goes for marketing authorization. In order to assess this to the extent possible, clinical pharmacologists weigh the benefit and risk evaluation of medicines using tools such as data mining. Data mining is done both at the individual level of a subject and at the macro level of the population at large. These two methods are usually inseparable from each other, in that almost no study is done exclusively for one group.

Given its ability to help pharmacologists discern the various patterns that emerge from a clinical study; data mining is acquiring a position of importance of late and is being used in almost all stages of drug development. This could range from the earliest stage, namely drug discovery and could go up to post-marketing surveillance.

The WHO’s Uppsala Monitoring Centre

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In order to make the results of very clinical study done in every part of the world accessible to everyone – a formidable task without doubt – the WHO has formulated the Uppsala Monitoring Center. This is a universal database of all the results obtained from clinical research the world over. Although voluntary and missing data from a many studies; the UMC is a comprehensive attempt at establishing a data mining and signal detection system that is accessible to everyone concerned. The UMC can thus be considered the universal data mining and signal detection database.

With over 2.5 million case reports of various clinical studies done all around the world, the UMC has evolved over time as a data mining and signal detection database. It initially started by requiring principals of clinical studies to generate new drug and Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) combinations every three months. With the growth in the number of studies and the variety of issues they threw up; this was no longer considered feasible.

The UMC then started out to create its own method, by which the principles of making an objective initial assessment of all new drug and ADR combinations started getting implemented as they emerged. To this were added the requirements of bringing about a transparent selection of drug – ADR combinations for review, as well as suggest a quantitative aid to data mining and signal detection.

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Today, the UMC uses several methodologies to carry out its task of being at the forefront of data mining and signal detection. It uses the Bayesian Confidence Propagation Neural Network, which uses Bayesian statistics within the architecture of a neural network for data mining and signal detection.

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What is logistics and supply chain management?

What is logistics and supply chain management

Logistics and supply chain management (SCM) constitute a very important element of businesses. Getting the logistics and supply chain management aspects right is necessary for the smooth flow of products from their source to destination, during the course of which many activities need to be performed.

Logistics and supply chain management is emerging as a major area of business because of the evolution and growth of globalization. Many products and goods are produced in one country and consumed in another situated thousands of miles away. The right logistics and supply chain management helps to deliver the goods and products to the right person, at the right time, at the right place and in the right condition. Lack of proper logistics and supply chain management is a recipe for disaster.

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What is logistics and supply chain management?Among the lay people, there is a tendency to use the two words synonymously and interchangeably. In trade, however, there are major differences between the two. Logistics is just a part of the supply chain. In simple, general and broad terms, one can understand the difference between logistics and supply chain in the following ways:

Logistics is a part of supply chain, meaning that it is a set of activities that are carried out within an organization. Supply chain, on the other hand, is the full set of activities that are carried out from start to finish, i.e., from the time it departs the organization that it is leaving till the time it reaches its logical destination. In this process, supply chain management involves the coordination and collaboration of many entities. In this sense, supply chain is a whole set of activities, of which logistics is only a part.

Another way of understanding logistics and supply chain management 

logistic-and-supply-chain-managementAnother way of understanding logistics and supply chain management is this:

Logistics can be understood as being a discipline in which the following activities are involved:

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On the other hand, supply chain management can be said to include more extended activities, which include:

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Logistics and its extended activitiesLogistics often is described in terms of inbound and outbound logistics. Simply put, inbound logistics is the movement of raw materials and goods that are bought by and transported into a company. When these are processed and finished and shipped to customers; they become part of outbound logistics.

Logistics and supply chain management in a broader contextWhen one tries to get an understanding of logistics and supply chain management at a higher or broader level in the way logistics has been described above; supply chain management can be understood as consisting of these elements:

logistic-and-supply-chain-managementA sound supply chain system seeks to create value for the organization by building and utilizing logistics infrastructure. Logistics and supply chain management become meaningful when the organization synergizes demand with supply, stock and supply and inventory management

 

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Risk Management and Compliance in the Healthcare Industry

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Risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry requires a high degree of foresight, observation and knowledge of the regulatory rules and principles. Apart from being aware of the regulations, risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry is a lot about being smart, inventive and observative about the day-to-day aspects of the workings of the industry, as this highly operationalized activity is changing at a rapid pace.

Risk managers in charge of risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry need to equip the Board of Directors of the healthcare settings in which they work with much more than just the regulations that need to be put in place. They also need to impart insights into how this is to be done while keeping the costs low and at the same time, improving business.

These are the most important factors that make risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry extremely important:

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Regulatory pressure is too much to bear

 

In the current scenario of highly reinvigorated regulatory oversight in the healthcare industry, there is heavy pressure on risk managers to implement risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry in an optimal manner. The fervor of regulatory requirements and level of supervision from the regulatory bodies have gone up so drastically of late that in a recent survey, PriceWaterhouseCooper found out that half the people on the corporate board governance in hospitals said that they regard risk management as their greatest priority for the next few years.

This trend is triggered by a host of factors, all of which could contribute to making risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry all the more critical in the years ahead. Some of the factors that have accelerated this sense of urgency and criticality are:

Burgeoning cost of healthcare: 

risk-management-and-compliance-in-the-healthcare-industryAs the US healthcare industry grows into a multi-trillion dollar industry; there is a need for ensuring risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry.

Rapid increase in many diseases: Many diseases in the US are mostly a result of undisciplined and profligate lifestyles. This has placed a heavy burden on the healthcare sector to both implement preventive measures and improve standards in healthcare administration.

