Five tools for defragmenting your hard disk

September 1, 2015

You don’t have to settle for Windows’ built-in defrag options. Here are five commercial tools that offer an assortment of extra features.

The Windows operating system has included defragmentation capabilities for decades. Yet there are lots of third-party applications that include features not found in native Windows tools. This article lists five commercial defrag apps.

Note: This article is also available as an image gallery and a video hosted by TechRepublic columnist Tom Merritt.

1: PerfectDisk Professional

PerfectDisk Professional (Figure A) is a tool for defragmenting the hard disks on Windows PCs. It allows you to perform defragmentation at boot time, on a scheduled basis, or manually. It also gives enables you to prevent auto optimization from occurring during specific periods of time.

Figure A

Figure A

As a bonus, PerfectDisk displays your hard disk’s SMART information and includes a nice dashboard view that consolidates status information, SMART information, scheduled tasks, and alerts.


PerfectDisk Professional sells for $29.99, but a free trial version is available for download.

2: Ashampoo Magical Defrag

Ashampoo Magical Defrag (Figure B) includes all the features you would expect from a commercial defrag application. It performs deep analysis of your system’s hard disks and automated defragmentation. Unlike some defragmentation applications, however, Magical Defrag is SSD aware—which is important, since old school defragmentation can shorten the life of an SSD.

Figure B

Figure B

The other cool thing about this application is that it includes a screensaver that uses a world map view to show the machine’s defragmentation status. The screen saver is a little bit tough to explain, but it is worth a look.

Ashampoo Magical Defrag sells for $14.99, but a free trial is available for download.

3: O&O Defrag Professional Edition

O&O Defrag Professional Edition (Figure C) has a built-in cluster inspector and an option to optimize thin provisioning. The application also features a built-in reporting engine.

Figure C

Figure C

O&O Defrag Professional Edition sells for $29.95, but a free trial version is available for download.

4: UltimateDefrag Freeware Edition

UltimateDefrag Freeware Edition (Figure D) is a handy defragmentation program. The cool thing about UltimateDefrag is that it allows you to choose the type of defragmentation you want to perform. You can defragment files only, you can perform a consolidated defragmentation, or you can base defragmentation on filename and folder name, recency, or volatility.

Figure D

Figure D

5: WinUtilities Free Edition

WinUtilities Free Edition (Figure E) is another good option for those who don’t want to use the native Windows defragmentation feature. The thing that makes WinUtilities different from the other defragmentation tools on this list is that it comprises an entire suite of utilities, not just a defragmenter. It includes a disk cleaner, a registry cleaner, and an uninstaller, just to name a few. Note that the free version contains only basic utilities, while the paid version contains enhanced utilities.

Figure E

Figure E

Also read…

Four Measures that Are Key to Retaining Nurses

August 31, 2015
08.20.15 by Karlene Kerfoot R.N.

By providing independence, matching nursing skills to the patient mix, and reducing overtime, hospitals can help to ensure their nurses stay on the job.

Nursing is a tough job. Nurses juggle it all — sick patients, worried families and stressed doctors. They log long hours, often going to the hospital when it is still dark outside and leaving when it is dark again. It is not unusual for nurses to be floated to hospital departments where they feel that they haven’t received adequate training and are expected to take on the workload of a 20-year veteran.

As a nurse for many years in patient care administration and clinical practice, I have experienced firsthand the huge commitment the job requires — mentally, physically and emotionally. Nurses’ work can be grueling at times, with high patient volumes and insufficient nursing staff to manage the cases. They often spend their shifts on foot and lift heavy loads. Eight in 10 nurses said in an American Nurses Association safety survey that they frequently experience muscle and joint pain. Some nurses also experience compassion fatigue, a form of burnout that can affect people who work in the health care industry.

These factors and more are contributing to the ongoing shortage in available nursing staff. In fact, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported that nearly one in five nurses drop out of the profession in their first year on the job, and one in three leave within two years.

The Price of Turnover

Why are nurse satisfaction and dropout so important for health care providers? According to the Journal of Nursing Administration, it costs roughly $82,000 to replace a nurse. That cost covers vacancy, orientation and training, the lowered productivity of a newly hired nurse, and advertising and recruiting.

With nurse turnover averaging 14 percent, the typical turnover expense for a 300-bed hospital approaches $4.4 million annually, as revealed in a KPMG study. Not only is turnover detrimental to a hospital’s bottom line, it also results in a huge loss of intellectual capital for the provider, and it dampens employee morale.

