Increasing Access To Dental Care For Seniors To Improve Overall Health

Shirley, like other senior residents in downtown San Diego, faces stark choices in day-to-day life. With more than 40 percent of seniors in San Diego living below the self-sufficiency level, many, like Shirley, have to choose between paying rent and buying medicine, between purchasing food and taking care of their teeth—choices none of us would ever want to make. Shirley is among many low-income seniors who are missing some or all of their teeth because of lack of access to affordable oral health care. When Shirley was growing up, her mom never took her to the dentist because the family didn’t have the money for routine dental care. As an adult, most of Shirley’s teeth have been pulled to avoid more costly options, such as implants, bridges, or crowns.

Spotlight

Greater New York Hospital Association

Founded in 1904, Greater New York Hospital Association GNYHA is a trade association comprising nearly 250 hospitals and continuing care facilities, both voluntary and public, in the metropolitan New York area and throughout the State, as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

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Health Technology, Digital Healthcare

Enhancing Network Resilience in the Healthcare Sector to Prevent Downtime and Unusable Uptime

Article | July 14, 2023

Your patients have grown to trust your expertise and recommendations in matters regarding their healthcare. As the sector transitions into a more digital playing field, uninterrupted network connectivity is more than just a bonus; it’s a necessity. While there are many different challenges to completely integrating your practice into the digital world, internet outages are the costliest. Downtime can be caused by various factors, which can compromise patient safety, the faith your team instills in you, and your practice’s reputation and revenue. However, investing in the means to maintain a resilient network lets you maximize your network uptime to optimize resources. We'll look at four different strategies and their benefits for your infrastructure so you can focus on what you do best: providing healthcare excellence to your patients. Strengthening Network Infrastructure The traditional way of doing things may be great for your remedies and techniques. Still, with a growing number of patients and their contextually relevant demands, your network needs to be able to accommodate many different booking requests, increase user activity on your server, and store sensitive patient information. High-speed internet connections enhance your network performance and let you, your team, and your patients make the most of your uninterrupted uptime. Fiber-optic networks, when combined with load balancing and proper segmentation, can diffuse and direct network traffic efficiency and prevent congestion, which prevents downtime due to overload. Implementing Network Monitoring and Management Tools Much like your patients visit your practice to ensure everything is all right with the current state of their health, your network must also receive the same treatment. Identifying and pre-emptively resolving potential issues and vulnerabilities will prevent much more destructive or expensive problems from occurring. Use real-time tools to monitor your bandwidth usage and gain visibility of potential bottlenecks. Tools that offer risk monitoring deliver alerts about critical events that pose a threat to your business continuity. Your IT team will be better equipped to troubleshoot issues promptly and optimize performance. Conducting Regular Network Assessments and Audits Once you have the proper monitoring tools to manage your network topology better, proactive troubleshooting is a great way to spot-check whether your current solution is working as it should. A network audit is much like proactive troubleshooting; you are looking to see if anything could harm the overall system and catch it before it can develop. When auditing a network, the primary focus should be security measures. If patient and confidential data is not secure, the smooth operations of your business are the least of your worries. When conducting an audit, consulting with a network service provider will help identify issues with your protocols, data encryption, and firewall configuration. Establishing Redundancy and Disaster Recovery Plans Backing up private and confidential data is crucial to ensuring that sensitive information is not lost or exposed. Minimizing network downtime can often be achieved by having backup systems that will keep running in the event of an attack or outage. For example, a dedicated Cloud Access Network, power supplies, and switches will go a long way. When creating an internet contingency plan, outline steps and protocols with your team that you will take in the event of a complete failure, including things such as brand reputation management, customer service, and data loss prevention. Looking Forward As the lines between in-person and digital are blurred, navigating the complexities of implementing a robust network is paramount to your business. Strengthening your infrastructure, integrating redundant systems, and conducting regular audits and assessments with the proper monitoring and management tools will help you maximize uptime usage and minimize network downtime. Although overwhelming, working with a reputable network service provider can help you embrace your network topology to remain competitive.

