Livingston Reporting - page 3

Member Retention Strategies to Increase Profit and Enhance Image

Baby boomers remain the most influential generation when it comes to economic decision making. The U.S. Census Bureau defines Baby Boomers as those born between 1946 – 1964. There are 76 million nationwide, and their influence on healthcare, technology, travel, and e-commerce is expanding. Continually engaging your members and understanding their needs are two of the most important facets of maintaining retention.

Member retention is just as important as member acquisition. Data-mining strategies that go into gaining new members should also go into improving relationships with existing members. Credit unions can positively influence retention rates by using data analytics to build relationships with members. High member satisfaction levels lead to greater loyalty and referral business. However, all members are not created equal; some relationships are worth more than others. It is vital to identify the most loyal and profitable members who will most likely drive revenue at your credit union.

Training your staff to be in a partnership with your members is another way to create loyalty and gain retention. Asking the right questions, giving them the proper training, and constant engagement with your member base are all ways to create need and comfortability.

Ensure you have a defined and credible marketing strategy to reach the demographic you are targeting in order to maintain retention. An accurate database is essential to send the proper campaigns to each target market. Member services, product offerings, and interest rates are all factors, but it is imperative to remember that marketing efforts can strongly influence retention. Credit unions must be able to communicate with members in order to up-sell and market appropriately. New offers and special rates should be aptly communicated to members. 

These strategies increase retention rates and help eliminate the wasted costs of sending inaccurate information to people. Improved marketing campaigns and member analytics enhance the member experience and increase up-sell opportunities. This enables credit unions to streamline operations and reduce costs.

Do you know your member demographic? Your current member base is already a captive audience. Let the professionals at Omega Benefit Strategies help you integrate these strategies to gain more loyal customers and achieve strong referrals.

Omega Benefit Strategies provides senior credit union members an educational resource for Medicare. Our turnkey marketing package seamlessly integrates with existing market strategies. We can help businesses increase new member acquisitions, bolster retention, cross-sell opportunities via our “scorecard” system, and even earn an ancillary revenue stream. Accommodating any size membership, we maintain exemplary member service and offer top-notch products. Contact us today by going to www.omegabenefitstrategies.com or call 888-404-5049.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Ultrasound Guidance Following Carpal Tunnel Surgery Leads to Quicker Relief

Faster and longer-term relief from carpal tunnel can be achieved by using ultrasound-guided release. This treatment makes carpal tunnel release surgery safer and less-invasive than conventional open or endoscopic surgeries. Improvements in hand function and comfortability are also possible with ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release (UGCTR.)

Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital investigated the long-term implications of UGCTR. They found patients had sustained improvements due to the smaller incisions and faster recovery up to one-year post-surgery.

Sarah I. Kamel, M.D., Assistant Professor of Radiology, said, “Our study demonstrates that ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release can be performed safely, with high patient satisfaction and significant long-term relief. The rapid post-operative recovery and longstanding relief of symptoms suggest that ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release may be advantageous to traditional surgical methods of transverse carpal ligament transection.”

Patients were required to fill out three questionnaires designed to assess their hand’s pain and function levels. Researchers used this data as a tool to measure and judge the outcomes. The patients provided answers pre-procedure, two-weeks post-procedure, and 1.7 years later. 

While two patients required follow-up surgery within eight to ten days following the first procedure, no patients experienced immediate complications. The team made two adjustments to avoid these outcomes in the future. They now include more extensive pre-procedural cleaning that extends around the forearm prior to draping. They perform two passes of the ligament transection to potentially decrease the risk of remnant tissue that may contribute to incomplete release.

These results point to the UGCTR procedure’s efficacy, but future investigations into follow-up and cost analysis are necessary. “Ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release quickly improves hand function and reduces hand discomfort, with persistent improvement at one year. Ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release may be a safe, effective, and less-invasive alternative to traditional open or endoscopic surgery, particularly in patients for whom traditional surgery may be high-risk or contraindicated,” said the team.

For more information on ultrasound guidance following carpal tunnel surgery, read the full journal report by the American Journal of Roentgenology. For carpal tunnel guidance, contact the professionals at Michigan Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Pandemic Home Remodeling is Booming

As people are working from home and staying put due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are choosing to improve their surroundings and create retreats within their own houses. Homeowners are likely completing these projects due to extra incentives. Record high home equity levels, despite the recent economic downturn, is causing the housing demand to soar.

Moreover, a significant number of people are cooking and eating at home, which makes kitchens the center of family life. Kitchen and bath remodeling projects have always been popular, yet the demand increased by 40 percent in June compared to last year.  Home extensions and additions increased by 52 percent compared to 2019. Security and privacy measures (fence installations and repairs) also saw a jump of 166 percent.

