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The Use of Electronic Health Records Is Improving Patient Outcomes Across the Board

Medicine has evolved so much in the past century that it may feel overwhelming trying to keep up with the current pace of innovation. However, health care practitioners do well to maintain focus on the aspects of their practice that could be improved. While medical personnel may be quick to learn a new technical skill, the administrative side of the practice is proving to be just as vital to better patient outcomes. Here, we will look at how electronic health records, or EHRs, can hasten the diagnosis and treatment of disease while reducing medical errors.

In one national survey of physicians showed that:

94% of healthcare personnel appreciate the immediate availability of records at the point of care.
88% believe that clinical benefits improve with the use of EHRs.
75% believe that they deliver a better quality of care thanks to patient EHR.

Logically, patient history is an important aspect of quality care, and in reaching a diagnosis for a new condition. Having the necessary, comprehensive data at your fingertips provides you with the big picture you need to diagnose with accuracy.

Reducing Errors and Improving Outcomes with EHRs

The modern day health record does more than track a patient’s history, it “computes” it, thus reducing error and improving outcomes for each patient. Here’s how:

The EHR records data such as allergies and medications. Additionally, the electronic record will automatically check for potential problems at any time a new medication is prescribed. The clinician is alerted of any contraindications or conflicts.
When potential safety issues are exposed, care providers are able to avoid serious consequences and provide a higher standard of care to individual patients.
The digital transfer of health information in the EHR assists physicians in delivering […]

Use of C-arm Equipment in the OR

The mobile C-arm is nothing new. This valuable piece of diagnostic equipment was first developed in the mid-fifties. Since that time, general medical technology and the way imaging has been conducted has evolved at a rapid pace. Now, surgeons and operating room technician benefit from a greater potential for flexibility in a variety of cases.

What is a C-arm?
A C-arm is an x-ray machine designed for specific use. It’s “C” shape is comprised of an x-ray source on one end and, on the other, an x-ray detector. The device is most often used in the surgical environment, capturing accurate images in real time to facilitate efficient, expedient procedures. The C-arm seems to have greater capability and accuracy than a standard portable x-ray machine, making it an appealing choice for surgeons and their patients.

Some of the applications for which a C-arm is well suited include cardiology and vascular surgery, trauma medicine, orthopedics, and general surgery. The high resolution images that are immediately produced by the device give the surgeon and technical staff the feedback they need to monitor surgical progress and make prompt corrections if necessary. Enhancing the accuracy of the surgical procedure benefits clinical practice in the area of efficiency, and benefits the patient in terms of an expedited recovery. Consequently, there is a positive impact in the area of cost-savings for the providing hospital or surgical center.

How it Works

A C-arm x-ray machine is a mobile device that features a flat panel that detects images and a powerful generator. The versatility of the machine stems from axles that swivel vertically and horizontally, which means that images can be captured from multiple different angles. The energy that penetrates tissues transfers images that are immediately visible on […]

Understanding Knee Arthroscopy

Knee problems can cause severe pain and make it harder for patients to stay mobile, active, and healthy. One tool for addressing knee injuries and other knee problems is a surgery known as knee arthroscopy. Keep reading to learn more.

What happens during the surgery?
During this procedure, various types of anesthesia are used to keep the patient comfortable and prevent pain. Then small cuts are made near the knee and a saline solution is usually injected into the area. A camera that is attached to a very small tube will be inserted into the knee through the small incisions that have been made. This allows the surgeon to see inside the knee and operate using small tools without causing as much trauma to the knee. Patients can usually return home the day of the surgery. For simpler conditions, recovery can be quite quick and many patients can return to normal activities shortly after the surgery. If a more serious issue has been corrected, recovery time may be increased.

What conditions can be treated with this procedure?
Knee arthroscopy is used to treat a variety of problems. Some conditions that can be addressed through this procedure include:
• A patella (kneecap) that is misaligned
• Torn, damaged or inflamed ligaments in the knee and leg
• Torn meniscus—the cartilage that cushions the bones in the knee
• Broken or damaged cartilage in the knee joint
• Damage to bones in the knee

Damage to the knees can occur because of sports related injuries, falls, or wear and tear over time. This damage can immobilize people, make them more vulnerable to future falls, keep them from participating in sports, and hinder everyday life.

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive way to correct many problems in […]

February 15th, 2016|Medical Devices|0 Comments|

Medical Devices Used In The Home

While many medical devices are used in hospitals and other health care facilities, a number of medical devices are also used every day in normal households. Keep reading to learn more about medical devices that are commonly used at home.

