Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Patients Not Included * [Inclusion of Patients at a Medical Conference]

From the 25 October 2013 blog item By LESLIE KERNISAN, MD at The HealthCare Blog

 few weeks ago, I went for the first time to Stanford’s Medicine X conference. It’s billed as a conference that brings a “broad, academic approach to understanding emerging technologies with the potential to improve health and advance the practice of medicine.”

Well, I went, I saw, and I even briefly presented (in aworkshop on using patient-generated data).

And I am now writing to tell you about the most important innovations that I learned about at Medicine X (MedX).

They were not the new digital health technologies, even though we heard about many interesting new tools, systems, and apps at the conference, and I do believe that leveraging technology will result in remarkable changes in healthcare.

Nor were they related to social mediaehealth, or telehealth, even though all of these are rapidly growing and evolving, and will surely play important roles in the healthcare landscape of the future.

No. The most remarkable innovations at MedX related to the conference itself, which was unlike any other academic conference I’ve been to. Specifically, the most important innovations were:

  • Patients present to tell their stories, both on stage and in more casual conversational settings such as meals.
  • Patient participation in brainstorming healthcare solutions and in presenting new technologies. MedX also has an ePatient Advisors group to help with the overall conference planning.

These innovations, along with frequent use of storytelling techniques, video, and music, packed a powerful punch. It all kept me feeling engaged and inspired during the event, and left me wishing that more academic conferences were like this.

These innovations point the way to much better academic conferences. Here’s why:

The  power of patient presence

I wasn’t surprised to see lots of patients at Medicine X, because I knew that the conference has an e-patient scholars program, and that many patients would be presenting. I also knew that the director of MedX, Dr. Larry Chu, is a member of theSociety of Participatory Medicine. (Disclosure: I’ve been a member of SPM since last December.)

I was, on the other hand, surprised by how powerful it was to have patients on stage telling their stories.

How could it make such a difference? I am, after all, a practicing physician who spends a lot of time thinking about the healthcare experience of older adults and their caregivers.

But it did make a difference. I found myself feeling more empathetic, and focused on the patient and family perspective. And I felt more inspired to do better as a physician and as a healthcare problem-solver.

In short, having patients tell their stories helped me engage with the conference presentations in a more attentive and meaningful way.

Read the entire blog item here

 

October 26, 2013 Posted by | health care | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

[Reblog] Need to See the Doctor? You May Have Company on Your Next Visit

From the 2 August 2013 New York Times Health article

hared medical appointments, or group visits, are becoming a popular — and possibly more satisfying — way to see the doctor.

“As soon as I mention shared medical appointments, everybody automatically pictures a room full of people in their underwear,” says Dr. Richard Kratche, a family physician at Cleveland Clinic who conducts group visits for physicals. Rest assured, he says, these shared medical appointments don’t literally involve having an audience during a physical exam.

But they do require divulging and discussing private medical information in front of strangers (albeit ones who have signed waivers not to talk about other patients’ medical histories outside of the visit). And while that makes some people understandably uncomfortable, a surprising number of patients are finding these appointments to be rewarding and effective ways of getting more out of doctor’s visits. Since 2005, the percentage of practices offering group visits has doubled, from 6% to 13% in 2010. With major provisions of the Affordable Care Act due to be implemented by next year, such group visits are also becoming attractive cost savers — patients who learn more about ways to prevent more serious disease can avoid expensive treatments.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/08/07/need-to-see-the-doctor-you-may-have-company-on-your-next-visit/#ixzz2bYyjf5Y9

 

 

 

August 10, 2013 Posted by | health care | , | Leave a comment

People are growing their health-consumer muscles in 2013 | Health Populi

People are growing their health-consumer muscles in 2013 | Health Populi.

Patients-Get-Smart-Before-a-Doctors’-Appointment-300x225

From the 31 July 2013 article at HealthPopuli

Most Americans are concerned about their ability to for medical bills, even when they have health insurance. As a result, most are comfortable asking their doctor about how much their medical treatment will cost. People are becoming savvier health care shoppers largely because they have to: 37% of people in the U.S. have an annual health insurance deductible over $2,000, according to the Spring/Summer 2013 Altarum Institute Survey of Consumer Health Care Opinion, published on 11th July 2013.

Many of the media stories coming out of the Altarum survey since its publication have been about people and their trust in doctors – or lack thereof.

But the other side of this coin is growing patient/consumer health empowerment.

It appears that people feel competent to take on a greater role in shared decision making, self-diagnosis or assessment of symptoms, and information collecting on conditions – even before seeing the doctor. Take a look at the table, which illustrates that most do “health homework” before going to see their doctor.

Altarum polled a survey sample of 2,357 U.S. consumers in May, 2013.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: The internet has truly become a go-to source for people and their health, every day. I grew up with a thick tome of a health guide on my parents’ living room bookshelf – I remember a dog-eared Mayo Clinic Guide to Health, as well as a Merck Manual my mom picked up from a library sale in the early 1970s and her nutrition bible, Adelle Davis’ Let’s Get Well.

