Websites To Tell Your Patients To Use

 

The most recent survey conducted by the PEWResearchCenter showed that 72% of adult Internet users have searched the Internet for a range of health information. And now with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementing such ideas as shared decision making and patient engagement, the numbers will most likely increase. In order to maintain healthy patient-doctor communication, a good rule of thumb is directing patients to accredited medical websites.

 

Mayo Clinic

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A nonprofit medical practice and research group based in Rochester, Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic medical group has been in existence for 150 years. It has been ranked in the U.S. News & World Report’s List of “Best Hospitals” for nearly 20 years, and was ranked in Times top 50 Best Websites of 2010. As the first and largest medical group practice in the world, the Mayo Clinic has over 3,300 physicians and medical professionals researching and providing information to the Mayo Clinic website. And in 2010 alone, the Mayo Clinic’s research program generated 2,384 new protocols, which ultimately lead to over 8,000 human research studies and nearly 5,000 research publications. A great resource for both medical professionals and patients, the Mayo Clinic website provides an easy-to-use symptom checker tool and First-Aid guide. With the Mayo Clinic website, both a patient and doctor can maintain healthy communication and stay on the same page.

 

MedlinePlus

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Another online resource for medical information to direct ones patients is MedlinePlus. MedlinePlus combines the information of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health to present in depth encyclopedic information on over 800 health topics in both English and Spanish. And in order to increase user comprehensibility and ensure access to a range of health literacy levels, MedlinePlus provides links to view its website in over 40 other languages, as well. Unlike competitor websites, MedlinePlus does not endorse other companies or products, and prides itself in its nonprofit status, as well as its ability to therefore provide both safe and up-to-date health information. Having been recognized by notable sources such as Forbes.com’s “How to get the Best Medical Advice Online,” Consumer Reports’ “Websites That Work,” as well as having scored an 84 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index of 2010, MedlinePlus is an online resource with both reliable and quality information that can help patients and doctors be on the same page when it comes to communication.

 

PatientsLikeMe

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A resource unlike the previous two, PatientsLikeMe is an interactive website in which patients worldwide with similar diagnoses can connect to share their experience and track their health in real time. Resembling a social network for patients, PatientsLikeMe currently has over 250,000 members, communities that cover over 2,000 diseases, and an average of 10% of newly diagnosed ALS patients joining each month. And it’s not just for patients, either. With permission from their patients, physicians and healthcare professionals can sign in as guests on the site to view the records that their patients have been keeping. It’s a way to help monitor an illness and ultimately open communication between patients and doctors. In fact, recent surveys suggest that 60% of PatientsLikeMe users feel the website has made making decisions about treatments easier, while 63% report the website has helped in opening communication between users and their healthcare providers. Recognized by both Business 2.0 and CNN Money Magazine as one of the “15 companies that will change the world,” PatientsLikeMe is an online resource to which medical professionals can direct their patient while maintaining health communication.

 

According to the Census Bureau, in 2011 nearly 76% of American households reported having an in-home computer and 72% reported having in-home internet access. Such numbers matched with the ACA’s push for patients to become more involved in their own health care, means that more and more patients are showing up to medical appointments already having done research. That’s why it is more important now than ever before to ensure that you are directing your patients towards reliable and useful resources that will also help to maintain healthy patient-doctor communication.

Medical Technology for Patient Engagement

While the Affordable Care Act may promote both patient engagement and patient activation, the larger encompassing idea is that of doctor and patient communication. When a doctor and patient are sufficiently communicating, a patient will begin taking a larger part in caring for his or her own health. In turn, this will result in shared decision making, as well as numerous other benefits for both parties. And with today’s new medical technology, efficiently communicating with patients is easier than ever before.


Eliminate Telecommunication Errors With MedXCom

A new medical application with the purpose of improving doctor and patient communication is the MedXCom app. Launched by Dr. Michael Nusbaum, a New Jersey bariatric surgeon, the MedXCom app records, stores, and transcribes all cell phone conversations between doctors and their patients in an effort to improve telecommunication. With such an app, medical professionals can ensure phone conversations are understood and received correctly by reading and sending a full transcript of the conversation to their patient through the app, and the patient can follow up with any questions through the apps secure text messaging system. Additionally, the transcription protects both the patient in the event of poor advice and the doctor in the event of any misunderstandings that could potentially lead to unwanted lawsuits. To learn more bout the MedXCom app, click here: http://bit.ly/1lV02o9


Up-To-Date Communication With TreatSpace

In addition to MedXCom, Treatspace is a clinical social software also intended to improve communication between doctors and patients. With its many features, Treatspace is meant to provide both patients and medical professionals with a unified platform in which each can stay up-to-date with one another and in communication. For medical professionals, Treatspace can become a place to build a social profile for ones practice in which a medical professional can easily keep the practice’s information current and up-to-date, while privately communicating with patients through a secure messaging system. For patients, Treatspace is a place to easily find and connect with healthcare providers, while keeping up-to-date with the healthcare provider’s latest updates, as well as privately connecting when necessary. For information on Treatspace, click here: http://bit.ly/RocOzV

