Healthcare, Air Travel and Interoperability

The healthcare industry is notorious for its severely disconnected practices. Often, a patient finds herself caught in the middle of the shuffle. If you’ve recently received medical care or attempted to schedule a doctor’s visit, you are certainly familiar with the headaches associated with the process. The article “If Air Travel worked like Health Care” from the National Journal, accurately and humorously sums up the issues we face.

As a patient, interacting with the healthcare industry feels overwhelming and disconnected. Unfortunately, we are forced to tolerate a high level of absurdity when trying to complete relatively simple tasks. As a consumer, we would rarely accept such circumstances in any other industry, but it seems when it comes to healthcare, we have limited recourse. Patients seeking care face repetitive lines of questioning and seemingly unending wait times as the entire industry suffers from a lack of interoperability.

The patient in the National Journal article, after being sold a flight departing months past his desired travel date, after he is required to fax in a consent form, and after he must call a separate company to handle his baggage, informs the customer service representative that in a modern system, he would be sold “a safe round-trip journey, instead a series of separate procedures. It would have back-office personnel using modern IT systems to coordinate my journey behind the scenes. The systems and personnel would talk to each other automatically. At the press of a button, once I entered a password, they would be able to look up my travel history. We’d do most of this stuff online.” He’s describing the way most industries operate today, from air travel to banking to freight transportation, all of which are able to successfully communicate between systems, companies and types of data.

This article highlights, in a light-hearted way, the tension created by trying to coordinate answers to simple questions like appointment scheduling or billing inquiries while on the phone with a provider or health plan. All the healthcare stakeholders, patients, providers and health plans, are frustrated by the lack of interoperability and the high administrative costs to accomplish simple tasks like scheduling an appointment.

Providing healthcare in this disconnected manner is expensive and unsustainable. As we look to the future, health systems and health communications will need to be integrated across IT systems, providers, specialist offices, labs and health plans. Data will need to be mobile, secure and efficient. It will need to be accessible when and where it’s required by authorized personnel.

How to Buy a Golf Travel Bag As a Gift

A Golf travel bag is the perfect gift for any golf enthusiast. It helps protect the equipment (an investment) and makes it easier for safe transport and with the functionality also come the various types, sizes, colours, preferences to match ones style.

Golf travel bags can be taken to the course as well as convenient to travel with. So the question is how do you determine what they will like – it all depends on who the bag is for!

A few things to consider that may assist in the end selection:

Clubs that they own

  • This can help in determining how big the travel bag needs to be to accommodate all the clubs and protect them for being damaged. There needs to be enough room to protect the clubs as well as be able to be secure enough so that they don’t shuffle around.

Consider how frequently they travel

  • Do they travel frequently where you may consider purchasing a full hard travel case or a partial soft case for easier storage.

Accessories -what do they normally take with them

  • Everyone has their preference as to what they carry with them on to the course and having them accessible plays into their comfort and enjoyment as well. Example – gloves, shoes, attire, cell phone, water bottle, etc.

Size

  • Determine this factor for the equipment that they own as well as for the transport to and from the place of residence to the car (how well will it fit in the car or trunk of the car), and also to and from the golf course as well as the airport. The convenience also plays into the enjoyment of this whole process.

Weight

  • If the bag is too heavy then the purpose of the bag is not as functional. Will the person be able to comfortably lift it out of the car and move it around – example – if they have a medium body build then they will be able to handle more weight that a person with a slight body build.

Sturdiness of bag

  • Every bag is different in their strength depending on their make and quality. Every year the make and model change as there are new innovations and this enables manufacturers to use newer materials that can potentially be stronger and more lightweight than their previous models.

Style

  • Manufacturers are on top of their game and are always working on coming up with different designs, better quality, enhanced features and styles will vary from year to year.

Cost of the golf travel bag

  • That all depends on you! What is your comfort price, what are you are willing to spend. The cost of the golf travel bag is a reflection of the differences in name brand, quality and features. Hard cases are usually more expensive than soft cases.

Traveling With an Allergic Baby – 6 Things That Will Keep Baby Well During the Trip

If your baby has problems with allergy, you probably hesitate to take him away from the security of your home, and into less protected spaces. This can feel terribly confining. The good news is that with a little planning you and your family can travel safely with your baby. But before you take to the road, here are 6 things to do that will help your baby stay healthy while enjoying the trip.

1. Let your pediatrician know that you are planning a trip, and ask for advice on prescriptions or over the counter medications that can be used to avoid a flare up, or minimize one should it occur. Depending on your destination they may be able to recommend a wealth of all kinds of resources that will help put your mind at ease, let you relax and enjoy the trip.

2. Bring your baby’s portable pack and play that he is use to sleeping in. If you don’t have one, this is an investment you’ll be happy you made. Be sure to get it several weeks before you travel, so by the time you’re ready to leave, it feels comfortable to him. This will allow you to use sheets and bedding that you know are safe, and will feel more normal to your baby even though you may be sleeping in an unfamiliar hotel, family member or friend’s home. Keeping things as familiar as possible for your baby, particularly at bed time, will reduce stress (both his and yours) and will allow him to rest well at night. And if baby sleeps everybody traveling with you will sleep too. And as you know, a baby whose body is well rested will have a stronger immune system which is better able to fight off pollutants.

3. If you use a special hypoallergenic laundry detergent, be sure to pack it. If you need to wash his clothes, better to have it along, than not be able to find it in the stores where you’re visiting.

4. Be sure to bring extra clothing. This sounds like a no-brainer, but you really don’t want to have to shop under pressure to find clothes that your baby can wear without causing a problem. Having to look for new clothes and only being able to find those made of materials that trigger symptoms is a nightmare that doesn’t need to happen. It may also be difficult and expensive to locate a store that offers organic clothing, or has your baby’s size. And maybe your schedule is too tight to have to take time to shop. Bringing extras that your baby has already worn, and preferably that have been washed once is added baggage you won’t mind having.

5. A favorite toy or 5 will be greatly appreciated by your little one. Purchasing a spare of the favorite toy before you leave might save a lot of anxiety should it become lost in the shuffle from one place to another. This might seem like a waste of money on this side of the issue, but from the other side that spare toy just might seem priceless.

6. Pack a small portable air purifier that can fit easily in the trunk of your car. It should be light enough to carry, but heavy duty enough to remove airborne pollutants like dust, mold and mildew spores, smoke, pet dander, bacteria and viruses. Again this is something you should buy well in advance of your trip so your baby is use to it in the nursery. Then, to your baby, it feels like bringing along a piece of home, and for you it brings peace of mind. You never know what the air quality is going to be like where you’re going, and having a portable high efficiency particle arresting air purifier along for the ride means your baby has fresh clean air wherever you go. And fresh air is good for everyone else in the family too.