EMR Is the Building Block for Healthcare Software

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act encourages the optimum use of technology in providing healthcare to the residents. A well maintained database of health records is the first step in integrating technology in the healthcare and health insurance sector.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is a healthcare software that precisely addresses this problem of storing the medical information of every individual. An EMR, as defined by the National Alliance for Health Information Technology (NAHIT), is an electronic record of health-related information on an individual that is created, gathered, managed, and consulted by licensed clinicians and staff from a single organization who are involved in the individual’s health and care.

The biggest advantage of EMR is that it is much easier to maintain the data and it can be accessed easily by anyone who is authorized to do so. It saves time and money as patients do not have to undergo repeated tests when they change doctors. Also in cases of emergencies, a doctor can easily check the medical history of the patient before administering healthcare.

Here is a look at some of the other advantages of adopting the Electronic Medical Record software:

1. With all the medical information in electronic form, it will now become much easier to trace date over a period of time.

2. It will be easy to keep a record of the patients who are due for preventive screenings and check-ups.

3. It will be convenient to keep a tab on how the patients are doing on certain parameters such as controlling blood pressures and getting vaccinations.

4. The easily available and well maintained catalogue of health records will facilitate monitoring and improving the overall quality of care within medical practice.

A EMR is basically a compilation of all the patient’ s data such as his basic information, his records of medical consultation check- ups and follow- ups, medical complaints presenting signs and symptoms of the illness, and the impression of the medical doctor examining the patient.

The EMR is also a record of the medical treatment administered to the patient. It includes the medical prescriptions given, the lab tests done, surgeries undergone, name and dose of the drugs and also the duration for which the medicines were prescribed. This will help the new doctor to understand the degree and nature of the disease, give him a basis to start a new prescription and evaluate the efficiency of the treatment. Information about medical history and previous course of treatment will ensure that the new treatment has lesser glitches and is more effective.

The EMR is like the basic framework upon which other useful healthcare software such as EHR (Electronic Health Records), Health Information Exchange, Health Insurance Exchange, Insurance quoting platforms and Quote comparison engines can be built. All this software needs access to medical information about the residents before they can process it further to give the required results.

Can Government Healthcare Work in America?

Much has been written on this site and others, about the fallacy of a successfully run government healthcare delivery system in the United States.

Whether it is labeled single-payer, socialized medicine, national healthcare, etc., it is all the same and it will never work in America. In virtually every nation where the government runs the healthcare system, costs have risen well beyond expectations; long waits for treatment are commonplace; care is rationed and some treatments are denied; and taxes have increased to pay for the unexpected cost increases. There are no truly successful nationalized healthcare systems, when quality of care is compared to the gold standard: The U.S. healthcare system. By most measures however, the U.S. lags behind many other industrialized nations.

According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranks 24th in the world in life expectancy. This statistic alone should be cause for alarm, but upon further examination, we learn that the reasons have little to do with our healthcare system and more to do with the way we drive, what we eat, our violent behavior, our tobacco use, and our substance abuse.

The U.S. spends more on healthcare, per capita, than virtually every other industrialized country. But again, if we examine why, we find that this has much more to do with factors other than the actual cost of healthcare, like legal awards and fees, defensive medicine, malpractice insurance, the high cost of advanced technology, and certainly not least; the high cost that we all incur for the government mandates placed on health insurance companies.

We pay more for prescription drugs than any other country. However, the cost of drugs still remains only about 10% of our total cost of healthcare. Upon further examination, we can thank our own government for this. More on this later.

There is no arguing against significant reform of our healthcare system, but the prescription for the cure cannot be written by our current government. The Democrats in control of the U.S. government have only one fix; more government. They know no other way, it is in their DNA. But even putting aside politics, there is no way for a single payer system to work in America. Here is why…

Our Legal System: The American Bar Association would have us believe that litigation accounts for only 1% of total healthcare costs. This may be true for jury awards, but they are leaving out the biggest drivers of legal costs within the healthcare system. Things like legal fees for the defense, defensive medical practices, and malpractice insurance premiums are not factored in to the ABA figure.

Countries that rank above us in healthcare, according to the W.H.O., all limit plaintiff awards and have nowhere near the medical litigation we have in the U.S. In fact, if we were to just copy the medical-legal reforms of France, we could bring down healthcare costs in a significant way. Healthcare reform without true tort reform is only a haphazard attempt.

