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    How Do Healthcare Providers Build and Retain Patient Trust in The Time of Technology?

How Do Healthcare Providers Build and Retain Patient Trust in The Time of Technology?

The doctor-patient relationship is one that we don’t hear about at dinner parties or on the news. It may not be a topic that is discussed nearly often enough even in professional circles. It should be. Patients rely on their physicians to help them make important, sometimes life-saving decisions about their health. To provide the highest quality advice and treatment, patients must be honest with their physicians. In recent years, research has indicated erosion in the trust that patients have in their doctors. There may be several reasons for this that are outside of the control of the medical system. However, there are steps that healthcare providers can take to ensure they are mindfully building trust in their patients. There may be no time in our lives when this may be more important.
Expectations are Everything
According to recent research, approximately 65 percent of patients appreciate the option to interact with their healthcare providers through smartphones and other devices. This is beneficial, seeing that telemedicine may be the future of healthcare. While the majority of patients do not mind skipping their trip to the doctor’s office, they do expect the same customer service they would receive from other service providers, such as their bank or a hotel. When discussing health, this expectation of service is even more vital to optimal outcomes.

What patients want from their doctors includes:

Authenticity and transparency. If you do not have a clear answer for a patient, they want to know that. It is okay to be uncertain, as long as patients are told the truth. Patients understand their doctors are humans, too, and that they may not have all the answers.
Active listening. With the emergence of immediate reporting and digital […]

Telemedicine: How Can We Thrive in The New Face of Medicine?

Medicine has changed quite a lot throughout history. These changes have resulted in better health and more longevity for most people. Where, in the 1800s, the life expectancy was only 36, most adults today are expected to live about 80 years. This is a testament to the innovation of the 20th century. Now, we’re in the midst of change once again. This time, one of the major advances is the use of telemedicine. With many doctors transitioning, it is important that we discuss matters beyond the technical aspects of the new face of medicine, such as how doctors and their patients can connect well in the absence of face-to-face contact that exhibits intuition and compassion.

The medical profession is undoubtedly one of the most highly regarded in history. Becoming a physician or nurse takes immense intelligence, not to mention grit to complete rigorous studies. These characteristics are foundational to a career in medicine, yes, but there’s more. There are soft skills that doctors also need, especially when in-person contact is blunted.
What Characteristics Do Doctors Need in the Possible New Model of Medicine?
There are three factors that determine the overall efficacy of telemedicine. These include trust, honesty, and technology.

Trust can be established by relaying credentials, philosophy, and experience. The more a patient trusts their doctor, the more honest they will be about their symptoms.
Honesty is vital to reaching an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan. Patients may be reluctant to discuss the extent of their symptoms, which puts the burden of discernment on the physician. Good observational and communication skills can facilitate better interaction in person as well as through technology.
Technology facilitates efficacy in telemedicine by allowing physicians to see their patients on video […]

There is More to Cadaver Training than You May Realize

For hundreds of years, the medical community has recognized the value of anatomy as an integral component of education. Without the study of anatomy, a healthcare professional, including a paramedic or other first responder, may have a more difficult time retaining clinical knowledge and skills. To support academic development, medical institutions have implemented various techniques revolving around anatomy and physiology. In our tech-savvy society, virtual reality techniques have become commonplace. For a more realistic application, some institutions have implemented the use of plastic models. Respectfully, we argue that neither can adequately prepare a medical professional for what they may face on the job; that anything less than cadaver training is lacking.

The cadaveric component of institutional learning provides students with the tactile and visual experience of human anatomical structures. It also exposes students to the innate variability that exists in human morphology. No less important, exposure to human cadavers takes students beyond the conceptual experience of dissection before beginning surgical rotations.
Anatomy is Only One Aspect of Dissection Skills
Any healthcare professional who has been on the job for a length of time can attest to the psychological and emotional response that may occur when exposed to human cadavers. Numerous med students have documented their reaction to working with human cadavers, specifically noting their emotional – and sometimes physical – experience. Some of these experiences are positive and some are negative. Approximately 7% of first-year med students report experiencing recurring images of their cadaver specimens post dissection. As many as 5% experience intrusive images that affect learning capacity. This is not something we should look at as a negative aspect of cadaver lab experiences.

Educational and cognitive psychology teaches us that emotions can directly affect how an individual […]

The Ever-Changing Face of Medicine

All human achievement throughout history is marked by trial and error. The healthcare industry is not immune to this way of advancing. In this arena, “error” relates to our striving to solve what ails the global community. “Mistakes,” or trial, is often the jumping-off point to new hope. Every so often, forward progress shakes the foundation of what we once believed was impossible or, in many cases, what we had never even considered possible. In this way, trial and error are cornerstones to success. Here, we discuss a few ways that healthcare is being revolutionized at the moment.
3D Printing
3D printing is being used in a variety of ways in the healthcare industry. Current applications include research, prototyping, customization, and manufacturing. This technology is allowing surgeons to replicate patient-specific organs for procedure preparation, research, and to customize prosthetic limbs and organs to be used in transplant surgeries. Recently, a 3D printed replica of a human lung was created by a team of bioengineers at the University of Washington and Rice University. During its testing phase, this manmade lung maintained normal blood pressure and simulated breathing.
Smart Technology
Once the development of smart technologies began, there has been no going back. Innovative apps and technologies have consistently driven reform within the healthcare industry, support patient-centered care. Today, smart devices perform a variety of tasks, from reminding patients of upcoming appointments to tracking medication, heart rate, blood pressure, and several other vital aspects of a patient’s health and healthcare record. Providing updates in real-time and accessible by the primary care physician, modern technology is both HIPAA compliant and convenient.
Telemedicine
Telemedicine is expanding our ability to provide patients with the level of care they need when they need it and in […]

