People with rheumatoid arthritis may be at higher risk for certain cancers

Not only do people with RA have painful joints and disabling fatigue to contend with, they may have to also worry about a greater risk of cancer. When compared to the general population, it appears that people living with rheumatoid arthritis are at a greater risk for various types of cancer.

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HealthPlus Limited is Nigeria’s first Integrative Pharmacy and Healthcare provider with over 20 branches located in major cities of Nigeria. We are the fastest growing pharmacy chain in W/Africa and committed to our corporate mission of helping people achieve Optimum Health and Vitality.

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Top 10 Best Practices for EHR Ethical Issues

Article | November 29, 2023

Discover the potential of EHR implementation in revolutionizing clinical processes. Uncover strategies for addressing EHR ethical issues, ensuring integration that prioritizes patient-centered care. Amidst the fusion of healthcare and technology, integrating electronic health records (EHRs) has emerged as a transformative element in modern medical practice. As a digital repository for a patient's medical journey, EHRs present unprecedented prospects for elevated care quality, improved data accessibility, and cost-effectiveness. Nevertheless, these advancements bring forth an array of EHR ethical issues that demand meticulous attention. In this context, establishing and adhering to the best practices for the ethical training of EHRs assumes paramount importance and a moral obligation. By skillfully navigating the intricate convergence of technology, patient confidentiality, and conscientious healthcare, these ethical EHR best practices illuminate the path toward a future where innovation and ethical principles harmoniously coexist. 1. Upholding Privacy and Confidentiality Revealing a patient's information to external parties should strictly happen with the patient's explicit consent or within the parameters defined by legal regulations. Data stemming from clinical interactions is confidential and requires rigorous protection. The effective operation of EHRs requires authorized access by healthcare institutions, insurers, and related entities. Access by users is contingent upon predefined role-based privileges. The administrator identifies users, specifies the extent of information accessibility, and allocates exclusive usernames and passwords. Users must be conscientious about responsibly utilizing the information they access within their designated roles. Therefore, assigning user privileges plays a pivotal role in securing medical records. However, while regulating data access remains crucial, it doesn’t completely ensure confidentiality. Strengthening security through comprehensive privacy and security protocols remains essential for reinforcing patient data's inviolabilit. 2. Safeguarding Against Data Breaches Ensuring patient privacy and safeguarding sensitive medical data is paramount in EHR ethical training. The imperatives of inadequate data security, encompassing compromised medical information, unauthorized access due to weak password safeguards, and the lack of encryption, accentuate the immediate need for a holistic approach. Employing strategies such as secure cloud storage, robust password protocols, two-factor authentication, and encryption is pivotal in enhancing data security, preventing the mishandling of patient records, and abiding by ethical standards. The potential legal and financial consequences of breaches underscore the criticality of these practices in maintaining patient trust and confidentiality within the digital healthcare domain. 3. EHR System Implementation The integration of EHRs within healthcare organizations poses significant challenges, including resource waste, provider dissatisfaction, diminished patient trust, and potential safety risks. Successful EHR development, implementation, and upkeep demand substantial investment and collaboration among stakeholders, including clinicians, IT experts, educators, and consultants. Clinicians' active engagement is often underestimated, leading to the failure of EHR projects; therefore, clinician-led guidance is crucial in tasks such as EHR selection, workflow design, and quality improvement. Thoroughly mapping workflows before selecting an EHR is crucial, while maintaining user-friendly interfaces remains essential for success. Neglecting these aspects can reduce efficiency, compromise care, and increase safety threats. By prioritizing comprehensive planning, engaging clinicians, and optimizing user interfaces, healthcare institutions can ensure ethical and efficient EHR integration, ultimately enhancing patient care and safety. 4. Maintaining Data Accuracy Upholding data accuracy stands as a fundamental principle in the ethical EHR domain. The integrity of information guarantees its unaltered and precise nature, contributing significantly to the enhancement of patient safety, reduction of healthcare errors, mitigation of health disparities, and betterment of public health. Nevertheless, concerns have been voiced regarding the reliability of data input into electronic records. The improper utilization of functionalities such as 'cut and paste' can lead to misleading portrayals of a patient's condition and treatment, breaching ethical standards. This practice poses elevated risks to patients and increases the liability of clinicians and institutions. Challenges also arise from drop-down menus that limit a clinician's choices, potentially giving rise to substantial errors, especially under time constraints. The collaborative efforts of clinicians and vendors can address software concerns, promoting user-friendly, reliable EHRs while tackling EHR ethical issues. Furthermore, data loss during transfers raises pertinent concerns about the accuracy of the database, a critical aspect as patient care decisions hinge on this data. 5. Guaranteeing Data Authenticity The assurance of documentation integrity pertains to the accurate and precise nature of the comprehensive health record. This includes principles of information governance, identifying patients, validating authorship, handling amendments and corrections in records, and auditing documentation validity while submitting reimbursement claims. EHR tools offer flexible documentation options through the utilization of templates and smart phrases, assisting in precise record-keeping. However, if these tools are misused, doubts about data integrity can arise, making information unreliable and possibly raising concerns about fraudulent activity. Established policies and procedures, including audit functions, must be in place to ensure proper billing. With adequate safeguards, records may accurately represent the patient's condition at admission and over time. Providers must understand the importance of reviewing and refining default data to ensure that only patient-specific information for that visit is recorded. In contrast, irrelevant data from default templates is removed. 