Vol. 5, 2013

 

Narratives, Vol. 5, 2013

Going Digital with Patients: Managing Potential Liability Risks of Patient-Generated Electronic Health Information

Some physicians are understandably reluctant to receive digital data from patients due to professional liability concerns, yet this means missing patient-generated health data that could be crucial to improving health care outcomes. The authors show some solutions to this dilemma in the form of specific steps physicians can take to mitigate their liability risk.

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Editorials, Vol. 5, 2013

Tom Ferguson’s Triangles in the 21st Century: An Initial Proposal

In 1995, Tom Ferguson, MD, predicted that the World Wide Web would turn health care on its head. Two decades later, his vision is holding up, and then some.

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Editorials, Vol. 5, 2013

Is the EMR Enhancing or Hindering Patient-Provider Interactions?

For better or worse, the exam-room encounter between a provider and a patient is drastically different now compared to “pre-EMR” days. Co-Editor-in-Chief Charlie Smith, MD tells how a participatory approach to using the EMR can enhance the benefits and overcome the challenges of the technology.

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Research, Vol. 5, 2013

Viewing Laboratory Test Results Online: Patients’ Actions and Reactions

This study of more than 1,500 patients who used a patient portal found that they are usually relieved, appreciative, satisfied, or even happy to view their lab test results online. The results also show a positive influence of prior physician-patient communication on patients’ reactions and their followup actions.

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Books & Literature, Vol. 5, 2013

Book Review: Chronic Resilience

This is the first book I’ve read that highlights the strength gained when going through a traumatic event, and teaches the reader to apply it to living with a chronic illness.

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Research, Vol. 5, 2013

The Influence of an Audiovisual Intervention on Patient Experience in a Digital X-Ray Room

Undergoing an x-ray can be stressful for certain patients. This study shows that patients’ stress can be alleviated by an audiovisual intervention (ie, distraction) with appropriate up-front information about it.

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Narratives, Vol. 5, 2013

“What Brings You In Today?” Assessing and Addressing Potential Cross-Cultural Communication Gaps

Doctors who start clinical visits with open-ended questions — encouraging patients to express their health concerns in their own way — are on their way to achieving successful patient-centered communication. But when there is a language and/or culture gap between doctor and patient, communication may suffer — hindering patient engagement and making patients feel their care is suboptimal. What can be done to address communication gaps or cross-cultural language gaps?

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Editorials, Vol. 5, 2013

Putting Patients on the Health Care Team

The airline industry offers us a magnificent model for how teamwork can save lives. With patients as “co-pilots,” clinicians and patients can work together to improve health care outcomes.

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Research, Evidence, Vol. 5, 2013

Nonverbal Interpersonal Interactions in Clinical Encounters and Patient Perceptions of Empathy

The authors show that eye contact and social touch are significantly related to patient perceptions of clinician empathy. This is an important design consideration for clinical environments, where the health IT interface may preclude eye contact between clinicians and patients.

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Books & Literature, Vol. 5, 2013

Book Review: Let Patients Help!

This book gives readers a basic toolbox to become engaged consumers of health care. Conversational and readable, it’s a good starting point for those seeking to understand what impact engagement and participation may make in treatment outcomes for oneself and loved ones.

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Research, Vol. 5, 2013

Consumer Responses to Online Decision Aids for 3 Preference-Sensitive Health Problems

Studies on decision aids used with patients and their physicians have shown that patients have a higher level of satisfaction with the care received and decisions made, but data are scant on how consumers view the quality or usability of health information that they discover in their online searches outside the domains of a research study or clinical setting. This study examines user responses to decision aids for three preference-sensitive conditions (statins for high cholesterol, aspirin for low back pain, and MRI for low back pain).

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Narratives, Vol. 5, 2013

A Mother’s Journey to Diagnose Her Daughter’s Rare Disease

Many patients with rare disorders are not diagnosed by doctors, nurses, or researchers, but by a fierce and driven group of detective known as mothers. I know because I am one.

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Editorials, Vol. 5, 2013

How Do You Know if You’re Getting Good Medical Care?

Good medical care is difficult to describe because “good,” like “beauty,” is in the eye of the beholder — and, thus, is very subjective.

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Research, Vol. 5, 2013

Exploring Patient-Centered Handoffs in Surgical Oncology

Handoffs, the transfer of responsibility from one provider to another, commonly occur strictly between clinicians and exclude patients. Little is known about patients’ thoughts and desires regarding their participation in this process. This study examines handoffs from the patients’ perspective.

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Books & Literature, Vol. 5, 2013

Book Review: The Creative Destruction of Medicine

The new paradigm for medicine that Eric Topol draws in this book could, if fully realized, deliver better health, faster and at lower cost, than at any time in human history.

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Narratives, Vol. 5, 2013

Integrative Medicine’s Pragmatic Mission

Integrative medicine is not about simply studying therapeutic tools that are not traditionally used. It is about understanding how to use the most appropriate tools effectively to enhance health and healing.

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Editorials, Vol. 5, 2013

Why Don’t e-Patients Take Their Pills?

Health professionals often feel frustrated or even angry when patients don’t take their medication. And patients may feel exasperated when prescribers seemingly ignore complaints about side effects. This communication gap leads either to confrontation and finger-wagging, or to patients keeping silent about what they are or are not doing. Neither approach belongs in a participatory medicine encounter. What’s the solution?

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Case Studies, Vol. 5, 2013

Divergent Care Team Opinions About Online Release of Test Results to an ICU Patient

Are the principles of transparency and excellent patient care mutually exclusive? The authors examine a case history where a family caregiver and clinicians offer differing opinions on the wisdom of hospitals releasing online test results to inpatients in real time.

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Narratives, Vol. 5, 2013

Steel Standing: Metal Meets Muscle; A Patient’s Perspective

A family caregiver tells how she helped solve the mystery of her mother’s debilitating condition by persistently seeking out published studies and, on the fourth try, finding a surgeon who would listen to the patient and her advocate.

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Narratives, Vol. 5, 2013

e-Patients in Twitter Hashtag Communities

There’s promising evidence that Twitter hashtag communities are a force for improvement in medicine — a force largely driven by patients.

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