Various Community Development Volunteering Programs

The term volunteering refers to the act of working on behalf of others for some specific cause. The individuals involved in it are not paid. Earlier, the activity was performed only for improving human quality of life but today it is practiced for a number of reasons including skill development, making more contacts, fun, etc. Today, more and more individuals are found interested in this activity.

There are many professional companies providing interested individuals with different volunteer programs as per their wish. Community development is a major area for volunteering these days. It provides individuals with a wide range of programs allowing one to reach almost any section of society. Starting from public health care, opening schools, providing electricity, potable water, sanitation and permanent shelter to poor communities, opening daycares to roads development, there are a number of causes for which a person can work.

Some of the prominent programs that fall under the community development volunteering services include:

Health and wellness programs

This section involves a number of programs including:

• Educating children, teens, adults, pregnant women regarding personal hygiene, nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

• Distributing medical supplies to poor families.

• Running a blood pressure stand.

$0A
• Writing and producing informative flyers.

• Organizing exercise sessions for poor individuals who cannot afford to pay for gym and other health centers.

• Supplying health and food products, first-aid kits, etc. to needy families.

• Developing special workshops for making individuals aware of different health related troubles and ways of staying away from them.

Youth programs

This is another major kind of community development volunteering program that involves working towards the betterment of youth. It involves:

• Organizing recreational and educational activities

• Working on a wide range of administrative tasks

• Organizing various workshops of songs, photography, drawing, writing, drama, dance, exercise, art, languages, etc. for skill development.

• Providing informal teaching lessons.

Looking after elderly in nursing homes, providing daycare for toddlers, etc. are some other programs that fall under this category.

Thus, it becomes clear from the above discussion that community development area provides a wide range of volunteering service opportunities for the keen individuals. They can be a part of a number of programs available under this category.

For individuals interested in volunteering, many professional companies offer a number of opportunities. You can contact a reliable company for getting volunteering work in the area you are interested to work.

In this regard, internet offers a plethora of options to the customers.

Go Voluntouring is an organization known for providing Volunteering services to customers. There are plenty of volunteering programs available for the individuals where they can work towards the welfare of society.

Benefits of Public Health Education

Public health education can be considered an ambiguous term. It teaches the proper way to improve one's health, and can involve only one or two people, or the population of several countries. Anything that can seriously threaten the physical, mental, or spiritual health of a wide range of people, notably due to their interactions with one another, can be classified as a threat to the community's public health. This is why public health education becomes a necessary tool to aid people against the spread of potential diseases and illnesses. Five of the most important reasons of how public health education can prove beneficial are as follows:

1. People are able to learn how to prevent the spread of communicable diseases through the training and methods being taught in education. People are able to have better access to information regarding general prevention of diseases, including the knowledge of what to do and how to act during epidemics in their area. Certain diseases have their own individual prevention methods that people should be well aware of, and employing these techniques lessens the risk of being infected by possible diseases. Through public health education, even simple things such as wearing a flu mask in particularly affected areas, or knowing when to take vaccines for a particular illness that is prominent at that time of the year, always proves very effective in limiting the number of people affected annually.

2. More people are able to access private and public medical institutions to prevent diseases or medical conditions, or to better treat them. Without the benefits of a public health education, most people may feel healthy enough and not find the need to go for a general check-up. Being aware that it is necessary to see your doctor regularly is one of the important things learned in a good public health education. Most medical hospitals and clinics offer immunization or vaccine shots during the flu seasons, or when a general outbreak of hepatitis is going around, and a public health education ensures that more people know to go to these facilities and avail of the treatment, thereby lessening the amount of ill people.

3. People are able to adopt a healthier behavior to lessen the risk of diseases being spread among themselves. Keeping things cleaner around the house, opting to lessen or quit smoking altogether, or exercising more are just a few of the many different ways taught in public health education to combat sickness and improve one's lifestyle.

4. People become more aware of information relating to the disease, rather than believing in just public perception. Public health education not only deals with how to prevent illnesses, it also provides details of how a disease works, which may dispel some myths and fallacies about it in society. The HIV virus for example, can be spread through unprotected sexual intercourse, but not through activities such as kissing or touching. This also helps change a person's views towards someone infected, promoting more empathy rather than discrimination.

