Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Obviously, there are no guarantees that what works for one person will work for another. Still, by quantifying the results of our actual experiences - both good and bad - RemedyFind serves as a community where our collective, real-life health wisdom is pooled, thus saving time, energy and money as we cope with and eventually conquer debilitating illnesses."
Infertility treatment is always elective - it's taken by choice. It's never an emergency, and there are always multiple options available to couples. For example, these include: childfree living; adoption; or medical treatment ( including IVF and the use of donor eggs and donor embryos). While all these are perfectly valid solutions, patients need to decide which option they prefer, so I can then help them achieve their goal.
This means that it's not enough for them to allow the infertility specialist to tell them what to do - they need to provide their inputs, so that with a little help from me, together we can achieve their heart's desire.
Whether your goal is to simply improve your nutrition and start exercising or to shed those extra pounds, your Online Health Coach will tailor a program to your specific needs and help you look and feel healthier. Your coach will show you tools like the Calories Burned Calculator and the Portion Sizer, and informative slideshows and exercise demos. So fill your fridge with heart-healthy foods, put on your sneakers and start walking down the path to a healthier you."
Use the calendar to keep track of medical appointments, lab tests, prescription refills and appointments.
Schedule e-mail reminders so you never again forget an important doctor's appointment, medication refill, immunization or lab test.
Record medications and check for drug interactions. Don't worry about the spelling. The database will recognize a partial or close spelling and allow you to select the drug from a list. When you add a new medication, you'll be notified of any potential interactions with other drugs you are taking. "
Sunday, January 28, 2007
When you maintain your PHR, you will enhance communication between you and your doctor. You will be able to knowledgably discuss your health information and medical history with your doctor, and provide updates to any changes in your health and wellness, such as updates on information you are tracking on your own such as glucose readings and updates on medications including over-the-counter medications you may be taking.
PHR enables you to easily communicate your health information. You can create reports with one click of a button on anything from your medical history, your medication list, to a graph of your blood pressure readings. You can print a report and take it with you, email reports, or if you are using the portable Personal HealthKey, your provider may plug your HealthKey into the USB port of his/her computer to view, transfer, or print reports right in the office."
Your PHR will help your doctor(s) to help you !
Imagine a solution that will consolidate and organize the flood of healthcare information in one click. Imagine an easy to use tool people will turn to when they need to make better healthcare decisions. Imagine leveraging the lessons learned from connecting Quicken Personal Finance Software to more than 4,000 financial institutions. Now imagine Quicken — for healthcare.
Right now, Quicken is developing products and services that will simplify the way millions of American consumers manage their healthcare."
Friday, January 26, 2007
Which is exactly the atmosphere Dr. Agatston’s practice tries to create. Nurses there give patients specific cholesterol goals to meet and help them deal with the side effects of the drugs they are taking. A nutritionist, Marie Almon, meets with patients frequently enough to discuss real-life issues like how to stick to a high-fiber Mediterranean diet even on a cruise or a business trip.
There is only one problem with this shining example of a medical practice: it is losing money."
But what doctors get paid for is what doctors do !
vital, potentially lifesaving testing, including exclusive Advanced Biometrics. All this with unprecedented JCAHO accreditation. See
for yourself how HealthFair USA truly is pioneering prevention."
If the mountain won't come to Mohammed, then Mohammed needs to go to the mountain ! This is a clever way of delivering healthcare to where the patient is !
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Patients need to try to make sense of a lot of complex medical information about their disease, and this can be a daunting task. Here are some useful tips as to how to go about making sense of your illness, and applying what you learn to your own problem !
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
What pharmaceutical companies are doing online to sell to doctors !
The drug industry is happy to play the generous and genial uncle until physicians want to discuss subjects that are off limits, such as the benefits of diet or exercise, or the relationship between medicine and pharmaceutical companies. Any subject with the potential to reduce drug sales is anathema. Fair enough. He who pays the piper calls the tune. If we remain dependent on pharmaceutical companies for sponsoring continuing medical education, then these courses will remain under the control of the drug industry. This control is not contractual, but it is enforced through psychological manipulation."
Doctors are manipulated by pharma companies, like puppets - and sadly, it's the leading doctors ( the Presidents of Societies and Medical Associations) who connive with them to do so !
I like the clever solution he offers - read the article to find out what it is !
PharmedOut is one of about two dozen projects across the country designed to teach doctors and nurses to critically evaluate information about drugs and to direct them to unbiased information. "
Watch the video if you want to learn how pharmaceutical companies dupe doctors !
