Wednesday, March 21, 2012

National Patient Safety Goals and Healthcare Organizations - 3 Points

National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) is a voluntary set of standards prescribed by the joint Commission. However the benefits of complying with the goals and the following accreditation have resulted in over 16,000 healthcare organizations from different regions of the United States of America participating in the NPSG course and getting accredited.

The following 3 points will tell you more about such organizations vis-à-vis the Joint Commission and NPSG course.

1. Types of Organizations: A number of different healthcare organizations can apply for the Joint Commission accreditation for NPSG. Such types of facilities include hospitals, ambulatory healthcare, critical access hospitals, home care, laboratory services, and long term care. Behavioral healthcare which involves services for addressing addictive and mental disorders, and office-based healthcare where physicians perform various surgical procedures within their offices as an alternative to traditional hospitals are other kinds of organizations that can seek accreditation.

2. Eligibility: The exact eligibility will vary according to the type of healthcare organization however certain standard criteria are required to be fulfilled by all.

• Location: The organizations must be located within the United States of America, though facilities located outside the country but operated by either the United States government or falling under the U.S. Congress charter are also eligible to apply for such accreditation.

• Relevance: The Joint Commission finalizes and prioritizes the NPSG and also decides which goals are applicable to a certain course or organization. The organizations must carefully study these policies and make sure that the services offered by them have been addressed by the accreditation body and also the targets to be achieved for each of the prescribed goals.

• Improve Services: The organizations that seek the Joint Commission accreditation must undertake to improve their services according to the NPSG and must carry out regular assessment by experienced professionals' along with maintaining the relevant records and being ready for any internal and external surveys that may be conducted.

• Service Identification: Lastly each organization must identify and list all its relevant services with details as to which services are being offered directly by the healthcare facility and which of them have been contracted to an external body. Services provided through any other arrangement besides the above two must also be included.

3. Specific Requirements: As already mentioned, each of the healthcare organization may have to abide by certain different requirements as set by the Joint Commission, and will depend on the nature of the organization and the kind of services provided. First you must check the Joint Commission website and see if your organization and services are eligible for the NPSG. Next find the links relevant to your particular organization where you can get the complete information about the accreditation process, cost involved, period taken, and can obtain the checklists, guides, forms, and the latest copies of the goals and policies.

Getting an accreditation for your organization is not an easy or quick process but the Joint Commission offers substantial assistance through various online and interactive medium which will educate you about the accreditation requirements and guide you through the entire process.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Are You Spending too Much in Order to Eat Healthy?

When it comes to eating healthy food you could be wasting a lot of money and buying food that you think is good for your health but actually isn't. And your supermarket is making millions of people being unaware of this money waster. From buying organic that doesn't need to be organic because the pesticide use is low anyway. To buying meat and fish that you think is healthy but actually isn't. And buying processed foods that say are healthy for you added nutrients but are actually not.

When wanting to be healthy and still do it on a budget then this is important for you, all processed foods and packaged meats are a rip-off these foods lack any real nutrient value and have added fillers and additives. All breakfast cereals, regardless of whether or not they have cartoons on the front are a complete waste of money with no real nutritional value, they are high in sugar, the leading course of diabetes a chronic disease that is killing thousands every year and is on the increase. These cereals are filled with synthetic additives. For example, the iron fortified cereals that contain actual iron fillings which is not the same as the iron you get in spinach, this iron is toxic and your body can't absorb it.

Certain organic foods are low in pesticides so there is no need to be buying these produce as organic. If a produce has a skin and needs to be peeled then the low amount of pesticide used is just peeled away. The Environmental Working Group has produced their pesticide review in 2010. They say the produce that is the most pesticide free when buying conventionally is:

  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Frozen sweet peas

They do state that their top 12 includes corn, but corn is not good because of the genetic modification that occurs with it; so do not eat it unless it's organic.

The top 12 foods listed by the EWG's report that is important to eat organic, as it is the highest quantity of pesticides used are foods that have permeable or edible skins:

  • Grapes
  • Potatoes
  • Cherries
  • Kale/collard greens
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Blueberries
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Celery

Be careful when something says it is organic such as milk, because while organic milk comes from a cow that hasn't been fed artificial growth hormones or pesticide-laden food, it doesn't mean they have been pastured or grass-fed cows, that's why its important that they are also free-range. Another problem is that all organic milk is still pasteurised which destroys all the good valuable nutrients.

Even the meat and fish has contaminants in it, fish farmed is full of antibiotics and fed soy and GM corn, it is also low in essential vitamins and is high in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flames retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.

When meat isn't organic and free-range it is feed on grains and not grass, these grains are soy and corn, which fatten up the beef. Organic beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium when compared to conventional raised beef, which is also high in pesticides (due to eating contaminated grains).

It is always best to buy organic, but not everything needs to be organic, only buy the products that are high in contaminants, the most important that your meat and fish are organic and also free-range, you can also get a veggie wash for your vegetables and fruits if you aren't buying organic.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

6 Top Reasons Why Infection Control Training Is Necessary for the Society

Healthcare workers strive and work hard to help us get better. They work with risky diseases and deadly infection causing bacteria, virus and other microbes. They are at a constant risk of contracting dangerous infections that not only threaten their own health and safety but put their families, coworkers and other patients at risk. For this reason, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a federal department under the Department of Health, has made it mandatory for all doctors, physicians, nurses, paramedics, laboratory workers and all other support staff in the healthcare sector to undergo the infection control training, a set of procedures and guidelines which helps deal with infections and stopping their spread.

The training courses are very important and are required to attain permit to work in the country. Listed below are the top 6 reasons why infection control training is necessary for the society.

• To provide a safe and high quality environment to the patients and the working staff

A good, clean working environment is important for the staff and a good, hygienic healing environment is important for the patients. The key to this is to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene. The training course aims at explaining to the medical staff the importance of a neat, clean, safe and a high quality environment. Cleaning, disinfecting, sterilization are the keys to maintaining a safe and sterile environment, safe for the workers and the patients.

• To prevent the risk of infections amongst the staff members

Working with diseases and infections ups the risk of contracting them as well. It is important to stay protected and keep others protected by taking the required steps. The training course prescribes the steps and measures the staff is required to undertake to prevent the risk of spread of infection. Vaccinations prior to joining and periodical checkups are a part of the training. Use of protective gear is also promoted when the need arises.

• To protect the community from the infections that might originate from the healthcare facility

It is important to contain the infections and nip them at the bud. If there is a chance of an outbreak, the proper protocols must be in place to avoid the infection from spreading out.

• To prevent the transmission of disease causing microbes

Cleanliness and hygiene prevent the transmission of the disease causing microbes. It is mandatory for the staff to know how to prevent the transmission and they must also educate the fellow workers and the patients on how to reduce the transmission.

• To prevent the risk of post procedural infections

Post procedures, the patients are weak and susceptible to infections and diseases. They have to be kept safe and free from infections. This is possible only if good hygienic standards are maintained in the facility.

• To lower the cost of healthcare services

The cost of prevention is lower than the cost of cure.

Infection control training is not just to keep the healthcare workers safe and sound but it also benefits the society by promoting a safe and clean environment.