The good news is that health care leaders across the country are searching for answers on how to improve nurse retention and satisfaction. However, more effort is needed.

Here are some proactive measures that health care executives can think about and implement to improve their nurses’ job satisfaction.

Reduce overtime. A Health Affairs study found that nurses who work more than 12 hours in a shift and 40 hours in a week are more prone to turnover and job dissatisfaction. The same study concluded that nurses who work shifts longer than 12 hours are 1.45 times more likely to leave their jobs within a year. 

In my experience, reducing a health organization’s staff overtime is easier said than done. However, hospitals can make this happen by driving a fundamental culture change from overtime being the “rule” to overtime being the exception. If hospitals implement measures to reduce shift and workweek length, and set guidelines for what is an acceptable amount of overtime, nurses will not feel obligated to tack on extra hours.

Practice shared governance programs. Approximately 13 percent of nurses are dissatisfied with their work schedule and lack of independence, according to Health Affairs. Shared governance can include self-staffing, which empowers nurses by letting them select shifts based on availability and interests. Shared governance programs can go a long way toward making nurses feel as though they have ownership over their unit and are not just renters.

Implement data-driven staffing. Nurses may be more likely to leave if they are placed in patient care situations that they are not equipped to handle. Harnessing workforce data analytics to gain a deeper understanding of patient needs and matching the right type and number of staff to meet those needs is key. Not all nurses have the same experience; every patient is different and needs a customized care delivery model. Data-driven staffing, or using tools like acuity-based staffing, has the potential to reduce labor costs, provide equitable staffing and improve the organization’s ability to deliver high-quality patient care.

Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian, Miss., implemented a data-driven workforce management solution. Anderson provided managers and clinicians with digital tools to staff the hospital based on patient needs. As a result, Anderson realized a cost savings of more than $2.5 million during an eight-month period, compared with the same period the prior year.

Develop quality-of-life initiatives. Just like all of us, nurses have responsibilities that extend beyond the hospital or clinic door. They also need to care for significant others, family members and themselves. Implementing quality-of-life initiatives for nursing staff significantly can improve their morale and enhance loyalty.

Health care executives can offer varying shift lengths and staggered start times to give nurses the flexibility to choose what’s best for their personal obligations. Being able to plan around a child’s soccer game or school talent show can help greatly. In addition, health care providers can offer on-site programs, such as child care centers or gyms.

In today’s value-based health care environment, industry executives are responsible for demonstrating value to their patients and employees alike. Nurses are the backbone of this workforce and most often the closest point of patient interface. We must focus greater attention on initiatives that promote their wellness and satisfaction.

Karlene Kerfoot, R.N., D.N.P., is the chief clinical integration officer at API Healthcare in Hartford, Wis.

CLICK HERE to read the original article

Anesthesia is one of the Safest Medical Specialties

August 27, 2015

The most feared medical specialty? It’s actually one of the safest.

american society of anesthesiologistsA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to

 I often hear patients say, “I am not afraid of the surgery, just the anesthesia.”

But should patients worry?   Physician anesthesiologists suffered a crisis in confidence in 1982 when the ABC television program 20/20 aired, “The Deep Sleep:  6,000 Will Die or Suffer Brain Damage,” about anesthesia complications, brain injury, and death.  At that time, physician anesthesiologists were having difficulty obtaining malpractice insurance because, although anesthesia claims were not the most frequent, they were the most costly due to outcomes associated with medical errors.  Very often the error was an unrecognized esophageal intubation, where the breathing tube was putting oxygen in the stomach instead of the lungs.  Estimates of mortality caused solely by anesthesia care ranged from 1 to 12 per 10,000.

At that time, ASA First Vice President Ellison C. “Jeep” Pierce, M.D., looked at the crisis and had a choice: fight for tort reform so insurance payouts and malpractice insurance costs would be decreased, making malpractice insurance more widely available, or increase the safety of anesthesia .  Dr. Pierce decided to establish a new ASA committee, the Committee on Patient Safety and Risk Management, which was the first time “patient safety” was used in this context. Additionally, ASA, under his leadership, formed the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) and started a Closed Claims project.  Dr. Pierce was “on a perpetual mission to prevent patients from being injured or killed by anesthesia care.”  The APSF was the first organization formed specifically to improve patient safety.  Since that time, the organization has funded and rewarded research and publishes a newsletter that continues to incentivize advances in patient safety.  The Closed Claims project collected malpractice cases to discern causes of anesthesia accidents and prevent them.

