Business Intelligence in Healthcare | healthcare

The main goal of each Healthcare Institution in a highly controlled & competitive environment, is to reduce operating costs while maintaining a consistently acceptable level of patient treatment. Reduce operating costs at all levels:
Cost of healthcare Professionals
Cost of lab equipment & consumables
Cost of pharmaceuticals / medical material
Cost of a treatment per Diagnosis related grouping (DRG)
Cost per type of medical intervention (e.g. specific medical operation)
On the other hand, an acceptable level of patient treatment involves:
Evidence based medicine, accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment
On time admittance in the Hospital and healthcare treatment
Treatment with respect for the Patient- analysis of options
Reduction of risks during treatment (e.g. related to the use of medicine, biomedical equipment, blood transfusions)
Capture of medical history of the patient in order to support evidence based medicine
Moreover, goals of each Healthcare Institution are:
Reduction of medical errors and exposure of the patient to medical hazards (e.g. inappropriate levels of radiation)
Support medical research with patient & treatment data
Participate and support a larger Healthcare system, with the exchange of medical information on a patient, as well as statistics on population morbidity & mortality.
In Private Healthcare, the excellent Patient service is critical to Customer retention & loyalty and business growth. In order to achieve these goals, each modern Healthcare system aims to enhance its Organisational capability with the introduction of standard business processes, standard healthcare treatment based on standardized healthcare interventions. Medical information management is supported by the introduction of information systems aligned to the standardized processes as well as the introduction of classifications or codifications of certain information types like diseases (based on ICD), medical interventions, lab exams, biomedical equipment & consumables. Hospital information systems (HIS) are used to capture and process all information related to the administrative as well as the medical aspects of a patient event. A patient record is created which stores all the patient history, structured per event. A datamart monitoring the inpatient and outpatient service could be based on data retrieved from the HIS database. In a dimensional model it would store the dimensions involved in the service: Patient, Date, Healthcare Unit and Department, exit DRG (diagnosis related grouping) group, Diagnosis (based on ICD), Medical intervention based on selected codification, pharmaceutical treatment, medical material used, and capture all cost related facts in the fact table. The star schema captures information related to an inpatient event, which normally may last few days. In order to capture the whole lifecycle of the event, an accumulating snapshot fact table is used, as shown in the figure (check link below). Based on this star schema, a wide range of analytical tasks can be carried out. Analysis related to medical treatment of a specific event (indicatively):
Produce a medical history report on a patient
Produce stats on morbidity by restricting on specific ICD codes (e.g. frequency of an ICD as a percentage of total events, ICD related to demographic info like age or educational level)
Analyse the relation of medical interventions to ICD & DRGs, by restricting on specific DRGs
Mortal events per ICD / DRG (this can be coded in a specific Exit_diagnosis value)
Analysis related to cost incurred by a specific event (indicatively):
Analysis on the average length of stay (ALOS) per DRG as well as per Patient demographics.
Analysis on the medical material & consumables cost related to a medical intervention
Analysis on the medical material & consumables cost related to an event of specific DRG
Analysis on the pharmaceutical cost related to an event of specific DRG
Delays in payment and collection levels
Department related analysis:
Number of treatment events / medical interventions per Department
comparison of same specialty Departments
The star schema could also capture the involvement and performance of medical Professionals. In addition it could capture many more facts related to the event like manhours spent by the Doctor in charge, by the other professionals involved. The datamart can be linked to the datamart of another Hospital or Healthcare system, if the two use conformed dimensions and facts. Standardized codifications (like ICD) aim at achieving this conformance, in order to be able to consolidate information at the regional, national and international level. Why develop the star schema, instead of querying directly the Hospital Information System database. For two important reasons:
The star schema model is easily understandable by the Business Analyst
The analysis on the star schema is computationally more efficient (the symmetric structure’s simplicity allows for better query optimization)
Moreover the star schema incorporates enriched information at the dimensions as well as derived facts on the fact table (cost, duration). This additional information is produced and appended in the datamart staging area. Business intelligence infrastructures, like the one presented above can facilitate the analysis and continuous improvement in a Healthcare system.

