Children’s Health Fund
CHF began as an idea and then evolved into a large program. Dr. Redlener wanted to be part of the healthcare solution, not contributing to the problem.
(Brown, DeHayes, Hoffer, Martin and Perkins, 2012). Delivering medical care to rural areas, working earthquake relief and other noteworthy deeds made Dr. Redlener realize that with some support he could help the under privileged. (Brown, et. al, 2012). After reading the case study, I realized that mobile medical clinics will always be needed. I have worked Hurricane cleanup and know that mobile food trucks, mobile Laundromats, showers and medical care is needed immediately.
Mobile medical units would give volunteers the equipment needed to treat people in need during natural disasters and to the under privilaged. At the same time mobile medical clinics could be used to assist in the growing AIDS epidemic, early detection of breast cancer, teen pregnancy, drug addiction, and assist in the number one health problem in the United States, obesity. Challenges facing CHF is how to provide expert medical care to under privileged individuals living in rural areas, homeless shelters, and poverty stricken areas.
These challenges include continuation of funding, access to accurate patient medical records, limitations in telecommunications networks and medical databases, and healthcare providers. So what is the solution to getting expert medical care to the under privileged? More mobile medical clinics and stationary clinics located within the needed areas? However, then we encounter the issue of cost. I see the solution as having medical students serve part of their residency or their training by assisting in the mobile medical clinics.
If this was part of their training, then CHF cut their budget by not having to pay for all the provider services. An advantage is free labor, but a disadvantage is they are not fully trained, which could be detrimental to the cause. Retired doctors and nurses who want to work a few days a week would be a great asset while letting them keep up their skills. The risks that I see with either of these solutions is that the interns have not completed their training and the older group may not be as techno savvy as they need to complete the tasks. Allocations from the government would help with some of the financial aspects.
The rest would have to come from private donations. However, the implementation of state and federal legislation will bring medical coverage to an additional 30 million uninsured Americans. I don’t believe that private donations and federal and state funding will cover all the under privileged we currently have and then to add an additional 30 million will only add to the burden of funding. Our government is cutting the budget currently, so any money from state or federal funding may not last for long. The Affordable Care Act is changing the way health care is paid.
Hospitals will have to embrace innovation to cut costs and deliver quality medical care. Hospitals, clinics, and doctors need to work together with the public to advocate needed changes in respect to reimbursements and privacy issues. I believe that the new HITECH regulations will provide the accurate patient files that are needed to provide the best care possible. Innovations in technology will soon solve the problems with limitations in telecommunications networks. Embracing new technology will allow providers access to patient records and accurate accounting of current treatments.
Taking the time to learn all this new technology may be challenging at first but will reward both providers and patients as time passes. Currently the government has been granting hospitals and clinics millions of dollars to upgrade existing medical technology and IT programs. A central database will reduce duplication of patient’s records, treatments, billing and other medical services. Security is the biggest disadvantage that has Americans worrying about who will be allowed to see their medical history. I don’t feel this is any more insecure than banking online or purchasing merchandise.
Databases from the federal government to credit card companies have been hacked. We just have to believe that our information will be safeguarded. Are there newer more affordable network communications solutions that should be tried? Cloud computing, social networks and big data analytics are innovations that can help network communications now by lowering cost, improving outcomes and increasing access to medical care. (mHealth, 2012). Watch any commercial and you will see that technology innovations are growing by leaps and bounds. No sooner do you purchase a Smartphone or computer when something ewer comes out. Medical residents who use new technology, such as tablets are more efficient, they save about an hour a day and treatments and prescriptions are ordered earlier. (Hyek, n. d. ). The use of mobile devices to access medical records, check real-time vital signs or test results translates into direct improvement in treatment and outcomes. (mHealth, 2012). The invention and innovation of faster, cheaper, portable, and more powerful computers make it an affordable solution to communications. Physicians on call can receive images and start the treatment before they arrive at the hospital.
