eHealth: Doctor-Patient Teamwork for Improved Health Outcomes

e-health-feat-imageeHealth is a growing trend in medicine- many doctors and hospitals are making patient records available electronically, allowing patients to log in to “health portals” to see their own records. In addition to the convenience these services provide, other benefits include better quality and more efficient health care, increased privacy and security of health information, reduction of paperwork through administrative simplification, and better patient involvement- all of which are expected to help decrease healthcare costs.

My own doctor has a patient portal available. On my computer and smartphone (yes, there’s an app for that, too!) I can login to check my medical records – see the medications and dosages I’ve been prescribed, see notes from all my visits, see lab results, scheduled appointments, and even send messages to my doctor. The health portal also includes built-in patient trackers- if your doctor has asked you to track things like your blood pressure or blood sugar at home, you can have your results sent right to your doctor in real time!

mobile-phone-health-appI think that’s one of the greatest benefits of eHealth: getting patients more involved in their own care. Often times, a visit to your doctor’s office is a blur and it’s hard to remember all the instructions given, discharge papers get lost in the shuffle, or you can’t remember the name of that antibiotic you took last year that you had a bad reaction to.  Patient portals let you review all of that information and also let you share more information with your doctor. If you forget to mention something at an appointment that you had meant to tell your doctor, send them a message! So much easier than trying to remember it for your next visit!

A World Health Organisation (WHO) study has shown that deploying eHealth technologies improves health behaviors and physiological outcomes: in one prenatal program in Sao Paulo, the proportion of pregnant women who completed their scheduled prenatal visits increased from 10% to 80% after the implementation of an eHealth program and health outcomes across several conditions saw a large improvement.

Doctors aren’t the only resources for eHealth. The library also has resources to help you manage your health care. Visit the NCLive Health and Wellness Information Center to access health eBooks, health databases, and other health resources.

Other Online Resources

MedlinePlus – this service from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health provides information about health topics, drugs and supplements, and interactive tools and health tutorials.

Mayo Clinic – find articles on diseases, symptoms, medical procedures and much more! Their healthy lifestyle section offers articles on nutrition, fitness, and health, as well as access to healthy recipes.

NC Health Info –  get information on general health topics as well as local services. Check out their Being an Informed Patient page for more resources!

National Institute of Mental Health – provides information and resources for a variety of mental health conditions.

North Carolina Medical Board Consumer Resources – offers information about health providers and resources for filing complaints.


 

Information is always great- but remember that no website on the internet can diagnose or treat you or your health conditions. Use what you learn on your own to open a dialogue with your doctor so that he or she can address your concerns while offering you the benefits of their expertise and diagnostic tools. You and your doctor, working together, can more positively affect your health and well-being.

ADHD Awareness Month

October is Attention –deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) awareness month.  As of 2011, approximately 8.8% of children have been diagnosed with ADHD in the United States. Though it’s estimated that the rate of occurrence for ADHD is similar in adults, only 4.4% of adults are diagnosed with ADHD – a significant portion of the adult ADHD population goes undiagnosed and untreated.

216776_tomsan_adhd-bunnyThere are a lot of myths and misconceptions about ADHD and ADD (ADD has been somewhat recently re-categorized as a sub-type of ADHD- ADHD, Primarily Inattentive).

It’s not uncommon to hear people dismiss ADHD as a behavioral issue: “If only he’d try harder!,” “If her parents just made her…,” “She just doesn’t want to pay attention!” However, brain scans show that there is a significant difference in the brain activity of people diagnosed with ADHD versus neurotypical or “normal” participants. Nearly every mainstream medical, psychological, and educational organization in the United States recognizes ADHD as a real, brain-based medical disorder- which can benefit from treatment.

imagesAnother misconception about ADHD is that only rambunctious little boys are affected- which can be detrimental to girls and adults affected with ADHD. It’s common for teachers and parents to advocate for assessment and treatment for hyperactive boys, while girls (and boys with the inattentive subtype of ADHD) struggle through school with the disorder undiagnosed and untreated.

Similarly, there’s an expectation that children who are diagnosed with ADHD will outgrow it, and while some will “grow out of it” (generally by learning ways to cope with and overcome their symptoms), many others will continue to struggle into adulthood.  Some untreated students may perform well in school, but find it difficult to cope with new challenges when they reach university or adulthood. In addition to the toll untreated ADHD takes on school and work performance, ADHD can negatively impact relationships for children as well as adults– including marriages.  The risks for those undiagnosed into adulthood can be devastating.

ADHD: The good

Adult-ADHD-vidya-sury-3ADHD isn’t all negative- and it’s important to note that ADHD isn’t an indicator of the lack of intelligence, moral fiber, etc. It just means the brain works a bit differently than normal, which can lend itself to a lot of good traits: creativity, problem-solving, spontaneity, sensitivity and compassion, intuition, flexibility, enthusiasm, and so much more!

Athleticism can be another benefit of ADHD. Michael Phelps began swimming as a way to release the excess energy from his ADHD. He went on to become the most decorated Olympian of all time.

