Patients Struggle To Make Informed Decisions About Their Care

Posted On : January 21, 2015,   Time : 12:42 pm

When it comes to many common medical procedures and interventions, patients are often ill-equipped to gauge their value. That’s the result of a new study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. It examined more than 15,000 articles and studies involving more than 27,000 patients. Its conclusion: Patients are unable to evaluate the therapeutic benefit of the procedure they may undergo and appropriately weigh it against the physical risk of undergoing it in the first place.   “Clinicians should discuss accurate and balanced information about intervention benefits and harms with patients, providing the opportunity to develop realistic expectations and make informed decisions,” the study’s

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New Study Raises Some Questions On Performing Angioplasties

Posted On : January 6, 2015,   Time : 12:33 pm

Is an angioplasty always necessary? That’s one of the questions raised by a recent study that appeared in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The study focused on how frail Medicare heart patients fare at 263 major hospitals during the two major annual national conferences for cardiologists. It followed 29,000 patients who suffered heart attacks, heart failures or cardiac arrests between 2002 and 2011. Although the mortality rates for the heart attack patients were unchanged during the conferences, those patients were less likely to undergo angioplasty procedures, suggesting that such an aggressive procedure may not always be necessary.   SecondOpinionExpert’s panel of physician specialists includes world r

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Computerized Patient Questionnaires May Do Better Job Gathering Info Than Doctors

Posted On : January 6, 2015,   Time : 12:29 pm

A computer system performed a better job at gathering relevant information from patients than individual physicians, according to a new study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. According to the study, 75 Los Angeles-area patients with gastrointestinal symptoms were identified and ask to discuss their symptoms either directly with physicians or through a special computer-generated questionnaire that used an algorithm to generate a narrative for physicians.                             The compu

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Excess Imaging Has A Fiscal — And Personal — Cost

Posted On : December 5, 2014,   Time : 8:26 am

A new study has concluded that unnecessary medical imaging in conjunction with cardiac stress tests not only costs the healthcare system more than $500 million annually but also creates enough radiation exposure to give 491 Americans cancer each year. Using data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the study’s authors concluded that imaging with a cardiac stress test rose from 59 percent of the time in the early 1990s to 87 percent of the time by 2010. Meanwhile, the percentage of patients who underwent a stress test without the presence of cardiac disease rose more than 50 percent during that same time period. As a result, the researchers concluded that nearly 35 percent of cardiac stress imaging tests are unnecessary. That’s

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Radiologists Pushed To Get Results To Patients Faster

Posted On : December 1, 2014,   Time : 7:10 pm

A move is on for patients to obtain radiology results far sooner than has been the norm. According to the New York Times, some patients wait weeks for radiology results that may indicate whether they have cancer or some other serious health issue. Both the Radiological Society of North America and the American College of Radiology have created initiatives to make radiologists more accessible to patients and to hand over test results immediately when asked. At SecondOpinionExpert, our clients receive their medical second opinions within two business days of submitting their medical records and a questionnaire specific to their medical condition. For more information about our medical second opinion service, contact us at

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