Being an Organ Donor vs. Whole Body Donation

Many people are interested in participating in their local, state-wide organ donation program. To be an organ donor is to make a meaningful contribution toward the tremendous need our country has for organ donations. At this time, more than 100,000 people are waiting for some type of organ donation. According to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, there are currently more than 150 million registered donors in our country. However, many registrants do not qualify for donation at the time of their death. Qualification is determined by the cause of death and thorough medical history and evaluation by the local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO).

Being an organ donor creates the potential to save up to 8 lives and to affect many more. This is made possible by the prompt use of organs such as the heart, kidneys, pancreas, small bowel, liver, and lungs. Tissue donations may include tendons, veins, skin, bones, heart valves, and eyes. While the need for organ donation cannot be overstated, there is also a strong demand for whole-body donation.
What is Whole Body Donation?
Whole-body donation differs from organ donation in that the majority of the human cadaver is utilized for medical training.

A person can often be both an organ donor and a whole-body donor. After vital organs are used for transplantation, remains provide a necessary and vital function to medical training facilities. Med Ed Labs is a leading bioskills training facility with nationwide labs designed to further medical research, training, and development.

The criteria for organ donation may differ among various organizations. In many cases, patients who have kidney or liver disease, lung or heart disease or cancer may not qualify for organ donation upon death. The criteria for whole body donation […]

Robotics are Changing The Future of Urology

In recent medical history, many surgical procedures have evolved from open techniques to those that are minimally invasive. This is largely due to the advent of robotics. The first robotic-assisted surgery was performed in 1985, and the development of the popular da Vinci Surgery System occurred 15 years later. Since that time, nearly twenty years of continuous development has taken place. Now, many surgeons and patients prefer the robotic route for its smaller incisions and more predictable outcomes. At one time, robotic-assisted procedures were exclusive to cardiothoracic procedures. Now, more than half of urologic and gynecological procedures also rely on robotics. As a result, more physicians and residents are interested in training in it.

Robotics in Urology
Urology has historically been a technologically innovative field of medicine. The advantages of robotics have been demonstrated in numerous procedures, particularly cases of urologic cancers. These include:

Robotic Prostatectomy. Robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy is preferable because it is considered a nerve-sparing, minimally invasive procedure. The precision of robotics is also associated with greater preservation of erectile function and reduced bleeding and scarring. Before robotics, radical prostatectomy was performed using open or laparoscopic techniques. At this time, robotic-assisted surgery is the new standard.
Robotic Partial Nephrectomy. In the performance of partial or total nephrectomy, robotics consistently achieves shorter operative and recovery times. Patients are typically released from the hospital sooner due to the precision of robotic-assisted surgery. The use of robotic and laparoscopic techniques has largely eliminated the need for partial rib dissections to complete the partial or total nephrectomy.
Radical Cystectomy including Intracorporeal Diversions. Regardless of technique, this procedure remains complex. However, the use of robotics has improved efficiency and patient outcomes, achieving shorter hospital stays, reduced pain, and less […]

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    Expectations for Paramedics are High. We Can Help You Meet Them.

Expectations for Paramedics are High. We Can Help You Meet Them.

Years ago, a day in the life of a paramedic may have involved basic patient or casualty transport. Since that time, expectations have gone from providing minimal interventions on scene or during transport to providing comprehensive emergency care. The care that today’s paramedic is expected to provide, without hesitation, spans the realm of trauma and medical procedures.

Paramedics must now develop competency in multiple invasive procedures. Examples include airway management via endotracheal intubation, tube thoracostomy, needle thoracentesis, surgical cricothyroidotomy, and several other emergency procedures. To be confident in making vital medical decisions on the fly, the paramedic must be competent in the performance of each. Strong working knowledge of human anatomy is the baseline for this competency. Studies indicate that the best way to gain skills is through real-life exposure and demonstration of procedures followed by the actual performance of these skills in a controlled environment.

“In a controlled environment” is key here. Not every paramedic is immediately competent in the various skills they will be required to demonstrate. Due to the nature of medicine, on the job training is simply not acceptable. With the demands on paramedics and first responders at an all-time high, the demand for suitable training modalities has intensified. Working on mannequin models doesn’t cut it. Like other vital medical personnel, paramedics need exposure to human tissue. A cadaver lab provides them with the perfect opportunity.

