PREPARED PATIENT BLOG

Patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

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1st Person: Talking about Health Care

First Person | January 31, 2011

Through poetry, art and music, people describe and reflect on their experiences with health care. In this Def Poetry Jam video, Thea Monyee and GaKnew Rowel tell about the birth of their daughter.

Inside Health Care: Who ARE you anyway, Doctor?

CFAH Staff | January 28, 2011

Pediatric specialist, Dr. Bryan Vartabedian MD, writes about a time when he forgot to introduce himself to a new patient and on the Patient Empowerment Blog, Trisha Torrey recognizes the problem with the lack of identification in the clinical setting, and reflects deeper on the issue of patient safety.

The Conversation Continues: In the ER

CFAH Staff | January 27, 2011


Those Clever Drug Companies, Again

Trudy Lieberman | January 27, 2011

If prizes were given for ingenious marketing, drug companies would win top honors. Like most businesses, they want to expand markets'that means getting you to buy more drugs whether you need them or not. Their appetite for finding new ways of doing that is insatiable.

Prevention Magazine Pushes High-tech, Non-Evidence-based Heart Screenings More Than Basic Prevention

Gary Schwitzer | January 26, 2011

The February issue of Prevention magazine has an article, "Surprising Faces of Heart Attack" profiling "three women (who) didn't think they were at high risk. Their stories are proof that you could be in danger without even knowing it." No, their stories are not proof of that.

A Fighting Spirit Won't Save Your Life

Richard Sloan | January 26, 2011

Dr. Sloan's piece 'A Fighting Spirit Won't Save Your Life', that recently ran in The Opinion Pages of the New York Times, calls into question our belief that we can affect our health through optimism and positive thinking.

Getting Through the Shock of a Devastating Diagnosis

Jessie Gruman | January 25, 2011

It could happen tomorrow. The doctor says, "I'm sorry, I have bad news," and suddenly your life is turned upside-down, leaving you reeling from the shock of a potentially life-threatening diagnosis. Here is some advice on getting through that initial period.

When You Have an Insurance Dispute

Jennifer Jaff | January 24, 2011

While access to health insurance is a critical component of finding good care and making the most of it, being insured is often just the starting point for frequent users of health care services.

Goodbye Acute Care, Hello, Rehab

Health Behavior News Service | January 21, 2011

Given the interest in Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' transfer to a Houston rehabilitation facility, here is our Prepared Patient feature article: 'Goodbye, Acute Care, Hello, Rehab' . Understanding some of the myths and realities of rehab care can help patients and caregivers during this critical transition and recovery time.

Selling Sickness

Trudy Lieberman | January 21, 2011

Someone I know who is just over 65 received an unlikely solicitation'from The Scooter Store located in New Braunfels, Texas, on Independence Drive no less. The outside of the envelope promised a free personal mobility assessment. This person is totally mobile and hardly needs a scooter.

Dicker With Your Doc? Not So Fast'

Jessie Gruman | January 20, 2011

'How to Haggle With Your Doctor' was the title of a recent Business section column in The New York Times. This is one of many similar directives to the public in magazines, TV and Websites urging us to lower the high price of our health care by going mano a mano with our physicians about the price of tests they recommend and the drugs they prescribe. Such articles provide simple, commonsense recommendations about how to respond to the urgency many of us feel ' insured or uninsured ' to reduce our health care expenses.

Perseverance

Patient Perspectives | January 19, 2011

This week's roundup features a collection of patient voices from around the web including: Winner of the reality TV show the Amazing Race, Nat Strand, RA Warrior Kelly Young, and alias blogger WarmSocks.

More on ERs

Conversation Continues | January 14, 2011

CNN's Empowered Patient also focused on emergency rooms in their January 13th article Don't Die Waiting in the ER .More articles and features in Elizabeth Cohen's Empowered Patient series can be found here.

Prepared Patient: In Case of Emergency: Who's Who in the ER

Health Behavior News Service | January 13, 2011

While commuting to work in September 2009, Ashley Finley stopped her bike short to avoid a pedestrian and flew over the handlebars, hitting her head on the pavement. Her chin gushing blood and with concerns about head injury, Ashley and her partner, Goldie Pyka*, immediately headed to an ER. Though their wait time in the Washington, D.C., emergency room was minimal, Pyka says she felt surprised by the number of people who participated in Ashley's care. 'I was expecting to see one person, tell them what happened and have that person help. I wasn't expecting to interact with that many people and to not really be told who they were and what they were there for. I felt we were very passive in the whole experience,' Pyka says.

Electronic Medical Record vs. Electronic Health Record: Clarifying the EHR/EMR Difference

Joshua Seidman | January 13, 2011

What's in a word? Or, even one letter of an acronym? Some people use the terms electronic medical record and electronic health record interchangeably. But here at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), you'll notice we use electronic health record or EHR almost exclusively.

More Questions About Medical Tests

Conversation Continues | January 12, 2011


Staying a Step Ahead of Diabetes

Patient Perspectives | January 10, 2011

This week's roundup features a collection of patient voices from around the web including: DiabetesMine's Amy Tenderich, D-Mom Leighann Calentine, and a perspective on shared decision making.

CT Scans

Inside Health Care | January 7, 2011

Our latest Prepared Patient, Medical Testing: You Need Answers, offers guidance on how to talk to your doctor about medical tests and what to consider before and after the test. Here are related thoughts from other blogs-Dr. John Schumann of GlassHospital, Dr. Michael Kirsch of MD Whistleblower, and Anna Sayburn on Consumer Reports Health Blog. Recent feature articles on medical tests from The Wall Street Journal & the ACPHospitalist are also included.

Vaccine Safety

Conversation Continues | January 6, 2011

Two new books, examine the pseudoscience that created a controversy over vaccine safety, Dr. David Gorski, offers a review on science-based medicine, Andrew Wakefield's study linking autism to MMR vaccines continues to be dismantled and BMJ's Brian Deer compares diagnoses in Wakefield's study to hospital records.

HIT-Resistant Strains

Chris Gibbons | January 6, 2011

A recent report from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology calls upon the Federal government to facilitate the widespread adoption of a universal exchange language that allows for the transfer of relevant pieces of health data while maximizing patient privacy. Despite providing some very useful and important perspectives, the report also drops the ball in a few key areas.

Prepared Patient: Advance Directives: Caring for You & Your Family

Health Behavior News Service | January 3, 2011

Heather Rubesch first remembers talking with her mom, Linda, about end-of-life care as a teenager. "When I was 14, I had an aunt who passed because she did not receive a kidney transplant. As a family, we had that conversation-if something happened to one of us, organ donation was what we wanted to do," said Rubesch, 37, a business and marketing writer from Kansas City, Mo. Decades later, when Heather got the call from the hospital, informing her of her mother's terminal condition, she was shocked to discover she was expected to make immediate decisions about her mother's end-of-life care.