5. People are able to help and contribute to disease prevention by supporting or volunteering at health care facilities. Public health education is more than just spreading information; it also calls people to actively participate in aiding others. To be able to protect one's health, it is also necessary to protect the health of other people around you, and helps foster a more close-knit community and a better sense of camaraderie.

Thank you for reading my article! Please visit Swings for Babies [http://swingsforbabies.net/] for more information regarding Portable Baby Swing [http://swingsforbabies.net/portable-baby-swing].

Health Care Reform, the Medical Community, and You

There is a tremendous effort by the President and the Democratic Party to swiftly replace our current system of health care insurance with a government sponsored insurance program designed to bring health insurance coverage to all Americans. Of course, this sounds like a wonderful idea, however, after understanding the details outlined in the proposed legislation, many may want to reconsider their position.

There are a few facts you just can't get around. When more than 47 million uninsured Americans are added to a system that currently accommodates 260 million Americans, something is going to have to give. Assuming the same patient load, approximately 10,000 more physicians will need to be available or care for 47 million other Americans will need to be delayed or eliminated. This is not unusual in places like England, France and Canada where National Healthcare has been in place for quite some time. Additionally, facilities, resources and support staff will be effected proportionally. The promoters of this legislation can promise all day long that this won't happen, but unless they have the same capabilities that Christ had when he fed 500 followers with two loaves of bread and seven fish around 2000 years ago, the numbers say it just can't work without serious health care rationing.

The next issue that stands out is the promise of reforming health care thereby significantly reducing costs. If we look at Medicare and Medicaid as examples and understand the tremendous deficit that is growing due to poor management and excessive fraud, how could we even imagine we could increase the size and responsibility of a program and then believe it would be operated efficiently enough to reduce costs. These are wonderful dreams, but they are just dreams. TARP is operating with little control or knowledge of recipients use of funds, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been unable to disperse funds or lower unemployment as projected and the Cash for Clunkers program was so grossly miscalculated that it ran out of funds in the first week and hasn't been able to issue reimbursement payments to auto dealers effectively. We were told these programs would work great and they had to be in place immediately.

But let's assume for one moment we can some how accommodate the extra 47 million insured and that through some miracle we are able to control costs without reducing the quality or quantity of care - How do we get past the fact that the majority of Americans do not want or support the health care reform legislation being proposed? It appears our elected representatives don't really care what we want. Yes, they were elected to represdnt us, but they represent themselves and their party's position first. Once they have accommodated them, then they may consider understanding our preferences. Of course, the exception to this position is at election time when every promise is to represent the people that elect them.

I know this sounds very conservative, and it's true I am more right than left, but as you read this try and disregard politics and consider the facts. I only touched on a few points of*this issue due to time and space constraints, but I am interested in your views.

Charles J. Patti, President/CEO

NCD Medical Corporation

blog@ncdcorp.com

Health Care Reform, the Medical Community, and You

There is a tremendous effort by the President and the Democratic Party to swiftly replace our current system of health care insurance with a government sponsored insurance program designed to bring health insurance coverage to all Americans. Of course, this sounds like a wonderful idea, however, after understanding the details outlined in the proposed legislation, many may want to reconsider their position.

There are a few facts you just can't get around. When more than 47 million uninsured Americans are added to a system that currently accommodates 260 million Americans, something is going to have to give. Assuming the same patient load, approximately 10,000 more physicians will need to be available or care for 47 million other Americans will need to be delayed or eliminated. This is not unusual in places like England, France and Canada where National Healthcare has been in place for quite some time. Additionally, facilities, resources and support staff will be effected proportionally. The promoters of this legislation can promise all day long that this won't happen, but unless they have the same capabilities that Christ had when he fed 500 followers with two loaves of bread and seven fish around 2000 years ago, the numbers say it just can't work without serious health care rationing.

The next issue that stands out is the promise of reforming health care thereby significantly reducing costs. If we look at Medicare and Medicaid as examples and understand the tremendous deficit that is growing due to poor management and excessive fraud, how could we even imagine we could increase the size and responsibility of a program and then believe it would be operated efficiently enough to reduce costs. These are wonderful dreams, but they are just dreams. TARP is operating with little control or knowledge of recipients use of funds, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been unable to disperse funds or lower unemployment as projected and the Cash for Clunkers program was so grossly miscalculated that it ran out of funds in the first week and hasn't been able to issue reimbursement payments to auto dealers effectively. We were told these programs would work great and they had to be in place immediately.

