Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Four Powerful Concepts to Maximize Healing

Doctors, Please Consider Combining These Four Powerful Concepts to Maximize Your Patient’s Healing

Patients, Are You Getting the Best Treatment from Your Healthcare Professional?

Whether doctors and patients like it or not, there is a mind-body interaction. Healthcare professionals can leverage this interaction for enhanced healing.
As a healthcare professional, please consider these concepts to improve total diagnosis and treatment: 

1. Knowledge and Medical Skills
2. Bedside Manner
3. Maximize the Placebo Effect
4. Minimize the Nocebo Effect 

Knowledge and Medical Skills are taught very well in medical schools. Little need be said on this concept. It is the basis of many medical practices. 

Bedside Manner is becoming more important as many practices are becoming consumer driven. Perhaps some healthcare professional have inherited good bedside manner. Others might want to learn. Some medical schools are combining "people skills" along with the usual curriculum. For those who want to learn more, some references are listed at the end of this article. In addition, here are good Internet search strings for even more information:
  1.  listening-skills (patient OR doctor OR nurse)
  2.  body-language (patient OR doctor OR nurse)
  3.  (listening-skills OR body-language) tutorial
  4.  (listening-skills body-language) tutorial
Most healthcare professionals do not consider Placebo/Nocebo Effects, though these effects are as powerful in many cases as medicine and treatment. Again, good techniques can be learned. General references are at the end of this article. To find more information on the Internet, use these search strings:
  1.  placebo-(effect OR response) (words OR wording OR ritual OR enhance OR maximize) (patient OR doctor OR nurse OR physician)
  2.  nocebo-(effect OR response) (words OR wording OR ritual OR minimize OR diminish) (patient OR doctor OR nurse OR physician)
Use of these four concepts is somewhat of a judgment call by the practitioner. Some patients want only the facts and expertise. Some patients respond more to Bedside Manner. Some respond to Placebo/Nocebo whereas some do not.
Patient-Doctor communication is bilateral. As people-skills are learned and practiced, doctors can pick up the patient's body language combined with listening to them. From that, the doctor or nurse can decide how to adjust his or her own words, body language, and actions. Maybe someday, there will be "Emotional Stress Indicators" on patients to help the doctor decide whether they are helping or hurting the patient.
Medical practice is evolving. As much as there is hope for patients, there is hope for doctors and nurses willing to consider and learn new concepts and skills.
  1.  Patient-Doctor communication is becoming more and more important, as healthcare becomes more consumer-driven.
  2.  Bedside Manner, Placebo Effect, and Nocebo Effect can all be leveraged for enhanced and sustained healing. The progressive and caring healthcare professionals can learn all these.As a patient, find a practitioner that fits you as a person. Ask around, explaining what is important to you, as a health care consumer. Give each practitioner a fair chance, but do your part to communicate your needs and wants. Healthcare professionals are not "Mind-Readers".
For more information: 
  1.  Bedside Manner 
  2.  Can Better Bedside Manner Be Taught? 
  3.  Bedside Manner: Concept Analysis and Impact on Advanced Nursing Practice 
  4.  Patient-Physician Communication: Why and How 
  5.  Bedside Manners: One Doctor's Reflections on the Oddly Intimate Encounters Between Patient and Healer by David Watts, M.D., Random House Digital, Inc., 2006
  6.  Listening to Patients: A Phenomenological Approach to Nursing Research and Practice by Sandra P. Thomas, PhD, RN, FAAN, et al., Springer Publishing Company, 2004
  7.  The Power of Hope: A Doctor`s Perspective by Howard Spiro, Yale University Press, 1998
  8.  The Placebo Effect: An Interdisciplinary Exploration by Anne Harrington, Harvard University Press, 1999
  9.  Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter hosted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 
  10.  Speciļ¬c Components of Bedside Manner in the General Hospital Psychiatric Consultation: 12 Concrete Suggestions 
  11.  As a Healthcare Professional, Are You Checking All the Vital Signs to Evaluate Total Patient Condition?
  12.  Medical Monitor with an Emotional Stress And/or Pain Indicator

Disclaimer - Article is for information only and is not medical advice.

Monday, September 22, 2014

End Homelessness by Using the New Healthcare Options in the U.S.

6 Best Ways to End Homelessness by Using the New Healthcare Options

Stop Talking About Homelessness and Start Helping the Homeless Help Themselves

Many, if not all of us, are "one serious accident", "one serious illness", "one economic downturn" away from being homeless. 

Imagine yourself having Alzheimer's and homeless. You might or might not know you need medical help. Even if someone told you that healthcare was now available, you might not even understand him or her or have the physical ability to enroll in this new health option. 

