We're here to educate consumers on healthcare. We will discuss everything from Healthcare Reform to quick tips in making complaints. The patient is an integral part of the healthcare team, and we will help you get an insider's view on how to navigate the healthcare system.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Great Cause

Starved for Attention
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and VII present Starved for Attention, a multimedia campaign exposing the neglected crisis of childhood malnutrition.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Healthcare Tip

Here's a quick tip for understanding healthcare:

You as a patient are both a human being to us, and also a number to us. I say this so that people understand that there are two ways healthcare professionals look at people. For example, most hospitals and clinics use some sort of metrics to determine their performance in comparison with themselves or neighboring facilities. In doing this we take the human element out and review that we are off target by XX patients. The main purpose of this is to ensure that we provide the best possible care to people though, thus returning to the human element.

Here's a true example: We monitor HEDIS metrics for all of our patients. One metric revolves around which drugs to prescribe for elderly patients, as some drugs are more harmful or less tolerable to elderly patients. We had a lady walk into the clinic just fine, but by the time she made it to the exam room, it was apparent that something was wrong. She stopped breathing, and by the swift actions of the MA and RNs on my team, we saved her life. What does this have to do with HEDIS metrics and drugs? Well, this lady was overdosed by her daughter accidentally because she was coming into the clinic for an MRI, and the daughter wanted to be sure that she was comfortable and pain free. In doing this, the daughter gave her an extra pain killer. Obviously this could have ended very differently, but again, swift action saved the patient's life. This type of situation is what calls out why we monitor the drugs that people take to eliminate or greatly reduce these types of incidents. In this case, the patient was both saved, and should never have needed to be.

So, the next time you get a call to remind you that you need a screening, blood work, or an imaging study, please take heed. You may feel like just a number that day, but it is for the purpose of making sure you as a person get the best possible care.

Drug Treatment in the Elderly (Disease Management in the Elderly)
Drugs and the Elderly: Perspectives in Geriatric Clinical Pharmacology

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