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Some of you may already be familiar with or have already participated in a telemedicine visit. However, if you haven’t done so already or if you felt that you needed better guidance as to how to make the most of your appointment, this article was written for you. This article provides in-depth direction as to what you can do to be more productive, engaged, and feel more comfortable utilizing this amazing medical offering. Statistics show that if you participate in telemedicine services properly, you can reduce in-person office visits by 60%! Thus, telemedicine is proving to be a game-changer for those who just don’t have the desire, the time, or the means to seek quality medical treatment.

After reading this article, you will have a boost of confidence in telemedicine knowledge, a better grasp of its capabilities, and have your first action plan as to what you can do to get the best care quality possible through telemedicine services.

First, let’s clarify medical and health

In a previous article we pinpointed definitions (which is our way of connecting to new ideas quickly).

The word medical is used when relating to the practice of medicine. 2) Requires professional treatment at any specific point of care. 3) Pertains to the healing of disease, illness, or sickness.

The word health is used when referring to the status of a living being at any given time. 2) Soundness of the body or mind free from disease or abnormality. 3) A condition of optimal well-being.

Define telemedicine & telehealth services

Telemedicine and telehealth are two interchangeable words that often overlap (somewhat) in meaning and may be used out of context at times. I wanted to avoid any possible confusion and clarify how each word is used throughout this article as well as the entire Patient Better program.

Telemedicine refers to the long distance diagnosis and treatment of patients by professionals through means of telecommunications technology. This service allows the clinician to contact, treat, advise, remind, educate, and monitor remote patients. In short, telemedicine is associated with provider-patient communication.

Whereas telehealth is a word used to describe the distribution of  health-related education and instruction. Telehealth is typically used among health professionals to send and receive electronic information via telecommunication technologies.  Professionals may also use telehealth for further instruction or continued education through means of virtual technology. In short, telehealth is associated with professional-professional education and instruction.

Telemedicine Benefits

There are numerous meaningful benefits of telemedicine that will significantly improve one’s capabilities to self-managing care.

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Myth #1: Telemedicine is just an on-demand service for people who have concerns about minor health events.

Truth: People might think that telemedicine is just for “easy to diagnose and treat” health issues. While telemedicine is commonly used to provide non-emergency services, the reality is that concierge telemedicine services (depending on the patient’s preparation) can include a number of specialty services as well as follow-ups, post-ops, and long-term maintenance care appointments. Telemedicine is expanding its available of services every day. However, if patients want more comprehensive consultations and services, recipients must learn to self-manage care. (See article Create an Outstanding Virtual Home on a Shoestring Budget)

Myth #2: Only those with computer skills will do well in virtual visits.

Truth: Once you are comfortably self-managing care, the transformation from in-person to virtual medicine will become less confusing, and your primary provider will become your concierge physician. Your first video conferencing appointment may have hiccups. Proper preparation, video technology, and a secure and reliable internet connection is necessary. And rest assured, the other person on the phone (or computer) completely understands your predicament and is ready and skilled to help you along the way. You may want to bring your laptop, smartphone, or any other handheld device to your next in-person visit and ask a staff member to download or set-up their portal on the device.

Myth #3: Telemedicine does not protect private health information.

Truth: Two-way communicators such as Skype, Facetime, or Hangouts are safe and effective tools that are recognized [by regulators] as “compliant” to complete a reimbursable telemedicine appointment. Whereas public platforms such as Facebook, Instagram are not. Make sure that you are in a quiet location where you can openly discuss your health. The security algorithms for these apps are continuously being updated, and your information will be safe. (For more information about this topic, please read article How to Get a Free Virtual Health Assistant)

Myth #4: Virtual medicine is less expensive than an in-person medical office visit because it’s less effective.

Truth: Telemedicine costs are reduced because the practice’s operating expenses are reduced. Overhead costs may include: restocking inventory, equipment sterilization/cleaning supplies, staff training and regulatory compliance instruction. Operating costs such as electricity, staff, insurance, mortgage payments, and other costs associated with having a brick-and-mortar location are also reduced.

Myth #5 A physical exam is not necessary before a concierge telemedicine consultation.

Truth: In cases where your health condition initially presents as a skin rash, congestion, or a mild fever, a doctor-on-demand can treat your ailment on the spot. However, if your medical care requires long-term attention where follow-up visits, regularly scheduled maintenance, or post-op visits are inevitable. Your physician will require an initial face-to-face visit as well as access to your complete medical history before treatment via telemedicine is conducted.

Myth #6: Telemedicine technology cannot provide the same intimate relationship as an in-person office visit.

Truth: Once an equal partnership in care is created and the relationship-centered care model is established within your team, then you can rest assured that everyone on your at-home care team and all your health professionals will be on the same page.

Myth #7: Clinicians cannot conduct a thorough examination through telemedicine.