Today’s 5-inch-thick guide to health isn’t a book at all; it’s WebMD, NIH.gov, FDA.gov, Yahoo! health groups, WEGO Health, PatientsLikeMe, CureTogether, DiabetesMine, TuDiabetes, Migraine.com – and to be sure, Paging Dr. Google. And, it’s also friends and neighbors, whose opinions 75% of Americans trust to choose a doctor – more than online rates on a doc’s bedside manner, office waiting times, or objective information on clinical quality, according to Altarum’s poll.

What Altarum finds is that people are preparing in advance of their doctor’s appointments – preparing questions, which means spending time thinking through symptoms, family histories, observations of daily living, and other factors that may feed into an acute situation or a question about how to stay well, fit, and out of the health system.

Related Resources

 

August 1, 2013 Posted by | health care, Health Education (General Public) | , , | 2 Comments

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Doctor

Written by a nurse.

Musings Of A Nurse

fhfrjh.jpgAdmittedly everyone have the same feeling when they are compelled by physiologic abnormality to visit the doctor. Anxiety is the leading cause of why people delay seeing a doctor, they would tend to rationalize their illness until it interferes with their day to day living. Anxiety is a common feeling especially if you have no idea of what your illness is, could it be life threatening or just a minor glitch? One should not be afraid to visit the doctor it is their job to diagnose our illness and provide us with medical interventions to maintain the homeostasis of our body. Some people when visiting the doctor don’t know what to do or what to say, some would even freeze as if that they are being interrogated. The doctor can’t help you unless you are willing to help the doctor! Yes, he may relay on laboratory findings but it will…

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July 17, 2013 Posted by | health care | , , | Leave a comment

Health Literacy Resources: Professional Healthcare Organizations and Associations

Great links to resources as
–High Value Care resources intended to help patients understand the benefits, harms and costs of tests and treatments for common clinical issues.
–Case Management Society of America’s has a consumer page that describes Case Management as a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual’s health needs
–Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a resource for food, nutrition, and health information. Consumers can find tip sheets, videos, brochures, and health & nutrition guides for women, men, and children.

 

July 17, 2013 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, health care, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , | Leave a comment

Are you a thrifty patient? How to get the care you need and save money

From the 2 January 2012 article by  at Kevin MD.com

It is increasingly becoming the year of the Thrifty Patient. People are paying for more medical care and are more responsible for the costs of getting that care via higher deductibles and co-pays. Patients don’t have a choice but to be involved in their care. Though the recent 2008 recession saw a decrease in overall medical and health care utilization as a sign of better informed patients, I believe that was simply because people deferred needed care in order to keep their jobs. With the economy getting better, more people will begin to seek care again. The question is how can they save money on medical and health care costs?…..

 

Read the entire article here

 

January 3, 2013 Posted by | health care | , , | Leave a comment

Preparing for your doctor’s visit: 10 things to always bring

Wow, am I the last person on earth sans smartphone?

 

From the 23 October 2012 article by Leana Win, MD  at KevinMD.com

Most patients I see are surprised to find out that there’s something they should have brought to their doctor’s visit. Granted, I’m an emergency physician, and many of my patients come to me in emergency situations that they can’t plan for. However, most people have some heads-up for going to their doctor. Certainly if you’re going to your annual check-up or a routine appointment, you should bring these items with you.

 

Keep this checklist readily accessible; even if you’re going to the hospital for an emergency appointment, aim to take the following 10 items with you:

1. A medical card. It would be ideal for every doctor to have a full list of your medical history, but our country is not even close to having a nationally accessible medical record system. To make sure your doctor has your information available, carry a card with you. You can find many cards that easily downloadable on the Internet where you list your medical problems, surgeries, doctor’s names, insurance, and allergies. Especially if you are seeing a coverage doctor or visiting the E.R., he or she may not have your medical record. This makes sure that your doctor can see your most critical medical information.

2. Changes to your medical record. If you have had recent test results since you last saw your doctor, bring these with you. Even if it was your doctor that you’re going to see who sent you to get the test, bringing the results will make sure that they are discussed during the visit.

3. Your medications.

 

[Read the entire article at http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2012/10/preparing-doctors-visit-10-bring.html]

8. A family member or a friend. Having someone with you will give you support and company during the appointment. As importantly, they can help remind you of your questions and concerns, and is another measure to help ensure your doctor answers all the questions that you have.

9. A smartphone. Everyone seems to have some kind of smartphone device: an iPhone, a Blackberry, an iPad. There will downtime when you’re waiting. Use this time to look up what your doctor has told you. The smartphone also keeps you busy if your wait is particularly long!

10. Some snacks. Often, there are limited food options are the doctor’s office, and you may be waiting for some time. Unless you’re told not to eat, or have a complaint that you’re not sure how it will go, having something on hand can help make you feel better.

I hope this list is useful for you as you prepare for your next doctor’s visit.

 

 

 

October 25, 2012 Posted by | health care | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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