Saturday, April 14, 2012

Enforcement of HIPAA Standard Compliance

Enacted by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA comprises of Title I and Title II. As a protection for health insurance coverage, Title I of HIPAA takes care of insurance claims for workers if they lose their jobs or change their profession. Known also as the Administrative Simplification or AS provisions, Title II demands the necessity for establishing of national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans and employers along with the requirement of establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions. The AS or the Administrative Simplification provisions include privacy and security for health data so that there would be improvement in the nation's health care system with the use of electronic data interchange in the U.S. health care system.

Title II of HIPAA concerns itself with the offenses and misappropriation of healthcare by setting criminal and civil penalties. Title II of HIPAA has created programs to control abuse and fraudulent use of the healthcare system. Title II depends on the Department of Health and Human Services or HHS to form rules for healthcare system efficiency and for the spread of awareness of healthcare and related information. Designed to apply to the rules of the 'covered entities' as stipulated by the HHS and HIPAA, these entities evolve over billing services, transmission of health care data by healthcare providers, health plans, community health information systems and healthcare clearinghouses. The HHS has added on or published five rules with regard to Title II or the Administrative Simplification that ranges over the Unique Identifiers Rule, the Transactions and Code Sets Rule, the Privacy Rule, the Enforcement Rule and the Security Rule.

Implementation of Efficiency

The latest version of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act standard electronic claims and related transactions by January 1st, should be implemented by the covered health care providers that include covered dentists, but the enforcement grants time till March 31st. With the HIPAA 5010 transaction set of standards specifying an orderly organization of the electronic data interchange communications content deployed in healthcare, these data evolve over claim status inquiries, electronic claims, claim attachments, eligibility inquiry and response amongst other specifications. According to the announcement of delayed enforcement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Office of E-Health Standards and Services said that covered entities and trading counterparts would be ready to comply by January 1st. The OESS is also aware that many of the covered entities are still waiting for the software upgrades that are necessary for compliance.

The ADA advises that all covered dentists should organize their practice management and electronic claims software vendors to be ready by 5010. If dental billing systems need to upgrade to be able support version 5010, the dentists should verify the same with the vendor. Dental offices that go through clearinghouses to transmit claims electronically will be required to upgrade systems and curtail claims that do not synchronize with the latest information. Version 5010 specifications are not part of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules but have their origins in the HIPAA Transactions and Code Sets regulations. Clearinghouses that dental offices might use to transmit their claims electronically are also required to upgrade their systems and should curtail claims that do not include the latest information. Covered dentists who change submission of claims or who introduce new technology should go through re-evaluation of HIPAA security procedures and policies and update them accordingly.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Common Naturopath Services

A naturopath is a specialist who works in the field of naturopathy. Naturopathy in turn is a form of alternative medicine (meaning not the medicine recommended by national health professionals). Naturopathic medicine is based on the concept of vitalism which is based around the idea of 'vital energy' or an 'energy force'. In naturopathy it is believed that this guides a range of the body's processes such as metabolism, growth, immune system etc. This also favors a holistic approach to medicine by nature, stating that a change to the vital force will affect the entire body rather than just part of it, and meaning that the reverse is also true. By maintaining your health around your whole body you are able to affect other body parts that are seemingly disconnected. Naturopathy in some ways is similar to other traditional forms of medicine such as the belief in 'Qi' in Chinese medicine, and is simply a different interpretation of some of the same ideas. However as an alternative medicine naturopathy is not recognized by the wider medical community. That is to say that while some doctors may be sympathetic to the concepts, they will not generally recommend naturopathy and there is no consensus in the wider scientific community. That said some people will find that naturopathy has benefits to them and that they can gain from it when used supplementally alongside other medicines. At the same time, for mild complaints and to maintain steady health, they might choose to use naturopathy instead of medicines and drugs that can have sometimes unwanted negative side effects for the body.

It is also worth noting that naturopathy is a wide school that covers a range of practices and modalities. While some of these will appeal to some people, others will be less desirable so it's a matter of being discerning and of picking what makes sense to you and what seems to work for your particular condition.