Monday, January 22, 2007
The Personalized Health Information Act would encourage doctors to use PHRs to replace the dreaded clipboards and multiple forms that patients face when they come to the doctor’s office. Any PHR could qualify for governmental incentives so long as it meets certain minimum standards. For example, the consumer needs to be in sole control over who has access to the record, a feature that will address many of the privacy concerns that often are raised by health IT. The data in the PHRs also will have to be fully portable, so that the individual can take the information with them to another provider at any time. In addition, PHRs will have to meet interoperability standards and privacy and security standards. Finally, the PHR must be able to send patient-specific messages in appropriate situations. Safeguards must be in place to ensure that absolutely no marketing or solicitations are permitted, and individuals must have the right to opt out of messages, either entirely or from particular sources, at"
These HIT tools help drive a “cradle to grave” continuous improvement model for transforming the current reactive healthcare system — that operates on a “fix it and pay for it when it breaks” process — to a quality driven approach that includes:
* Proactive maintenance & preventions programs
* Personalized care supported by secure, economical, and useful health information technologies for exchanging patient data, studying clinical outcomes, guiding evidence-based treatment decisions, reducing errors and omissions, and assuring appropriate continuity of care for every episode of care
* Development of a sane payment system that encourages continuous quality improvement, while controlling costs and insuring everyone"
* Manage many millions of pieces of health data per person, coming from any number of sources, for a truly complete health record.
* Store the data in highly secure, virus-proof record-files, portions of which are accessible by authorized individuals anywhere and anytime, even as a patient moves through various healthcare settings.
* Provide extensive interoperability enabling patient health information to be exchanged among disparate clinicians and other authorized entities in real time and under stringent security, privacy and other protections.
* Use these data in conjunction with clinical decision-support software systems, helping to establish, deliver and evaluate evidence-based clinical pathways/guidelines.
* Support collaborative, peer-to-peer (decentralized) decision networks for sharing and discussing patients and approaches.
* Operate transparently and cost-effectively in existing IT systems while leveraging existing IT investments."
In lobbying for a transformation of the current U.S. healthcare system, McCulloch and IBM colleagues, such as Dr. Martin Sepulveda, vice president, Global Well-being Services & Health Benefits, begin their advocacy work by focusing on a problem that inhibits the development of a truly patient-centered model. One of IBM's recommendations is to create a reimbursement structure that primarily rewards providers for increasing patient health — instead of rewarding providers for seeing as many patients as possible, as is the case today."
Saturday, January 20, 2007
clinical information system (CIS). As an innovative solution in the electronic health records arena, Baptist Health’s new CIS makes use of wireless tablets and laptop computers. These devices can be transported into patient rooms and treatment areas, allowing medical personnel
to add or review data in real time. As a patient moves from one facility to another within the organization, the information flows with the patient. Today, all clinicians who add and review patient data—from nurses and admitting personnel to radiologists, lab technicians, social workers and, of course, physicians—make use of the new CIS. Physicians are saving time by accessing patient data wirelessly as they make their rounds."
Do we need public regulatory bodies empowered to make such decisions, or would we be better off scrapping the HFEA and developing something less bureaucratic instead?"
This is the problem with practising medicine today. Paperwork has become more important than taking care of patients; and bureaucrats are more powerful than doctors !
The requirements are based on guiding principles established during an earlier phase of the project contract with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, AHA News reports. Comments, which will be submitted to the Certification Commission for Health IT, are due on Jan. 22 (AHA News, 1/16)."
E-prescribing for some time has been touted as a solution to errors from physicians' sloppy handwriting and adverse drug interactions. However, despite the potential of e-prescribing, adoption rates have remained low due to concerns ranging from cost to interoperability."
telemonitors your symptoms.
2. This information is automatically sent over your phone line to your doctor's
office in less than 30 seconds.
3. Your data is analyzed and your medical team is notified if you need help or
require a change in medication.
What can the COMMANDER, TELESCALE or CARESTAR do for you?
• Link you and your medical team daily.
• Alert your physician before problems occur.
• Prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.
• Decrease emergency room visits.
• Increase your confidence and independence.
• Improve your quality of life.
Cardiocom Home Telemonitoring Benefits
• Use every day in your own home.
• Links you directly to your doctor's office.
• Personalized, individual care"
What I like about this is that the patient is actively involved in managing his own disease - and can do this without leaving his home ! These tools help patients to become "expert patients" !
This could tie in vry well with the PHR, because patients would know what informatoion they should be tracking, so the information stream they receive is customised for their needs.
involved in the choices to be made about themselves and their loved ones. Professionals providing that care have a deeper emotional commitment to their caregiving than may be found in almost any other field of human endeavor. Any activities that have direct or even indirect impact upon patient care cannot help but be seen through the lens of the human aspect of caring for people. "
I am impressed ! When talking about PHRs, Accenture is no longer talking about just the bottom-line, the cost saving or the ROI - they are talking about the human benefits of the PHR. I think this benefit ( emotional peace of mind) may well become the key catalyst for encouraging widespread adoption of the PHR !
