Digital Transformation and the Healthcare Industry

In the last few years, healthcare has joined other industries in the quest to deliver better customer experience. This has brought about a fundamental change in the healthcare industry and they have now shifted from volume to value of care of patients. The evolution in the cloud, data and mobile technologies has disrupted the health care industry.

The disruption has forced insurance companies and healthcare providers to move from a health system driven model to a customer oriented model. The behavioural needs of the modern customer has also changed and they now demand both control and choice.

Digital transformation is revolutionizing healthcare. It has helped connect and apply data, communication and technology to engage and redefine customer experiences. Most people have a misconception that digital transformation is about automation of jobs, processes and technology but it is much bigger than that.

Digital transformation requires you to rethink all your business processes. It is all about using data and digital technology by putting the needs of the customer at the centre of the business. If you want to succeed in the transformation, you need to look at the entire ecosystem of the company and determine ways to drive more value to the customer.

Optimize Clinical and Operational Effectiveness

Digital technology has helped improve quality and outcome of healthcare services. Consumers are now able to access and analyse information, so that they are able to make informed choices. Innovative solutions are offered to improve quality of care and efficiency of services. The new technology has helped reduce clinical variations.

Operational Analytics

The operations are streamlined and this helps reduce costs. Clinicians and executives are now able to share information and analyse the structured and unstructured data to make informed choices. Structured (electronic medical records) and unstructured (handwritten case notes) data can be brought together to get insights and uncover actionable intelligence.

Clinical Analytics

The quality and outcome of health services are drastically improved by creation of powerful data models. The healthcare professionals can collaborate and share insights in new ways. The accuracy, completeness and consistency of health information is improved by resolving problems that are caused by bad data.

Medical Data Storage

Innovative and new technologies in the healthcare industry is generating more data than before. Digital technology has enabled healthcare providers to store the data and utilize it in the best possible way. The data can be used to optimize patient care and anticipate the emerging health trends.

Technology has helped create a system of engagement with patients. Physicians will be able to get more information about their patients and this can revolutionize the services that are provided to customers. Health professionals can explore and navigate reports faster.

Digital transformation is an ongoing process that puts customer at the centre of healthcare business. It is important to look beyond technology to drive innovation. If the healthcare industry wants to keep pace with digital disruption, it needs to engage with those that it wants to please, its consumers. Failure to engage with the customer can result in the industry operating behind the times.

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The Growth of the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing industries of the world. The industry comprises of hospitals and other associated sectors. As per a report by the body of the healthcare industry and Yes Bank, the industry, by 2012 would touch US $77 billion from the US $35 billion in November 2009, registering a growth of nearly 23%. Other economies like Brazil, China and Mexico too have registered a growth, but in the US, the industry has seen a sector wise growth of nearly 9.3. This growth is a result of the rise in healthcare facilities in the public as well as the private sectors, pathological laboratories, medical diagnostics and health insurance sector.

The healthcare industry has seen this growth as a result of the increase in demand of the healthcare facilities, both in the public and private sectors. Various business houses are now foraying into the medical care industry. In India too, several projects related to healthcare facilities are being planned and implemented. Rural healthcare sector has also seen a tremendous surge. The number of primary health care centers has improved and better medical facilities are now being made available in far-fetched rural areas.

One of the major contributors to the increasing healthcare industry is the health insurance sector. It is becoming a lucrative business opportunity for new as well as existing companies. With the costs related to medical services escalating, more and more individuals are seeking medical insurance, thereby contributing to the growth of the industry. The number of pathological labs, diagnostic centers, medical facilities and clinics has increased, thereby being in the queue for being helpful in the growth of the healthcare industry. As the industry is growing, it is creating more job opportunities. Individuals can now serve others, not only by being in the mainstream medical care-giving sector, but also by serving in the associated areas like administration, finance and management.

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Group Governance in Healthcare Industry

Group governance in the healthcare industry relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, and verify performance. It consists of a specific part of management and leadership processes. In the case of hospital and healthcare industry, governance relates to consistent management, cohesive policies, processes and decision rights for a given area of responsibility.

