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.
In the wake of recent disasters happening around the world such as earthquake in Italy (January, 2017); hurricanes in the United States (US) (September 2016 and September 2017); and compounding disasters in Haiti (September 2010 and September 2016); to our best knowledge, never has the world seen the need to work on preemptive rather than reactionary measures to salvage this situation than now. Tornadoes are natural hazards that mostly affect mid-western and central states in the US. Tornadoes, like all natural hazards such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and others, are very destructive and result in massive destruction to homes, cause billions of dollars in damage and claims many lives. Healthcare facilities in general are vulnerable to disasters, and therefore, the safety of patients, health workers and those who come in to seek shelter should be a priority. The focus of this study is to assess disaster management measures instituted by healthcare facilities. Thus, the sole aim of the study is to examine the vulnerabilities and the design of safe spaces in healthcare facilities in Central US. Objectives that guide the study are to primarily identify the impacts of tornadoes in hospitals and to assess the structural design or specifications of safe spaces. St. John’s Regional Medical Center, now Mercy Hospital in Joplin, is used as a case study. Preliminary results show that the lateral base shear of the proposed design to be 684.24 ton (1508.49kip) for the safe space. Findings from this work will be used to make recommendations about the design of safe spaces for health care facilities in Central US.
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.
Eco-friendly textiles are gaining importance among the consumers and textile manufacturers in the healthcare sector due to increased environmental pollution which leads to several health and environmental hazards. Hence, the research was designed to cultivate and develop the organic cotton knit, to prepare and characterize the Vetiver oil microcapsules for textile finishing and to access the wash durability of finished knits. The cotton SAHANA variety grown under organic production systems was processed and spun into 30 single yarn dyed with four natural colorants (Arecanut slurry, Eucalyptus leaves, Pomegranate rind and Indigo) and eco dyed yarn was further used for development of single jersy knitted fabric. Vetiveria zizanioides is an aromatic grass which is being traditionally used in medicine and perfumery. Vetiver essential oil was used for preparation of microcapsules by interfacial polymerization technique subjected to Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Thermo Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) for characterization of microcapsules. The knitted fabric was finished with vetiver oil microcapsules by exhaust and pad dry cure methods. The finished organic knit was assessed for laundering on antimicrobial efficiency and aroma intensity. GCMS spectral analysis showed that, diethyl phthalate (28%) was the major compound found in vetiver oil followed by isoaromadendrene epoxide (7.72%), beta-vetivenene (6.92%), solavetivone (5.58%), aromadenderene, azulene and khusimol. Bioassay explained that, the vetiver oil and diluted vetiver oil possessed greater zone of inhibition against S. aureus and E. coli than the coconut oil. FTRI spectra of vetiver oil and microcapsules possessed similar peaks viz., C-H, C=C & C꞊O stretching and additionally oil microcapsules possessed the peak of 3331.24 cm-1 at 91.14 transmittance was attributed to N-H stretches. TGA of oil microcapsules revealed that, there was a minimum weight loss (5.835%) recorded at 467.09°C compared to vetiver oil i.e., -3.026% at the temperature of 396.24°C. The shape of the microcapsules was regular and round, some were spherical in shape and few were rounded by small aggregates. Irrespective of methods of application, organic cotton knits finished with microcapsules by pad dry cure method showed maximum zone of inhibition compared to knits finished by exhaust method against S. aureus and E. coli. The antimicrobial activity of the finished samples was subjected to multiple washing which indicated that knits finished with pad dry cure method showed a zone of inhibition even after 20th wash and better aroma retention compared to knits finished with the exhaust method of application. Further, the group of respondents rated that the 5th washed samples had the greater aroma intensity in both the methods than the other samples. Thus, the vetiver microencapsulated organic cotton knits are free from hazardous chemicals and have multi-functional properties that can be suitable for medical and healthcare textiles.
There is no reservation on the outstanding contribution of patient families in restoration of hospitalised patients, hence their consideration as essential component of hospital ward regimen. The psychological and emotional support a patient requires has been found to be solely provided by the patient’s family. However, consideration of their presence as one of the major functional requirements of an inpatient setting design have always been a source of disquiet, especially in developing countries where policies, norms and protocols of healthcare administration have no consideration for the patients’ family. This have been a major challenge to the hospital ward facilities, a concern for the hospital administration and patient management. The study therefore is aimed at obtaining a consensus opinion on the best approach for family integration in the design of an inpatient setting. A one day visioning charrette involving Architects, Nurses, Medical Doctors, Healthcare assistants and representatives from the Patient families was conducted with the aim of arriving at a consensus opinion on practical design approach for sustainable family integration. Patient’s family are found to be decisive character of hospital ward regimen that cannot be undermined. However, several challenges that impede family integration were identified and subsequently a recommendation for an ideal approach. This will serve as a guide to both architects and hospital management in implementing much desired Patient and Family Centred Care.
An environmental friendly approach for disposal of voluminous durian husk waste could be implemented by substituting them into various valuable commodities, such as healthcare and biofuel products. Thus, the study of composition value in each segment of durian husk was very crucial to determine the suitable proportions of nutrients that need to be added and mixed in the product. A total of 12 ‘Durian Kampung’ fruits from Sg Ruan, Pahang were selected and each fruit husk was divided into four segments and labelled as P-L (thin neck area of white inner husk), P-B (thick bottom area of white inner husk), H (green and thorny outer husk) and W (whole combination of P-B and H). Four experiments have been carried out to determine the dry matter, moisture, ash and crude fibre content. The results show that the H segment has the highest dry matter content (30.47%), while the P-B segment has the highest percentage in moisture (81.83%) and ash (6.95%) content. It was calculated that the ash content of the P-B segment has a higher rate of moisture level which causes the ash content to increase about 2.89% from the P-L segment. These data have proven that each segment of durian husk has a significant difference in terms of composition value, which might be useful information to fully utilize every part of the durian husk in the future.