6. Validating Dictation to Prevent Errors Voice recognition systems lacking a validation step pose considerable challenges in maintaining data accuracy and preventing documentation errors within organizations, particularly when it comes to ethical issues with electronic health records. EHR companies need to implement a protocol requiring providers to promptly assess, modify, and validate dictated information. Given these documents' frequent use and sharing, precise and high-quality documentation in EHR systems is of utmost significance. The adoption of EHRs has led to substantial shifts in provider workflows and documentation processes. However, providers still need to clearly outline or fully understand comprehensive best practices for maintaining high-quality documentation in EHRs. Advancements are necessary to enhance documentation tools and methods, with a renewed emphasis on the essential aspects of data accuracy and quality. This should precede the widespread implementation of interoperable health information exchange initiatives. 7. Ensuring Accurate Documentation Maintaining the integrity of documentation is compromised when incorrect information finds its way onto the wrong patient's health record. Patient identification errors can influence clinical decisions, endanger patient safety, violate privacy and security, and lead to redundant testing and escalated expenses for patients as well as providers. The propagation of patient identification mistakes can rapidly expand within EHR, personal health records, and Health Information Exchange (HIE) networks as information disseminates. Failing to implement advanced front-end solutions that incorporate robust matching algorithms or innovative techniques like biometrics or fingerprinting can expose organizations to risk. EHRs can incorporate targeted alerts to anticipate safety problems, like blood type inconsistencies or allergies, during treatment, addressing EHR issues. Organizations must institute a patient identity integrity program, integrating performance improvement metrics to monitor error rates and duplicate records in their electronic master patient index. Policies and procedures must ensure the accuracy of critical demographic data, facilitating the linkage of records within and across systems. Addressing the initial point of data capture as a primary front-end verification is also vital within policies. 8. Preserving the Authenticity of Audit Trails Effective audits are crucial to ensuring that the health record documentation aligns with the reported level of service, fulfills reimbursement requirements set by payers, and guarantees that only authorized personnel access patient medical records and make entries. The audit trail must encompass the user's name, the triggering application, workstation details, the specific document, a description of the audited event (such as amendments, corrections, or deletions), and the timestamp. This audit trail outlines modifications (including deletions) within the health record and provides auditors with a foundation for compliance audits. Inadequate audit trail functionality within EHRs raises concerns about the integrity of health record documentation, potentially exposing organizations to legal liabilities and inadvertently fostering or shielding criminal activities. It may become challenging to ascertain if corrections or amendments were executed, who authorized the changes, or the nature of the modifications. In addition to the inherent unintentional errors that documentation might encounter, audit trail functionality can aid in detecting instances where records are altered to obstruct the disclosure of detrimental information. Organizations can utilize EHR trends to leverage audit trail features for identifying and analyzing patterns in health record usage. Typically, users can generate reports over specific time frames categorized by provider or provider type, with results directed to a compliance committee or the organization's governing body. 9. Fostering Compliance Awareness Enhancing ethical EHR training involves a strategic focus on ensuring providers are well-versed in compliance and legal risks, starting from the EHR training phase. To address EHR problems, organizations should implement educational initiatives aimed at mitigating compliance issues. Staff education must emphasize the integrity of health record documentation, with a continuous program monitored and provided quarterly or annually. Addressing the 'who, what, why, and how' ensures a solid grasp of organizational practices that uphold individual best practices, encompassing identifying potential fraud, universal and administrative security measures, data validity, authorship, continual education's significance, and strategies for daily fraud prevention. 10. Conducting Feedback Sessions Contrary to common assumptions, ongoing training is essential post-EHR implementation. After installing the EHR and initiating patient interactions, challenges inevitably emerge—be it staff unfamiliarity with functions or the need to revamp workflow processes. Promptly identifying these concerns to prevent errors and swiftly resolving them involves collecting feedback from EHR users among the staff, particularly in relation to EHR ethical issues. During the weeks after the system's launch, contemplate arranging routine meetings to gather insights. Ensuring diverse representation, including clinical staff, physicians, administrators, billing, and front desk personnel, is crucial. Seek input on their adaptation to changes and areas requiring improvement. Determine if specific training concepts need reinforcement. Surveys can be used in place of frequent meetings. Subsequently, prioritizing problem areas aids focused resolution by promptly addressing critical matters. The introduction of incremental changes helps staff adapt to the EHR seamlessly, safeguarding patient care continuity during the transition. The Path Ahead Following these ethical EHR training best practices ensures the accuracy and reliability of patient data, leading to improved clinical decision-making and patient safety. By maintaining documentation integrity, professionals can confidently provide quality care and reduce the risk of errors. Ethical EHR training further strengthens compliance with legal regulations, safeguarding both the organization as well as the healthcare provider from potential legal liabilities. Moreover, adhering to best practices promotes efficient workflows, enhancing productivity, and streamlining operations. Patient trust and confidence are strengthened as professionals demonstrate their commitment to data security, confidentiality, and ethical conduct. Ultimately, by upholding ethical EHR training standards, professionals contribute to a robust healthcare system by fostering positive patient outcomes, maintaining trust, and supporting the principles of ethical healthcare delivery.

