Tag Archives: medicine

The Need for Evidence Based Referrals

Evidence based referrals, part of the growing transparency trend in healthcare, provides data on clinical outcomes for procedures before a referral has been made in order to pair the patient with the best possible physician, based on the data for that procedure. Research shows that for many procedures, high volume hospitals tend to have better outcomes due to the enhanced skills through repetition of procedures, essentially a “practice makes perfect effect, while also having the system wide support through, capable clinical teams, adherence to best practices, sophisticated equipment, and the enhanced abilities of auxiliary medical personnel. These factors combined produce positive resulting in order for patients to expect the safest possible surgery at hospitals with low mortality rates and high rates of adherence to clinical practices known to improve surgical outcomes.

Evidence shows that if patients seeking specific high-risk surgeries or treatments would chose high-volume hospitals for their care, this could save more than 4,000 lives annually. However, due to the lack of data currently available today and interoperability issues in EHRs, evidence based referrals are not widespread.

MedVoy’s evidence based referral workflow has the ability to incorporate any evidence based metrics into its referral process thus making sure that the patients are referred to the right facility with the better processes, and positive outcomes.

hospital volume and outcomes

source http://www.academyhealth.org/Training/content.cfm?ItemNumber=1691

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Healthcare Transparency – Call to Action

A recent Fast Company article, Why We Need Health-Care Business Innovation More Than Ever, lambasted the current flow of information in the current healthcare system paradigm and expressed a call to action for “transparent business models and processes need to be established to enable collaboration.”

Some disturbing facts from this article:

  • Three out of every 10 tests are reordered because results cannot be found.
  • Patient charts cannot be found on 30% of visits.
  • One-fifth of medical errors are due to the lack of immediate access to patient information.
  • Thirty to forty percent of the money we spend on health care–more than half a trillion dollars a year–is spent on costs associated with “overuse, underuse, misuse, duplication, system failures, unnecessary repetition, poor communication and inefficiency.”

MedVoy was designed to address precisely these issues with transparency and collaboration.  By improving the referral workflow, doctors have immediate access to patient records – eliminating the duplication of procedures, improving efficiency and improving the continuum of care.


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Why you Need a Referral Management System with your EHR

medical-advice-lApproximately 60 percent of ambulatory providers are unsatisfied with their electronic health records (EHR), according to a new IDC Health Insights report.  The key complaints are usability and workflow; the paramount concern being lost productivity – 85 percent surveyed said that they were spending more time on documentation and 66 percent cited that they were seeing fewer patients.

Using a referral system, such as MedVoy can integrate with your existing EHR to help fill these gaps

Enhances Provider Communication

Healthcare relies on effective communication amongst the providers, specialist and staff.  MedVoy enables the ability to track and manage referrals – even across disparate EHRs and patient management systems.  A specialist can understand their cases before they see the patients – allowing them to use their limited patient time most efficiently.

Improved Documentation

MedVoy’s secure, HIPPA compliant platform has a very lightweight workflow and then uses push/pulls to other EHRs to allow access to all documentation in one place and to help avoid the duplication in procedures – eliminating the onerous data entry and documentation concerns.

Feedback Loops Aids with Continuum of Care

A current constraint with referrals is that they often fall into a “black hole”, where the referring providers do not know what happened with the patient.  Using MedVoy, the referring providers can easily look at the referral status, follow up notes, appointments and ongoing patient care.


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MedVoy 2.0 Limited Launch!

MedVoy 2.0 is now available for select group of providers for a limited launch!  MedVoy has been redesigned as a simple, secure healthcare referral management platform that enables healthcare entities to generate referrals, to track, to manage and to promote continuum of care.
In the current referral paradigm, 70 percent of referrals go unscheduled and 25 percent of scheduled appointments are missed.  MedVoy flips this dynamics and stops the endless paper shuffling – putting providers in control of their referrals.
Here is a sneak preview of some new features for MedVoy
•    Tracks and manages the referral workflow
•    Provides a lightweight HIPAA-compliant user portal
•    Garner Business Intelligence (BI) insights using our BI reporting platformfree
•    Schedule appointments immediately online
Sign up today to get started!