Being a patient with a chronic disease is both a physical and emotional experience. The ability to recognize a patient’s emotional health is an important part of a health care provider’s skills. For the purposes of this paper, emotional health is viewed as the way that we feel, and the way that our feelings affect us. Understanding the patient’s emotional health leads to improved provider-patient relationships and health outcomes. For example, when a patient first hears his or her diagnosis from a provider, they might find it difficult to cope with their emotions. Struggling to cope with emotions interferes with the patient’s ability to read, understand, and act on health information and services. As a result, the patient becomes more frustrated and confused, creating barriers to accessing healthcare services. These barriers are challenging for both the patient and their healthcare providers. There are five basic emotions that are part of who we are and are always with us: fear, anger, sadness, joy, and compassion. Living with a chronic disease however can cause a patient to experience and express these emotions in new and unique ways. Within the provider-patient relationship, there needs to be an understanding that each patient experiences these five emotions and, experiences them at different times. In response to this need, the paper highlights a health promotion framework for patients with chronic disease. This framework emphasizes the emotional health of patients.
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.
Daily provision of high quality food and hygiene to patients is a challenging goal of the healthcare. In Saudi Arabia, matters related to food safety and hygiene are regulated by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA). The purpose of this research is to discuss the food safety management inconsistencies and flaws, in particular the ones related to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) in Riyadh’s MOH hospitals. As required by law, written HACCP regulations must be implemented, and food handlers need to receive the training accordingly. However, in Saudi hospitals, this is not a requirement, and the food handlers do not need to hold training certificates in food safety or HACCP. Nowadays, the matter of food safety and hygiene have become increasingly important since the decision makers want to align these regulations with the majority of the world and to implement HACCP fully and for this purpose, the SFDA was established.
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.
The pharmaceutical companies are getting more inclined towards patient support programs (PSPs) which assist patients and/or healthcare professionals (HCPs) in more desirable disease management and cost-effective treatment. The utmost objective of these programs is patient care. The PSPs may include financial assistance to patients, medicine compliance programs, access to HCPs via phone or online chat centers, etc. The PSP has a crucial role in terms of customer acquisition and retention strategies. During the conduct of these programs, Marketing Authorisation Holder (MAH) may receive information related to concerned medicinal products, which is usually reported by patients or involved HCPs. This information may include suspected adverse reaction(s) during/after administration of medicinal products. Hence, the MAH should design PSP to comply with regulatory reporting requirements and avoid non-compliance during PV inspection. The emergence of wireless health devices is lowering the burden on patients to manually incorporate safety data, and building a significant option for patients to observe major swings in reference to drug safety. Therefore, to enhance the adoption of these programs, MAH not only needs to aware patients about advantages of the program, but also recognizes the importance of time of patients and commitments made in a constructive manner. It is indispensable that strengthening the public health is considered as the topmost priority in such programs, and the MAH is compliant to Pharmacovigilance (PV) requirements along with regulatory obligations.
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Degree Programme provides full-time Bachelor-level undergraduate studies. ICT Degree Programme has seven different major options; this paper focuses on Health Technology. In Health Technology, a significant curriculum change in 2014 enabled transition from fragmented curriculum including dozens of courses to a new integrated curriculum built around three 30 ECTS themes. This paper focuses especially on the second theme called Customer Oriented Software Applications. From students’ point of view, the goal of this theme is to get familiar with existing health related ICT solutions and systems, understand business around health technology, recognize social and healthcare operating principles and services, and identify customers and users and their special needs and perspectives. This also acts as a background for health related web application development. Built web application is tested, developed and evaluated with real users utilizing versatile user centred development methods. This paper presents experiences obtained from the first implementation of Customer Oriented Software Applications theme. Student feedback was gathered with two questionnaires, one in the middle of the theme and other at the end of the theme. Questionnaires had qualitative and quantitative parts. Similar questionnaire was implemented in the first theme; this paper evaluates how the theme-based integrated curriculum has progressed in Health Technology major by comparing results between theme 1 and 2. In general, students were satisfied for the implementation, timing and synchronization of the courses, and the amount of work. However there is still room for development. Student feedback and teachers’ observations have been and will be used to develop the content and operating principles of the themes and whole curriculum.
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.
One of the great challenges presented in educational practice is how to ensure the students not only acquire knowledge of training courses throughout their academic life, but also how to apply it in their current professional activities. Consequently, aiming to incite changes in the education system of healthcare professionals noticed the inadequacy of the training providers to solve the social problems related to health, the education related to these procedures should initiate in the earliest years of process. Following that idea, there is another question that needs an answer: If the change in the education should start sooner, in the period of basic training of healthcare professionals, what guidelines should a permanent education program incorporate to promote changes in an already established system? For this reason, the objective of this paper is to present different views of the teaching-learning process, with the purpose of better understanding the behavior adopted by healthcare professionals, through bibliographic study. The conclusion was that more than imparting knowledge to the individual, a larger approach is necessary on permanent education programs concerning the performance of professional health services in order to foment significant changes in education.
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.