How Do Mobile Workstations Aid in Patient Engagement?

Strides made in patient engagement in recent years have taken place alongside innovations in healthcare technology such as mobile workstations. The use of technology in healthcare has given patients the desire to take a more active role in their health, and has also improved outcomes. But how do mobile workstations aid in patient engagement?

Technology in Healthcare

Technology is transforming healthcare and helping to keep people engaged and healthy. More and more health facilities are adopting new technologies that patients can use easily, thereby improving the efficiency and quality of health outcomes.

Technology provides simple, but effective methods of communication, and provides a more versatile and personalized approach to healthcare. Medical computers and similar devices create the opportunity for better diagnosis and treatment. They also improve links among doctors, allowing them to work together to improve patient care.

Patient Engagement

There’s been a lot of talk about the concept of patient engagement in recent years, but what does it really mean. Patient engagement focuses on involving patients in matters relating to their health and wellness, in order to improve patient-physician relationships, and produce better outcomes. Incorporating advanced tools and technology into healthcare is helping to enhance patient care and comfort.

Doctors and patients can now access electronic health records (EHR) via online portals, and there is greater communication access via emails and mobile devices. Because of these technological advances, there is now much more patient-physician interaction.

Additionally, more medical consultations are taking place online. When there is a health concern, patients are now regularly using tools such as medical mobiles to contact their primary care physician or specialist. This has helped to reduce office visits, and of course it means lower costs for patients.

How Mobile workstations help patient engagement

Mobile workstations have helped to integrate information technology into the healthcare system, so as to streamline operations and increase efficiency. Computers and health information technology have been seamlessly integrated into the workflow, and this has also improved physician-patient interactions.

Mobile workstations specifically assist patient engagement by:

Reducing the time for routine tasks such as dispensing medication and updating daily charts. This gives health care providers more time to offer better care to patients. It therefore facilitates greater connectedness between patients and their health care providers.

Providing nurses with mobile nursing charts rather than paper based patient charts. This allows them to get a real-time view of patient vitals, medication charts, and lab results. Paper based charts are prone to error, but mobile enabled alternatives are more accurate, and help to increase patient satisfaction.

Increasing efficiency and facilitating improved care at the bedside. Data is more accessible, and patients also have access to tests results and other health communication that allows them to make informed decisions.

Giving clinicians the ability to enter information at the point of care in a patient’s room. The health data can be discussed in real time, and patients don’t have to wait for the physician or nurse to consult notes at a permanent workstation.

Enhancing patient involvement in their own care, as clinicians can share data they are viewing on the workstation screen. Patients are given more information about their illness and the possible treatment options.

Saving time. Less time is required to record documentation, which makes more time available for direct patient care. Because of this, patients feel more comfortable communicating openly with their health care providers.

Venus-222 Mobile Nursing Station

The Venus 222 Mobile Nursing Station by Onyx Healthcare is a portable, multifaceted computer with a wireless network. It integrates the functions of a nursing station with other applications such as telemedicine, and EHR/EMR. The Venus-222 workstation is lightweight, fan-less, easy to navigate, and comfortable to use. It can be upgraded as needed, and is equipped with swappable batteries. The batteries have a 24-hour run time, so the computer won’t die out prematurely. It is the ideal solution for the fast-paced clinical environment.

Onyx Healthcare, USA, located in Orange, CA, specializes in medical IT solutions, and provides a range of mobile computing workstations for the medical field. Call 714-792-0774 to find out more about the mobile workstations available at Onyx, and discover how they can aid in patient engagement.

The Benefits of Deep Breathing

When we were born, we knew how to breathe correctly. We instinctively knew to breathe deeply. Our breaths were rhythmical and relaxed. At the time of our very first breath, we knew what to do.

Somewhere along the line we forgot how to breathe deeply. We may have been frightened, stressed or shocked. We may have panicked and our automatic response was to breathe quickly into our chests. Over time this became our new habit. When I look around a yoga class, I see most people are shallow breathing. But if we do this for a long period of time, we begin to think this is normal.

As you sit at your computer now, notice what your breath is doing. Now breathe deeply. Notice what your shoulders are doing and how your stomach is feeling. Now sit up straight, roll your shoulders back and down. Release any tension in your stomach. Now check in with your breath. Are you breathing deeply into your stomach? This new habit will take effort to maintain at first. Keep checking in with your breath during the day and eventually any tightness in your stomach will reduce.

