The practice of defensive medicine decreases patient access to health care, and increases costs of health care for everyone. Some patients are left in the lurch as physicians avoid the sickest patients, or those requiring higher-risk procedures, in order to reduce their exposure to malpractice suits. A 2008 study by the Massachusetts Medical Society found that 83% of its physicians practiced defensive medicine at a cost of more than $1.4 billion annually in that state alone.
The Patient Navigator Blog
Preventing hospital infections: 1) Wash hands with soap; 2) Clean patient’s skin with antiseptic; 3) put sterile drapes over entire patient; 4) Wear a sterile mask, gown, hat and gloves; 5) put a sterile dressing over the catheter site. Many hospitals fail this test.
One of the central aspects of American culture is independence. When a person can no longer drive safely, he or she loses a huge degree of that independence. Proper preparation and discussion can help ease the process.
Lifestyle choices, especially diet and physical activity, are responsible for up to 50% of bone mass and structure. Everyone can make good choices to build strong bones and it’s never too late.
Every person has the right to fully participate in decisions regarding his or her own health care. This legal doctrine is called the right to informed consent. As a patient or caregiver, you have the right and responsibility to obtain as much information as you need to be able to commit to a course of treatment or testing process.
People who are multiracial are one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the United States. However, despite donor drives and new efforts to utilize social networking to increase the number of donors, they are also the most under-represented in the marrow registry.
People with chronic, unrelenting pain are often told it is “all in their head” and that they should see a psychologist. Palliative care doctors can help.
When her son’s pediatrician said she had never heard of the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov), this young mom was blown away. Should she worry about entrusting her son’s care to a doctor who has never heard of this world-famous institution? Comments invited.
“Cyberchondriacs” spend hours at the computer screen, typing in symptoms, or fears, wading through the results, both accurate and inaccurate, and convincing themselves they have a certain condition. Often, they will print out reams of documentation and present themselves to their doctors, having already diagnosed their “condition” and determined a course of treatment.
A cancer diagnosis is an emotional earthquake, unleashing fear, anger, sadness, confusion and uncertainty. Depression is a condition that affects many cancer patients at one point or another. In fact, up to 1 in 4 people with cancer do have clinical depression. The good news is that clinical depression can be treated.
The March 4, 2010 New York Times included the following article which discussed the emerging profession of health navigators and patient advocates. Take a look. http://tinyurl.com/healthnavigatorNYT
Scientists have mapped specific genes that turn normal healthy cells into cancerous cells through The Cancer Genome Atlas Project (TCGA). Researchers have now developed a more reliable scientific method to identify these genes. As this research is shared around the world, more accessible and effective cancer treatment options are being discovered. The ultimate goal of the TCGA is to create a catalogue of these “defective” genes, thereby offering increased detection, and ultimately, better prevention and treatment of cancer.
Research has shown that dark chocolate improves blood vessel functioning, thus lowering blood pressure, taking stress off your heart and helping your blood circulate more efficiently. Dark chocolate also has antioxidant qualities, which come from flavonoids found in cocoa. So on Valentine’s Day, nothing says “I love you” like some delicious, dark chocolate
The Journal of General Internal Medicine recently released ethical guidelines addressing patient, physician, and caregiver relationships. The medical community is increasingly respecting the role of caregivers and offering guidance on how to develop that relationship.
Access to investigational therapies is a highly debated topic in the medical world. Investigational therapy involves drugs that are being scientifically tested but not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Often these drugs are offered through programs such as “compassionate use programs,” and “expanded access programs” to allow seriously ill patients access…
We all have cancer cells in our bodies. The good news is that, for most of us, our body’s natural defenses know how to defeat these defective, tumor-causing cells, and they never get the chance to grow up into a full-blown cancer. Whether you’ve had cancer or not, any person who wants to improve their chances of avoiding cancer should read Dr. David Servan-Schreiber’s very important book called “Anti-Cancer – A New Way of Life.”
The words “clinical trials” can conjure up images of desperate medical experiments with little hope of success. In reality, medical advances and breakthroughs can and have resulted from clinical trials. Without them, we wouldn’t have many of the treatments we have today.
I am encouraged – most of the people I know who have had cancer have beaten their disease and become cancer survivors. They struggled through the chemotherapy, the radiation treatment, surgery, physical and emotional upheavals and come out on the other side. It is a time of celebration and elation. But then the reality of…
Cervical cancer, one of the most preventable and treatable cancers, is on the decline. New screening guidelines or not, it’s important to talk with your gynecologist and decide on a course of action that best suits you
Many of you reading this blog have experienced some type of difficult health situation, for yourselves, a friend or family member. It’s also what makes so many of us passionate about helping others through their illness. It’s why Patient Navigator exists. Since it’s the New Year, most people take some type of inventory of their…
The National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants sets professional goals and provides a clear voice and reasoned opinions on health care policy matters.
A parent’s struggle to decide whether or not to give her 8-month old boy the H1N1 vaccination.
If you are interested in hearing the types of things Patient Navigator can do to help you or a loved one, please listen in to this radio show. We welcome your feedback.
On June 22, NPR reporter Richard Knox aired this story during the “Morning Edition” broadcast. It was an excellent piece profiling efforts by an individual and a volunteer organization to help patients and families get the care they need to navigate our health care and elder care systems. Each time the media does a piece on…