Thursday, July 30, 2009

What is happening with the U.S. healthcare?

I am concerned when all the discussion in the Capitol Hill is how to get everyone insured. Congress just burnt a whole afternoon session to go to learn the alphabet soup of health care delivery system - capitation, EMR, MRI...where do you think the government leaders are leading us to? There is no learning about why health care cost has been escalating, why the American health issues are so complex and difficult to solve.

No good discussion has been focused on why so many interest groups want to erode the mere doctor-patient agency relationship including the doctors themselves.

I am puzzled on these phenomena:
1. Doctors cannot prescribe the appropriate diagnosis and treatment unless insurance authorizes them. Going to be more so when all patients are insured as proposed.

2. Diagnosis and treatment has to fit into a no malpractice safe haven instead of years of knowledge and training tells you.

3. More and more rules and regulations hard to comprehend mostly have no bearing to medical practice.

4. When the health care providers have to figure out how to get their service compensated on what they actually provide - is it after 90 days or a whenever cycle.

Well, the health care delivery system has been sick for a long while. However, I am afraid it will be moribund when more other interest groups are attending it other than the patients and the health care providers themselves minding their relationship and responsibility first. Fundamental changes have to occur instead of building up more bureaucracy and bankrupting the Nation.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Can Technology Help Prevent Pandemics?

Cisco believes networking among doctors and sensors in the field can help prevent pandemics, such as H1N1.

In the demo, a camera is installed at a toll booth to measure a driver's body temperature. A network of such sensors build a picture of how many people in the area have a feaver, which may be an indicator of a disease. Meanwhile, doctors and health professional can share the latest statistics and diagnostics of patients on a social networking site, providing valuable information on the progress of the disease so that actions can be promptly taken to prevent the disease from spreading further.

Details from the PCWorld article.

Demo starts at 1:35 in the following video:
(for a larger screen)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cisco's Electronic Medical Care

Dr. Hymel talks about Cisco’s LifeConnections Center and how we deliver health care to our employees and how technology can make health care more efficient.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stop the Flu - Sneeze the Right Way

Sneeze The Right Way

Don't spread the germ to other people in flu season; here are the right ways to sneeze and cough.

Friday, April 10, 2009

How Old is Too Old to Work?

How Old Is Too Old to Work?
By Kathleen Doheny HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Debate about the ideal age to retire has been going on for years. But with the U.S. economy in a dramatic slump, the flip side of that question -- how old is too old to work? -- has become uppermost in many people's minds.

As workers young and old fret about dwindling retirement accounts in the wake of the mortgage crisis and stock market tumbles, they joke that they'll have no choice but to work until they're 90 or beyond.

But many also wonder: Will I be able to?

Research has offered some reassurances. Researchers have learned that there is no ideal retirement age and that older adults who keep their thinking skills sharp by learning new things off the job can stay more competitive in the job market, too.

"In today's economy, it becomes more of a necessity than a luxury to keep working," said Dr. Joseph Sirven, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. The short answer to the question, "How old is too old to work?" is, Sirven said, "when you are not able to do the job."

But there's much you can do to prevent that from happening, he and other experts have found. "What we find now from research and a neurological perspective is [that] the secret to good aging is, you have to keep busy," Sirven said. "Sometimes that means exercise, physical activity. But it means a lot of mental and cognitive activity" also, he said.

Today, Sirven said, older adults frequently retire from one career and transition into another -- something that's matched to their skills and experience and takes into account any age-related disadvantages.

His advice for people who plan to work well beyond the traditional retirement age of 65: "Focus on what work can you do that you can keep up with as you age."
Take stock of your attributes and drawbacks: "You may not be the quickest or most agile," Sirven said, "but you could be the wisest or the most experienced, which also counts."

That wisdom might be doubly appreciated by co-workers, even younger ones, in our shaky economy, he said. Older workers, after all, have been through several recessions. "That stability of wisdom, of living through it [before], can be the most important of all," he said.

Joy L. Taylor, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, stressed that keeping skills sharp can make a difference in on-the-job performance. She studied 118 noncommercial pilots, age 40 to 69, to determine how age affects cognitive performance in the real world.

She did the study as the Federal Aviation Administration was proposing that the mandatory retirement age for commercial airline pilots be raised from 60 to 65, which was later signed into law.

Though she did find that the older pilots, those 60 to 69 years of age, initially performed worse than the younger pilots, she also found that the older pilots showed less of a decrease in their overall flight summary scores. And over time, they improved more on their "traffic avoidance" performances than did the younger pilots.

The study was published in the journal Neurology, accompanied by an editorial co-authored by Sirven.

Now, Taylor and her team are studying whether extra training for pilots helps them overcome age-related changes in motor performance skills they need, such as flying in a holding pattern.

So, how to best ensure that you can work longer than average, if you have to or want to?

Try constantly to learn new skills, Sirven suggested. "Pick up a new language, learn a new instrument," he said. "Give yourself a push to try something new."
And Taylor had additional ideas. "Keep your work-related skills, exercise, and eat the best diet, a heart-healthy diet," she said. "Our emphasis is on physical health as well as cognitive health and stimulation -- both being equally important."

More information
To learn more about work-related issues for older Americans, visit

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cisco TelePresence in Healthcare

Baxter Healthcare Corporation assists people with some of the most complex medical conditions. With 46,000 employees and manufacturing facilities in 26 countries, Baxter Healthcare Corporation is a global enterprise with sales in excess of US$11 billion. Baxter depends on the abilities of its teams to communicate and collaborate effectively. Often, team members are located around the globe, yet they must collaborate effectively on a wide variety of projects to meet business goals and ensure quality of patient care. To help address its global communication challenges, Baxter deployed six Cisco TelePresence meeting rooms. Immediate business benefits include: improved communication among globally distributed team members, reduced misunderstandings due to cultural differences, and better collaboration that has led to faster problem solving and greater creative synergy—resulting in greater R&D productivity and shorter go-to-market time.

More details here...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stress Management

Stress management from a friend and I like it a lot.

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 8oz. to 20oz. The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it."

"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance."

"In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work/life down. Don 't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow."

"Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can. Relax; pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy!"

And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

1. Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days youʼre the statue.

2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4. Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8. Never buy a car you can't push.

9. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

11. Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12. The second mouse gets the cheese.

13. When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

15. You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

16. Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once. (you betcha)

17. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today ! ! !