Truth: In the early days, telemedicine was primarily a phone-based interaction between a patient and a provider. As smartphone technology has evolved, so has virtual medicine. The providers’ ability to conduct real-time video visits has created a far more intimate interaction between the patient and the provider. Virtual visits stand a greater risk of being incomplete as physicians are unable to access key vitals such as temperature, blood pressure, or body scan images. However, this obstacle is changing—and fast. As home–device makers are creating incredible, yet very reasonably priced technologies, where a physician will have access to the desired health information, and the patient can utilize the device in their home. Patients who complete the pre-work before the remote visit enhances the provider’s ability to examine, assess, and treat. This enables the physicians to perform more robust consultations and more thorough evaluations and expand the healthcare services that can be delivered at home.

Myth #8: Telemedicine is complicated, confusing, and overwhelming to learn.

Truth: For most adults where mobility is not an issue, going to an in-person office visit is not a challenge. But for people who are disabled, extremely sick, bedridden, or suffering from some other illness that doesn’t allow them to move freely, a telemedicine visit might be their only option for a high-quality consultation.

Review

This article on telemedicine myths and truths was brought to you today by Patient Better to have an more in-depth understanding of:

1. What is telemedicine and how does it work?

Telemedicine refers to the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology. It allows the clinician to contact, treat, advise, remind, educate, and monitor long-distance patients.

2. Which is an example of telemedicine?

Where the telemedicine provider and patient have means to communicate visual and sounds at long distance by means of the internet.

Let’s get down to it. Myth #1: Telemedicine is just an on-demand service for people who have concerns about conditions like the flu, a rash, or a runny nose. Truth: People might think that telemedicine is just for “easy to diagnose and treat” services. While telemedicine is commonly used to provide non-emergency urgent services, the reality is that concierge telemedicine services (depending on the patient’s preparation) can include a number of specialty services as well as follow-ups, post-ops, and long-term maintenance care appointments. Telemedicine is expanding its available services every day. However, if patients want more comprehensive consultations and services, recipients must learn to self-manage care. (See article “Create an Outstanding Virtual Home on a Shoestring Budget”) Myth #2: Only those with computer skills will do well in virtual visits. Truth: Once you are comfortably self-managing care, the transformation from in-person to virtual medicine will become less confusing, and your primary provider will become your concierge physician. Your first video conferencing appointment may have hiccups. Proper preparation, video technology, and a secure and reliable internet connection is necessary. And rest assured, the other person on the phone (or computer) completely understands your predicament and is ready and skilled to help you along the way. You may want to bring your laptop, smartphone, or any other handheld device to your next in-person visit and ask a staff member to download or set-up their portal on the device. Myth #3: Telemedicine does not protect private health information. Truth: Two-way communicators such as Skype, Facetime, or Hangouts are safe and effective tools that are recognized [by regulators] as

3. What is telemedicine? / What is telemedicine in healthcare?

Simply put, “tele” means at a distance, medicine is an interchangeable changeable word with medical, and healthcare is a broad word used to describe the status of an individual at any given point of time and the care in which they receive.

4. How do I set up telemedicine?

You can create a virtual medical appointment from anywhere you have internet access, video and audio conferencing capabilities, and the three essential health recording devices. If you want to learn the ins-and-outs of setting up a remote visit, please see our post on creating a virtual home.

Buy our latest book: The Remote Companion for Self-Health Managemen

About Patient Better

Patient Better is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization developed to help offset some of the new challenges facing patients and their family-member caregivers in navigating throughout the healthcare industry. Our mission is to provide affordable health management knowledge and equip people with unique, lifelong skills to independently manage care efficiently and effectively.

If you want to learn more about how you can become an expert health advocate (for in-person and virtual medical appointments) visit patientbetter.com.

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Telemedicine’s Most Tenacious Myths and Truths | Don’t Let #7 Prevent You from Getting the Best Quality of Care

This article uncovers the myths and truths about telemedicine that will bring out your best health advocacy skills possible.


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For so many of us (newly emerged health advocates), we are now seeking extra help in managing our healthcare. Keeping on task with a complex condition can be overwhelming. Today, it’s imperative that we keep on top of our healthcare to maintain, recover, and treat any condition, from common to complex. Even the best of us “CEOs” in our healthcare still get tied up trying to complete a paper trail. However, when your digital assistant steps in, you have a complete digital trail to invite other people to use your calendar, making scheduling at-home caregiver conferences and doctor’s visits easy. This allows one to focus on more important things, such as becoming healthy again.

Sure, going the digital route might not be for everyone, especially those with only family nearby, but for the loved ones that live long distances away, a (digital) virtual assistant is a godsend.