But let's assume for one moment we can some how accommodate the extra 47 million insured and that through some miracle we are able to control costs without reducing the quality or quantity of care - How do we get past the fact that the majority of Americans do not want or support the health care reform legislation being proposed? It appears our elected representatives don't really care what we want. Yes, they were elected to represent us, but they represent themselves and their party's position first. Once they have accommodated them, then they may consider understanding our preferences. Of course, the exception to this position is at election time when every promise is to represent the people that elect them.

I know this sounds very conservative, and it's true I am more right than left, but as you read this try and disregard politics and consider the facts. I only touched on a few points of this issue due to time and space constraints, but I am interested in your views.

Charles J. Patti, President/CEO

NCD Medical Corporation

blog@ncdcorp.com

Nursing Informatics - Integrating Health Care With Information Technology

What is Nursing Informatics?

Nursing Informatics is the integration of clinical nursing with information management and computer processes. It is a relatively new focus in health care that combines nursing skills with information technology expertise. Nurse informatics specialists manage and communicate nursing data and information to improve decision making by consumers, patients, nurses and other health care providers.

The nursing process has four main steps: planning, implementation, evaluation, and assessment. However, because information management is integrated into the nursing process and practice, some nursing communities identify a fifth step in the nursing process: documentation. Documentation and patient-centered care are the core components of the nursing process. Automated documentation is vitally important, not just for nursing, but for all patient care. Up-to-date, accurate information at each step of the nursing process is the key to safe, high quality patient-centered care.

The successful implementation of information systems in nursing and health care requires the following: First, it is necessary to have well designed systems that support the nursing process within the culture of an organization. The second requirement is having the acceptance and integration of information systems into the regular workflow of the nursing process and patient care. Finally, it is important to have resources that can support the previously mentioned factors. One of the most effective and valuable resources a healthcare organization can add is a Nurse informatics specialists.

Nursing Informatics Specialists

Nursing Informatics Specialists are expert clinicians with an extensive clinical practice background. These individuals have experience in utilizing and implementing the nursing process. These nurses have excellent analytical and critical thinking skills. They also understand the patient care delivery workflow and integration points for automated documentation. Having additional education and experience with information systems is also important for this occupation. Finally, Nursing Informaticists are excellent project managers because of the similarity between the project management process and the nursing process.

To be competitive in this field one should become familiar with relational databases by taking a class about database structure. They should also become competent and comfortable with MS Office, especially Excel, Access and Visio.

Why these jobs are Important to Healthcare?

Nurse and health informatics bring a great deal of value to patients and the health care system. Some examples of how they provide value include:

Provide Support to the nursing work processes using technology
Increasing the accuracy and completeness of nursing documentation
Improving the nurse's workflow
Automating the collection and reuse of nursing data
Facilitating analysis of clinical data
Providing nursing content to standardized languages

HIMSS and RHIO
To provide some background on the field of healthcare/nursing informatics, there are some governing bodies for this field. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the main governing body for health care and nursing informatics professionals. This group, formed in 2004, has the following four goals: NI awareness, education, resources (including websites), and RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization).

RHIOs are also known as Community Health Information Networks (CHINs). These are the networks that connect physicians, hospitals, laboratories, radiology centers and insurance companies.They all share and transmit patient information electronically through a secure system. Those organizations that are a part of RHIOs have a business interest in improving the quality of healthcare being administered.

Steps to a Job in This Field

To enter into the nursing informatics field, typically you need a minimum of a four year degree. There are specific health informatics degrees available. Earning your Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) is also a requirement before sitting for the ANCC certifications test for Nursing Informatics. Some individuals start with just a two year degree or diploma, but continue on to earn their BSN before becoming certified. Although there are several different routes for getting into the field, the most favored manner is to earn a Master's in Nursing Informatics from the start, however, most individuals start their career prior to earning their master's degree.

