Why It’s Important To Protect Your Medical Identity

medical records on shelf

Identity theft is something we all need to be aware of. Often, identity theft occurs when someone steals our social security number or gains access to our credit card and bank account information. By the time you realize that someone has stolen your identity, you could be hundreds or thousands of dollars in debt and have no knowledge of when it began. What is even worse, you can end up being unable to take out a personal loan until it is cleared up, which can take years. You also run the risk of having your medical records sold on the black web, and then being used against you.

The Threat of Medical Record Fraud

Your medical record contains a lot of information. Most medical records contain not only your overall health information, but what medications you are on, your social security number, family member names, your address and phone number, and much more. Your health insurance provider will also be listed, along with your policy number. With all this information consolidated in one area; thieves will be able to learn even more about you. This information is harder to “cancel” than a credit card. You can’t simply change a number and keep thieves from accessing your medical information. It can take years for you to realize there is a problem.

What Can Be Done With Your Medical Records?

Your medical records contain your past medical history, a list of your medications, your lab and x-ray results, as well as much more information pertaining to your medical treatment. Your medical records contain everything about you. You may think that a thief cannot use your social security number without raising red flags, and that knowing your healthcare provider or insurance information is not going to do them much good either. This is how identity thieves hope you will continue to think about it. The truth is, a thief can do a lot of things with your medical records. Some people might use your medical information to get prescription pain medications to satisfy their opioid addiction. Then, when the investigation starts, it leads back to you. You may be denied pain medication because your medical records may show that you have an addiction.

Protect Yourself From Medical Identity Fraud

Medical record identity theft is becoming more common. Protecting your medical identity is just as important as protecting your credit card information.

Do you know how to read your medical records and make sense of them? If not, consider taking our course entitled, “ How to Protect Your Own Medical Identity (in 8 EASY Steps!) ” This course is the ideal solution to protect yourself and to keep from becoming the next victim of medical identity theft.

How Healthcare is Changing to Meet the Needs of Patients

group of doctors having meeting in board room

Healthcare management is on the move and the changes are both exciting and important. Patients are no longer dependents. They are consumers who require better service and better value, and healthcare today is evolving to meet these demands now and in the future.

Access to Care

The long held belief that a patient should follow the lead and direction of their healthcare provider has gone by the wayside, and the trend toward Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) is being encouraged and established as the new best practice. In the PCMH, the patient is the boss, and clinics and offices have extended their services to meet as many patient needs as possible under one umbrella, offering patients less wait time, and a greater opportunity to direct their own healthcare.

Mega-Mergers

Hospitals, outside laboratories, and doctor’s offices are merging into larger conglomerate healthcare companies. While it is true that there are fewer companies to choose from because of the mergers, these mega companies are creating all-in-one-visit healthcare opportunities. They offer more services and a more affordable cost than small private organizations. By reducing advertising and supply costs, as well as building expenses, these savings get passed on to customers.

Care Advocacy

Nurse care management and case management has become the norm for patients with chronic and acute illnesses. Nurses are assigned to patients who may benefit from having their own healthcare advocate and team available to them. These care managers help patients get the medical equipment they need, understand their insurance benefits, manage their medications, keep track of their medical appointments, and gain access to other outside services. They also offer healthcare education to reduce or prevent emergency room and hospital visits.

Many insurance and private sector healthcare companies offer nurse triage call centers with 24/7 access to a registered nurse to discuss urgent health-related questions and symptoms. These call centers help customers manage their health during times of illness, make decisions about doctors office visits, and help patients decide when they need to make a trip to the emergency room.

The healthcare trends for 2019 reflect the understanding that patients are educated consumers. Not only are patients able to make informed decisions about the care and services they receive, they are demanding the choice.

For more informative articles, visit the Avidity Medical Design blog.

close up photo of bananas

The 5 Best Foods for Homemakers to Increase Their Energy and Productivity

Being a stay-at-home parent—or even a work-at-home parent—is tough work. Kids are pulling you in different directions and your to-do list is overwhelming. It’s easy to get tired when you are being pulled in ten different directions. Unfortunately, when your energy is low, it reduces your productivity, which in turn, increases the amount that you have to do and increases the stress you’re facing. Over time, this problem can compound itself, making it harder and harder to get things done. That’s why it’s important to combat fatigue and keep your energy level high.

One important factor in keeping your energy level high is the food you put in your body. Food is the fuel for your body. Eating the right food fuels your body in all the right ways. Eating the wrong foods can leave you feeling sluggish and apathetic. If you’re trying to increase your energy and improve your productivity this week, try incorporating any of these 5 superfoods into your diet.

