Healthcare insight is to health literacy as location is to real estate. Health literacy is the degree to which one is capable of obtaining, processing and understanding basic health information in order to make appropriate decisions related to one’s health. Without an understanding of how diseases are treated, evaluated and prevented, and knowledge of the rules and regulations for accessing the resources for those services, however, health literacy is less appealing, especially in the time of healthcare reform.
Medical professionals face a variety of challenges when attempting to administer healthcare services in developing countries. Basic infrastructure problems plague efficient healthcare distribution in these countries. Unpaved or non-existent roads, a lack of administrative personnel, a lack of technology, and dwindling supplies make for an extremely limited amount of options for patients who may be suffering with the same sort of ailments that require a fully stocked hospital. Healthcare administrators must first concentrate on the problems they are able to solve themselves, such as creating a system that eases patient wait times and provides information regarding available healthcare services. These organizational systems help patients avoid potentially long trips to the clinic by allowing healthcare administrators to provide advance notices of services, medicines, and products that are presently available.
Honest and open communication is absolutely essential when you’re visiting your physician. Doctors depend on full disclosure in order to make an accurate diagnosis, or to prescribe the course of treatment best suited to each individual patient. Be sure to make note of any medications or supplements that you may be taking in addition to the size and frequency of the dosages. Write this information down, because it’s very easy to overlook an important detail when you’re trying to remember in front of your physician.
A leading medical device vendor, selling 100 thousand pacemakers a year to dozens of hospitals in the United States, discovers they have over 10% of expired items at 5000 hospitals each year. The approximate loss (to the hospital or the vendor depending on the payment terms) can reach tens of millions of dollars!