The purposes of group governance in the healthcare industry is to take into account the concerns about quality and service, the distress experienced by many providers, the need for collaborative approaches to strategy development and strategy fulfillment for developing the very leadership infrastructure essential for success. This work combines organizational assessment, retreat facilitation, ongoing counsel to top management, the support of major change initiatives and coaching of senior executives. The consultation process, group practice leadership, and the development of organizational cohesion are also the purposes of group governance. The purpose of group governance is to provide trusted solutions that would protect and enhance health and financial wellbeing. It would help to develop the strategy to broaden beyond the concept of health protection to give customers more peace of mind on health and financial matters. The products and services could extend beyond just traditional health services to include travel insurance, life insurance, retirement planning and lifestyle management. The goal should be to provide the whole of life approach to health and wellbeing, through providing the right approach to the right people, in the right way, at the right time in their life.

Group governance provides the umbrella for all governance approaches. It combines the principles of corporate/financial accountability with clinical/management accountability. It helps to unite the various strands of governance within a common framework, addresses the issues of overlap and provides a system which will include finance, efficiency and economy, effectiveness, efficacy and compliance with healthcare standards. The move towards integrated governance is also reflected in the governance domain of the standards for better health. The purpose is to have greater accountability in regard to patient outcomes, effectiveness of treatment, satisfaction of patients and to have an ethical use of resources by the health services organizations.

Some of the key characteristics of group governance are to have a corporate philosophy and policies that support the governance structure and functions within the organization and have a clear, consistent understanding by the board and CEO of the board’s role, responsibilities, authority and organizational relationships. Group governance will help develop the support and leadership of the CEO who is committed to building a strong governance structure and practices and to have a sustained organizational commitment to a solid board development program. It will help to form a sound structure and staff resources to assist the board and its committees and on-going access to important information coupled with well-constructed board and committee agendas that focus the member’s time and energy on key governance priorities. Core governance processes should be well-designed and reviewed regularly to identify opportunities for improvement. Substantial engagement of clinicians who are chosen by virtue of their commitment and expertise as members of governing boards and board committees. A board culture that is characterized by proactive engagement of its members, a consistent pattern of constructive dialogue and debate, and enlivened decision-making processes.

One important common characteristic of group governance is to maintain the corporate philosophy and policies that support the governance structure and functions within the organization. Whether it is a free-standing hospital or a large health care system with facilities in several states, governing boards are unlikely to be effective without strong support by the corporate sponsor or parent body. This support is demonstrated by clear expectations, appropriate resources and thoughtful oversight. There should be an on-going process for assessing the board’s changing needs of expertise. There should be an active recruitment effort to attract trustees who can meet those needs with an on-going board evaluation process with the twin goals of objective appraisal and continuous improvement. The group governance would function effectively with good staff and logistical support.

Second common characteristic of group governance is to have a clear, consistent understanding by the board and CEO of the board’s role, responsibilities, authority and organizational relationships. The role of the board is to provide leadership and set the organization’s strategic direction and vision, set policies and organizational performance measures. Its role is to appoint and delegate authority to and monitor the chief executive and ensure that the organization has the resources to run efficiently and monitor and evaluate performance. To be effective, boards must have highly capable and committed persons in these leadership roles. The pace of positive change can be accelerated greatly through the active engagement and support of the CEO. Board leaders should review their board’s composition to ensure that clinician voices are heard. Studies in the healthcare field and other sectors have indicated that organizations whose boards are involved, interactive and proactive are more likely to perform better than similar organizations with less engaged boards.

There are many factors beyond the quality of group governance that affect the performance of hospitals and other health care organizations. For example, the caliber of clinical staff and executive leadership, the resources to acquire the best technology and the effectiveness of information systems. However, governmental agencies, bond rating agencies, donors and other stakeholders are recognizing that the quality of group governance is important, and they are pressing for higher standards and better board performance.

There has been changes in the structure and duties of boards of directors in for-profit hospitals over the past 50 years. Over the past 50 years the institutional, governance, and strategic functions of boards have changed. The higher levels of board size and diversity, traditionally associated with optimal institutional and governance performance of boards have affected the board’s ability to initiate strategic changes during periods of environmental turbulence. The board diversity in particular has been a significant constraint on strategic change.

A change in the structure and duties of the board of directors have happened to actively promote quality improvement and a new approach is set in management in healthcare services. Their duties have expanded over time to an expanded managerial role. There have been increasing demands in leadership roles with group decision making and stimulating a team approach. Over the years, transformational leadership in health care organizations has developed to change systems and processes underlying quality. 50 years back, there were several barriers in the role of board of directors to providing leadership in hospitals and thus the quality and its authority over medical staff and administration. Barriers included trustee ignorance, trustee insecurity, board inattention, poor board-physician communication, fragmented information on quality, traditional medical staff structure, lack of professional management of quality, and lack of investment. This has improved over the years by developing strategies for hospital board leadership which have included preparing to lead, self-education, visible participation in quality activities, activism, role clarification, increased informal dialogue with physicians, medical staff reform, creation of a quality management department, instituting high-quality standards, and external quality audit. Boards are facing a historic opportunity to transform hospital quality backed by a strong legal mandate.

