Archive for June, 2009

Project management

June 8, 2009

In order for a project to be successfully implemented on the go live date, it requires good planning and adequate resources. A good project manager is a must and well as great team members. The project manager will be required to orchestrate the implementation on the systems application, much like the conductor of a big band, the horns, drums, piano, violins, must enter at the right moments, but, before the big show there must be practice and sound test. When implementing a new system or upgrading an existing one, there must be prior preparation. Meetings must be held to notify the stakeholders and end users of the product, informing them about the product, why it was chosen, the goals and expectations, and their role in the final outcome. Who will be the main players? What are the expect goals and outcomes? What will be the team make up? The other systems vendors the new product will interface with will need to be informed to ensure a smooth integration of all the elements. The new language will have to be converted to a language that will be understood by the existing applications, and translated back to the language of the new application. The new system must be tested along with the current systems. The new system must not just function correctly on it’s on, but must also function in harmony with the existing systems. The new and existing systems must communicate with each other. Any quirks must be fixed ahead of the go live. Included in the implementation of the new system, is how it will be used, who will be using it, and how to use it. Teaching plans must also be set in motion. After all, what good is a new system, successfully installed, if the end user cannot use it, and does not know why it was implemented in the first place?

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Prevention of Obesity in Nevada

June 5, 2009

With regard to the Healthy People 2010 Nutrition Objectives mentioned in our text, I recalled that the state in which I live has developed an obesity prevention plan entitled “Strategic Plan for the Prevention of Obesity in Nevada”. I reviewed this fascinating document, completed in September 2006. This plan, with an overall mission to decrease the burden of chronic diseases by decreasing the prevalence of obesity in Nevada, is the framework our State Health Division utilizes to strengthen obesity prevention efforts within the state. The strategic plan document presents statistical data including; demographic profiling, rapid population growth, health insurance status, prevalence of obesity by gender, age, race/ethnicity and education. It further addresses socioeconomic status, incidence of chronic illness along with associated costs, and exercise and nutrition information for Nevadans. The national target percentages for Healthy People 2010 were compared to recent Nevada statistical data. The comparative data was used in developing the “Strategic Plan for the Prevention of Obesity in Nevada”. The goals focus on the areas of leadership, ongoing data collection and assessment, partnerships and performance. There are identified objectives within each goal. Progress toward the identified goals and objectives is to be reviewed annually. A comprehensive review of the Plan will be conducted in 2010 with realignment of goals at that time as indicated by the review. I am sure most states are using available health information and data to set goals toward improving the health of their citizens. One of the challenges Nevada faces is related to the rapid influx of people, many of whom are undocumented. Many of these same people are uninsured and have chronic illness and health education needs, which may not be realized until they access the healthcare system. Even with the many challenges, there is much more community health information available regarding obesity prevention, both published and in programs, than in years past. It is our goal, with combined efforts of healthcare professionals, to contribute in a positive manner toward both our state and national goals for healthy people.

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Nursing Assessment Meets Technology

June 4, 2009

I work at an institution that received a federal grant to start up a simulation lab. This lab has three manikins that are very lifelike. One is an obstetric manikin and can simulate vaginal births. One is pediatric. The last manikin is an adult and we have sent over 1000 nurses thru this lab this year. We do ACLS scenarios and mock Code Blue. The program can be written to do anything. You can hear the lung fields and heart. When you feel the pedal area, you can even feel a pedal pulse. It is an awesome way to train students and new graduates as well as the experienced nurses.

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What is Health Informatics?

June 4, 2009

With the course Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, I have an opportunity to enhance my knowledge base. This is to explore, as a concept, Health Informatics and how it coincides with health promotion. I have heard the term Health Informatics and have awareness that it is an evolving field. However, since I am unsure I fully understand the term Health Informatics, some research is indicated. It is no surprise to learn that the definition and models of Health Informatics vary widely and have multiple applications. Many Health Informatics models address the processing of data in the healthcare environment in order to analyze healthcare systems. Since much of healthcare is process and systems oriented this is useful. This is especially true for those working in areas where a defined process is helpful in reducing harm to patients. An example would be following a systems process for the administration of medications to decrease the chance of error and potential harm. The text for this course, Health Promotion Throughout the Life Span, discusses the fact that most medical errors are process rather than people oriented. Also Health Informatics address the need to develop algorithms so that vital information needed for the provision of healthcare is available at the time and place healthcare needs to be provided. This makes perfect sense. We find that algorithms based on historical data and evidenced based sciences are very useful for effective patient care. An example of such an algorithm would be those provided by the American Heart Association for the provision of emergency basic or advanced life support. In the broadest sense, Health Informatics could be translated as understanding the skills and tools that enable the sharing and use of information to deliver and promote health. This, for all of us in healthcare, is our goal.

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Project Managers – Managing Projects

June 1, 2009

The project manager must know what the project is, what it is suppose to accomplish, and the time frame it in which should be accomplished in. They must also be aware of the budgetary constraints. The project manager needs to form a team to work on the project with. Each team, and team member, must be aware of his or her responsibility to the team and the project. They must know goals and expectations. To be successful, the project manager must be able to delegate tasks. The project should be broken down in parts and each part be given to the team best suited for completion of that task. In project managements they must be lots of communication. The project manager must be able to communicate with the team (s), individually and as groups. There must be regular scheduled meetings to gage and monitor progress, and to feed back to the stakeholders the progress of the project. These meeting should also include the vendors and the clients of the project and where necessary the end-users. The project manager should keep clear documentation on the progress of the project, to ensure the stakeholders are kept up to date with the progress of the project. This documentation should show any problems encountered during the implementation process, what steps were taken to fix the problem or any changes that were made, and the rational behind the changes. Regular progress reports, and information sharing are essential to good project management and project completion.

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