Tag Archive for Medical

Medical Center Integrates Patient Care with Entertainment

In Miami, Fla., one medical center has taken patient care to a new level — one with the ultimate goal creating  improved interactive patient care.

On June 25, The Bruce W. Carter Veterans Affairs (VA)  Medical Center  launched a new interactive system to provide patients with touchscreen monitors at their bedside that assist with patient care, and provide education tools and entertainment.

With the touch of a screen, patients can watch cable TV, browse the Internet and pick from a library of 30 movies, such as The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy.

So far, more than 230 monitors have been installed in inpatient rooms, some of which provide special adaptive equipment to allow paralyzed patients full access to the new system. Paralyzed patients who don’t have use of their arms and hands may breathe through a special apparatus that can control navigation on the monitor.

To roll out the $2.4 million system, the Miami VA Healthcare System partnered with GetWellNetwork, a company that produces technology that focuses on patient care.

Paul Russo, director of the Miami VA Healthcare System, said patients can watch educational health-care videos on topics such as diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses, but as the medical center continues to add content to the interactive system, more features that will help with patient care will soon be available.

“We’ve chosen four areas at the moment to build our content and questions,” Russo said. “It essentially allows an interaction between the veteran and his care needs through the system.”

The medical center plans to develop interactive patient-to-staff communication through the touchscreens that focuses on pain management, falls management (for patients who are more at risk to falling down), room cleanliness turnover and discharge planning. Russo said the plan is to continue building out the content in the GetWellNetwork system so that when a patient is watching television or a movie, a message will pop up on the screen in defined intervals that may ask a question like, “Are you in pain?”

The idea is that patients will be responsible for responding to the questions when they pop up, so medical center staff can respond and ensure patients receive the care they need.

Although the critical care functionality hasn’t yet been deployed in Miami’s VA medical center, Russo hopes the capability will be available to patients in the near future. TheGetWellNetwork provides the core functionality including the entertainment tools and educational videos, but critical care components, like the pain management function, can be customized and built out for each medical center so they get features more suitable for their respective facilities.

According to Bill Gilroy, director of Mid-Atlantic and Government Solutions for the GetWellNetwork, other VA medical centers including one in Burmingham, Ala., have implemented systems similar to the one deployed in Miami. The company has only worked with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the last four years, but now also works with 22 VA medical centers.

The GetWellNetwork was purchased for the Bruce W. Carter VA’s regional-based group called the Veteran Integrated Service Network (VISN), which spans eight medical centers including the Miami-based center.

Gilroy said while the touchscreen technology does integrate entertainment with care, the bigger goal is to create improved interactive patient care. “While the entertainment aspect of our system is a nice distraction and an amenity,” he said, “the real value of our system is how we can actually improve care by engaging patients.”

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FDA, Industry Form Nonprofit for Medical Devices

The FDA announced on Dec. 3 a new nonprofit corporation to promote medical device regulatory science. The new corporation is called the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) and is a public-private partnership between the FDA and Minnesota-based LifeScience Alley. MDIC is intended to help facilitate faster development, assessment and review of new medical devices.

“MDIC will prioritize the regulatory science needs of the medical device community and fund projects to help simplify the process of medical device design and pathway to market for these innovations,” an FDA press release states. “The MDIC will bolster the country’s investment in regulatory science research by pooling people, funding, resources, and ideas to develop new tools, models, and methods that may be utilized to better and more efficiently evaluate new devices.”

The partnership between the FDA and LifeScience Alley was first announced in Aug. 2011. According to MedCity News, MDIC is charged with streamling the regulatory process so that patients can benefit more quickly from the latest medical device technologies. 

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Medical Transcription and Coding demand will increase with ICD-10

Medical Coder and TranscriptionistThe world of medical transcription and medical coding is extensive and always changing. The change that has the medical field buzzing right now is the change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases – Version 10). Currently, health care facilities use ICD-9 for documentation and coding, but by October of 2014 every facility must abide by the new system. These new changes will increase the need for skilled medical transcription and medical coding. It will also bring these two jobs expertise closer and merge at some time in the future.

Why will demand for transcription and coding increase?

For healthcare employees already working as a medical transcriptionist or medical coder, they don’t need to worry about these changes affecting their chances of employment. The truth is that the need for these highly skilled workers will actually increase with the implementation of ICD-10.

One of the main reasons for the increase of work is that the new book of codes is a lot more specific than ICD-9. For instance, in ICD-9, the code for a burn on the left arm is the same code as a burn on the right arm. While this may not matter to the insurance company, it does matter to the treating physician, the patient and the transcription. There are not numerous new diseases in the new manual, but it will have over 70,000 codes listed. These are also going to be seven digits, instead of the five seen in the past. The increase in codes and length of codes will help the medical coder be more specific.

There is no substitute for an intelligent human mind, so the fear that medical transcription will be obsolete after the new implementation is unfounded. Both transcriptionist and coders will actually have to work harder and attend more training to become compliant. The new system may be confusing and overwhelming to those who have worked on ICD-9 for years. As these older employees leave the workforce, fresh new recruits will be needed.