Honest Communication With TickiT

A third new medical technology now on the market is TickiT. TickiT is a secure tablet and web based data collection platform in which healthcare providers can create and manage custom surveys. Patients often have a difficult time discussing personal issues with medical professionals and will therefore frequently lie about their own health and lifestyle. And yet, such details into a patient’s life is critical in improving doctor to patient communication, as well as quality of outcome. TickiT takes the personal questions a medical professional would ask and turns them into a graphic survey that is both great for youth engagement and for a variety of literacy rates. This allows patients to fill out the survey easily and privately, while simultaneously encouraging honesty. When the survey is finished, the information is automatically transferred to the healthcare provider’s computer with the most vital information flagged and shown at the top. The goal of TickiT is to improve doctor patient communication by ensuring that both the medical professional and patient are already on the same page and ready to go as soon as the medical professional enters the room. To learn more about TickiT, click here: http://bit.ly/1j8iWr9

The Informacio Workstation Increases Health Literacy & Patient Engagement

One last piece of new medical technology that will promote doctor and patient communication is the Informacio Workstation. It helps medical professionals both verbally and visually communicate with their patients. Designed by a global team of scientists, designers and entrepreneurs, the Informacio Workstation was created to easily accommodate users of various technical levels. It provides a physical platform which promotes health literacy and in turn improves doctor and patient communication. To learn how you can help be a part in creating the Informacio Workstation, visit the Informacio Workstation Indiegogo campaign here: http://bit.ly/1jqHD0A

Developing strong doctor and patient communication can benefit both a patient and clinician in multiple ways. And with the Affordable Care Act now set into motion, developing quality doctor and patient communication is essential. Fortunately, we live in an age in which medical technology and medical equipment is developing at miraculous speeds, making establishing quality communication between doctors and patients easier than ever before.

Preparing For Your Surgery

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With today’s health technology, modern surgery is safer now than ever before. And yet, when it comes to going under, it’s understandable why one might feel anxious and worried. Surgery can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. As a company invested in simplifying the medical process, we here at Polar Green have put together a list of easy steps on how to prepare for your surgery and ensure for the best possible outcome.

 

Preparing for Surgery

1. Options. Before going in for a surgical procedure, it’s necessary to understand your options. In many cases, surgery is not the only option. If you do need surgery, however, it’s important to know if it is a priority, if it can wait until a more convenient time, as well as whether or not there are various surgical options to choose from.

2. Surgical Team. When going for a surgery, you’ll want to know you’re in good hands. Work with your primary doctor to choose your best option in terms of hospitals and surgeons. Often the best hospitals are those that have more experience in your specific surgery.

3. Instructions. As soon as you decide that you’ll be having a surgery, you’ll want to ask your doctor how to prepare. Being well rested and healthy is ideal for surgeries and an optimum recovery time. For those of you that smoke, stopping smoking at least two weeks before your surgery is a good idea.

4. Be Informed. It’s necessary to know that no matter the surgery, complications are possible. And while keeping a positive attitude and following pre-surgery instructions will help in obtaining the best possible outcome, it’s important for you to speak with your doctor and learn about any common or possible complications. The best patients are informed patients.

5. Have Someone. Ask a friend, family member, or loved one to be there for you for when you wake up. When waking up after surgery, you’ll most likely be experiencing grogginess and a little pain. Planning for a familiar face to be there to explain where you are and what is happening will help.

6. After the Surgery. Make sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have and to simplify any answers you may not understand. After a surgery it’s important to fully understand what you’ll need to do to have the best recovery possible. It’s reasons like this which is why we’ve created the Informacio Workstation.

 

With all the new medical technology and healthcare IT in the world today, safe surgeries and recoveries are more common now than ever before. No matter the surgery, however, it’s still just as important to make the necessary pre-surgery preparations to ensure all goes smoothly. And when it comes to understanding your surgery and what you’ll need to do to recover, we here at Polar Green have got you covered. With a passion for improving medical literacy, we’ve developed a prototype to help close the gap within the doctor patient relationship. To learn more and help support our mission to improve medical literacy, visit our Indiegogo campaign here: http://bit.ly/1jqHD0A

 

Building A Doctor Patient Relationship

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With all the new medical technology and resources for information available today, it’s important you’re being informed by a source you can trust. In today’s day and age, there is little relationship more important in terms of your everyday health than that between you and your doctor. And being a company passionate about the fluidity of relaying medical information, we at Polar Green understand that. That’s why we’ve created a short list on how to build a strong doctor patient relationship.

Building A Doctor Patient Relationship

 1. Be Honest. The best relationships are built on trust. With today’s health technology, many medical professionals can use physical exams to gather information about their patients, but those exams only take them so far. Telling your doctor the truth about your diet, medication, sexual histories, alcohol consumption, etc. is the best way to build a relationship and ultimately receive top care.

