Final Reflection

This blog project has definitely challenged me in many new ways.  Being in the business school I am used to writing papers and giving presentations. I’m really not used to putting my thoughts and ideas on display for the world to see. I am also used to looking at topics and seeing how they relate to topics I’ve learned about in the business school. This project forced me to alter my view by actually asking me to give my own opinion on topics in the healthcare industry which I found very difficult. I think I really struggled with forming my own opinions and I more just informed my audience about current news stories about corporate social responsibility in the healthcare industry. I don’t think I have a future in blogging, but I have definitely learned a lot through this project. I hope you all enjoyed my posts!

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Reflection

As kid who studies business I typically only deal with the corporate and political side when it comes to health care. Obama Care this and Obama care that and everyone has their own opinions blah-blah. Then we talk about how grossly EXPENSIVE health care is and stuff. Once in a while a case gets thrown under my nose about say, a drug that a pharmaceutical company designed that can cure some exotic illness across the globe but then the ill people cannot afford the drugs so it turns into this huge dilemma over whether to give these poor people the drug to end their suffering or not because stock prices/share holders are an issue and it is kind of like COMMON look at the infrastructure of the United State’s health care. It is the most elite in the world—give the people their friggen medicine. So anyway that leads me to say….with this project I was excited to maybe get to look at a more “scientific” look into social responsibility. But I was sad to find out most of the CSR involved in the health care is kind of the same as any other industries. Everything seems to boil down to money and that is sad. There is a huge rise of defensive medicine because people are “Sue Happy” so now patients have to have unnecessary procedures and testing because their doctor has to take extra preventative actions to not get sued. This increases medical costs even more. This is boring to write about. I tried to find more dynamic and less dry topics to talk about. I hope you all enjoyed reading my posts!

Big Social issue: Shortage in pediatric healthcare?

This week, i’ll be focusing on what hospitals are taking into action to bigger social issues. Upon research, i found out that there is a huge shortage on specialized pediatric care that prevents many children from receiving basic healthcare. We’ll look at what hospitals are trying to improve to stop the shortage from children receiving care, and how it’s going to affect pediatric healthcare globally.

Hospitals are now entering Cisco’s connected healthy children CSR program, or ImpactX.

.thWhat ImpactX allows hospitals to do is to apply high definition video conferencing technology to expand accessibility to pediatric care in emergencies or just in every day needs. With this technology provided by Cisco, it allows efficient pediatric care to anywhere around the world, and even allows collaboration of knowledge between physicians and organizations. Especially with communities without specialists for pediatric care, can now easily access information and healthcare without traveling expenses. It reduces time, travel fare, and greatly increase accessibility. So far only a few hospitals have received this program and have put it into use. Within just a few hospitals;

 

  • There has been a 60% drop in waiting times to see a pediatric urologist – from months to weeks
  • 300 pediatric patients now receive care – at – a – distance from pediatric specialists each month
  • Connected ImpactX to help children in Atlanta, London, Brazil, China, and Kenya

In the future, this method will multiply to benefit not just the society but the entire world.

 

  • In Packard Children’s hospital, Cisco technology has given patients access to many more specialists in partnership with California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
  • In Brazil, Cisco technology is used to connect specialists at university hospitals to clinics in less fortunate areas, improving accessibility for patients.
  • In London, one of the top rated pediatric research institution in the world, Great Ormond Street Hospital will now use Cisco technology to collaborate with multiple hospitals.
  • In Atlanta, Hospitals are now using collaborative technology to give pediatric patients with autism to use video chat,  as the children prefer.
  • Giving  rural communities connections to urban hospitals improve access to quality medical care in Kenya where there is 1 doctor for every 26,000 people.

With this world issue of shortage in pediatric care around the world, Cisco technologies will now invest newer technology to improve accessibility of healthcare. This will further improve not just pediatric healthcare, but healthcare overall around the world, and i’m very excited to see what changes ImpactX will make in the future.