 Anesthesia advances in patient safety have included the pulse oximeter and end-tidal CO2 monitors, which make it very difficult to miss poor ventilation or an unrecognized esophageal intubation.  But that is not all.  Multiple mistake-proof devices were developed. The connections for the gas cylinders are pin indexed, so a mistake such as was featured in the movie Coma, where the wrong gas is given, cannot occur.  The anesthetic gas vaporizers are color-coded, and the fillers are “keyed” so only the correct gas can go into the vaporizers, which prohibits overdoses from accidentally occurring.  The machine has a “fail safe” device that makes it impossible to deliver less than 21 percent oxygen (the same as room air).  In the past, some machines had knobs that turned clockwise and others counterclockwise to increase the oxygen delivery.  Now they all turn in the same direction to increase or decrease gas flow. All these changes easily increased patient safety.

This increase in patient safety was not created through the touch of a magic wand.  It was completed through the well-defined process that we call Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycles.   It was a man with a vision, an organization dedicated to saving lives, sharing ideas and research, and insisting on excellence and persistence. Many small steps led to the recognition of anesthesia as a leading specialty in patient safety in the 1999 landmark publication To Err is Human. In fact, anesthesia is arguably the safest medical specialty today. We are the closest to Six Sigma-level safety, which means that 99.99966 percent of the time in a process, no defects are created. This method of measuring quality was developed in the manufacturing sector, and it is the level of quality expected in the airline and nuclear industries.

 So for patients concerned about anesthesia, concern is understandable; but if patients follow their preoperative instructions, ask questions, and choose their surgeon and surgical facility carefully (Healthgrades, Consumer Reports and other data online) they will be well taken care of.  Rest easy about anesthesia.  Patients are in the arms of the safest medical specialty — physician anesthesiologists — the pioneers of quality and patient safety.

Susan G. Curling is an anesthesiologist and member, ASA Committee on Communications.

Reposted from Kevin, M.D.

A footnote from Pat Lynch –  I placed this here because the same holds true for the maintenance of anesthesia equipment.  It is among the easiest of medical equipment to maintain, provided you follow the procedures and post-checkout procedures to the letter.  All hospitals should be servicing their own anesthesia machines.

How China’s Black Monday Hit the Top 10 Medtech Firms

August 26, 2015
Posted in Medical Device Business by Chris Newmarker… on August 24, 2015

A handful of medical device companies that do a large amount of business overseas were hit especially hard by Wall Street’s worst day in four years.

Chris Newmarker and Brian Buntz

Major medtech companies got their share of the thumping that U.S. stock markets received amid a “Black Monday” in which Chinese stocks saw their worst decline in eight years, with resulting questions about the Chinese government’s managing of of the world’s largest economies.

While the U.S. stock market recovered somewhat after tumbling 1000 points in early-morning trading on August 24, it closed the day down 588.40 points, or 3.57%. It marked the worst single-day decline in the U.S. stock market since August 8, 2011, when the Dow fell 634.76 points, or 5.6%. (The New York Times’ UpShot has a thorough analysis of what sent markets berserk this Monday.)

The iShares medtech industry stock index was hit harder than the Dow, falling 3.96% to $115.14, in but another sign of how much the U.S. medtech industry relies on China and other overseas market—a trend that had been gaining steam over the past decades as the nation’s medical device market was projected to expand 15% or more annually.

Five of the largest medical device companies saw their stock fall more than 4%. Abbott Laboratories’ stock fell the most, falling 7.28%.

There appears to have been some correlation between the percentage decline in a medtech-related company’s stock value on Monday, and the percentage of revenues that it takes in overseas. (Overseas revenue percentage was pulled from filings with the SEC.)

More diversified multinationals, such as GE and 3M, were more sheltered from such effects.

Here’s a breakdown:

Company Name  % Change   $ Change  Closing Price  Closing Price 12/31/2014 % Change 2015 (since 12/31/2014)  % of Revenue Overseas
Abbott Labs -7.28% -$3.43 $43.7 $45.02 -2.93% 70%
Varian Medical Systems -4.92% -$4.09 $78.98 $86.51 -8.70% 57%
Zimmer Biomet -4.59% -$4.79 $99.57 $113.42 -12.21% Almost 50%
Medtronic -4.52% -$3.36 $70.91 $75.85 -6.51% 44%
Edwards Lifesciences -4.25% -$5.94 $133.93 $127.38 5.14% 55%
CR Bard -3.80% -$7.27 $184.23 $166.62 10.57% 32%
Stryker -3.78% -$3.76 $95.61 $94.33 1.36% 32%
Intuitive Surgical -3.16% -$16.03 $490.81 $528.94 -7.21% 30%
Boston Scientific -3.06 -$0.5 $15.85 $13.25 19.62% 47%
GE -2.93 -$0.72 $23.87 $25.27 -5.54% 59%
Baxter -2.90% -$1.11 $37.17 $73.29 -49.28% 58%
J&J -2.87% -$2.74 $92.82 $104.57 -11.24% 53%
BD -2.62% -$3.72 $138.2 $139.16 -0.69% * Information not available
3M -2.47% -$3.51 $138.58 $164.32 -15.66% 63.90%
St. Jude Medical -2.35% -$1.6 $66.42 $65.03 2.14% 52.70%
Learn more about cutting-edge medical devices at MEDevice San Diego, September 1–2 and MD&M


