August 6, 2018

Is COPD really the third leading cause of death?

Chronic respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death in America if you don't include the 251,000 people who die from medical errors every year--and the National Centers for Disease Control don't.

It's frustrating that almost all medical errors could be prevented using the tools of health literacy, such as sharing accurate information, being medication aware and practicing effective advocacy--for yourself or someone else.

Take a moment to watch and share this short video: Jo's SPOOF or TRUTH? about Medical Errors 

July 20, 2018

Wondering whether to buy green bananas?

Google's artificial intelligence group, "Medical Brain," has developed an algorithm that analyzes a person's entire medical records to make all sorts of interesting--and potentially crucial--predictions about health care outcomes and even life expectancy. Jo's video on predicting death

I am all about using every credible tool in the box to practice fully informed and shared decision making--as long as we remember that the computer only knows what humans tell it, so health literate decision making still comes down to effective patient-doctor communication. 

June 25, 2018

Have a modesty issue?

I just might have landed on a solution for you. You know, we are about to experience a dramatic increase in the health care labor shortages already being felt. Check this out: Jo's video on the robot dresser

June 18, 2018

The secret to a long life? Don't fall.

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 video on falls.

June 11, 2018

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--over the past six months! For women under 45, the number has doubled.

How can that be?  Just watch this: Jo's video on high blood pressure
Well, 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.

June 5, 2018

Good news for those with chronic medical conditions

There are 117 million Americans with two or more chronic medical conditions. Of those aged 65 and older, 75 percent are dealing with the multiple specialists, medications and lifestyle adjustments that come with chronic disease. 

A recent survey* showed that only half of physicians are aware that Medicare will reimburse their services as the care coordinator for qualifying patients with chronic diseases. And yet we know that when we monitor patients' compliance with medication and treatments, it pays off big time in improved health care outcomes. 

If you or a loved one has a chronic condition, such as high blood pressure, COPD, diabetes or depression, visit with your primary care provider about how you can make sure that patient and providers are all rowing in in the same direction!

* "Hidden Hazards", Quest Diagnostics, as conducted by Regina Corso Consulting, February 2018,