The Effects of Online Games on Work Productivity | Online Games

How does it happen?There are many activities in multiple areas of interests that can be performed on the Internet, but playing games online is one of the most addicting. It’s true that some of them are great for playing as time wasters on short breaks. Nonetheless, others can require frequent logins, such as business management, strategy and RPG games. To keep playing such a game, people have to login daily or multiple times per day, at specific times, which interrupts them from their job and causes them to waste time on playing online games, instead of spending it to work.How to prevent itTo limit the access of their employees to distracting online activities, many companies are using web filtering solutions that allow them to restrict access to any website they consider it may decrease the productivity of their staff and are not needed to do their jobs. As a result, companies tend to restrict the access to social networks, news websites, online flash games websites, video streaming websites and other online content considered to be distracting.Derived from boredom, addiction as well as other reasons, employees strive to find other ways of accessing their favorite websites and online games. Among the most used methods are web proxies. By using a web proxy, employees are able to bypass restrictions imposed at work and visit otherwise unavailable websites. People that are severely addicted to their Internet habits, like social networking and games can often have problems keeping their jobs and relationships. There are also milder cases that can experience diminished performance at work among other effects.To prevent their employees from wasting time surfing the web instead of working, some companies prefer to monitor the online traffic of their workers to see whether they’re using the Internet for productive purposes or not. This method is less aggressive and offers a certain degree of flexibility for employees, allowing them to moderately use the Internet for leisure. In this case, they can occasionally visit their favorite websites, social networks and even play online games, for short periods of time, during coffee or lunch breaks.On the other hand, when performed with moderation, these online activities also have benefits. Sometimes people just need a quick break from whatever they were doing, to clear their mind and return to their task refreshed and relaxed. That is why restricting access to all leisure online activities in offices, schools and institutions can have negative effects. People will feel their freedom is severely limited and their employers don’t trust them.ConclusionThe Internet has a lot to offer and not all is bad. In this case, like in many others, moderation is the key to success. Everyone needs to take a break from their chores, every once in a while. Nevertheless, long is that break and what you chose to do in that free time is very important. There’s nothing wrong if you use it to visit your favorite blogs or social networks and even play online games. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into an obsession. Such behavior can have an impact on your career and social life.

Confirmed, Red Meat Unhealthy? | Livestock

The general consensus among doctors, dietitians and medical researchers is that red meat is detrimental to one’s health. Now a widely reported study by U.S scientists has evidently solidified the hypothesis that red meat is dangerous to your health.The culprit so it seems is Carnitine a compound found in red meat. As Carnitine is broken down in the stomach by bacteria, formation of a gas called Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) occurs. TMAO is destined to end up in the liver where presumably damage to the liver can occur. Also, TMAO a compound is associated with heart disease.The researchers used mice to conduct their study. The scientists concluded that TMAO could create arterial inflammation. Carnitine is a known compound that helps create cholesterol.Natural medicine is fully aware that cholesterol is essential for cell wall foundation, brain cells, and the myelin cover that protects human nerves. It also is required in the conversion of sunlight to vitamin D3.Astoundingly, many scientists are now suggesting that vegetarian’s cease digesting L-carnitine supplements for fear that L-carnitine may harbor the bacteria initiation of TMAO. Even more alarming, some researchers are now recommending using antibiotics to counteract the TMAO process in the gut.In general, the real villains are the meat processing industry. They continue to exploit livestock for mass production, which in turn means more sales. Commercial or processed meat is poison to the human body. Cattle, chickens and other livestock rose in deplorable crowded conditions and hideous sanitary provisions cry out for humanitarian justice. Livestock, many injected with antibiotics and hormones, forced fed GMO (genetically modified organisms) laced feed, and pesticides suffer unnecessarily.Additionally, processed meats contain nitrates, which are a catalyst for increased cancer risk as well as other diseases.The bottom line is quite simple; if you insist on eating red meat or any meat for that matter, make sure your purchasing organic grass-fed meats. Do not fry any food including meat, doing so increases nitrates. Know from whom you are buying, and choose certified organic meats whenever available. If possible, raise some livestock on your land. Avoid store-bought processed meat for it contains added chemicals and preservatives.As with any food product Natural is a better choice. Humankind in its quest to produce more, cheaper foods has slid down the slippery slope of anything goes to satisfy the love of money. We need not fall into this trap, there are choices, let us make the right choice and eat responsibly.


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