Single hospital boards have been the selected method of governance since the first hospitals were built in this country in the 1600s. However, in recent years, governance of the healthcare system has undergone a radical transformation. Single hospital boards have almost disappeared. Instead, hospitals have been clustered together by governments into multiple-hospital consortia, or into regions, often with other non-hospital healthcare organizations that had previously enjoyed autonomous governance (e.g., boards of public health). This has resulted in the differences in the structures, operations, functions in the healthcare boards. A major healthcare transformation in the United States has also been the conversion of nonprofit hospitals to for-profit entities.

Economic forces have been shaping healthcare at a rapid pace and have affected all stakeholders, including providers, insurers, consumers, and federal and state governments. As major players in the industry, hospitals and health systems have experienced the impact of key changes. The strategic implications and the adjustments to direction have positioned the healthcare organizations for continued competitive success. Over the years, there have been magnitude and direction of changes in board structure, composition, and selection and CEO-board relations. The board activity, evaluation, and compensation are examined for the population of hospitals and for different categories of hospitals which was not the same as before. The findings suggest that hospital boards are now engaging in selective rather than wholesale change to meet the simultaneous demands of a competitive market and traditional institutional orientations to community. Results also suggest parallel increases in collaboration between boards and CEOs and in board scrutiny of CEOs. The critical challenge to the boards over the years has been to align the interests of the physicians with the organizations. As a result of multiple developments in healthcare and healthcare policy, hospital administrators, policy makers and researchers are increasingly challenged to reflect on the meaning of good hospital governance and how they can implement it in the hospital organizations.

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Sears Promo Codes – What Can I Buy With Them?

A lot of people are looking for ways they can save money. Whether they are buying food, clothing, household items, and necessities, it is the innate nature of an individual to look for a discount. If they cannot find a discount, they will look for a cheaper option. This though, does not apply with Sears promo codes.

The beauty about having a code is that you can get to save some items on your shopping venture. Since you have gotten a promo code for Sears, you can make use of the discount only with the brand. But you should not worry on what you can use it with as Sears has a complete line of everything that you can possibly need or want. The only thing they lack is food.

You can use your promo code if you will buy appliances, automotive/tires, beauty, baby, bed, bath, home, books, clothing, electrical gadgets, gifts, fitness, sports, health, jewelry, and a lot of other products. With Sears, you can easily have choose what you want to buy as they have such an extensive array of available products that you can choose from. You can even buy gifts for your friends.

The list of items that you can buy with your Sears promo codes seems to be endless. Your needed items can simply be bought at Sears. Because of this, you do not need to go to another retail store so you can complete what’s on your list. Truly, this fact alone can already save you some money on transportation costs that you would have otherwise needed to spend.

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Top Brand Professional Automotive Tools Reviewed – Know Your Budget

The tool market is well serviced in terms of brands, design, quality and price. The key consideration is to evaluate your needs. For example, it is pointless buying a laptop capable driving sophisticated 3G games when really all that is required from the unit is basic desktop and internet work. This kind of example also applies to buying tools. For instance, why waste one’s budget on buying the most expensive tools when their application is for occasional hobby type tasks.

Lets start with an overview comparison. It is widely agreed that the best quality and designed tools are manufactured by the Snap-on company. This brand of tools is designed for the professional market. No tool brand is perfect and infallible to failure. However, the Snap-on lifetime warranty means that when a tool breaks, it is replaced or repaired by the service representatives. Snap-on tools can be bought from their distribution trucks and vans that visit automotive workshops. Alternatively, their online catalog allows purchasing via the internet. Second-hand and recycled Snap-on tools are also eagerly traded through websites like eBay and eBay Partner sites.

As noted above, Snap-on automotive tools are at the upper price range. However, there is no shortage of professional grade tool brands at price points below that of the Snap-on brand. For example the brands: Matco, MAC and Cornwell are equally respected in the professional automotive sector. Matco, MAC and Cornwell off a range of professional tools that deliver quality and reliability while carrying sound lifetime warranties and professional after sales service. And are less expensive than the Snap-on brand for the budget minded professional automotive technician. The availability of these brands for sale is similar to Snap-on tools. Trucks visit and distribute tools at automotive workshops. Also, online catalogs and auction type websites offer buy opportunities.

