Note to American Friends About Canadian Health Care

From north of the border, we Canadians watch the American quest for health care reform with much interest.  However, after hearing the Canadian socialized system breezily dismissed from the debate for the umpteenth time, I feel compelled to put in a word.Americans seem to believe socialized medicine means a five year wait for substandard care. This is utterly false and part, I suspect, of  misinformation pumped out to scare Americans away from such schemes.   When someone I know was found to have a brain tumor, she had major surgery in within two weeks.  Others diagnosed with cancer start treatment right away.  When I dragged myself to the emergency room, feeling bad, I was admitted to the hospital within a hour with pneumonia.  I spent nine days in a special respiratory unit receiving the best of care. All of this didn’t cost a personal penny.  Nor do Canadians have to scrape up money for health premiums or stay at outworn jobs because of the insurance plan.  Business and industry aren’t burdened with coverage for employees.  No one, no matter what their income, need fear they will be without health care.  No asset is seized to pay a medical bill.  No one can be ruined by medical debt.   Our children inherit our hard-earned wealth, not a medical corporation. Our system gives each of us indescribable peace of mind.Another misconception is that Canadians have no choice.  This is also untrue.  Canadians may choose any doctor or medical facility they like.  Americans, I understand, can be quite limited in their options depending upon income and insurance plan.Canadians have so much choice because we gladly pay through our taxes.   As a US justice famously stated, taxes are the price of civilization. If we get good schools, universal health care and a strong social safety net to prevent the worst ills of poverty and ignorance, it’s worth every dollar. Decent health care becomes not a consumer good, but a basic human right, crucial to the well-being of the individual and the nation.Goodness knows, our system is far from perfect.  There are cost pressures, service gaps,  inter-governmental wrangling,  inevitable blunders and a gigantic country to cover. Wait times can sometimes be long when everyone must be served, not just those who can pay, though a concerted effort is steadily resolving this issue.  For instance, you now get cataract surgery within 3 weeks and a joint replacement inside of 11 weeks.   Anyone needing immediate help, gets it immediately.   Whenever for-profit medicine tries to establish itself, alarm races through the land. We have our own fright tactics.  We are warned about doctors growing obscenely rich off the sickness of others.  We are given the specter of lying deathly ill in a hospital regarding us as a source of profit and bent on earning as much from our misery as possible while our insurance company plots equally hard to provide as little coverage as they can; neither one much concerned about what is best for the patient.  We would emerge either denied treatment or thousands of dollars in debt, headed straight into bankruptcy.  We are grimly told half of all personal bankruptcies in the US involve medical debt.This scare picture probably isn’t true any more than our “five year” wait times. Our system is private, by the way, but it has a single payer — the government.  A Canadian doctor spends about an hour a week on billing as opposed to the 20 hours a US doctor needs.  Without insurance companies in the middle, money goes directly to medical support. Our system was begun half a century ago by Tommy Douglas, premier of Saskatchewan.  Tommy, appalled by the dreadful suffering he had seen during the Depression in families unable to afford doctors, fought the for-profit medical establishment to a standstill, including their American reinforcements determined to stamp out the idea lest it spread south.  And guess what!  In a 2006  national poll to decide who is the greatest Canadian, this scrappy, long-dead politician won, hands-down, beating out founders, explorers, inventors, war heroes, sports giants and rock stars.  I love him too.Yes, a modern health care system is expensive to run, but we bear the cost together, as a compassionate community, rather than abandoning individuals to pay with everything they have for life-saving treatment.Canada manages to provide good universal health care for everyone at a cost of 9.1% of our GDP.  The US, at about 15% of its GDP, spends over 50% more per capita than Canada yet leaves 40 million people not covered. On top of that, our health care system gives Canadians a lower infant mortality rate than the US and a life expectancy that is longer by two years.This is just one view from a distant vantage point outside the US.  For another opinion, please pick anyone from the Canadian phone book and give them a call. Americans will choose a health care system that best suits their temperament, infrastructure and values.  I can only say that Canadians would  revolt in the streets at any alteration of our universal health care plan.

