Monday, October 24, 2011

Patients Want Coordinated Care - Personal Health Records and Portability

Since our last post was about the importance of coordinating, organizing and maintaining personal health records and how Minerva Health Manager can help to accomplish this, we have decided to reprint a Q&A which was originally published in the magazine Cure Today on 9/14/2011. Dr. Lichtenfeld gives excellent advice about becoming your own health advocate.

Here is a complete reprint of the article which you can also access by clicking here.

Q & A: Patients Want Coordinated Care
Q: After switching doctors, I was surprised that I had to retrieve paper copies of my records. Weren’t patient records supposed to go digital?

A: Cancer patients and their caregivers see firsthand the problems we have in our healthcare system, not the least of which is how we transfer information from place to place. Patients, in transition from active cancer care to more routine follow-up in community settings, are particularly vulnerable when diagnostic and treatment data doesn’t flow easily from oncologists to primary care professionals.
Patients are beginning to recognize that they are caught in the middle of the muddle. A recent survey commissioned by the Center to Advance Palliative Care and supported by the American Cancer Society asked consumers what their biggest concerns were for patients with serious illnesses. A top issue was that doctors might not talk to and share information with each other—and these results aren’t surprising. Patients are letting it be known that from their perspective their care has become disjointed and uncoordinated as they move from place to place and doctor to doctor. The challenges are increasing as the ways in which we deliver care are morphing into new and more challenging systems.
Much of this was supposed to be addressed by expanding the influence of electronic medical records. Although there has been progress, it has been slow in coming. We still need widely accepted standards that allow different computer systems to use the same data—that way, test results could be easily available wherever the patient receives care, and scans wouldn’t have to be repeated. And, although the process of health information exchange is gaining traction, it may be some time before networks that will move patient information from one place to another, just like an ATM network, are up and running.
Until we arrive at that magical day when our treatment information follows us to where we get our health care, you must be your own advocate. Know your disease, know your treatment, and know what your healthcare team wants you to do and when you should do it. Keep copies of important records and even CDs of scans. If you don’t understand something, speak up and ask questions. No one is going to look out for you more than you do for yourself.
—Len Lichtenfeld, MD, is deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.
(end of article from Cure Today)

To learn more about how the Minerva Health Manager can help you organize personal health records click here.
To read about and order the Minerva Health Manager personal health software click here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Minerva Health Manager Software Organizes Personal Health Records

Many people associate electronic health records with healthcare providers. In fact, personal health records should be organized and consolidated as well. Many people don't realize that having thir personal health records available in an emergency can be lifesaving.