Immigration Law Enforcement: Virtually none of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. have healthcare insurance, since one needs a valid Social Security number in order to obtain coverage. Knowing that emergency rooms cannot turn away patients, the illegals have turned so many emergency rooms across the country into their primary care providers and pay nothing. These costs must be paid, so they are shifted to paying customers, driving the cost of an emergency room visit up for everyone except of course, for those who do not pay.

Illegal immigrants get sick, they get pregnant, they get into auto accidents and work-related accidents, they are involved in violent crimes, etc. If one multiplies the likelihood of these events by the millions of illegal immigrants, the result is enormously costly to us all.

Until we take strong measures to secure our borders and rid the country of those here illegally, we will continue to incur these costs.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Drug abuse in the U.S. is higher, per capita, than in any other industrialized country. The insidious drug abuse crisis in this country is a major driver of healthcare costs. Emergency room visits, mental health treatment, counseling and rehabilitation, and criminal activity all place upward pressure on the cost of healthcare.

Alcohol abuse is also responsible for a large percentage of serious auto accidents, which puts tremendous pressure on the system.

Government Mandates on Insurance Coverage: When advocacy groups successfully lobby congress or state governments and pressure them to force insurance companies to cover certain illnesses, it affects us all in the form of higher premiums. Many of us pay for coverage we don’t want or need, but they are forced upon us by our own government. One example is mental illness coverage. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, an advocacy group and lobbyist, successfully coerced government to consider mental illness on par (parody) with physical illness, resulting in the mandate that every health insurance policy must cover mental illness. However, the group didn’t stop there; the scope of coverage was broadened over time to include such things as alcohol counseling, addiction counseling, and medication for shy people (now referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder). Severe mental illness can be catastrophic to the families of the mentally ill. Treating these patients can be very costly and coverage should be available in catastrophic insurance policies. But to mandate that every health insurance policy must cover the mildly depressed or shy or those who have difficulty paying attention drives premiums up for everyone.

The result of this is the expectation that every personality quirk must be treated by a doctor with expensive medicines. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the system. Drugs designed to treat even mild mental illness are some of the costliest and most widely prescribed medicines.

A married couple in their fifties should not be forced to pay for maternity coverage; they should be allowed to negotiate it out of their policy in exchange for a lower premium. Shouldn’t we be able to choose which coverage we want based on our individual needs? Unfortunately, government usually forces onto the majority, what is demanded by the minority.

In a single payer system, could the government roll back some of these mandated coverages without a revolt? Or would it simply continue to treat these illnesses and pay for it with mammoth tax increases? Probably the latter.

The Great Melting Pot: As preposterous as it sounds to the educated among us, the diversity that makes America unique will also make it nearly impossible to implement a nationalized healthcare system. Let me explain.

The United States is the least homogeneous country in the industrialized world. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but when we fail to see ourselves as Americans first, we have no inherent vested interest in the country. America is perhaps the only country in the world that insists on hyphenated labels for everyone. We cannot simply be Americans of African descent, or of Asian descent. No, we must be African-American, or Asian-American. Are there African-Austrians or Asian-Canadians? I don’t know, but I have not heard of any. My point is the great sense of nationalism and American pride that used to exist in America has been under assault for much of the last forty years. During this time, the tide has turned; instead of the U.S. Government playing the role of the great unifier to unite many groups into one great nation of Americans, it seeks to divide us along racial lines. The political Left has successfully segregated our society into a bunch of victim groups with their politically correct social engineering. In one of the greatest speeches of our time, John F. Kennedy implored us to ask not what our country can do for us- ask what we can do for our country. Over time, JFK’s own party has completely turned his appeal to Americans around 180 degrees.

This has rapidly created an entitlement mentality among a large percentage of our population. Nowhere is this entitlement mentality more evident than in the realm of healthcare.

We have already seen the havoc wreaked on our healthcare system when care is provided by the government. Studies of the Medicaid system have shown the average Medicaid patient accesses the healthcare system about ten times more than those on private plans or self-pays. In addition to free healthcare, we provide a cab ride to and from the provider’s location.

