Benefits of Personal Health

Benefits of Personal Health Records

Gone are the days when people used to carry their health records in unwieldy files when visiting a doctor. The advances in technology made it is possible to carry the entire documents in pocket-sized devices like CD-ROMs, pen drives and now on dedicated websites who take the responsibility of saving and updating medical data. To keep a track of our medical history and share and use it when necessary, we need to create a personal health record. Let us try to understand what it is exactly and what it can do for us and how can they make our life easy.

A personal health record is the consolidated information related to health; stored and managed by an individual. Today, they are also popularly known as, personal health diary, patient health record, or personal medical records. While the concept of this type of records is not new, it has evolved from a stage when these records were stored by the medical professionals and health care providers; to a stage where each person today is keeping their health records by using various technologies such as websites, personal health software and so on. The primary purpose of these is:

o To keep a track on personal health and

o To help the doctors for providing better care through the valuable health information.

Ideally, it should contain every single bit of information related to your health. The information stored in it may differ according to the software or service providers, but any personal health records will contain the crucial health information. Some of the most common parameters that a personal health record contains are as follows:

o Name of the patient, birth date, blood type

o Date of last physical tests or screenings

o Major illnesses or diseases occurred in past with dates

o List of medicines and dosages taken by you

o Allergies and chronic diseases

o History of illnesses in your family

This piece of information can be very important in case of emergencies and can save your life.

Personal health records have numerous benefits not only to the users but also to the health care systems and physicians. A detailed health record can be used by physicians to take important decisions in time of emergencies. Some of the significant benefits of personal health records are as follows:

o Empowering patients: personal health record allows the patients to access, update and verify their own medical records. With the use of personal health records, one can also set reminders for health maintenance services.

o Improves patient-doctors relationship: this is especially true when you have a family doctor or a physician to whom you frequently visits. Doctors find it easy to communicate with patients who own personal health records.

o Improves patient’s safety: As the patient keeps updating their health records, it helps them to identify missed procedures and services, drug alerts, and important test results.

o Delivers efficient care: personal health records also avoid duplicative testing and unwanted or unnecessary services.

o Cost-effective tool: patients can save huge amounts which are otherwise spent unnecessary on malpractice costs.

o Privacy: personal health records can be kept confidential by using passwords. Today, most of us want our health records to be safe and secure in our hands so that no one misuses it. It allow patients to keep their health documents safe and secured.

Health Problem

Steve Jobs’ Wasting-Away Health Problem

Yesterday Steve Jobs floated a description of his personal health problems into the public; calling them “a hormone imbalance that has been ‘robbing’ me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis. The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment.” His press release describing his health issue was timed to quell market concern and Apple’s stock price, as Jobs failed to appear today to deliver his almost cult-like yearly Macworld keynote speech.

In response to his announcement Apple stock rose, as investors were apparently encouraged by the near-meaningless description of Jobs’ very serious health condition. There are two headline stories here. One is about Steve Jobs’ health, which he has now held out for public discussion and holds many important lessons for others struggling to maintain weight in the face of some type of health problem. The other is about risk and investing.

Wall Street, in the past year, has shot itself in both feet while wiping out over 30% of the investment wealth in the stock market. In no small part this was due to the greed-driven use of computerized risk models that were unethically and unintelligently applied – with the net result of wiping out hundreds of billions in wealth – while putting taxpayers on the hook to keep these reckless companies in business. Starting 2009 with a jaundiced eye; no investor is interested in being further snookered on the subject of risk.

When one man is the brand his personal health takes on significant importance. On a personal basis, his health problems are and should be protected by privacy laws. However, once he starts making announcements about his health that are designed to quell investor concern, then he is forsaking privacy rights to build investor confidence and in my opinion should make his health records public.

Portraying his problems as a hormone imbalance and a nutritional problem, compared to having a recurrence of his pancreatic cancer, has the net result of lessening investor concern about the risk in an Apple stock investment. However, such a description of his health problems is vague and potentially misleading, as it downplays their severity.

Body-Wasting Health Problems

It may be somewhat difficult to understand, considering the ever expanding waistlines of most Americans, that inappropriate weight loss is a far more serious health problem than obesity. This problem is typically triggered by an intense level of stress such as divorce, loss of a loved one, illness, accident, or injury. During the intense period of such a stressor inflammation is out of control, appetite is suppressed, and weight loss can get out of hand. For many people, as the acute nature of the stress subsides, their body bounces back and they can then regain their weight and recover. The common cause of all body wasting problems is excessive inflammation.