Minerva Health Manager is a personal health manager that organizes important health information for you and your family in one software solution. Minerva Health Manager is surprisingly affordable - the individual version costs less than $30 and the family version less than $60.
Minerva Health Manager is portable, so you and your doctors can have access to your most current medical records – wherever you are, whenever you want.
Your personal health information will never be inaccessible or out of reach again.
With Minerva, your health records are organized, in your hands, and in your control.
Coordinate and organize your health records so you can be prepared in an emergency!
Minerva Health Manager can save your life!
Here are some of Minerva’s main features:
  • Keeps track of medical alerts
  • Keeps track of allergies
  • Track medications and check for side effects and drug interactions
  • Keeps track of immunization history
  • Can store digital x-rays, videos, MRI’s and photos
  • Keeps doctor contact information organized and accessible
  • Keeps an updated list of Emergency Contacts
  • Keeps a record of diagnoses
  • Keeps a record of surgeries
  • Family history is coordinated
  • Keeps records of doctor visits
  • Can help prevent medical mistakes and duplicate testing
  • Easy access to important health information
  • Carry your family health records with you on your slimline or wristband Flash Drive, or on your iPhone, iPad or Android
  • Create and access advanced directives including living wills
Whether you are relatively healthy or managing a chronic condition, you want to be actively involved in your healthcare experience. With Minerva, you can be. Minerva helps you privately manage your individual health history on your own computer; from detailed information on your health conditions, medications, allergies, immunizations, and insurance to storing your test results, diagnoses, treatments, and contents of your official advance directive.
This means that in any medical situation, from a routine doctor’s visit to a medical emergency, you are equipped with important aspects of your personal health, along with valuable emergency contact information. With your complete health history in hand – whether printed as a report from your own computer to your own printer, or carried on your Minerva slimline or wristband Flash Drive, iPhone, iPad or Android – you are in a better position to receive the very best healthcare for you and your family. Minerva Health Manager includes family health history reports that record hereditary health conditions in your family tree – so you can work with healthcare professionals to take the right steps to help maintain your good health, as early as possible. Minerva can empower you to make good choices for your health.
Lack of information can lead to devastating medical oversights. Access to that information, whether your healthcare happens down the street or around the world, can help keep you and your family safe. A doctor responds to a medical emergency with the information available. With Minerva, that information can be far more complete. And, when it comes to the care of family members, easy access to the details of each and every one of their medications, immunizations, allergies, conditions, and historic health events can enrich the quality of care they receive. Accurate information such as allergies to medications can be lifesaving in emergency situations.
You probably won’t be seeing your doctor while sitting at your computer. That’s why Minerva Health Manager is completely portable: all of your health history on you Minerva slimline or wristband Flash Drive, iPhone, iPad, or Android. Where you go, it goes! Plus, with the click of you mouse, you can print as much of your health history as you want in a report, along with an emergency identification card that you can always carry in your wallet. If you have a chronic condition: just take your flash drive with you to your new specialist and you won’t have to detail a lifetime of information, or potentially forget details that could mean the difference between the right medical decision and the wrong one. You just have to hand your flash drive to your doctor, and he or she can see the information on their computer. And even more importantly and potentially lifesaving – if you are rushed to the emergency room, unable to communicate, your flash drive can do the talking for you – your medications, drug allergies, health conditions, medical alerts, and emergency contacts.
All of the features and benefits of Minerva that are available to you are also available to your parents and children. That’s because, unlike some other Personal Health Records, Minerva Health Manager is a solution for your entire family. With a unique login, your parents and children can access and manager their own Personal Health Record in the same software. Your parents and children can carry their Personal Health Records with them wherever they go. So, not only will you be protected at home and around the globe, so will the people you treasure most.
Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom, medicine and science and can protect you too.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Minerva Health Manager CLICKHERE. Go to the upper right where it says SHOP NOW (in red) and select whether you want the individual or family version. Use the code LIVEFOR at check out to save 20% off the list price.
To watch a short youtube video about Minerva Health Manager CLICK HERE
To watch a short youtube video that will convince you that portable personal health records can be lifesaving CLICK HERE

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Help for Using the Internet to Research a Significant Health Diagnosis

In this book Andrew Schorr gives helpful advice on how to best navigate the internet if you are researching a significant health diagnosis.

According to the book review on the Amazon website: Gone are the days when patients take life-changing diagnoses lying down. The first place people go to learn more about their health, especially when it is at risk, is the Internet. But this unregulated channel can be as harmful as it is beneficial when it comes to medical content. As a step-by-step guide, The Web-Savvy Patient: An Insider’s Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis explores topics such as wading through search engine results, connecting with online communities, defining conditions, identifying the specialists, and organizing the outcome of your research so that doctors will listen. Delivering practical instruction and supplying real-life reassurances, author and recognized patient empowerment pioneer Andrew Schorr encourages individuals and family members to retain control rather than fall victim to fear and worry. Schorr offers up true stories of empowered patients alongside the details of his own experience as a cancer patient, revealing how the Internet led him toward the physician, hospital, and treatment that he believes saved his life. Enlightening and logically organized, the book is easy to read and easy to relate to. Respected medical experts, support groups, and patients agree that when it comes to improving the quality of online health content, Schorr, a longtime patient educator, medical journalist, and leukemia survivor, is the ultimate expert.