This article shows you how to create a free virtual assistant through Google. This all-inclusive product helps you track the most tedious tasks to help organize, schedule appointments (i.e., include face-to-face medical appointments and virtual health visits), set reminders (i.e., take medication or exercise), and communicate with family members and other caregivers on demand.

Why Google?

After careful review, I realized that Google is the best digital healthcare assistant. It’s the most reliable platform that connects your self-health dealings and is recognized by most medical offices’ electronic systems. It can be considered a health advocate’s go-to for any digital medical and health recording needs for real-time and store-and-forward communication and scheduling. Google can even be used by anyone who helps maintain health and household upkeep, such as housecleaners, babysitters, therapists, or even dog walkers.

Dependable Benefits of Using Google

The major factors that make Google a strong hybrid fit for handling more than one health management system within one family are its capability, adaptability, safety, and versatility. The principal intent for adopting Google as your digital healthcare assistant is that it applies consistency and offers privacy in a manner that no other platform does.

It’s by far the most comprehensive aid for communicating with others while offering a wide range of tools. Moreover, Google is available on iOS and Android mobile devices, tablets, and computer systems jogging Windows, Mac, or Linksys.

Capability

Most medical doctors’ offices’ digital health information, as well as your at-home caregiving crew, recognize and sync with Google’s platform. It is straightforward to use and highly accessible.

Adaptability

Google will provide you with the adaptability to manage your account and interface with different digital structures. It is the characteristic of effectively performing a goal to enhance your digital healthcare experience.

Safety

Google can provide enough security safeguards to protect your health data the best way possible and observe HIPAA policies.

Versatility

Google can work with a variety of professional health systems. This versatility helps you cope with a wide range of health issues or scheduling conflicts.

Advantages of Sync with Google

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is an Internet browser that allows you to surf the Internet and execute net-based apps. It means you can bookmark and do searches for even people who were long ago involved in your healthcare.

Chrome is a feature-rich browser that allows visitors to synchronize their bookmarks, history, and alternatives through numerous devices. The browser runs by sending and receiving records via a Google account, which refreshes all Chrome times that you might have logged in.

Google Mail (Gmail)

Google e-mail, also known as Gmail, is a free e-mail provider provided with the aid of Google. Users might also utilize third-party apps to synchronize e-mail messages through POP or IMAP protocols and get the right of entry to Gmail through the internet. It allows you to secure video conferencing and real-time immediate messaging. Gmail carriers have numerous storage capabilities, one of their major advantages. It is inexpensive and requires little effort.

Gmail helps with synchronization, maintains instant messaging and video conferencing, and provides simple seek-and-categorization features for all your contacts. It also guarantees the protection of digital health statistics.

Google G-Suite

Google G-Suite is a set of Google-advanced tools, software programs, and solutions for cloud technology, productivity, and collaboration. These tools can provide precise healthcare e-mail and online backup, calendar sharing, video conferences, and diverse features.

Calendars, files, sheets, shows, forms, images, and hangouts are only a few of the remarkable Google extensions available with the G-Suite. Making collaboration and communication less complicated and extra effective, you can easily import all your documents, preserve video conferences, and use immediate messaging inside your e-mail.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a storage provider that permits users to save all their files on Google’s servers, sync them across devices, and quickly combine them with others. It provides offline programs for home Windows and Mac OS desktops and Android and iOS smartphones and capsules. The Google Drive app connects, synchronizes, and organizes other applications like documents, spreadsheets, images, and drawings so you can share your health problems together with your whole healthcare team.

Google Hangouts

For a unified communication service, utilize this app for video and organization messaging, and stay in touch with long-distance clearinghouses, healthcare professionals, and primary and secondary caregivers.

Every person on the healthcare team will be capable of textual content, audio, and video chats with every concerned institution.

Step 1: Go to google.com

Start from any browser (preferably Chrome by Google). In the subject bar, type “Get Gmail.”

google health patient better virtual health assistant self managing care

And . . .

The browser will automatically bring you here. Click “Create an account” on the upper right of the screen.

google health virtual health assistant self-care self-management health management

Step 2: Create and designate email

Tip: This healthcare email should be used strictly for health and medial purposes only and one that you will use to communicate all things health.

  1. Account documents: Include the patient’s first and last name and an indicator of what purpose your account serves.
  2. Click “Submit.”

Google 3

Next: Put in accurate information about the person as well as a recovery phone number and email address.

Goole 5

Step 3: Set up apps and make it personal

Google 6

Lastly, store your virtual health assistant’s information

Click here to obtain your free Virtual Health Assistant Recorder.

About Patient Better

Patient Better is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization developed to help offset some of the new challenges facing patients and their family-member caregivers in navigating throughout the healthcare industry. Our mission is to provide affordable health management knowledge and equip people with unique, lifelong skills to independently manage care efficiently and effectively.

If you want to learn more about how you can become an expert health advocate (for in-person and virtual medical appointments) visit patientbetter.com.

