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Healthcare is no longer limited to the doctor’s office. In today’s technology-rich world, more patients are getting the care they need in new ways. Today, it’s all about leveraging technology’s capabilities so that patients can easily communicate with doctors and other medical providers. One instance of where technology in healthcare is becoming the norm is with telemedicine. Telemedicine refers to how doctors and medical providers communicate with patients electronically to improve the patient’s health.
Think about it like this: you wake up in the morning with what feels like a nasty cold. You can’t imagine getting an appointment with your doctor on such short notice and you surely don’t want get out of bed to drive there. Now you have the ability with certain providers to communicate with your doctors via voice and video chatting.
According to Gary Capistrant, senior director of public policy at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), “It’s hard to quantify how many doctors now use webcams in their practices, because no agency tracks or requires doctors to report webcam use.” But, it’s apparent that many facilities are starting to test the waters. Read more…
Jenna Langer was 24 years-old when she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a condition where stem cells in bone marrow fail to develop normally into white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets needed for normal body function. Her doctor recommended a bone marrow transplant.
“I had already had cancer twice before, so it was important that I find a match quickly,” said Langer. “I needed the transplant as soon as possible before my disease progressed into something my body wouldn’t have a chance fighting.”
Every year over 12,000 Americans like Jenna Langer need potentially life-saving bone marrow or umbilical cord transplants. While the National Marrow Donor Program’s “Be The Match” registry has over 10.5 million potential donors on its list, many patients in need of a bone marrow donation struggle to find a match.
“A marrow or umbilical cord transplant replaces a patient’s unhealthy blood-forming cells with healthy ones,” explained Willis H. Read more…
According to Cancer.org a caregiver serves a home health aide and companion to elderly individuals or those those dealing with chronic illness. Duties may include feeding, dressing and bathing patients, as well as arranges schedule, managing insurance issues and providing transportation. The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP notes that, “65.7 million caregivers make up 29% of the U.S. populationproviding care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged.” A caregiver can always use a break: You need both short moments to yourself during the day and bigger breathing spaces that last a whole 24 hours or more. Unfortunately, breaks are not always easy to arrange or achieve. So many caregivers simply keep plowing forward without making themselves much of a priority. Result: big-time burnout.
How can you tell when you really, truly need to arrange help and make more time for yourself? Consider these four warning signs:
1. All you ever talk about or think about is caregiving. Read more…
Whose your favorite nurse? We’ve all got one. Because nurses are with us at so many important points in our lives. They help us welcome new life and comfort us as we say good bye to loved ones. Nurses are present in medical emergencies and medical ordinaries. No other medical professional is so ingrained in our lives, or has such an impact on our health and mortality. So it is entirely appropriate that as a nation we set aside one week to celebrate the profession. We start today, with the celebration of Nurses Day. Nurses Week culminates, appropriately, on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.
So what do you give your favorite nurse on his or her special day. Flowers? Candy? A fine bottle of wine? As a nation of people who collectively owe so much to nurses, we need to go beyond mere gestures and give nurses tools that can really make a difference in their lives. Read more…
The FDA has reported that it will now be putting just as much effort into the monitoring of drugs after they have been approved as they do during the pre-approval process. A report labeled “Advances in the FDA’s Safety Program for Marketed Drugs” goes on to describe a range of new scientific tools that will be used to ensure that aftermarket drug monitoring would be just as important as the premarketing monitoring.
Various Changes Have Been Implemented
The amount of drug safety information and notices issued during 2011 (68) was almost double that which were issued during 2010 (39). Starting in 2008, the FDA required manufacturers to use a range of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) to ensure that the benefits of any prescribed drug outweigh any risks that it may pose to users. The year 2008 also saw the FDA requiring companies to do numerous post-market studies and change labels based on new safety information. Read more…
The average American spent over $7,900 a year for health care in 2009, making health care costs in the United States the most expensive of the 34 countries surveyed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The OECD surveyed its 34 members and found that, despite the hefty health care price tag, Americans still lag behind their industrialized peers in life expectancy, infant mortality, and obesity rates. Life expectancy in the United States is 78.2 years, whereas the OECD average is 79.5 years while obesity rates increased dramatically, more than doubling in less than thirty years. And there are 6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, which is well above the OECD average of 4.4.
In an interview with Public Broadcasting Service, Matthias Rumpf from the OECD sought to explain why American health care costs are above the OECD average. According to Rumpf, Americans may be spending more on health care because:
The price of procedures: “The same set of hospital interventions (including the normal delivery of a baby, a Caesarean section, a hip or knee replacement, etc.) cost 60 percent more in the United States than in other countries.”
- Pharmaceuticals cost more: “50 high-selling pharmaceuticals cost 60 percent more in the United States than in Europe.”
- Expensive diagnostic tests: “The United States also uses a lot of diagnostic tests, such as MRI and CIT scans.”
- Unnecessary procedures: “The United States…performs a lot of interventions where it is not always clear-cut whether the procedure is necessary or not.”
Mathias says that improving the primary care system (family physicians and clinics) in the United States could greatly affect how much Americans spend on healthcare. Read more…