When you see a naturopath your session will normally begin with a long consultation. Here you will be interviewed and that interview will focus on lifestyle, medical history and a range of physical features and even personality traits. The idea here is already the holistic approach - that any of these seemingly unrelated matters might be connected to symptoms, and this can flag up issues that the person wasn't previously aware of. Traditional naturopathy focuses on lifestyle changes that will then help to support the body's natural ability to heal itself. Traditionally a naturopath will not prescribe any kind of medicine, serum or potion, though this can again vary from place to place. However as naturopathy also includes homeopathy, you might find yourself being recommended a homeopathic remedy which are highly diluted concentrations of active agents designed to encourage the body to heal itself from conditions. The substance is chosen because it mimics the effects and symptoms of the condition, and the idea is then that the body will attempt to combat that effect and will at the same time combat the original problem as it does. Other methods include everything from ozone therapy, abstination from alcohol and smoking, fasting, meditation and manipulation. Note that you should always consult a doctor as well.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Medical Outsourcing - Some Fact Revelation

The world is shrinking. Did you say what? What we mean by it is we are getting better connected and are less defined and bound by our geographic and national boundaries. The current economic downtrend has resulted in a marked decrease in benefits in most of the affected countries. Some of the consequences includes unemployment, loss of healthcare benefits or marked decrease in healthcare benefits. Despite the economic downtown the healthcare costs are still going up. This is mainly due to the hospitalization costs in the developed world. For example, the surgeon and anesthesiologist would make less than six thousand dollars in a surgery that would cost over $50,000 after insurance price negotiations. Where would all this money go? The answer being the high cost of hospitalization has driven up the costs for many of the procedures requiring surgical intervention.

The same $50,000 procedure after the insurance might cost over $80,000 for the uninsured patient. When the patient cannot afford the insurance in the first place, how can one expect him to pay for such massive bills? This has led to skipping on the preventive care among many uninsured and under insured patients and have resulted in the increase of otherwise preventable surgical interventions. These factors have helped the medical tourism industry a lot. The patients are consumers first. A typical consumer generally shops around for the best price available and also tries to get some coupons on top of the best price. And how is this scenario any different? As mentioned before, the world is becoming a smaller place. Most of the products are coming from China. The consumer loves his country made products but don't have much a chance of what to buy because of complex market pressures. The same thing is happening in the field of medical tourism.

The motives for health tourism are different for patients in different countries. For example, some countries in the Middle East and many countries in Africa do not have facilities or expertise to carry out complex life saving surgeries. And many patients cannot afford the prices charged by western countries. And it is also a fact that obtaining a visa also poses significant problem to these patients. Hence the countries like India with enormous hospitals with world class standards and rack bottom prices have become the obvious choice. One would be strprised by the capabilities of these hospitals. Many American patients have commented that the facilities and the service have surpassed that of many American hospitals.

The corporate world is eagerly looking for a way to curb the healthcare costs. They are noticing that the healthcare costs are going up. They also notice that their employees are paying bigger portion of their salaries every year. But this has not resulted in increased care. On the contrary, one would notice that the benefits are constantly dropping with higher deductibles and out of pocket costs. Many employers are today receptive to the idea of incorporating medical tourism as one of the strategies to curb the problem of increasing medical costs. And some have already begun the pilot projects to encourage the employees to utilize medical tourism as one of the alternatives to bring down the costs. If utilized and implemented properly, this should translate in to significant savings in healthcare for the employers and employees alike.

Land That Job Affordably: Where to Go For a Pre Employment Physical Exam

You've been looking and searching, scouring websites and newspapers. You've been posting requests to friends on Facebook, dialing the phone like a mad person and finally... finally, you land the new job! It's time to break out the champagne and celebrate, right? What, not yet? There's one more thing to do? Ah, the pre employment physical exam! Don't worry about it. It's a piece of cake. You're as healthy as a mule (you smell better, but you're as healthy as one), nothing can go wrong. Right?

Well, hopefully. Assuming that you have been eating foodstuffs other than fried chicken and Slurpees your entire lifetime, all should be fine. A pre employment physical exam is a run-of-the-mill exam. Of course, the doctor will do everything in his or her power to alert you to any outstanding or newly found medical problems, but they also realize how important this test is for you. In other words, that it is this test-and at this point only this test-standing between you and a brand new, regular paycheck.