The Cost of New Medicines: There is no disputing the fact that Americans pay more for their prescription drugs than any other nation. To change this, we must first examine the causes. A certain amount of greed does exist on the part of the pharmaceutical industry, but this greed is what has given us some of the most innovative advances in medicine. It is a fact that most of the life-saving and life-changing molecular compounds have been developed with the hope of a profitable return on the investment, and without the superior economic landscape of the United States since World War II, finding and creating these compounds would be less likely to be a profitable endeavor. We can thank greed for our current quality of life and the dramatic decrease in infant mortality.

The very government that seeks to find a cure for the rising cost of prescription drugs is mostly to blame for these costs. In most other countries, one can go to the local pharmacy and purchase many of our prescription medicines without a prescription. Like any other government agency, the FDA does not like to give up control. When it reluctantly does however, we see a dramatic drop in drug prices. A case in point is the drug, Prilosec. Prilosec was at one time, a $5 billion a year cash cow for its manufacturer, AstraZeneca. Has anything changed in the ingredients or strength of Prilosec since it became an over-the-counter medicine? No; other than the fact that people can afford it now, and a doctor visit is not required to obtain it, it is the same drug that required a prescription before its patent expired. There are several classes of medicines the FDA knows are relatively safe, but chooses to keep them classified as prescription drugs.

The approval process for prescription drugs is a costly and arduous one for pharmaceutical companies. It requires three phases of testing, and once a compound is submitted for approval, the patent protection clock begins. Although pharmaceutical companies make their best educated guess as to which discoveries to submit for approval, the FDA approves about one out of nine submittals, on average. $300-$900 million later, a drug may make it to market. This is the preponderant reason that a pill which costs ten cents to manufacture is priced at five dollars. The fact that many in Congress do not understand this should be troubling to all of us.

In a single payer system, will the government simply set the prices of prescription medicine? If so, we can forget about any more innovative advances in drug treatments. Of course one could argue that the pharmaceutical industry appears to support the public option, currently being debated. The reason is simple; a short-term revenue attitude is pervasive among the industry leaders, who are beholden to stockholders. If forty to sixty million new potential patients are being written new prescriptions, simple math shows a huge potential windfall for the industry. The same reason caused the industry to climb on board the Medicare Modernization Act, signed by President Bush; a whole new market opened up.

Race Baiting: There exists today, an entire industry of race baiting for financial and political gain. After watching Barak Obama’s inauguration speech, I breathed a sigh of relief, believing that we now have overcome a giant racial hurdle by having as our president a black role model, who is a devout and educated family man. I refused to believe Rush Limbaugh’s assertion that racial tension would increase, not decrease as a result of Obama’s presidency. After all, how could we be a country of racists when 52% of the electorate voted for a black man for president? But this is why Mr. Limbaugh is smarter than I; he looked past the obvious and foresaw what the Liberal White Americans would resort to when their guy is backed into a corner. Now, the race card is dealt to any American who publicly opposes the current administration’s policies. Dissent was patriotic under Bush, but it is racist under Obama.

Now imagine a healthcare system that does not provide immediate and superior care to minorities. Never mind that we would all have to put up with slow and inferior care in a government healthcare system, there would be cries of institutional racism from the race pimps who depend on racism for their living. Just like a whole new market would open up for pharmaceutical companies, the new market for the race industry would be enormous.

Crime: violent crime accounts for a large percentage of costly, emergency trauma treatment in urban areas. Will we be required to pay for this treatment in a government-run system? Of course we will. With our current rate of violent crime, this could easily break the bank.

Liberal Sacred Cows: Congress has already begun taxing certain behaviors that may place a financial burden on the healthcare system, like tobacco, and will not stop there. We are sure to see tax increases on sugary soft drinks, food with high fat content, alcohol, etc. Will we see a tax on homosexuality? HIV is a significant burden on the system, especially in certain areas of the country. What is a major cause of HIV in America? Unprotected gay male sex. What about abortion? Will all Americans be forced to pick up the tab for a procedure most are morally against? We all know the answers to these questions.

Often times, a new product is test marketed on a small scale prior to a national rollout. Government-paid healthcare has been test marketed already, and it has failed everywhere it has been tried in the United States. Medicare is always on the verge of insolvency, until taxes are raised to pay for shortfalls. Medicaid is on life support in nearly every state in the nation; only tax increases keep it afloat. Our Veteran’s Administration healthcare system is a perfect example of a U.S. Government run system which fails its members on almost every level. In Tennessee, Tenncare, a program which sought to expand state coverage to an additional 500,000 people using managed care organizations, eventually the program ran out of money, was ripe with fraud and abuse, and was completely revamped on a much smaller scale. In Massachusetts, the shortfall is so great that the state may have to end its state healthcare system or raise taxes in an already heavily taxed state.