 

For more information on ImpactX click here

For more information on what shortage of pediatric care in relation with Cisco click here

 

The Cost of Health Care Sustainability

When we think of hospitals, we are focused mainly on the different types of health care they provide and the costs of those procedures. People do not recognize the amount of money that goes in to providing such care or the amount of waste that is produced. Annually, hospitals spend more than $200 billion on both medical and non-medical products. Hospitals also use more energy and emit twice as much carbon dioxide compared to commercial buildings of similar sizes due to the fact that they run all day, everyday and have to follow strict settings.

Although spending more on sustainable procedures could help to reduce both costs and the amount of waste produced, there are many professionals who doubt the actual value of investing in such a concept.

The well known medical/pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, along with The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, had looked into the idea of investing in sustainability. In order to make a decision on whether or not Johnson & Johnson should be spending money on sustainability, Vice President of Finance at Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices and Diagnostics, Joe Wolk, had also worked with Deloitte and made a Sustainability Valuation model. (For those that do not know, Deloitte is one of the largest international professional services firms and can be read more about here.) The model was based on three factors:

1. Customer segmentation: what percentage of our customers cares about sustainability, and what weight does sustainability carry in our customers’ decision- making process?

2. Product differentiation: can sustainability be the differentiator for a product in the procurement process?

3. Sustainability differentiation: who is the sustainability leader in our sector, and how big is the gap between that competitor and us? Do we have the opportunity to differentiate ourselves with a more sustainable product?”

By looking at the model, Johnson & Johnson was able to figure out where they should be spending more on to appeal to customer satisfaction and the environment. Their Earthwards process also helps to provide more environmentally friendly products. “In 2013, the total revenue generation for the Earthwards portfolio was more than $8 billion.” 

Johnson & Johnson had realized the downs of hospitals and has taken action in CSR by providing more for the society and the environment, all the while making revenue. Although hospitals are still costly and are still producing waste, Johnson & Johnson are taking steps in reducing those aspects.

 

Read more about the article here.

Learn more about Johnson & Johnson’s sustainability here.

Hospitals Improving Environmental Impact

Hospitals already go to amazing lengths to help people in their community, but can they do more? “According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the U.S. healthcare sector is responsible for producing 8 percent of the country’s total carbon dioxide emissions. They also generate an average of 26 pounds of waste per patient each day, or nearly 7,000 tons.” This leads one to ask, should the health care industry be concerned about applying their corporate social responsibilities to the environment?

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Protecting our environment may present a cost savings benefit for hospitals, “According to a 2012 study from the University of Illinois-Chicago’s School of Public Health, the hospital industry could save $5.4 billion in five years and up to $15 billion in 10 years if it adopts sustainable practices. Among the areas for potential savings, according to that study were reducing medical waste costs through better sorting; recycling to reduce landfill waste; more efficient purchasing of OR supplies; and switching to reprocessed from single-use devices.” These recommendations are all based around the simple idea of recycling, which is rarely seen in the healthcare industry. By adapting to the current trend of recycling, hospitals could not only help protect the environment, but they can help improve their bottom line as well.

This article on healthcare.dmagazine.com outlines three steps that hospitals can take to reduce their environmental impact:

1. Establish a team: One of the first things a hospital should do when considering a sustainability program is to create a task force to lead the overall initiative. The team should be both empowered and supported by leadership to execute initiatives but also be held to specific goals like increasing recycling, minimizing contributions to landfills, or increasing awareness of how employees can positively impact the environment.

2. Create a plan: The AHA Sustainability Roadmap includes a variety of target-setting tools to help organizations identify ways to tackle energy, waste, water, chemicals, and building design. It also includes detailed performance improvement measurements that offer practical, step-by-step guidance on specific categories like surgical lighting and sustainable flooring.

3. Perpetuate a culture of responsibility: Reducing a hospital’s environmental footprint can have a direct, positive effect on patient care, patient safety and health care workers, but it takes a village. In implementing such a program, an Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Program can provide the necessary framework to help generate broad organizational support, employee participation, and buy-in but that must be sustained through ongoing encouragement and leadership.