A pre employment physical exam is a set of tests and procedures that a doctor will perform by eye, hand and tool. It will be quick and easy on you-not painful-and hopefully affordable to boot. None of the tests will be invasive and you should be out the doctor's office within an hour. We've all had these exams performed on us at some point in our lives and they are nothing to worry about. Most of us have had them growing up before we were shipped off to summer camp, or perhaps before we attended a special school or program that required one. There is also the physical exam one will undergo if they join the armed forces-but that type of physical exam is different from a pre employment in several different ways.

One thing a potential employer may ask of you is that you prove to them that you are not currently partaking in any illegal drugs. In this case, the doctor will do a drug test to see if you have any non-prescription drugs in your system. When it comes to the "street drugs" testing procedures there is a standard five panel urine test that is commonly used. The drugs that this five panel test looks for are marijuana, cocaine, PCP, opiates (such as Vicodin, morphine and Oxycontin) and amphetamines. It is rather typical for a pre employment physical exam to include these tests.

Other features of a pre employment physical exam may include your medical history, your vitals (height, weight, blood pressure and temperature), vision screening, and a heart test to make sure you are as strong as that mule. (Note: one does not need to be as healthy as a beast of burden to pass a pre employment physical exam!)

Another thing a pre employment physical exam may include is your vaccination history. Many employers want to make sure that their employees are up to date with their inoculations. Many of us have already received these as children and if a booster is required can be easily provided by your medical clinic.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Important Factors in Choosing The Material for Nurse Scrubs

Working in a hospital often means that you have to be alert all the time. We all know just how intense it is to be in an environment where you are always on the go. Every minute is crucial espdcially when you are called on. In other words, workers in this type of institution are expected to be in their best shape. They are expected to be two steps ahead. Now, even their uniforms have already evolved into something better -- perhaps much more comforting, if I may say so.

Being in a room where patients need cure for their diseases can be somewhat scary. That is one of the reasons why medical practitioners are expected to wear their own uniforms. These uniforms are not just for identity purposes. These serve as protection against harmful bacteria or other microorganisms they've been in contact with. Aside from that, they also need to do measures in preventing the contamination of these microbes to other people -- healthy and sick alike.

If you are not familiar with the medical field, you may not know that medical scrubs are unlike any other kinds of uniforms. Since they are made particularly for hospital setting, the fabric and material dries faster than usual. Furthermore, the uniform should ideally be easy to wash -- meaning, stains can be removed easily.

Another major element that is expected in a medical uniform is the weight. Of course, since these medical practitioners are always on the go, they need to have a lightweight uniform that flows with them wherever they go.

Medical practitioners often group themselves according to profession. This can be seen through their uniforms. Aside from being an effective way to identify their roles in the hospital, it can also be somewhat fun for the institution. According to experts, even nurse uniforms can affect the aura of a medical unit. Like for example, nurses who are working in a Pediatric Oncology unit can lighten up a child's mood by wearing a uniform with cartoon characters. In the same way, older patients can experience a slight tranquility when seeing a medical practitioner wearing hues of green and blue. Although this may seem a little petty for some, research says that a slight change in mood can affect the overall wellness of a patient, sick or not.

Working in a hospital can be very stressful. You may feel ecstatic when your patient gets discharged, but you can also be at your lowest after trying to revive your patient to no avail. Either way, the hospital mood is just like a rollercoaster ride. Wearing fun and stylish scrubs is just one of the things that can somewhat help in lifting your moods after a draining shift.

Medical scrubs are now getting the attention of many medical practitioners. Indeed, a lot of people now are looking for ways in lightening up the mood of hospitals. After all, this is the place where sick people gets cured, and not the other way around, right?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Health IT - Five Benefits of Managed Network Services to Medical Practices

Small and medium-sized medical practices that remain hesitant about Managed Network Services are not realizing the value or the peace of mind that comes with having this service. Some of the advantages of using a Managed Network Services provider that specializes in health IT include better cost control and a more comprehensive and up-to-date IT infrastructure that's dependable, stable, and allows medical practices to comply with regulatory compliances.

