Monthly Archives: July 2017

Career Opportunities in Healthcare

A healthcare administration career via online healthcare management training requires no medical background. This is the field relating to the leadership, management and administration of healthcare systems, hospitals and hospital networks. Healthcare administration covers a broad area of activities and there is usually a set of factors that determine the types of jobs that need to be done to run any given facility; these often include the size and scope of the facility in question and the kinds of medical/ healthcare facilities they have.

Healthcare administrators are vital to the successful operation of any healthcare system. The day to day running and financial sides to healthcare require dedicated professionals to work on areas from clerical to administrative to financial. Healthcare professionals, also known as healthcare managers or health services managers are regular business managers who plan, direct, coordinate and supervise the delivery of health services. These managers can be specialists in charge of a specific department or managing entire facilities. Healthcare education has recently found a new home on the internet, with thousands of people pursuing online healthcare education and online training in order to improve their professional skills and profiles or to take the opportunity to switch to this lucrative and satisfying career from another field.

The following is a brief description of some of the major areas in healthcare administration for which extensive online health care administration and management education and training is now available.

General Administration

Healthcare organizations, like all other types of businesses, are often profit based businesses requiring the highest quality of managerial oversight. A healthcare unit requires a whole top and middle management team in order to function. Matters related to budgeting, profit and future expansion is also, likewise, a managerial responsibility (especially in larger facilities like hospitals).

Healthcare managers in administration positions normally answer to the board of directors. The workload is higher than for many other areas, with administrators often required to work between 55-60 hours a week, however, compensation and career benefits are attractive and the work itself is stable to a great extent. Growth opportunities are numerous and salaries are also amongst the higher levels, with healthcare administration staff making $40,000-50,000 for a start and improving to $120,000-130,000 within 10 or 11 years.

Human Resource (HRM)

HR professionals specializing in healthcare are responsible to maintain a working, motivated staff for all departments. They are often responsible for the hiring of medical staff (doctors, nurses etc) and generally fulfilling HR duties as in any other organization. These professionals average a salary of around $35,000 to $100,000 per year.

Medical information technology (MIT)

With great advancements in information sharing and technology, healthcare has changed drastically over the last few years. With the continued application of new technology in healthcare, a team of professionals is required to operate and maintain information systems (and networks), diagnostic machines, computer systems and software. They are also responsible for upgrading and problem solving. Professionals in this area earn anywhere in the range of $40,000-$100,000; the job description itself varying with the type of facility.

Public relations (marketing)

PR managers in healthcare are responsible for improving the healthcare facilities’ image in the public eye and to keep the surrounding public informed about the facilities and services offered at the healthcare unit. PR managers are also responsible for providing coordination services and information in the event of an emergency or disaster. PR managers are also the spokespersons for their respective facilities, representatives for the unit, and speak for the organization (for instance in the event of a lawsuit etc). They fall into the same pay grade as MIT or HRM professionals.

Finance

Finance professionals hold a critical importance today for healthcare at a par with doctors and nurses. The cost of healthcare is rising all the time, it is important to keep not only the facility profitable, but also to make healthcare as affordable as possible. These professionals are responsible for detailed financial aspects like budgeting, accounting, auditing and income & expenditure; also finding ways for administrators to cut costs and improve finding. Finance managers in smaller facilities average the same pay-scale as those for HRM and MIT; however those for larger facilities and with more experience can make considerably more than that ($80,000-$200,000 a year).

References:
Bureau or labor statistics – Handbook for occupational outlook – US dept. of Labor.

Resource Area:

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERAL OVERVIEW and may or may not reflect specific practices, courses and/or services associated with ANY ONE particular school(s) that is or is not advertised on SchoolsGalore.com.

Can Government Healthcare

Much has been written on this site and others, about the fallacy of a successfully run government healthcare delivery system in the United States.

Whether it is labeled single-payer, socialized medicine, national healthcare, etc., it is all the same and it will never work in America. In virtually every nation where the government runs the healthcare system, costs have risen well beyond expectations; long waits for treatment are commonplace; care is rationed and some treatments are denied; and taxes have increased to pay for the unexpected cost increases. There are no truly successful nationalized healthcare systems, when quality of care is compared to the gold standard: The U.S. healthcare system. By most measures however, the U.S. lags behind many other industrialized nations.