This article calls to attention the healthcare industry’s impact on the environment, and how easy it is to remedy. I think that it is only a matter of time before all hospitals in the United States are adopting environmental protection efforts.

 

To read the full article, please go to:

http://healthcare.dmagazine.com/2014/04/22/hospitals-could-save-billions-by-improving-their-environmental-impact/

E-Cigs

E-cigarettes are a new take on cigarettes. They are a battery operated nicotine inhaler which as a rechargeable battery and a cartridge filled with e-liquid chemical propylene glycol and nicotine. A heating element burns the e-liquid until it is turned into a vapor and inhaled. Their cost can range from $30-100. It is about $600 in cartridges per year vs $1,000 for a pack-a-day-smoker so cost wise it is cheaper to smoke the e-cigarette.

Just because the tobacco goes in and out as a vapor, does not mean it is not harmful to the user and to surrounding people. However there is new mounting evidence that e-cigs do pose significant health risks. There is a new study that has concluded the nicotine-lace vapor promotes the development of cancer in types of human cells the same way tobacco smoke does.

Also, electronic cigarettes are NOT a device to help tobacco smokers kick their habit. They are also promoting themselves to a younger teen crowd by offering different flavors and colors. Advertisements are attempting to make “vaping” look cool.

While the US cannot take away the right for people to smoke, there should not be a new market developing to make money and the expense to citizens health while trying to make it sound “healthier”. Cities such as Chicago, have banned traditional cigarette smoking in public to help protect citizens and children who do not want to be exposed to it. Now there is this new wild west with “vaping” anywhere

Luckily cities such as Chicago, New York and LA are taking action to be responsible to the majority of their citizens are banning the use of e-cigarettes in public places! Even more, the FDA is backing up these cities voices and are cracking down on electronic cigarettes too.

The are trying to kick this new fad to the curb for two main reasons: Children, and Public Awareness. The FDA is proposing to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18. They are also trying to require e-cigarette manufacturers to divulge the ingredients to smokers and futures smokers so they are aware of the risks electronic cigarettes may carry.

Seeing e-cigs have quickly become a “thing” this decade, it is great to see such infrastructure jump on the issue it may impose right away. They are taking action to defend the health of citizens. Maybe it is just a niche sale item but it is still unclear if popularity will continue to grow.

 

Chicago Tribune

ABC News

NBC

 

 

 

Promoting healthcare as CSR

So far, we’ve covered what healthcare corporations are doing for the society as a corporate social responsibility, but what why not promote healthcare as a corporate social responsibility?

Recently, India has been the spotlight when promoting corporate social responsibilities. India has passed the companies ACT of 2013, where at least 2 percent of a 3 year annual average net profit will go towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. With this, India has become the first country to have an actual CSR legislation, requiring an action towards helping the society.

Now, why is it important?

It’s been known that New Delhi, India is now taking corporations to promote healthcare as their corporate social responsibility. It’ll go hand in hand with the companies act of 2013, requiring companies to use at least 2% on CSR activities.

The change will be endless. ruralhealth

If, half of the companies in India promote healthcare as their CSR, then the entire country’s healthcare system would benefit greatly. More affordable services, lower costs on medication, and more availability of healthcare will be developed as a country.

Of course, no one will know how this companies act will improve India, but we can’t ignore it. United States can also learn from India’s actions, maybe benefiting healthcare in society.

 

For more information on India’s CSR act click here 

For more information on India’s promotion on healthcare, click here

Outstanding CSR Award

With achieving the “Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility Award” for the third consecutive year, LKK Health Products Group (LKKHPG) shows outstanding performance. The title of the award speaks for itself.

 

LKKHPG leads its business with CSR and believes that it is the basics of a company. It “fulfils duty in terms of six aspects, that is, health, quality, employees, partners, environment and community.” The company values “Si Li Ji Ren” which means “the interest of all of us should be considered before taking any action” and continuously takes on new actions to fulfill their duties in their six aspects of CSR. 

While the company itself succeeds in CSR, it also had developed programs to help the poor and the needy. The programs aimed to help mainly rural areas and socially vulnerable groups.

