What U.S. Medical Systems Can Learn From Hawaii and Alaska

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A recent New York Times article entitled “In Hawaii’s health system, lessons for lawmakers” opens with a story of a Honolulu employee at a U.S.-based ice-cream chain who has health insurance through that chain.

While the chain typically doesn’t offer health insurance to its employees on the mainland, it has to do so in the “Aloha state” due to health industry regulations there.

Hawaii makes your employer guarantee you health coverage

Hawaii was the first state to mandate what is effectively universal healthcare for every person who works, and their families…and they did it all the way back in 1974.

And like a dream-version of those no-medical-exam insurance ads on TV, no one can be denied coverage. It’s state law.

While they were at it, state legislators mandated clearly-defined boundaries to force competing insurers to keep costs under control. Continue reading “What U.S. Medical Systems Can Learn From Hawaii and Alaska”

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Will Healthcare Reform Change Nursing?

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healthcare-reform-nursingHealthcare reform, specifically the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) is here.  The Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, was signed into law in 2010. Although not all aspects of the program have been implemented, in October of 2013, some phases of the act have been rolled out. Continue reading “Will Healthcare Reform Change Nursing?”

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Could Telehealth Nursing be the Answer to the Healthcare Crisis?

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Could Telehealth Nursing be the Answer to the Healthcare Crisis?

Telehealth nursing is not a new concept, but it has recently started to emerge as an important component of quality care. An emerging picture of healthcare includes nurses taking a more proactive approach to patient care, in person, on the telephone, the web, and even through face-to-face tablet devices. Faced with the growing needs of an aging population, the shifting ground of healthcare issues, and the financial crisis sweeping the nation, the medical community needs innovative new solutions to meet the needs of the public, and telehealth is a practical, economic solution. Continue reading “Could Telehealth Nursing be the Answer to the Healthcare Crisis?”

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Could a Facebook-Style App Help Doctors Help Patients?

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DoximityOne U.S. medical center recently estimated it received about 50,000 faxes a month for consults and referrals, and sent about 10,000 faxes in the same period.

While this may seem absurd to any non-medical professional in an age of email, smartphones, networked tablets, and social media, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has prevented doctors from exchanging information without “reasonable safeguards” (including via email and Facebook) since 1996.

Doximity 2Getting around the red tape

For doctors looking to share life-improving patient information with other medical professionals, a HIPAA-compliant, physician-only network launched a year ago by Doximity (created by a group of former Epocrates execs) called iRounds has convinced approximately 7% of all the doctors in America to create and use roughly 35,000 secure accounts to quickly share patient information

After a detailed verification process (which includes a credit check and a comparison of supplied credentials to the American Medical Association’s database) a multi-step sign-in similar to what your bank uses online lets physicians securely and legally exchange patient records, test results, and other data with specialists. In doing so, such physicians could be paving the way for a new standard, where a more efficient consultation process could make a huge difference for time-critical analysis. Continue reading “Could a Facebook-Style App Help Doctors Help Patients?”

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8 Countries Doing Electronic Health Records Right

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It’s relatively easy to implement something if you’re Belgium…not so much if you’re China. At least, that seems to be the case when launching any sort of new state-wide system: especially to replace anything that’s been running for decades or more.

In the case of efforts to adopt electronic health records (or EHRs), U.S. states, hospitals, and individuals have made progress in the last decade, but not as quickly as some other countries, whether those countries are similarly large with similarly-entrenched health records systems, or not.
Continue reading “8 Countries Doing Electronic Health Records Right”

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How a Republican White House Could Change Healthcare

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Republican Heath Care
According to a recent poll…Actually who knows what the polls or voters will say in the coming months?

Come November 6, things in Washington could stay largely unchanged or shift radically, depending on the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.

What Could Change? Continue reading “How a Republican White House Could Change Healthcare”

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