Shelter-at-home orders obviously guided the increase in demand, as more than three-quarters of all U.S. homeowners said they had done some type of home improvement project during the pandemic. More than three-quarters also say they plan to take on a new home project in the next 12 months.

One online remodeling platform saw a 58 percent annual increase in project leads for home professionals in June. Outdoor spaces had the most massive increase in demand; pool and spa professional searches tripled from a year ago. The need for landscape contractors along with patio and deck professionals doubled.

Justin Sullivan, a home remodeling contractor, said, “We’re also hearing that the money that folks are saving from not going out to restaurants, not eating out, not going on vacations, those things are being saved and they’re deciding to add that value back into their homes as an investment. They have more confidence in their homes as investments.”

Check out the original article from CNBC to learn more about the home remodeling inflation. For all of your construction, repair, or home improvement needs, contact JFC Remodeling today.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call: 810-923-1123, e-mail: jfcllc@comcast.net, or visit us at: www.jfcremodeling.com today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Top Antivirus Software for 2020

Home computers have morphed from being an afterthought to the forefront of our lives. The internet is vital to work, school, staying in touch with family and friends, and more. These crucial connections are nearly priceless, so it is imperative the computers connecting you to the internet are running smoothly, efficiently, and without viruses or malware.

While viruses are older and less-relevant, malware is more fruitful for hackers, making ransomware and data-stealing Trojans much more common. Most antivirus programs rid your computer of Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, ransomware, and others. PCMag tested more than 40 different commercial antivirus utilities to help consumers ensure they are using the best software available.

The top ten antivirus programs are:

  1. McAfee AntiVirus Plus
  2. Norton AntiVirus Plus
  3. Kaspersky Anti-Virus
  4. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
  5. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus
  6. ESET NOD32 Antivirus
  7. Malwarebytes Premium
  8. Sophos Home Premium
  9. Trend Micro Antivirus + Security
  10. F-Secure Anti-Virus

Do you need help or guidance finding the right antivirus software for your computer? Have you gone through steps on your own but are still experiencing virus, spyware, Trojan, etc. issues? Are you looking to prevent future infection? The computer experts at Creative Programs and Systems specialize in virus removal. Our trained, experienced professionals can assist you by getting your vital device back up and running in no time.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; implement internet marketing strategies for enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Radiologists Urge Use of Medical Imaging and AI-Powered Solutions to Manage COVID-19

Recent high-profile cases of COVID-19 combined with the effort to aid in the ongoing battle  against the pandemic have prompted RADLogics to deploy the company’s AI (Artificial Intelligence)-Powered medical image analysis solution worldwide. The company urged U.S. clinicians to embrace medical imaging and emerging technologies such as AI. RADLogics has an AI-powered solution in place which has processed and analyzed thousands of suspected coronavirus cases globally. These efforts have eased the surging workload for radiology, ER, and ICU teams worldwide.

RADLogics strives to make its CT and X-ray AI-powered technology available to hospitals and healthcare systems throughout the U.S. This technology will assist in COVID-19 patient triage and management by providing quantitative analysis to clinical teams. Those patients who exhibit severe or worsening respiratory conditions are accurately assessed, allowing doctors to better triage patients based on those who urgently need intensive care such as ventilator support.

Moshe Becker, CEO and Co-Founder of RADLogics, said, “The use of CT and X-ray in the assessment and treatment plan for President Trump underscores the critical role that medical imaging must play in the fight against COVID-19. We must scale the capabilities of these medical imaging procedures rapidly to support clinicians, hospitals, and healthcare systems throughout the U.S. as they respond to the anticipated second wave of coronavirus and the roll-out of a potential vaccine. Now is the time for hospitals and healthcare providers to embrace and leverage the power of AI technologies and solutions to not only alleviate the increased burden associated with COVID-19 but to help support better outcomes by reducing burnout and errors while delivering better patient outcomes.”

Eliot Siegel, MD, Associate Vice Chair of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine said, “The ability of medical imaging – in combination with AI – to better discover and quantify the burden of COVID-19 has been well-documented. There would be tremendous clinical value in an AI algorithm that could establish and utilize a trajectory of change to predict which subset of patients might need more intense therapy such as medical ventilation, which subset of patients could be more confidently discharged, and predict subsequent clinical course. Today, there are many promising AI applications that have emerged that could allow us to address the major challenges that have hit the healthcare sector during the pandemic, and beyond as we plan to treat patients with COVID-related complications and as we provide diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that were delayed during the surge.”  

