Today’s biggest healthcare challenges, solved with InterSystems

| May 14, 2019

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InterSystems’ advanced software empowers providers, payers, governments, medical technology innovators, software developers, clinical laboratories, and life sciences companies to deliver what matters.

Spotlight

BioReference Laboratories

BioReference is the third largest full service clinical diagnostic laboratory in the U.S. providing testing and related services to physician offices, clinics, hospitals, long term care facilities, employers, governmental units and correctional institutions. We offer a comprehensive test list focusing on molecular diagnostics, anatomical pathology, genetics, and women’s health. Moreover, through its GeneDx subsidiary, BioReference has an international presence in more than 50 countries around the world.

OTHER ARTICLES

How Telehealth is Changing the Nursing Industry

Article | April 13, 2020

Before we discuss the importance of telehealth and how it is changing the nursing industry in general, it is important to understand what telehealth is all about. With the advent of new-age technologies and their impact on the fast-paced, growing population, medical health is an essential department that requires special attention. One’s health is of utmost importance, and to enhance the medical facilities, we as responsible citizens and experts in this particular field must come up with novel and quick solutions to provide optimum precaution and cure. Hence, one of such technological achievements is telecommunication,s and by utilizing such a useful resource, health-related services too can be offered. Telehealth promotes the distribution of various services related to medical health through electronic devices and telecommunication technologies. What can one possibly do if he or she lives in a different country and is pushed to an emergency situation where he requires medical advice from a physician who lives in another corner of the world? Of course, through telecommunication devices, the whole process of exchanging information becomes smoother and easier. Several health-related services such as medical advice, medical care, monitoring, education, remote admissions, and intervention can be extended to a long-distance patient with the help of telehealth facilities. Hence, the contemporary picture of health and medicine has been radically improved with the introduction of these electronic telecommunication systems.

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Danny Cain discusses safety considerations for night-time transport projects