Most nurses who are in the informatics field start in a specialty area, such as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Perioperative Services (OR), Med-Surg, Orthopedic Nursing, or Oncology, just to name a few, and work in that specialty field for an extended period. Working in a specialty area helps nurses get to know the normal working processes and routines as well as understand the patient care process in their specialty. They usually are experts at their specialty and then develop interests in computerized documentation or some other technological healthcare focus. They then tend to gradually move into an information systems clinical support role.

If you have an interest in nursing and technology, this might be a career that can match both of these skills into one rewarding job.

Search for technology schools that offer Nursing Informatics degrees at http://www.technology-colleges.info

How Social Networking Communities Can Help With Depression

What is depression?

Depression interferes with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. It's more than just feeling sad. Sadness is a normal reaction to life's struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Depression may feel lifeless, empty, apathetic, angry, aggressive, and restless. Experts believe that depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. In other words, your lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills matter just as much than genetics. Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but more commonly, major depression is a recurring disorder.

Signs and symptoms

Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms, and these include:

Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, nothing you can do can improve the your situation.
Loss of interest in daily activities.
Appetite or weight changes by more than 5% of body weight in a month.
Sleep patters change.
Anger or irritability, and feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
Loss of energy and feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained.
Self-loathing and strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
Reckless behavior and find yourself engaged in substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
An increase in physical pain such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Suicide

Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that goes along with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. Thoughts of death or suicide are a serious symptom of depression, so take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. Express your concern and seek professional help immediately. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life!

Types of depression

There are various types of depression that have unique symptoms, causes, and effects. Understanding the underlying cause of your depression may help you overcome the problem.

Major depression is characterized by the inability to enjoy life and experience pleasure and typically lasts for about six months.

Dysthmia is a chronic low-grade depression that lasts for at least 2 years. More days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief periods of normal mood. If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like you've always been depressed, also known as double depression.

Some people get depressed in the fall or winter, when overcast days are frequent and sunlight is limited. Seasonal affective disorder is treatable by light therapy, a treatment that involves exposure to bright artificial light.

Bipolar disorder finds someone typically switching from one mood extreme to another, and lasts for at least several weeks. Antidepressants can make bipolar depression worse.
Ask for help and support

The key to depression recovery is to start small and ask for help. If even the thought of tackling your depression seems overwhelming, don't panic there is assistance. Having a strong support system in place will speed your recovery. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to others. Let your family and friends know what you're going through and how they can support you. Otherwise seek assistance from online health communities.

What are online health communities?

Online health communities or electronic support groups have emerged when enough people have registered to sustain public discussions, on a health related topic. The advantages of online health communities over face-to-face groups include absence of geographic and transport barriers; anonymity from stigmatizing, embarrassing, and sensitive issues; increasing self-disclosure; and encouraging honesty. Even people with rare diseases can find peers online. The anonymity of online communities may facilitate the participation of certain people, who may be culturally and socially conditioned not to ask for help and support. Some health communities are facilitated by trained professionals, either oncology nurses, counselors, or survivors.

However, the disadvantages of online health communities include a considerable amount of "noise," negative emotions persuade, and lack of physical contact. As with content found online, there have been concerns over inaccurate information exchange online health communities. As honesty is taken at face value, where accomplishments, photos and updates cannot be fully verified, there are no system fact checkers, within the online world.

What types of messages are exchanged?

Information exchanged in health communities, show 80% of information giving or seeking personal opinions, encouragement, support, and personal experiences, and 20% prayers. Women are engaging in supportive messages more frequently than men, who used the electronic community primarily for information exchange.

What are the effects on well-being and health outcomes?

The various types of social networking such as e-mail, blogs and chat-rooms can increase social isolation and decreased mental health and psychological wellbeing. Heavy Internet use can be associated with increases in loneliness and depression and tended to increase stress. However, most people find that within online communities, comfort and support from others found within the communities.

Make healthy lifestyle changes

Healthy lifestyle changes are not always easy to make, but they can have a big impact on depression. Lifestyle changes that can be very effective may include:

Supportive relationships - family, friends, group circles
Getting regular exercise and sleep
Eating healthfully to naturally boost mood
Practicing relaxation techniques
Seek professional help

There are many other effective treatments for depression, including therapy, medication, and alternative treatments. Speak with your doctor about any of these treatments, but also visit online health communities to see how others are treating their depression.

