November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, National Family Caregiver Month

Posted On : November 7, 2014,   Time : 6:41 pm

November has two specific events that correlate closely to medical diagnoses and obtaining second opinions to confirm them. The first event is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is a growing problem in the United States. In 2012, there were an estimated 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3 percent of the population, with diabetes, according to data from the American Diabetes Association. That's up a full percentage point just from 2010, when it affected 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. Although a large part of that increase is attributed to those who contract type 2 (adult onset) diabetes, a recent study by Kaiser Permanente researchers indicated that cases of type 1 diabetes are also increasing among children. Diabetes can lead to blindness, loss of limbs and kidney and heart failure. It is the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. An extremely unsettling fact is that more than 8 million Americans have diabetes and are not aware of it, and a s

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EHRs Can Help Detect Hypertension

Posted On : November 4, 2014,   Time : 7:45 pm

More than 30 percent of Americans may suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension, a condition that can lead to strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease. However, as many as 20 percent of people who have hypertension may not be aware that they have a potentially fatal medical condition. An electronic health record (EHR) can help solve that. Researchers have concluded that using a specific algorithm in EHRs can detect whether patients who use such records may have hypertension. The condition can be hard to diagnose with a single blood pressure reading in a physician’s office because there are so many commonplace reasons why someone might have a high reading. But using an EHR in the right way can aggregate and analyze several blood pressure readings and give doctors cl

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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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