Article | September 9, 2020

© 2019 American Cranes & Transport Magazine. Night moves Moving over-sized, over-dimensional loads during the day is no easy task. Adding darkness and poor visibility to your trip adds numerous hazards that must be thoroughly identified and mitigated. When planning a specialized transportation project, there are three primary objectives: Ensure the safety of the transport crew and the general public. Protect the integrity of the cargo and transport equipment. Protection of Infrastructure – roads, bridges, traffic control devices, utilities and the like. For the most part, specialized carriers perform night transports to reduce the impact on day-time commuter traffic. Route challenges – construction, road closures, lane crossovers, bridges and other obstacles – are often better solved at night. Police and utility support are often more readily available at night. Night transport hazards include employee fatigue, slowed reaction time and poor visibility for both the transport crew and motorists. Decreased visibility increases potential for trips, falls, runovers, back overs and equipment strikes. It can’t be emphasized enough how critically important it is to ensure that all transport crew members have had adequate rest for these projects. Workers need complete rest before the transport takes place. A fatigued worker is a danger to himself as well as his fellow crew members. And while impaired drivers can be out on the streets during the day, there is often an increased number of these drivers on roadways at night. Limited visibility is a given when it comes to night-time transports. Limited visibility increases the chance of going off route and striking objects, and the transport driver’s maneuverability and reaction time maybe be reduced. Road conditions can abruptly change during a night-time transport. Therefore, it is critically important to know the route and to have drivers run it in advance. Statistically speaking, accident frequency increases when the transporter goes off route and attempts to correct itself. While providing the necessary lighting to make night transport is important, artificial lighting can pose visibility hazards, especially to the drivers. Other hazards may include bright work lighting that produces glare. OSHA has identified the “Focus Four” accident events that make up the most serious injuries and fatalities in the construction business. They are also known as the “Fatal Four.” Many carriers have had employees injured in the past as a result of one of these four incidents. Caught-in-between hazards are injuries resulting from a person being squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched or compressed between two or more objects or between parts of an object. This is also referred to as “pinch points or entrapment.” As the transporter navigates its designated route the landscape is continuously changing. It is imperative that all ground crew members maintain situational awareness and not place themselves between the moving transporter and fixed objects such as guardrails, parked vehicles, buildings, etc. Struck-by hazards are injuries produced by forcible contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment. There are many potential struck-by hazards. Guide wires that must be raised can snap and strike workers on the ground. Tag lines should be used to control loads. The primary purpose of using tag lines is to control the load but more importantly give the worker a safe buffer distance away from suspended and the uncontrolled movement of these loads. Fall hazards are anything that could cause an unintended loss of balance or bodily support and result in a fall. To prevent fall hazards all workers should have either fall prevention or a means of fall protection in place. As a rule, 100 percent tie off is required when using a fall arrest system (FAS). FAS’s should be thoroughly inspected before each use. Electrocution hazards result when a person is exposed to a lethal amount of electrical energy. Maintaining minimum approach distances (MAD) is a critical safety practice. As everyone knows, equipment does not have to physically make contact with energized equipment or lines to cause serious injuries and even death. Electrical energy can “jump” from lines into equipment that has encroached the Minimum Approach Distance based on its voltage. As noted above, it is critically important to ensure that crew members have had adequate rest and are not fatigued. Night transports are difficult enough, and the last thing you want to introduce are tired and fatigued workers. Being fatigued creates a risk for anyone who undertakes an activity that requires concentration and a quick response. All companies should have an “Hours Worked Policy” that clearly spells out the number of hours allowed to work before a mandatory rest period. This policy should ensure that the transport crew has had adequate rest during day, that a fatigue assessment is conducted on all team members, that crews are never allowed to work