Access To Your Own Medical Records Could Be “Tipping Point” In Consumer Engagement

Posted On : November 4, 2014,   Time : 7:39 pm

A former top-level government official and healthcare information technology expert believes that allowing patients easy access to the electronic health records could revolutionize the delivery of healthcare services. “Access by individuals and their families to their own health records can empower them to coordinate care among multiple healthcare providers, find and address dangerous factual errors, and take advantage of a growing ecosystem of apps and tools for improving health-related behaviors, saving money on health services, and getting more convenient, personalized care,” Lygeia Ricciardi wrote in The Health Care Blog. Until recently, Ricciardi was the director of the Office of Consumer e-Health at the Office of the National Coordinator, a federal

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How Not Obtaining A Second Opinion Can Lead To Premature Death

Posted On : October 29, 2014,   Time : 9:36 pm

The family of Daniel Gapinski wishes he had obtained a medical second opinion sooner. The Illinois resident died prematurely when a neuropathologist misdiagnosed a mass growing near his pituitary gland in his brain as a benign meningloma. It was actually malignant kidney cancer that had metastasized to his brain. But as a result of the initial diagnosis, Mr. Kapinski underwent little followup care after its removal. The kidney cancer diagnosis was not made until two years later, when Mr. Kapinski's symptoms returned. By then, the cancer was too far advanced to treat. A jury recently awarded $1.7 million to Mr. Kapinski's estate and family, determining that the initial misdiagnosis led to his dying prematurely, according to the News

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Alzheimer’s Diagnoses May Be Right Only Half The Time

Posted On : October 25, 2014,   Time : 4:32 pm

“Dementia” is one of the most feared words to come out of a doctor’s mouth. It can mean Alzheimer’s disease or some other loss of cognitive functioning that can devastate you or a loved one. But what if you or that loved one is actually suffering from a far less serious affliction? According to the New York Times, that can happen with regularity. There are a variety of disorders that mimic the symptoms of Alzheimer’s but is often far more treatable. “It probably happens more often than people realize,” said Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., a neuroscientist at Duke University Medical Center. According to Dr. Doraiswamy, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis may be accurate only 50 percent of the time. Among the conditions that can

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Does The Need For Medical Perfection Drive Unnecessary Care?

Posted On : October 25, 2014,   Time : 4:24 pm

The need for medical perfection and certainty may drive many doctors to recommend excessive and unnecessary services, tests and treatments, according to a new examination of the issue in the British Medical Journal. According to the study, which is written by two UCLA physicians, “the medical culture of shame and blame, which can lead practitioners to deny and hide errors...has been a fundamental part of Western medical training for generations. It has also fed the pretension that modern medicine is based on perfected science, which in turn implies that any error, and indeed any adverse outcome, represents unacceptable failure. This pretension has also been sold to the public.”

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Breast Cancer: Time To Be More Aware Of Your Treatment Options

Posted On : October 20, 2014,   Time : 12:31 pm

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the attention that has been focused on the disease has been a resounding success. According to the National Cancer Institute, the cure rate for breast cancer caught in its early stages is nearly 100 percent. With the traditional treatments for breast cancer affirmed, focus has begun to shift to other elements of the disease: Are the recommended therapies for breast cancer patients always necessary? Should there be more focus on which patients are more likely to have a recurrence of the disease? Last week represented a significant breakthrough for breast cancer treatment as Medicare approved a new test that will make it easier for patients to determine their course of

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