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If you’re looking to improve your health management skills, like so many of us today, you may realize that there are many parts and players that make up the pieces of this “self-managed care” puzzle. After going through the pandemic, realizing what we are doing to be more self-reliant in managing care is simply not enough. Today, it’s essential to learn self-management through and through building a foundation of self-management care knowledge, as well as executing your newly developed skills for healthcare professionals.

In this article, we’ll unpack the term self-managed care and uncover how a health management program can help you self-manage your care in our new post-pandemic era. After reading, you’ll have the right direction for approaching the next step to self-managing your care. The first step in sorting the puzzle of self-managing care is to understand what the term means and truly practice it.

Unpacking Self-Care and Self-Managing Care

So what exactly does it mean to self-manage care? Well, in short, self-managing care has various meanings for different people. And since we couldn’t find a fixed definition of self-managing care, we broke up the words and produced our own meaning. You’re probably familiar with these terms and could confidently use them in a sentence but haven’t performed an in-depth examination of what it means to self-manage care. We compared self-care and self-management, which is the first step you’ll take to build a solid foundation of your health management program.

Self-management

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, self-management is a broad term that describes management by oneself or one’s affairs.

Self-care

However, when it comes to self-care, several definitions have been produced by authorities throughout time. For example, the World Health Organization composed a definition and then updated the wording to meet current standards in 1983, 1998, and then in 2009. The Centers for Disease Control, National Health Institute, National Library of Medicine, and International Self-Care Foundation have unique definitions of what self-care means to them as well.

“Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure, etc.), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.), socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.), and self-medication.” WHO, 1998

The International Self-Care Foundation also created a version and the illustration in the picture below.

SEVEN PILARS of self care

By examining this picture, we can determine that self-care is the parent to the seven components or pillars of self-care, the first being knowledge and health literacy. Health knowledge is not only the first pillar, but it can also be the framework that strengthens each component. Based on the figure, we can also conclude that the seven pillars of self-care ideas are separate but may rely on one another to optimally support the concept. Finalizing the idea, one pillar cannot support the building on its own, and each of the pillars of self-care needs others to function.

Health Management Knowledge Equals Health Literacy

The US Department of Health and Human Services defines health literacy as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions.” According to the World Health Organization, the lack of health literacy causes poorer health and has been shown to result in less healthy choices, riskier behavior, less self-care management, poorer overall health, and more frequent hospitalizations. Furthermore, a lack of health literacy significantly drains financial resources within the healthcare industry.

To offset the issues resulting in a lack of health literacy, the Patient Better program focuses on teaching everyday people how to manage care through meaningful learning, a concept where previously learned information is applied and connected to new information. Because our “students” hail from such diverse backgrounds, we begin our training at the grassroots of the healthcare industry and focus on developing the administrative skills required for everyday people to learn how to properly self-manage their care.

What Your Physician Wants You to Know

Here’s why your doctor wants you to learn about a health management program to self-manage your care.

Self-managing care keeps you healthier longer.

Advancements in healthcare have resulted in more people living with multiple common and complex conditions for longer periods. With these improvements, the need for people to self-manage their condition is now a critical driver for maintaining independence and quality of life for an extended time.

Self-managing your care improves your professional relationships.

Today, the managing care paradigm has shifted from the physician to the office staff’s shoulders to the patients. Clinicians now rely on patients to play a key role by assisting their provider as an equal partner in care (EPIC). Patients used to rely on the practice’s staff to complete several administrative tasks; however, the pandemic has shifted those responsibilities back onto the patient’s shoulders. Essentially, the need for patients and caregivers to independently manage care has never been so demanding.

Self-managing care is a promising strategy.

For various reasons, the electronic medical record constrained the provider?patient interaction in the treatment room; however, the virus crushed face-to-face communication. Today, health professionals’ need to incorporate their patient and their family-member caregivers and ramp up their participation (and capability) to render care outside the medical practice is more needed than ever.

A Word about Self-Managing Care Education

We designed our program’s tutorials, lesson applications, presentations, and workbooks in tiers, depending on the complexity of your condition, so that you (or your at-home caregiving team) can further analyze and learn how to self-manage care more easily. Being able to collect, compile, and organize your documents properly is your key to better communication. Everything that you’ll learn about self-management is portrayed in your ability to record care.

Final Thoughts

It’s crucial that patients and their families position themselves as active members in self-managing care as a team. They must always remain on top of their medical record and health story.

Patient Better is a quality health management program that does not focus on just one diagnosis. Rather, it’s a far-sighted health management program that acts as the umbrella for all illnesses, diseases, and diagnoses that one can essentially utilize throughout life. Patient Better’s quality health management program guides all people to learn the administrative duties that today coexist with common to complex medical conditions.

