Outsourcing Trends in Life Sciences – Why These Partnerships Matter

Kevin ConnollyBy Kevin Connolly

Healthcare insiders know that the industry is undergoing unprecedented change and companies and providers alike must adjust to new challenges and opportunities. Although outsourcing of various services was always a standard industry practice, there has been a recent, noticeable shift in the type and the number of services companies are delegating to third-party vendors. Some of the key drivers of outsourcing include staff and cost pressures, the desire to enhance focus on core business processes and the ability to rapidly deploy critical new programs. By partnering with trained, compliant and specialized third parties, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies can increase efficiency and effectiveness and better balance cost and value.

Key Outsourcing Trends 

According to outsourcing experts, below are a few of the biggest outsourcing trends in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries:

Pharmacovigilance – As more companies recognize the importance of effective drug safety in ensuring patient safety, product integrity and company reputation, they also recognize the immense cost savings and efficiency that can be achieved by outsourcing pharmacovigilance services to an expert provider. The Transparency Market Research report found the global pharmacovigilance market to reach a market worth of $5 billion in 2019, and with good reason as these third-party partners have the ability to balance high quality adverse event processing and reporting with unpredictable volumes, all while meeting new needs in signaling, surveillance and risk management. 

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Safeguarding Patient Data 

Tom BrowningBy Tom Browning

Data not only does it continue to be one of the biggest buzzwords, but its impact and possibilities for the healthcare industry continue to have many insiders excited this year. At a time when pressure is being placed on the healthcare industry to reduce costs across the board, data continues to come up in conversation as one of the keys to success because of its potential for increased efficiencies and effectiveness in providing more comprehensive medical care. 

However, many questions still remain: how do we get our hands on it; how do we use it; how do we share it; and most importantly, how do we keep it safe? The latter being of particular importance to healthcare organizations because of the strict regulations placed on the industry and the high costs of non-compliance.  

Required Safeguards

As the healthcare industry becomes more and more digital, thanks to the implementation of Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) and Health Information Exchange (HIE), more and more patient data is being accessed electronically and available for instantaneous sharing.  On one hand, this streamlined process helps to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care, but on the other hand, it raises many red flags as to the security of the data and, ultimately, the patient.  

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13th annual “Shake Your Booties” Event Raises $180,000

The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center held its 13th annual signature fundraising event, Shake Your Booties on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at Heinz Field, with a crowd of more than 400, raising $180,000 for its programs. 

Emceed by comedian and performer Gab Bonesso, this year’s Super Heroes themed Shake Your Booties invited guests to celebrate The Children’s Home’s Super Heroes, the children and families The Children’s Home & Lemieux Family Center serves. The East Club of Heinz Field was transformed into a colorful Super Heroes event with décor and vibe created by Tim Koman of TK Event Studio and Bill Chisnell Productions.

Event co-chairs Allison E. Yeske and Marvin S. Yu welcomed guests to an evening of excitement, with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, delicious dinner stations and decadent dessert. The evening presented many opportunities to win fabulous items in the silent and live auctions, raffle, and Mystery Bag. Top sellers for the evening included a specially-crafted dinner at Root 174 with Pittsburgh personality Rick Sebak, a Nemacolin Woodlands Getaway and an In-Home Scotch Tasting from Piper’s Pub.

Event Superheroes with Child's Way attendee Rocko at The Children's Home & Lemieux Family Center's 13th Annual Shake Your Booties Event

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Secured Med Waste

We recently became aware of another wonderful organization.

Secured Med Waste was founded in response to the growing need for businesses to have a choice and to be able to select a medical waste removal provider who is reliable and economical. Currently, Secured Med Waste is servicing Maryland, Washington D.C. and areas of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Delaware. Secured Med Waste has 30 years of experience in providing a wide range of customers with multiple transportation and disposal services for many waste types including special medical waste.

Learn more!

 

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HMHP Wound Care Names New Medical Director

Humility of Mary Health Partners recently named Jason Delatore, M.D., medical director of St. Elizabeth and St. Elizabeth Boardman Wound Care centers.

Dr. Delatore, a vascular surgeon, replaces Felix Pesa, M.D., also a vascular surgeon, who retired in December 31, 2013.

The HMHP Wound Care Centers at St. Elizabeth, St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth Boardman have an integrated team of wound care specialists who consistently produce healing rates that exceed 90%.

About Humility of Mary Health Partners

Humility of Mary Health Partners is an integrated health system located in the Youngstown/Warren area. It is a region of Catholic Health Partners (CHP) in Cincinnati, the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest Catholic health systems in the United States. HMHP provides a full spectrum of health care services, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency, urgent care, home care and long-term care.  Members are St. Elizabeth Health Center, St. Joseph Health Center, St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center, HM Home Health Services, The Assumption Village, Humility House, Hospice of the Valley and Laurel Lake. Learn more about HMHP online at www.HMpartners.org.