The time saved using portable devices will make hospital staffs more efficient, treatment quicker, and save lives. CHF should upgrade their systems with portable devices that are smaller, faster and works in remote areas. Will the federal government’s HITECH stimulus funds and Meaningful Use standards lead to better software integration solutions? Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Ace (HITECH) is a government program established to advance the use of health information technology to save lives and reduce costs. (Blumenthal, 2010). The HITECH stimulus will definitely lead to better software.
Incentive bonuses are being provided to providers who meet the “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHR) adoption. (Blumenthal, 2010). Medical practices of the future will have to use EHR to stay in practice. Providers currently have their own systems of electronic health records but they are not connected to other providers, clinics or hospitals. As a military Soldier our medical history is linked. We still hand carry our medical records from duty station to duty station, but the system will allow my current doctor to see tests and reports from my last duty assignment.
The problem is that if I’m sent to a civilian medical facility for additional tests, it is not entered into our system and I have to request paper copies of the documents. It will take some time but I do believe that HITECH will eventually evolve into a nationwide program that will link all patient data. This will ensure that patients are no longer over medicated or jumping from doctor to doctor to get their next fix of prescription drugs. A National Health Information Network (NHIN) is being developed to facilitate the exchange of health information among EHRs.
HITECH is a complex health information system for the 21st-century but will continue to evolve as it is implemented, but will require the support and patience of providers and patients to be successful. (Blumenthal, 2010). “The HITECH Act’s programs strive to create an electronic circulatory system for health information that nourishes the practice of medicine, research, and public health, making health care professionals better at what they do and the American people healthier. ” (Blumenthal, 2010, para 17).
Will the increase in software adoptions at physician offices make it more difficult for him to retain his staff? I believe that the increase of software adoptions will make it difficult for doctors to retain their staff. The military has become much computerized, what use to take several clerks to handle can now be completed by one clerk. Yes, we got rid of some clerks but had to train Soldiers in information technology to resolve issues and problems. Providers will need less staff to schedule, change or cancel appointments, but will need to hire employees proficient in computers.
Each employee will experience different views on implementing new technology. . (Rivers, Blake, & Lindgren n. d. ). Some will welcome the changes as a way to acquire additional knowledge, while others may see this as an intrusion into their routine. (Rivers, et. al, n. d. ). Providers will be able to electronically transmit prescriptions from their desk to the pharmacy. Technology can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of patient care. Wireless headsets allow nurses to answer phones no matter where they are.
My dad is receiving in home health care and they bring a laptop to chart his progress, once back at their office, they send the chart to the doctor, which is saving valuable time. Providers use technology daily in the form of personal data assistants (PDAs), tablets, and Smartphone’s. (Rivers, et. al, n. d. ). These devices eradicate duplicate charting, test for drug interactions, compute dosages, schedule procedures, order medicine and computerize other clinical duties, therefore reducing the possibility of errors and increasing patient wellbeing. Rivers, et. al, n. d. ). What combination of conditions could emerge that render the mobile medical clinic model obsolete? The biggest thing that could render mobile medical clinics obsolete is the use of mobile networks to enhance healthcare (mHealth). Help from technology megatrends, such as social networking, cloud computing and big data analytics will transform global health care. (mHealth, 2012). “The evolving mHealth vision is patient-centric but with information services and data analytics at its core. ” (mHealth, 2012, P. 7, para 2).
Mobile phone applications will have the ability to collect, store, analyze and upload environmental and personal data to healthcare providers to assist in illness prevention and treatment. (FREng, Sherrington, Dicks, Gray, and Chang, 2011). mHealth would allow patients to be monitored from home to avoid hospital or residential stays which might lower health costs. (FREng, et. al, 2011). The increased awareness and attention to prevention, education, and wellness will produce patients with fewer medical issues and knowledge of their medical history.
Mobile networks are continually upgrading their data capacity which includes high-resolution images, video and large file exchanges. (FREng, et. al, 2011). We use our smart phones for banking, trading stocks, finding the cheapest gas, and now we want to make doctor appointments, pay the doctors bill and access our medical records. In 2011, over 44 million health-related medical applications were downloaded. (Hyek, 2012. ). Smart mobility is now enabling patients to control our electronic medical records while incorporating wellness and fitness applications into our lifestyle. (mHealth, 2012).