May 24, 2019

Tsk tsk on the ancestor shaming

Sometimes ancestors can be the convenient scapegoat for bumps in life's road. It's tempting to gaze around at the family reunion and think, "Well, it's easy to see where I got my [fill in the blank]."

Is having a chronic medical condition one of those times? Just watch Jo's VERY SHORT video on genetics vs. lifestyle choices to learn. 

May 15, 2019

Seriously? Is anybody listening?

This is more than a little disturbing. Iowa's position in U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings fell from No. 1 to No. 14 overall, and from No. 3 to No. 20 in the "Health Care" category. Best States RankingsConsidering that "health care" and "elder issues" were  conspicuous by their absence from both the Governor's Wish List and her I Got My Wish List, this is not really surprising.

When older Iowans gather, they talk about 1) their health and 2) how politics, taxes and the weather affect their health. By 2030, Iowa will be home to 144,000 more seniors than today. That means even greater demands on a health care system already straining to meet Iowans' needs. 

Is anyone listening? 

May 14, 2019

Have an issue with being nekked in front of strangers?

I just might have landed on a solution for you--and for a much larger issue as well. 

As you've heard me say many times, we are about to experience a dramatic upswing in the health care labor shortage already being felt. Check this out: Jo's VERY SHORT video on the robot dresser.

May 7, 2019

The secret to a long life?

It's one of those things that seems too simple to be true, but it is: falling is a leading cause of death as we age. And it's getting more prevalent, not less. Now, you would expect the numbers to go up, just because of our aging population, but guess what? The rate is also increasing, as shown in this brief video: Jo's VERY SHORT video on falls.

April 30, 2019

When is it most dangerous for a patient?

It seems like being in an Emergency Room, in the midst of a medical crisis, would be the most dangerous time for a patient. With so much multi-tasking going on, doesn't that setting hold the highest risk of a medical error occurring? 

Not so much. Moving between types of care--the time known as the "hand off"--is where a lack of communication is most likely to risk our safety as patients. For instance, going from the ER to a hospital room, or being released from acute care to rehab or going home. Just watch Jo's VERY SHORT VIDEO on the risks of the "hand off" to learn a shocking statistic. 

April 23, 2019

Once and for all: What is palliative care?

We'd like to think that all health care takes the patient's comfort into consideration, but in case it doesn't, there is a medical specialty that does: palliative care. 

Watch Jo's VERY SHORT VIDEO on palliative care to learn when palliative care may be appropriate for you or a loved one. 

April 16, 2019

Overnight epidemic of High Blood Pressure

This may be hard to believe, but the number of American men under age 45 with high blood pressure has tripled--since November of 2017! For women under 45, the number has doubled.

How can that be?  Just watch: Jo's VERY SHORT video on high blood pressure
In November of 2017, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association adjusted their guidelines for the treatment of high blood pressure ("hypertension"). They started by lowering the threshold for "high blood pressure" from 140/90 to 130/80. Overnight, nearly half of all American adults were classified as having high blood pressure.

So, when was the last time you had your BP taken? You know that funny looking machine at your pharmacy? Have a seat and check it out. 
To make sure you get an accurate reading, follow these steps:  GETTING AN ACCURATE BLOOD PRESSURE READING

If your numbers are high (and the machine's chart may not have been updated with the new guidelines), make a doctor's appointment to see what's what.

April 10, 2019

Health care's panacea: Electronic Health Records

A local provider, Iowa Clinic, has just been handed a $12.25 million verdict due to an Electronic Health Records (EHR) screwup. The pathologist used a bar code scanner with too many records lying on her desk and the report showing prostate cancer was attributed to the wrong patient (resulting in a mistaken prostate removal for one patient and we don't know what for the other patient.) 4/5/2019 Des Moines Register story on malpractice verdict

On the same day, we learn that two Battle Creek, Michigan doctors have closed their practice because hackers wiped out their entire records system (patient charts, billings, test results, etc.) when they refused to pay the ransom. 4/5/2019 story on medical clinic hacking

That's a lot to take in.