2. Participate. A doctor patient relationship is not a one-way street. Before coming to the doctor, make sure you know and are prepared to relay your medical history. And when it comes to a diagnosis, be sure to ask questions and inform your doctor of any barriers that may prevent you from fulfilling their requests.

 3. Listen. Your doctor’s advice is designed to improve your health. And while it’s not always easy to change an old habit or current lifestyle, actively listening to your doctor, as well as taking the necessary actions, will help improve your health and uncover any underlying issues. And remember, if you’re receiving conflicting advice from friends, family, or a different source, don’t forget that your doctor knows your medical history and has the medical know-how to make the correct analysis.

4. Be Polite. While you may feel grumpy because you’re sick, being polite can go a long way. When a patient is polite, the doctor can feel comfortable around the patient and in return the patient around the doctor. Politeness is a recipe for a comfortable and productive visit.

With all the different resources for information out there, trying to take care of your health can become a difficult and confusing task. Forming a strong doctor patient relationship with your medical professional will only make things easier. At Polar Green, patients are our passion. As a health technology company, we’re here to help close the gap between medical professionals and their patients. For more information on the strides we’re taking, check out our IndieGogo campaign, which is now live!

 

Our Stories: Vince Paglione and the Creation of Informacio

Since starting Polar Green, many people have asked me why we focus on health through design. The answer to this question is both complex and obvious.

I spent the last 35 years of my life in higher education administration working in a college of architecture, design and the arts. In those 35 years I worked with design through academic programming, design review committees and international design grants. Through these experiences I learned the power of design and how it can impact people. During an 8-year grant that focused on participatory design in communities in Canada, Mexico and the United States, I saw firsthand how good design could change people’s lives.

The health part has been a life journey for me. Both my parents suffered from serious health challenges and I witnessed how they were able to be positive and live life fully. This life lesson served me as I battled two cancers over the past six years. Fortunately for me, I had great doctors and was able to benefit from new medical technology.

It was through my experience as a patient that I saw one critical fault line for physician/patient communication- the computer medical workstation. As a patient, I could not see my tumor clearly; nor could my doctor show it to me. Having spoken to other cancer survivors about these frustrations, I discovered that I was not the only one for whom this had been an issue.

Informacio began as a patient story that developed into an ongoing narrative. I told this narrative to a team of designers, who translated the problem I suggested existed in healthcare computer workstations into a visual concept.

Much like a science laboratory, the design studio conducts research and experiments. We began with a series of visual experiments that were constructed and deconstructed through evidence-based design and critique by the team and medical professionals. After 12 iterations, a base prototype emerged.

We are now in the critical stage for our company, as we need to both do on-site testing and focus groups. This research is what our Indiegogo backers are helping us achieve. We are committed to our product and our vision to help patients. Informacio transcends current workstations through quality design, functionality, touchscreen/traditional options and ergonomic consideration for the healthcare professional.

To view the Informacio Workstation campaign on IndieGogo, please go to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/informacio-a-modern-touchscreen-enabled-healthcare-workstation.

Preparing For The Doctor

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As a company that specializes in health literacy, we here at Polar Green know that a visit to the doctor’s office can be frustrating. With all the bits of information you’re trying to remember and take in, sometimes it can just be an overload. That’s why in today’s day and age, it’s more important than ever to be prepared before you even leave your home. Fortunately, we’ve put together a short list on how to prepare for your upcoming doctor visit.

 

Prepare for the Doctor

1. Think. Why did you make this appointment? Before visiting a doctor, it’s important to take some time and think about what you’d like to get out of the visit. Having an idea and goal as to why you’re visiting the doctor is the best way to optimize the time spent at the appointment.

2. Jot It Down. When you’re taking in a ton of new information from a medical professional, it’s easy to forget what was originally on your mind. Before even stepping foot out of your door, jot down your thoughts, feelings, and questions, and rank them in terms of priority. This will ensure you get the most out of your visit.

3. Health ID. When you get to the doctor’s office, you’ll want everything to run as smoothly as possible. Ensure a fluid visit by making sure you have your points of identification including your personal ID, Health Insurance ID Card, as well as a form of payment.

4.  Medical History. If this is your first time visiting this particular doctor, he or she is going to want to know your medical history. Be prepared with an up-to-date handwritten or printed copy of your medical history. This will cut time spent on asking you questions and let you get to the point of the visit much quicker.

 

Getting the most out of your doctor’s appointment is important. That’s why it’s necessary to start preparing before you even leave your home. Following our list on Preparing for the Doctor, is a great place to start. At Polar Green, health literacy is our number one priority. In an effort to close the gap between medical professionals and their patients, we have developed a prototype known as the Informacio Workstation. For more information on the Informacio Workstation, visit our website and sign up for our newsletter here: http://bit.ly/OzfdGw