Medical practices that choose the right Managed Network Services provider can expect to reap the following five benefits:

1) Reduce cost - In today's healthcare environment, it's important to be as cost-effective as possible. Especially in health IT, where unbridled or poorly managed systems cost is extremely high, it's essential to have a system that works within a budget but doesn't compromise on quality. Managed Services is the most feasible and practical way to accomplish that, especially in the long term.

2) Deal with increasingly complex health IT solutions - With both hardware and software components of health IT systems constantly evolving, medical practices with limited budgets may very well find themselves left behind over time. But with Managed Services, medical practices are able to enjoy the advantages of the latest health IT solutions at a fraction of the cost enabling the practice to provide the best possible care to their patients.

3) Gives healthcare organizations a better, more dependable IT infrastructure - Especially for smaller medical practices, it can be tedious and expensive to maintain an in-house IT staff. Not to mention that medical practices run the risk of stretching resources too thinly, which can compromise the quality and output of the IT department. This service allows the practice to have a stable, responsive, and dependable IT arm that's dedicated to meeting the specific needs of the practice in a cost-effective manner.

4) Offers proactive performance and availability monitoring - 24×7 Availability Monitoring and Performance Monitoring should be included as part of the services suite. 24x7 Availability Monitoring provides real-time alerts when a critical device has lost connectivity, thus affecting the practice ability to deliver care to patients. Performance Monitoring allows the ability to view and analyze the performance metrics of the practice IT infrastructure over time, including CPU utilization, memory utilization, disk usage, network utilization and others. These metrics provide the ability to understand when hardware is ready to fail, before it happens, further shortening the amount of downtime the practice experiences.

5) Helps medical practices maintain compliance - Maintaining HIPAA regulatory compliance with regards to the security of patient records and patient privacy is of critical importance for all healthcare organizations. Managed Services helps medical practices to not only fully understand all the requirements under HIPAA, but to also adhere remain in compliance will all requirements.

Managed Network Services helps medical practices considerably reduce IT related expenses while freeing up clinicians to concentrate their focus and efforts on the most important thing, their patient's care and outcomes.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Information On Child Immunizations

Immunizations are very important in every new-born baby, therefore are necessary and must be given in each and every child during their growth. Immunizations help the babies before there antibodies are strong enough to fight for themselves. They assist in preventing various diseases such as: tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, hepatitis, yellow fever, measles, and pneumonia, just to mention but a few of them.

The vaccines are given in intervals of the babies grow, that is they are given at birth, after 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks, 6 months and at 9 months. All these ages of the babies age the vaccination are either repeated or they are given immunity against a certain disease.

Types of vaccines.

1. Bacillus Guerin - these is the vaccine that protects a child against tuberculosis, it is administered at birth or before two weeks. The vaccination is on the left arm just below the elbow joint and is administered under the skin, forming a blister which later forms a mark to prove immunization.

2. Polio vaccine - this protects against poliomyelitis disease which inhibits the child's growth. It's administered orally in the mouth two drops per dose and there are four doses i.e. at birth, 6 weeks, 10 weeks and at 14 weeks.

3. Diphtheria Pertussis - this vaccine protects against various disease i.e. diphtheria, tetanus and hepatitis A. It's administered on the left upper thigh and is given in three doses i.e. at 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks.

4. Pneumonia vaccine - protects against pneumonia in small children. It's administered on the left thigh a dose of 0.5 millimeters. It's also given in three doses at 6, 10 and 14 weeks. It's normally associated with high fever few hours after immunization.

5. Measles vaccine - protects against measles and is administered at the upper right arm and is given at nine months.

6. Vitamin A - a child is given at six months and there on after every 6 months the dose is repeated until a child attains 5 years of age. Children below 1 year are given a dose of 100,000 I.U and after one year the dose is increased to 200,000 I.U.