Accenture Technology Labs, Accenture's research and development (R&D) organization, has developed Online Health Services, a prototype that uses emerging technologies, such as wireless wearable and home health devices, to enable remote, continuous patient monitoring and proactive intervention. The prototype combines the latest advancements in the Labs' Sensor Telemetry and Information Insight R&D areas, which focus, respectively, on gathering sensor data from the physical world and analyzing it to improve outcomes, including better quality patient care and lower costs for healthcare providers and payers."
Thursday, January 18, 2007
So I switched from my “tennis partner” mode to my doctor mode, and got the medical details. It turns out that because he was hypertensive, overweight, with a family history of heart disease and also had high cholesterol levels, his cardiologist in the
This guy is a smart MBA who is the CEO of a company, and it’s obvious that even smart people don’t behave very wisely when it comes to their own medical care. While he was very bright at tackling business problems and ran a multi-million dollar company very successfully , when it came to making personal medical decisions, he was quite content to leave everything upto his doctor – after all, “the doctor knows best” ! I am still not sure why intelligent people behave like this. While he would never ever blindly trust his lawyer or accountant , he just refused to do his “due diligence” when it came to his doctor’s advise – even though what was at stake was his entire life – not just a few dollars ! It’s fine to trust your doctor but verifying what he says is still a patient’s responsibility !
Because of the rapid advances in medical technology, it’s easy to take pictures of practically any part of the body – and doctors love doing this . Not only is looking at the pictures far more interesting than talking to patients – it’s also much more profitable ! The problem is that this leads to over testing and doctors routinely pickup abnormalities which are of no clinical importance – minor lesions which patients will carry to their grave without causing any mischief. However, once a lesion has been picked up, it’s a knee-jerk reflex to want to treat it – and once the medical behemoth has been set into motion, it’s practically impossible to stop it ! Few patients have the wisdom to question their doctor’s advise , with the result that few leave the medical maze unscathed and intact !
One of the results of this is that doctors end up treating the coronary angiogram – not the patient ! This is an easy ( and highly remunerative) procedure to perform , so that it’s done way too often. And while the benefits to the doctor are clear, few patients stop to ask how the procedure will help them ! So do these interventions really help ? Is it worthwhile “treating the narrowed artery “ Should the stenosis be “plumbered “ in an asymptomatic patient, with no complaints ? The sad fact is that no one really knows the answer to this simple question ! While the angioplasty will widen the narrowing ( at least for some time), no one knows whether it really helps in the long run ! Many of these “treated” arteries re-stenose in a few months, so whether the procedure helps or not is unclear. The end-point should not be a better looking coronary artery – it should be an improvement in life expectancy or a better quality of life. Since this has never been proven , most doctors are very happy to treat the narrowing on the “logical” basis that a widened artery is better than a narrowed artery. Sadly, most cardiologists today are just glorified plumbers – because that’s where the money is !
Key questions such as: What is the natural history of the stenosis ? What would happen if you left it alone ? Can it be reversed non-surgically with changes in lifestyle and medication ? What are the risks of the angioplasty ? are all left unasked and unanswered.
While doctors are meant to be professionals who are supposed to put the patient’s interests first , professionalism seems to have taken a back-seat today, because of commercialism . One of the world’s best cardiologists, Dr Lown, has documented this extremely well, in his marvellous book, The Lost Art of Healing.
( because most of these tests will pick up some abnormality or the other – and the more the tests you do, the better the odds of picking up a problem ! Few doctors have the maturity to be able to reassure the patient that lots of these are minor variations, of no importance !) We have converted well people into the worried well !
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The distinguishing factor in the current wave of enhancement trends is the acknowledgement of the web as a strategically important component to organizations rather than simply a 'nice to have' ."
And as more doctors, clinics, hospitals and health insurance companies move online, it's just a matter of time that patients will follow !
Ventres agrees. At the end of the day, he notes, it’s all about taking time to meet your patients’ needs. “The biggest mistake physicians make is that they spend a vast majority of their time in the medical world, and they don’t communicate to patients in a way they understand,” he explains. “Regardless of the work we do, if a patient has no idea what we’re talking about, they may leave confused and that makes them less likely to follow the plan of action you’ve laid out.” "
You see, I am “that patient” that you see in the statistics. I’m one of the 59% of U.S. adults who would like to communicate with their physician online, and I have changed doctors based on their willingness to communicate by email as 43% of Americans indicate an inclination to do. I am one of the 2/3 of Americans who care about hospital quality measures – I look at them and I understand what they mean.
