Monday, February 23, 2015

Attracting a Major Grocery Store to Summerton

Editorial: With the closing of the local Piggly Wiggly, the town of Summerton finds itself without a grocery store – a must for any decent size town that expects to attract new residents.
While the town struggles to find a solution, the following has been suggested. If you go to Santee or Manning to purchase groceries, if possible consider purchasing from the IGA store. While there, ask to speak to the manager – not a cashier. Let the store manager you are from Summerton and that it would be a perfect spot for an IGA store.
Also, Sam Patel and his family have moved into a home on Tennis Lane. Sam has added many items to his Lakeside Market to help out with your local grocery shopping needs . He has added more frozen and dairy items, plus some meats. This summer he plans on having some local produce. Please support them as much as you can. Shopping there can keep you from having to travel many miles to a major grocery store in another town. They will also tell you if they have a certain item if you call Lakeside Market at 803-478-3399.
In the meantime, any other constructive ideas or actions to bring a grocery store, like IGA or Aldi, back into Summerton should be shared with the mayor and town council.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Management in Brief

After I completed my Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) many years ago, I decided that the essence of everything I had learned about Management could be summed up as follows:

Luther Gulick (1937) suggested that the major functions of the managerial process are embodied in the acronym, POSDCRB

  • Planning,
  • Organizing,
  • Staffing,
  • Directing,
  • Controlling/Coordinating,
  • Reporting
  • Budgeting.
Cycle of Major Management Functions


According to Peter Groen (1977), the major resources to be managed are embodied in the acronym, 4M’S & I -

  • Manpower,
  • Money,
  • Machines,
  • Materials,
  • Space,
  • Information.

Once you understand and master the major functions and and key resources its is then all about style and experience - learning what management style best fits the particular type of organization, situation or project you are facing.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Another Look at Healthcare & Health Information Technology through 2040

The health care industry will continue to grow in importance, both in the U.S. and around the world over the next several decades. New technologies, in particular, will play a key role in dramatically changing the practice of medicine and improving people's health.

It is generally understood that the key health information technologies (HIT) to be deployed during this decade include Electronic Health Record (EHR), Personal Health Record (PHR), and Mobile Health (mHealth) apps - all ultimately interconnected via Health Information Exchange (HIE) networks.

While striving to achieve those objectives by 2020 will lay the foundation for dramatically improving healthcare across America, radical transformation of health care will start to come about in the decades to follow. The following are some of the emerging health information technologies that I predict will begin to be deployed by 2020 and will be used widely in the U.S. by 2040.
  • Genomic Information Systems, BioRepositories, & Predictive Medicine modules integrated with EHR Systems
  • Nanotechnology & Implantable Health IT Systems interfaced to EHR and PHR Systems
  • Advanced User Interface Solutions, e.g. Wearable Systems, mHealth Apps, and Health eGaming Technologies
  • Health Information Exchange (HIE) interfaced to networks serving other Industries/Sectors, e.g. Banking, Security, Manufacturing, Pharma, Retail, etc.
  • Televideo & Home-Based TeleHealth solutions interconnecting patients with health care providers
  • A wide range of many other smart devices interfaced to Health IT (HIT) systems, i.e. Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Widespread 'Open Access' to Health Information and 'Open Data' by consumers, researchers, and healthcare providers
  • Integrative Medicine information and software modules (e.g. acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal medicine) integrated into EHR/PHR systems
  • Standardized public health information systems and health information exchange networks to help fight global pandemics and improve health around the world.
  • Continuing shift to 'open' cloud computing enabling growth in data mining and data analytics by researchers and analysts across all segments of the healthcare sector.

It is time for the more forward thinking health IT executives, clinical informaticists, healthcare providers and consumers to begin thinking farther out and sharing their thoughts. What emerging technologies do you see widely deployed by 2040? Regenerative Medicine? Precision Medicine? ...