According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranks 24th in the world in life expectancy. This statistic alone should be cause for alarm, but upon further examination, we learn that the reasons have little to do with our healthcare system and more to do with the way we drive, what we eat, our violent behavior, our tobacco use, and our substance abuse.

The U.S. spends more on healthcare, per capita, than virtually every other industrialized country. But again, if we examine why, we find that this has much more to do with factors other than the actual cost of healthcare, like legal awards and fees, defensive medicine, malpractice insurance, the high cost of advanced technology, and certainly not least; the high cost that we all incur for the government mandates placed on health insurance companies.

We pay more for prescription drugs than any other country. However, the cost of drugs still remains only about 10% of our total cost of healthcare. Upon further examination, we can thank our own government for this. More on this later.

There is no arguing against significant reform of our healthcare system, but the prescription for the cure cannot be written by our current government. The Democrats in control of the U.S. government have only one fix; more government. They know no other way, it is in their DNA. But even putting aside politics, there is no way for a single payer system to work in America. Here is why…

Our Legal System: The American Bar Association would have us believe that litigation accounts for only 1% of total healthcare costs. This may be true for jury awards, but they are leaving out the biggest drivers of legal costs within the healthcare system. Things like legal fees for the defense, defensive medical practices, and malpractice insurance premiums are not factored in to the ABA figure.

Countries that rank above us in healthcare, according to the W.H.O., all limit plaintiff awards and have nowhere near the medical litigation we have in the U.S. In fact, if we were to just copy the medical-legal reforms of France, we could bring down healthcare costs in a significant way. Healthcare reform without true tort reform is only a haphazard attempt.

Immigration Law Enforcement: Virtually none of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. have healthcare insurance, since one needs a valid Social Security number in order to obtain coverage. Knowing that emergency rooms cannot turn away patients, the illegals have turned so many emergency rooms across the country into their primary care providers and pay nothing. These costs must be paid, so they are shifted to paying customers, driving the cost of an emergency room visit up for everyone except of course, for those who do not pay.

Illegal immigrants get sick, they get pregnant, they get into auto accidents and work-related accidents, they are involved in violent crimes, etc. If one multiplies the likelihood of these events by the millions of illegal immigrants, the result is enormously costly to us all.

Until we take strong measures to secure our borders and rid the country of those here illegally, we will continue to incur these costs.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Drug abuse in the U.S. is higher, per capita, than in any other industrialized country. The insidious drug abuse crisis in this country is a major driver of healthcare costs. Emergency room visits, mental health treatment, counseling and rehabilitation, and criminal activity all place upward pressure on the cost of healthcare.

Alcohol abuse is also responsible for a large percentage of serious auto accidents, which puts tremendous pressure on the system.

Government Mandates on Insurance Coverage: When advocacy groups successfully lobby congress or state governments and pressure them to force insurance companies to cover certain illnesses, it affects us all in the form of higher premiums. Many of us pay for coverage we don’t want or need, but they are forced upon us by our own government. One example is mental illness coverage. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, an advocacy group and lobbyist, successfully coerced government to consider mental illness on par (parody) with physical illness, resulting in the mandate that every health insurance policy must cover mental illness. However, the group didn’t stop there; the scope of coverage was broadened over time to include such things as alcohol counseling, addiction counseling, and medication for shy people (now referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder). Severe mental illness can be catastrophic to the families of the mentally ill. Treating these patients can be very costly and coverage should be available in catastrophic insurance policies. But to mandate that every health insurance policy must cover the mildly depressed or shy or those who have difficulty paying attention drives premiums up for everyone.

The result of this is the expectation that every personality quirk must be treated by a doctor with expensive medicines. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the system. Drugs designed to treat even mild mental illness are some of the costliest and most widely prescribed medicines.

A married couple in their fifties should not be forced to pay for maternity coverage; they should be allowed to negotiate it out of their policy in exchange for a lower premium. Shouldn’t we be able to choose which coverage we want based on our individual needs? Unfortunately, government usually forces onto the majority, what is demanded by the minority.

In a single payer system, could the government roll back some of these mandated coverages without a revolt? Or would it simply continue to treat these illnesses and pay for it with mammoth tax increases? Probably the latter.

The Great Melting Pot: As preposterous as it sounds to the educated among us, the diversity that makes America unique will also make it nearly impossible to implement a nationalized healthcare system. Let me explain.

