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Elder Care: Is Florida Ready? Print E-mail
Written by Tara Pihn   
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 10:47

According to the latest census data, compared with other states, Florida had the greatest share of the population that was 65 and older in 2010 (17.3%) while West Virginia is not far behind at 16.0 percent. Over 20 million people live in Florida while just fewer than 2 million live in West Virginia. This translates to over 3.5 million elderly in Florida and about 295,000 in West Virginia.

A recent NPR article lists 36 geriatricians in West Virginia. Florida's DOH website lists over 1000 active medical doctors and osteopaths with a specialty in geriatrics. There are also over 1,000 ARNPs with specialization in Gerentology or Gerentology-Acute Care.

Florida's ratio of geriatricians to the elderly is superior to West Virginia's situation. That said, it is clear that family doctors, primary care physicians, cardiologists and other specialists will have to pick up the slack.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2016 14:07
Study: Stroke assessments via mobile devices match bedside care Print E-mail
Written by Medical News Today   
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 00:00

Almost all -- 96% -- of stroke assessments made with the Improving Treatment with Rapid Evaluation of Acute Stroke via Mobile Telemedicine <iTREAT> protocol using a tablet were as good as those performed at the hospital bedside, per a study in the journal Neurology. Researchers said that iTREAT mobile assessments help reduce the time from stroke event to the best treatment and allow emergency teams to make better decisions while the patient is still in the ambulance.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 July 2016 17:40
Even when treatment won't help, doctors recommend it, study finds Print E-mail
Written by Aine Cryts | Fierce Healthcare   
Monday, 20 June 2016 00:00

The futile treatment of patients occurs when doctors know what they're prescribing won't help, but they recommend it anyway.

A startling 96 percent of doctors surveyed in a study published in the Journal of Medical Ethics put themselves in the hot seat when it comes to providing futile treatment to patients at the end of life.

Physicians confessed that they need to learn to communicate better, be mindful of their emotional attachment to patients and be willing to deal with the murky emotional issues related to death and dying, according to the study, which included 96 Australian doctors across 10 specialties.

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What to do when your practice is high-tech but your patients are low-tech Print E-mail
Written by Accountable Care Options, LLC   
Friday, 17 June 2016 11:36

Florida's retirees are getting better with technology, but some elderly patients just don't get it. They lack the skills to use apps and they'll never be comfortable with telemedicine.

Government initiatives for online communication such as Web portals, electronic access to medical records and streamlining care coordination make sense, but they may not be relevant to a 90-year-old in a wheelchair. Physicians must develop creative ways of engaging patients in their own care that don't require pushing a power button.

The process starts with asking individuals about their online habits. Do they have an e-mail account? How active are they online?

Some are super-savvy on social media. Others are not, so pushing news and information online about their conditions and self-care is not going to improve their outcomes.

When dealing with health care and disease states, it's so difficult to understand the medications, protocols and disease processes. A physician can throw technology at a patient, but if it's not well-received, then the result is a poor outcome.

Doctors need to ask, "What's best for you?" and integrate the response into the patient's health care plan.

If an individual doesn't use technology, find a family member or authorized caretaker who does. That person can retrieve medical records, find online answers to patient questions and check appointment schedules.

During an office visit, the doctor or staff members should review, not just hand pamphlets to the patient, and highlight the most important information. Information sheets should be printed in large type for easy reading by patients with limited eyesight.

The key is to adapt the technology to the patient, not the other way around. Keep the process human and patient-centered. Ultimately, physician practices are measured by outcomes, regardless of the technology used to achieve them.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 July 2016 16:16
9 Ways Your EHR can Stop Physician Burnout in Its Tracks Print E-mail
Written by HealthFusion   
Friday, 03 June 2016 00:00

Physician burnout isn't fun. It can lead to increased errors and lower-quality care for patients - and in some cases, consequences for patients are irreversible. Some physicians equate EHR use with more homework, believing the common misconception that spending extra hours each night, finishing up notes, addressing inboxes, and catching up on messages and emails, is inevitable. It's not. While many physicians feel that technology, along with government regulation and the tremendous change in the healthcare industry, adds to today's main burdens contributing to burnout - optimizing the right EHR software will actually greatly increase a physician's efficiency. A good EHR will serve your workflow, not hinder it; a sophisticated, integrated EMR system will function as a useful physician tool. When all of the components of your software speak to each other seamlessly, the stream of your practice as a whole improves.

Part of making sure your EHR helps you evade burnout (rather than cause it) is learning how to utilize the entire system optimally. You should strategize your EMR use and need to document. Your EHR needs to do everything from allow you to flow efficiently through a chart to improve your revenue cycle time. Optimize all of these functions and you'll increase your profits and overall quality of patient care. That way, you can enjoy all of the reasons you really became a physician - and go home at a reasonable hour.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 June 2016 17:15
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