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Health Technology, Digital Healthcare

Wearable Technology: A Pool of Opportunities in Healthcare

Article | August 16, 2023

Introduction The field of smart wearable devices has advanced significantly in recent years as a result of the advent of mobile medicine, the development of new technologies like smart sensing, and the increased penetration of personalized health concepts. These Internet of Things (IoT)-based smart devices not only help people pursue a healthier lifestyle, but also offer a constant flow of healthcare data, which can be used for disease diagnosis and treatment, by actively recording, tracking, and monitoring metabolic status and physiological parameters. Wearable technologies have the potential to completely change the ways to monitor health behavior and are increasingly finding clinical implementation for patients with various types of diseases. Wearable Technology: New Ways of Patient Monitoring While wearable technology has demonstrated value in the fields of entertainment, fitness, and gaming, it is making inroads into the healthcare industry at a rapid pace. Increasing advancements in sensor technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are assisting millions of people in detecting and managing chronic health conditions and avoiding serious illnesses using devices that are as small as a patch the size of a penny or small enough to be worn on the wrist. According to a study, nearly 320 million consumer health and wellness wearable devices are estimated to be shipped across the globe in 2022, and the number is likely to surpass 440 million units as a number of new devices come out and more healthcare providers start using them. Most wearable devices, such as smartwatches, now include heart rate monitors, and some have FDA approval for detecting abnormalities such as atrial fibrillation, a major cause of stroke. As these devices become more intelligent, the percentage of patients and consumers who use them to manage chronic health conditions and diagnose symptoms of serious diseases is likely to rise. This is expected to assist the sales of wearable devices in healthcare to exceed $195 billion by the end of 2027, presenting huge prospects for healthcare equipment providers and associated companies to benefit from the opportunity. The Future of Wearable Technology in Healthcare Though wearable technology is experiencing rapid growth, the field is still considered to be in its nascent stage, presenting massive remunerative prospects for the manufacturers of smart devices, especially in the healthcare industry. Hence, companies of all kinds, from giants to upstarts, are emphasizing on investing and developing new wearable devices with new features and functionalities to meet the surging demand for wearables across healthcare in coming years.

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Health Technology, Digital Healthcare

6 Tips On Discussing Your Mental Health Issues With Your Friends

Article | August 21, 2023

Do you have a difficult time explaining your mental health issues to your family and friends? If so, here are six suggestions on how to discuss your mental health issues with your friends and relatives. 1. Talk to a counselor: The most important thing that you need to do is to talk to a counselor about your mental health problems. Seeking professional help will go a long way in overcoming your current issues. In addition, a counselor will be able to give you additional advice on how to deal with your friends and family members. 2. Don’t argue with others: It is important that you do not get into arguments with those who are giving you a hard time. Your number one priority is getting your life back on track. Your health is more important than what other people may think. 3. Watch who you hang out with: It is important to surround yourself with positive people. Try to keep your distance from those people who are giving you a difficult time. Remember that your goal is to remain positive and hopeful. Do not let the negative people in your life bring you down. 4. You are not alone: It can be very frustrating to deal with your mental health issues when your friends and relatives are on your case. Remember, you are not alone. There are millions of people around the world who struggle with their fears, anxieties, and depression. The key is to find those people who can relate to you. 5. Stand your ground: It is important to stand your ground when dealing with family members and friends who are giving you a hard time. Explain your situation and your feelings to the people in your life, however don’t let them hassle you. Your number one priority is to get better and not to please everyone that you know. 6. Join a support group: There are many mental health support groups in your area that can help you. Many hospitals, churches, and counselors in your area will be able to provide you with a list of groups. These mental health organizations will be supportive of your situation and they can give you additional advice regarding your problems.

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Health Technology

The Long-Term Care Software: Mapping the Future

Article | July 13, 2022

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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Spotlight

Health Plus Limited

HealthPlus Limited is Nigeria’s first Integrative Pharmacy and Healthcare provider with over 20 branches located in major cities of Nigeria. We are the fastest growing pharmacy chain in W/Africa and committed to our corporate mission of helping people achieve Optimum Health and Vitality.

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