All these immunizations are important to every child since their immune system is not strong as yet since their antibodies are not fully developed. Therefore every parent should ensure that their children have been immunized against all these diseases.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Placing a 15 Lead Monitor/Defibrillator Into Service at Your Fire Department or Ambulance Company

Placing a 15 Lead Monitor/Defibrillator into Service at your Fire Department or Ambulance Company

In a perfect world, no Fire Department or Ambulance Company should be without a 15 Lead Monitor/Defibrillator. This equipment saves lives and is integral to victim survival. It is in fact the established standard in emergency care for Advanced Life Support (ALS) teams.

The older 12-lead monitor units are no longer state of the art and they do not offer all of the life-saving technology that is available in the 15 lead unit that is available today. They do not have ability to monitor End-tidal CO2 (EtCO2) for both intubated and non-intubated patients, SpO2, Carbon Monoxide and Methemoglobinability and Glucose monitoring. Without these monitoring abilities it is possible for ambulance or ALS personnel to get dangerous false reads. For example, a paramedic may incorrectly conclude that a patient is suffering cardiac complication verses a diabetic one. Treatment for these conditions are very different and the wrong treatment can be disastrous.

The new 15 lead units have 15 available leads and include a metronome to guide CPR compressions and ventilations. Energy is available up to 360J. They have both semi-automated and manual defibrillation with capnography, external pacing, 15-lead electrocardiography and other monitoring functions.

Older units have display screens on the units that are often become difficult to read, especially in bright sunlight. Screen information display is vital to decision making on the part of the attendant. Mistakes must be avoided as the new units will possess currently available technology.

New models all are bluetooth enabled and can transmit critical data to the receiving hospital; the hospital would be ready and able to immediately take the true STEMI into the catherization lab and eliminate a possible 15-30 minute hospital delay for the victim.

A 15-lead cardiac monitors with EKG/AED with set-up assistance and warranty should cost about $28,000.

It is important to note that all data collected regarding a patient or victim is automatically transmitted to the appropriate hospital where we are transporting said patient. This feature is extremely important as it affects the level of care that the patient will subsequently receive. Paramedics will be automatically informing the host hospital every detail about the patient, yet they will not have to take valuable time and effort away from the patient in order to do so. This is extremely important, especially if a hospital is far in proximity.

The monitors will improve the efficiency of any operation by increasing the number of diagnostic tools that can provide better patient care.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Significant Functions and Uses of ECG Machines

The Electrocardiogram or the ECG machine is one of the most significant equipments used in hospitals to monitor the activity of the human heart. The electrocardiogram is basically the illustration of the electrical activity of the heart which is represented on a piece of paper. It is usually illustrated in the form of waves. The physiology of the human heart can be recorded with the help of the electrocardiogram. These results can be diagnosed and analyzed only by expert heart specialists. It is mainly used to diagnose a large number of diseases related to the heart.

The machine was first developed by Augustus Waller in the year 1870. In the year 1903 Willem Einthoven discovered the first ECG machine which became popular in the later days. It is still considered to be one of the most commendable discoveries in the history of mankind. As years passed by, the machine evolved in many ways with additional modifications and advanced features.

Functions of the ECG Machine

The main function of the ECG machine is to monitor the functions of the heart. These machines include a number of electrode leads which are attached to the limbs and chest of the person, while conducting an electrocardiogram test. The electrical activity of the heart is measured and recorded by the electrodes. Every heart beat is represented in the form of waves which is printed on a strip of paper.

Significant Uses of Electrocardiogram

The ECG machine is one of the least expensive and invasive method used by cardiologists all over the world. It is also one of the most effective equipments to conduct routine tests to evaluate the functions of the heart. Useful information pertaining to the electrical configurations and the rhythms of the heart can be obtained with the help of these machines.

These machines can be used to detect the thickening of the heart walls. Doctors use the electrocardiogram machines to evaluate current or old heart attacks in a person. The wave readings depicted on the paper illustrate the functions of the heart and the presence of any type of heart beat variations. The disturbances in the heart rhythm can be easily diagnosed with the help of these machines.

The electrocardiogram machine is considered to be the most efficient equipment that is both non-invasive and safe. It seldom requires any prior arrangements. It is also known to be one of the least expensive methods of diagnosing the functions of the heart.