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Southwestern PA Partnership for Aging Annual Meeting

Southwestern PA Partnership for Aging (SWPPA) is holding their Annual Meeting, “Addressing Today’s Challenges for Aging Consumers,” on Wednesday December, 3rd from 8am to 4pm at Robert Morris University in Moon Twp.

New This Year at SWPPA!

  • Round Robin Table Discussions & Networking:  Sponsorship opportunities available!
  • The agenda includes:
  • Findings on Family Caregiver Needs and Issues Presented by the AARP and United Way
  • Behavioral Health Issues in Older Adults Presented by the PA Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition
  • Health Literacy Presented by the Regional Health Literacy Coalition
  • The Future of Long Term Care and Aging – Panel Presentation by Experts from State Organizations
  • Policy Direction of Long Term Care and Aging in Pennsylvania – Panel Presentation by State Legislators

The program will provide 5 CEU hours for Social Workers, Nurses, Nursing Home Administrators and Personal Care Home Administrators.

There are many opportunities to exhibit and sponsor – please join us! 

Questions may be directed to Lucy Cichon at 412-595-7554 lcichon@homeinsteadpgh.com

or Betty Karleski at 412-352-0703 or bjkarleski@hotmail.com

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Easily Managing Access to Healthcare’s Multiple Systems

Nederland, Amsterdam, 04-06-2010 Management Tools4EverBy Dean Wiech

In any industry passwords can be a hassle to manage, but perhaps this is no more true than healthcare. Password strategies are put in place to keep data secure, including patient’s information, but they often cause headaches for clinicians. And since every minute matters in the clinical setting, any process that takes longer than necessary can become a major problem when patient outcomes hang in the balance.

Since providers often need to access their own systems, as well as patient data and treatment history quickly, to assist patients, something as simple as getting locked out of systems or forgetting credentials to accounts is time consumer and tedious to overcome. Contacting the helpdesk and waiting to get passwords reset wastes what little time caregivers have to with patients. Simplifying password resets can give critical time back to caregivers and support staff in the care setting.

Easier said than done, of course. Many healthcare organizations resist implementing any type of password solution because they don’t want to bombard clinicians with yet another new technology. One of the major reasons being that they assume the implementation and training time are lengthy and because they’re currently bogged down by a variety of other pressing issues, such as meaningful use and preparing for the transition to ICD-10 in October 2015.
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A New Model to Improve Financial Outcomes for Facilities

By Scott McCall and Michael J. Kessler

You are familiar with the concept of coordinated care for better patient health outcomes.  What you might not be familiar with, but what this article will describe, is a new approach to help healthcare facilities achieve better financial outcomes.  For simplicity, we’ll refer to this model as Coordinated Consulting.  The underlying concept for Coordinated Consulting is similar to coordinated care:  take a holistic approach to improving the condition of your facility by coordinating the business consultants working with the facility to improve operations.  The goal of coordinated consulting is improved outcomes and results.

The Primary Challenge:  Reimbursements

In recent years most facilities have seen their incomes decline as a result of Medicare and Medicaid reductions.  The first major reduction came in the fourth quarter of 2011, with Medicare reimbursements reduced by 11.1%.  Federal and State reimbursement modules for skilled and long-term care nursing services have not only become more complex in recent years, they have not kept up with inflation. And although Medicaid reimbursement methodologies vary from state to state, the clear trend nationally is budgeted increases that don’t outpace inflation, or rate freezes altogether.
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Star Leadership Institute Recognizes Graduating Class

On April 9, 2014, the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA), representing more than 212,000 registered nurses in Pennsylvania, recognized 25 graduating members of the PSNA Star Leadership Institute at The Desmond Hotel & Conference Center, Malvern. The Institute is a leadership development program designed to assist nurses in contributing to the delivery of high-quality health care while collaborating with other leaders in the reform needed to redesign health care in the U.S. The following registered nurses were recognized as 2013-2014 graduates:

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Franklin Regional High School

News of the tragedy at Franklin Regional High School earlier this week has been all over the country. We are certainly keeping all of the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

But we also want to acknowledge all the wonderful men and women in the healthcare field and the various healthcare facilities involved in the care of these students. No matter who you work for, you must all be proud of all those who were called into action.

That’s what makes Pittsburgh so special. In recent memories, it seems like every time we discuss healthcare in the region it conjures up memories of lawsuits, mergers, and buyouts. It’s just refreshing to see the men and women in healthcare come together and see their skills highlighted nationally.