This problem can also be self-inflicted, as with anorexics who don’t eat enough food. What starts out as a desire to be thin gets locked in place as an inflammatory problem – setting the stage for chronic body wasting. Also, as any serious cancer progresses this body-wasting malnutrition sets in and is often the cause of death.

Steve Jobs problems are far from simple and by no means easy to fix. In 2004 he was successfully treated for an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, a slow-growing form of pancreatic cancer. While his treatment was considered successful from the point of view of surgically removing the tumor, his pancreas became a war zone. Even a successful treatment causes bridges and building to be knocked down, in this case affecting cells in his pancreas that produce the hormones insulin and glucagon, key regulators of his nutritional status.

Over the last year he has lost considerable weight. Considering his health history, this is not good news at all. It means his body is locked in an inflammatory pattern of unknown cause, but likely the result of his pancreatic problems. When a person gets stuck in an inflammatory-driven body wasting trend, the longer they are in it the more serious the nature of the problem. It is like a forest fire burning out of control. During this process proteins are broken down and lost, as protein-containing body structures are “burned.” This not only includes the loss of muscle and bone, but eventually the loss of structural integrity of key body organs such as the heart, kidneys, pancreas, and liver. A year of inappropriate weight loss is like 15 years of aging.

Unlike getting over the inflammatory trauma of a bad divorce in a period of months, the nature of Jobs’ health problems is harder to define. The source of the problem is not clear. Is it actually the return of his cancer? Is it a consequence of his previous treatment? Is it another problem altogether? Answering these questions may help docto

Health Insurance

Personalized Health Insurance

There are many health insurance plans to choose from to help see you and your family members through most health care emergencies. Health care medical payments today are far from inexpensive and there needs to be a way to custom tailor the standard health insurance policies to fit individual needs.

Of course, there needs to be certain generalizations because to tailor a healthcare policy will eventually cost even more than it does today, or will it? Partly, this will depend on who is the delivery system for the health insurance policy you are considering accepting.

You will have more options when you purchase your own individual health insurance policy, but the trade is in the higher cost. When you submit an application for health care through your employer the standard policy that covers the majority is the accepted health insurance policy. Certain medical healthcare coverage you will want to pay attention to are:

1. Your co-payment cost for major, minor hospitalization

2. Major and minor surgical procedures

3. Home health care coverage for you and family members

4. Customary charges for medical health care

5. Co-payment expense for limited medical physician office visits

6. Obstetrics and infant care

7. Co-payment costs for convalescing after major surgery

8. Prescription drug program for family utilization

9. Dental plan if any, or as an addition

There are other health care issues you might find of interest, especially when it pertains to pre-existing conditions. This is an area, which causes most individuals much heartache simply because many times they are not even aware they have a pre-condition until they are notified by the healthcare provider.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to know ahead of time because the list of pre-existing conditions changes rapidly. When you do find you have a pre-condition, where do you turn for medical health care? Must you now be forced to pay out of pocket? Much will depend on the pre-existing condition.

Other incidental health care expenses you may want to inquire about are for a comprehensive dental plan, physical therapy, and the cost for lifetime medical equipment to help keep you and your family members relatively healthy. Physical therapy alone can be a lengthy process and cost thousands when the need is one of necessity.

These are only a few of the items that you would want to keep in mind when researching health insurance providers before you choose one and enroll. Remember, most health insurance policies is for a period of twelve months so once you enroll you are committed.

Health Care Stinks

Health Care Stinks – How to Push Your Personal Health Care Over the Top

Don’t tell me! You don’t think it’s possible, right? The health care delivery system may be lousy, but you do have an opportunity to improve your own healthcare in ways that are practical and easy to accomplish.

The unfortunate problem most people have is not knowing how to approach their healthcare with a vengeance and with the knowledge, strategies, and tactics which can make it top level. The issue is that most people want to have someone else do it for them like in the old days. That’s not going to happen in our lifetimes.

What’s left is to do it yourself in a determined and effective manner which I’m about to reveal to you. An article can’t encompass all you need to know, but a bit of research on your own will enlighten you to all the approaches you can use to get
top health care (medical care).