The following are some interesting excerpts from various strategic healthcare plans and reports produced by a number of public and private organization on the future of healthcare in America from 2020 through 2050:
  • Almost 100 percent of Americans will have health coverage of some sort by 2020. About half of the the population will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Veterans Health and/or the Military Health systems. Most of the remaining population will purchase subsidized coverage through the new health insurance exchange (HIX) systems.
  • The emphasis in health care will continue to shift to disease prevention and health promotion, and reinvigorating the public health system over the next several decades as the threats of global pandemics and bioterrorism increase.
  • The emphasis on ambulatory care and long term geriatric care in the U.S. will continue to grow over the next several decades, along with the growth of home-based healthcare enabled by the growing use of telehealth technologies.
  • Telemedicine and home-based healthcare will start to play a much bigger role over the next decade. New physician-to-physician and physician-to-patient communications and health care processes will have developed and been accepted.
  • There will be a continuing shift to personalized health care. By 2020, patients will have become more empowered and involved in better managing their own health care using more sophisticated mobile health apps interconnected to electronic health record (EHR) systems via health information exchange (HIE) networks.
  • Another way that technology will further empowers patients to take more control of their healthcare in partnership with their healthcare providers relates to the growing access by patients to a wide range of health information portals and resources available on the web.
  • New wearable body sensors that capture continuous physiological data streams during daily routines--as opposed to discrete data captured at isolated moments in time--will provide clinicians with greater context and enable them to diagnose based on more robust evidence.
  • Complete organ replacements grown from stem cells will become possible in the 2020-2030 timeframe leading to growth of a major new bio-industry. Regenerative medicine will become a reality as we continue the drive towards 'singularity'.

Share any other constructive thoughts about the future of healthcare and advancements in health information technology with our readers.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Quick Take on Global Hot Spots

Editorial: When you follow world news daily, you begin to see patterns that tell you where the hot spots are around the world that Americans should pay attention to - even those of us living in Summerton S.C.  So, cutting thru all the news and noise, look over the list of hot spots below. Most of the areas of concern seem to involve 'closed' tribal societies led by dictators. Poverty and ignorance are key characteristics of these areas. For example:

Obviously, Russia under Putin is a major concern. You have an egomaniac on the loose who has access to nuclear weapons and military forces he is willing to use to further his vision of recreating the Russian empire. As a result, he's creating situations on a wide range of fronts to distract everyone the world as he strengthens his power, wealth, and pursues his agenda – one that appeals to many of his people. Fortunately, most of the world is seeing thru Mr. Putin and prepared for a wide range of counter actions. He's definitely not as smart as he thinks.

The Mid-East remains another major hot spot to carefully watch and avoid getting dragged in to far. Fortunately, our policy under President Obama is keeping our ground forces out of the war and is working with a global coalition to contain and counter threats from this area. Letting mid-eastern countries clean up their own mess that emerged from providing support to different groups of crazy Islamist terrorists is a must. They must collectively decide if they want to live a thousand years in the past, or move into the future along with the rest of the globe.

Pakistan and Afghanistan remain another major problem area that is dominated by fanatic Islamists that also remain tied to a closed tribal culture best suited to life a thousand years ago. Extreme poverty an ignorance also guarantee this will remain a hot spot for decades that the rest of the world will need to watch carefully.

A wide swath of territory across Central Africa is also an area the world needs to watch carefully. Nations that make up the African Union will need to take concerted, long term action to clean up the wars being fostered by closed tribal societies with a strong bent towards Islamic extremism in most instances, e.g. Boko Haram. Again, poverty and ignorance guarantee this area will remain a hot spot for decades to come.

North Korea, another closed society dominated by unstable leadership, remains a hot spot. They are a wild card that is hard to predict – except you know they are going to do something crazy. Russia will no doubt seek to maneuver them into being a distraction to the world as Putin goes about carrying out his plans.

Closer to home, Mexico, Venezuela and a few other Central and South American countries dominated by dictators and drug cartels must be carefully watched and handled. Having 80,000 people killed next door in Mexico, as the drug wars proceed, is more of a threat to the US than many citizens understand. Failed US foreign policies have propped up these dictators and helped the drug cartels to grow rich and powerful. The US is shifting policies and must turn the situation around over the coming decades.

Nations across much of Europe and Asia have embraced more 'open' policies as they have grown their economies, educated their people, embraced various forms of democracy, adopted new technologies, and joined other advanced 'open' societies across the globe. The key threat there seems to be one that could be caused by the large influx of immigrants from 'closed' Islamic citizen groups that refuse to adapt and integrate into society.

Civilization has come a long way in improving life across the globe in a relatively short period of time – several hundred years. But, we still have a long way to go. Again, cutting thru all the news and noise, you can clearly see the hot spots around the world. You can also see the major roots of the problems that must continue to be addressed – primarily education, poverty, religious fanaticism, 'closed' tribal thinking, and governments led by dictators.

We have a lot of progress that needs to be made over the next 100 years – if we don't destroy our planet along the way.