In short, I am a health consumer who is “in-play” with the opportunity and the inclination to look at options for receiving care. So I hope that you will take what I have to say to heart.
You see, I can manage nearly every part of my life online. Why can't I manage my health too ? "
This makes so much sense !
Bill Anyone. Bill Anytime. Bill Instantly.
MedBilling Live can bill all healthcare plans including Medicare and Medicaid. Whether you are billing government based payers or private insurance companies - MedBilling Live can handle it. We take a different approach to billing. With HIPAA, insurance policies and medical billing practices changing all the time, you need a system that will change with them. All of our software is centrally hosted off of our servers. When a change comes down and needs to be implemented, you do not need to upgrade all of your computers or your software. We do it all from our servers and the end result is billing that 'just works' for you. No more paying a computer technician to install software, no more time out of your day to install upgrades. In fact, you won't even notice changes in most instances. "
One of the major hassles of running a medical practise today is collecting payment from the third-party payer. This sort of web-based real-time billing will help to improve a doctor's efficiency considerably ! And since it will impact the bottom-line, I guess a lot of doctors will adopt this.
Start a file. Collect copies of test results and imaging studies such as MRI s. Note the exact names, dosages, and timing of all your medications.
Call for test results. Don't settle for 'If you don't hear, you're fine.' Ask for your specific results and the values considered normal, and write them down. Request a copy.
Be your own scheduler. Patients don't always get reminders about regular screening tests or follow-up appointments. Call to ask when you're due to come in.
Keep your physician informed. If you think a medication is making your muscles ache or your stomach hurt, say so; side effects are not rare, and you can usually be switched to another drug. Make sure every physician knows about others you saw and tests and drugs that were ordered.
Spread good news. 'When things get better, we want to hear about it,' says Manhattan pediatrician Michel Cohen. -Katherine Hobson"
Excellent advise ! An online PHR will allow you to do all of this - and more !
However, I think there's just one problem with this.
Good doctors ( the ones who will check for patient feedback will most probably have good scores.)The bad doctors ( the ones with the poor scores who need to improve) will never check, because they don't care what their patients think of them !
* how safe and clean are healthcare services?
* how good is the care I will receive?
* how well is the organisation managed?"
This is a good guide for organisations who would like to implement a service which allows patients to judge how good their hospitals are.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Patients answer a series of 'drop-down' menu questions about their symptoms and submit them to the doctor online. The doctor then either prescribes a medicine or asks the patient to come in for an office visit.
It's not free -- the patients are still charged an insurance co-pay."
Add-on products like this are what are going to make EMRs so useful for doctors. So far, the EMR has just been a digital alternative to the paper medical record. Clinical decision support systems such as iCONSULT are a major value add, because they enhance the value of the EMR by offering useful customised relevant information to the doctor at the time he is entering the data into the medical record. Information at the point of use is a potential killer app !
Most importantly, IMO's PHT allows health care organizations and software developers to focus on the work that they need to do and not worry about creating and maintaining their own health data dictionaries."
These clever tools can help patients to make sense of the medical jargon in their PHR !
This is a clever idea ! How can we piggyback on the excellent infratructure banks have set up in order to improve healthcare services ?
The personal health record initiative would aim to work with the growing number of regional health information organizations, Casillas said. The Medical Banking Project wants to pioneer the idea of a bank-driven “medical Internet” that can work with RHIOs and other market structures to accelerate the adoption of electronic and personal health records, he said. "
If doctors are given financially incentives to create PHRs for their patients, this will be a major catalyst in ensuring a high level of PHR penetration !
* We don't ask for your Social Security Number
* Easy to read text and forms
* Unlimited Access. Works with all Doctors' Offices
Why wait until...
* A new doctor needs your old records
* A child gets sick traveling away at summer camp or at college
* A medical emergency occurs while traveling on a cruise
* A parent is hospitalized & you need to find their living will
* A natural disaster strikes home & you need files for insurance claims ? "
Where's your PHR ? And why don't you have one ?
One Web site, called DailyStrength.org, allows patients and providers to join support communities, start a wellness journal, share advice, recommend physicians and link to Web sites that contain disease information. "
Doctors said they wanted to help educate their 7,700 patients and a wider global audience."
Clever doctors are using clever tools to educate their patients !
One Web site, called DailyStrength.org, allows patients and providers to join support communities, start a wellness journal, share advice, recommend physicians and link to Web sites that contain disease information. "
Clever doctors are using clever new tools to educate their patients !