Technological improvements: History has shown that every improvement in technology has brought about more and more illnesses and disease, as technology makes people more sedentary. This has increased the pressure of risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry, as they are under higher pressure to implement strategies aimed at containing these.

Need to reinvent to stay ahead of the curve

 

All these factors are pushing corporate boards in healthcare to take a relook at the way risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry has been functioning. They have realized the need to implement these with a fresher and more urgent, yet intuitive approach. They need not just the judiciousness needed for grasping the present state of affairs in the industry; they need to also have sufficient foresight in anticipating the kind of change the industry is likely to undergo in the next few years.

risk-management-and-compliance-in-the-healthcare-industryThe proper understanding and implementation of risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry sits at the core of this need for hospitals to stay abreast and ahead of the competition. Relying on traditional models of risk management and compliance in the healthcare industry is likely to take them only that far. The risk managers need to have the ability to develop enterprise-wide risk management strategies that withstand the onslaught of rapid changes and absorb them into the system.

 

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Forward brings its personalized healthcare service to Los Angeles

Forward, the San Francisco-based startup that’s looking to refashion healthcare services in Apple’s image, is expanding with its first location in Los Angeles.

Weaving together a number of Silicon Valley’s favorite healthcare trends, the company’s services combine proprietary, purpose-built medical devices with algorithmically enabled diagnostic tools, and the latest in gene, bacteria and blood tests to provide a holistic view of its patients’ health.

These technologies and services include: unlimited access to its medical staff; baseline screening; blood and genetic testing; wellness and nutrition counseling; and ongoing monitoring from wearable sensors provided at the clinic. Support and access to its AI and 24/7 access to medical staff through the app are available exclusively to anyone who’s willing to pay the $149 per month fee.

At its launch, Adrian Aoun told us about 15 percent of its early users come from underserved communities and had received free membership. Members also get their first month of prescription medicine free through Forward’s onsite pharmacy, which also offers vitamins and supplements.

Forward also plans to offer vitamins and other supplements and wearables through the onsite store, and Aoun said he would like to offer other alternatives, such as acupuncture, in the future.

Opening in a small office on the first floor of the Westfield Century City mall, Forward’s Los Angeles office will contain all of the bells and whistles that brought it so much attention when it opened its first San Francisco location in January.

There are custom-built exam rooms kitted up with interactive, touch-screen displays — part of what the company touts as an integrated, paperless system for new electronic health records.

The centerpiece of the company’s facility is a purpose-built body scanner that collects basic vital signs like temperature, pulse and arterial health, which are then sent to the company’s staff doctors.

Those aren’t the only diagnostic tools. The company also has an app and is rolling out services around fertility and sleep tracking, as well as dermatological and optometry services in its two offices.

 

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Rural health care centers provide low-cost care

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Providing health care services in rural areas is vital to addressing health disparity needs in the United States, said Candice King, the ACORN clinic’s executive director.

To get dental services she can afford, 73-year-old Juanita Jenkins has one of her sons drive her 16 miles from her home in the Duval neighborhood in northeast Gainesville to the Alachua County Organization for Rural Needs (ACORN) Clinic in Brooker. The 32-mile round trip is worth it, she says.

Jenkins is one of thousands of people in Alachua County and surrounding counties who need the inexpensive services provided by nonprofit organizations, such as ACORN, which was established in 1974 to serve area migrant workers.

“I started coming here last year and I’ve been here to the dentist about four or five times,” said Jenkins, after getting fitted for dentures. “They take good care of you here, and I would recommend their services to anybody.”

Thursday is National Rural Health Day, created to recognize rural health workers for their efforts and their collaborations that address the unique challenges faced in rural communities.

Providing health care services in rural areas is vital to addressing health disparity needs in the United States, said Candice King, the ACORN clinic’s executive director.

ACORN has grown from a singlewide trailer on a sandy lot of land to several modular buildings that house dental, medical and administrative offices at 23320 N. State Road 235 in Brooker.

The clinic provides a range of medical, dental and mental health care services, referrals to other health services and social services and professional education and training, King said.

Like ACORN, Archer Family Healthcare, an arm of the University of Florida College of Nursing, started out in a small building before moving into a larger building to better serve its patients. According to Joan Newell-Walker, manager of the clinic, retired Dr. Dee Williams lobbied to establish the clinic after being urged to do so by Archer residents. Williams’ efforts led to the clinic opening in 2001, and it has grown from an approximately 1,000-square-foot, two-story bungalow to a more than 5,000-square-foot facility composed of six modular buildings that were built in downtown Archer in 2007.

“We have grown to accommodate approximately 5,000 patient visits annually,” Newell-Walker said.

Patients visit the Archer clinic for a variety of reasons, including chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as prenatal care, medication consultations, health education and disease prevention, immunizations, physical exams and more, Newell-Walker said.

The clinic in Archer was established to meet the needs of residents who live in the rural community in southwest Alachua County who didn’t have a health care facility before the clinic opened. But it’s grown to serve patients from throughout North Central Florida, Newell-Walker said.

The clinic’s funding comes from local, state and federal sources, and it’s run by advanced registered nurse practitioners, Newell-Walker said.

The nurse practitioners provide expert care for patients and are supported by other health care professionals, including a case manager, community health nurses and a consulting physician, Newell-Walker said.

At ACORN, a wide variety of dental, medical and mental health care services are provided, including disease management education, general medical care, reduced cost X-rays, women’s health care, dental exams and X-rays, extractions, orthodontics, root canals and more.

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