What medical devices are commonly used at home?
Medical devices used at home can be as simple as contact lenses or as complicated as an Artificial Pancreas Device System. It is wise to used medical devices that are approved by the FDA so that you can ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Common medical devices used at home include:

Breast Pumps—used to extract breast milk from nursing mothers. Breast pumps can relieve pain caused by excess milk and make it easier for women to provide their babies with breast milk even when they are away at work or travelling.
Contact lenses—used to correct vision. Contact lenses are very common and allow people to see better without using glasses.
Hearing aids—used to help those with hearing loss communicate and hear things around them.
Blood glucose meters—used to help those with diabetes and other blood sugar issues monitor the amount of sugar in the blood and prevent health problems that are related to low or high blood sugar levels.

Above are just a few of the medical devices often used in the home. People who plan on using these devices, or other medical devices at home should understand how to use them safely.

Tips For Safely Using Medical Devices In The Home
People who plan on using medical devices at home should take the following steps to ensure safety:

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about your medical device.
Follow instructions precisely.
Keep instructions accessible so you can reference them as […]

January 15th, 2016|Medical Devices|0 Comments|

CPR Basics

CPR has the ability to save lives, so it is important to know what to do in an emergency. Having your employees learn CPR can help everyone in your company stay safer. Keep reading to learn a little more about CPR.
Before Performing CPR
If someone near you goes into cardiac arrest there are a few things you should do before starting CPR.

Start by checking to see if the person is unconscious. Then call 911 and give emergency responders detailed information. If you have someone with you one person should call while the other helps the person in cardiac arrest.

If an AED is available, get it and carefully follow the instructions on the device to give the patient one shock before beginning CPR.

If you have no training, you can still perform hands-only CPR. If you’ve been trained, you should begin normal CPR as quickly as possible

What is Hands-Only CPR?
The American Heart Association recommends performing hands-only CPR if you don’t know how to perform regular CPR. It can still save lives. To perform hands-only CPR, call 911 to get medical help on the way. Then push hard and fast on the center of the person’s chest. The American Heart Association suggests using the song “Stayin’ Alive” to pace yourself. Pushing to the beat of this song is the right speed.

Normal CPR Basics
While hands-only CPR is a good option if there is nothing better, regular CPR is even better. The basics of CPR include chest compressions, checking the airway, and rescue breathing.

If you’ve been trained, put the person on their back on a firm surface and put the heel of your hand in the center of the person’s chest. Then place your other hand on top of […]

December 15th, 2015|Medical Training|0 Comments|

Preventing Medical Errors

Medical errors are all too common, and all too often, medical errors become deadly. One study in 2013 put medical errors as the 3rd leading cause of death in America, right behind heart disease and cancer. Hopefully the numbers aren’t actually that high, but they are higher than they should be. To reduce the number of medical errors (and especially fatal errors) patients and medical providers need to work together to keep health care safer.
What Patients Can Do
There are a few steps that patients can take to prevent problems with health care.

Always be honest with your doctors, even if it is embarrassing. Tell them about any medications you are taking and any prior health issues you’ve had.
Ask questions and be informed. You should be able to respect and trust your health care providers, but it is also important to understand things for yourself. If your doctor prescribes something, find out what it does and how it works. When you pick it up at the pharmacy, don’t be afraid to double check the medicine given and make sure it is correct.
Always follow the instructions given by your doctor and listed on medications.
Seek a second or third opinion for serious issues, especially if you are uncomfortable with your experience or if your doctor doesn’t communicate well with you.

What Medical Providers Can Do
Medical providers have extensive training to help them do the best job possible. The following steps can help you keep your patients safer:

Keep detailed records and check them whenever starting something new.
Avoid overworking yourself or your team. People are much more likely to make errors if they are tired, unfocused, or hungry. Taking care of yourself is one of […]

November 15th, 2015|Medical Training|0 Comments|

What Is Popular In The Plastic Surgery World Today?

An important part of being a medical professional is staying up to date with recent technologies, advancements, and trends. Some medical practices are interested in offering cosmetic procedures to improve business and offer patients more options. Keep reading to learn more about popular cosmetic procedures.
Cosmetic Surgical Procedures
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in 2014 were:

Breast Augmentation—a procedure that uses implants to increase the size of the breasts.
Nose Reshaping—often called rhinoplasty. This procedure reshapes the nose to create a more pleasing appearance. In some cases this procedure can also be used to correct a deviated septum.
Liposuction—a procedure that removes small pockets of fat from specific areas of the body.
Eyelid surgery—often called blepharoplasty. This procedure repairs the eyelid and corrects sagging eyelids that may impair vision or detract from someone’s appearance.
Facelift—a procedure that moves the underlying tissues of the face and refits the skin in order to create a younger appearance with fewer wrinkles.