Leadership is another; many leaders throughout history have displayed traits of ADHD including Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, and Bill Gates.

If you or a family member have ADHD or suspect you may, the absolute best thing you can do for yourself and family is to research and read about it. There are tons of online forums where people with ADHD post about their own experiences living with ADHD. Knowing that you’re not alone in the struggle to cope with ADHD is often a great relief and can help get you on the road to treatment, whether that’s medication, ADHD coaching, or implementing ideas from others that can help you keep on top of your life!

Online Resources

ADHD/ADD Expert Webinar and Podcasts – from ADDitudemag.com

Facts About ADHD – From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ADHD Homepage)

What is ADHD or ADD? – from National Resource Center on ADHD

Best Blog Posts on ADHD – from ADHD Awareness Month

Related Reading

Driven to distraction : recognizing and coping with attention deficit disorder from childhood through adulthood   -Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey.

ADD and ADHD  -George Capaccio.

ADHD and me : what I learned from lighting fires at the dinner table  -Blake E.S. Taylor.

Succeeding with adult ADHD : daily strategies to help you achieve your goals and manage your life  -Abigail Levrini and Frances Prevatt.

ADHD in HD : brains gone wild  -Jonathan Chesner.

Putting on the brakes : understanding and taking control of your ADD or ADHD  -Patricia O. Quinn and Judith M. Stern

¡No puedo estar quieto! : mi vida con ADHD   -Pam Pollack y Meg Belviso

Check-in with Yourself, Check-out a Book

By Amy

So it’s January 15th, how’s your new year’s resolution coming along? By this time in the New Year, 30% of resolution setters have already given up. But that doesn’t mean you have to!

Back in September, I wrote “Happy New You” where I talked about how to set SMARTER goals. One of the things you should do when trying to achieve your goals is evaluate your progress. Are you on track to meet your first “goal post?”

Do you need to adjust your goal? Don’t let your lack of progress sabotage you. Now is a great time to see if what you’ve been doing is working or whether you need to shake things up a bit. As long as you’re working towards your goals, you will get there- even if it’s not as quickly as you’d wanted.

It’s always better late than never! If you forgot to make a resolution for the New Year, take a look at the top 10 resolutions made for 2014 below. Pick one and get started!

Enough nagging, on to the good stuff!

Top 10 New Years Resolutions for 2014 

(click the book covers to see FRL catalog availability!)

  1. Lose Weight

    Weight watchers ultimate chicken cookbook : more than 250 fresh, fabulous recipes for every day
    Weight watchers ultimate chicken cookbook : more than 250 fresh, fabulous recipes for every day
  2. Get Organized

    The 8-minute organizer : easy solutions to simplify your life in your spare time
    The 8-minute organizer : easy solutions to simplify your life in your spare time
    By Regina Leeds
  3. Spend Less, Save More

     Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending
    Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending
    By Elizabeth Dunn
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest

    9 Days to Feel Fantastic: How to Create Happiness from the Inside Out
    9 Days to Feel Fantastic: How to Create Happiness from the Inside Out (eBook)
    By John Whiteman
  5. Staying Fit and Healthy

    Yoga: Critical Alignment: Building a Strong, Flexible Practice through Intelligent Sequencing and Mindful Movement
    Yoga: Critical Alignment: Building a Strong, Flexible Practice through Intelligent Sequencing and Mindful Movement
    By Gert van Leeuwen
  6. Learn Something Exciting

    Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker's Guide to Ultralight Hiking and Backpacking
    Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker’s Guide to Ultralight Hiking and Backpacking
    By Justin Lichter
  7. Quit Smoking

    Quit Smoking for Life: A Simple, Proven 5-Step Plan
    Quit Smoking for Life: A Simple, Proven 5-Step Plan
    By Suzanne Schlosberg
  8. Help Others in Their Dreams

    Everyone Helps, Everyone Wins: How Absolutely Anyone Can Pitch in, Help Out, Give Back, and Make the World a Better Place
    Everyone Helps, Everyone Wins: How Absolutely Anyone Can Pitch in, Help Out, Give Back, and Make the World a Better Place
    By David T. Levinson
  9. Fall in Love

    Fall in Love for Life: Inspiration from a 73-Year Marriage
    Fall in Love for Life: Inspiration from a 73-Year Marriage (eBook)
    By Barbara Cooper
  10. Spend More Time with Family

    The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day
    The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day (eBook)
    by Meg Cox

Getting pictures, automagically!

By John

For those of us who use digital cameras and go through the throws of locating a cable to connect our camera or card readers to our computers to get at our photos and videos have something to rejoice about. There’s a company that’s been making memory cards with Wi-Fi capability built into it, called “Eye-Fi”.

It’s seems their product line has matured to a point where they continually receive great reviews. It seems like they plan on being around awhile with a release for the android OS and iOS (iPhone) devices. So, not only do they support PC and Mac with several online photos services (Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, and about 40 more) they’re reaching out to the smartphones, tablets, and iPads as well.

