The Power And Perils of Telemedicine For Patients

A variety of technological solutions have completely transformed the scope of modern health care. Today’s patients can easily get in touch with doctors or other medical professionals by email or text message. This allows many to avoid time-consuming appointments altogether. Unfortunately, telemedicine isn’t exactly risk-free. Before perusing this option, it’s important to be aware of the many opportunities and hazards it poses. Exciting Opportunities At its best, telemedicine improves convenience. It’s a wonderful tool for patients who reside in rural areas or struggle to access transportation. Typically reserved for minor ailments, telemedicine solutions can deliver swift diagnoses for common problems…

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Dangerous Practices at Chain Pharmacies Could Increase the Risk of Medication Error

Medication errors are unfortunate, potentially deadly incidents that affect over a million Americans annually. Medication errors are a subset of preventable medical errors, the estimated third leading cause of death in America. At pharmacies, medication errors most often occur when an incorrect medication or incorrect strength is given to a patient that does not align with their doctor’s prescription. Quickly misreading a prescription or medication label causes many of the medication errors that occur at pharmacies. Medication errors can occur at many levels within the prescription system (prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, administration, and monitoring) and pharmacists are one of the last…

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Getting a Second Opinion From a Doctor: When And How to Do It

Even the most trusted doctors are far from infallible. Errors in diagnosis are shockingly common, even among the industry’s top authorities. As a patient, however, you can reduce your likelihood of falling victim by seeking a second diagnosis. This process may feel intimidating, but it could make all the difference as you pursue the best possible course of action: Top Reasons For Seeking a Second Opinion A variety of circumstances can prompt the common desire for a second opinion. Often, patients simply want more information. In other cases, however, the following factors may be at play: Doubts as to the…

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How to Get Your Nurse to Be an Ally And Patient Advocate

Nurses hold an increasingly esteemed position within the health care industry. Many are authorized to handle responsibilities once reserved for doctors. Despite this expanded scope of responsibilities, they remain critical patient advocates. They are there to speak up on your behalf when you’re concerned about specific diagnoses, procedures, or other medical issues. Many will naturally step up to the task, but others require additional guidance. Build Rapport With Your Nurses Nurses provide a valuable combination of physical, mental, and emotional care. Unfortunately, not all patients respond to their efforts to develop meaningful relationships. While nurses should remain supportive regardless of…

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Your Partner Or Spouse Was Just Hospitalized — What Should You Do Or Avoid Doing?

Few circumstances in a relationship are more frightening than helplessly watching as your partner suffers in the hospital. While you may feel powerless in such situations, your actions can make a difference. Gather Relevant Documentation Amid physical and emotional suffering, your partner may neglect to grab necessary documents, such as ID, insurance cards, or medical records. If possible, obtain copies of these and any other documents you deem relevant. Get Informed Don’t count on hospital staff members to keep you up to date on your partner’s treatment. Your partner may also prove a poor source of information, especially when exhausted…

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Avoiding Germs and Infections at the Hospital

The hospital may be our go-to destination for treating severe illnesses or injuries, but it can sometimes be the source of severe conditions. Alarming data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that, in 2015, three percent of patients developed healthcare-associated infections. In that year, a tragic 72,000 patients with hospital-acquired infections died during their hospitalizations. Thankfully, while these infections are alarmingly common, they can often be avoided by adhering strictly to the following precautions: Select Hospitals and Doctors Carefully Rates of hospital-acquired infection vary dramatically from one facility to the next. The potential for infection can also…

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Staying Safe in the ICU: Tips and Insights to Make Your ICU Experience Healthier And More Comfortable

Trips to the intensive care unit (ICU) are notoriously nerve-wracking. A single visit to this fast-paced environment could result in a myriad of interventions, few of which you will likely understand. Add the heightened risk of infection and a touch of personal anxiety, and it’s easy to see why this setting is so miserable for so many patients. You’re not doomed to suffer, however. A few simple steps could transform your ICU trip from awful to manageable. Seek Clarification During your time in the ICU, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals may use terms or phrases you find confusing. When…

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How to Protect Yourself And Your Family From Dangerous Pharmacy Mistakes & Omissions

Prescription drug use is on the rise, with Mayo Clinic data revealing that over 70 percent of Americans currently take at least one prescribed drug. If you’re among today’s prescription-reliant majority, you likely receive strict instructions from your doctor regarding when and under what circumstances you can take your daily medications. Unfortunately, your efforts to remain safe could easily be compromised, as research from the Journal of Pharmacology suggests that issues at the pharmacy are responsible for 21 percent of medication errors. The prevalence of drug dispensing issues calls for increased vigilance. A few simple precautions could make all the…

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Stents And Surgery Versus Lifestyle: What Are the Most Effective Treatment Methods for Coronary Heart Disease?

As the leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease prompts over 630,000 fatalities every year. Unfortunately, many of the interventions we currently rely on to mitigate the impact of this deadly condition don’t work nearly as well as promised. In fact, results from a recently released study suggest that lifestyle factors can play a far greater role in treatment than medical interventions such as stents and bypass surgery. Stents And Heart Disease: What the Latest Research Says Presented during the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions conference, a notable NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Stanford University study…

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Your Parent Is Suddenly Sick And In the Hospital: What Can You Do to Provide Additional Protection?

The unfortunate reality of aging is that the caretaker eventually becomes the recipient. As an adult child with senior parents, this can be difficult to accept. This is never more evident than when your parent winds up in the hospital, where quality care can prove alarmingly lacking. Advocate For Your Parent’s Best Interests As the adult child of an ill or injured senior, you can make the greatest difference by simply showing up. Of course, given the frantic pace of everyday life, this is easier said than done. If you have siblings or a spouse willing to help out, consider…

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