Minimally-Invasive Cosmetic Procedures
Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were also popular in 2014. The most popular procedures were:

Botulinum Toxin Type A Treatments— This procedure is usually referred to as Botox, but there are also other injectable treatments that use the same ingredient. These injections are primarily used to temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Soft tissue fillers—Injectable fillers can be used to fill in deep creases and restore fullness to the face.
Chemical Peel—a procedure used to remove dead skin and promote new growth.
Laser hair removal—a procedure to remove body hair with long lasting results.
Microdermabrasion—another procedure used to remove dead skin and stimulate growth.

Adding one or more of these services to your practice could improve business, or help your […]

3 Medical Devices That Were Approved By The FDA in 2015

Throughout the year, the FDA has approved many new medical devices. Keep reading to learn about three devices that have recently been approved.
Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve – P140017
This device is an artificial heart valve. It is made from the jugular vein of a cow and sewn into a metal frame. It can be inserted into the heart while it is still beating and without performing open-heart surgery.

This device is use in patients who are born with heart defects. Normally, patients with heart defects must undergo many surgeries throughout their lifetime. Using the Melody TPV can delay the need for surgery and in some cases, it can result in the patient needing fewer surgeries overall.
KAMRA Inlay – P120023
This is a dark, ring-shaped device that is implanted into the cornea. It can be used to improve near vision for patients whose eyes have trouble focusing. The device works by blocking unfocused light.

This device is usually used for patients who are between 45 and 60 years old. It can help patients who have trouble focusing clearly on small print or nearby objects, but who do not have a problem with distance vision.
ORBERA™ Intragastric Balloon System – P140008
This is a weight loss device. It is a balloon that occupies space inside the stomach. It is placed inside the body using a minimally invasive procedure. It is inserted through the mouth. Once it is inside the stomach it is filled with salt water. This device is meant to be removed after 6 months.

It is used on obese patients who haven’t been able to lose weight through diet and exercise. It helped patients to lose an average of about 10.2% of their body weight.

These are just a few of the […]

September 15th, 2015|Medical Education|0 Comments|

The AED: A Device Everyone Should Know How To Use

An automated external defibrillator (or AED) is a simple, but powerful medical device that everyone should know how to use. Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, but using a defibrillator quickly and correctly can help save lives in an emergency.

Keep reading to learn more:
When Is It Unsafe To Use A Defibrillator?
A defibrillator should not be used if the person is still breathing or if they still have a pulse. They are also not usually safe to use on children under 1 year of age.
When Should A Defibrillator Be Used?
If you see someone collapse, call 911 immediately, or send someone else to call while you check on the person in distress.

Check to see if they are breathing, make sure nothing is blocking their airway, and check for a pulse.

Once you have confirmed that they are actually in cardiac arrest, it is time to use the defibrillator in conjunction with CPR.
How Do You Use A Defibrillator?
Have another person continue CPR while you prepare the defibrillator.

Make sure the unconscious person is dry.
Turn on the AED and follow the accompanying instructions precisely. In most cases you’ll be instructed to attach cables for pads to the machine.
Make sure the chest area is clear. Remove the patient’s shirt and any metal jewelry. If a woman is wearing a bra with an underwire, that will need to be removed as well. In some cases it may be necessary to shave some areas of the chest. Check for a pacemaker or other implanted device that could cause interference.
Once the patient’s chest is clear, attach the pads to the chest. One pad should be attached on the right side below the collarbone. […]

What Should You Know About Laparoscopic Surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery (or minimally invasive surgery, as it is sometimes called) is catching on throughout the medical industry. Here’s what you need to know about it:
What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is a surgery technique that uses a long, flexible, thin tube called a laparoscope. The tube is connected to a camera and carefully inserted into a small incision in a patient. Small surgical instruments are also inserted into small incisions to conduct the surgery. Instead of opening the patient up, surgeons view the patient’s organs on a screen with the aid of the laparoscope.
What Are The Benefits Of Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery isn’t a solution to every problem the medical industry faces, but it offers many benefits. Some of those benefits include:

Smaller external scars
Reduced blood loss during surgery
Less internal scarring
Shorter hospital stays
Faster recovery times

This type of surgery can be used for a wide variety of procedures. Laparoscopic surgery is used for some cancer treatments, removal of tumors, and treatment of endometriosis and other gynecological conditions, as well as other surgical procedures.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is an asset to the medical industry, but it does have limitations. For example, the image from the laparoscope is two-dimensional and can make it harder to discern depth while performing surgery.

Another limitation is the instruments. There are many functions that the human hand can perform that are difficult to replicate with instruments. One solution to this issue is robot assisted laparoscopic surgery. For example, The Da VinciTM robotic system gives surgeons more options and allows them to use hand-like movements when performing the surgery. Using the robotic system also eliminates hand tremors.
Is Laparoscopic Surgery Being Used?
According to Med Gadget, Laparoscopic surgery […]