About Patient Better

Patient Better is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization developed to help offset some of the new challenges facing patients and their family-member caregivers in navigating throughout the healthcare industry. Our mission is to provide affordable health management knowledge and equip people with unique, lifelong skills to independently manage care efficiently and effectively.

If you want to learn more about how you can become an expert health advocate (for in-person and virtual medical appointments) visit patientbetter.com.

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After reading this article, you will have a clear understanding of the make-up behind the medical record.

Being able to vitalize a medical record into a useful documentation is one of the most powerful traits of a health advocate. Throughout our past conversations, we have continuously addressed the need for medical record organization and why it matters. We also recognize that it is important for health advocates to conceptualize the three distinct layers of medical (health) records and the two that you should master to speak clearly to providers when you cannot.

This article’s goal is to enrich your health advocacy skills that will not only address medical records at face value but disrupt the way you view records and really make your medical records work for you. The in-depth understanding of your medical records, which is meaningful, dynamic, and clearly communicates your governance of past information, will effectively safeguard present and future medical care. If you haven’t already read our past articles on the fundamentals of medical notes, you can do so here, here, and here (in this order). Make sure that you read the background before scrolling down to the pictures. That way, you’ll avoid confusion and learn how to conceptualize the science behind medical records (properly) in the least time possible.

 

Defining Medical and Health

Before we go on, let’s take a moment to clarify the words medical and health. Although the two words often overlap in meaning, at times they have slight variations. Best practices imply that people should refer to the word medical when discussing services or practices performed by licensed professionals and refer to the word health when indicating an individual’s status (i.e., You may seek medical care services to treat your health condition. Your health is great after following your surgeon’s treatment, so now you see your health and wellness provider regularly).

Medical—Relating to the practice of medicine. 2) Requires professional treatment at any specific point of care. 3) Pertaining to the healing of disease, illness, or sickness.

Health—The status of a living being at any given time. 2) Soundness of the body or mind free from disease or abnormality. 3) A condition of optimal well-being.

patient better medical health disparities table

A Word About Medical Record Management Services

Many people are already familiar with health clinics and are updating themselves in a digital system. A commonly known consequence of electronic health record implementation is that it divides medical records into two separate competencies. The clinical medical record focuses on condition management that is resolved in the treatment room, while administration management pertains to record governance outside the treatment room, such as financing and insurance plans. It also goes further in layers such as socioeconomic factors, the patient’s ability to adhere to treatment and proficiency in decision making.

Today, many practices realize that their offices are more advanced and have more communication capabilities than their patients. Thus, an additional service emerged, known as chronic condition management (CCM), which is recognized as reimbursable by payers. CCM is a year-long monthly service that provides people with medical record management services. Essentially, this service completes patients’ newly brought-on responsibility to organize medical records themselves. This service is provided for people with common to complex conditions that last longer than 12 months and could use assistance to manage all the administrative work that coexists with their condition. CCM includes faxing, collaborating, professional communication via email, documenting, and recording everything that is medically associated with the patient’s condition.

Before the pandemic, this was something that I would consider an excellent offering. However, this is a service that is completed by professionals for the patient and is stored within the specific medical practice’s electronic health record. The downside of this service is that it could change hands from year to year and limit storage to that particular office’s staff performed. Therefore, this service is limited and should not be used as a patient’s emergency safety net.

If you are qualified for CCM, work with your provider on your health management system. However, if you are not qualified for this service, it is not medically necessary. Therefore, you can create your health record without professional guidance.

Characteristics of Clinical and Administrative Tables

table 2 A
list of health care administrative medical records characteristics

Medical Record Management Assistance (CCM) and the DYI Health Record

Given that many people (especially those who live in rural areas) don’t have access to the internet, fax machines, and a secure portal where clinicians could comfortably communicate records, learning how to create a health record on your own can get overwhelming.

core patient competenciew patient better medical

Two Types of Medical Records

Standard—A standard medical record is a collection of notes and recordings created by a licensed professional to document their patient’s history, diagnosis, treatment, or progress. Standard medical records are usually stored in an electronic system and limited to a single provider’s entries in a particular point of care.

Non-standard—A non-standard (health) record consists of entries, notes, recordings, and other standard documents that are collected by people who do not have a license to practice medicine, go uncompensated, and are not formally trained in healthcare. Individuals who collaborate on this kind of record cannot be recognized in a court of law. However, non-standard medical records are important and can be an extremely informative communication tool throughout the entire care team.