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How to make money investing in the medical travel industry

By now, you’ve heard all the hype about the potential growth of the medical travel industry and how US patients are fleeing the country to get affordable care. Unfortunately, the experts agree, that there are few reliable statistics about the size and growth of the market, there are no common definitions of a medical traveler, comparisons of revenues and costs are hard to make, and there remain persistent, nagging barriers to widespread adoption by patients, payers and physicians.

That said, investors are still clinging to the promise of big returns fueled by patients losing their health benefits because of high unemployment, the aging population requiring more units of care and exploding costs of healthcare. If you think the medical travel industry is set to explode, there are some areas of investment to consider:

Foreign Healthcare infrastructure

  • Hospitals and systems
    Ambulatory surgery centers
    Clinical labs and imaging centers
    Disease specific treatment facilities like cancer centers, stem cell centers, etc
  • Foreign Travel and hospitality infrastructure

  • Hotels and Surgical Hotels
    Airport development

  • Tools and support companies

  • Players in global healthcare information exchange
    Data analytics and business intelligence
    Quality, price and value determinations
    Companies offering alternative pricing mechanisms

  • Supporting global healthcare insurance and travel products

  • Trip cancellation
    Follow up care
    Emergency evacuation
    Professional liability
    Infectious disease management
    Geopolitical risk insurance
  • Firms in the medical travel supply chain

  • Travel medicine clinics
    Medical travel facilitators and specialty travel agents
    Medical concierge ground operators
    Currency exchange risk managers

  • Expatriate retirement health cities and communities

    Like other industry sectors, gold, for example, you can invest in the product itself, the people who create the product, or investments that pools risks, like mutual funds or exchange traded funds.

    Look for companies in markets where the supply of care does not meet the demands of a growing middle class, that provide products and services delivering low, cost high volume care, and that provide platforms and infrastructure designed to reduce transaction costs for billing and collecting and value-based information.

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    SURGICAL HOTELS: An Emerging Opportunity

    With more and more patients seeking care away from home, there is an opportunity for the hotel and hospitality industry to offer customized services to patients recovering from surgery and treatments and their companions. Neither a hospital nor a hotel, a surgical hotel is a place designed to provide a level of care below that required in a hospital, but yet accommodates the healing needs of patients in a comfortable environment.

    So, what does a surgical hotel offer?

    How does a hotel providing services to a postoperative patients and their companions provide value and differentiate themselves?

    A surgical hotel, part hospital-part hotel, would offer the following:

    1. location convenient to healthcare facilities
    2. transportation to facilities/airport/other
    3. availability of emergency medical care
    4. amenities
    5. sensitivity to the needs of specific postop patients; connected rooms.
    6. things to do for companions
    7. information and communication technology links with providers
    8. alternative/complementary services for postop patient
    9. security
    10. privacy/confidentiality in check in and exits
    11. disability accommodations in architecture, transportation vehicles
    12. medical concierge
    13. accommodate in-room stay by nurse or companion
    14. availability of equipment to take vital signs by medical professional
    15. availability of wound management supplies
    16. online medical education and postop care resources
    17. nutrition counselor, special dietary restrictions
    18. evacuation preferences
    19. brand awareness and snob appeal
    20. new design for bedding and furniture?
    21. allergy free environment
    22. medication reminder system (part of automatic wake-up call system?)
    23. mini-kitchen facilities
    24. real time patient feedback and request system
    25. panic button
    26. prevention of nosocomial (need a new word for hotel acquired) infections
    27. modified housekeeping schedule
    28. separate parking a minimal distance to room
    29. wheelchair management
    30. quiet
    31. bathroom amenities (antibacterial soap, hand lotion, etc)
    32. antibacterial surfaces on furniture
    33. billing and collecting interface with medical insurance ?
    34. disposable cell phones for companions
    35. pet accommodations?

    The global medical travel industry in rapidly growing and expected to reach $1B by 2012. Developers and the hospitality industry have an opportunity to participate and profit by offering differentiated, value added services to patients and their family members and companions that accompany them for care away from home.