This is the plight of many homeless. They might know about the new health options, but do not know how to enroll. Some homeless are "so out of it", for whatever reason, they cannot understand or comprehend they have new healthcare options. 

Thus, creates a service opportunity for average people to help the homeless help themselves. Most homeless do not choose their lifestyle. Many are afflicted with physical or mental conditions that restrict their choices in life. Maybe they want to do better in life, if only they had the health they so long wanted, but was out of reach to them. 

Below are six suggestions for people, just like you and me, to help implement Affordable Health Care for homeless people. Your efforts might very well end or prevent homelessness for one or more persons. Even your tiniest effort will probably help. 

  • Do not try to go it alone. Some homeless people might be very desperate, and maybe dangerous. Work with a team of some sort.
  • Try not to re-invent the wheel, e.g. creating your own flyers, etc. Find out what others are doing and maybe volunteer your time, efforts, and expertise.
  • Ask first before you do something. Your best-contrived efforts might not help at all and maybe even hurt. Bounce your ideas off like-minded people and see what they think.
  • Do not get discouraged. There is a lot of opposition to this new health care option. Do not let them get you down. You are working for the homeless and they do not have many options. You can make a positive difference in someone's life. Try it and see how it goes. Your reward might be the smile on someone's face as the person light up with renewed hope.
  • Learn about the new healthcare options in the U.S. The links below might be enough to get started. Your local library can help you "find more like this". In addition, your local library can offer additional suggestions how you could help locally where you live. Become familiar with the existing tools to aid in enrollment. Check out the "Enroll America" link below. Review the "Affordable Care Act Resource Kit", especially the section on "Take Action in Your Region, State and Community". Review the "Official Resources", especially "Other Partner Resources", to find promotion materials.
6 Best Suggestions - Pick one or more and start today!
  1. Ask at your local Homeless Shelter how you can help with the Affordable Care rollout. Tasks might include providing transportation, making and distributing flyers, informing the homeless of their new health care option, etc.
  2. Ask government officials how you can best help the homeless get the new Affordable Health Care.
  3. Build on the work of "Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program". Collaborate with them and learn their best practices. Even if VA covers veteran's healthcare, spouses and dependents generally are not covered by VA benefits. Hence, the rest of the family still needs healthcare coverage.
  4. Teach your children and/or students about how the new Health Reform has great potential to end or prevent homelessness. Maybe they want to help in some way and need adult supervision. The students, themselves, might be in a homeless situation or know of someone who is. Teaching resources have been developed and are included in the references below.
  5. Share your experiences with others, so others can learn from you. You might find better ways to Enroll America. You might not end homelessness, but at least you know you have done all you can to provide an opportunity for others to receive affordable healthcare.
  6. On an ongoing basis, encourage poor or homeless people to use their healthcare opportunities. Show them how to help themselves. Suggest they get the help they need. If their health improves, maybe their homeless situation will take care of itself. When people feel better on the outside, they feel better about themselves on the inside, and want to help themselves. Someday those same people might help others help in similar situations.
  • The "Affordable Care Act" and newly expanded Medicaid have great potential to decrease homelessness.
  • Average people like you and me, can help Homeless Americans learn about their new health care options, help them enroll, and encourage them to participate in their own health care. By doing so, you are helping others help themselves.
For more information:  
Homeless Healthcare - Past, Present, and Future
How to Prepare and Take Action to Help the Homeless with Healthcare
Assistance in Actual Enrollment
Disclaimer - Article is for information only and is not medical or legal advice. Seek professional assistance as needed or wanted.

Sanfilippo Syndrome - Information and Resources

Here is What You Can Do About Sanfilippo Syndrome

Sanfilippo Syndrome - Information and Resources

Sanfilippo Syndrome might not mean much to most people. It means a lot, though, to those children and parents who are affected by this rare illness. The children's names might be Ben, Missy, Reed, Jonah, or maybe a name few can pronounce. 

Sanfilippo syndrome is a rare metabolic disorder that is passed along in families. It is caused by an enzyme deficiency. More information is below, but the essence of all this is the child withers away. At the time of writing this article, however, there are some new and promising treatment options. 

This article is meant to give hope by summarizing some of the resources available for Sanfilippo Syndrome. 