The United States is the least homogeneous country in the industrialized world. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but when we fail to see ourselves as Americans first, we have no inherent vested interest in the country. America is perhaps the only country in the world that insists on hyphenated labels for everyone. We cannot simply be Americans of African descent, or of Asian descent. No, we must be African-American, or Asian-American. Are there African-Austrians or Asian-Canadians? I don’t know, but I have not heard of any. My point is the great sense of nationalism and American pride that used to exist in America has been under assault for much of the last forty years. During this time, the tide has turned; instead of the U.S. Government playing the role of the great unifier to unite many groups into one great nation of Americans, it seeks to divide us along racial lines. The political Left has successfully segregated our society into a bunch of victim groups with their politically correct social engineering. In one of the greatest speeches of our time, John F. Kennedy implored us to ask not what our country can do for us- ask what we can do for our country. Over time, JFK’s own party has completely turned his appeal to Americans around 180 degrees.

This has rapidly created an entitlement mentality among a large percentage of our population. Nowhere is this entitlement mentality more evident than in the realm of healthcare.

We have already seen the havoc wreaked on our healthcare system when care is provided by the government. Studies of the Medicaid system have shown the average Medicaid patient accesses the healthcare system about ten times more than those on private plans or self-pays. In addition to free healthcare, we provide a cab ride to and from the provider’s location.

The Cost of New Medicines: There is no disputing the fact that Americans pay more for their prescription drugs than any other nation. To change this, we must first examine the causes. A certain amount of greed does exist on the part of the pharmaceutical industry, but this greed is what has given us some of the most innovative advances in medicine. It is a fact that most of the life-saving and life-changing molecular compounds have been developed with the hope of a profitable return on the investment, and without the superior economic landscape of the United States since World War II, finding and creating these compounds would be less likely to be a profitable endeavor. We can thank greed for our current quality of life and the dramatic decrease in infant mortality.

The very government that seeks to find a cure for the rising cost of prescription drugs is mostly to blame for these costs. In most other countries, one can go to the local pharmacy and purchase many of our prescription medicines without a prescription. Like any other government agency, the FDA does not like to give up control. When it reluctantly does however, we see a dramatic drop in drug prices. A case in point is the drug, Prilosec. Prilosec was at one time, a $5 billion a year cash cow for its manufacturer, AstraZeneca. Has anything changed in the ingredients or strength of Prilosec since it became an over-the-counter medicine? No; other than the fact that people can afford it now, and a doctor visit is not required to obtain it, it is the same drug that required a prescription before its patent expired. There are several classes of medicines the FDA knows are relatively safe, but chooses to keep them classified as prescription drugs.

The approval process for prescription drugs is a costly and arduous one for pharmaceutical companies. It requires three phases of testing, and once a compound is submitted for approval, the patent protection clock begins. Although pharmaceutical companies make their best educated guess as to which discoveries to submit for approval, the FDA approves about one out of nine submittals, on average. $300-$900 million later, a drug may make it to market. This is the preponderant reason that a pill which costs ten cents to manufacture is priced at five dollars. The fact that many in Congress do not understand this should be troubling to all of us.

In a single payer system, will the government simply set the prices of prescription medicine? If so, we can forget about any more innovative advances in drug treatments. Of course one could argue that the pharmaceutical industry appears to support the public option, currently being debated. The reason is simple; a short-term revenue attitude is pervasive among the industry leaders, who are beholden to stockholders. If forty to sixty million new potential patients are being written new prescriptions, simple math shows a huge potential windfall for the industry. The same reason caused the industry to climb on board the Medicare Modernization Act, signed by President Bush; a whole new market opened up.

Race Baiting: There exists today, an entire industry of race baiting for financial and political gain. After watching Barak Obama’s inauguration speech, I breathed a sigh of relief, believing that we now have overcome a giant racial hurdle by having as our president a black role model, who is a devout and educated family man. I refused to believe Rush Limbaugh’s assertion that racial tension would increase, not decrease as a result of Obama’s presidency. After all, how could we be a country of racists when 52% of the electorate voted for a black man for president? But this is why Mr. Limbaugh is smarter than I; he looked past the obvious and foresaw what the Liberal White Americans would resort to when their guy is backed into a corner. Now, the race card is dealt to any American who publicly opposes the current administration’s policies. Dissent was patriotic under Bush, but it is racist under Obama.