* to better meet patient expectations,
* to expedite many tedious work processes such as prescription writing and creation of chart notes, service administration, research, planning and audit, communication between patients and providers, fiscal governance
* to create new ways in which the health of our patients can be improved
* to improve cost efficiency due to raising demands of healthcare and the aging population
* Portability – travel, second opinions, emigration, working abroad, distant working and support for developing countries and as part of aid, war, famine and assistance to refugees While professional experience with the EHR is generally positive, there are even more opportunities for improving care with the EHR once patients have access to their own records.
Evidence-based benefits include:
* Improving the relationship between clinician and patient
* Improving trust between patient and clinician
* Practical support for patients in managing their health
* Improving compliance
* Patients feel empowered to make decisions about their health?
* More efficient use of consulting time"
It cannot be overstressed that the prime function of the Electronic Health Record is to give a higher level of support to patients and to enhance the quality of health care they receive. A shared electronic record will have fewer errors since the one person present at every consultation and medical encounter - the patient - has the opportunity to see and check the accuracy of the details included on the record.
If given free access to their complete Health Record patients become enabled to take a greater part in the management of their own health. "
Monday, January 15, 2007
WHY A TOOL KIT?
Good advance planning for health care decisions is, in reality, a continuing conversation - about values, priorities, the meaning of one's life, and quality of life. To help you in this process, this tool kit contains a variety of self-help worksheets, suggestions, and resources. There are 10 tools in all, each clearly labeled and user-friendly. The tool kit does not create a formal advance directive for you. Instead, it helps you do the much harder job of discovering, clarifying, and communicating what is important to you in the face of serious illness."
Sunday, January 14, 2007
The Newport Beach developer is building a $50-million project in Fullerton that will be part doctors' offices and part shopping mall — one of a growing number of such medical complexes in Southern California.
In LeBeau's vision, patients would come for medical appointments and perhaps meet a friend for lunch or browse for skin-care products. To encourage browsing and eating, the doctors' offices will have small waiting rooms and patients will be given pagers that alert them when the doctor is ready to see them."
In other words, they don’t want to know just how much they’re paying, but also what they’re paying for."
And clever doctors will find ways of letting patients know - so they can build up a loyal patient base !
The pharmaceutical and medical technology industries and academia play an essential role in developing new treatments. However, the priorities of industry and academics are not necessarily the same as those of patients and clinicians. For this reason many areas of potentially valuable research are neglected.
Furthermore, it should not be assumed that patients and clinicians will always have the same research priorities, unless a process to assess these priorities – like that used for osteoarthritis - has shown that they do. The James Lind Alliance has been established to encourage and facilitate such a process."
This is such a great idea - give patients what they want and what they need !
We are apparently responsible enough to decide whom to marry, whom to vote for, where to live, and whether or not to have children. Surely we can be trusted to participate in healthcare policy too, and at a level above that of menu choices and décor decisions. If we lack anything, it is not intelligence or judgement, but training and information. That can and must be provided."
This is a refreshing breath of fresh air from an articulate and well-informed patient ( may their tribe increase !)
The patient is not a fool - she is your wife !
for healthcare are complicated. Consumers may also find it difficult to access and use complaints and disciplinary procedures when things go wrong. When a profession is both regulated and promoted by the same body, conflicts of
interest may occur. This problem can be resolved in part by greater openness and more involvement of people representing the consumer interest."
* Present your audience with a consistent message about who you are and what you are all about
* Inspire confidence and trust in you and your organisation
* Give the same message in a number of different ways to help you reach different audiences
* Take the patient on a journey through a subject where the content flows and has meaning and which ends with understanding"
# Sharing knowledge and best practice on the establishment and development of health information services
# Methods of involving patients and the public to ensure health information services best meet their needs"
What is very clever about this model is that they are making the PHR available free to patients through physicians. The iHealthRecord is already widely available today on 100,000 physician web sites. This is a clever way of creating a win-win situation and encouraging both doctors and patients to invest in a PHR !
This is because the medical system has lagged in using information technology. Only an estimated 10% to 20% of U.S. hospitals and physician offices maintain fully computerized patient records.
But with many of us taking a greater interest in our health care — partly by researching health information online — some experts believe the time is ripe for patients to create their own electronic personal health record, also called a PHR.
Advocates say it's a new way to take your health in your own hands.
A PHR is a comprehensive record that you own, control and maintain over time. You decide when to share its contents — in response to a doctor's inquiry or because you think there is something more a doctor needs to know about your health history.
Your personal health record should be electronic, easily portable, private and secure."
