|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 52|
In most developing countries, although the vast majority of the people are living in the rural areas, the qualified medical doctors are not available there. Health care workers and paramedics, called village doctors, informal healthcare providers, are largely responsible for the rural medical care. Mishaps due to wrong diagnosis and inappropriate medication have been causing serious suffering that is preventable. While innovators have created many devices, the vast majority of these technologies do not find applications to address the needs and conditions in low-resource settings. The primary motive is to address the acute lack of affordable medical technologies for the poor people in low-resource settings. A low cost smart medical device that is portable, battery operated and can be used at any point of care has been developed to detect breathing rate, electrocardiogram (ECG) and arterial pulse rate to improve diagnosis and monitoring of patients and thus improve care and safety. This simple and easy to use smart medical device can be used, managed and maintained effectively and safely by any health worker with some training. In order to empower the health workers and village doctors, our device is being further developed to integrate with ICT tools like smart phones and connect to the medical experts wherever available, to manage the serious health problems.
We reviewed how certain institutional policies and practices, as well as questionable research, are creating obstacles to care and informed consent for Lyme and relapsing fever Borreliosis patients. The interference is denying access to treatments that meet the internationally accepted standards as set by the Institute of Medicine. This obstruction to care contributes to significant human suffering, disability and negative economic effect across many nations and in many regions of the world. We note how evidence based medicine emphasizes the importance of clinical experience and patient-centered care and how these patients benefit significantly when their rights to choose among treatment options are upheld.
Health information technologies promise higher quality, safer care and much more for both patients and professionals. Despite their promise, they are costly to develop and difficult to implement. On the other hand, user acceptance and usage determine the success of implemented information technology in healthcare. This study provides a model to understand health professionals’ perception and expectation of health information technology. Extensive literature review has been conducted to determine the main factors to be measured. A questionnaire has been designed as a measurement model and submitted to the personnel of an in vitro fertilization clinic. The respondents’ degree of agreement according to five-point Likert scale was 72% for convenient access to data and 69.4% for the importance of data security. There was a significant difference in acceptance of electronic data storage for female respondents. Also, other significant differences between professions were obtained.
This work presents the various perspectives, dimensions, components and definitions given to quality in the operations management (OM) and healthcare services (HCS) literature in time, highlighting gaps and learning opportunities between the two disciplines through a thorough search into their rich and distinct body of knowledge. Greater and new insights about the general nature of quality are obtained with findings such as in OM, quality has been approached in six fairly distinct paradigms (excellence, value, conformity to specifications, attributes, satisfaction and meeting or exceeding customer expectations), whereas in HCS, two approaches are prominent (Donabedian’s structure, process and outcomes model and Lohr and Schroeder’s circumscribed definition). The two disciplines views on quality seem to have progressed much in parallel with little cross-learning from each other. This work then proposes an encompassing definition of quality as a lever and suggests further research and development avenues for a better use of the concept of quality by academics and practitioners alike toward the goals of greater organizational performance and improved management in healthcare and possibly other service domains.
In healthcare facilities, training the staff for firefighting and evacuation in real buildings is very challenging due to the presence of a vulnerable population in such an environment. In a standard environment, traditional approaches, such as fire drills, are often used to train the occupants and provide them with information about fire safety procedures. However, those traditional approaches may be inappropriate for a vulnerable population and can be inefficient from an educational viewpoint as it is impossible to expose the occupants to scenarios similar to a real emergency. Immersive serious games could be used as an alternative to traditional approaches to overcome their limitations. Serious games are already being used in different safety domains such as fires, earthquakes and terror attacks for several building types (e.g., office buildings, train stations, tunnels, etc.). In this study, we developed an immersive serious game to improve the fire safety skills of staff in healthcare facilities. An accurate representation of the healthcare environment was built in Unity3D by including visual and audio stimuli inspired from those employed in commercial action games. The serious game is organised in three levels. In each of them, the trainee is presented with a specific fire emergency and s/he can perform protective actions (e.g., firefighting, helping non-ambulant occupants, etc.) or s/he can ignore the opportunity for action and continue the evacuation. In this paper, we describe all the steps required to develop such a prototype, as well as the key questions that need to be answered, to develop a serious game for firefighting and evacuation in healthcare facilities.
Health for all is considered as a sign of well-being and inclusive growth. New healthcare technologies are contributing to the quality of human lives by promoting health education and awareness, leading to the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of the symptoms of diseases. Healthcare technologies have now migrated from the medical and institutionalized settings to the home and everyday life. This paper explores these new technologies and investigates how they contribute to health education and awareness, promoting the objective of high-value health system for all. The methodology used for the research is literature review. The paper also discusses the opportunities and challenges with futuristic healthcare technologies. The combined advances in genomics medicine, wearables and the IoT with enhanced data collection in electronic health record (EHR) systems, environmental sensors, and mobile device applications can contribute in a big way to high-value health system for all. The promise by these technologies includes reduced total cost of healthcare, reduced incidence of medical diagnosis errors, and reduced treatment variability. The major barriers to adoption include concerns with security, privacy, and integrity of healthcare data, regulation and compliance issues, service reliability, interoperability and portability of data, and user friendliness and convenience of these technologies.