Now imagine a healthcare system that does not provide immediate and superior care to minorities. Never mind that we would all have to put up with slow and inferior care in a government healthcare system, there would be cries of institutional racism from the race pimps who depend on racism for their living. Just like a whole new market would open up for pharmaceutical companies, the new market for the race industry would be enormous.

Crime: violent crime accounts for a large percentage of costly, emergency trauma treatment in urban areas. Will we be required to pay for this treatment in a government-run system? Of course we will. With our current rate of violent crime, this could easily break the bank.

Liberal Sacred Cows: Congress has already begun taxing certain behaviors that may place a financial burden on the healthcare system, like tobacco, and will not stop there. We are sure to see tax increases on sugary soft drinks, food with high fat content, alcohol, etc. Will we see a tax on homosexuality? HIV is a significant burden on the system, especially in certain areas of the country. What is a major cause of HIV in America? Unprotected gay male sex. What about abortion? Will all Americans be forced to pick up the tab for a procedure most are morally against? We all know the answers to these questions.

Often times, a new product is test marketed on a small scale prior to a national rollout. Government-paid healthcare has been test marketed already, and it has failed everywhere it has been tried in the United States. Medicare is always on the verge of insolvency, until taxes are raised to pay for shortfalls. Medicaid is on life support in nearly every state in the nation; only tax increases keep it afloat. Our Veteran’s Administration healthcare system is a perfect example of a U.S. Government run system which fails its members on almost every level. In Tennessee, Tenncare, a program which sought to expand state coverage to an additional 500,000 people using managed care organizations, eventually the program ran out of money, was ripe with fraud and abuse, and was completely revamped on a much smaller scale. In Massachusetts, the shortfall is so great that the state may have to end its state healthcare system or raise taxes in an already heavily taxed state.

The sales pitch usually begins with slick politicians promoting a “pay-as-you-go” or “revenue neutral” plan. Remember, to liberal Democrats, every program is revenue-neutral when they are using Monopoly money to pay for it. There will never be cuts in any budget other than defense. If costs rise, which they will, tax increases and care rationing will rule they day.

The Democrats know a single-payer system will not work but clearly, implementing a successful program is not their goal. It is evident that total government control is the endgame for the Liberals in Congress and President Obama. Government already controls about half of all healthcare expenditures with the efficiency of…well, insert any government agency name here.

A single payer healthcare system in the U.S. would be a disaster by any measure and must be vigorously opposed . The current plan being promoted by Democrats is another step toward an incremental takeover of the healthcare industry

IAQ in Healthcare Environments

As the economy heads further down the slippery slope of what promises to be a deep recession, and our healthcare infrastructure continues to grow and age, it is a natural progression to see more and more IAQ professionals turn to what some believe is a recession resistant market. From ambulatory facilities to long term care, the buildings that make up our healthcare infrastructure are constantly in need of renovations and repair. This new and promising opportunity for IAQ pros offers many long term rewards but is not without new and complex challenges that must be addressed.

Every IEP realizes the importance of appropriate use of antimicrobials, containment barriers and personal protection. Though often times IEPs find the regulations and guidelines they encounter in healthcare facilities to be daunting to say the least. In traditional remediation environments the focus is to ultimately provide an environment free of dangerous pathogens or contaminants. While attention is give to the methodology, often times the end results dwarf the means of acquiring those results. With a host of accepted methods to address indoor air quality in businesses, homes and public spaces the contractor finds themselves able to select from a variety of methods to deal with each issue. In the end it is the air clearance that counts, not so much which method was used to obtain it.

While the end results are just as, if not more important in healthcare environments; far more attention must be paid to the processes used. As many occupants of a healthcare facility cannot be moved and are highly susceptible to infection, there are very specific guidelines in place that govern all maintenance, repair and renovation work in a healthcare facility. Organizations like CDC, APIC and JCAHO have placed standards that apply to all activities that may have an impact on a healthcare environment. This is done with good reason considering the number HAIs (Hospital Acquired Infections) reported annually due to airborne pathogens like Aspergillus, which is disturbed during common daily maintenance. Nosocomial infections caused from routine maintenance reach into the hundreds of thousands each year. These guidelines and regulations are enforced in a facility by ICPs or infection control professionals.