Friday, January 12, 2007
role in realizing the full potential of networked PHRs. Consumers continue to see doctors and other health professionals as the key agents of their care and the most trusted hosts of their personal health information. To take advantage of networked personal health information, both consumers and clinicians must be open to changes in their relationships, responsibilities, and workflows. Network-enabled efficiencies and safety improvements are more likely to occur if consumers and health care professionals act as partners who share access to and responsibility for updating personal health information."
Empowered Consumers, Personal Health Records " But more importantly, every ill person needs a “health URL,” an online meeting place where their caregivers — with express permission from the ill person — can come together, pass on notes to each other, review each other’s notes, look at the medical data, and suggest courses of action. This isn’t rocket science. It is online web applications 101. And it would have helped in so many other ways."
This is what a PHR is !
When Google talks, we should all listen !
Because it is expressed in the World Wide Web standard language known as XML, the CCR can be created, read and interpreted by various EHRs from various software companies. The ability to share information across different software is known as “interoperability.” "
Electronic Health Record Project to Improve Quality, Safety and Efficiency of Medical Care -- American Academy
With these new standards, it'll be much easier for the chemist, medical lab, doctor, hospital and health insurance plan to share information about the patient - all of which can be fed into the patient's own online PHR !
An excellent guide for doctors who want to use EMRs for their practise.
Those communication rules will allow providers to confirm patient eligibility and benefits electronically with real-time replies."
I think this is overkill ! I can understand how it would benefit all gynecologists ( more work for them to do , and more fees to charge !); but I am not sure how helpful this would be to pregnant women. What about the emotional cost of worrying about false positive results ? What about the trauma caused as a result of terminating normal fetuses because of an inaccurate report ? Why aren't these being considered ?
Patients are going to keep on looking for information, and unfortunately they cannot judge the quality of what they find. This is why doctors should help them in their quest for information by putting up their own websites, and guiding them to reliable sources ! Patients would much rather trust the information their doctors gives them - and the only reason they are forced to go online is because their doctor is not helpful.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
This is different from surrogacy where a woman carries a pregnancy for the benefit of the infertile couple. In embryo adoption, the child that the couple carries is the child that they will parent."
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Many infertile couples know that IVF represents their best chance of getting pregnant. However, many of them are scared of doing IVF, because of their fear of failure. They are afraid that the IVF cycle may fail, and they don't think they will be able to cope with this failure.
This fear is very similar to the fear many employees have when they think about becoming an entrepreneur and starting up their own company. Sure an IVF cycle can fail, just like a startup can. But if you don't make the attempt, you'll never succeed ! And what's the worst which can happen ? You may not succeed. But at least you have the peace of mind of knowing that you gave it your best shot !
And just like some people become excellent serial entrepreneurs, and find it much easier to start their next company, many infertile couples find it much easier to start their 2nd and 3rd IVF cycle because they have more realistic expectations !
Here are the lessons I feel infertile couples doing IVF can learn from entrepreneurs.
1. Be as well-informed as you can. Do your research , read books, check out websites, and meet doctors. Knowledge is power, and being curious and well-read will help you in your decision making process. You are the CEO – you need to ask for input, but you’ll need to make your decisions for yourself !
2. Build a great team. IVF is a complex process, which requires high-tech medical expertise as well as tender loving care. You cannot do this alone, and finding a doctor you are comfortable with is a very important decision you will need to make.
3. Doing IVF can be a lonely road and few people will understand what you are going through. Entrepreneurs are solitary beasts, who march to the tune of a different drummer – and you’ll find that few fertile couples can understand the angst you are going through. Trust your instincts !
4. Build a support network . This can often spell the difference between happiness and distress. You can find this in the real world – or online. Remember, that you are not alone – and others can help you along your path.
5. Make a plan – and be prepared to modify it. A “business plan “ can help you cope with the ups and downs of IVF. Failure is never final. You need to learn from it and move on. Learning to fail forward is key.
6. Yes, IVF is a risky enterprise. Just like most startups will fail, most IVF cycles will fail too. However, the rewards are worth it, so it's well worth making the effort Life can be unfair, and just like no one can predict which startup will succeed, and which won’t, the same uncertainty applies to IVF as well !
7. This is a well-kept secret, but the risks of not trying are actually far more than the risks of trying and failing. Build an an exit option. Know when to stop trying and to move on.
8. Have a backup plan. Life is unpredictable, and you never know where it will take you. If your cycle fails, what will you do next ? Just like all successful entrepreneurs need to plan for the possibility of failure, you need to do so too !
9. Be kind to yourself ! IVF can be very stressful – and you need to learn to look after yourself and your personal needs. A startup can be as demanding as an IVF cycle, but if you don’t look after yourself, no one else will do so – and you need to be in good shape, both mentally and physically, to be able to give it your best !