Three Tiers of Medical & Health Management

Medical Management

You can rely on the provider to record the clinical information and services performed, as well as provide the patient education needed in the treatment room. When medical management data are captured, they are stored in-house (usually) electronically. Your provider has the lion’s share of leadership in the medical management and treatment department.

patient better medical record management

Individual (Health) Management

Your individual management is completed by an initial audit of all health documents. To begin this process, start by creating a cover page for yourself (please see the Patient Better Health Proxy Tool) and collaborate on preexisting documents, or keep a record of 1) your unique social circumstances (i.e., religion), 2) lifestyle (i.e., your job—if under unique circumstances), and 3) family and medical history.

individual health management patient better medical record

Family (Health) Management

This is a three-fold approach for individuals with long-term, complex conditions to ensure that the individual and the family member caregivers are in the best possible physical, emotional, and mental well-being throughout all stages of diagnosis. Although others’ health information does not belong in the individual’s health record, it is good to be cognizant of the ones who are helping with organizing, collaborating, and documenting one’s care.

family planning medical record patient better

Key Takeaways

  • The health advocate’s core foundation is the ability to create a health record in the best possible way to communicate with professionals.
  • Organizing medical records is multilayered and sometimes requires analysis.
  • If you are incorporating a family member into care management, ensure that he or she will help by practicing self-care while caregiving for another.

Did you like what you just read?

Patient Better’s mission is to get everyday people to become expert health advocates. I would like you to allow us to teach you how to manage your records independently. Today, it is imperative that you learn to become self-reliant and safeguard and protect your medical data and your health history. It is just as important to readily supply them to professionals in emergency situations. Please read Health Safety and Emergency Preparedness 101.

About Patient Better

Patient Better is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization developed to help offset some of the new challenges facing patients and their family-member caregivers in navigating throughout the healthcare industry. Our mission is to provide affordable health management knowledge and equip people with unique, lifelong skills to independently manage care efficiently and effectively.

If you want to learn more about how you can become an expert health advocate (for in-person and virtual medical appointments) visit patientbetter.com.

health management patient better in-person and virtual medical appointments self-managing care self-care

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Picture it. You’re in the treatment room, and the doctor comes in with some information that will change the entire trajectory of your life. In the blink of an eye, and before you even realize what happened, the unthinkable diagnosis erases the hopeful thought that “It’ll never happen to me.” Right then, you must immediately come to terms with your condition. To think, just an hour ago, you were proud to have made it to your appointment on time.

A lump in the pit of your stomach emerges as you prepare for the unknown. Your last appointment was before the pandemic, and you haven’t thought much about your health since. From what you can ascertain, those things you have learned about health care in the past mean nothing now.

Today, people with medical conditions must think about much more than just making medical appointments on time. Those days are long gone. We must be more aware of our surroundings, and the real concern is how we protect against such a devastating diagnosis in our day-to-day lives. Moving, job changes, health staff shortages, and other life-altering complexities may also arise. Furthermore, some circumstances, such as natural disasters, crises, and health emergencies, may not be completely unavoidable. Patients, their families, and health professionals must always brace for such turbulent times and conclude that a public health emergency preparedness program is imperative for optimal protection. However, through proper guidance and preparation, you will be capable of handling whatever event may have otherwise resulted in your condition completely spiraling out of control.

This article will explain what you can do to successfully self-manage your care. After reading this article, you will have a clear understanding of how to prepare your health and safeguard your medical information, and you will learn some health management techniques to protect against oversights or errors due to a lack of information.

 

Identify Today’s Self-Management Needs

Health experts are looking for a product that will address the principle issues that only self-management can solve.

  • Something that will help patients be more self-reliant and ensure safety and efficacy when primary physicians are unavailable.
  • Something that will allow clinicians to access patients’ medical records on demand.
  • Something that will teach patients how to navigate the health system more effectively and efficiently.
  • Something that will bridge the clinical data gap and still be HIPAA-compliant while supplying other clinicians better access to medical records on demand.
  • Something that will better protect people’s health information during an emergency.

 

Define the Threats of Your Health Information

The following three types of public health preparedness topics/events impact how people oversee their care:

  1. Natural disasters – A sudden and catastrophic event that results in serious damage and death, such as floods, storms, fires, and other natural disasters.
  2. (Public) Health crisis – An adverse health event/outbreak that affects living beings in one or more geographic areas. Public health events can affect humans at the global, regional, or community levels either directly (i.e., experiencing symptoms) or indirectly (i.e., a change in behavior).
  3. Individual health emergencies – Personal medical events that place the body into a state of crisis for various reasons, whether acutely, over time, or inherited, including trauma, injury, and neglect.

 

Learn Health Management Principles

People who are unfamiliar with and unknowledgeable about the health industry must tackle their medical conditions as they come. Today, it is even more important for one to learn how to self-manage care. Patient Better provides knowledge and direction as to what you can do to protect your health in any situation in these public health preparedness capabilities.