Hospitals continually adapt to new, more stringent CMS guidelines limiting what medical treatments are reimbursable through Medicare or Medicaid, this has caused hospital administration to look more closely at every aspect of infection control in their facility. Beginning in October of 2008, Medicare and Medicaid began limiting payments made to facilities for the treatment of preventable nosocomial infections or conditions. These new CMS guidelines are driven by Section 5001(c) of the Deficit Reduction Act, which could mean that as deficits climb the list of non-reimbursable conditions are likely to grow. Infections like Aspergillosis, which is caused by airborne A.Fumigatus, are common in healthcare facilities. Aspergillus is one airborne pathogen that is commonly disturbed and distributed throughout a facility after maintenance work or renovations. The argument could be made that Aspergillosis is a preventable condition by ensuring appropriate containment and disinfection of disturbed areas.

Infection control professionals in healthcare environments have become increasingly diligent in monitoring the actions of contractors that work in their facilities. It is ICP’s responsibility to ensure all components of the infection control risk assessment are adhered to. While these key people can complicate the lives of the contractors working in healthcare facilities they are also actively saving lives by doing so. ICP’s will monitor and log details about each project to ensure that all compliance issues are being addressed. Two primary issues that impact infection control and prevention in healthcare settings are disinfection of contaminated surfaces with broad spectrum EPA registered disinfectants and appropriate containment of airborne particulate and pathogens.

Choosing the best disinfectant is one way to ensure the best possible level of microbial control during any abatement project in a facility. Healthcare facilities present the IEP with a unique set of challenges in regards to pathogens beyond the standard fungal and bacterial flora. Many of these pathogens can be highly infectious as well as drug resistant making them far more dangerous to the many immunocompromised patients housed in a healthcare facility. When selecting a hospital grade disinfecting it is imperative to keep several things in mind.

Does your disinfectant have sufficient kill claims to address the microbes you might encounter?
While no disinfectant can list every possible organism, it is important to find a disinfectant with the most possible EPA registered kill claims. Look for efficacy data. Disinfectants that do not show efficacy & testing data often have few or irrelevant kill claims and are not sufficient for the challenges found in healthcare facilities. It is also a positive if your disinfectant has EPA approved efficacy in the presence of 98% soil load as opposed to 5% which is required by the EPA. This higher soil load represents real world conditions. Beyond fungicidal kill claims, other claims that you might require involve infectious pathogens like MRSA, E-coli, HIV, Salmonella and Avian Influenza. You may also want to look for a product that can be used on both porous and non-porous surfaces and has disinfectant and sanitizing claims.

Understand what the active ingredients are in your disinfectant
It is essential to know what type of disinfectant is appropriate. Most common disinfectants are formulated using Alcohol, Phenol, Chlorine or a Quaternary Amine Base. There are arguments for each type of disinfectant and it is important to know the facts about the products you are working with. Each has advantages, but some have dramatic disadvantages that might make you think twice about using them.

Quaternary Ammonium Chloride (Quats) –
Examples Shockwave Disinfectant/Sanitizer, IAQ 2000/2500
Quats are often considered easier to use and safer than other disinfectant bases because they are less corrosive, non-carcinogenic and maintain efficacy for extended periods of time. Not all quat based disinfectants are equal though. There are a variety of products with EPA registered kill claims ranging from just a few all the way to over 130. In a healthcare environment it is important to seek out the latter, as the spectrum of microbes likely encountered in a hospital will be much broader than in common remediation situations. Unlike many other disinfectants quats based disinfectants are excellent cleaners making them ideal for surfaces with a large amount of biomaterial like fungi, blood or human waste. As many MDROs like C-DIFF, MRSA and VRE are transmitted by contaminated bodily fluids and waste this is an important factor in the equation to finding the ideal disinfectant for healthcare environments. Quats are highly stable and maintain efficacy even in the presences of high soil load. This makes them ideal for mold remediation as well as blood or bodily fluid spills.

Many IEPs as well as ICPs prefer the use of a quats because they not only offer a broad spectrum of kill claims, but are easy to work with and more cost effective than other options. In addition most quats do not have the drawbacks associated with chlorine, alcohol or phenol based products on the market.