10. Being an entrepreneur, just like being infertile, changes you as a person. It tests your resilience and your character - and can bring out the best in you - and the worst as well.
There will be major ups and downs - but the ride can be very exciting ! You need nerves of steel, and the heart of a lion. Outcomes are always uncertain, when you start a company or an IVF cycle, but the process should always be a positive one !
11. Find funding. It's an expensive proposition , so make sure you don't run out of
Observations: neutral statements of fact
Thoughts: your own opinions and beliefs
Feelings:descriptions of your emotions
Needs: a statement of what you need or want from the other person"
Most doctors simply hear the patients observations and then try to jump to a diagnosis and treatment plan. They are bent on "fixing the problem". They need to stop and think about what the patient's underlying needs are, so they can fulfill these. Until they do this, they will not be able to take good care of their patients.
Unfortunately, many patients are not good at articulating their feelings - or their needs. You need to be able to ask questions cleverly in order to find out what these are. Being curious about your patients helps !
There are a number of advantages to using your iPod to carry your medical information:
* Exchanging information with medical and wellness providers’ computer systems
* There is no need to install or launch any software programs – doctors can view your information directly from the iPod's screen.
* Providers need not fear infecting their computer systems with viruses since the personal health record does not need to be downloaded.
* Your iPod has enough storage to hold your entire medical information- you do not need to buy or carry a new device with you.
* Using HealthFrame™ to synchronize your medical records to your iPod is a non-intrusive, creative way of making sure you have your health record with you, at all times.
HealthFrame™ is the only commercially available personal health record that helps you use your iPod in support of your wellness, health and emergency care."
times, to enhance health and health care. It encompasses a variety of tools and interventions such as computerized alerts and reminders, clinical guidelines, order sets, patient data reports and dashboards, documentation templates, diagnostic support, and clinical workflow tools. "
TEPR is recognized as the best annual educational conference and exhibition for health IT professionals and all others journeying Towards the Electronic Patient Record."
It is a fact of life that technical people and healthcare people tend to approach things very differently and think differently. Technical people are usually more comfortable with strategic thinking, while healthcare people are usually more comfortable with tactical thinking. This makes productive communication very difficult. The common outcome is that technology is used not to solve problems, but to automate existing ones. We believe the best way to handle this diversity is to have people with a foot in both camps: software developers steeped in real-world healthcare workflow modeling, and physicians and other healthcare professionals who are avid technology enthusiasts. When you get these type of people together, the excitement is almost palpable as ideas interact and build on one another. These people are not easy to find, but it's amazing how few people are needed when interactions are synergistic and mutually reinforcing instead of destructive. "
Clever new ways and clever new people can team up to solve age-old problems !
Saturday, January 06, 2007
This is so cool - and so clever ! It would be a great educational tool as well ! For example, if you wanted to teach children English, it's now become extremely easy for anyone in the world to add English subtitles to an English film. Since the technology is so easy, thousands can contribute their efforts !
I am sure Google video is going to buy these guys out soon :)
The desire to reduce health-care costs is one force behind the rise of the wellness industry; the other is the growing demand from consumers for things that make them feel healthier. "
Finally, healthcare will become an industry which looks after your health, rather than one which taks care only of ill patients !
This is called putting your money where your mouth is ! DMC is showing the healthcare industry how it can really become a service industry !
This is a great service to offer ! I think they have set a new benchmark - and if they can do it, other hospitals can learn from their experience and implement their processes to offer a similar standard of service to their patients. I hope doctors will start providing a similar service too ( if you are not seen within 30 min of your scheduled appointment time, the consultation is free !)
According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), health information technology is “the application of information processing involving both computer hardware and software that deals with the storage, retrieval, sharing and use of health care information, data and knowledge for communication and decision-making.”
This means that everything from a gene bank to an implanted biomonitoring sensor is an HIT. "
As healthcare providers, educators and advocates for safe, quality care we think this type of transparent reporting is essential to our community."
Expert Teams to Design New Solutions for Personal Health Records to Help Consumers Manage Their Health
Project HealthDesign: Rethinking the Power and Potential of Personal Health Records, a $4.4 million initiative, has selected nine multidisciplinary teams that will build new tools that advance the field of personal health record (PHR) systems. The teams were chosen from a pool of more than 165 applicants and each has been selected to receive an 18-month, $300,000 grant.