For those budget sensitive buyers, the next set of tool brands is SK and Craftsman. The manufacturing quality of these brands meet USA standards and carry similar lifetime warranties like those brands mentioned above. So, for the semi-professional or hobbyist application these tool brands are an ideal choice. Some may argue that the SK brand, although not as popular, is a little superior to the Craftsman brand. But this opinion is subjective. Craftsmanship and SK brand tools are a more accessible to the buying market. For example, Craftsmanship brand tools are stocked at Sears stores, while the SK brand is found in automotive parts stores and outlets.

In summary, if price is no restraint, then tools from the Snap-on range are considered to be the best quality. Where quality and service is still a priority, then brands such as: matco, MAC and Cornwell offer offer quality profession lines of tools as less expensive price points. Finally, the brands SK and Craftsmanship serve the semi-professional market with tools that are not subject to the high demands of daily professional usage. The advice for any buyer is assess the task application of the tool, and allocate your budget to buy the right tool for the right job.

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Automotive Dynamic Guide – How to Be Ready to Drive in a Foreign Land

If you are going to be behind the wheel of a new rented car, and in a strange foreign land where you have never driven before, what should you do in preparing to drive?

Just not so long ago, I was in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, located just north of Singapore. As those of you who have traveled widely to Asia would know, the traffic on the roads in most of the Asian countries is heavy throughout the day, and many times driving habits take precedence over traffic rules and regulations, especially when the searing tropical heat bears down on cool heads, and raise tempers!

Before me was a small locally produced Malaysian car – the Perodua Kancil- named after the tiny deer that can run swiftly through the Malaysian jungles.

And I need to use that car, to brave the heavy traffic of the day to move to the next nearest city of Shah Alam to attend to a business meeting.

Alien to the area, alien to the car- what should I do?

Indeed, when you are confronted with such a situation, what should you do?

Keep cool – and PLAN your journey, and use the car intelligently.

For instance, perform the very, very basic inspection on your car before you even use it. This means:

1. check the tires and their pressure

2. check the engine oil and their brake fluid

3. check the battery

4. ensure the brakes are functioning ( there’s nothing like to take it for a short slow ride to put it to the test! )

Plan your journey- for instance, do not be afraid to ask directions and record them down so that you can always refer to the notes. Plan the timing of your journey – so that you can always drive during the slower traffic periods, away from the maddening crowds in the rush hour traffic. Protect yourself especially your eyes from the glaring tropical sun by wearing light sunglasses. Be properly attired. And wear shoes! The last tip on wearing shoes may seem funny, but when it is perennial summer in the tropics, many visitors, especially those who come from the cooler temperate countries would be tempted to wear only sandals!

And when you go on the roads, observe the speed limits. Do not push your vehicle to the maximum speed limits especially where you are driving along strange highways and where traffic jams are a norm.

In my personal case, I was astonished to see cars doubled parked along busy suburb shopping areas and feeder roads while I cruised my way to my destination. I wasn’t sure whether that was allowable, as the double parking of cars in two rows converted the road into a narrow one way path, leading to congestion at many parts. It sure was a “revelation”!

But in a strange land, where you are not the expert in local traffic rules, it is best to play it save. Drive defensively and plan your travel to ease your journey, and you will enjoy that ride.

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Unique Oil Change Concepts Research

In the mobile oil change business there is no standard system, many folks simply build what works or buy a biz-op unit that makes since to them. For years we have studies these various types of units in the market place. If you are in the oil change business you realize how serious it is to stay efficient. In our company like anyone else in this industry, we are out to bring new innovation to the market. We have been looking at ways to better our services.

We have been to in Elkhart, Indiana, we have viewed there unit in another state. We have discussed these and other concepts with other engineers and thinkers. What we have decided is that all ideas are worthy of exploration in our quest to find the most efficient and most environmentally sensitive units. Why are we so driven to build a better mouse-trap? Why are we un deterred with the exploitations of Box Stores changing oil, such as Wal-Mart on what appears to be a below cost endeavor at $12.99. Why do we believe that it is possible to stay efficient enough to compete? Because we see the new innovations out on the street and see entrepreneurs everywhere are rising to the occasion.