ECG is often recommended to patients suffering from any type of heart disease. Patients suffering from shortness of breath, chest pain, weakness, discomfort while breathing, anxiety, dizziness and nausea are recommended an electrocardiogram by the doctors. It gives a clear illustration of the nature of the cardiac issues in a person. The waves illustrated on the electrocardiogram vary accordingly.

An ECG machine is indispensable in the field of medical science as it helps to diagnose different types of heart diseases quite easily and effectively. It is simply impossible to evaluate the electrical functions of the heart without the use of these magnificent devices

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Importance of Getting a Second Medical Opinion

If you were having building work done on your house, you would not take the first quote that was given to you. Instead, you would ring around until you were sure of a fair price. Yet when it comes to getting a second opinion from a doctor, many people are often too shy to question a doctor's assessment, or to ask the necessary questions. Your body is the most important thing you will ever own, and before embarking on any treatment or procedure, asking for a second opinion can give you piece of mind and can help reassure you that you're making the right decision.

Even though doctors are trained medical professionals, you as the patient are sometimes best-placed to comment on your symptoms and how treatments are affecting you. Just because a doctor is in a position of authority does not mean that you can't challenge his opinion. Most doctors like to receive feedback from their patients, as it helps them to make a more informed assessment. If you think a treatment is affecting you in a particular way, then telling your doctor will help him amend your medication, and help to suggest a better course.

Asking for a second opinion will not offend your doctor, and it is a standard practice. Doctors regularly consult with one another, so consulting with a second doctor is a far more common than you may expect. Your doctor may also appreciate the fact that he is able to share the diagnostic process with another professional, particularly if your case is rare or difficult to define. Although asking for a second opinion may seem as if you are confronting your doctor, he or she is unlikely to view it this way and will probably be far more amenable to the suggestion than you may think.

Getting a second medical opinion often helps give you peace of mind, and ultimately that is worth overcoming any embarrassment you may feel. Asking for a second opinion can help give you more confidence in the diagnosis and/or your treatment plan- after all, doctors are not immune from making the occasional mistake. Having a positive attitude can help you deal with any on-going health problems you may have, and if getting a second medical opinion helps contribute to that positive outlook, then it's entirely worth doing.

Remember that asking for the opinion of another doctor does not imply that you're unhappy with your current doctor; it simply shows that you take personal responsibility for your health and want to explore all your options. By seeking the advice of multiple doctors, you can actually improve your relationship with your main GP, as you'll be better able to communicate at his or her level.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Enrollment Period Ends for Medicare Beneficiaries Whose Plan Left the Area

Each year Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans or PDP's make changes to their prograls. These changes must be approved by CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services). If the changes are not approved, or if the company determines that a certain plan they offer is not profitable, they will discontinue offering the plan for the next year. When this happens, the company offering the plan must send a notice to all members currently enrolled into the plan to notify them that they will not be able to continue with their current plan for the next year.

What Do You Do Now?

If you receive one of these notices be sure not to panic! I know change is difficult, but sometimes it actually can be a blessing in disguise! First of all, you will have plenty of time to make changes to your Medicare coverage. Secondly, you are always protected under the Medicare system. These protections include special allowances to enable you to change to other Medicare coverage. You are even granted an SEP which allows you to be able to sign up for a Medicare supplement without having to answer health questions! So, if your health has decreased, or if you just want the added protection of the Medicare supplement you are now able to join!

How Much Time Do I Have?

February marks the end of the Enrollment Period granted by CMS for those Medicare Beneficiaries who lost their coverage due to their plan leaving the area. CMS will send out a notice saying they are granting the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals affected by Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plan (PDP) non-renewals (NRs) or service area reductions (SARs) to the end of February. In the past, you were only given until the end of January to make the necessary changes to your coverage. These notices are usually sent out prior to November giving you more than four months to find a suitable replacement for your current coverage.

Don't confuse this Special Enrollment Period (SEP) with the Annual Disenrollment Period (ADP)! The ADP runs from January 1st until February 14th, and only allows you to drop your current Medicare Advantage plan and pick up a PDP. This enrollment period is for all Medicare beneficiaries and is not an SEP. For more information on this election period visit my blog post about the Annual Disenrollment Period.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What You Should Know About Color-Coded Uniforms

For sure you have noticed that medical personnel's uniforms are color-coded nowadays. Have you tried to ask yourself what these colors connote? Gone were the days that you only see white as the only color of uniforms off medical personnel because medical uniforms evolved with time and you can see different colors uniforms of medical professionals nowadays.