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    Medical Travel is Maturing but Patients are Still Confused

    The medical travel industry is maturing.  Researchers have created centers to study it, like the Center for Medical Tourism Research at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas (http://www.uistx.edu ) and doctors have created organizations to professionalize it , like the International Board of Medicine and Surgery (http://www.ibms.us ). Conferences, seminars and trade associations are sprouting up all over the world and medical travel bloggers litter the medical tourism landscape.

    Despite it’s growth, I think patients are still confused  about the multiple products and services that all seem to be the same. If you are considering offering medical travel benefits to your employees or are  considering leaving home for care, here are three questions you should ask  that might help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Who do you get connected to?

    The traditional referral model is your doctor, someone you trust,  refers you to another doctor for  specialty care or consultation. In most instances in medical tourism, however,  a facilitator or other intermediary  connects you  to a hospital or ground agent partner in another country who connects you to a doctor on the medical staff of the overseas hospital. All those steps can be confusing, add middle-man costs, and create opportunities for errors.

    How do you establish some kind of relationship with the consultant before leaving home?

    Since it is impractical for you to see your foreign consultant preoperatively face to face, take advantage of facilitators, like Medvoy, that can help connect you to your doctor using telemedicine communications technologies.

    What’s the difference between one facilitator and the other?

    As the market matures, industry players are creating ways to differentiate themselves and break from the rest of the pack. In general, facilitators compete on price, access, service, experience and their product. Just as Hermes sells quality, Wal-Mart competes on price and Nordstrom’s is know for service. Decide what’s most important to you and pick a facilitator that will deliver.

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    Enrollment in High Deductible Health Plans Increased in 2010

    According to the survey from Benefit Research Institute, the 2010 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey showed that enrollments in high deductible health plans increased in 2010 – from 13% in 2009 to 14% in 2010.

    Large deductibles mean that patient will pay out-of-pocket for many of their medical expensive. As more and more Americans are tightening their belts, they will be looking elsewhere to lower their medical cost. This will raise demand for diagnostic tests (colonoscopies, endoscopies, CT scans, MRI), overall health screenings (Executive Wellness Exams) as well as other procedures, such as orthopedics, ophthalmology and others. Global healthcare can help to fill in the gaps to provide solutions to help families struggling with rising healthcare costs.

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    Has Medical Tourism Gone Mainstream?

    A new reality show entitled The Health and Wellness Travel Show takes men around the world to explore alternative treatments in a variety of exotic locations. The show will take a look at a variety of ancient and modern treatments from a variety of practitioners ranging from traditional doctors to shamans. This premise has been given the Hollywood spin and dramatized for television since medical tourism connects patients to accredited and highly-trained medical doctors. However, the fact that this show even exists makes the case that global healthcare has become mainstream and the concept of leaving home for a cure is becoming commonplace.

    What do you think?

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    American Culture in Global Healthcare

    American Culture in Global Healthcare

    Global medical tourism exists because medicine transcends borders and doctors around the world genuinely care about patients. Apart from medicine, Americans have some unique commonalities that MedVoy’s providers and successful overseas healthcare providers already understand. As a reminder, here are some uniquely American cultural differences that are important to recognize:

    English is our Only Language
    Unlike other countries, Americans generally do not learn another language as part of their primary education. Since we only speak English, Americans are hesitant to speak other languages and tend to prefer to travel to countries where the language barrier is not an issue. While this trend is shifting, if you want to attract Americans, there needs to be an English speaking staff.

    Privacy Please
    It’s a fact – Americans like their personal space. This is noticeable in any restaurant where solo diners sit alone at a table for two rather than at a communal table with strangers. Our puritanical roots have also instilled a deep sense of modesty, especially when dealing with medical issues. The bottom line is understanding the need for personal space when considering your US guest. We prefer single hospital rooms and private waiting rooms, ideally with an international department allocated just for us.

    Aesthetics Count
    USA is a young country and as such there is a perception that new is better. It’s true that you cannot judge a book by its cover and that décor has nothing to do with medical outcomes. However, never underestimate your first impression. If Americans are heading overseas for medical care, we want to go to a modern facility – your photos and your facilities need to reflect this.

    This list is certainly not exhaustive, what are others that should be listed?

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