Patients Prefer Hospitality Design Elements

Medical offices and hotels share the challenge of designing facilities that are cost-effective, are functional, and promote their organizations’ missions. Research shows that facility design influences customer behaviors and brand perceptions in a variety of industries. Customers make decisions about a company’s capabilities and quality based on their perceptions of the physical setting.

Such consumer decisions are very important in healthcare since clinical outcomes are often intangible and difficult to measure for non-clinicians. Research has shown that a patient’s perception of quality can be influenced by facilities design. Several studies found that patients surveyed in physically attractive waiting areas gave higher ratings on quality of care and patient-staff interactions. These patients also were more willing to recommend the facility to others than those surveyed in comparatively unattractive waiting rooms.

A recent study of hospitals demonstrated that patients value hotel-like features twice as much as they value the clinical reputation! Examples such as these must be heeded in this era where patients are increasingly doing more choosing of their place of service.

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Contact ABISA, a consultancy specializing in solo and small group practice management. Visit us at ABISALLC.com.

Snake Venom for Cancer Treatment

Snake venom has been used to make antisera for snake bites for decades, however, making drugs from the venom itself is a fairly new idea. In a recent paper published by Toxicon, scientists report how a protein called eristostatin helps people’s immune systems fight malignant melanoma. Previous studies have shown that eristostatin stops melanoma cells colonizing the liver and lungs in mice.

Eristostatin, extracted from the venom of the Asian sand viper, stops victims’ blood clotting and thus plugging up damaged blood vessels after a bite. It does this by sticking to blood platelets and scientists hope to make use of this tendency to encourage the immune system to attack melanoma cells.

Eristostatin has a particular affinity for melanoma cells, which presumably have a protein on their surfaces that is similar to the one which attracts eristostatin to platelets. Additionally, when eristostatin is attached to a cell’s surface it attracts the attention of T-lymphocytes (immune-system cells whose job is to kill other body cells that have been infected with viruses or which have turned cancerous). If melanoma cells could be made especially attractive to T-lymphocytes, that might clear away the tumor completely.

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Contact ABISA, a consultancy specializing in solo and small group practice management. Visit us at ABISALLC.com.

Accountable Care Organizations: IT Dependency

As groups of coordinated and integrated healthcare providers, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) change the payment and delivery model to tie provider payments to quality measures and to reductions in the total cost of care for assigned population groups. With ACOs responsible for the quality and cost of care delivery, profitability depends on a strategic allocation of resources. To understand where to best invest those resources, healthcare organizations require access to timely, integrated, relevant data.

To make available the data that ACOs require, healthcare organizations require IT systems that can interoperate to gather the right data needed to support key strategic and operational decisions. Large healthcare organizations depend on data from numerous sources, and making sense of all the data from those systems is a challenge. Interoperability, terminology, and analytics capabilities are essential to extract data from patient care and effective reimbursement. IT systems that are interoperable and an analytics platform to measure key performance indicators, allow teams to focus on driving improvements in support of business strategy.

The best revenue cycle management systems enable providers and ACOs to drive better processes, delivering better patient access, better care coordination, and better service to patients. Institutions will also need to leverage enterprise access systems across their continuum of care to simplify patient access procedures and centralize management of protocol compliance by administrative staff.

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Contact ABISA, a consultancy specializing in solo and small group practice management. Visit us at ABISALLC.com.