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Healthtech Security

The Long-Term Care Software: Mapping the Future

Article | November 29, 2023

Long-term care comprises all the health services that help patients with chronic illnesses or disabilities meet their medical and non-medical needs. It caters to those who cannot care for themselves for extended durations. For care providers, it becomes critical to meet the needs of patients on time while delivering top-notch quality, especially at a time when virtual care is more important than ever. To remedy this, many of the tasks and processes within long-term care are supported by digital solutions. These long-term care software applications enable care providers to automate aspects of patient scheduling, inventory control, regulation and compliance, data management, care delivery management, and much more. Some of the end users of long-term care software include home healthcare agencies, nursing homes, and residential hospice care facilities. What is Driving the Growth of Long-Term Care Solutions? Digitalization has swept the healthcare industry, and medical technology now occupies a significant area of medical care delivery. With the demand for a robust healthcare infrastructure aggravated by a shortage of medical professionals, the need for automation is driving the growth of medtech across all areas of healthcare. In addition, fewer medical specialists and medical cost reduction initiatives combined are powering the long-term care software market’s growth. Challenges for the Long-Term Care Software Market Despite the rapid growth in the use of digital solutions to manage administrative and compliance tasks, technological transformations are expensive. The high maintenance costs incurred by care providers are a major hindrance towards a full-fledged adoption. Many care providers are also unwilling to adopt new applications due to the implementation and staff training costs involved in doing so. What the Future Holds? With an increase in remote care and the use of technologies like the Internet of Medical Things to deliver diagnostic services and preventive care, medtech is witnessing a revolution. Long-term care is bound to follow suit thanks to areas like remote patient monitoring and wearable technology. While the long-term care market is slated to grow by leaps and bounds, solution makers must find a way to help care providers warm up to the use of technology and de

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Health Technology, AI

Top 5 Ways for Strengthening Healthcare Supply Chain

Article | July 18, 2023

Introduction Healthcare supply chains are highly regulated, high-margin domains with stringent quality criteria, such as the demand for cold-chain storage and shipping. In addition, due to a lack of adequate understanding of the complicated rules governing healthcare products and services, medical aid providers are encountering inefficiencies while outsourcing capabilities to logistics service providers (LSPs). In today's value-based care paradigm, healthcare leaders are tasked with improving patient outcomes while decreasing costs. With surging globalization, the growing cross-border nature of several medical products, and rising complexities in healthcare logistics, the need for building a robust supply chain is rapidly increasing across the healthcare industry. Key Ways to Enhance Healthcare Supply Chain A resilient supply chain plays a vital role in managing supplies, procuring resources, and shipping medical goods, among others, which assists in improving patient outcomes, enhancing service efficiency, and declining costs. Healthcare organizations are aiming to strengthen their supply chain to enjoy these benefits such as increased reimbursement, improved quality control, reduced inventory and overhead costs, and better collaboration with suppliers. Here are some of the key ways to assist medical aid providers in building a strong healthcare supply chain Develop effective inventory management Manufacturers frequently encounter difficulties with timely inventory movement through their supply chains. Revenue is lost, and profit margins are harmed when products expire because they are not used adequately. This is why it is crucial to effectively manage the inventory process. Hence, healthcare executives should deploy a high-quality equipment management system and increase collaboration between organizations, suppliers, and manufacturers to assist them in controlling inventory levels and effective inventory management. Use technology and analytics to make operations run smoother When it comes to supply chain management automation, the healthcare sector continues to lag behind other sectors. This is true for both the enterprise resource planning (ERP) functions and data analytics use for making decisions about forecasting and product choice. Healthcare executives should make use of efficient technologies, such as solid analytics, in order to successfully improve a supply chain. Implementing data analytics and automation tools can assist in making healthcare supply chain management more efficient and effortless. Widen and strengthen the supplier base One of the most effective ways to build a robust healthcare supply chain is by increasing the number of suppliers and enhancing supplier base management. Manufacturers and purchasers should abandon using single-or limited-source supply chains for raw materials and finished goods. This will assist healthcare companies in expanding their network of raw material suppliers and helps in careful consideration of which suppliers to use for procuring which resources. Improve order accuracy and order cycle times to lower costs Healthcare providers sometimes encounter a large number of errors during the ordering process. When incorrect products are ordered, the facilities face losses in revenue and are sometimes unable to deliver specific services due to the unavailability of products they need. Errors in placing orders can also result in medication errors. This can lead to a decrease in patient outcomes and negatively impact the company’s revenue growth. To reduce the frequency of errors, these providers should deploy a computerized provider entry system. This will help improve order accuracy, increase supply chain efficiencies, and shorten turnaround times in healthcare ordering processes. Consistently track and calibrate performance Regardless of the size of the healthcare facility, it is of great importance for medical aid providers to carefully track and calibrate their performance frequently or on a specified timeline. This enables clinically integrated supply chains in healthcare to use key performance indicators (KPIs) to compare outcomes in terms of cost and quality and make decisions about products. What’s Next? The rising integration of novel disruptive technologies such as data analytics, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and blockchain into healthcare supply chain management software is facilitating smooth operations, transparency, growth, and security across the life-science industry. With a growing need for enhancing supply chains, healthcare providers are focusing on deploying advanced supply chain management solutions, such as healthcare logistics software, to strengthen their supply chains. As the trend continues to grow, the sales of healthcare supply chain management software and services are anticipated to rise from the US$2.2 billion registered in 2020 to US$3.3 billion by 2025.