The sales pitch usually begins with slick politicians promoting a “pay-as-you-go” or “revenue neutral” plan. Remember, to liberal Democrats, every program is revenue-neutral when they are using Monopoly money to pay for it. There will never be cuts in any budget other than defense. If costs rise, which they will, tax increases and care rationing will rule they day.

The Democrats know a single-payer system will not work but clearly, implementing a successful program is not their goal. It is evident that total government control is the endgame for the Liberals in Congress and President Obama. Government already controls about half of all healthcare expenditures with the efficiency of…well, insert any government agency name here.

A single payer healthcare system in the U.S. would be a disaster by any measure and must be vigorously opposed . The current plan being promoted by Democrats is another step toward an incremental takeover of the healthcare industry

Evolving Healthcare Trends

The model trends in the healthcare system have been changing over the period of time. The old trend gave importance to the individual patients and the emphasis was on treating illness. The goal of the hospitals was to do inpatient admissions, fill up the beds and more emphasis was given to acute inpatient care. The role of managers in the old paradigm was to run the organization and coordinate services. In the old system, all providers were essentially the same. The hospitals, physicians and health plans were separate and not integrated.

The newer trends that evolved gave importance to the population as a whole. It not only treated illness, but emphasized on promoting the wellness of the people. The goals of the healthcare system after being transformed over the years is to provide care at all levels which is continued. The role of managers in the new paradigm is more broad. They see the market and help in quality and continued improvement. They not only run the organization, but also go beyond the organizational boundaries. In the evolving system, the providers are differentiated according to their ability. The hospitals, physicians and health plans have formed an integrated delivery system.

One of the current trend in the healthcare delivery model is that continued care is emphasized. The key professionals are not only treating patients for their illness, but they are promoting and managing quality of health. For example, a patient with high cholesterol visits a doctor. He is not only given one-on-one medical treatment, but he is also offered to attend a group session where information is provided on how lifestyle and behavioral change can help. The patients learn from the clinicians and also from each other. Another current trend is to take care of the health of the defined population and not only individual patients. All the health needs of the population as a whole are identified and served. It is emphasized that the community uses the health and social services provided. Healthcare has become more population-based. Another trend that has evolved is that the hospitals, physicians and health plans have got connected and have formed an integrated delivery system. More investments are being made with a goal of providing services to the customers and retaining them.

There is a beneficial impact in the transformation of healthcare towards emphasizing continued health. The way healthcare has been viewed in the past has been changing. The shifting of care from treating acute illnesses to providing continued care is resulting in enhancement of the health of the people. The only appropriate and feasible model is to provide a continuum of care with the emphasis firmly on the family and community. The health of the population and community is considered as a whole. This is advantageous as it creates value in the healthcare delivery system. The healthcare providers work with the community as a whole and consider to improve the health of the general population. Even though this requires new kinds of ways of organizing and managing healthcare services, it helps in understanding the health needs of the target population. By studying their needs, the right health and social services could be provided to them. Examples of promoting wellness of the whole community are organizing health campaigns and providing preventive education to the people in general. Another example is providing awareness about flu vaccines and encouraging people to get the vaccination.

Integrating the healthcare delivery system has led to certain advantages to the patients. For example, they can be offered alternative sites of care depending on their convenience. It helps in meeting the needs of the customers and their preferences which is taken into account. The number of providers are expanded and the patients get to have a choice. The relationship between providers and health plans are organized in the current trend and this ensures that the right care is provided in a convenient way to the customers.

There are defined budgets and expenditure targets for the populations which implies that there is a need to be efficient and productive. The formation of strategic alliances, networks, systems and physician groups can also add value. There are capitated payments and budgets allotted to the healthcare organizations. These are used to provide care to the defined population. The organization might like to improve on the payments and budgets as the expenditures of the companies increase. This results in the management to make decisions like forming strategic alliances with other organizations and increase the total resources. The growth of such networks will help in providing better care to the customers. Financial resources greatly influence the efficiency and productivity of the organization.

