Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Management and Audit

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An environmental, health and safety (EHS) management and audit program is now a prerequisite for organizations in various kinds of business. Allied to the emergence of and developing along with the concepts of worker safety and corporate social responsibility; the environmental, health and safety audit is today a major component of an organization. Organizations that need visibility and are desirous of earning a good name should make the environmental, health and safety management and audit a part of their culture.

The practice of companies auditing their environmental, health and safety (EHS) began in the 1970’s, almost contemporaneously with the enactment of OSHA. Around that time, the environmental issue was gaining ground in the corporate circles of the West with the governments and other agencies pitching in with their efforts to create greater awareness of the impact of business activities on the environment. As a result, the thinking that the top management of an organization needs to be viewing this issue more seriously started to develop and got ingrained over the years.

Cannot be glossed over
environmental-health-and-safety-management-and-auditAs a result of various legislations on the issue of environmental safety; the role of the Board of Governors became central in ensuring this aspect of the business. Environmental health and safety was no longer something that needed to be administered superficially, but in formal and designated ways, more specifically in the form of an audit. In order to incentivize corporate entities to implement environmental health and safety (EHS) management and audit; the trend started moving towards making these activities carry value addition to the organization.

Environmental health and safety management and audit is now a more formalized activity that needs to be carried out in a proper, set and well-defined manner. The processes that go into the EHS management and audit are clearly laid out in the form of standards such as the ISO 14001 standard, which is essentially an Environmental Management System (EMS) audit. To strengthen and enrich the audit activity and round it better; a few related and parallel standards such as the relevant parts of the 9000 family of standards, which deals with quality management, and 18000 series audits can be carried out with ease to supplement the environmental, health and safety audit.

Role of environmental health and safety (EHS) management and audit
environmental-health-and-safety-management-and-auditEnvironmental health and safety (EHS) management and audit have now evolved into being a practice that is coupled with and fused into many business-related activities. The practice now is to make an environmental health and safety management and audit an inseparable part of the Quality Management System. Environmental health and safety (EHS) management and audit audits are now a sure means to ensure that the organization has a reputation for corporate social responsibility by implementing this audit.

Aspects of an environmental health and safety management and auditThe aim of environmental health and safety management and audit is to instill the EHS right from the top management down to the line level employee. A properly carried out EHS management and audit system should ideally take these factors into consideration:

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200+ followers. WOWWWWWW…

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Hello Everyone,

Today we have the pleasure of celebrating the fact that we have reached the milestone of 200+ followers on WordPress. Since we started this blog, we have had such a great time connecting with everyone.  we never expected to actually to connect with other people in the blogging community.

we are so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you who follows and comments on my blog posts. Please know that!

we would continue our blogging in these areas FDA Regulation, Medical Devices, Drugs and Biologics, Healthcare Compliance, Biotechnology, Clinical Research, Laboratory Compliance, Quality Management ,HIPAA Compliance ,OSHA Compliance, Risk Management, Trade and Logistics Compliance ,Banking and Financial Services, Auditing/Accounting & Tax, Packaging and Labeling, SOX Compliance, Environmental Compliance, Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet, Geology and Mining, Human Resources Compliance, Food Safety Compliance and etc.

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Business Process Management in Healthcare helps reduce inefficiencies

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For many years before the advent of automation and computerization ,healthcare processes, such as billing, admissions, and many elements of care were carried out manually. Although it was a capable method to quite an extent, it relied on the use of the manual process or the human method. This was always prone to mistakes and errors, because humans are prone to committing errors that can creep in even with the best of intentions, as a result of which the healthcare industry ended up losing billions of dollars that could otherwise have gone into meaningful forms of investment.

A result of technological developments

This is why Business Process Management (BPM) in Healthcare came into existence with the advent of and as a byproduct of automation. Business process management in healthcare is being considered a major step in helping healthcare settings reduce costs and inefficiencies. When a unit implements business process management in healthcare; there is an automatic reduction in errors and inefficiencies. Let us see how:

Impetus from the higher authorities

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There is now a general tendency and effort to push for automation in the healthcare industry. Even the American Congress has been aggressively pushing for reforms in the healthcare industry, a prime feature of which is fostering business process management in healthcare. Overall, BPM in healthcare is a means for improving efficiencies throughout the healthcare chain and bringing about greater integration and accountability through automation.

Core areas of business process management in healthcare

Business process management in healthcare is useful across the healthcare process chain, but is particularly so in at least there important areas:

Billing:This is one of the prime areas in which business process management in healthcare can make a huge difference. With complete automation of this critical area of business, healthcare units ensure that there is total coordination and traceability of the billing process.

Software:Apart from billing, another area in which business process management in healthcare helps tremendously is software. Software applications can bring about a huge change in the speed of operations. This area of BPM in healthcare reduces the need for human intervention at various stages of the business process.

Big data:Another of the areas in which business process management in healthcare holds huge promise is big data. Big data can help to make sense of various data used in healthcare administration and disease management across entire geographies. This makes the role of business process management in healthcare all the more meaningful and exciting.

 

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Best Practices in Vendor Risk and Compliance Management

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Best practices in vendor risk and compliance management need to be inculcated by vendors who deal with them because of the enormous risk their activities carry. Implementation of best practices in vendor risk and compliance management goes a long way in checking risks and with it, the adverse fallouts of a vendor management program.

First of all, why do organizations have a vendor partnership? It is because this kind of arrangement helps them to take care of their logistics and other aspects of their business in a much more streamlined and economical fashion, and this in turn helps them to concentrate and focus on their core business better. A strategic vendor partnership helps organizations manage their products and services better, and more economically. The root to this is inculcation of best practices in vendor risk and compliance management.

vendor-risk-and-compliance-managementThe importance of best practices in vendor risk and compliance management can be understood from the fact that when companies outsource their operations, or particular parts of them, or some of their activities, this does not include organizational responsibility. So, the onus of ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines and making sure that the vendor has implemented best practices in vendor risk and compliance management lies squarely with the organization that outsources.

Burden is on the organization that hires vendorsThis places a heavy responsibility on them, since of late regulatory guidelines for best practices in vendor risk and compliance management have become all the more stringent. While outsourcing part of their activity or operations or logistics or even parts of product development to vendors; companies have to be very sure that they are in tune with best practices in vendor risk and compliance management.

vendor-risk-and-compliance-managementThe basis to implementing best practices in vendor risk and compliance management is to get a clear comprehension of vendor responsibilities. Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that best practices in vendor risk and compliance management need to be implemented only at the stage of selecting the vendor. This is disastrous thinking, because selection of the vendor is just the beginning of the outsourcing program. These organizations have to make sure that best practices in vendor risk and compliance management is a continuous program and activity, and hence utmost care has to go into managing them at all times.

Reasons for increased need for implementation of best practices in vendor risk and compliance managementThe need for adaption and implementation of best practices in vendor risk and compliance management has become all the more acute and necessary in view of the following factors:

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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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