The transition to agricultural sustainability.
The transition to sustainable growth in agricultural production during the 21st century will take place within the context of a transition to a stable population and a possible transition to a stable level of material consumption. If the world fails to successfully navigate a transition to sustainable growth in agricultural production, the failure will be due more to a failure in the area of institutional innovation than to resource and environmental constraints. (+info)
Challenge of Goodness II: new humanitarian technology, developed in croatia and bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991-1995, and applied and evaluated in Kosovo 1999.
This paper presents improvements of the humanitarian proposals of the Challenge of Goodness project published earlier (1). In 1999 Kosovo crisis, these proposals were checked in practice. The priority was again on the practical intervention - helping people directly - to prevent, stop, and ease suffering. Kosovo experience also prompted us to modify the concept of the Challenge of Goodness. It should include research and education (1. redefinition of health, 2. confronting genocide, 3. university studies and education, and 4. collecting experience); evaluation (1. Red Cross forum, 2. organization and technology assessment, 3. Open Hand - Experience of Good People); activities in different stages of war or conflict in: 1. prevention (right to a home, Hate Watch, early warning), 2. duration (refugee camps, prisoners-of-war camps, global hospital, minorities), 3. end of conflict (planned, organized, and evaluated protection), 4. post conflict (remaini ng and abandoned populations, prisoners of war and missing persons, civilian participation, return, and renewal). Effectiveness of humanitarian intervention may be performed by politicians, soldiers, humanitarian workers, and volunteers, but the responsibility lies on science. Science must objectively collect data, develop hypotheses, check them in practice, allow education, and be the force of good, upon which everybody can rely. Never since the World War II has anybody in Europe suffered in war and conflict so much as peoples in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. We should search for the meaning of their suffering, and develop new knowledge and technology of peace. (+info)
Information technology outside health care: what does it matter to us?
Non-health-care uses of information technology (IT) provide important lessons for health care informatics that are often overlooked because of the focus on the ways in which health care is different from other domains. Eight examples of IT use outside health care provide a context in which to examine the content and potential relevance of these lessons. Drawn from personal experience, five books, and two interviews, the examples deal with the role of leadership, academia, the private sector, the government, and individuals working in large organizations. The interviews focus on the need to manage technologic change. The lessons shed light on how to manage complexity, create and deploy standards, empower individuals, and overcome the occasional "wrongness" of conventional wisdom. One conclusion is that any health care informatics self-examination should be outward-looking and focus on the role of health care IT in the larger context of the evolving uses of IT in all domains. (+info)
The business value of health care information technology.
The American health care system is one of the world's largest and most complex industries. The Health Care Financing Administration reports that 1997 expenditures for health care exceeded one trillion dollars, or 13.5 percent of the gross domestic product. Despite these expenditures, over 16 percent of the U.S. population remains uninsured, and a large percentage of patients express dissatisfaction with the health care system. Managed care, effective in its ability to attenuate the rate of cost increase, is associated with a concomitant degree of administrative overhead that is often perceived by providers and patients alike as a major source of cost and inconvenience. Both providers and patients sense a great degree of inconvenience and an excessive amount of paperwork associated with both the process of seeking medical care and the subsequent process of paying for medical services. (+info)
Personalized health care and business success: can informatics bring us to the promised land?
Perrow's models of organizational technologies provide a framework for analyzing clinical work processes and identifying the management structures and informatics tools to support each model. From this perspective, health care is a mixed model in which knowledge workers require flexible management and a variety of informatics tools. A Venn diagram representing the content of clinical decisions shows that uncertainties in the components of clinical decisions largely determine which type of clinical work process is in play at a given moment. By reducing uncertainties in clinical decisions, informatics tools can support the appropriate implementation of knowledge and free clinicians to use their creativity where patients require new or unique interventions. Outside health care, information technologies have made possible breakthrough strategies for business success that would otherwise have been impossible. Can health informatics work similar magic and help health care agencies fulfill their social mission while establishing sound business practices? One way to do this would be through personalized health care. Extensive data collected from patients could be aggregated and analyzed to support better decisions for the care of individual patients as well as provide projections of the need for health services for strategic and tactical planning. By making excellent care for each patient possible, reducing the "inventory" of little-needed services, and targeting resources to population needs, informatics can offer a route to the "promised land" of adequate resources and high-quality care. (+info)
Closer to a compromise on the direction of environmental research.
The Committee for the National Institute for the Environment (CNIE) was created in 1990 "to improve the scientific basis for making decisions on environmental issues," possibly through the establishment of a separate institute devoted to the environmental sciences. But while the goals proposed for the National Institute for the Environment were universally applauded, Congress was averse to adding a new agency to the federal bureaucracy. Recently, a compromise plan has been proposed that could expand the science base without having to create a new agency. On 29 July 1999, the National Science Board approved an interim report recommending an expanded program of environmental research and research planning, education, and scientific assessment with a funding target of an additional $1 billion over five years. The report stresses the importance of environmental research in formulating environmental protection programs and contains 12 recommendations intended to enhance and complement existing research activities in environmental sciences and engineering. If the National Science Foundation implements the recommendations in the report and if Congress appropriates funds for that purpose, the need for additional funding for new science activities identified by the CNIE should be satisfied. (+info)
Problems of an aging population in an era of technology.
With the substantially growing number of elderly persons in Canada and the rest of the developed world, the need for adequate health and social care will increase. Health and social service providers must develop policies and programs allowing the elderly to lead rich and independent lives for as long as possible. As advances in age-related diseases are made, the elderly will potentially live longer and lead more active and fulfilling lives. Society, governments and those involved in the care of the elderly must meet the new challenges of this aging population in a humane and respectful way. (+info)
The impact of globalization on public health: implications for the UK Faculty of Public Health Medicine.
BACKGROUND: There has been substantial discussion of globalization in the scholarly and popular press yet limited attention so far among public health professionals. This is so despite the many potential impacts of globalization on public health. Defining public health broadly, as focused on the collective health of populations requiring a range of intersectoral activities, globalization can be seen to have particular relevance. Globalization, in turn, can be defined as a process that is changing the nature of human interaction across a wide range of spheres and along at least three dimensions. Understanding public health and globalization in these ways suggests the urgent need for research to better understand the linkages between the two, and effective policy responses by a range of public health institutions, including the UK Faculty of Public Health Medicine. METHODS: The paper is based on a review of secondary literature on globalization that led to the development of a conceptual framework for understanding potential impacts on the determinants of health and public health. The paper then discusses major areas of public health in relation to these potential impacts. It concludes with recommendations on how the UK Faculty of Public Health Medicine might contribute to addressing these impacts through its various activities. RESULTS: Although there is growing attention to the importance of globalization to public health, there has been limited research and policy development in the United Kingdom. The UK Faculty of Public Health Medicine needs to play an active role in bringing relevant issues to the attention of policy makers, and encourage its members to take up research, teaching and policy initiatives. CONCLUSIONS: The potential impacts of globalization support a broader understanding and practice of public health that embraces a wide range of health determinants. (+info)