Let’s get Personal – 08/06/2010

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Topics include:
NewsLeader.com article on cell phones and chronic diseases
CNSNEWs.com released an article on how HHS must include obesity rating for every American in the stimulus-mandated EHRs.
Thoughts on EHRs

Category: Let's Get Personal
Date: August 6, 2010
Views:4,169 views

Welcome to Let's Get Personal. I'm Brie Wolf.

News Leader.com published an article on how researchers are trying to harness the power of cell phones to help fight chronic diseases. Dr. Richard Katz of George Washington University Hospital calls it "medical minutes."Katz is testing whether inner-city diabetics, an especially hard-to-treat population, might better control their blood sugar. If so, Medicaid dollars will be saved simply by tracking their disease using Internet-connected cell phones. The participants click into the program from their cell phone and record daily blood sugar measurements. A great bonus is...reduced monthly rates as long as they regularly comply. Katz began a study nearby Howard University Hospital's diabetes clinic, where Web-based personal health records were implemented. The trend is called mobile health or also referred to as mHealth. After all, most of the population now carries a cell phone. This Internet-based approach offers even more two-way interaction. At checkups, doctors use the personal health record, created by Indiana-based NoMoreClipboard.com.

In other news, Matt Cover wrote an article in CNSNews.com where HHS must include the obesity rating for every American in Stimulus-Mandated Electronic Health Records. Here, not only the traditional measures of height and weight should be recorded but also the Body Mass Index: a measure of obesity. The law also requires that these electronic health records be available--with appropriate security measures--on a national exchange. The new regulations are one of the first steps towards the government's goal of universal adoption of EHRs by 2014. Further, Michelle Obama has made dealing with the problem of childhood obesity the main theme of her term as First Lady.

Today, our final story's content comes from the Commercial Appeal. Most services we use -- banking, credit cards, phones or stores -- have electronic records. We cannot imagine going to a grocery where clerks only punch in stickered prices into a cash register or keep inventory with pen and paper. Health care is far more complex than a grocery store. Accurate information can be even more important. Paper records and X-ray films can be easily misplaced or damaged by water, heavy use, or fire. Paper charts and prescriptions can be hard to read since they are hand written. An EHR contains the same information found in a paper chart. It can also include instructions about your preferences, such as a living will or health powers of attorney. Our governments and Medicare officials want health care to be safer and convenient for patients. Most experts feel that EHRs can help. Special privacy regulations were also passed to protect confidentiality. Therefore, your EHR can be just as safe, or even safer, than a paper record. So when you choose a new doctor, ask if the office uses electronic health records.

I'm Brie Wolf and thank you for watching.

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