Well this year in San Diego, Jiffy Lube is announcing a new program for franchisees with extended bays and adding everything from brake jobs, and engine repair including complete R and R rebuilding of motors. It makes sense for them due to the increased competition in the market place. Midas Muffler has also gone to changing brakes and oil changes. Tilden Franchise is also looking to co-partner with other services and to bundle services to compete. Jiffy Lube’s largest franchisee with well over 150 stores; was de-listed by NASDAQ; are we witnessing a new era in automotive repair and oil changes? We think so.

We watched recently as Roger Penske left Kmart as they closed the doors on 500 stores nationwide and now are merging with Sears in their re-organization plan and closing another 150 stores. In Tucson, AZ for instance we see Kmart on the North West side of town pulling out of the market and then we see a new awesome Valvoline Oil Change Facility on the same property with a 2 million dollar carwash and Detailing Center? Why, well as Lance Fisher the proprietor sees it, he can bundle services, get a no interest loan deal from Valvoline, give the customers what they want and his incredible facility will draw three different services to the same property. Is this the answer to the price wars, bundling, like Microsoft? Well Lance Fisher bets with real money in Tucson, is that a good bet? We think it is, you should see this place, WOW, one of the nicest carwashes in the country, ranks up there with Auto-Wash East and Danny’s Family Carwashes in Phoenix.

These are just a few of the latest interesting changes in the Industry. Some would say this Industry is stagnant. We disagree. We are watching Kendall battle for the latest changes in oil change interval extension and the war against traditional thinking with AMSOIL, Mobile One and others. Lots of new innovations and claims to come; who will lead? Well as we approach the pack and have our sights on the Yellow Jersey, we believe that the team who can service the customer and bring the value will be team yellow. We know this is an up hill grind and we will pursue the race with open eyes and an open mind. If you are in the Oil Change Business Think on this.

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Caring for Leather Car Interiors

Leather consists of thousands and thousands of intertwined fibers, with penetrable pores throughout–just like skin. Proper maintenance starts with cleaning the fibers. Cleaning removes fiber-severing abrasives and pore clogging dirt and dust, both of which will breakdown the leather over time and give it a less than pleasing texture and appearance.

If you have pets, then you may want to invest in pet pads or pet seat covers for your interior. You will also want to look into a good reflective sun shield.

With regular cleaning and conditioning, a leather interior will last for the life of the vehicle. Leather is tough and abuse resistant. The main concern is to determine is what type of leather interior you have, then choose cleaners and conditioners designed specifically for the task. Traditional leather interiors are made of 100% leather, where as some modern interiors are leather coated with a supple vinyl.

A quick test to determine which type you have is to use a small amount of cool clean water. Traditional leather will absorb water, where vinyl coated leather will repel it. Either way, a few drops of water won’t harm your interior.

The next step is to determine the right cleaners and conditioners for your leather. Saddle soap and conditioners, while good for your baseball glove or go-go boots, are not to be used on automotive leather of any kind. The soap contains alkalis, which can permanently damage the material in your seats. Household detergents and cleaners can damage leather as well. Always use only a product designed for the type of leather your vehicle has.

Removing harmful oil and dirt deposits is the crucial first step. Always use clean soft cloths to prevent damage to, or inadvertent removal of the leather dye. Stubborn dirt lodged into crevices may require the use of an upholstery brush. Removal of gunk and grime must be done before conditioning the leather, as you don’t want to permanently push these contaminants into the pores.

The next step, probably even more important, is conditioning. This nourishes and moisturizes to lubricate individual fibers, keeping them from becoming brittle and dry. It replaces essential, natural oils that evaporate. How can you tell a good conditioner? A good conditioner will offer UV protection. Like human skin, ultra-violet rays will quickly cause deterioration of the leather and shorten its lifespan significantly. A good conditioner will be absorbed into the leather, not sit atop the surface or leave residue behind. The surface should not be oily after application. The very best conditioners are pH balanced, have stain repellants, waterproofing agents to protect from accidents.

While cleaning and conditioning your interior be sure not to leave any tools or sharp objects in your pockets that could put a hole in your seats and your good time. As with any cleaner, conditioner or chemical that involves the potential for ruining something really expensive, always test first in a small, inconspicuous area.

Inexpensive leather cleaners and conditioners will contain petroleum distillates, silicon or silicon oils, and gloss agents that deliver an inferior, greasy finish that does nothing for the leather, and transfers to anything that the leather comes in contact with. These chemicals are harmful to your leather.

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