A Physician's Perspective: Dr Luz Canovas on SCS procedure

| July 29, 2015

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Dr Canovas talks about the spinal cord stimulation (SCS) procedure and the benefits of this treatment

Spotlight

Benefis Health System

As a not-for-profit community health system, Benefis is driven to provide the highest level of care. We serve nearly 230,000 residents across a 15-county region that is bigger than Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont combined. Benefis is the largest non-governmental employer in the Great Falls area, with more than 3,000 employees.

OTHER ARTICLES

The Data Behind: Helping Healthcare Get Better

Article | March 4, 2020

Healthcare is experiencing a digital transformation, shifting how the medical ecosystem operates and the way that care is delivered. And all of this change comes down to one little word: data. In 2013, the healthcare industry produced 153 exabytes of data; in 2020, that volume is estimated to increase over 15-fold to 2,314 exabytes. It’s projected that healthcare data is expanding faster than in manufacturing, financial services, and media. That’s right — we produce more data at the doctor’s office annually than we do swiping our credit cards or surfing Netflix. It follows that unlocking the power of all that data is the key to transforming the future of healthcare with quality and precision in mind, across clinical, financial, and operational processes. As Big Data continues to expand, what are some of the major trends that data leaders in the healthcare industry are addressing in 2020 and beyond? In this piece, we explore the data that impacts decision-making within the healthcare industry, and how this data helps practices tackle the challenges facing the communities that they serve.

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Digital Health Democratizes Precision Medicine to Improve Population Health

Article | February 10, 2020

By definition, precision medicine treats the individual while public health focuses on population-level interventions. While public health and precision medicine efforts overlap, some experts argue that precision medicine advancements fall short of public health goals due to their underemphasis on scalability and accessibility. Digital health can help reconcile this conflict by promoting precision medicine’s goal of delivering the right treatment to the right patient at the right time while improving health equity through scalable, accessible solutions.

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The Hidden Stress of the Pandemic

Article | February 14, 2021

Tempted to throw in the towel on your New Year’s resolutions? It’s a natural reaction during this unprecedented year. I’m here to tell you it’s okay—and you probably don’t need them anyway. You’re in good company if you’ve given up on the big shifts. According to widely-cited research study, only 19% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. In addition, this may not have been the best time to make changes, given all that’s going on with the pandemic. Also, worthwhile to consider the following insights on the unease with making big changes these days. According to research published in Molecular Psychiatry, when you go through prolonged challenging times (and the pandemic certainly qualifies), chronic stress can change the architecture of your brain and make you feel worn out, anxious, fearful, or depressed. These aren’t the best conditions for making major changes. You may also face “change saturation,” or in other words, you’ve had to make so many transitions, you just can’t make any more. To prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed, focus on attainable aspirations. Here are a few recommendations. DREAM ON A SMALLER SCALE Success for the next 12 months may be closely tied to a less-is-more approach. Instead of seeking a whole new career, maybe you can set your sights on getting assigned to a new project at your current company. In other words, consider how you can tweak your behaviors rather than overhauling them. Cultivate gratitude. Appreciate the little things. When you’re more tuned into what you have, you’re less focused on what you still want. This “enough mentality” can be helpful to your mental health. You don’t have to make big changes to achieve satisfaction or happiness. Contentment starts with gratitude. Avoid perfectionism. Often, the fuel for big changes is a feeling you or your situation are not perfect. Remind yourself that perfection is a myth and focus on what’s working. This will help you find fulfillment with your present reality (even if it’s not all you aspire to). Make a list, then edit down. Another great way to keep your ambitions reasonable is to make a list of all you want to accomplish and then eliminate everything but the top three items. A surefire route to frustration is to expect too much and put unrealistic pressures on yourself. Instead, focus on just a few vital things you want to accomplish, rather than a long list that does not empower you. After you’ve accomplished the first three goals on your list, you can always come back to the others, but give yourself a fighting chance to achieve the most integral top three, first. MONITOR YOURSELF Keep yourself accountable through specific techniques—and pay attention to events that may cause you to slide backwards. Research in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin explains that 40% of your behaviors occur in similar situations, which is to say familiar circumstances encourage the repetition of choices. Therefore, if you’re able to adjust one potentially repeated behavior, it can make a difference. Create routines and conveniences. When you want to nurture a behavior, make it a default so you’re not thinking consciously about it. Research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found when you repeat behaviors in a consistent context, it helps with habit formation and these take hold much more effectively. You can use this to your advantage. Instead of making a conscious choice each morning whether you want the donut or the smoothie, have the sliced fruit ready to go and the blender on the counter so when you arrive bleary-eyed to the kitchen in the morning, you’re just doing what’s already laid out. Start each day with the routine of responding to quick-hit emails. Rather than deciding what to work on first, just create a routine where you’re repeating behavior that works without as much conscious thought. Plan ahead. When you can plan for things, you can usually control them more effectively. If you’re going to be in a situation that might create challenges for your new behaviors, make a plan. Perhaps you’re going to the grocery store and you can make a plan to avoid the cookie aisle. Or if you’re back in the office, avoid the calorie-tempting socially distanced happy hour with colleagues by leaving right on time and get a head start on the big project you’re working on. Anticipating what might present challenges will help you overcome them. FIND SUPPORT Support can be the difference between making small changes and not succeeding at all. Find a source that works for you. Find friends. Create a virtual group of people also trying to make changes. Perhaps there’s an online group where you can exchange healthy recipes or provide mutual encouragement for regular trips to the gym. Also tap into your existing network and ask your friend to check in with you to see if you’ve had your workout for the day. Seek out colleagues who can nurture the writing skills you want to develop. Find people who encourage you, provide feedback, and remind you about your ability to succeed. Use technology thoughtfully. There are a wide variety of virtual solutions to help you shift your behavior. Download the app that allows you to track your water intake or the app that will send you notifications if you haven’t moved enough in the last hour. Look for apps that can help you learn the new language you’ve been wanting to add to your skill set or that can connect you with colleagues who have like-minded ambitions. Behavior shifts are most likely to occur with planning, reminders, and feedback. So, find apps that provide these three kinds of support. Give yourself permission to do less for now and know you can always do more later. In the meantime, stay strong and be satisfied with a little progress for now.

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Telehealth’s Benefits for Patient-Centered Care — and Where It’s Going

Article | May 19, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic upended the healthcare system, hospitals and doctor’s offices doubled down on technology and implemented a host oftelemedicine services, from virtual visits to remote patient monitoring and customized treatment plans. The results were unexpected. Not only did telemedicine help bridge the gap between physicians and patients during the health crisis, but arecent J.D. Power studyfound that telemedicine also delivered increased customer satisfaction, outpacing other healthcare services. Patient-centered care played the largest role in this shift. Technologies that let staff reach patients anytime, anywhere enabled providers to shift their functional focus away from simply treating issues to building better relationships.

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Spotlight

Benefis Health System

As a not-for-profit community health system, Benefis is driven to provide the highest level of care. We serve nearly 230,000 residents across a 15-county region that is bigger than Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont combined. Benefis is the largest non-governmental employer in the Great Falls area, with more than 3,000 employees.

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