The aging population is influencing the healthcare delivery. There is increased demand for primary care of people over 65 years and for chronic care of people over 75. The ethnic and cultural diversity is also influencing the healthcare delivery. This provides a challenge in meeting patient expectations on one hand and diverse workforce on the other. Biological and clinical sciences have met with technological advances and have led to new treatment modalities. This has led to open new treatment sites and manage across the organization. External forces change the supply of certain areas of health professionals like physical therapy and some areas of nursing. The management needs to compensate for such shortages and they need to develop different teams of caregivers at different work sites. Changes in education of health professionals implies that the management be more creative in offering healthcare services. With an increase in diseases like AIDS and morbidity from drugs and violence, there is more and more need to work with community agencies, form social support systems and there is a need for more chronic care management. Advances in information technology is another area where there is a need to train the healthcare employees in new advances. They also need to manage issues of confidentiality and rapid information transfer. Increasing expansion of world economy has led to more competitive management of strategic alliances, care of patients across the nations and of different cultures.

Current environmental trends impact the healthcare delivery model. Organization’s success depends on its external and internal environment. The complex environments made up of uncertainties and heterogeneity of components leads to different organizational designs. The current environmental trends influence managerial and organizational decision making. The unique challenges facing the healthcare delivery organizations should be analyzed in order to develop and implement new and effective operational processes and strategies. As an impact of current environmental trends, the healthcare delivery system needs to improve individual, team, and organizational accountability and performance. The impact of advances in medical knowledge and information technology on the process of healthcare delivery should also be examined, and it should be leveraged to improve quality of care, process and cost controls, and revenue. New strategies would need to be identified and implemented for learning and performance improvement to create a culture that supports accountability, safety, and high-quality care. Innovative models in healthcare delivery would also be required in order to develop and implement strategies that promote organizational success and competitiveness.

Due to the current environmental trends, more emphasis is given to the customers and there is more of a patient-focused care. The healthcare delivery model has been shifting to the community based care. There has been an increased modification in care processes. The traditional ways are being challenged and more experiments are being performed to fulfill the demands to improve the quality of care. Due to the shift in the environmental trends in the healthcare delivery model, more emphasis is given to quality improvement. This will help improve the performance levels of key processes in the organization. The performance levels are being measured, the defects are eliminated and new features are being added to meet the customer’s need efficiently.

There is a new emerging contemporary trend in the U.S. healthcare system. Presently, the management research and assessment have been offered increased recognition. The emerging trend seen is that this is slowly forming an integral part of managerial and organizational effectiveness. With the emerging efforts in information management, it is leading towards clinical and financial networking. The trend seen among the physicians and nurses is that they are being increasingly involved in managerial activities. The managerial trends are also changing with respect to role performance and changing values. The managers role is getting more and more recognized in managing finance and human resources. Management training, lifelong and distance learning is being offered in preparing future managers.

The healthcare executives and managers will be faced with the major responsibility and challenge in the years ahead. They will be working with other healthcare providers and will be creating a competitive future for their organizations. They will not only be managing organizations but also a network of markets, services and joint ventures. Formation of more and more strategic alliances and partnerships will lead the management to manage across boundaries. The management will change from managing a department to managing the continuum of care. The management will be following a community-based approach. Trend in management is also shifting from just coordinating services to providing improvements in quality.

As the demands in healthcare are increasing, the management is responsible for forming performance standards. The management is also challenged to maximize the productivity and quality to serve the health needs of the community. The management is looking after the demands of the external environment as well as attending to the performance of the internal environment. The management is responsible for the performance of the organization.

Healthcare organization leadership will be responding to new trends and competitive forces. It will respond to continuum of care, overall health status of the population and more complex organizational structures. These emerging trends in the healthcare system will effect the organization’s leadership. The future managers would need leadership skills and vision to integrate the organizations and help in providing the best care. The managers will have to be committed to leadership and work on giving their organizations the best place and help their organizations adapt to the changing circumstances. More value will be given to leaders who will be able to lead the change process. As changes are inevitable for the betterment of the organization, the leaders should be able to identify how the change is to be received and how it is to be communicated at all levels of the organization without damaging the implementation process. The leaders might have to deal with increased pressures due to organizational complexity.

The leader in the organization provides strategic direction to the organization, manages diverse stakeholders, becomes mentors for management, is willing to take risks, helps the organization interact with the external environment and attends to the internal needs as well. Where required the leader will involve physicians in governance process and align physician and organizational interests. There will be a need for formation of learning organizations. Transformational leadership will create the required vision for the organization. Leaders will have a greater role complexity and they themselves will have to adjust rapidly to new situations. The healthcare organization leadership will have to live up to the values of the organization and will help in fulfilling the mission of the organization.

