e-Patients Live Longer, The Complete Guide to Managing Health Care Using Technology is a comprehensive guidebook on using e-tools to facilitate the complexities of our health care system. The book illustrates how the communication tools that consumers use every day: digital records, email, the Internet, and smartphones are enabling technologies that help patients empower themselves to take charge of their health care, communicate with their clinicians, monitor their chronic conditions and collaborate with their health care team for better outcomes.
“This 2014 update to the original 2011 edition reflects changes to the Affordable Care Act and underscores the breakneck pace of change in both healthcare and technology. It is a comprehensive, accurate and useful healthcare guide, chock full of statistics, surveys, anecdotal stories including a list of key points and documented sources that close each chapter.” Kirkus Indie Review, June 2014
“The book’s eleven chapters cover everything from managing healthcare costs and records to understanding how preparing for a doctor’s visit has changed over the years and what your legal rights are as a self-advocating patient. The concepts in each chapter are introduced and reinforced with real-life stories that are appropriately suited to each topic. These illustrative stories make the concepts memorable and empowering.”
Forward Clarion Review, Sara Budzik, June, 2014
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.