Shallow breathing means that our organs do not get the same level of oxygen as they do during deep breathing. When you take a long inhale, imagine the air is filling your lungs and expanding your diaphragm. Your intestines are filled with fresh oxygen. If you lay the alveoli out flat (the air sacks in your lungs), they would be the size of a one bedroom flat which is about 450 square feet. Imagine how much more efficient and healthy our bodies would be if we breathed properly!

During shallow breathing, your sympathetic nervous system goes into a state of stress. This informs your body that you are stressed and releases the associated stress hormones. This then creates an imbalance in the body.

Imagine the difference to our health, vitality and energy if we were to breathe deeply everyday. Imagine the positive impact on our performance. Breathing deeply helps your body to perform at its best. It relieves tension, stress and fear. I find that when my breathing is quick and shallow, then my mind is over active. When I consciously control my breathing and aim for deep inhales and long exhales, my mind becomes more peaceful and I am less stressed.

I Want To Feel Young Again Like You – He Asked

The other day, I received a rather nice complement from a colleague who noted my excellent shape and fitness. Let me tell you, staying in shape at this level is a lot of work, it’s a huge sacrifice, but I feel worth it. But, not being a fitness consultant or personal trainer I wondered exactly what advice could I give that would work for almost anyone who wants to lose weight, tone up and stay healthy? Let’s talk.

First, my colleague asks me; “So in addition to your exercise routine do you eat a special diet? I am just trying to watch what I eat and pay attention to portion control. I want to feel good when I look in the mirror. I don’t think I will ever look like the Statue of David but then again he is dead and I am alive.”

Yes of course, he’s right. And, here is the advice I gave him and I’d be glad to share with you today. You see, I eat smoothies with vegetables and fruit, with isolate protein powder, and a lot of homemade soup. I also watch my calories, but not as much as I used to. But let me say this; if you’ll cut your calorie intake to 2300 calories per day, walk/jog 3.2 miles per day, then boost that up to 2 walks per day, you’ll lose and keep off 35 lbs in 2-months.

I also recommend you cut out wheat products and sodas, no beer or alcohol. Your gut bacteria will change in about 2.5 weeks and you won’t crave all the BS processed foods in about 20-30 days. But you have to stay with this plan for at least 60-days before you’ll be happy with the results, then once you do get lighter, you can up the exercise and start hitting the weights in about 45-days.

It’s not hard stuff, just Google “Super Foods” and only eat those, add turmeric, ginger, garlic, Italian spices, pepper in trade for salt, and organic honey and cinnamon in place of sugar.

Read up on foods that boost testosterone, and add some of those into your diet. Also add Ginseng (Panex), K-2, and Gingko Biloba, fish oil into your supplement routine, get a good B-complex and multivitamin too, add D-3 vitamin until spring.

This works, it’s not even rocket science. I also advise that you “Think” yourself thin, and if you are going to hit the weights do that 1-hour before you go to bed, your body will burn fat while you sleep. By the time summer comes you will be sporting a hard body and you will have agility and spring in your step, ready to conquer the world. You’ll feel like you are in your early 30s again, it’s pretty damn cool.

My acquaintance then asks; “What has been the biggest change you have noticed since you have gotten in better shape?”

Well, good question actually. So, I guess the hardest thing to remember is to stay on your diet. Sometimes, “friends” want to feed you their crappy food, and when you eat it, you will notice you start to lose your six-pack. Most of that processed crap is garbage calories, not doing you any good. It’s not that you are going to crave that crappy food after months of eating the good stuff – it’s that your friends try to feed you the stuff. Sometimes those foods are more convenient, and you are hungry, but try to get the good stuff in. And once a week go ahead and eat whatever you want, some crappy stuff, but not more than once a week. Please consider all this and think on it.

Does Holding Your Pee Affect You?

The human bladder can hold up to 0.5 liters of liquid. A normal person taking 8 glasses of water a day takes 64 ounces (1.9 liters), hence the need to constantly get rid of the excess water. The bladder stores this excess liquid and when half full, sends signals to the brain to let one know that they should pee. This however, is bearable and one may decide to hold the pee for longer.

But how long is long, well it varies with different people. Others can hold it for so long while others can’t hold it in for long. It is however advisable that you hit the head as soon as the urge to do so comes.

While holding it for a short period has no effect apart from the difficulty to concentrate on anything else than your desire to pee, doing so for long and too many times is harmful. It may lead to infections and other numerous side effects. The bacteria on the genital surface is not being flushed out, hence it can enter through the ureter and migrate in to the bladder. The accumulation of these bacteria may cause lower urinary transmitted infection (UTI). In rare cases, the bacteria may walk its way up the ureter, reaching the kidney, causing pyelonephritis, a kidney ailment, whose symptoms include a fever, back pains. If this goes untreated, the bacteria will enter the blood stream causing a systemic disorder that is extremely life threatening.