August 26, 2015

Preference 1:
Where do you concentrate your attention?

Extraversion (E)
Likes variety, action
Likes to have people around
Enjoys many different relationships
Energized by what goes on in the outside world
Often acts quickly
Communicates more by talking than by writing
Need to experience world to understand it

WRITING TIP: Appreciate your ability to work under dearline pressure

Introversion (I)
Likes quiet for concentration
May prefer to be alone
Needs few close relationships
Energized by what goes on in the inner world
Prefers to think before acting
Most comfortable when working quietly “inside”
Likes to understand the world before experiencing it

WRITING TIP: Try to create some quiet time and space for your writing activities and assignments

Preference 2:
How do you acquire information?

Sensing (S)
Looks at specific parts & pieces
Lives in the present
Prefers handling practical matters
Likes things that are definite & measurable L
Prefers facts
Starts at the beginning, moving step by step
Notices details & pertinent facts

WRITING TIP: Appreciate your ability to to research

Intuition (N)
Looks at patterns and relationships
Anticipates the future
Prefers imagining possibilities
Likes opportunities for being inventive
Acts on hunches
Jumps in anywhere; may leap over steps
Keeps “big picture” in mind

WRITING TIP: Become comfortable with writing out of order

Preference 3:
How do you make decision?

Thinking (T)
Decides with the head
Good at organizing things
Analyzes consequences & implications
Sees things as a on-looker
Tends to be firm & tough-minded
Responds more to people’s ideas than feelings
Spontaneously finds flaws; critical

WRITING TIP: Rely on the assistance you get from working with an outline

Feeling (F)
Decides with the heart
Good at reconciling differences
Good at understanding people and persuading them
Sees things as a particvipant
Tends to be sympathetic
Responds more to people’s values than their thoughts
Appreciates spontaneity

WRITING TIP: Hone your ability to follow your instincts in writing, especially in preparing a first draft

Preference 4:
How do you orient yourself to the outside world?

Judging (J)
Prefers organized lifestyle
Likes order & structure
Likes to get things settles & finished
Likes to have life “under control”
Likes being decisive; closure
Needs only essentials to begin work
Schedules work in stages to finish on time
Uses lists as agendas for action

WRITING TIP: Don’t give undue focus to form and packaging

Perceiving (P)
Prefers flexible lifestyle
Likes “going with the flow”
Adapts easily to changing situations
Experiences life “as it happens”
Curious; enjoys surprises
Wants to know all about a new job
Works at the last minute under deadline pressure
Uses lists as reminders of what must be done someday

WRITING TIP: Concentrate on finishing touches and proofreading

REMINDER: Everyone uses both sides of the scales, though one is usually preferred and better developed

Preferred Methods of Communication

Sensing plus Thinking
ST people are mainly interested in the realities of a given situation. Reality for them is what can be observed, collected, and verified directly by the senses — by seeing, hearing, touching, etc. Because the kind of judgment they trust is thinking, they make decisions by logical analysis, with a step-by-step process of reasoning from cause to effect, from premise to conclusion.

Sensing plus Feeling
SF people are also interested in observable reality. Because the kind of judgment they trust is feeling, they make their decisions with personal warmth, and weigh how much things matter to themselves and others. Their highly developed powers of observation, applied to people, lead them to be particularly sensitive to other’s reactions and feelings.

Intuition plus Feeling
NF people make decisions with personal warmth, but since they prefer intuition, their interest is not in facts but in possibilities. They are attracted by new projects, things that have not happened yet but might be made to happen, new truths that are not yet known but might be found out, or, above all, new possibilities for people.

Intuition plus Thinking
NT people are also interested in possibilities, but since they prefer thinking, they handle the possibilities by applying objective and logical criteria. They are attracted to jobs where they can use their skill at analysis. Often the possibility they choose is a theoretical or technical one.