Social-medicine.org focuses on illness sufferers within the health communities. Social Medicine fosters a community support experience, where real people in similar situations come together, to circumvent negative feelings like disconnection and loneliness, and focus on improving self-esteem, understanding, communication, relationships, and peer support.

Available Community Healthcare For Low-Income Families

Obtaining quality healthcare might be readily available for some, but certainly not for everyone. Those who cannot afford health insurance, have low income, or do not have the opportunity to enroll in an insurance plan are sometimes left suffering the consequences. However, particular clinics throughout the state of California, have been set up to meet the needs of these types of individuals and families specifically.

A Clinic that offers these services might be the only chance for some to receive any type of healthcare at all, and are fortunately available for those people who need them. The hardest part for some, however, is knowing what to look for and how to find these services. When searching for a community clinic with primary services, there are a few things to consider and look for.

First, look at your own needs, as well as the needs of your family, and determine what your options are to meet those needs. After researching your options, you can better determine exactly what your financial and welfare needs are and what type of facility will meet those needs best.

Secondly, consider the amount of time, in years, that the services have already been under way. You want to make sure they are well-established and have a history of committing quality care throughout the duration of their existence.

The next thing to look for is to make sure your clinic of choice is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. That means that they are federally qualified to render primary services to those in need with a program and plan designed specifically with that intent.

Lastly, when seeking out primary services in Yuba City, including dental and healthcare, seek out a network of migrant and community health centers who stand available and ready to help.

Del Norte Clinics, Inc. http://www.dnci.org/ a network of Federally Qualified Health Centers that are community based, offering quality family primary services.

State Of Environmental Health In Uganda - A Community Psychologist&s Perspective

Health and environment are linked. In fact, most people prefer using the phrase environmental health to have the union of the two. The union intends to show how influences of human health could come from changes in the environment.

But, within environmental health, there are other issues, like poverty, population, organic farming, environmental politics, environmental health accounting, environmental health protection and environmental stress (from humans and climatic changes). In other words, it would simply mean external factors that potentially affect health.

The environmental health continues to be under serious threat from; ever increasing population that encroach it, lack of concern from both communities and their leaders, multinational firms' scaling up of pesticide and chemical use in agriculture, and degradation of the environment -without moral conscience.

Use of chemicals is said to be highly destructive not only to weeds and pests but also to humans. Apart from losing the natural taste of food, eating food crops sprayed with chemicals, even after several hours of cooking, could soon have it settle in vital organs of the body -as lungs and liver. And thereafter, lifespan of humans and animals could be lowered.

Unfortunately, suppliers of such destructive drugs are big corporate firms -that are capable of bribing off influential African leaders, employing huge numbers of people and investing heavily in advertisements. As such, it would be so easy to shut people's mouths -majority of who are beneficiaries, not to complain or advocate otherwise.

Yet, just looking at organic farming, which uses natural solutions to agricultural problems, it is something that is environmentally friendly -meaning that whatever constituent of the environment is not harmed. Rather, people practicing it co-exist with an understanding of the knowledge of sustainability in resource utilization.

Communities, in this case, are mindful of paying back to the environment from which they find food -with no pollutants, and ensuring that natural resources regenerate. There is, therefore, mutual benefit, unlike in scenarios -where use of pesticides, bush-burning and huge de-forestation for arable land is the mentality. Organic products are natural and in line with the similarly natural needs of the body.

And products are what consumers could be willing to pay more for in order to safeguard life. The practice of farming is itself gentle to the earth -where both compliment each other in terms of soil conservation, conservation of vegetative cover and ensuring sustainability.

Pressure on land has forced many to migrate into game and forest reserves, and thus, catapulting into aggravated de-forestation, and extinction of rare species of both animals and plants. In south west Busoga forest reserve, in Mayuge District, it is now history that there used to be buffalos and hippopotamuses in the area.

It is a place with most violent panga-yielding encroachers ever known in Uganda. They can go as far as attacking tree-planters, cutting down artificial plantation, and even uprooting of newly planted trees.

Such grave environment degradation is what in turn adds to the already existing threat of global warming, adversely affecting ecological balances, leading to natural punishments (natural disasters), and creating conditions for disease causing germs as well as immunological disturbances.