  1. Enhance Participation in Treatment – Have fewer complications, lessen emergency room visits, prepare for an information-driven medical appointment, and reduce unforeseen costs.
  2. Maximize Medical Utilization – Prepare for medical appointments, reduce unnecessary phone calls and office visits, and effectively take advantage of offered services, treatments, and resources.
  3. Improve Risk Management – Have a realistic calculation of services needed for proper treatment and recovery to make more informed health care choices and decisions.
  4. Effectively Manage Care Records – Become an efficient liaison in the transfer of information from one doctor’s office to the next.

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TIP: Offset potential threats apply these four foundation principles of health management you are also becoming more self-reliant in care.

 

Ironclad Health Management Preparedness to Ensure Safety and Efficacy

Considering that only half of American homes have full internet connectivity available, it is important for patients to have “hard-copies” of their medical records. Patients must keep an organized paper document trail so that in disaster situations, like storms or floods when the electricity is out and there is no access to professional electronic records, people will have documentation available to assist rescue volunteers. Without effective health management, people unnecessarily place themselves at greater risk of their health information being lost. In a more acute example such as a car accident that renders you incoherent, comatose, or unable to communicate without the ability to provide verbal recollection, your emergency professionals have no way of knowing your medical history, meaning that you are at greater risk of undertreatment.

Safety

Take the example of the pandemic. Recent journal articles show that the pandemic provoked a delay in diagnosis at an alarming rate. People either a) had symptoms and chose not to see a professional or b) did not maintain professional guidance throughout the pandemic, thus allowing their conditions to get worse or for additional conditions to metastasize. Studies have shown that the above habits resulted in complex diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer, to increase morbidity and mortality rates, while the number of diagnoses decreased.

Efficacy

Research has also shown that patients who can self-manage their care produce documented improvements in efficacy. Thus, health management education improves one’s ability to succeed or accomplish certain tasks. Knowledge in health management improves one’s sense of self-efficacy and plays a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges regarding health.

TIP: By keeping up with your medical record as needed, you are safeguarding your health that may be affected from potential oversights as well as making sure that your previous care is working for any future care.

 

Organize Paper and Digital Medical Records

The key component of any medical appointment is proper record management. Without proper record management, you’re putting yourself at greater risk of losing vital information. Proper record management protects documents and safeguards your health from mistreatment during an emergency due to a lack of information. The rule of thumb for health professionals is to err on the side of caution, meaning that without a proper medical history or diagnosis, they cannot treat what they don’t know is there.

Your Digital Records

Your virtual health assistant is a key player for you to organize and communicate synchronously and asynchronously with physicians, caregivers, and other family members about your health. Your virtual health assistant is a single informational hub that stores records, allowing other care team members to access important updates and documents in both real-time and asynchronous communication. Among the many simplified, patient-friendly benefits, you will have the ability to transfer protected information that falls under HIPAA-compliant guidelines. Also, your digital health management account improves your experience of organizing and making remote health care easier.

Your Hard Copy Records

Likewise, your Patient Better Self-Health Manager is a hard copy for in-person medical office visits that helps when online access is unavailable. Your Self-Health Manager is your storage place to help you throughout both your remote and face-to-face sessions. Turn your Self-Health Manager into a chronological guide of your health journey to help walk you through each appointment or to regroup with other at-home caregivers. Or, in cases of emergency, FEMA, Red Cross, or other organizations can get you the help you need quickly.

TIP: By organizing your medical records in a standard format you are ensuring that proper communication between professionals and at-home care teams are conducted properly.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Creating and keeping a paper record of your health is of primary importance (see Patient Better’s Health Manager). If applicable, create a Google Health Account/Virtual Health Assistant that reflects your health management system.
  • Keep a summary and login details of your virtual assistant in your health manager.
  • If at risk, always bring Patient Better with you.
  • Digital records are a great communication tool that reflects your paper-trailed health manager. Put your virtual health assistant information in your Patient Better.

About Patient Better

Patient Better is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization developed to help offset some of the new challenges facing patients and their family-member caregivers in navigating throughout the healthcare industry. Our mission is to provide affordable health management knowledge and equip people with unique, lifelong skills to independently manage care efficiently and effectively.

If you want to learn more about how you can become an expert health advocate (for in-person and virtual medical appointments) visit patientbetter.com.

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More suggested reading…

Ironclad Health Preparedness 101: Thinking About and Preventing the Unthinkable

This article provides direction of how health preparedness knowledge will healp you and your family’s perpare for the worst.


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Attention:
After reading this article, you will have thorough guidance of the most insightful (real-world) tips and tools for you to get started self-managing care- today.

Have you ever gotten a “bad patient” report from your physician (that seemingly came out of nowhere)? Do you blow-off learning health management because it’s just too tiresome to learn? What if I were to tell you that learning to self-manage care is easy and that it’s nothing that what you’d expect?