From Introduction to Type

Preferred Methods of Communication

Sensing – S
Like evidence (facts, details, and examples) presented first
Want practical and realistic applications shown
Rely on direct experience to provide anecdotes
use an orderly step-by-step approach in presentations
Like suggestions to be straightforward and feasible
Refer to a specific example
In meetings, are inclined to follow the agenda

Intuition – N
Like global schemes, with broad issues presented first
Want possible future challenges discussed
Rely on insights and imagination to provoke discussion
Use a round-about approach in presentations
Like suggestions to be novel and unusual
Refer to a general concept
In meetings, are inclined to use the agenda as a starting point

Thinking – T
Prefer to be brief and concise
Want the pros and cons of each alternative to be listed
Can be intellectually critical and objective
Convinced by cool, impersonal reasoning
Present goals and objectives first
Consider emotions and feelings as data to weigh
In meetings, seek involvement with tasks

Feeling – F
Prefer to be sociable and friendly
Want to know why an alternative is valuable and how it affects people
Can be interpersonally appreciative
Convinced by personal information, enthusiastically delivered
Present points of agreement first
Consider logic and objectivity as data to value
In meetings, seek involvement with people

From Introduction to Type in Organizations

Resources re: Psychological Type

Butler Library
Isachsen & Berens (1988). Working together. Coronado CA: Neworld.

Keirsey & Bates (1984). Please understand me. Del Mar CA: Prometheus
Myers & Myers (1980). Gifts differing. Palo Alto CA: Consulting Psychologists.
Myers (1987). Introduction to type. Gainesville FL: CAPT
Smith (1993). “Psychological type and public relations.” Journal of public relations research. Fall 5, 3. 177-199

Library Reserve: Smith / Com-610
Library Book: Excellence in PR

File #1785: Introduction to Type
File #1786: Introduction to Type in Organizations
Faculty Book: Managing PR
File #1767: Psychological Type and Public Relations
(2 hours during day; overnight after 3)
Library Book: PR Theory


10 health IT products healthcare leaders rave about

August 25, 2015
Readers’ choice:
 There are thousands of solutions in the health IT field. We asked our readers which tools they would recommend.

The following 10 products, presented in alphabetical order, have applications ranging from chronic care to cybersecurity, but each comes with rave reviews from Becker’s Hospital Review readers.

Responses have been edited for clarity and concision. If you would like to recommend a health IT product for this list, please contact Carrie Pallardy at  

1. ActionCue. ActionCue is integrated risk, quality and performance improvement software from Prista. The software is designed for healthcare executives, quality managers and clinical staff.

Heather Greenwood, RN, BSN, Quality & Risk Management Director, Seymour (Texas) Hospital: “I really want to make a strong statement on how ActionCue has helped our rural hospital in providing excellence.
Quality improvement departments can easily depict organizational information, and it is visible in graph form and score cards for employees, supervisors, managers, administration and even board members. It has very readable information that in turn creates a better culture of operational process in terms of improving quality and outcomes.
ActionCue’s is affordable for small rural hospitals; we can easily put it in our budgets. I researched several other QI software programs and the cost was four- to eight-fold higher and more driven toward bigger facilities.
Our fall rate was around 3.5 with a national average of 4.0. We reduced our falls to a rate of 2.0. We showed administration and board members our fall rate and what we were proposing to do about reducing it. Our program was able to show them real results, not only making a huge impact on decreasing injuries, but also showing what a great investment it was.”
2. AWARE. Ambient Warning and Response Evaluation is a clinical decision support tool from Ambient Clinical Analytics, with technology support from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic. The tool aims to reduce the risk of errors in intensive care units, operating rooms and emergency departments.”

Vitaly Herasevich, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Medicine, Mayo Clinic: “Information overload and alert fatigue is increasing with the amount of information clinicians need to deal with. It creates even more pressure in intensive care units, where physicians need to treat multiple sick patients at once. Original EMRs are not designed to solve such a problem, but there are some attempts to construct dashboards for clinical data. What makes AWARE different from other systems is that it was built based on rigorous research and expertise of multiple clinicians.

During initial implementation at Mayo Clinic, we reviewed almost 4,000 feedback notes pertinent to all elements of the system that allowed AWARE to be embedded in the clinical workflow. AWARE shows clinicians what they need, at the right point and time.”

Note: Mayo Clinic and Dr. Herasevich a have financial interest in the products mentioned in this statement. Revenue Mayo receives is used to support its nonprofit mission in patient care, education and research.