double shifts and that employees are prohibited from driving long distances to return home. Dealing with darkness Visibility and slowed reaction times should be a part of the project planning. A limited amount of ambient light that only projects upward and outward impedes vision and increases blind spots for drivers. Lights cast shadows, increasing the potential for slips, trips and falls. All transport moves should establish pre-planned Emergency Action Plans. When an emergency occurs, time is of the essence and can mean the difference between life and death. If it is a long-distance move the emergency numbers and first responder information can change. Crews should know when it’s time to seek emergency “safe harbor.” When approaching overhead obstructions such as guide wires, electrical lines, communication lines and overpasses, travel speed is of utmost importance. Again, pre-route surveys provide advance knowledge of obstructions. At night, visual identification of roadway obstructions is reduced and delayed and last second reactions to oncoming hazards can lead to accidents. Support personnel in bucket trucks also have the challenge of reduced visibility. In darkness, overhead hazards often require more utility support for height clearances, which means the need for raising energized lines, lifting traffic control devices, trimming tree limbs, releasing tension on guide wires, removing highway signs, repositioning street lights and raising railroad crossing arms. Traffic control can also create hazards. The general public may ignore pilot car lights at night, so it’s often advisable to also use police escorts. All support vehicles and trucks should be properly marked and equipped with strobe lights. The configuration of the transport system can also be a hazard. Navigating sharp turns or crossovers is greatly reduced based on the length of transporter. Snake-like maneuvers of trailers pose an increased risk. It’s important to never allow personnel to take shortcuts by walking through or under transporter while it’s in motion. Stop or have the worker go around. Situational awareness The transport crew must always maintain “situational awareness” to prevent being in line of fire or entrapped between moving and fixed objects. All the equipment used in the transport must be deemed safe. You should have procedures to conduct thorough assessment of all new equipment. Ensure machine guard devices are in place especially around moving components. Provide secured areas using catwalks/railing system. All steps should be designed with slip resistant material. Ensure that all deck openings are properly protected and covered. Components that hydraulically extend and retract should be clearly posted with DANGER signs. Roadway conditions are always a bigger concern at night. Assess weather conditions prior to start of the project and don’t take chances. A “Go – No Go” criteria should be developed for each project. Once the decision is made to transport the load there is no turning back. Changing weather can cause the transporter to lose traction. Underpasses that are shaded during the day will likely freeze up more quickly. If the temperatures drop significantly during the move, equipment performance may be affected – especially those with hydraulics. Because the reaction time of the transport crew is reduced, speeds are often reduced, causing potential for curfew violations. Boarding and deboarding the transporter increases risk for slips and falls. Other potential road condition hazards include grade of road, width of road, shoulder surfaces, railroad crossing clearances and bottoming out, overpasses, tight and narrow turning lanes, parked vehicles and frequent grade changes. Crew prep is essential and should be a part of the job plan and job training. The team should be briefed each day to identify the responsibilities of all crew members. The crew should know it is empowered; everyone has the authority to stop the transport if something looks unsafe or when someone is unsure. In the event of a complication, crews should be informed of how to regroup and formulata mitigation plan. There should be an established means of communication that is limited only to transport issues. Most importantly, crew should embrace these words: When in doubt, call time out! A Task Hazard Analysis (THA) should address all scope of work activities, identify hazards and have a mitigation plan for each, clear channels of communication, the traffic control plan and an “Emergency Preparedness Plan.” And finally: Know the route; ride the route and expect the unexpected. Edwards-Moving_Faktor-5 (2).jpg Edwards Moving performs a night move using it’s Goldhofer Faktor-5 transport system. Keys to a successful night transport Early planning and attention to detail. Anticipate roadway hazards such as guardrails, poles & hydrants that pose obstruction with travel path or turning radius. Preparing a detailed traffic control plan. Thorough due diligence throughout scope of work. Established contingency plan for equipment.