Let’s approach the subject from a practical point of view first. The really good medical care is found when certain factors are in place like:

o You must select a physician who will take the time needed to satisfy your medical needs on every visit. A patient advocate.
o The physician’s personality must be gentle, not authoritative, persuasive not demanding, and conscientious about how he or she treats patients.
o The medical office staff must be cordial, pleasant, easily reachable, and willing to go the extra mile for you. Most are.
o You must truly trust your doctor’s advice and directions.

These qualities must be present, or at least in your judgment close enough, for making the strategies below work effectively and in your favor. In rural areas patients must accept who’s available-or drive a hundred miles to get a choice. In many cases transient doctors make the 100 mile drive essential.

Healthcare strategies to overcome the health care system defects:

What is it that frustrates you most about doctors and your medical care? Your answers to this question are the basis for implementing the best approaches in obtaining top medical care anywhere, anytime. You mind-set must focus on you being in control of your own healthcare.

STRATEGY #1: It’s necessary that you continually educate yourself either about your own medical problems, or at least about the current medical concerns floating around in the media.

The more you learn about your own medical/disease problems the easier it is for your doctor to treat you, explain things to you that you now can understand, follow advice and medication instructions without mistakes because you recognize why the doctor is recommending these things.

You won’t find a medical doctor who will take the time anymore to explain everything to you, cover all you should know, or explain the risks to treatment.

STRATEGY #2: Paying close attention to the various office functions you experience in your doctor’s office gives you a distinct advantage most never pay attention to. As a result it costs more than needed for their care, and involves much more wasted time getting the medical care in the first place. Your way to top health care is paved with how you make these factors work for you.

1. Appointments: Always be sure to schedule your doctor appointments mid-AM or mid-PM in their schedule. Avoid Mon. AM and Fri. PM when the office staff are overwhelmed with calls and problems to solve.

Following this tactic avoids the doctor arriving late to start the morning and afternoon appointments and moving rapidly through the late AM and late PM appointments to get to meetings, hospital rounds, or home.

You will get more time with your doctor, wait less time to see your doctor, avoid rescheduling your appointment which costs you time and money, and find your doctor more willing to listen to you.

2. Organizing your visit: The average appointment with the doctor lasts 8 minutes according to most surveys. Any way you can compress more interactions with the doctor into that time span, the more care you will receive and better care will result.

Suggestions:

* Write down the names of every medication you take, including non-prescription meds, the doses, and how often you take them. Otherwise, the doctor will have to spend time in your visit looking at your medical records instead of treating you. Carry your list with you.
* Do all the disrobing and gowns needed before the doctor gets into the room. Doing all that with the doctor in the room wastes time speaking with the doctor. The nurse should have you do this.
* Make a list of all your medical problems you want the doctor to help you with and take it with you to the appointment. Organize the list in order of priority from top down. It is likely the doctor will get through the top 3 or 4 items.
* Spend every minute focused on your medical problems-no social talk other than a greeting.
* Let your doctor know when you want a second opinion about a special medical issue. Often doctors won’t order a consultation for fear it unveils their personal lack of knowledge or

Steps Personal Health

6 Easy Steps to Create a Personal Health Record

The first thing that you should do is collect all your health records from your different healthcare providers. This includes your general practitioners, eye doctor, dentist, and any other specialist you go to.

Here are a few easy steps for you to create your own PHR:

1.) Contact your doctors office and medical records staff at each location that you receive care. Request copies of your electronic medical record and ask the medical records staff or physician which parts of the record you need. Call the customer service department if you want the medical records kept by your health plan.

2.) Complete the “authorization for release of information” form from the medical facility. This will allow you to gain access to the records. Remember, it may take up to 60 days to receive your medical records so plan ahead.

3.) Choose which method to store your information. You have a choice on which platform to store your medical information. You can store in a physical paper file, electronically via the internet, or digitally via a CD that you can carry with you. The are PHR tools available online that you can use. Some are free and others require a subscription fee to use.

4.) Store the information. Depending on the method you use, you can store the information in a physical disk or paper file. Type or write the information into the completed PHR.

5.) Keep adding and updating the PHR with each successive visit to a healthcare facility.

6.) Keep your information safe and protected. Let your trusted family members know that it exists but beyond that keep it safe.