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Now Trending: Electronic Face Masks

With face masks being all the rage, these days, manufacturers and hobbyists are discovering ways to innovate them; from air filtration to language translation, the possibilities are endless. Face mask requirements brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic have caused N95 and other nano-particle filter masks to be in high demand. As individuals, businesses, and governments worldwide have pledged support toward the mask mandates, “mask up” has become the new norm. Novel consumer goods created by electrical engineers have been in-line with social trends; market deadlines bring them to life.

First on the list is LG’s revolutionary wearable air purifier mask. A UV case is included, which sanitizes the mask between use. The patented respiratory sensor and dual fans allow for clean, filtered air to enter the lungs with normal breathing patterns.

Vita Innovations created VitalMask, a biometric monitoring mask. The 3D-printed mask places sensors around the earlobes, nose, and mouth to monitor body temperature, heartbeat, blood oxygen levels, and respiration rate.

A homemade electronic face mask features LED lighting to mimic mouth motions while speaking. Inventor Tyler Glaiel was interviewed by BBC in June about his mask, which addresses a common issue that is missing in the more advanced medical devices: the ability to see when a user is talking.

The C-FACE, made by Donut Robotics, is a face mask that translates Japanese into eight other languages. Taisuke Ono, chief executive of Donut Robotics, explained, “We worked hard for years to develop a robot and we have used that technology to create a product that responds to how well the coronavirus has reshaped society.”

In response to the ever-present face mask societal mandates, many businesses and individuals are banking on this new electronic trend to catch on.

Want to learn more about the electronic face masks infiltrating the consumer market? Check out the original article from All About Circuits for an in-depth look. J&P Electrical supplies contractors and individuals with top-quality electrical components. While these innovative face masks are not yet mainstream, we can help with most other electrical component questions, issues, or sales.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Problematic Body MRI Discrepancy Rates and Errors

Previous studies have outlined disagreement between radiologists and inconsistent secondary interpretations of MRI scans. Researchers at the University of Vermont and the University of Southern California Medical Center have recently published the first study to focus on secondary interpretations of body MRI evaluated by type of likely error. According to the journal article, up to 70 percent of body MRI interpretations have at least one discrepancy. Since most of these errors are cognitive, a push for sub-specialty trained providers to read these studies is crucial.

Interpretation errors, especially those in radiology, are particularly common with MRI scans. Pelvic and abdominal imaging are the most easily misread. These mistakes commonly lead to delayed or improper treatment plans. Discrepancy rates can range from two percent to six percent. Secondary interpretations can be as high as 56 percent, according to existing research.

Researchers retrospectively reviewed 357 secondary body MRI reports captured between January 2015 and December 2018 to determine the actual discrepancy rate. Initial reports were analyzed, and those with discrepancies were divided.

At least one discrepancy was identified in 246 cases, or 68.9 percent. A secondary discrepancy was found in 54 of those cases. Most differences were attributed to cognitive errors (68.8 percent), and secondary discrepancies, considered perceptual errors, accounted for 59.3 percent.

To thoroughly examine the reasons behind these discrepancies, researchers found that faulty reasoning (misclassification of the abnormality) was responsible for 34.3 percent of all instances, including 37.8 percent of primary discrepancies. Additionally, search satisfaction occurred with 37 percent of second discrepancies and 15 percent of overall discrepancies.

The team hypothesized that MRI scans were ordered to answer a specific question. Once that question was answered, the radiologist likely did not examine the rest of the scan for other abnormalities. The discrepancy rates are higher than what was previously reported due to several factors. General radiologists might be unaware of the MRI’s high sensitivity and ability to determine specific diagnoses. Body imaging frequently has the highest error rates, and double-reading by sub-specialists also increases the discrepancy rate.

Read the full article in the American Journal of Roentgenology for more information regarding discrepancy rates and errors. For all your radiation equipment repair needs, contact RadParts today. We have a vast selection of innovative repair solutions that can save you up to 50 percent or more.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Toxic PFAS Leach Through Most In-Home Drinking Water Filters

Filters on refrigerator doors, pitcher-style filters, and whole-house filtration systems might function differently overall, but they have one thing in common: they might not be removing all toxic drinking water contaminants. Toxic PFAS, dubbed “forever chemicals,” persist in the environment indefinitely and accumulate in the human body. 99.9 percent of humans worldwide have PFAS in their bloodstreams. 

Duke and North Carolina State University scientists found that most filters are only partially effective in removing PFAS. Research suggests that several filters, if not properly maintained, can lead to even higher levels. PFAS have known health impacts and are a widespread presence in the environment, especially in drinking water. Exposure to these toxic chemicals is associated with various cancers, low birth weight in babies, thyroid disease, impaired immune function, and other health disorders. PFAS can also affect reproductive and developmental health in mothers and children.

