One U.S. medical center recently estimated it received about 50,000 faxes a month for consults and referrals, and sent about 10,000 faxes in the same period.
While this may seem absurd to any non-medical professional in an age of email, smartphones, networked tablets, and social media, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has prevented doctors from exchanging information without “reasonable safeguards” (including via email and Facebook) since 1996.
Getting around the red tape
For doctors looking to share life-improving patient information with other medical professionals, a HIPAA-compliant, physician-only network launched a year ago by Doximity (created by a group of former Epocrates execs) called iRounds has convinced approximately 7% of all the doctors in America to create and use roughly 35,000 secure accounts to quickly share patient information
After a detailed verification process (which includes a credit check and a comparison of supplied credentials to the American Medical Association’s database) a multi-step sign-in similar to what your bank uses online lets physicians securely and legally exchange patient records, test results, and other data with specialists. In doing so, such physicians could be paving the way for a new standard, where a more efficient consultation process could make a huge difference for time-critical analysis. [click to continue…]
Everyone’s heard one of the most recognizable Apple catch phrases: there’s an app for that. With the dawning of the iPad, this is especially true now for the realm of medicine. Having portable, lightweight access to wifi connection allows the iPad to function as a fantastic reference tool for medical professionals. We’re going to list off the most interesting, useful ways doctors and nurses are using iPads in a hospital setting.
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Don – a man in his 60s – couldn’t get through the night without waking up with chronic bleeding and extreme pain from a venous ulcer…until his wife researched and made contact with a wound specialist online. Identifying Don’s problem with the help of his wife’s pages of website printouts in-tow, the specialist switched Don’s meds and changed the way pressure was put on the wound. That same day, Don’s pain went away and he began healing rapidly.
Involving patients in the diagnosis process is usually a win-win situation: Tests and observation are critically important but taking-in how a patient actually feels can help medical professionals nail it early-on. Patients know their bodies and lifestyles, and insights into their daily lives are invaluable in diagnosing their ailments. [click to continue…]
“Some doctors are scientists – just as some politicians are scientists – but most are not,” writes Richard Smith. The former British Medical Journal editor notes that such doctors’ exposure to science starts, and often ends, in med school.
A pity, since having and using a scientific background in daily clinical work could yield benefits for both doctor and patient.
With a science background, a doctor can question, experiment, and generate conclusions he or she might not have otherwise had the benefit of. Such benefits tend to turn clinicians into more curious people: “the kind of people who brush their teeth on only one side of their mouth to see whether brushing your teeth has any benefit,” as Smith puts it. Mixing science with medicine also tends to lead to innovation, career fulfillment, and breakthroughs in both fields.
With that in mind, here are 10 discussions to consider when it comes to adding a scientific outlook to a days’ doctoring: [click to continue…]
More than making house calls and being there for patients, the following doctors spent the last year coming up with discoveries, techniques, treatments, and tales of bravery that changed the lives of the people under their watch and those under the care of many of their colleagues.
From coming up with a faster way to get more organs to transplant recipients to finding less painful ways of administering chemotherapy, these doctors contributions have touched their patients and thousands more they will never meet: [click to continue…]