Before we begin, I would like to distinguish the difference between self-managing care and self-care and to clarify that these terms do not a concrete definition, and they often overlap and update their interpretation throughout time. These terms do not have the same application today as they did 20 years ago and (although similar) they don’t conclude the same context before the pandemic. Furthermore, authorities in this area each have various meanings of self-managing care and self-care, and we also have our unique definitions as well.

This article discusses the eight simple rules of a strategic health management program that will sharpen your health advocacy skills and effectively position yourself to become a better patient. If you take these instructions to heart, you will see dramatic results in sharpening your health advocacy skills. By applying Patient Better’s strategic health management program, you will be able to recognize the administration duties that co-exist with self-managing care and your professional condition treatment.

After reading, you will be more informed in strategic health management, what instruction is needed to succeed in health advocacy, and how to become more self-reliant in self-managing care.

Patient Better is a strategic health management program is tailored to bring out the patient’s perspective. Patient Better helps patients and caregivers by acting as a facilitator for a higher-level of communication and organizes information that will always be accessible to care teams.

 

Prepare for and properly participate in your appointment

No matter if you’re going to a physical location or being treated via telemedicine, bring the medical practice’s required documents along with your Patient Better organizer, template(s), and journal and arrive 15 minutes early.

Get a K.L.U.E.

Know what your options are if you hold off on a recommended procedure or surgery or decide not to have it.

Learn why the clinician is ordering the product or service and if there are any risks associated with it.

Understand why the test is being ordered.

Evaluate your dedication to improving your outcomes.

Don’t let the rush of information get you overwhelmed. Here’s the trick to  making sure you interpreted what the provider said correctly: repeat what you heard back to the clinician and confirm that you got it right. Always take notes or bring someone along with you to take notes so you can remember later.

 

Don’t walk away with unanswered questions

Let’s say that you’re creating a treatment plan; don’t leave the office with unanswered questions or wait to figure them out when you get home. This will put you at greater risk of failing to stick to a plan. Make sure to write down any questions in your medical journal as you get them prior to your medical appointment.

 

Know your record

Today, keeping a health record on paper prevents obstacles related to internet access, waiting for uploads, or relying on someone else to update your healthcare.

Electronic medical records are becoming common. Some are available through the doctor’s official website portal. Document whatever you can and keep track with your Patient Better organizing system.

 

Do your homework

Do your research on care and costs and choose the care that’s best for you. You can download as many treatment plan calculators as you want. Fortunately, along with the Patient Better program, there are more tools than ever available to help you accomplish  a favorable healthcare experience.  If you have been diagnosed with a condition, local hospital events, foundations, and support groups are good ways to connect with others in your position; healthcare professionals encourage it.

 

Be ready to openly discuss your health

It’s not easy to talk about bad health habits. Smoking, alcohol intake, and sexually transmitted   diseases   are   tough    subjects to discuss. You can rest assured that your doctor is the best confidential partner you can have in your care. Sugarcoating bad habits and nagging symptoms won’t help. Clinicians need all the information that you can give them to help create the best health plan. Do your best to not become anxious about what your clinician discusses with you. Use your preparation notes for additional questions or to raise concerns when you meet with your doctor. Also, ask your care team for any educational materials that they may have.

 

Be a planning partner

In the old days, patients counted on doctors to dictate goals and treatments. Those days are gone. Get involved in creating everything from treatment plans to overall health goals. Now as we come to the brink of telemedicine, it will become standard to craft a plan along with a physician and navigate through the healthcare system on your own.

 

Stick to your plan and follow recommendations

Having goals are important. Following through on an established plan to reach those goals is even more important. Keep all follow-up appointments, take prescribed medication as directed, and talk to your doctor if you have any side effects and need to adjust dosages. If you settle on a plan, do everything you can to meet your goals. We all have missteps, so when you have trouble meeting a goal, let someone on your care team know.

 

Learn about self-managing care when you’re healthy

Doctors are focused on wellness and prevention in addition to treating illness. Even in the best of times, ask about ways to improve your diet, manage your stress, or start an exercise plan. Preventative maintenance does wonders for boosting your health and preventing disease. However, a lot of you are coming to Patient Better for personal medical management under a doctor’s request. Although we cannot discuss medical treatment, we can help answer any questions about templates, the best way to apply lessons, and standardizing your organizer

About Patient Better

Patient Better is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization developed to help offset some of the new challenges facing patients and their family-member caregivers in navigating throughout the healthcare industry. Our mission is to provide affordable health management knowledge and equip people with unique, lifelong skills to independently manage care efficiently and effectively.

If you want to learn more about how you can become an expert health advocate (for in-person and virtual medical appointments) visit patientbetter.com.

health management patient better in-person and virtual medical appointments self-managing care self-care

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The Best Strategic Health Management Program 2022

Learn the 8 rules of the most suprizingly simplistic strategic health management program to effectiviely self-manage care in 2022.

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