Medicine is an important profession because it connotes unselfish service to the people. For years, medical personnel like doctors, nurses and dentists wore uniforms which are distinct from other professions in the industry. These uniforms not only signify their noble service to the people, but also enhance their honor and dignity.

History of medical uniforms

Even though medicine existed since the earliest time, it was only at the start of the 19th century that doctors performed surgical procedures. However, even such important task, they performed surgery with their street clothes on. Because surgery is a bloody process, they would often ruin their clothes with blood and other fluids. To protect their clothes, they started to wear butcher's apron during surgery and soon replaced with the white uniform. Like their street uniform, the white uniforms easily get dirt and the sight of blood on their uniform is not only untidy but unsanitary and risky for other patients as well. In response to the problem, their uniforms are changed to green during surgery.

Not only doctor's uniform evolved along with time, but nurses and other medical professionals as well. Previously, nurses used to wear aprons, caps and their standard white uniform. In 1990s their uniforms are changed to medical scrubs to provide convenience and comfort while performing their tedious tasks. This trend started in the United States and emulated by other countries worldwide.

The growing trend of medical scrubs is attributed to the ease, convenience, comfort and availability of these uniforms. Moreover, medical scrubs allow medical professionals to protect their personal clothing from the dirt and infection while performing their duties in hospitals and other health facilities.

These uniforms are not only required in their medical profession but it also serve as a tracking symbol for hospital administrators to monitor and to identify medical personnel. They are worn to protect their patients and to prevent the accumulation and onset of bacteria, germs and other dangerous substances in the facility.

At present, you can find different types, designs and colors of medical scrubs worn in the medical society. These uniforms are convenient and comfortable to wear because they are made from the finest and high-grade cotton material. They come in jacket style, fitted laboratory coats and gown-like coats.

Medical experts believed that colors affect the mood and attitude of the wearer and the patients who see them. In this connection, you can find specific colors of scrubs in medical facilities. For children's clinic, doctors and nurses wear happy and attractive uniforms with friendly prints to get the attention of children and to make them at ease while they are waiting for their turn.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Health Care Innovation Challenge Grant Program

The Centers for Medicare and & Medicaid Services, more usually referred to as CMS, is a federal government agency operating in the United States Department of Health and Human Services that is basically responsible for administering medicare programs and collaborating with state governments to administer medicaid services.

The grants and initiatives of the CMS are all aimed towards the achievement of its primary agency mission which is to guarantee health care security to all its beneficiaries.

In keeping with this mission, the Centers for Medicare and & Medicaid Services has recently established the Health Care Innovation Challenge in an effort to solicit proposals to establish interesting new models of service delivery that can potentially deliver the three-part aim of better health, better health care, and finally, lower costs through the improved quality of Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program.

The projects that'll be financed under this program should be able to pave the way towards the achievement of the following objectives:

a) Inspiring a broad set of creativity partners that would help in the process of determining and evaluating new care delivery and payments models that are all primarily based on areas that concentrate on producing better care, better health, and the reduction of costs through substantial improvements for the benefit of the identified target populations.

b) Identifying new models of work-force development, deployment, and related training and education programs and initiatives which will support new models either directly or through the utilization of new infrastructure activities.

c) Supporting able innovators who can swiftly deploy care improvement models within six months into the award period, through the creation of new ventures or the expansion of current initiatives to new populations of patients and health care centers.

Additionally, the CMS has also specified that the proposals to be submitted under this grant significantly concentrate on high cost/high-risk groups such as those communities with multiple chronic diseases and/or mental health or substance abuse issues, poor health status resulting from numerous socio-economic and environmental factors, multiple medical conditions, high cost individuals, or old age.

The Centers for Medicare and & Medicaid Services is set to administer a total amount of $900,000,000 to financially support the activities comprised in the program.