3. Chronic Care Management. Caremerge’s Chronic Care Management solution integrates with healthcare providers’ EHRs. The solution is designed to improve communication, reduce gaps in care, boost patient and family engagement and more.

Linda Farley, LPN, Home Health Physicians: “Earlier this spring, Caremerge and Home Visit Physicians, a practice located in Eatontown, N.J., began a pilot program for the Caremerge Chronic Care Management Solution.

Since the pilot’s implementation, more than 500 chronically ill patients have signed on to participate. The chronic care management solution places an emphasis on patient engagement for in-between-visit care. One of the greatest benefits of the Chronic Care Management Solution is the increase in candid communication. Since the program’s onset, the additional layer of communication has seen patients become more forthright and active in their own care, while building a closer, more trusting relationship with the practice.

In addition to the positive behavioral changes, the program has promoted increased organizational efficiency and streamlined workflows. Duplicate information was found and deleted, important data, including medication dosage, has been updated and additional information has been captured that otherwise wouldn’t have been on the practice’s radar. The future holds potential for increased education and patient engagement.”

4. Dragon Medical. Dragon Medical is a clinical speech recognition tool for small- to mid-sized physician practices. The product offers real-time, anywhere EHR dictation.

Richard Garcia, MD, Beverly Hospital (Montebello, Calif.): “I have been practicing emergency medicine for 22 years. As the medical director of my group, it is imperative that we capture complete documentation for medical-legal reasons. As a group we have been very successful in accomplishing these goals using Dragon Medical. Using voice recognition technology has allowed us to capture our documentation contemporaneously and in a very efficient manner.”

5. Imprivata OneSign. Imprivata OneSign is a solution that incorporates single sign-on, authentication management and virtual desktop roaming. The tool is designed to streamline access to EMRs, while maintaining compliance with regulatory measures.

Jim Lowder, Vice President, Technology, OhioHealth (Columbus): “We have relied on Imprivata OneSign for years as an integral component of our IT strategy to provide our caregivers with efficient access to clinical systems, which allows them to keep their focus entirely on patient care. Imprivata continues to deliver new product features and enhancements that consider IT, security, compliance and clinical workflow requirements, enabling us to expand the use of Imprivata OneSign to thousands of users across our organization.”

6. InDemand Interpreting. InDemand Interpreting offers access to video remote interpreting for limited English proficient patients and deaf patients. The tool provides access to more than 200 languages. InDemand Interpreting is accessible from laptops and tablets.    

Kathy Kanaley, Patient Care Representative, Kenmore Mercy Hospital (Buffalo, N.Y.): “America’s ever-growing cultural melting pot makes it difficult for hospitals to communicate with each patient in his or her native language. The evolving field of virtual interpreters is ensuring medical conversations are easier and patients receive the highest quality care regardless of language barriers, cultural backgrounds or disabilities. Hospitals that use video remote interpreting systems note improvements in patient satisfaction when they are able to communicate with a live person who can speak their native language.”

7. MedAssets Defensible Price Modeling. MedAssets Defensible Pricing Model is part of the company’s cost-to-charge analytics service. The tool helps healthcare providers establish a defensible pricing strategy to understand issues in pricing and coding.

Rick Schooler, FACHE, LFCHIME, FHIMSS, CHCIO, MBA, Vice President, CIO, Orlando Health: “Since 2007 we’ve worked with MedAssets to develop, refine and enforce a long-term pricing strategy that more appropriately reflects the relationship between charge and underlying cost. We’ve done this using MedAssets Defensible Price Modeling, which is a consulting solution designed to promote transparency by helping hospitals establish new chargemaster prices that reflect a rational and defensible mark-up based methodology. The benefits to Orlando Health from these engagements include a simplified pricing methodology and net revenue improvement, which has consistently met or exceeded annual targets, and a more competitive position among regional peer hospitals.”

8. Mach7 Enterprise Imaging Platform. The Mach7 Enterprise Imaging Platform facilitates patient information sharing across departments, while focusing on reducing the IT costs associated with proprietary medical image archiving systems.

Trent Conwell, IT Director, Sentara Healthcare (Norfolk, Va.): “The Mach7 Enterprise Imaging Platform is rock solid. In image storage alone we realized significant savings. It costs $100,000 to migrate 500,000 images. Using a vendor neutral archive system such as Mach7 reduces those costs, as well as those associated with mergers and acquisitions, making it easier to connect new hospitals with the system. Mach7 brought us a detailed level of industry knowledge of systems and integration that helped us understand our own environment even better.”

9. Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection. Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection is a defense system designed to defend against malicious links in email and weaponized attachments. The tool prevents employees from inadvertently revealing credentials or downloading malware.

Dave Trent, CIO, Pharmacy Network Services (Johnson City, Tenn.): “It was clear to me that Mimecast follows the market and comes up with new techniques for fighting increasingly advanced threats. Our organization quickly saw the benefits of having Targeted Threat Protection in place. Shortly after implementation, the technology enabled us to detect spear-phishing messages coming from a customer. It blocked the links in those emails, so our business wouldn’t fall victim to the attack. It also allowed us to immediately notify the customer that their system had been compromised.”

10. RoundingWell. RoundingWell is a patient engagement tool focused on check-ins with post-hospitalization and chronic disease patients in several different condition and disease areas. The tool also offers care coordination and population health insights.

Doug Johnson, MD, Vice Chairman, Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (Nashville, Tenn.): “Creating care plans personalized for each patient is a must-do for us at DCI. This means having a platform that can integrate both historical and real-time patient generated data into clinical workflows to make sure each patient gets the care he or she needs. With the unique needs of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease patients in mind, we investigated many solutions and landed on RoundingWell.
RoundingWell enables our clinicians to interact with, take care of and monitor our patients across their entire healthcare journey. RoundingWell’s proactive health check-in feature gives our clinicians the ability to screen patients on their mental and physical condition on a regular basis, without requiring an in-person visit or phone call. Data collected from our patients’ check-ins are automatically analyzed in real-time for indicators of possible adverse health events.
When an event is identified, clinicians can activate pathways, which make it easy to follow standardized protocols of care. Any member of the clinician team can see what everyone else has done and plans to do for the patient. Plans can be adjusted, clinicians can communicate with each other and messages can be sent directly to patients on this shared platform. RoundingWell is one of the key components helping us transition to newer models of care delivery.”

From Becker’s Health IT

7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People

August 24, 2015

From the Positivity Blog

by Henrik Edberg

With a twist to the common list of habits that are useful to establish, here are 7 habits that you do best to avoid.

Just like finding habits that can be useful for you it’s important to find habits that are holding you back.

Most of these 7 habits can easily become such a normal, everyday part of life that you hardly notice it (or how it’s affecting you).

I’ve dabbled with all of them quite a bit. Not surprisingly I didn’t get much of the important stuff done.

I’d also like to add that these are just 7 broad habits you can establish to become highly ineffective in most parts of your life. I pretty sure there are several more.

  1. Not showing up.

Maybe you’ve heard this quote by Woody Allen:

“Eighty percent of success is showing up”

One of the biggest and simplest thing you can do to ensure more success in your life – whether it be in your social life, your career or with your health – is simply to show up more. If you want to improve your health then one of the most important and effective things you can do is just to show up at the gym every time you should be there.

The weather might be bad, you might not feel like going and you find yourself having all these other things you just must do. If you still go, if you show up at the gym when motivation is low you will improve a whole lot faster than if you just stayed at home relaxing on the sofa.

I think this applies to most areas of life. If you write or paint more, each day perhaps, you will improve quickly. If you get out more you can meet more new friends. If you go on more dates you chances of meeting someone special increases. Just showing up more can really make a big difference. Not showing up will not get you anywhere.

  1. Procrastinating half the day. To keep it short, my 3 favourite ways to get out of a procrastinating state are:

Swallow that frog. What’s this means is simply to do the hardest and most important task of the day first thing in the morning. A good start in the morning lifts your spirits and creates a positive momentum for the rest of the day. That often creates a pretty productive day.

– How do you eat an elephant? Don’t try to take it all in one big bite. It becomes overwhelming which leads to procrastination. Split a task into small actionable steps. Then just focus on the first step and nothing else. Just do that one until it’s done. Then move on to the next step.

The Get around to It Paraliminal. I find this guided mediation to be very useful. After 20 minutes of mostly just lying on my bed and listening I’m far more productive for a few days. I don’t feel the urge to sink into that procrastinating state or the need to find out what’s new over at one or five of my favourite websites.

  1. When actually doing something, doing something that isn’t the most important thing right now.

One of the easiest habits to get stuck in, besides procrastinating, is to keep yourself busy with unimportant tasks.

To be effective you probably need some kind of time management-system. It might be something really simple, like using the 80/20-rule at the beginning of each day. The 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle as it´s also known, says that you’ll get 80 percent of your results from only 20 percent of your tasks and activities. So you need to focus most of your energy on those few important tasks to be effective.

