How to Prepare for the Future: A Business Innovators Interview
January 12, 2016

In this exciting and highly engaging interview, Dr. Tetteh shares how he helps individuals and organizations solve problems by leveraging his experience in the areas of clinical care, policy, and management to provide strategic solutions.

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Telehealth: The Next Frontier of Healthcare Technology
August 26, 2015

Every generation in modern history has utilized the advancement of technology to improve and expand patient access to healthcare. Advanced technology released emergency care from the restraints of ground travel and afforded physicians, surgeons and medical practitioners access to the swiftness of sky travel. Experience and knowledge once shared only within tight knit networks of healthcare providers through memos; reports and written correspondence are now just clicks away on the web.

Technology has once again asserted momentum into healthcare access, and through the undeniable benefits of telehealth millions of lives have been saved. Countless more patients can look forward to improved healthcare outcomes as the technology matures. The benefits of telehealth are multiplying exponentially as more healthcare providers implement telehealth into their routine delivery of care. This accelerated growth can be attributed to the fact that telehealth benefits not only the patient, but also the people and facilities involved in providing that care.

The Health Resources Services Administration defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the Internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications. With the debate over telehealth’s efficacy continues, clearly defining telehealth is necessary. Telehealth is often used interchangeably with the term telemedicine. However, Telemedicine differs from the general concept of telehealth.

The American Telemedicine Association offers the following guidance on the distinction, citing that “[Telemedicine is] the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patients’ health status. Closely associated with telemedicine is the term “telehealth,” which is often used to encompass a broader definition of remote healthcare that does not always involve clinical services. Videoconferencing, transmission of still images, e-health including patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, continuing medical education and nursing call centers are all considered part of telemedicine and telehealth.”

Consider the scenario when Mrs. Carter gets up from her couch, and stumbles to the floor with sudden paralysis. Her husband recognizes the symptoms of stroke, realizes the emergency, and knows that time is critical. He foregoes calling 911, and takes her immediately to their nearby rural hospital. The small hospital does not have a neurologist on staff, however they have telehealth technology and access to stroke neurologists and specialists at an urban hospital 70 miles away. A world-renowned neurologist is on call.  He uses the video-conferencing link and web-based software to remotely assess the nature and severity of Mrs. Carter’s stroke and ‘virtually’ perform an assessment. After a careful and comprehensive review of tests and available information and a facilitated patient history and examination the neurologist recommends the patient receive a clot-busting (thrombolytic drug) that is highly effective when given in a timely manner for some stroke victims, but which can cause adverse events when given to the wrong patient. Mrs. Carter is seen and treated within 3 hours of her stroke onset thanks to the quick response of her husband and rural hospital staff. Without telehealth she may have died. Instead, she makes a full recovery.

Telehalth benefits the patient through improved healthcare outcomes as a result of timelier access to a specialist that can help deliver the highest standard of care to a patient in need. In this scenario, Mrs. Carter is not the only beneficiary in this situation. Consider the rural hospital where she received care. By retaining the patient and utilizing telehealth care the hospital retains the patient and she can remain close to home with her husband and family. Still the benefits continue. The neurologist that provides the care remotely is able to extend their clinical reach to patients who benefit from their expertise.

Telehealth care is rapidly becoming conventional for healthcare organizations across the globe. Over 2,000 telehealth studies have been conducted with many that demonstrate the value of remote healthcare. Results include reduced hospital readmissions, decreased home nursing visits, and lowered overall costs. Additionally, patients and caregivers that use telehealth technologies have reported increased satisfaction with treatments. These findings have encouraged many countries to integrate more remote healthcare into their current healthcare practices, and the use of telehealth will continue to grow in the United States as technology matures and the nature of our health care delivery evolves.


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In Honor of the Month of Hearts: Three Simple Steps to Heart Health
February 17, 2015

The month of February is “Heart Health Month,” and the time provides an opportunity to raise awareness for both men and women about health, wellness, and prevention. Indeed, health is a topic that is dear to my own heart and raising awareness about heart disease and promoting heart health is one of my special missions.

The heart is the indispensable pump. Each day it beats over 100,000 times pumping over 2,000 gallons of life-giving blood throughout your body. Heart health is important for total health and fitness, and injury or damage to your heart, its valves or blood vessels leads to heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease, surpasses cancer, accidents, homicide, and diabetes mellitus as the leading cause of death for men in the United States. The total estimated direct cost of cardiovascular disease and stroke exceeds $310 billion annually. Some risk factors for developing heart disease such as age and heredity cannot be controlled. However, the following 6 major risk factors are controllable:

  1. Lack of exercise
  2. Smoking and tobacco use
  3. High blood cholesterol
  4. Being overweight and obese
  5. Diabetes mellitus
  6. High blood pressure

Your chances of developing heart disease are higher the more risk factors you have. The positive news is empowered with good information you can take control of your health, prevent heart disease, and live healthy. Remembering the “Three E’s” can help. These 3 simple steps reduce the risk factors of heart disease:

  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy
  • Empower yourself with knowledge about your risk factors

Exercise is essential for heart health. Talk with a health care professional before you begin any exercise program, and simply walking more each day is a good start. Regular daily exercise of 20-30 minutes reduces blood pressure, and can lower cholesterol, burn body fat, relieve depression, and increase confidence and self esteem.

Eat Healthy. A balanced diet low in salt, fats, and cholesterol is the recipe for heart health. Moderation is key to healthy eating. Too much salt, fat, and cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease. Increased intake of fiber, and water rich fruits and vegetables keep your weight under control and increases your energy.

Empower yourself. Assessing and controlling your risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol level empower you to make healthy lifestyle choices. Take action and become your own healthcare advocate. Ask informed questions of your doctors and healthcare providers and be a partner in achieving total heart health. Exercise, a healthy diet, and empowering yourself with knowledge are three simple steps to heart health.

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