Individuals and groups within the healthcare organizations require more and more competencies. An enhanced lifelong learning is required due to the fast, changing environment. The individuals and groups within the healthcare organizations will be benefitted as there will be rapidly developing medical technologies which will result in increased services. More sophisticated health services will be provided to the consumers. The range and quality of services provided will be regulated for the benefit of people requiring home care, long term care and ambulatory care. The anticipated future development will also result in the increased competition among the health services organization. The individuals and groups will be involved more and more with the community for issues like drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and violence.

Individuals and groups will be faced with increased strategic planning and management in the healthcare organizations as there will be ever increasing involvement by the trustees and physicians. As the future environment in the organizations will be more complex, the individuals and groups in the healthcare organizations might feel more pressurized. They will need to serve the changing demands of the community as the population of elderly patients will increase. These individuals will require more professional training, increased levels of education and should be taking part in continuing education programs.

Due to the anticipated future development in the healthcare organizations, those individuals and groups will be valued, who are adaptable, committed, are able to add value and embrace change. These individuals will be required to experiment more and help in redefining the mission and goals of the healthcare organizations.

Meenu Arora has contributed her articles for both online and hard copy magazines. Her articles have also been published in international magazines. Presently working in the healthcare industry, she has also written and edited Health Q-A columns for international magazine for 5 years.

Healthcare Tourism: An Eye Towards The Future

The healthcare tourism industry has been witnessing a remarkable growth in recent years. There are a number of reasons for the continuous growth of this industry especially in the Asian and African countries. One of them being the lure of affordable medical care, along with the scope of enjoying the scenic beauty of tourist destinations. One of the renowned experts, Marvin Cetron, founder and president of Forecasting International, have marked the growing trend of medical tourism and expect it to pose a serious challenge to the Western healthcare industry in the near future.

It is necessary to have a glance over the Western medical or healthcare scenario in order to have a clear picture of the kind of competition that can crop up between the former and the Third World medical tourism industry. In some undeveloped regions of the world, the medical facilities are hard to come by, whereas in other countries, the public healthcare system is so overburdened that it would take years to get needed care. For instance, in countries like Britain and Canada, the waiting period for a hip replacement surgery can be more than a year; while in Bangkok or Bangalore, a person can find himself in the operation theatre just after landing the very same day! Not only this, the cost involving the total process is much less than that charged in Western countries. For example, a heart-valve replacement that would cost $200,000 or more in the U.S. costs a mere $10,000 in India that includes round-trip airfare and a brief vacation package as well.

Doubts are often raised regarding the quality of service offered by medical tourist destinations. But such arguments have no solid ground as the facilities and services offered by them are almost equal or even better than the Western medical services. There are hospitals and clinics that cater to the tourist market that are often among the best in the world. Most of them staff physicians who have received training from famous medical centers in United States or Europe. Bangkok’s Bumrundgrad hospital has more than 200 surgeons who are board-certified in the US, and one of Singapore’s major hospitals is a branch of the prestigious Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Statistics suggest that the services offered in some of the leading medical tourist destinations often exceed their Western counterparts. As for example, the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center in Delhi and Faridabad, India, performs nearly 15,000 heart operations every year, and the death rate among patients during surgery is only 0.8 percent–less than half that of most major hospitals in the US. These figures are enough to clarify whatever doubts some skeptics might have on their minds.

Healthcare Cost Savings – Health Facts and Figures Part 1

Healthy lifestyles can go a long way toward solving today’s healthcare crisis. These facts and figures give some clues as to where we can make some changes to prevent disease and cut healthcare costs.