Encroachment is a key critical issue, but governments in Africa are passive about dealing with the problem. Instead, they focus more on political goals. Politics is usually mixed with serious environmental health concerns. In Uganda, the problem, mainly, is with the forest resource.

For wild life, it is well able to quell off encroachers -according to reports by forest officials in Uganda. There is a kind of discrimination in regard to forest land protection, as would be compared to resources like oil and wild life.

With many of them being immigrants from other regions of the Uganda, the reason they (encroachers) give is lack of land for food production, where denial of forest or animal park land would mean starvation to death. In fighting to live, they are willing to be shot down. 
But independent observers say encroachers are runaway criminals, who ended up in forests. And those in the forest think justice can hardly be processed to the very end, which gives them a feeling of personal safety.

The passivity of local leaders has not generated action against encroachers -since they are voters capable of helping regimes in Africa stay in power. Governments, therefore, find it a delicate issue to handle. Instead, they choose to keep a blind eye as the environment is massively degraded.

While family planning would be an excellent strategy to combat growing population, the conservative lives of most Africans do not give room to the practice. Education too is out of reach for the majority of the populations around game and forest reserves -realizing that such areas tend to be remote.

The remoteness implies total absence of schools as much as the value of education. Yet, In line with education, going to school is said to discourage high birth rate and living without planning for the future. Some areas like Mayuge District have mainlx junior level schools and parents value less the idea of sending children to school.

Parents think educating children is a waste of money, and that in the first place, it is hard to get. While at the same time their forest life is unpredictable -since they believe government would at one time expel them. So, surviving day by day is all they look at. Nevertheless, older men would always be on the look out for breast-pointing young girls to devour sexually. As a Consequence, many drop out before joining secondary schools.

There public health concerns in the face of high population growth -with pressure on utilities and irresponsible behavior in handling of community resources. People in such areas, as game and forest reserves -hardly care about hygiene and sanitation. Instead, the reserves act toilets or latrines.

And because they lack clean water, they frequently "host" water-borne diseases. Worse still, inaccessibility to reproductive health services makes them prey to HIVAIDS and other STIs/STDs. Where would you find condoms whilst in such areas?

The implications here are; improper disposal of waste materials, early sexual intercourse and rural prostitution around town centers. Further, in such areas, sexual intercourse is like taking a cup of tea -this time round, in Western Europe context, where anytime is believed to be tea time.

Besides, lack of proper nutrition, lack of well trained personnel, and engineered lack of drugs put local residences more at the risk of dying from the mainly water-borne, sexually transmitted infections and other simple infections -that would otherwise be treated.

Since health services are inaccessible, local residents resort to traditional medicine. Rarely would you walk in rural areas without meeting a kind of "Dr" Rashid Lukwago clinic that fill gaps where modern medicine has failed to reach. However, with integrated health service delivery system, traditional medicine and modern are one, though standards need to be set for the former.

People, there, are at subsistence level. They have very little or nothing to sale such that money is generated to buy medical drugs. Herbal medicine, therefore, becomes the most appropriate to them.

Interestingly, people claim herbs have been more effective at curing serious illnesses than modern medicine. No wonder, recent health strategy called for a twin approach to treatment of diseases.

Much as the lucky urban and semi-urban areas would be found with decent health care facilities, patients find no drugs in them. What is thought to be free treatment at government health centers is never so. At best they would offer blood testing and prescription. The patient, then, plays the last role of going to the pharmaceutical shop find drugs.

Perhaps, it is cost-sharing at work that government introduced in earlier stages of its rule. But, remember, people are poor. If unable to buy medicinal drugs, and when traditional herbs fail, they could succumb to death.

The health sector happens to be one of the most infested government departments with acts of corruption. As a remedy, liberalization of the economy in general and health sector particularly in this case, sounded as though was the answer.

However, doing so, well, helped to improve on services offered. On the other hand, only the rich could afford. The poor, as usual, were left out -and only had to pray that they do not fall sick and get close to their creator.

Not very long ago, health ministers were implicated for misuse of global funds meant for prevention and treatment of malaria and HIV/AIDS. As the lords where busy feasting and driving posh cars around, AIDS patients were dying. Sincerely, where are the hearts in the Uganda's political players?