Importance of Implementing Electronic Health Records (EHRs) from ICD-10 prospective

In order to be compliant with the new rules, healthcare facilities will find that having an efficient EHR (electronic health record) system in place first will be a huge benefit. There are still thousands of private practices that have not made the switch to electronic medical records, but this will hurt them when they must face compliance with the new coding regulations.

By implementing an easy to use and efficient EHR, the transition to ICD-10 will be a lot smoother. If a facility does not yet use computers for their records, they should consider doing this as soon as possible to be ready for the upcoming coding and documentation changes.

The reason an EHR is so important is because it helps streamline the coding process. It is much easier to use a search function on a computer than trying to pore through hundreds of pages in a patient’s chart to find information. To determine whether an injury was on the left or right side of the body, for example, the coder can simply search for this terminology within the patient’s electronic record. To find this information in a paper chart wastes hours of valuable time.

How will the New System Help Medical Transcription?

It may be true that the new system will mean less hours of transcribing work but it doesn’t appear transcription will be absolute. In fact, those that choose to stay in the field and learn ICD-10 coding will be rewarded with more hours than ever of transcribing work.

Because ICD-10 demands greater detail, physicians will have to begin giving greater detail in their records. This translates into more words for the transcription, which equals greater pay. Also, the increased need for transcription with coding expertise will mean better rewarding opportunities.

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8 Definitive Skills Required in Medical Transcriptionists

Medical transcriptionists need to have certain key skill-sets to be successful in medical transcription domain. In this article; we look at distinct skill-sets required by medical transcriptionists in medical transcription business.

Medical transcription business is expanding on a daily basis. We are already seeing a lot of demand for specialized services of medical transcriptionists in the market. There are several skill sets required for a medical transcriptionist to be successful in their profession. Let us look at these skills individually:

Exceptional control over grammar, spelling and punctuation:  Medical transcriptionist should have exceptional spelling skills. It is always recommended for the medical transcriptionist to have a dictionary with them but do not ponder over the words excessively; because most probably they are paid for the amount they type. Good grammar skills and punctuation marks will give them an edge over their competitors. Concentration for longer period of time: A medical transcriptionist needs to sit in front of computers for longer period of time. Good focus on the transcribed document can reduce the number of mistakes in the patient’s medical report. Mistakes can endanger the lives of patients hence; proper care needs to be taken while transcribing the document.Work without supervision and stay motivated: Sometimes medical transcriptionists need to work from home. At that point, it becomes very important for them to stay motivated so that they can work without any supervision. Turnaround time for the reports need to be met; as a report is due in only one or two hours after it is dictated.Exceptional research skills:  A medical transcriptionist must have excellent research skills. They should not only have the right reference books, but they should also be able to pick the right book quickly. The medical transcriptionist should be able to find hospitals and physicians; in case if there is any spelling mistake or abbreviations.Above average typing skills: Good typing skills are must for an excellent medical transcriptionist.  Without typing speed it becomes very difficult for the medical transcriptionist to complete their targets and get the desired career results.A good memory: Medical transcriptionists need to have a good memory. It is not possible for them to stop every now and then to look for things and yet be accurate.Desire for continuous education: Medical transcriptionist need to continuously update themselves with new medications, new surgical instruments, and even new diseases. There are always new things to learn everyday in the medical transcription field. Hence, medical transcriptionist need to regularly update themselves with new revisions.Learn new languages and accents: With the advancement in technology, medical transcriptionists need to prepare transcriptions for doctors residing in different regions and different accents. The more accustomed the medical transcriptionist is; the better changes of growth are available to them.

Medical transcriptionists need to have passion for words, curiosity for meaning and desire to continuously grow in this demanding field. A global medical transcription company will always recruit the best medical transcriptionists after evaluating the necessary skill-sets specified above.

Mediscribes, Inc. is one of the fastest growing Medical Transcription & document management systems providers in United States, based in Metro Louisville. Mediscribes is an ISO 9000-2001 certified company, rendering cost-effective consolidated transcription solutions to major hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities in United States. Mediscribes is the most value-providing organization in the market today with a strong presence in America and offshore locations. The firm specializes in providing highly accurate transcription adhering to ADHI guidelines in unbeatable turnaround time with robust & proven document management system as its vantage point to its esteemed clientele.

Mediscribes provides end-to-end transcription solutions as its primary offering. For our customers, we focus on dictation systems, both ASP as well as enterprise level solutions, with the help of our most valued asset   ezVoiceIntelligence (ezVI), providing specialty-specific qualitative transcription along with a “whole nine yards” document management system. Mediscribes specializes in EMR data integration as well. Our data dispatch department is highly proficient in integrating transcribed reports into any type of EMR. Healthcare facilities that do not have EMR get the option to use our web-based file monitoring interface called eTranscribe for global access to their data. eTranscribe has special features of E-signing, E-faxing, auto-printing, and user-friendly document search criteria.