For pregnant women, these bacteria spread faster, there are other infections that may arise from this. They include:

Kidneys stones a condition where tiny stone like develop in the kidneys due to excess accumulation of calcium and sodium salts along the tract. The stones make it difficult to pass urine as the pain that comes along is unbearable since the stones will be large compared to the tract size.

Cystitis an inflammation of the bladder walls mostly experienced by women. Its symptoms are: pain in the pelvis, burning and pain when urinating and swelling of the bladder.

Voiding dysfunction this occurs mostly in children. It is the inability to retain urine as the sphincter muscles have been weakened and are unable to relax.
The bladder may also swell since it is holding more than its capacity. Too much swelling may call for a surgery.

Other possible diverse effects are anxiety, cramps, shivers and stomach pains.

The Great BMI Debate

One of my RDNs posed this question recently related to BMI levels for older adults:

I’ve been seeing transfer notes from the hospital and other nursing homes with diet/nutrition histories where RDNs are charting that BMIs of less than 23 is underweight. For example, one note documented that a BMI of 21.3 was underweight “for age” for a man who was 92. State surveyors are also asking for a list of residents with BMI under 21 and wanting to see interventions on them. The MDS does not trigger for a low BMI until under 19. Do we need to adapt our practices?

The National Institute of Health classification of overweight and obesity by body mass index (BMI) is as follows:

Classification – Normal

Obesity Class – None

BMI (kg/m2) – 18.4-24.9

Classification – Overweight

Obesity Class – None

BMI (kg/m2) – 25.0-29.9

Classification – Obesity

Obesity Class – I

BMI (kg/m2) – 30.0-34.9

Classification – Obesity

Obesity Class – II

BMI (kg/m2) – 35.0-39.9

Classification – Extreme Obesity

Obesity Class – III

BMI (kg/m2) – > 40

BMI is interpreted based on age, health history, usual body weight, and weight history.

Adults should be assessed for indicators of nutritional status and decline using body mass index (BMI) as one of many factors. Data suggests that a higher BMI range may be protective in older adults and that the standards for ideal weight (BMI of 18.5 to 25) may be too restrictive in the elderly. A lower BMI may be considered detrimental to older adults due to association with declining nutrition status, potential pressure ulcers, infection and other complications. A BMI of 19 or less may indicate nutritional depletion, while a BMI of 30 or above indicates obesity.

In the literature, there is a lot of conversation about a BMI of 21-23 (rather than 18/19) as considered on the low side for older adults. At the same time, there is a lot of conversation about the “obesity paradox” saying a higher BMI might be protective against some diseases and death. There is still a lot of controversy regarding the efficacy of BMI for older adults, regardless of what is considered “too low” or “too high”.

To our knowledge, there are no firm recommendations from any source on BMI cutoffs for older adults. The MDS triggers a CAA if BMI is < 18.5, although as stated above a higher BMI can probably be considered too low for older adults. In clinical practice, the BMI number is not as important as how it compares to an individual's history. Monitoring changes over time is what is important. If state surveyors question whether everyone with a low BMI needs an intervention, consider explaining that if a low BMI was normal for this person's life history, then we would not attempt to correct it - although interventions might be put in place for other reasons (poor intake, weight loss, wounds, etc.). And for an older person with a high BMI of 35 who had been overweight their whole life, it is highly likely that lifestyle and habits are set and weight loss would probably not be necessary or successful in older age. The new Academy/ASPEN criteria for diagnosing malnutrition does not use BMI - it uses unintended weight loss, body fat, muscle mass loss (as determined by nutrition focused physical assessment and/or handgrip strength in the case of severe malnutrition) and other factors. The National Quality Forum Measure #128 (NWF 0421) Preventive Care and Screening uses >23 and <30 for those over the age of 65. There are several reference articles on BMI in the elderly which all suggest higher BMIs for those over 65: - Flicker et al JAGS 2010; 68: 234. - Bell et al JAMDA 2013; 14: 94-100. - Winter J et al Am J Clin Nutri 2014; 99:875-890 Sorkin, J Am J Clin Nutri 2014; 99: 759-760. - Winter J, MacInnis R, Wattanapenpaiboon N and Nowson C. BMI and all-cause mortality in older adults: a meta-analysis.