If you are frustrated, confused, or simply eager to find the best way to work through the complexities of our health-care system, e-Patients Live Longer has solutions for you. Author Nancy Finn has written this comprehensive how-to guide about using e-tools effectively to facilitate the best medical care possible. This book illustrates how simple communication tools that you use everyday – your computer, email, the Internet, and smartphones – enable you to be an empowered, educated health care consumer. It explains how you can be a full participant with your team of health care providers to make decisions that insure your safety and well-being when dealing with health issues for yourself or members of your family. e-Patients Live Longer includes detailed information on the best websites and smartphone apps to find health information as well as advice on how to create a personal health record, how to manage your chronic conditions, how to evaluate and choose health insurance options to find the one that meets your needs, and how to insure the privacy of your health information. Each chapter incorporates anecdotes that are easy to relate to, as well as a summary of important key points. A glossary of commonly used words rounds out this easy-to-use reference guide. e-Patients Live Longer has all of the answers to help you get excellent continuous care and the best outcome for you and your family.
Email, portals and smartphones are only as effective as their ability to empower you and your medical providers to communicate and collaborate. It seems that the majority of Americans, rich and poor, well educated and not so well educated, young and old have adapted digital technology for business and social reasons. Over the next ten years, rapid innovation in wireless communication will provide even more features and applications to change the way that healthcare is delivered. Now is the time to adapt these tools to engage and insure that as an e-Patient, you will experience the most effective healthcare currently available Key Points: Chapter Three Continuous Care Using Email, Portals, Smartphones 1.More is better than less when it comes to communication between patients and doctors as long as it is done with respect and common sense. The currently available tools of communication – email, smartphones, and web resources including portals are an opportunity for you and your providers to foster the continuous care that you deserve. 2.Many doctors will not voluntarily engage in email with patients so you have to take the lead and ask for it. There must be ground rules regarding how quickly you expect your emails to be answered and what content is appropriate. You need to understand that email should only be used for non-urgent medical matters and that the privilege of communicating via email with doctors cannot be abused with too many questions or comments that waste the doctor’s time. 3.Privacy of your healthcare information is a continual problem and you need to be very aware of who might read your emails; hear your conversations or see your text messages. It is up to you protect yourself and to decide what information must be kept strictly confidential and when it does not matter so much. 4.The patient portal is the ideal medium where you and your physicians can exchange messages securely and asynchronously. Unfortunately for most individuals, the implementation of a portal is a physician’s choice. Once it is available, however, you should make use of the portal for ongoing communications with your provider: for scheduling your appointments, retrieving your lab results, and following web links posted on many portals that provide you with helpful health information resources. 5.Those who suffer from chronic illnesses such as congestive heart failure, asthma, diabetes, and many other conditions can greatly benefit by using email, portals, or smartphones to send your daily readings to a designated individual in your provider’s office so that you are closely monitored and avoid extra trips to your doctor’s office, or worse the emergency room. 6.As smartphone technology advances, messages, audio reports and images of wounds, sores, bites, swollen limbs, etc. can be transmitted to your physicians for faster, more efficient solutions. 7.Your smartphone could even save your life if you include your emergency contact (ICE) information in your phone in case you are rushed to the emergency room unconscious and cannot identify yourself to the doctors there. .
Biography Nancy B. Finn, M. Ed Nancy B. Finn is a journalist and thought leader on emerging digital communications in health care and the impact on patient care. She is the Founder and President of Communication Resources, and the author of four books, the most recent is Digital Communication in Medical Practice published by Springer Ltd. Ms Finn is a member of the Board of Overseers at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Society of Participatory Medicine. She holds a master’s degree in Education and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. She lives in Needham, Massachusetts with her husband, Peter.