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Why Mobile Technology is Critical to the Global Fight Against COVID-19

Article | April 7, 2020

The last time the world experienced a pandemic on the scale of COVID-19 was the Spanish flu pandemic from 1918 to 1920. All told, 500 million people were infected, and an estimated 35 million people succumbed to the virus. That’s because over a hundred years ago, the medical technology needed to fight that disease was non-existent. There were no lab tests to isolate the virus and no vaccines to treat it. What medical experts did enforce back then were the closures of schools and public places. Citizens were told to stay indoors and were advised against close contact with other people. Instead of placing the thermometer under the tongue or in the ear, the operator simply scans a person’s forehead to obtain an instant temperature reading without any physical contact.

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Benefits of Healthcare Branding

Article | March 12, 2021

Effective Healthcare branding changes how the public perceives a healthcare organization. Brands are all about perceptions. The way your customers perceive your organization determines your brand. That encompasses your doctors, your board members, your nurses, and your patients. The process of healthcare branding helps organizations ensure they are perceived the way they want to be; as trusted, knowledgeable, caring, and experienced. More than a tagline, name, messaging, or logo, the recognizable feeling that these elements induce is your healthcare company's brand. Healthcare branding ensures that these elements meet in a cohesive system informed by positioning and personality and are constantly implemented across your brand's touchpoints. Why is Healthcare Branding So Essential? Healthcare branding was not always so important. Patients had the freedom to select any healthcare provider. Insurance was the principal determiner of their healthcare provider. It depended upon their workplace. Those without insurance got treatment at community clinics and emergency rooms. As you know, times have changed a lot in a big way. Changing the entire healthcare landscape, the Affordable Care Act put patients in the driving seat. Most of the patients now have access to healthcare insurance and successfully manage their own health. Patients without insurance have the options of out-of-pocket online pharmacies and providers. Healthcare providers have changed their performance metrics system to value-based assessments such as patient satisfaction. More than treatment, now the emphasis is on prevention. It has become a market that is direct-to-consumer healthcare. As a result, the consumer has become the controller of the healthcare brand-consumer relationship. As patients have turned empowered consumers, the benefits of healthcare branding have grown to the point that healthcare companies cannot ignore them. If they do, it affects their business. What are the Benefits of Healthcare Branding? Effective healthcare branding, directed by research and a clear strategy, has many valuable benefits: Identify Changing Patient Needs The needs of patients today have changed from the start of COVID-19. Even when a global pandemic hasn’t fundamentally changed the healthcare landscape, patients’ needs are continually evolving. Healthcare branding gives you the tools to understand evolving patient needs better and rebrand your company to meet them. Brand research includes qualitative research (including one-on-one patient interviews) and quantitative analysis. Insights gathered from brand research are critical in optimally positioning a healthcare brand. It is vital during dynamic and unpredictable markets, as in what happened during this COVID-19. Beyond brand research, effective healthcare branding ensures your healthcare brand is continually aligned with shifting market trends and their impact on patient needs. Establish Trust It isn’t easy to think of a quality more essential to a healthcare organization's success than trust. A healthcare brand is broken or made by the degree to which it is trusted by those it serves. When it comes to healthcare branding, trust is conveyed through everything from messaging to visual identity. Photography, colors, and typography all contribute profoundly to perceiving a brand as trustworthy. In healthcare branding, verbal identity is more important than visual brand identity in establishing it as an expert in the healthcare space. Everything from a reassuring, confident voice in its website copy to guides designed to update patients on necessary healthcare topics and regular publication of articles are proven and well-known ways in healthcare branding to build up trust. Set Your Brand Apart from the Competition However, trust is not the only thing needed in the modern age for effective healthcare branding. The days, judging a healthcare organization based on its medical practice's reputation alone have gone. Patients have become empowered consumers as time passed. The competition to treat these empowered consumers too has become increasingly fierce. Here comes the importance of effective healthcare branding, tracking all your online and offline activities, and evaluating them every day. Your healthcare brand is just one among the many other brands for internet-savvy consumers to choose from. First and foremost, all consumer decisions, including patients' decisions, are based on emotions. So, you have to think of ways to persuade your consumers' feelings to help your healthcare branding in the crowded marketplace. Competitive differentiation is more vital than ever. Effective healthcare branding makes you find out opportunities and ways for differentiation in the challenging and competitive landscape. And, you can capitalize on these opportunities and ways with powerful storytelling and unique positioning. Improve the Patient Journey Patient experience, as mentioned earlier, is a game-changer in the healthcare industry today. Healthcare branding gives you various ways to shape and improve patient experience powerfully. After all, a good percentage of patient experience happens outside the healthcare facility these days. The beginning stages of the patient journey are the awareness and consideration stages. Healthcare branding tools, such as content marketing, are critical in influencing patients in these stages. A website of your healthcare brand can make or break your patient’s pre-treatment experience. It is the selection phase of the patient journey. A premium and well-designed website optimized for conversion will enrich the patients' online experience, looking to book an appointment or answer a question. Healthcare branding is helpful in defining the patient treatment experience. When correctly leveraged, healthcare branding allows your healthcare brand to enhance the patient journey from when the patient hears about the brand to the moment of finishing the treatment. At every patient journey stage, healthcare branding fosters patient trust, builds patient loyalty, and reinforces patient-provider relationships. Takeaway Modern healthcare companies are operating in a competitive landscape where healthcare branding is more important than ever. Patients have become informed and empowered consumers. Digital healthcare brands have redefined the marketplace. Healthcare branding is vital if your healthcare company hopes to stand out from the rest and develop lasting and meaningful relationships with your patients. Fortunately, there are many ways to differentiate your healthcare brand and make it sounds unique meaningfully. Positioning, identity, storytelling, and patient experience represent a powerful area where healthcare brands can better align themselves with their patients' needs and stand out from the competition. Frequently Asked Questions Why is healthcare branding important? Healthcare branding helps you effectively project the personality of your healthcare organization and products. A good thought process to brand your healthcare product will make people remember you forever. What is hospital branding? Hospital branding is the process of making your healthcare organization be perceived better by potential clients. Effective branding makes your patients remember you through the best patient experience and the organization's external look. What are the three branding strategies? There are many effective branding strategies. Line extension, brand extension, and new brand strategy are essential types of branding strategies. You can have any strategy based on the nature of your product.

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Spotlight

BioReference Laboratories

BioReference is the third largest full service clinical diagnostic laboratory in the U.S. providing testing and related services to physician offices, clinics, hospitals, long term care facilities, employers, governmental units and correctional institutions. We offer a comprehensive test list focusing on molecular diagnostics, anatomical pathology, genetics, and women’s health. Moreover, through its GeneDx subsidiary, BioReference has an international presence in more than 50 countries around the world.

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