One Dollar Saves Three

The federal government doesn’t keep track of statistics on how wellness programs can impact healthcare costs but some businesses have found that promoting wellness reaps handsome rewards. According to the Wellness Councils of America, a non-profit group that promotes healthy lifestyles, companies can save three dollars on healthcare expenses for every dollar they spend on wellness programs that teach employees to lead healthier lives.
Source: Wellness Councils of America

Lifestyle Could Reduce Diabetes by 87 Percent

The combination of losing weight, moving more, cutting out trans-fats, saturated fats and excessive alcohol, and eating more fiber could reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by a staggering 87 percent. A modest 5-percent weight loss can lower risk significantly. The incidence of type 2 diabetes increased by 60 percent in the United States between 1990 and 2001. Treatment for diabetes and its complications consumes 10 percent of America’s healthcare dollars.
Sources: British Journal of Nutrition and American Diabetes Association

The Aerobic Cure

Aerobic exercise alone cured metabolic syndrome (sometimes called syndrome X) in 30 percent of people in the HERITAGE Family Study in Canada. The syndrome is a combination of elevated blood pressure, blood glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol and high waist circumference that significantly raises the risks of diabetes and heart disease. People in the study rode a stationary bike three times per week for twenty weeks.
Source: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise

The Obesity-Cancer Link

Researchers have found 37 percent more cancer among obese women and 25 percent more among obese men, compared to people of healthy weight. Death rates for all cancers are 62 percent higher among obese women and 52 percent higher among obese men. Among obese women, risks for specific cancers increase as follows: breast 150 percent; uterine 200 to 400 percent; kidney 200 to 400 percent; pancreatic 200 percent; and colon 46 percent.
Source: Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource

Weight Gain Explained

Americans’ per capita daily calorie consumption increased by roughly 300 calories per person between 1985 and 2000. Grains (mainly refined grains) accounted for 46 percent of the increase, added fats for 24 percent, added sugars for 23 percent, and fruits and vegetables for 8 percent, while meat and dairy consumption declined by 1 percent.
Source: American Heart Association

Multivitamins Could Cut Medicare Costs

Medicare could save at least 1.6 billion dollars in the next five years by providing multivitamins to people over the age of 65. Cost savings would result primarily from fewer admissions to hospitals and nursing homes as a result of heart disease and infections such as pneumonia.
Source: Multivitamins and Public Health: Exploring the Evidence Conference

Calcium and Folic Acid Could Save 15 Billion Dollars

A study commissioned by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance shows that the use of daily calcium supplements could prevent 734,000 hip fractures annually, saving 13.9 billion dollars in healthcare costs. Daily use of folic acid supplements could prevent 600 cases of neural tube birth defects, saving an additional 1.3 billion dollars. Foods fortified with calcium or folic acid offer an alternative to supplement pills.
Source: Dietary Supplement Education Alliance

Healthcare for a Better and Healthier Tomorrow

Prevention has always been better than cure. Having annual physical examination and taking healthy food supplements are just two of the many ways to ward illnesses off. Yet there are times where illness strikes even if you are living healthily, having a great retail healthcare program will ease not only the patient’s mind but their families, caregivers and employers as well.

The Need

The moment a baby is born, health products are already needed. Nursing pillows, breastfeeding paraphernalia, and diapers are just few of the things that can be purchased in a health gift shop. As the baby reaches the toddler stage, trainer glasses and other utensils are needed. The mother needs to get fit, having exercise equipments and taking food supplements to aid in breastfeeding are needed. Stomach binders are also needed especially for mothers who underwent C-section.

Basically, in every phase of life, there is a healthcare product needed to prevent or cure illnesses.

The Solution

Health is a wealth that we must take care of, there are no cash-and-carry for body spare parts. Retail Healthcare Product is a solution to be provided for individuals, hospitals or healthcare facilities or systems.

The Benefits

Customers or patients will experience what health program or facility they need from hospitals or healthcare system. In this manner, there will be improvement in the patients outcome.

The Business Opportunity

Venturing into the healthcare business is very lucrative in the present times. Studies show that more and more people are health conscious. Succumbing to illness is not an easy ordeal. People flock in wellness centers for health seminars, fitness workshops and other healthful activities. Packaging health or fitness equipment and supplements as gift items make it one of the salable gift shop products.

The Healthcare Business Provider

If you are a hospital, clinic or a healthcare system provider – looking for the right people to trust in retail healthcare products is tough. Here are some guidelines that will identify a great provider:

must have an alliance with the leading healthcare industry experts and resources to assist in identifying and implementation of retail healthcare and e-commerce strategy
has a solid business plan
has a reward point system or point of sale to gain customer’s loyalty
has an online commerce system
can manage the implementation of a unique retail store concept
can provide successful business operation with years of experience
can provide plans and store design for the physical store (for gift shop solutions)
can provide store designs, operation instructions and management for retail pharmacy solutions
can provide the best brands of gift shop and pharmacy items
can improve retail healthcare offering