This paper focuses on using knowledge management and visualisation concepts to improve the patients and hospitals employee’s workflow. Hospitals workflow is a complex and complicated process and poor patient flow can put both patients and a hospital’s reputation at risk, and can threaten the facility’s financial sustainability. Healthcare leaders are under increased pressure to reduce costs while maintaining or increasing patient care standards. In this paper, a framework is proposed to help improving patient experience, staff satisfaction, and operational efficiency across hospitals by using knowledge management based visualisation concepts. This framework is using real-time visibility to track and monitor location and status of patients, staff, rooms, and medical equipment.
Connecting health services with technology has a huge demand as people health situations are becoming worse day by day. In fact, engaging new technologies such as Internet of Things (IOT) into the medical services can enhance the patient care services. Specifically, patients suffering from chronic diseases such as cardiac patients need a special care and monitoring. In reality, some efforts were previously taken to automate and improve the patient monitoring systems. However, the previous efforts have some limitations and lack the real-time feature needed for chronic kind of diseases. In this paper, an improved process model for patient monitoring system specialized for cardiac patients is presented. A survey was distributed and interviews were conducted to gather the needed requirements to improve the cardiac patient monitoring system. Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) language was used to model the proposed process. In fact, the proposed system uses the IOT Technology to assist doctors to remotely monitor and follow-up with their heart patients in real-time. In order to validate the effectiveness of the proposed solution, simulation analysis was performed using Bizagi Modeler tool. Analysis results show performance improvements in the heart monitoring process. For the future, authors suggest enhancing the proposed system to cover all the chronic diseases.
The wide-spread adoption of the Smart City concept has introduced a new era of computing paradigm with opportunities for city administrators and stakeholders in various sectors to re-think the concept of urbanization and development of healthy cities. With the world population rapidly becoming urban-centric especially amongst the emerging economies, social innovation will assist greatly in deploying emerging technologies to address the development challenges in core sectors of the future cities. In this context, sustainable health-care delivery and improved quality of life of the people is considered at the heart of the healthy city agenda. This paper examines the Boston innovation landscape from the perspective of smart services and innovation ecosystem for sustainable development, especially in transportation and healthcare. It investigates the policy implementation process of the Healthy City agenda and eHealth economy innovation based on the experience of Massachusetts’s City of Boston initiatives. For this purpose, three emerging areas are emphasized, namely the eHealth concept, the innovation hubs, and the emerging technologies that drive innovation. This was carried out through empirical analysis on results of public sector and industry-wide interviews/survey about Boston’s current initiatives and the enabling environment. The paper highlights few potential research directions for service integration and social innovation for deploying emerging technologies in the healthy city agenda. The study therefore suggests the need to prioritize social innovation as an overarching strategy to build sustainable Smart Cities in order to avoid technology lock-in. Finally, it concludes that the Boston example of innovation economy is unique in view of the existing platforms for innovation and proper understanding of its dynamics, which is imperative in building smart and healthy cities where quality of life of the citizenry can be improved.
In the anticipation of demand fluctuations, services cannot be inventoried and hence it creates a difficult problem in marketing of services. The inability to meet customers (patients) requirements in healthcare context has more serious consequences than other service sectors. In order to meet patient requirements in the current uncertain environment, healthcare organizations are seeking ways for improved service delivery. Flexibility provides a mechanism for reducing variability in service encounters and improved performance. Flexibility is defined as the ability of the organization to cope with changing circumstances or instability caused by the environment. Patient satisfaction is an important performance outcome of healthcare organizations. However, the paucity of information exists in healthcare delivery context to examine the impact of flexibility on patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. The present study is an attempt to develop a conceptual foundation for investigating overall impact of flexibility on patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. Several dimensions of flexibility in healthcare context are examined and proposed to have a significant impact on patient satisfaction and intention. Furthermore, the study involves a critical examination of determinants of patient satisfaction and development of a comprehensive view the relationship between flexibility, patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. Finally, theoretical contributions and implications for healthcare professionals are suggested from flexibility perspective.
The management of pharmacotherapy and the process of dispensing medicines is becoming critical in clinical pharmacy due to the increase of incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases, the complexity and customization of therapeutic regimens, the introduction of innovative and more expensive medicines, the unbalanced relation between expenditure and revenue as well as due to the lack of rationalization associated with medication use. For these reasons, co-payments emerged in Europe in the 70s and have been applied over the past few years in healthcare. Co-payments lead to a rationing and rationalization of user’s access under healthcare services and products, and simultaneously, to a qualification and improvement of the services and products for the end-user. This analysis, under hospital practices particularly and co-payment strategies in general, was carried out on all the European regions and identified four reference countries, that apply repeatedly this tool and with different approaches. The structure, content and adaptation of European co-payments were analyzed through 7 qualitative attributes and 19 performance indicators, and the results expressed in a scorecard, allowing to conclude that the German models (total score of 68,2% and 63,6% in both elected co-payments) can collect more compliance and effectiveness, the English models (total score of 50%) can be more accessible, and the French models (total score of 50%) can be more adequate to the socio-economic and legal framework. Other European models did not show the same quality and/or performance, so were not taken as a standard in the future design of co-payments strategies. In this sense, we can see in the co-payments a strategy not only to moderate the consumption of healthcare products and services, but especially to improve them, as well as a strategy to increment the value that the end-user assigns to these services and products, such as medicines.