Unfortunately, belief in witchcraft is another problem in such areas. Any strange incident could call for a witch-doctor's consultation or referral to cultural norms. It was not surprising; therefore, when findings by butabika hospital showed that majority of people in Uganda preferred traditional healers or faith-based prayers to health centers -as curative.

Meanwhile, the same cultural ideas could be so entrenched that changing attitudes might pose a challenge. Development pace could be slow or even static -since people find it "impossible" to think beyond simple cultural excuses. Actually, witchcraft, being at the center of cultural practices, plays roles of what science would be purposed for.

Without encouraging people to take their children to school such that young people post-pone marriage, it would always be hard to control infections and diseases as much as to change their attitudes towards the mainly useless cultural beliefs.

Useless cultures could have adverse connections to almost everything in life -be it with health service promotion, proper agricultural practices and viable leadership or managerial options. All could suffer under wrong mentalities.

More so, as the saying goes, "educate a woman, educate the nation." The saying, just as from; different research findings on gender, experiences and the statistical occurrence of child abuse and neglect cases, educated men would tend to act more irresponsibly on matters of child development than educated women.

There could be a difference between good orderliness of a family of an educated mother and one -who is uneducated. Education, which is understandably, the high intellectual state and tangible resourcefulness of a person -long after he or she has left school, could help scale down incidences of child abuse and neglect.

Upon this background, prospective parents must go or return to school not just to attend classes, but to learn. Having done so, the future could have environmentally caring and patriotic generation.

Jacob Waiswa 
Situation Health Analysis 
0774336277 
http://www.situationanalysis.blogspot.com

A Conceptual Approach to Community Health Screenings For Hospitals

The heart of a community's care is at its most trusted hospitals. In the same way that blood flows into and out of the heart, your hospital's message should flow out into the community with grass-roots marketing efforts in order to bring patients back into your hospital for care. By this I mean that a hospital's marketing efforts should not only focus on drawing patients into their facilities with billboards and magazine ads, but go beyond basic marketing efforts and into the community by offering free health screening events. In my experience working with one of the best hospitals in the South, I came to discover an effective system for coordinating free community health screenings that significantly increased patient volume to the hospital. What I have discovered is a concept, and I will explain the most successful way to develop your own community screenings program so that it will become a consistent source of revenue to your hospital, and build long-term patient loyalty.

In my experience working with a hospital in the South, I coordinated a community outreach program that offered free EKG testing. These tests were taken at free community events and were later confirmed as normal, borderline, or abnormal in the hospital's clinical database and were stored as baselines for each of the patients who attended the community events. In notifying the attendees of their results by mail, the attendees received a confirmed copy of their EKG which they could keep for their own records. The EKG program increased volume and accounted for $6M in hospital charges from June 2008 to August 2009. The EKG program brought in $2.5M in second quarter 2008, $1.6M in fourth quarter 2008, and $1.9M in first quarter 2009. This data was last updated in August of 2009.

There are many reasons why the EKG test is the most effective for driving volume for cardiac procedures, and generating revenue in total hospital admissions. These reasons include the nature of the EKG test itself, CRM and the process of event planning, and the follow-up that creates patient loyalty.

The first and most important reason why the EKG test is ideal for community events is because of the simple nature of the test itself. With the EKG test, the result can only be 1 of 3 things - abnormal, borderline, or normal. The EKG tests can be taken at the community event, the results can be processed at the hospital, and the confirmed results can be mailed to the attendee within 2 weeks of the community event. The fact that the EKG result comes in the form of a single paper report makes it easy to mail, and can be stored in a person's medical file for their own records.

If an attendee receives abnormal or borderline test results in the mail, they are also likely to follow up if given a call to action. From my experience in coordinating this campaign for over a year, 9% of EKG tracings were found to be abnormal, 11% were borderline, and 80% were normal. Out of 875 guests that received EKG's among 9 community events between February and April, there were 181 borderline or abnormal results. Among these 181 people, 162 people followed up with the hospital's call center for either a physician referral, an inquiry about the result, or a request for information from agencies that help the uninsured.