Health and Medical Equipment Financing

The medical field has undergone contact changes and new advancements have been made in health and medical equipment. However these equipments are too costly to buy. Even a dental chair in a dentist’s clinic may cost more. Therefore health and medical equipment financing is essential to acquire the necessary equipment.Dental equipment financing is one of the types of essential health and medical equipment financing that helps to buy latest cavity filling equipment or advanced whole mouth imaging system. Dental equipments become more advanced nowadays which in turn costs you more. Since they are indispensable for your career you need to buy these. However you can get financial help from some of the genuine financing companies that offer low interest loans.Medical imaging equipments have become more advanced nowadays from x-rays to CT scan machines. These machines are extremely high and so Health and medical equipment financing is required to provide these facilities in your hospital – no matter whether it is small or big. You can acquire sonogram, endoscope, ultrasound equipment, x-ray film processing equipment and so on easily with the help of a reliable financing company.Other medical equipments like surgery tools, oxygen tanks, optometry equipment, orthopedic equipment and similar other equipments come in high price tags and hence health and medical equipment financing is often essential for any health care institute. Medical equipment also include medical accounting equipment which handles accounts receivable, payable and other accounting roles needed. It is indispensable for big health care institutes and seeking the help of financing company to acquire this equipment is necessary.Home health care equipments like medical beds, oxygen machines, wheel chairs etc are essential for some patients. The medical beds offer great comfort to the patient and are intended for home use. It is generally costlier and so financing is required if you want to buy for home use or for business use.Laboratory equipments like analytical instruments, evaporator, microscope, autoclaves and sterilizer, incubator, blood analyzing equipment are indispensable in the medical field. Nay health care institute requires these types of equipments for diagnosing any diseases. However the cost of these equipments is extremely high and so health and medical equipment financing is the only way to acquire these items.Health issues can be diagnosed and treated with the help of various advanced medical and health equipments only. These equipments have undergone constant changes and so using the latest equipments help diagnose and treat diseases well. The sophisticated nature of these equipment calls for very high rates. Therefore it is essential for small or big health care institutes to buy these equipments with the help of health and medical equipment financing. However these equipments are not expenses but investments to the institutes. They increase the comfort of the patients and generate revenue for the institutions.Some of the legitimate financing companies offer health and medical equipment financing at reasonable rate of interest. You can submit an online application to get fast approval of the loan amount. There is no cumbersome procedures and delayed responses and so you can get the financial help easily at any time you want.

Incorporating CRM Into Your Health Care Marketing Plan

Just as any other customer-based company, a medical practice also needs to change and adapt to the needs of its patients. A practice that doesn’t keep up with the changing needs of their patient panel may lose patients to a practice that does. One of the ways a physician can keep abreast of current and potential patient’s needs is by implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools.Customer relationship management is made up of the different processes that a company or medical practice might use to organize and track the interactions it has with the existing or potential patients. In turn, this information is used to find ways to meet the needs of existing and future patients. Using CRM tools helps you effectively market your medical practice.When developing your medical marketing materials, a doctor must consider feedback from his current patients about her products and services. Basically, you must use information about your current patients to figure out how to get the new patients you want to attract. Customer relationship management is one of the ways you can collect and organize this data to help you. More importantly, when you understand your patient’s behavior and buying practices as customers, your doctor-patient relationship will also improve.To effectively us a CRM system you must know your patients. A CRM system is only beneficial if you use it to collect and analyze data about your patient’s preferences and behavior. By tracking your interactions with your patients, you will be able to see when they purchase particular products and services. You also be able to determine which ones they use the most. This will help you market the right products and services to the patients who most want and need them.Build your CRM database by training your front line staff to be sensitive to patients as they deal with them, and discover their immediate needs. Then use a system to make note of the matter for future reference in each interaction with them. Believe it or not, your billing department can also assist you in building a powerful CRM database by becoming aware of the different needs of the way people pay for products and services. This will allow you to develop payment plans or create special offers that are tailored to the needs of your patients. Awareness and tracking of this data during interactions with patients will determine the success of your customer relationship management.It is important to not lose touch with your current patients and their needs even as you are trying to attract new clients using your health care marketing strategies. If you don’t have a medical practice marketing plan in place that includes follow-up marketing to meet the needs of your existing patients, you run the risk of losing them and not being able to keep the new ones you bring in. CRM systems can help make the development of accurate follow up marketing programs simple and accurate.Focusing on meeting the needs of existing patients while establishing an effective marketing strategy to bring more patients to your practice will ensure that you have the ability to keep the new patients you bring in. Remember, a doctor’s marketing plan must be well-rounded and cover all the critical elements of medical practice marketing.Customer relationship management is useful for all doctors in any practice area, and CRM tools are as effective in a medical practice just starting up as in an existing one. If you start at the beginning with a CRM system to track interactions with your patients in all areas of your practice, you will have the ability to build solid relationships with your patients even as you are focusing on growing your practice. Using CRM should be part of your health care marketing plan, and you can have it in place from the day you open.Used correctly, customer relationship management can be an effective and powerful part of a health care marketing plan that keeps existing patients and future patients happy and loyal to your medical practice.