Alcohol
While not as user friendly as quats, alcohol based disinfectants are considered by many to be easier to use than chlorine or phenol based products. High concentration alcohol based disinfectants can however be dangerous in a healthcare environment because of its tendency to open pores and dry skin. This can create openings for microbes to enter the body if not properly protected.

Though high concentration alcohol based disinfectants are generally highly effective against lipophilic viruses they are less active against non-lipid viruses and ineffective against bacterial spores. Generally alcohol disinfectants are not used for equipment immersion due to diminishing efficacy as the alcohol volatilizes. Alcohol disinfectants cannot be used as cleaners thus making them less effective for practical use on many surfaces. Even though some Alcohol based disinfectants can offer a broad spectrum of kill claims, it can be difficult to maintain appropriate wet contact time due to the rapid evaporation rate.

Chlorine
These corrosive oxidizers are known for cidal action against a wide variety of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria as well as many viruses. Difficult to work with, these disinfectants are rapidly neutralized in the presence of organic matter making them less than ideal for healthcare and remediation environments.

While chlorine disinfectants are currently used in many facilities, future use of halogens is expected to decline as options like quats and alcohols become more abundant with appropriate kill claims. Sodium hypochlorite is known for causing significant corrosion to metals and other common materials. Chlorine disinfectants are considered toxic, and in 1994 the Clinton Administration called for the ban of all chlorine and chlorine based products.

Phenol
Phenol is one of the oldest known disinfectants still in use today and is both commercially manufactured and naturally occurring. Phenols are often effective for use on vegetative bacterial, lipid containing viruses and Mycobacterium tuberculosis but have limited or no efficacy for use against spores or non-lipid viruses. While these disinfectants are effective over a relatively large PH range, their limited solubility makes product residue difficult to clean. These disinfectants cannot be used on food contact surfaces and often require additional PPE like goggles, face shields gloves and protective clothing for application. Phenols cannot be used in many parts of a healthcare facility like neonatal, pediatric ICU or any infant contact surface due to toxic residue. Reports of eye irritation, contact dermatitis/utricaria, and depigmentation of the skin have been tied to phenol and phenol residue contact.

Phenols are commonly found in a host of consumer products and are not dangerous in very low concentrations. Disinfectant strength phenols however are considered a health risk by EPA and NIOSH. OSHA recommendations state that employee exposure to phenol in the work place should be controlled to less than 20 mg/cu m in air determined as a time-weighted average (TWA) concentration for up to a 10 hour work day or 40 hour work week. The NIOSH guidelines also limit exposure to phenols to 60 mg phenol/cu m of air as a ceiling concentration for any 15 minute period. Phenols generally enter the blood stream via ingestion, respiration or skin contact. NIOSH recommendations are just one indicator of the need for PPE when using Phenolic disinfectants. Disinfectants with a concentration of 1% phenol or greater are considered an extreme skin and inhalation hazard and are moderately combustible.

Containment plays a key roll in infection prevention.
While disinfection of surfaces, equipment and touch points plays one of the most critical roles for infection control in a health care facility; another primary responsibility of the IEP working in a healthcare facility is containment. The containment of harmful pathogens and particulate during work in a healthcare facility is essential, especially when working in areas near immunocompromised patients.

Regulations set by CDC & Joint Commission are clear in dictating specific criteria for the elimination of airborne Aspergillus, asbestos and dust. A term that IEPs will hear all to frequently as they make their transition into a healthcare environment is ICRA or infection control risk assessment. These operating guidelines are critical to any maintenance work done in a healthcare facility. APIC has developed guidelines assisting healthcare facilities in developing their ICRA to specifically mandate that dust and airborne particulate must be contained under negative pressure in Kontrol Kube like containment or by using other solid barrier methods.
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For many years hospitals were forced to either temporarily close an entire wing or build temporary solid barriers during mold remediation or asbestos abatement jobs to prevent airborne particulate from escaping the work area. In recent years a new method of mobile containment has been made available making daily remediation, repair and renovation faster and far more cost effective. Kontrol Kube type containment essentially revolutionized the way hospital maintenance was being done by allowing an IEP to quickly roll tools, ladders, chemicals and other equipment into a location and then isolate that area for the duration of the work.