This study examines the key factors that influence general practitioners’ learning and transfer of specialized arthritis knowledge and self-care techniques to patients during normal patient visits. Drawing on the theory of planed behavior and using matched survey data collected from general practitioners before and after training sessions provided by specialized orthopedic physicians, the study suggests that the general practitioner’s intention to use and transfer learned knowledge was influenced mainly by intrinsic motivation, organizational learning culture and absorptive capacity, but was not influenced by extrinsic motivation. The results provide both theoretical and practical implications.
Information technology has long been used as an enabler of exchange for goods and services. Services are evolving from generic to personalized, and the reverse use of customer data has been discussed in both academia and industry for the past few years. This article presents the results of an empirical case study in the area of preventive health care services. The primary data were gathered in workshops, in which future personal data-based services were conceptualized by analyzing future scenarios from a business perspective. The aim of this study is to understand business model transformation in emerging personal data ecosystems. The work was done as a case study in the context of occupational healthcare. The results have implications to theory and practice, indicating that adopting personal data management principles requires transformation of the business model, which, if successfully managed, may provide access to more resources, potential to offer better value, and additional customer channels. These advantages correlate with the broadening of the business ecosystem. Expanding the scope of this study to include more actors would improve the validity of the research. The results draw from existing literature and are based on findings from a case study and the economic properties of the healthcare industry in Finland.
The purpose of this study was to reduce patient waiting times, improve system throughput and improve resources utilization in radiology department. A discrete event simulation model was developed using Arena simulation software to investigate different alternatives to improve the overall system delivery based on adding resource scenarios due to the linkage between patient waiting times and resource availability. The study revealed that there is no addition investment need to procure additional scanner but hospital management deploy managerial tactics to enhance machine utilization and reduce the long waiting time in the department.
Knowledge is increasingly recognised in this, the knowledge era, as a strategic resource, by public sector organisations, in view of the public sector reform initiatives. People and knowledge play a vital role in attaining improved organisational performance and high service quality. Many government departments in the public sector have started to realise the importance of knowledge management in streamlining their operations and processes. This study focused on knowledge management in the public healthcare service organisations, where the concept of service provider competitiveness pales to insignificance, considering the huge challenges emanating from the healthcare and public sector reforms. Many government departments are faced with challenges of improving organisational performance and service delivery, improving accountability, making informed decisions, capturing the knowledge of the aging workforce, and enhancing partnerships with stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to examine the knowledge management practices of the Gauteng Department of Health in South Africa, in order to understand how knowledge management practices influence improvement in organisational performance and healthcare service delivery. This issue is explored through a review of literature on dominant views on knowledge management and healthcare service delivery, as well as results of interviews with, and questionnaire responses from, the general staff of the Gauteng Department of Health. Web-based questionnaires, face-to-face interviews and organisational documents were used to collect data. The data were analysed using both the quantitative and qualitative methods. The central question investigated was: To what extent can the conditions required for successful knowledge management be observed, in order to improve organisational performance and healthcare service delivery in the Gauteng Department of Health. The findings showed that the elements of knowledge management capabilities investigated in this study, namely knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and knowledge application, have a positive, significant relationship with all measures of organisational performance and healthcare service delivery. These findings thus indicate that by employing knowledge management principles, the Gauteng Department of Health could improve its ability to achieve its operational goals and objectives, and solve organisational and healthcare challenges, thereby improving organisational performance and enhancing healthcare service delivery in Gauteng.
The case study presents the progression of a project management of Al-Shifa, a healthcare information system in Oman. The case study describes the evolution of the implementation of a healthcare information system tailored to meet the needs of the healthcare units under the supervision of the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Oman. A focus group methodology was used for collecting the relevant information from the main project's stakeholders. In addition reports about the project made available for the researchers. The case analysis is made based on the Project Management approach developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The main finding that there was no formal project management approach adopted by the MOH for the development and implementation of the herewith mentioned healthcare information system project. Furthermore, the project had suffered a scope creep in terms of features, cost and time-schedule. The recommendations of the authors, for the rescue of the project from its current dilemma, consist of technological, administrative and human resources development actions.
Lean technique is very important in the service and industrial fields. It is defined as an effective tool to eliminate the wastes. In lean the wastes are defined as anything which does not add value to the end product. There are wastes that can be avoided, but some are unavoidable for many reasons.
The present study aims to apply the principles of lean in two different sectors, healthcare and industry. Two case studies have been selected to apply the experimental work. The first case was Al-Jalaa Hospital, while the second case study was the Technical Company of Aluminum Sections in Benghazi, LIBYA. In both case studies the Value Stream Map (VSM) of the current state has been constructed. The proposed plans have been implemented by merging or eliminating procedures or processes.
The results obtained from both case studies showed improvement in Capacity, Idle time and Utilized time.