Having read several reviews and information on the Eye-Fi website, I found there is one major prerequisite: You need a wireless network. Then you need you a camera that uses the SDHC memory card. A word of caution here! Although your camera may use a SDHC card, not all cameras are compatible with the Eye-Fi memory card. You can check that here. Well, considering I have a wireless network at home and a camera that uses the SDHC memory card, I decided to get one and take a chance. The only hesitation I had was the fact that my little Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W530 wasn’t listed in the compatibility list.

There are three versions available, the Connect X2 version with 4GB, the Explore X2 version with 8GB, and the Pro X2 version with 8GB and four different features. All three versions come with the online sharing feature, the Explore X2 version comes with the Geotagging feature and the Hot Spot Access (free for a year) feature, and the Pro X2 version comes with the Geotagging, the Hot Spot Access (free for a year) and the Ad Hoc Transfers features.

I opted for the Connect X2 and brought it home. Once I got back I sat down and read the setup instructions. Most times I usually don’t do that, but several of the reviews I read stated, “I encountered”, or “I had”, “no problems getting the photos following the setup instructions.” The package comes with the SDHC memory card and a card reader. Inserting the card reader into an available USB port I installed the Eye-Fi software called Eye-Fi Center. Once it finished the program it prompted me to remove the card reader, then remove the memory card from the card reader and insert it in my camera.

Once I had the memory card in the camera, Eye-Fi central wanted me to take a test photo. I took a picture, set the camera down and looked at the computer to read the next step when I noticed a little window in bottom right with DSC00022.jpg being loaded. My heart raced and I felt a big grin spread across my face as I watched the test picture appear in the window. Eye-Fi Central let me know that picture could stay at Eye-Fi (online) for up to 7 days and prompted me for a more permanent online photo service and I could email them from here. You can view Eye-Fi Center on the computer you installed it on or via the web at center.eye.fi.

During the setup process I had selected Picasa as my online photo and video service, so I went there to check the results of the upload.

Awesome! No more cables or card readers. In fact, although I purchase the Connect X2 I went ahead and upgraded it for the Hot Spot Access – an annual subscription of $29.99 is required. This allows me to use any wireless network away from my home (public or private) to upload my photos and videos. With plans to be out of the area on vacation coming up soon, I decided it was worth the investment. To me just having the card is worth the investment to get rid of carrying those dang cables and card readers where ever I went.

Resources For More Information

Available at our AC-Cashiers Community Library:

Wireless LANs end to end by Walter Bruce

Available at our Jackson County Public Library and Marianna Black Library

Digital photo madness! : 50 weird & wacky things to do with your digital camera by Thomas Gaines

Wireless SD Cards – Get a memory card that makes your camera wireless. Upload photos and videos wirelessly to your computer and to the web.

http://www.eye.fi/

The World’s Worst Boss

picture of coffe cup - world's worst boss

By Don

Self-help and self-improvement, self… self… self…

I’ve read way too many books in these genres. I began with the authors, Dale Carnegie and Zig Ziglar, then John Naisbitt and Stephen Covey, then on to Sun Tzu, Napoleon Hill, Russell Conwell and Og Mandino. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. No, I didn’t set out to read through their works; I was not conducting research. I may have read through a few of the authors on my own, but mostly I was forced to read them. You see, for a long dark and miserable period I worked in retail management. I still have nightmares.

There are a few authors and titles in these genres that impressed me. I like Og Mandino and Napoleon Hill. Russell Conwell’s, “Acre of Diamonds”, really captured my attention. It amazes me that not one of our libraries has this book. Though most of these types of authors just echo and twist biblical proverbs, Conwell and Mandino, don’t pull punches. They make you look straight in the mirror. Their words force you to look at your bad traits and habits and encourage you to do something positive about them. “To do something” is the key to the phrase.

Where did all of this come from all of a sudden? When I checked my email the other day, there was a post from David Lee King that led me to a post of Seth Godin’s that led me to start thinking about continuing to be miserable or do something about it. Usually, I just blow off this type of article, but I liked this one, even if it is poorly written. Since it’s the first of the year, I decided to share a portion of Seth’s post with you.

[“The world’s worst boss”

That would be you.

Even if you’re not self-employed, your boss is you. You manage your career, your day, your responses. You manage how you sell your services and your education and the way you talk to yourself.

Odds are, you’re doing it poorly.

If you had a manager that talked to you the way you talked to you, you’d quit. If you had a boss that wasted as much as your time as you do, they’d fire her. If an organization developed its employees as poorly as you are developing yourself, it would soon go under….] The entire article can be found here (“The world’s worst boss”)

For a few months, I worked with a young man from India. He talked all the time, non-stop. Most of what he said went in one ear and out the other. Two statements he made have never left me; “We don’t know what we don’t know.” and “If we do nothing, there is a good chance nothing will come of it. If we do something, there is a good chance something will come of it.” The statements seemed elementary, almost foolish at the time. Now, for me, they are profound.

You continue to fret and complain, yet you do nothing different to help cause a different outcome. Einstein called this insanity. Some of us go about day to day doing nothing more than getting by. You might say that you’re comfortable where you are in life. If you really are, good for you!

The bottom line is it’s your life; ultimately you are your own boss. It’s all up to you.