For many paramedics, the first clinical exposure they get to the human body is in a cadaver lab. Comprehensive training courses for first responders build familiarity with surface landmarks, internal structures, and other human characteristics that are vital to the successful performance of emergency procedures such as:

Airway management
Central access
Saphenous access
Suturing and ligation
Tourniquets and pressure dressings
Wound management
Improvised splinting
And […]

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    Pain Management Getting a Makeover in the Face of an Opioid Crisis

Pain Management Getting a Makeover in the Face of an Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis has become a multifaceted problem that concerns physicians, patients, and the pharmaceutical industry. With litigation ongoing to determine whether or not corporations may be held responsible for the tragedies associated with opioid use, we are seeing one thing happen at breakneck speed: a marked decrease in the number of opioid prescriptions doctors are writing.

According to the healthcare consulting and outsourcing group IQVIA, opioid prescriptions dropped by 17% in 2018. Since 2010, when prescriptions were at their peak, they have fallen by 43%. We may look at this as a “good thing,” except that patients continue to deal with pain that, at one point, seemed to be manageable with the right medication. Here, we discuss a few of the bigger ideas that are currently being considered.
Safer Opioids
It may be difficult to believe that opioids can be made safe, but Collegium Pharmaceutical is trying. This company has made an extended-release oxycodone drug that delivers opioid medication consistently over time, even if the pill is crushed. The concept is that, with time-release, the drug becomes more difficult to abuse. At this time, analysts report that emergency room prescriptions for this drug have risen by 51% in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the same quarter last year.
Shifting Gears Completely
With much of the world shying away from opioids at this time, many investors are turning toward non-opioid methods of pain management. This doesn’t mean drug-free, but it does mean an opportunity to test drugs that are much less likely to have addictive qualities. One such drug is a sodium channel blocker, which has completed three Phase II studies. Another methodology, the use of cell therapy to treat low back pain caused by disc degeneration, […]

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    First Responders Benefit from Bioskills Training Using Cadavers

First Responders Benefit from Bioskills Training Using Cadavers

As technologies have improved, an increasing number of healthcare personnel receive training that is heavily reliant on simulation. Additionally, mannequins have improved in an effort to increase their lifelikeness. However advantageous current training may be for professionals like EMS and other first responders, there is no way that either virtual reality nor mannequins can replicate the variances of human anatomy. Multiple studies have indicated that surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals demonstrate improved anatomical knowledge after participating in some type of cadaver training. Now, the same is being said of first responders.

Similar to bioskills training courses for surgeons, physicians, and nurses, cadaver training for first responders takes textbook knowledge and translates it into hands-on practice. Listening and watching only takes one so far in their educational advancement. For skills to become fully integrated takes practice. Those who are on the front-lines of medical emergencies have precious minutes in which to make important decisions for their patients. Their skills need to be integrated quickly, preferably before they engage in real-time situations.

Cadaver training for first responders presents the opportunity to practice life-saving interventions such as intubation, chest decompression, emergency tracheotomy, cricothyrotomy, and inter-osteo procedures. These interventions, performed on plastic simulations, provide technical understanding but fall short of enabling the EMT or other professional to fully understand what it is like to work on a human body.

Med Ed Labs is proud to offer cadaver training lab services to paramedics, EMT trainees, fire department personnel, and all other first responders. Hands-on training with a cadaver provides the most realistic experience for healthcare providers. The familiarity with human tissue and internal organs that is gained through cadaver training significantly increases situational awareness during real-life emergencies.

Learn more about our national […]

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    Medical Advancements Providing Hope for Women with Stress Urinary Incontinence

Medical Advancements Providing Hope for Women with Stress Urinary Incontinence

Statistics suggest that, at any given time, approximately 15 million women are affected by stress urinary incontinence. Of the various types of incontinence, this is the most common. Historically, women have had relatively little help in managing this condition. Over time, though, both nonsurgical and surgical solutions have been developed. We’ll briefly outline them here.

Nonsurgical treatment options for stress urinary incontinence have included:

Pelvic floor exercises. Known as Kegel exercises after the physician who developed this technique, pelvic floor exercises work by contracting and releasing the muscles that span the lower pelvic region, which includes the vagina, rectum, and the urethra.
Behavioral modification. Avoiding certain activities may reduce episodes of urine leakage, but this can also decrease quality of life.
Transurethral bulking agents such as collagen have been injected around the urethra to thicken tissue and control urine leakage.
Pessary, a removable device that supports the bladder neck by repositioning the urethra.

Surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence has generally consisted of mesh techniques, also referred to as “sling” surgery. Mesh techniques became popular due to their minimally invasive nature compared to fascia or donor slings. However, surgical mesh for stress urinary incontinence has had somewhat of a turbulent history that has included numerous cases of complications. Now there is an alternative.
Innovative Technology for the Reduction of Stress Urinary Incontinence
Medical professionals are aware that our industry is constantly changing. New technologies are continually being assessed in stringent clinical trials. Earlier this year, the FDA cleared a new device by BTL Aesthetics, a leader in energy-based devices. This device, Emsella, reportedly tones the pelvic floor without a woman having to perform repetitive exercises. Emsella works via HIFEM®, a patent-protected technology that is already winning awards for its […]

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