"It's not just the wider use of personal health records or online access to the data they store that is so revolutionary," said Stephen Downs, S.M., RWJF senior program officer and deputy director of the Health Group. "Project HealthDesign is challenging the PHR field to focus on the potential for patients, providers and caregivers to use this information to improve their health. The design of the systems over which this information flows is critical, and that is why we're excited to support the efforts of these technology pioneers to develop the next generation of PHR systems."
With so many clever people working on PHRs, I think we are going to see some very interesting developments in this field !
Friday, January 05, 2007
LifeSensor gives you the ability to assume greater responsibility for your self-care. Not only can you monitor and track data about your health on a regular basis, such as blood pressure, weight, or blood glucose levels, but also this vital information can be automatically uploaded from your monitoring device into your health record for real-time analysis and treatment intervention by your healthcare team.
Your electronic Personal Health Record enables you and your physician(s) to work together towards good health: Confidentially, Securely, and Reliably, Anytime, Anyplace"
Thursday, January 04, 2007
You might think this is because doctors make mistakes (we do make mistakes). But you can’t be a victim of medical error if you are not in the system. The larger threat posed by American medicine is that more and more of us are being drawn into the system not because of an epidemic of disease, but because of an epidemic of diagnoses."
Doctors are happy to over-diagnose - the more the patients they have, the higher their incomes ! We have ended up medicalising everything - just as Illich predicted in his classic, Medical
The American system, based on multiple insurers, builds in more unnecessary costs. Duplicate processing of claims, large numbers of insurance products, complicated bill-paying systems and high marketing costs add up to huge administrative expenses.
Then there’s an enormous amount of paperwork required of American doctors and hospitals that simply doesn’t exist in countries like Canada or Britain."
So says the first study to try to put a price tag to the time that people spend being treated for 11 of the most common cancers."
Once patients stop being patient, doctors will have to shape up !
What amazes me is how backward Indian hospitals have been. They have failed to grasp this opportunity to catapult themselves into the world-class league , even though India is supposed to be an IT powerhouse ! Most don't even have a CIO ( Chief Information Officer) and are still stuck using computers only for billing !
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The largest service industry in the United States is undergoing a massive transformation that will release both providers and consumers from the strictures of managed care. How will this transformation affect you as a user, payer, or provider of health care? What can you do to help it along? Professor Herzlinger will answer these questions in her presentation."
Investors are looking for something clear and focused. There is way too much opportunity in the health care space, so it is important for start-ups to stay focused on a small problem and do it extremely well, instead of being tempted to do everything. Otherwise, you will diminish your ability to do any one thing well.
Follow the demographics. Most of money spent on health care comes from people who are either very sick or very old. Go after specific conditions, specific populations, or specific times of life. You are selling to consumers. It is importantto understand how to market to people and excite them. Consumers have other things in their lives besides health care."
As you may have heard, my website RemedyFind has been purchased by a start-up company called Revolution Health. Revolution Health was created by Steve Case (AOL founder) and others, with the goal of bringing constructive change to health care. The aim is to give people the tools, information and support to actively manage their health and wellness. I’m now a Revolution Health employee and think the new company has the ideals, and resources, to really achieve some amazing things.
We will do this by attempting to answer (and solve) seemingly simple questions – Why do I have to fill out the same forms every time I go to a new doctor? Why are my medical records impossible to get a hold of? Why is it easier to find a restaurant than a doctor?
Our first step in trying to meet this lofty goal is to launch our web site. Over time, it will have some of the best technologies, communities and Internet resources assembled in one place. We’re in the testing phase right now and I’m inviting friends and colleagues to preview the site before it’s made available to the general public. We need your contributions to make this site truly great!
Please go to http://www.revolutionhealth.com/preview?code=YQ1zrIG6u3 and register now (it’s free).
You’ll have immediate access to everything Revolution Health has to offer on our first day. Once you register, I hope you’ll visit us often at www.revolutionhealth.com <http://www.revolutionhealth.com/> . You can also invite others to this exclusive preview, and I hope you do. They can access the site through the same address - http://www.revolutionhealth.com/preview?code=YQ1zrIG6u3
Here are a few things you can do on the site:
- Rate your doctor and see what others say
- Try a cool tool – understand your risks – learn what to do about them
- Ask health questions and get answers from people like you
- Fill out a profile and invite others into your circle
- Learn about our upcoming health membership program
Note: By the way, if you have a Mac, you should use a Firefox browser instead of Safari (we are working on accommodating Safari for our public debut).
Thanks again for participating in our preview and for being an important part of the launch and building of Revolution Health.
All the best, Brett Hodges
Check out his website - this is the trend of the future ! Thanks to the internet, patients are going to have lots of options in the future - and hopefully as this becomes a buyer's market, the sellers ( doctors and hospitals) will offer patients much more choice !