Once diagnosed with this Syndrome, here are some steps family-members can take to become informed, find others who have the same illness, alleviate discomfort, and maybe improve healing potential.
  • Of course, work with the health care professionals you have available. In addition, keep an open mind to Alternative and/or Complementary Therapies.
  • Connect with others who have experience with this Syndrome. Some Support Groups are listed below.
  • Set up an Internet Alert Service, e.g. .Google Alerts, to notify you of recent advancements. A Good Internet Search String is below.
  • Do your own research, in hopes of finding something new or overlooked. Share your findings with others, so that you all can build on each other's research. Libraries can help you find information, people, organizations, etc. Connect with the closest Medical Library. Find a library that you like working with, since there might be more than one in your locality. Connect with one, even if you aren't from that country or area, since most are very willing to help all. Whatever question you have they can help. Don't hesitate to ask, no matter what.
  • Do not give up hope. There is always something new "just around the corner". You might not have answers now, but you are doing all you can. Hang in there. It means a lot to a child just knowing they are loved and accepted, just as they are.
  • Sanfilippo Syndrome is a difficult condition, both for the child and the parents or caregivers.
  • There might not be many answers now, but a new treatment might be coming soon, that your doctor might not even know about.
  • There are action steps you can take to help your child and yourself, make the best of the situation.
For more information:
General Information - Sanfilippo Syndrome
Good Internet Search String - ("Sanfilippo syndrome" OR "Mucopolysaccharidosis III" OR "MPS-III")
Find a Medical Library near you in the U.S., Canada, and some other countries. Also List of Library Associations around the world.
Support Groups:
RareConnect - Sanfilippo Syndrome - Also, see links to other helpful resources.
New Patents/Applications:
Disclaimer - Article is for information only, and is not medical advice.

Did you know that your body has diagnostic capabilities in itself?

Mind-meld with Your Doctor and Finally Get Better

Technology Will Soon Link Your Doctor with Your Own Internal Diagnostic System

Did you know that your body has diagnostic capabilities in itself? This system works very well to maintain your entire life. You might think of this system as "Your Doctor Within". 

Did you also know that "Your Doctor Within" sends out diagnostic signals, ready for reading? Some of these signals can be received by the patient themselves, e.g. pain. Healthcare professionals can read other signals, but alas, few do. This is probably because these signals are emotional and currently not considered by most physicians. 

Some advanced doctors are considering "Emotional Stress" and/or "Pain" as additional Vital Signs. Typically, the only Vital Signs considered are Body Temperature, Pulse Rate (or Heart Rate), Blood Pressure, and Respiratory Rate (and/or Oxygen Saturation). 

Currently Medical Monitors do not measure Emotional Stress and/or Pain. Please look for this in the future. 

With a device of this type, the doctor could "see" what is going on inside the patient, whether they can communicate or not. Everyone knows that Emotional Stress aggravates any medical condition. Some say that Negative Stress causes health maladies. 

With a little extra work by the doctor, the emotion of the patient could also be determined. 

Yet, many patients will not talk about their emotions. Both doctors and patients typically do not like to talk about "feelings". Emotions are important, however, since they do affect a person's health, either negatively or positively. 

This patient-doctor miscommunication results in misdiagnosis. Some hypothetical examples of a misdiagnosis are:
  • Patient comes in with symptoms of fatigue and lack of interest in life. Typically, doctors will diagnose this as depression and treat it with drugs. Yet, what the doctor did not know was that a close family member had just died. The patient was going through normal grieving. Yes, this is a situation to watch by the patient and doctor, but drugs might not be necessary at this time.
  • Patient has high blood pressure and is overweight. Doctors will typically prescribe medication, and this is good, since hypertension is potentially lethal. In some cases, the doctor might also recommend weight loss to improve blood pressure. The patient agrees with the doctor to lose weight. What the doctor does not know is that the patient is angry inside, does not intend to lose weight, and just wants to eat for comfort. The patient just wants to be given drugs to treat the symptoms of being overweight.
The examples above show that doctors only see and hear, but not know the emotional state of the patient. Knowing the emotional situation of the patient can help the doctor diagnose and treat the patient. With the right kind of Medical Monitor, misdiagnosis could be prevented. 

Doctors and researchers have a wealth of information on what vital signs change with each emotion. These observations could be compiled into an algorithm within the Medical Monitor to differentiate between emotions. For example, if the patient was angry the heart rate, skin conductance, and temperature would rise. Fear shows up as increased heart rate, skin conductance, but a decrease in temperature. Each emotion has its own physiological diagnostic signal or signature. Further research could refine the algorithm to pinpoint the exact emotion better. 

With this additional information, the doctor could better determine what is causing your physical symptoms and treat you accordingly. 

  • Each person has a built-in diagnostic system.
  • Healthcare professionals will soon be able to access a patient's internal diagnostic system. This will result in a more accurate medical diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Technology is catching up to receive the patient's own diagnostic signals. Look in the future for a Medical Monitor that indicates the patient's Emotional State and/or Pain Level.
For more information:
Disclaimer - Article is for information only and is not medical advice.