This week, we’re reading about healthcare technology and how it impacts patients, providers and legislation.

How EHRs and Telehealth Technology Affect Healthcare, EHR Intelligence

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield President and CEO Chet Burrell spoke to how technology is changing the healthcare system at the World Healthcare Congress + Exhibition, citing how the majority of claims are now processed via cloud technology.  This allows for easy communication between billers and physicians, and is also an efficient way of sharing updates and information with patients.  As of 2013, 52% implemented telehealth technology, with an additional 10% adopting telemedicine platforms, illustrating how data storage and sharing technology is continuing to grow.

Life in the Clouds – Boosting Haitian Health Care Through Technology, Dimagi

Robin, a rural town in Haiti less than two hours from Port-au-Prince, is receiving health care services from the Government of Haiti via community health workers serving 9,000 residents in the area.  Workers spend hours visiting patients, and the use of an app called CommCare has made it easier for them to track the many details related to their patients.  The app can perform calculations, generate referrals between the community and medical facilities, send audio messages and speed data transmission.  It also does not require Internet connectivity to store data for later input, making it especially helpful in rural areas.  Even in non-developed areas of the world, healthcare technology is playing a role, greatly bettering the quality of care.

New Studies Show Shifting Realities of Caregiving Today, PR Newswire

A study titled Many Faces of Caregiving, released by the national nonprofit Easter Seals, showed that a third of Millennials and GenX-ers already identify themselves as caregivers. 70% of respondents also said they have not had a conversation about families about the future when it comes to care, and only 47% felt satisfied with the care they are currently able to provide.  This study indicated the importance of creating a Life Care Plan early in life in order to be prepared at any time.

Tips for Health and Sanity that Every Caregiver Needs, PBS.org

As the baby boomer generation ages, more and more people require care; that, coupled with the fact that shorter hospital stays and home care technologies send people home earlier, caregivers are tasked with more responsibility than ever.  Long-term caregivers run the risk for sleep deprivation, depression and lack of time to tend to their own needs and health.  This article gives tips to caregivers for reducing stress and promoting their own health needs.

FAMILY Act Will Benefit Workers and Families, Human Rights Campaign Blog

In March, Representatives from Connecticut and New York reintroduced legislation to help working families in the U.S.; the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act intends to establish the first insurance program for paid family and medical leave.  Under the act, employees can take up to 12 weeks off and still receive partial income if they are dealing with their health, or a serious health problem of a child, parent, spouse or domestic partner, the birth or adoption of a child, or military caregiving.  This would especially help lower to middle income families who often forgo health for paid jobs out of necessity.  

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