Not only did LKKHPG carry out such programs, the company also introduced the World Walking Day in China to show citizens on how to live a healthier life. This is their commitment to health. They also have commitments to quality, employees, partners, the environment, and the community.

LKKHPG and their core brand Infinitus sets an example for other health providers and shows what Corporate Social Responsibility really is. LKKHPG shows they are worthy of their three year title as being outstanding in CSR.

 

Read more about their achievement here.

Learn more about LKKHPG here.

LKKHPG’s CSR page.

Humana Announces Sustainability Goals

Humana Inc., one of the largest health insurance providers in the United States, announced new sustainability goals as a part of it’s third Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. Humana’s CSR platform highlights their continuing commitment to Healthy People, Healthy Planet, Healthy Performance, and how they plan to enhance this commitment.

The new report details how Humana continues to assess and evaluate current CSR endeavors, and outline new ways to track the impact and progress of those endeavors.

humana-logo

Humana recognizes that climate change will severely impact the planet, and therefore affects the health and well-being of the people whom Humana serves. Because of this, Humana has set a series of goals that it intends to reach by 2015:

–“Reduce annual energy consumption by 5%;

–Decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 5%; and

–Increase landfill diversion to 40% of the waste stream”

Humana will also create facility environmental and green standards, assess and track its largest suppliers’ sustainability efforts to share best practices, and find new ways to engage Humana employees in it’s CSR efforts. The report outlines volunteer opportunities to help Humana employees boost morale and engagement. ”

Humana’s continuing efforts to promote lifelong well-being include examples such as:

— Humana Helps, a program for people wanting to learn more about the
Affordable Care Act and how to get covered, with partners including
CVS/pharmacy and YMCA of the USA

— HumanaVitality, an incentive-based wellness and rewards program that
rewards healthy behaviors like preventative screenings, smoking cessation,
exercise, and blood donation

— Working with KaBOOM!, a nonprofit that helps to create safe and active
play spaces for America’s children, to build more than 50 playgrounds in
underserved neighborhoods by the end of 2014

— The Humana Legacy Program, a partnership of the Humana Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana, to create an intergenerational
mentoring program that pairs adults 55+ with children.”

To read the official Humana report, go to http://www.companyspotlight.com/partner?cp_code=A591&isin=US4448591028

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140417-908143.html

 

Fresh Food as Medicine

Access to good food as a preventive medicine is beginning to take place in Washington D.C. The industry is starting to realize that there is a flaw in the health care system. Citizens of the U.S. with low level incomes are stuck running in a circle. They do not have access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables because of their financial hardships. Because they are sometimes trapped into buying say, McDonald’s every day, they develop or provoke diseases such as diabetes and obesity. They are then prescribed certain medicines to maintain the illness but yet they do not have the funds to purchase their prescriptions or use the proper dosage. Although a lot of them get food stamps, they lack a location to keep their fresh food, such as a fridge. Now a days it is becoming crucial for health care to figure out ways to help manage people’s illnesses under their difficult circumstances.

The health industry is starting to see their new responsibility to certain patients. Learning about food insecurities is not typically in a doctor’s training but it is starting to become really important. New programs are beginning to take off to serve chronically ill, low-income people, such as SNAP and WIC. They are trying to get smarter about how to address these issues at the clinic level.

Some other ideas professionals have are to give out healthy food directly at the doctor’s office to patients with food insecurity such as olive oil and nuts. Other strategies include giving out healthy food “prescriptions”to low income children and families.Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit to establish the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, enables teams of doctors, nurses, and nutritional educators who prescribe vouchers. These vouches can be redeemed for free produce at farmer’s markets. Data shows the program has been effective in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption which reduces body mass index among overweight and obese people.

It’s wonderful to see the health industry noting their responsibility to give the best care options possible to every type of patient. Healthy food is cheaper than medicine and a better prevention of chronic illnesses. Not only is this being socially responsible to their low-income patients, it is also the in health care industries self interest since the food is cheaper than the medicines, this would be a big savings for them!

 

CNN

The Atlantic