When you have prioritized using this rule just write down the top 3 most important things you need to do that day. Then, from the top, start doing them. Even if you just get one of the things done, you have still done the most important thing you could do today. You may perhaps prefer some other system, such as GTD. But however you organise your work it’s still of highest priority to find the most important tasks so you don’t spend days, weeks or months doing busywork that isn’t that essential anyway. Just getting things done faster isn’t that useful if the things you get done are unimportant to you.

  1. Thinking too much.

And thereby seldom taking action. Paralysis by analysis can waste years of your life. There is nothing wrong with thinking before you do something. Do some research, make a plan, explore potential upsides and problems.

But compulsively thinking and thinking and thinking is just another way to waste your time. You don’t have to examine everything from every angle before you try it. And you can’t wait for the perfect time to do something. That time never comes. And if you keep thinking you’ll just dig yourself down deeper and deeper and taking action will become more and more difficult. Instead you just need to stop thinking. Shut of your mind – it just helps you up to a point – and go do whatever you need to do.

  1. Seeing the negative and downsides in just about anything.

When you see everything from a negative perspective you quickly punch a hole in your own motivation. You find faults everywhere and problems where there are really none. You cling to details. If you want to find a reason to not do something then that’s no problem. From a negative viewpoint you can find ten reasons every time.

And so very little gets done, you whine to anyone who wants to hear – and many who don’t – about how crappy your job, life and boss is. Which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as you create the life that is appropriate considering how think and see your world.

A solution is to realise the limits of a negative perspective. And that your perspective isn’t some kind of 100% true picture of the world. Then try other perspectives. For instance, trying to establish a habit of seeing things in a more positive and optimistic light can be quite useful. In that vein, you may want to try the Positivity Challenge. It’s not easy, but if you do the challenge and try to only think positive thoughts for 7 days it can give you an insight in how much your perspective and beliefs changes how you interpret your world. And what results you get.

  1. Clinging to your own thoughts and being closed to outside influences.

It can be hard to admit that what you thought or believed was not the best alternative. So you cling to your thoughts harder and harder and keep your mind closed. This makes it hard to improve and for instance to become more effective. Even really considering the possibility that you can change your life can be difficult in this position.

One solution, obviously, is to open up more. To open up and learn from the mistakes of others, from your own mistakes and from other sources like books. This is easy to say though. It can, as almost anything, be harder to do. One suggestion I have is to, like I said about the previous habit, realise the limits of what you know and the way you going about things. And then just try something new.

Another tip is to read A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and especially look at the chapters about the Ego. If you stop identifying so much with your thoughts and your Ego, as Tolle prescribes, it becomes a whole a lot easier to let new ideas and thoughts come into your life. And to let go of old thoughts that aren’t useful to you anymore. On the other hand I’d like to add and counter-balance with these tips: don’t get stuck in reading, in just taking in new information either or you might become a self-help junkie. Use the new information, put what you have learned in to action and try it out.

  1. Constantly on information overload.

With information overload I don’t just mean that you read a lot. I pretty much mean an overload in all input. If you just let all information flow into your mind it will be hard to think clearly. It’s just too much stimulation. A few more potential downsides to this habit are:

– Some of the input you receive will be negative. The media and your surroundings often put a negative spin on things for various reasons. If you aren’t selective in what input you want in your life then you’ll be dragged into this negativity too. This affects how you think, feel and act.

– It creates an urge to keep up with what’s happening but there are always ten more things happening so you can’t keep up. This makes life stressful.

– It becomes hard to make decisions and take action if your mind is constantly bombarded with information or trying to sort through it all. Personally I find that if I get too much information it leads to a sort of paralysis. Not much get’s done. Or you get stuck in habit #3 and keep busy, busy, busy at high speed with low priority activities.

To be able to focus, think more clearly and take action it’s useful to be more selective in what you let into your mind. When you work shut out as much distractions as possible. Shut off the phone, internet and shut the door. It is strange how much you can get done when you aren´t interrupted every fifth minute or have the opportunity to procrastinate by checking your RSS-feeds or favourite websites.

Now I’m not suggesting that you should stop reading all blogs or newspapers. But think about what you really want to read and what you read just read to fill your time. And have a look at other areas of input where the doors are wide-open.

For instance, you don’t have to let in all the negative emotions from your surroundings. If everyone else are procrastinating or are anxiously keeping themselves busy by doing low-priority tasks at warp speed it’s easy to be influenced by that mood. If you have a door, then it might be good idea to shut it and focus on doing more important things.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 273 other followers