For additional information, please visit http://www.mediscribes.com

Tags: Cardiology Transcription, Medical Dictation, Medical Transcription, Medical Transcription Companies, Medical Transcription Service, Medical Transcription Services, Outsource Medical Transcription, , Transcription Service

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Fire Department Tests QR Codes for Citizen Medical Data

Every second counts during medical emergencies, and quick access to medical information can be the difference between life and death.

Marin County, Calif., located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, is working to ensure first responders have access to this crucial information. In early June, the county’s fire department began piloting a yearlong project that offers residents tech-enhanced stickers that link to an online health profile.

Partnering with Lifesquare, a start-up company located in Menlo Park, Calif., Marin County is distributing free quick response (QR) code stickers, which when scanned by a camera-equipped mobile device, direct emergency responders to the resident’s online medical profile. As of August, the county had 1,100 enrollees in the program.

“We’ve utilized the Lifesquare technology, and it has worked well,” said Mike Giannini, Marin County’s emergency medical services battalion chief. “We’ve been able to get patient information and use it to our advantage.”

QR codes — which resemble a bar code — gained attention in city government in 2009, when Manor, Texas, CIO Dustin Haisler led efforts to have them placed throughout the city so residents and visitors could learn more about a location that held a QR code.

And these codes aren’t typically associated with capturing medical information, but more for disseminating information about historic landmarks and commercial products, such as in Manor. This is changing, however.

Marin County residents can participate in the program by creating a free online account on Lifesquare’s website. From there, they create a profile that includes essential health information such as allergies, medications and emergency contacts — whatever medical details they want to divulge. Information entered into the profiles is stored securely in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant servers, according to Lifesquare.

Once a medical profile is created, Lifesquare mails the participant a package of stickers that feature their unique QR code. The idea is to place the stickers in convenient locations, such as wallets, bike helmets, refrigerators and car keys. If an individual is unconscious or incapacitated, paramedics can easily locate the sticker and scan it to bring up his or her medical information, said Ryan Chamberlain, spokesman for Lifesquare.

To access the medical information using the stickers, the county’s firefighters and emergency responders scan the QR code with a mobile device — and Lifesquare gave the county 50 iPhone units for use in the trial.

Currently, medical information can only be accessed by medical personnel participating in the pilot who have the Lifesquare EMS application on their mobile device.

Chamberlain said that unlike static medical information alerting methods like bracelets, the company’s QR code proprietary technology is cloud-based so users can update their online profiles at any time.

“[The QR code sticker] can go anywhere with you and it’s secure,” Chamberlain said. “If you’re sitting in a coffee shop, nobody can look over and read what your medical history is. It’s just a code, and only the professionals can get to that.”

Before experimenting with QR code technology, the county implemented a similar program — called Vial of LIFE (lifesaving information for emergencies) — to make medical information easily accessible to emergency responders, Giannini said.

According to the county fire department website, Vial of LIFE provides residents with kits that contain materials —like a refrigerator magnet, sticker for a front door and medical information form — that would help emergency responders find their medical data in the event of a crisis.

Giannini said because the fire department’s Vial of LIFE program is similar to the idea behind the stickers printed with QR codes, the department was a big proponent of working with Lifesquare to use the technology. In the near future, Giannini said he’d like to see information gathered from Lifesquare integrated into reports that responders must complete.

“We’re looking for them to create a bridge that will take all of that information from Lifesquare and populate the pertinent fields in our electronic patient care report,” Giannini said. “So that will provide us with not only more accurate information, but it will save us a significant amount of time during the course of patient care and over the long term.”

So why is Marin the first to pilot Lifesquare’s medical QR code program? Chamberlain said a combination of community interest and need were factors.

The county — a mountainous landscape and home to sites like film director George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch — is also home to a vibrant senior citizen population and many cyclists. Chamberlain said these two populations alone made Marin County a good fit for the pilot’s launch.

Marin also is a stone’s throw away from Silicon Valley, a factor that could be seen as advantageous for bringing technology to the community.

Chamberlain said the next step to expanding the Lifesquare technology would be to connect it with an electronic patient care report system as a way to simplify how the medical information is transferred for a patient. If paramedics process the scene of an accident by first scanning a person’s Lifesquare QR code then directly upload that information to an electronic patient care report system, the information is more seamless and error free.

“You don’t have people trying to write out a long form of medications, prescriptions and medicine names, or misspelling a person’s name and things like that,” Chamberlain said. “So not only is it quicker for paramedics, it also removes that element of human error.”

Chamberlain said Marin County has just finalized a contract with an electronic patient care records company. Once a system is implemented, the Lifesquare technology will be synced with it.

So far, the program has only been deployed in Marin County, but Lifesquare ultimately plans to expand the QR code stickers to other counties. Chamberlain said for the technology to have optimal utilization, it will be important for major health-care providers to participate as a way to target critical mass.

“I think the bigger picture is it needs to be adopted in large scale,” Chamberlain said. “Marin County was a great test of how it works, but for it to really work well, we need to have everyone on board.”

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