Infection control professionals prefer contractors to use methods like portable containment when possible for several reasons. Mobile containment units are easy to set up and inspect, this not only makes use of the unit easier for the IEP but also makes the inspection process much faster and efficient for the ICP. Knowing that all materials are fire rated and meet NFPA 701 is also important with any sort of temporary barrier material you use. Fire codes and standards are extremely critical in healthcare situations and are a focal point during Joint Commission inspections.

When selecting a mobile containment unit be sure to consider if the unit is made of durable components that will hold up under rigorous daily use. It is also important to know that the unit is easily cleaned and is capable of providing all the functionality needed. Will the unit accommodate an eight foot ladder effectively? Does the unit have a solid yet mobile working platform? Is it highly adjustable, durable and lightweight?

Disinfectants and Kontrol Kube type containment are used in almost every type of daily work an IEP might encounter in a healthcare facility; both are key components to any comprehensive infection control plan. For the individual contractor working in a healthcare facility, understanding what is expected of you could make all the difference between winning a bid and being passed over. The knowledge and expertise shown while in the facility can also ensure future jobs in that facility.

As IEPs progress into the healthcare arena to reap the benefits of this relatively protected market they are not only assuming the role of IAQ professional; they are also assuming the role of infection control professional helping to maintain safe, clean and infection free environments. While the challenges they face are unique and in some cases daunting, the benefits exceed a simple increase in business. When we stop to consider the impact of the work they do in the facilities that care for our sick, our elderly and our very young we can see how each of us does our part to win the battle against infection and disease. With proper education and training, IEPs can make the leap from the private or public sector into the highly lucrative and relatively stable market of healthcare remediation, abatement and repair with ease. Knowing the facts about not only the rules and regulations in healthcare facilities, but also the tools available can help ensure a successful transition into IAQ in healthcare environments.

Healthcare Staffing Business Opportunity

Have you ever wondered how hospitals staff their facilities? Of course you haven’t. Hospitals have a human resource department that screens, qualifies and hires healthcare professionals that fit the facilities needs right? Well sort of. In reality most healthcare facilities are staffed using nursing registries or healthcare staffing companies. You’ve probably never heard of a healthcare staffing agency (also called a medical staffing company) but these companies provide a great service to hospitals and other acute care facilities. Staffing companies help save hospitals time and money by screening, qualifying, and paying healthcare professionals.

Often when people learn about what a healthcare staffing company does, they react by saying “wow I’ve never heard of that before. What a great niche.” However, recent events beg the question, is this really a niche business or could medical staffing be the quiet gorilla in the room of the growing healthcare industry? Obama’s healthcare reform and the aging population will drive up demand for healthcare in the United States. A core realization of an increase in demand for healthcare is the need for more healthcare professionals. However, while we are seeing the potential for large demand for nurses, nursing assistants, and allied healthcare workers, we are not seeing enough growth in these employment sectors to keep up with demand. This point bring us back to the question; is healthcare staffing a niche business or a business on the verge of breaking out into something bigger than its 8.8 billion dollar size already entails?

The answer to this question is yes. Healthcare staffing represents a great business opportunity in the growing healthcare industry. Hospitals and other care facilities will turn to staffing companies and nursing agencies as the hospitals become swamped with people taking advantage of the healthcare reform and our older population who will require more hospital visits. The demand for medical staffing will only increase as the demand for healthcare increases. Medical Staffing represents a business that is poised to become huge.

You may be wondering, “How can I take advantage of the potential in the medical staffing industry?” Healthcare staffing offers many job opportunities to people without a healthcare background. You could become a recruiter and enjoy your day recruiting and finding qualified nurses to work as your agency’s healthcare work force or you could enjoy the fast paced work of a staffer who quickly matches a hospitals needs with a qualified healthcare professional. However the great thing about this business is that with the proper training and support, most people can run their own healthcare staffing office.

A great way to get the proper training and to have the support for all the questions and concerns you may have from running your own business is to buy a healthcare staffing franchise. There are many healthcare franchises out there but only a few medical staffing franchises offer the proper training and support you need. Find a franchise opportunity whose training staff is approachable and has experience in the medical staffing industry. These veterans have experienced it all and will be able to guide you through owning your own franchise.

Healthcare Staffing is already a big industry. However, the room to grow is enormous. This business is no longer a small niche. It really is a breakout business teaming with opportunity. If you do your research you will find that healthcare staffing is the fast paced, interesting business with amazing potential that you may never even have heard of.