Human Services

Opiate addiction plagues U.S., but there is hope

U.S. heroin and prescription drug use is an epidemic that is spinning out of control. According to a report published by Reuters, there were more than 43,000 deaths in 2013, of which more than half involved either a prescription painkiller or heroin. That number has continued to rise each year. How do we, the U.S. population or even the healthcare community, allow this trend to continue? What is not publicized enough is the direct connection between prescription opiates and heroin.…

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The Healthcare IT Value Model — A multidimensional healthcare IT planning and measurement tool for the HHS community

In the fast-evolving world of value-based contracts and coordinated care, providers need a strategic roadmap to guide them on the journey to true consumer-centered care by adopting smart technologies made for this new environment. Providers are asking hard questions: “What should I do next?” “How do I adopt the right IT strategy that addresses all my clinical and operational workflows and processes?” “How can I work smarter to drive wellness for the individuals I serve while keeping costs down?”

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Tech Explosion Means More Engaged Consumers, Better Care … But Weigh Your Options

There is a great value in using technology to engage with healthcare consumers. Applications streamline processes that occur before, during and after appointments. With the exponential growth in availability of healthcare technology tools, consumer communication is easier and more affordable than ever before.

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FPAR 2.0 and the Digital Path Forward for Public Health

The mission of public health is to reduce the leading causes of preventable death and disability, with a special emphasis on under-served populations and health disparities. Local and state health departments need to adapt and evolve if governmental public health is to address emerging health demands. Local health departments have long recognized the need to more effectively integrate and exchange data with their community partners and payers. However, given the wide-range of services public health departments deliver (in and outside…

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Giving Meaning to Measurement

By Netsmart When it comes to data, the goal is not just to have it, but to make it meaningful. Data tells us not just where we are, but more importantly, where we need to go. One of the best ways to obtain understanding from data is to benchmark. Benchmarking is the act of comparing a performance measure (metric) to a standard. Organizations can benchmark against their own past performance, or against the performance of a set of regional and…

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Lost on the Way to the Moon

        Earlier this week I sat in on a Web broadcast announcing the launch of the Kennedy Center for Mental Health Policy and Research. The lead presenters were former Congressman Patrick Kennedy and Dr. David Satcher, former Surgeon General of the United States. Both men are longtime advocates of mental health reform. The broadcast was interesting, inspiring and spot-on regarding many issues. But I wanted something more.

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Time to Transition to Better Transitions of Care

Some $25 billion to $45 billion per year is lost on poor transitions of care, meaning a failure of the healthcare system to properly transfer a client from the care of one clinician in a certain setting to the care of another clinician in another setting. There are many reasons for this, but it most often happens due to lack of information sharing. In the behavioral health community, where as many as 68 percent of adults with mental health conditions…

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