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Impact of Incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Healthcare Industry

Article | December 15, 2020

As medical science has improved rapidly, life expectancy around the world also has risen. Still, as longevity increases, healthcare systems are facing a growing demand for advanced services, increased costs, and a struggling workforce to meet various requirements of patients. Demand is driven by many unstoppable forces: a shift in lifestyle choices, shifting patient expectations, population aging, and the never-ending cycle of innovation are a few among others. Challenges Faced by the Healthcare Industry According to Mckinsey, one in four people in North America and Europe will be over the age of 65 by 2050. This shows that, soon, the healthcare industry will have to deal with a larger number of patients with more complex requirements. Catering to these patients is expensive and requires health systems for providing long-term focused and proactive care. To remain sustainable, healthcare systems need major transformational and structural changes. The industry also needs a larger workforce because according to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally there is a shortfall of approximately 9.9 million nurses, physicians, and midwives. Apart from attracting, training, and retaining these healthcare professionals, you also have to ensure that their time and effort add value to patient care. Utilizing the solutions powered by modern technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the healthcare industry, will add perfection and more value to human efforts. AI in the healthcare industry has the potential required to transform and revolutionize healthcare by addressing the challenges in the industry mentioned earlier. AI can better the outcomes, improve efficiency, and augment productivity in healthcare delivery. This article takes an in-depth look at the impact of AI in healthcare. Impact of AI in the Healthcare Industry In the coming years, AI in the healthcare industry will improve the day-to-day life of healthcare practitioners, augment the patient experience, improve care delivery, and can even facilitate life-saving treatments and revolutionize the industry. Additionally, AI will improve population-health management, operations, and strengthen innovations. According to Statista, the global AI healthcare market will increase to more than US$28 billion by 2025. Here is a detailed look into the areas where and how AI in the healthcare industry will be impactful. Chronic Care Management Chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, kidney diseases, are the leading cause of disability and death in the US and the main drivers of the country’s annual health cost. Effectively managing various chronic diseases is an overarching and long-term process. But with the help of the right tool, healthcare providers can meet the needs of these patients without delay. Artificial intelligence tools in the healthcare industry can help healthcare providers overcome the complexities of chronic disease management and make it more effective and provide quality treatment. AI in the healthcare industry is increasingly being leveraged by organizations to improve chronic disease management, enhance patient health, and drive down costs, which will also eventually result in data-driven and personalized care. AI in the healthcare industry is expected to move the industry toward proactive care delivery from a reactive one and lead the industry to provide more individualized treatments. This is just one of the ways AI in the medical industry is going to revolutionize chronic care management in hospitals. Care Delivery Artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry is changing the way care is delivered; it is expected to make healthcare more efficient, accurate, and accessible. Reducing costs and improving health outcomes are the values health systems and hospitals are trying to deliver to patients every day. Hospitals are increasingly incorporating technologies, which are powered by the use of AI in healthcare to meet the challenge. According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), AI in the healthcare industry has unlimited potential to solve most of the vexing challenges in the industry. They identify AI use cases in the healthcare industry in four broad areas, which are administrative, operational, financial, and clinical areas. Administrative Use Cases for AI in the Healthcare Industry • Admission procedures • Appointment scheduling • Customer service responses • Discharge instructions • Hiring and orientation protocols • Licensure verification • Patient check-in procedure • Prior authorizations • Quality measure reporting Operational Use Cases of AI in the Healthcare Industry • Inventory management • Materials management • Supply chain management • Facilities management Financial Use Cases for AI in the Healthcare Industry • Billing and collections • Claims management • Insurance eligibility verification • Revenue cycle management Clinical Use Cases of AI in the Healthcare Industry • Predictive technologies • Interventional technologies By incorporating and utilizing these scopes with AI in the healthcare industry, the industry can be transformed into a next-gen level in no time. It also allows healthcare practitioners to focus more on patients, which would eventually help in raising staff morale and improving retention. Clinical Decision Support Recent advancements in AI in the health industry are capable of enhancing the currently used clinical decision support (CDS) tools to have value-based imaging and to improve patient safety. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the synergy between CDS systems and AI in the healthcare industry will be able to: • Reduce friction in radiology workflows • Identify relevant imaging features easily • Generate structured data to develop machine learning algorithms • Enable an evolution toward decision support for a holistic patient perspective • Suggest imaging examinations in complex clinical scenarios • Assist in identifying appropriate imaging opportunities • Suggest appropriate individualized screening • Aid health practitioners to ensure continuity of care AI in the healthcare industry is competent in making CDS a next-gen one, enhancing the experiences of radiologists and providers, and improving patient care. Diagnostics Slowly but surely, AI is improving almost every aspect of human life with innovations and advancements. The latest is that AI in the healthcare industry is impending a revolution in medical diagnostics by providing accurate risk assessments, accelerating disease detection, and boosting hospital productivity. By automatically prioritizing urgent cases and accelerating reading time, image recognition AI enhances the workflow of radiologists. It even helps in the prevention of diseases by the early detection of diseases. In medical images such as x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, AI-driven software can efficiently be used to accurately spot signs of many diseases, especially in detecting many chronic diseases such as cancer. According to the NIH, AI will be widely applied in the healthcare industry especially for various tasks such as patient engagement and adherence, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. So, there is no doubt that AI in healthcare will revolutionize the diagnostic process in the approaching years by detecting diseases, classifying diseases, and improving the decision-making process. The application of AI in the healthcare industry will make people live longer. Triage and Diagnosis AI can be effectively used to automatically triage cases. AI algorithms will analyze the cases and forward cases to pathologists after determining the priority based on the probability of cases according to the criteria set by labs. This makes the workflow of pathologists easier and efficient. Through the process the algorithm will be able to: • Verify the digital images attached to the case belong to that case • Validate the tests ordered and match the specimen type • Identify cases marked as stat • Determine the cases, which can be positive or are most likely to be negative Moreover, AI technologies in the healthcare industry also can be effectively used to provide more accurate and faster diagnoses. This speeds up the entire process of triage and diagnosis and is expected to revolutionize the healthcare industry soon. The Future Outlook for AI in the Healthcare Industry Over the next few years, AI in the healthcare industry has the best opportunities in hybrid models to support clinicians in diagnosis, identifying risk factors, and in treatment planning. This scope will result in faster adoption of AI technology in healthcare, which will show measurable improvements in operational efficiency and patient outcomes. With a plethora of issues to overcome, which are driven by documented factors such as growing rates of chronic diseases and the aging population, it is obvious that the healthcare industry needs new innovative solutions. AI-powered solutions in the healthcare industry will achieve a clear impact on the global healthcare industry in a short time. Frequently Asked Questions Which is the best application of AI in the healthcare sector? Cognitive surgical robotics is the best application of AI in the healthcare sector as it helps practitioners collect data from real surgical processes, which would help in improving existing surgical approaches. Why is artificial intelligence important in healthcare? Artificial intelligence in healthcare is vital as it can help make decisions, analyze and manage data, and have conversations. So, AI will drastically change the everyday practices and roles of clinicians. When was AI-first used in healthcare? The term, Artificial intelligence (AI) was first described in 1950, but the limitations of the term prevented its acceptance. In the 2000s, these limitations were overcome and people started to accept the term.

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Spotlight

Greater New York Hospital Association

Founded in 1904, Greater New York Hospital Association GNYHA is a trade association comprising nearly 250 hospitals and continuing care facilities, both voluntary and public, in the metropolitan New York area and throughout the State, as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

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South Africa: SA Teen Pregnancies Not Increasing As BBC Claimed

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A BBC.com headline, claiming that teenage pregnancies in South Africa are increasing, is not based in fact. There is no evidence that teenage pregnancies in Africa are rising. Is the situation in South Africa any different? After Africa Check fact-checked a BBC.com headline earlier this year - which read "Why are teenage pregnancy rising in Africa?" - the British news organisation changed it to "Why are teenage pregnancies rising in South Africa?" We set out to determine if the new headline passed muster…

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South Africa: SA Teen Pregnancies Not Increasing As BBC Claimed

June 01, 2016

A BBC.com headline, claiming that teenage pregnancies in South Africa are increasing, is not based in fact. There is no evidence that teenage pregnancies in Africa are rising. Is the situation in South Africa any different? After Africa Check fact-checked a BBC.com headline earlier this year - which read "Why are teenage pregnancy rising in Africa?" - the British news organisation changed it to "Why are teenage pregnancies rising in South Africa?" We set out to determine if the new headline passed muster…

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