We all should be proud of those who work in healthcare in this region and the wonderful work they do.

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Health Care Employers Can Reap Big Benefits From Employment Reviews

Patricia FarrellBy Patricia E. Farrell

All it takes is one medical assistant who doesn’t report the time she spends finishing her charting after hours.  Or a receptionist who takes phone calls while she eats lunch at her desk.  Or a nurse supervisor who fails to report that one of the nurses is being harassed by another staff member.

All of these situations can lead to employment lawsuits, and each case can cost a health care employer $50,000 to $250,000 or more.

One way that hospitals, physician’s practices and other health care employers can protect themselves is to conduct regular employment reviews.  During an employment review, someone with thorough knowledge labor and employment laws and regulations, typically an attorney or team of attorneys, will analyze the company’s current employment practices and office environment to identify potential liabilities that may lead to a lawsuit.
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A Guide to Managing the Off-Campus Facility Move

Marisa Manley--President--CTRRBy Marisa Manley

There is a strong trend among hospitals and medical/healthcare complexes to move high-demand healthcare services, such as urgent care, ambulatory care, and primary care, to smaller, dispersed, easily accessible locations.

An off-campus facility can be a branch or affiliate of the hospital or leased by the hospital to doctors who operate the site as independent practitioners.  Often, a portion of the facility, such as an urgent care center, is branded and operated by the hospital.

Here is a guide to planning and managing an off-campus move.

Why move off campus?

An off-campus move can help increase patient counts, build market share, and improve visibility among prospective patients.  A hospital may put a facility in a community to increase the hospital’s visibility and provide needed services.  When patients use the facility, they think well of the hospital and return in the future.  In addition, the ambulatory care facility may become an entry point for services which reside in the hospital – either because they are more specialized or because they require in-patient care.
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From Academic to Clinical, STTI Book Offers Insider Writing and Publishing Tips

Second edition of how-to writing guide provides expanded insight from nurse author and editor

While nurses are accountable for the care and well-being of their patients, their responsibilities don’t end there, says award-winning author Cynthia Saver, MS, RN.

Saver identifies writing as another one of nurses’ core responsibilities, although insecurity keeps many nurses from sharing their knowledge through writing.

In Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses, Second Edition, published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Saver works to break down these psychological barriers and empower nurses with the tools necessary for effective writing.

Equipped with more than 25 years of publishing experience and having spent more than three decades in the nursing field, Saver combines her insight with the expertise of an array of contributors in the publishing field to reveal what publishers look for when selecting manuscripts for print. The resulting text is designed to aid everyone from the nursing student to the established nurse drafting his or her first book.

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Student Pharmacists Do Medication Reconciliation

 

Cedarville University School of Pharmacy students have been working in medication reconciliation at local medical institutions.

Cedarville University School of Pharmacy students have been working in medication reconciliation at local medical institutions.

Cedarville University’s School of Pharmacy is partnering with regional hospitals to meet a need for medication reconciliation through a program with student pharmacists.

Medication reconciliation involves a comprehensive review of a patient’s medications after being admitted to the hospital and ensures accuracy and safety during treatment. This process allows the medical staff to learn the medications the patient is taking at home, whether they are contributing to the patient’s problems and which medications should be included when the patient is discharged.

Thad Franz, Pharm.D., director of experiential programs and assistant professor of pharmacy practice, said this process is especially important when patients have chronic diseases.

“These patients need a lot of medications and there can be problems,” he said. “Good medication reconciliation work prevents medication errors.”
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Having a Relationship With Someone in Recovery

By Karen Nagy

The disease of addiction affects not just the addict, but also their friends, family members and partners, who may eventually exhibit their own, reactive behaviors as they cope with their loved one’s disease.  If the addict goes into a recovery program, they begin to learn how to manage their addictive behaviors in their sobriety.  It is also important for those in relationship with people in recovery to be aware of addictive behaviors that still may occur with their partner, as certain of these behaviors can be hard on a relationship.

Not having had prior knowledge of the above, I (a non-addict) dated two different men who were in recovery programs, and wondered why it sometimes felt like I’d entered an alternate universe. My second boyfriend in recovery threw me for a loop—some of his behavior was maddening and confusing to me.  For instance, he seemed to have no concept of time, and would arrive late, early, or not at all for a date.  I eventually came to realize that this behavior was related to addiction, but I didn’t know how or why.  I am a native of western PA (Hempfield Township) and was quite sheltered from the world of addiction in my youth and young adulthood.  After many years living in south Florida, I still didn’t know much about addiction, or recovery.
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