The types of establishments and organizations who are conshdered able to submit an application under this program are those of provider groups, health systems, private sector organizations, faith-based organizations, city and township governments, local governments, public-private firms, and for-profit setups.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Reasons to Visit Mexico for Medical Treatment

Medical Tourism in Mexico is on the rise. Every year, a sizable number of Americans head south for various kinds of medical treatments. Among the most popular medical treatments being availed in Mexico are weight loss surgery, dental treatment and plastic surgery. With the skyrocketing costs of healthcare in the U.S, it is not surprising that many Americans have started looking for affordable medical treatments overseas. Most medical procedures in Mexico cost only about a third of what the same medical procedures would cost in the U.S.

However, is it only the lure of huge savings that has made Mexico one of the busiest Medical Tourism destinations in the world? A closer look at the Medical Tourism industry of Mexico reveals that there are several other benefits, besides the affordability of the medical treatments, which have made Mexico a pioneer in Medical Tourism arena.

The World Health Organization's rankings of the world's health systems in the year 2000 placed Mexico at rank 61 among 190 countries of the world. The internationally accredited hospitals at Mexico use state of the art technology for the medical treatments. The high quality healthcare at Mexico is available at a fraction of the cost of medical procedures in the U.S and in European nations. A number of consumer surveys of medical tourists indicate that almost 90% of the medical tourists who visited Mexico for healthcare were satisfied with the treatment that they received and found the health standards to be comparable with those maintained in the U.S.

Unlike the long queues formed for availing medical treatment in the U.S, Mexico health care system provides immediate medical care to the medical tourists. This is a blessing for those who wish to escape the extensive waiting lists for medical treatment in their home countries. At Mexico, the medical tourists get quick access to healthcare that fits in well in their schedule.

Many of the doctors at Mexico have received their training in Western countries and are also affiliated with International medical boards. The medical staff at the hospitals speaks fluent English making it convenient for the medical tourists to converse freely with the staff.

The low-cost of rail, air and road travel to Mexico, coupled with the low costs of lodging make Mexico a great destination for combining a holiday with the medical treatment. The exotic nation, with its beautiful beaches and fascinating Mayan pyramids, has much to offer to the medical tourist who is scouting for an affordable medical treatment coupled with a rejuvenating holiday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wearing Lead Aprons For X-Ray Protection

Medical diagnosis and the treatment of patients often require the use of equipment that emits X-rays to produce radiographs of areas of the patient's body otherwise only accessible through surgery. X-rays and radiographs can be used to look into recesses of the lungs, the heart and the bowels, to examine soft tissues for the presence of foreign materials or to determine if a bone is fractured. Dentists use these films to judge the health of teeth. They sometimes must be taken before other diagnostic procedures, such as surgical biopsies or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests, can proceed.

Frequent or prolonged exposure to the radiological materials that produce X-rays is a risk both for patients and for medical professionals. Radiation exposure can cause damage to the cells of the body, especially the reproductive organs, if used incorrectly. Side-effects can continue years after exposure. One solution to this problem is the use of lead aprons, often referred to as X-ray aprons.

Lead stops radiation, and the traditional X-ray apron contains layers of lead mixed with other prohibitive metals and is separated by layers of sewn nylon and other synthetic fabrics. An apron containing lead must ensure there is no contact between human skin and the lead, because lead exposure itself can be a health hazard. There are many varied styles, but the most common aprons drape the front of the body from the shoulders on down, protecting the abdomen, chest and the reproductive areas from harm. Some aprons are smaller, intended to cover only a specific part of the body. Often for chest X-rays, the patient will be covered by a small apron that shields only the reproductive regions.

In addition to the patient, medical professionals should also wear lead aprons when performing radiological procedures. Sometimes patients may require physical support in order to properly place the body part to be X-rayed. X-raying children may also require staff to be near the child to assist and comfort. The staff doing so in both situations should be covered with an X-ray apron.

Some medical professionals whose entire day is spent near radiological sources may decide to wear radiation protection continually, a good idea because of the health danger from prolonged exposure even to minimal doses of radiation. There are different styles and materials available for radiation protection. Alternative garment technologies offer lighter-weight composite materials that block radiation just as well as pure lead.