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Pandemic Preparedness: Leveraging Cloud based Virtual Care to navigate around the path of the virus

March 30, 2014 at 8:37 pm PST

We continue our journey from where we left on part 1 of this series on leveraging Cloud based virtual care in our strategy for pandemic preparedness.

As the news of the pandemic outbreaks occurs, and as patients start seeing flu like symptoms, it’s natural for patients to show up in hospitals and urgent care centers. The care givers that the patients with flu interact are at higher risk of exposure. The US occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) has classified healthcare workplaces to be at very high or high exposure risk for pandemic influenza. For example, a personal that is collecting specimens from pandemic patients is at a very high risk of exposure.

pathofthevirus

Path of the Virus: Touch points where the healthcare staff is at risk of exposure in a traditional care model

According to CDC guidance, People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away through droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. So proximity and in person interactions must be managed carefully while services are provided.

If we were to track the imaginary path of the flu virus (as a person with flu travels to various places in a hospital), every interaction he has with a staff in person is a potential touch point where he can spread flu. It could be the parking lot, the lobby where he might be passing through healthy visitors, care givers or other patients, the staff at the registration/check-in desk, the nurse or the doctor in the examination room, the staff in the lab, the checkout desk, and list goes on.

Now, let’s look at how virtual care technology driven strategies can help reduce the risk of exposure and at the same time provide essential services to patients. Here are few approaches: Read More »

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Patient Engagement and a Smoke-free World

February 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm PST

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report on the health hazards of smoking. While we are encouraged by the significant progress we have made in reducing the percentage of smokers from 43% to 18% in the past 50 years, the cost impact of smoking continues to ride high. According to the surgeon general’s report, the annual cost attributed to smoking in the US is between $289 billion and $333 billion.

According to the Cancer facts and figures 2013, in spite of Smoking-related diseases being the world’s most preventable cause of death, tobacco accounts for the cause of 1 in 5 deaths. In addition, the quality of life is significantly impacted due to the increased risk of chronic diseases.

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