Focusing on Better Healthcare Through Information Technology

What is HIMSS, I’m sure you all are asking?  I bet you have no idea that it is right under your nose and being used in your everyday patient visits. HIMSS or Healthcare information and Management Systems Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality, safety, cost-effectiveness, and access, through the best use of information technology and management systems.

better healthcare

HIMSS members are known for developing many of today’s key innovations in healthcare delivery and administration, including telemedicine, computer-based patient records, community health information networks, and portable/wireless healthcare computing. Some of the best technology has been around for years, being tweaked and tested. HIMSS has found a way to connect health information and according to new surveys, half or more of doctor’s offices are using three or more of these technologies. There are currently seven technologies total including apps for patient engagement/education, patient portals, patient-generated health data, collected from consumer devices used for remote monitoring, remote patient monitoring using clinical grade medical devices, SMS texting, telehealth-audio visual fee for service, telehealth concierge service. This has become a widely accepted standard practice among hospitals and patients all over the U.S.

HIMSS is currently focusing its attention on health IT topics such as electronic health record systems, HIPAA security and privacy provisions, software usage and technical standards. They also hold an annual conference dedicated to bringing stakeholders together for several days to network and become educated in this type of healthcare.

So as stakeholders become more educated, we should too. We need to be more aware of the who, the what, and the why. Now that you understand the importance of these new advances, maybe then we can all be open minded to learning how to use these technologies to our advantage, and understand the grasp physicians have on their patients on a more personal level. HIMSS has changed the way patients and doctors communicate and understand, it is the wave of the future

Alyssa Pasek

Flu! When in Doubt Get Checked Out

It is a sad day in history, April 21st, 2016 will be the day of Purple Rain, as legendary musician Prince died at the age of 57. Devastatingly, the man of many hats was experiencing flu like symptoms leading up to his death. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health.

flu vaccine

Though flu season is over, do not underestimate the signs from your body. Influenza season is considered October through May, peaking in February. The Flu is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe and the most common symptoms include high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, and feeling tired. These symptoms usually begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week, the cough may last more than two weeks. It was said that Prince had been experiencing Flu like symptoms for several weeks, frequently visiting the Walgreens near his Paisley Park Estate in Minnesota. The musician was becoming very frail, and he had already had an incident where he was rushed to the hospital from his private plane. In the days before his death his symptoms did not seem to be improving according to TMZ. The flu can be dangerous if left untreated or improperly treated.

flue, sickness

It is important that individuals consult with their primary care physician or over telemedicine through Virtual ERs , where doctors can diagnose and get patients the help and medicine required. The Flu though common is nothing to mess with and is contagious to others. Most of the illness and death caused by influenza can be prevented by annual influenza vaccination. The CDC’s current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issued recommendations for everyone 6 years of age and older, who do not have any contraindications to vaccination, to receive a flu vaccine each year. Vaccine efficacy also varies from one person to another. Past studies of healthy young adults have shown the flu vaccine to be 70%-90% effective in preventing illness. In general, the majority (about 90%-95%) of people who get the disease feel terrible but recover with no problems. People with weak immune systems have worse outcomes than uncompromised individual’s. In most outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics, the mortality rates are highest in the older population usually above 50 years old.

If you notice a change in mood or health and believe you may be coming down with the Flu, get to a doctor right away. It’s not worth risking the odds, when in doubt get checked out!

 

Alyssa Pasek

Don’t Cry Because You Have Pink Eye

What is pink eye? No, it is not a popular eyeshadow trend or a new creative name for a crayon. Let’s take a closer look into what gave Pink Eye it’s colorful name.

pink eye cry

Pink eye otherwise known as Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. Sound fun? I bet not, when small blood vessels in the Conjunctiva become inflamed, they’re more visible. This is what causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink. I am sure you are all wondering what causes this to occur, and I bet you will find this is actually a very common infection, that many have experienced at least once in their life.

pink eye severe

Conjunctivitis is commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection or an allergic reaction. It may even affect one or both eyes. It can be irritating and itchy, but it rarely will affect one’s vision. Pink eye is contagious by touch for as long as two weeks after signs and symptoms occur, and early diagnosis can help limit it’s spread. Treatments can help ease the discomfort of an individual’s pink eye. There are many home remedies that will temporarily reduce irritation and depending on the severity professional help may be required and is recommended.

For mild cases you can try home remedies such as honey applied directly to the eye, Apple cider mixed with water eye rinses, boric acid eye wash, hot compress, or a cool saltwater compress, to name a few. All of which can be found on various websites for instructions. However, if your symptoms persist and you are experiencing discomfort or a sever case of Conjunctivitis, you should always see your primary physician or consult with a telemedicine physician via Virtual ER’s. This ensures that you get an accurate diagnosis and the necessary treatment for a speedy recovery.

Don’t worry, you won’t be the one eye, pink eye, flying purple people eater…for too long. So, wash your hands frequently, exercise good hygiene, and maintain a healthy immune system. Bye bye Pink Eye!

 

Alyssa Pasek