“We tested 76 point-of-use filters and 13 point-of-entry or whole-house systems and found their effectiveness varied widely,” said Heather Stapleton, the Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Health at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

“All of the under-sink reverse osmosis and two-stage filters achieved near-complete removal of the PFAS chemicals we were testing for. In contrast, the effectiveness of activated-carbon filters used in many pitcher, countertop, refrigerator, and faucet-mounted styles was inconsistent and unpredictable. The whole-house systems were also widely variable and, in some cases, actually increased PFAS levels in the water,” Stapleton said.

Reverse osmosis and two-stage filters reduced PFAS levels by 94 percent or more in water. Activated carbon filters removed 73 percent of PFAS contaminants, on average, but results varied greatly. While the chemicals were entirely removed in some cases, they were not reduced at all in others. Researchers suggest changing filters regularly is the best way to ensure proper functionality. Whole-house systems using activated carbon filters varied widely.

To learn more, read the full report by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. To be sure your home is getting the best filtration system that meets your needs, contact a water conditioning specialist. Contact the professionals at Reynolds Water Conditioning today and schedule a consultation to remove toxic chemicals from your drinking water.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in offering the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Macular Degeneration Effects Reduced by Brain Stimulation

The University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry found that brain stimulation can assist in recovery of vision in people with macular degeneration. A single 20-minute session of non-invasive visual cortex stimulation resulted in improved effects in macular degeneration patients.

Peripheral vision is relied on heavily by people who suffer from macular degeneration, as they often lose central vision. When attempting to crowd or segregate an object from others in close proximity, further difficulties arise.

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) interventions reduce mechanisms in the visual cortex that contribute to crowding. This can improve vision in patients with central vision loss, especially when combined with perceptual learning techniques.

Ben Thompson, professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, said, “Perceptual learning can reduce letter crowding for patients with macular degeneration. However, perceptual learning typically requires intensive training, which may be a barrier for patients. Additionally, the learning does not always transfer to non-trained stimuli, that’s why this discovery is so promising, it addresses all of these concerns. Results of this study lay the foundation for future work investigating whether a-tDCS may be useful as a visual rehabilitation tool for individuals with central vision loss who are reliant on peripheral vision.”

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss (more than cataracts and glaucoma combined), affecting more than 10 million Americans. It is considered an incurable eye disease caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina. The retina is the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them to the brain via an optic nerve. The macula, the retina’s central portion, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye. It also controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces, colors, and see objects in fine detail.

There are three stages of macular degeneration, with vision loss as the last. Despite there being no cure for macular degeneration, activities such as dieting, exercising, avoiding smoking, and protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light are all ways to decrease the overall risk.

For more information regarding the correlation between macular degeneration and brain stimulation, read the original article. Contact the professionals at Rohr Eye & Laser Center to experience personalized ocular care.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Report Suggests Need for Improved Electrical Shock Safety Training

According to a safety report by Littelfuse, electrical workers who were trained on safety practices weren’t necessarily aware of how to avoid injury or death from electrical shock. The Chicago-based circuit protection manufacturer surveyed 575 electrical workers across an assortment of industries. Technicians, design and project engineers, maintenance electricians, electrical contractors, and safety, plant, and purchasing managers participated in the survey.

Over 90 percent of surveyed employees were provided with safety equipment training if they work with or near equipment voltage up to 500 volts (V.) Most of the workers (62 percent) who said they believe it is safe to work with 500V experienced electrical shock by more than 220V while working. 

“If a worker cannot distinguish a safe working voltage from a hazardous condition, then their safety training failed. It is also probable that any pertinent safety practices the worker has retained are ineffective when they are unable to read a hazardous situation,” Littelfuse wrote.

Many electrical workers who went through electrical safety training use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, to work on live equipment. The Littelfuse report stated, “If a worker believes they do not need to de-energize equipment if they wear PPE, then their safety training has failed.” Moreover, many facilities are required to send their electrical gloves to be tested by a laboratory; many do not, according to surveyed employees.

Facilities should be providing more than PPE to employees in order to prevent electrical shock. According to the Littelfuse report, “PPE is the least-effective preventative measure and responsible for many injuries and fatalities due to its human-based practices. GFCI protection, which is a much more effective preventative measure as it nearly eliminates the hazard, saves lives because it does not require human involvement for it to work. Its out-of-sight-out-of-mind practice requires zero energy from the workers to guarantee their safety.” Yet the National Electric Code does not require GFCI protection for circumstances as it does PPE.

For your electrical equipment and service needs, contact J&P Electrical. We can answer questions about safety and offer products to ensure your employees are protected. For further reading, check out the report by Littelfuse.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment, such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.