Personal Health Record

Personal Health Record

It’s the age of active participation in your own health care. Comprehensive new systems are evolving to help you create a personal health record in the cloud. But, are you organized at home to maintain the rest of the personal records you need for long term well-being? Probably not, if you are like most people. For example, where’s your prescription plan? Who are your specialists? If you are in a caregiving situation, who do you call in an emergency? There’s a lot more to managing your own health care than hosted medical records.

The place to start managing your health care is at home. The first step is to get organized. Get all your important health care related information together in one place so you can find it when you need it. Personal record keeping software can help. It gives you an organizing framework. All you have to do is fill in the blanks. Anyone with a home computer can store and manage their personal health records along with those of their family. But, you can also enter the rest of your vital information such as financial, legal, insurance, retirement, pension, caregiving, living and end of life wishes to complete your personal health record. That’s something you can’t do with the new hosted medical record systems coming online. And, if you are worried about privacy and security, no internet connection is required. The information is stored at home, on your computer. No one but you, or your authorized designee, can access it. If you are in a home caregiving situation, you can support your caregiver with access to the information so he or she can have it at their fingertips for those times when a decision is called for on-the-spot. That one feature alone can relieve a lot of the stress for everyone in the caregiving network, including the person being cared for. You can help them live the life they are used to if you know what to do.

Store the vital information you need at home, at home, on your personal computer. Record keeping software gives you an easy to use, inexpensive tool that supports the storage of essential health documentation, the sharing of medical information with authorized family members, loved ones, caregivers and powers of attorney in case you are unable to act on your own behalf, the consolidation of healthcare information for family members so you don’t have separate files for each one, and the integration of other important documents and information relevant to your long-term well-being that can’t be recorded in hosted systems.

You purchase record keeping software only once. There are no ongoing monthly subscription fees that can really add up over time. The bottom line? Personal record keeping software stores and creates access to health care information at home, on your computer, without connection to the internet and remembers where everything is so you can find it when you need it.

Personal Health

Personal Health Records Simplified

Health record management is a complex and privacy-protected part of our lives that begs for simplicity and relevancy. Personal health record management aficionados subscribe to the notion that we should each invade a cloud site or create a data base management system that parallels and perhaps supersedes the prerogatives of record keeping of health care providers themselves.

The dilemma of health record management is multifaceted. It is dominated by a perspective that we should maintain records of our own medical history. However, although there is a presumption of ownership of our own medical information, access to propriety information may not be available under all circumstances. Often, physicians and health care administrators may have inserted sensitive comments and evaluative information into personal medical records that may be held as proprietary to the corporate entity for which they work and therefore, not available to the patient or family member. The outcome of this inability to retrieve parallel personal information creates an incomplete view of our medical status and history.

The personal health record industry arises from the foibles of medical mishaps, misinformation, and errors that have occurred over many years. These adverse circumstances serve as one of the catalysts for creating a parallel environment of record retention. Technology and technical infrastructure also now exist that allows access to previously unreachable data and as a result, record keeping of all stripes is now more readily available than ever before. The dilemma for all of us, however, is to how best to use technology and the information it can provide to support a healthy life.

Personal record keeping software that is comprehensive in design and simple to use is an optimal answer to assisting with improved health care management. The need to record fundamental information such as the names and contact numbers of physicians and other healthcare providers is basic but essential. Recording of allergies to food, medicines, and environmental stimuli can be life saving. Identifying key resources and providing emergency contact information for them can provide invaluable insight in the midst of a medical crisis. Insurance, legal and financial contact data becomes vital in a medical emergency to ensure all aspects of need can be met. The knowledge of usernames and passwords provides the means by which accounts can be known and accessed to support patient needs.

Personal information software also may include the ability to profile more than one person. It should be safe to use and free from the potential for intrusion from an external source. Reports that can be printed and carried to a medical office to use as a reference can be an invaluable tool. Specialized reports that include information that is relevant and important for emergency medical personal can save a life. The names of hospitals and care facilities that maintain update to date personal health record information ensures that all aspects of a persona life are never lost.

Personal health records can best be viewed from the standpoint of whether they lead to a positive outcome when we must act on our own behalf or when someone must act for us. Stick with the fundamentals. Gather the information and document it in a well designed personal information software package so that nothing gets lost.