With a screening such as a carotid ultrasound, the spectrum of abnormality is more diverse - it is more complex and too specific of a test for a community offering. Also, an ultrasound machine is usually costly, and if a hospital's marketing department does not purchase its own equipment, there is a risk of damage in borrowing machinery from the hospital, if the event is held offsite. EKG machines are relatively inexpensive in comparison if they are being used for the purpose of offering free tests as a community outreach program. The hourly cost of an ultrasound technician in comparison to a medical assistant is also a factor to consider.

With a screening such as a full lipid panel, results are sensitive, so participants are advised to fast for the best results. An EKG test does not require fasting. EKG tests usually take less than five minutes on average. That means more EKG's can be done at events with less staffing.

The idea of storing EKG's as a baseline is also a marketable service - patients are made aware that if their EKG tracing is stored at your hospital, then heart care is readily available to them at your hospital too.

Another important step to creating a successful community EKG program is to advertise the events through direct mail and coordinate the process of booking appointments for these events. Research is performed to select the best zip codes in the community that have the highest household income to increase the likelihood of attracting a favorable payor mix to the events. A mailer should also be targeted for people who have the highest incidence of heart disease - those aged 45 and up. Once a direct mailer goes out, appointments can be booked for a full day. With 2 EKG technicians and 2 machines, over 100 people can receive EKG screenings in an 8 hour day.

In my experience, the appointments were successfully booked through the hospital's call center once the direct mailer reached homes. The information obtained through the call center is requested by the hospital's marketing department, and usually includes basic personal information such as first name, last name, date of birth, phone number, and address. Any basic information can be requested from the guest by the call center. This information can be used for a few purposes.

The first purpose is that it keeps an appointment log for the day of the event. The second is that this information is later used to process and send the results of the screenings to the person's house. The action of following up with the guest is the most important part of gaining patient loyalty.

Finally, by holding community events several times per year, there will be a loyalty group that forms a customer relationship with your hospital. In my experience, I have seen the number of loyal patients who regularly attended the hospital's community events. In the campaign of EKG screenings held between February and April of 2009, 71 guests had previously attended the hospital's community EKG events several months prior.

Building patient loyalty is simple, and there are multiple ways in which a hospital can do this creatively. A hospital should always follow up with guests who attended community screening events. Make sure that the results of their testing arrive in a timely manner. Make sure that the content of their results letter emphasizes the availability of care at your hospital. Think of creative ways to send the message of trusted care to the audience, and ways to keep them connected to you. One simple way of doing this is printing a patient identification card that includes the attendee's MRI number. If a person was to return to the hospital's emergency department with chest pain and present their patient identification card, the hospital's EKG department can quickly access their baseline EKG for a comparison.

Another way of building patient loyalty is through the use of a "patient care coordinator." Many hospitals implement a "patient care coordinator" who follows up with patients receiving serious care. In my experience, a patient care coordinator was successfully implemented in a campaign of community EKG screenings between June and July of 2008. During this campaign, attendees of the events who had borderline and abnormal results were contacted for follow up by a registered nurse. Of the 242 people who had non,normal results, 144 received physician referrals to seek follow up care. The remaining attendees were under the care of a cardiologist already, or declined to take action.

You might be thinking, "So if my hospital develops a free EKG program, I will have both long term patient loyalty and significant admissions within 3 - 6 months following a campaign of screening events?" The answer is a flat, simple yes.

If a hospital is interested in pursuing a community program that offers free health screenings, I strongly recommend structuring the program to involve free EKG testing. In comparison to other screenings, such as cholesterol testing and carotid ultrasound, EKG testing stands to show the most consistent success, and proves to be the most conducive for a community offering. It is a simple test that is non-invasive, and its simplicity allows several avenues for patient follow up. These avenues include uploading the EKG in the hospital's database as a baseline, mailing a copy of the report to the attendee's house after the event, and following up with the patient through the use of a patient care coordinator.

There are many more details that are involved in the development of an EKG program at a hospital. Those details may vary depending upon the resources available at your hospital. However, it is my belief that in working together as a team, any hospital can develop a successful community screenings program that will prove to be beneficial by producing revenue in the short term, and building patient loyalty in the long term.

By: Kevin Felker

Kevin Felker is a consultant specializing in marketing for hospitals. He has a niche for developing in-house community health programs to promote cardiovascular services. Follow him at http://hospitalmarketingsolutions.wordpress.com/.