Oat Bran

Many of us associate bran—like bran muffins—with our grandparents, but there’s a reason the older generations relied heavily on oat bran, especially at breakfast time. Oat bran is a complex carbohydrate, which means that it takes your body longer to process than other carbohydrates. Additionally, it’s packed full of protein, which can help you feel satisfied throughout the day, and fiber, which can jumpstart your digestive system and help you absorb the nutrients you need as the day goes on. Oat bran can be cooked like oatmeal, or it can be baked into muffins, cookies, and even pancakes.

Spirulina Powder

Although spirulina powder is newly making headway as a healthy superfood, it’s been used for centuries in some cultures. It comes from blue-green algae that can be found all over the world, and as little as one tablespoon of this powder each day can improve your health. Spirulina powder is a complete protein, which means it has all of the amino acids you need to live a healthier life. It’s packed with nutrients, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, E, and K, to help you feel healthier and more energetic throughout the day. To easily incorporate this powerful powder into your diet, try mixing a tablespoon into your morning smoothie.

Bananas

Bananas are a great source of potassium and vitamin K, and they have just enough sugar to give you a quick energy boost if you need it without leading to a sugar crash later on. They’re great on their own, mixed with a little peanut butter, or made into overnight oats.

Eggs

Eggs, cooked any way you like them, are a powerful source of protein that don’t spike your blood sugar when you eat them. This can help you maintain a steady source of energy throughout the day, rather than having the highs and lows of energy that often come from more sugar-laden foods. Eggs are also filled with the amino acid leucine, which stimulates energy production in the cells. Try hard-boiling your eggs at night for an easy-to-grab snack during the day.

Avocados

Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fat and fiber, which can help maintain your energy level throughout the day. They’re also rich in B vitamins, which help with cellular function, ensuring you feel better as the day goes on. Avocados are great on their own or mashed on a piece of toast. You can even incorporate them into your sandwich at lunchtime.

These are only a few of the superfoods that can help your body function at peak condition. To learn more about how eating the right foods can fuel your body, increase your energy and maintain your productivity, while lowering your risk of getting certain illnesses and diseases, check out our course entitled, “How to Prevent Disease In Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables).”

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face Treating This Disease?

Ebola has been a biological bogeyman for decades, but it’s only recently that the disease has made its way into the United States. With fewer than 10 cases and only a single fatality it could be argued that the response to the disease was proper. However, could that fatality have been avoided? And what problems are physicians facing trying to treat this disease in what is supposedly one of the best health care systems in the world?

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face?

Ebola is a deadly condition whose symptoms bear a resemblance to influenza (fever, coughing, weakness, vomiting, etc.) until bruising and bleeding starts. Fortunately Ebola is transmitted by close, personal contact (including contact with a patient’s bodily fluids) which means that it’s much more difficult to spread than an airborne virus. When examined from the outside Ebola should be a fairly simple disease to contain and control, and once it’s contained the treatment should be routine.

Should be is the key phrase here.

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face?The primary challenge that physicians face treating Ebola is actually containing it. The disease first has to be identified, and patient placed in isolation, and then physicians need to ascertain that no one else caught the disease from the patient. Given the fear associated with Ebola people may be unlikely to come forward if they were exposed, and this can lead to problems with the disease’s spread.

Another issue that physicians often face is the lack of training and proper protocol regarding Ebola. Whether it’s due to a lack of proper equipment (full body suits that will protect the doctor from a patient’s fluids are a primary concern, and they’re also something of a rarity), or simply not having a plan that’s been communicated to everyone on staff there are often breaches that result in the disease spreading to others when it shouldn’t. Part of the issue is funding, and part of it is experience since those who aren’t familiar with the CDC’s protocols for personal protection may find they make mistakes when they try to follow the guidelines.

Overcoming These Challenges

These challenges are not going to vanish overnight, which is why physicians must take necessary steps to overcome them. Making sure proper equipment is in place is a necessity, and making sure that staff can use that equipment through classes and drilling is also a necessity.

Another necessity is making sure that the protocols put in place are easy to follow, and that they work. That’s where Avidity Medical Design comes into the picture. With years of experience in the healthcare industry, and a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology, Avidity Medical Design can develop curriculum to train your staff on guidelines and strategies for treating patients with the Ebola virus. This comprehensive training is ideal for physicians, as well as nurses and other healthcare practitioners, who must address the demands of treating patients with the Ebola virus.

For more information on how Avidity Medical Design can help you simply contact us today!