Nursing Patient Education News – Tracking Medical Records

Delicate Info: How Can Patients Track Their Medical Records for Better Health?

By – Rachelle Wilber 

Topic – Nursing Patient Education

Doctors usually have too many patients to keep a close eye on any individual’s medical records over time. Rather than relying on your doctor to track your records for better health, you can do it yourself. These four options provide you with different solutions to tracking your medical records and improving your overall health.

Personal Health Binders

Setting up your own personal health binder is a simple process and does not require the use of any technology. Choose a sturdy, three-ringed binder and label it with a title such as “health records.” You can use dividers to separate the binder’s contents into sections, such as procedures, tests and general checkups. When you visit the doctor, ask the office staff to print out your visit summaries and lab test results. Use a three-hole puncher to make holes into the left side of the printouts. Insert your printouts into the binder as desired. When you want to track your medical records, just refer to your binder. This is a helpful solution if you have different doctors that are not connected to each other through an electronic network or if you prefer to bring your medical history with you to your medical exams.

Patient Access Portals

Many medical provider networks offer electronic patient access portals. With portal access, you can log into your account and track each visit’s procedures and diagnoses. These portals also feature sections for your laboratory test results and your active prescriptions. This allows you to track you results over time and get a picture of your overall health. The portal access is encrypted to protect your confidential information. Many electronic portal services allow you to check on the date of your next appointment, send your doctor a message or request a prescription refill.

Using Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program that can be used on your home computer to track your medical records. You can use Excel to sort rows and columns, create charts and develop graphs to monitor your health situation. For example, if you are diabetic and check your A1C and daily blood sugar level results, you can monitor your test results over time. Microsoft Excel reporting tools can also be used for health record reporting. Physicians and office staff may use Excel to monitor symptoms and implement a watchful waiting or treatment program for you. Excel is also used in infectious disease reporting, such as if a patient develops a case of whooping cough, which is reportable to most local and state health departments. If you are skilled in data analysis, you can export Microsoft Excel spreadsheets in a .CSV format or a comma delimited format for in-depth analysis of your health.

Google Drive

Google Drive is free software that is accessible through the cloud. You can access it at any time by setting up your own Google account. It connects your email, a calendar, spreadsheets, word processing and other programs. With Google Drive, you can track your medical records by implementing your own spreadsheet. It allows you to perform basic calculations and sort by rows or columns in order to track your test results and visits. You can link the different parts of Google Drive together, such as updating your calendar with the next appointment and having it email you a reminder. There are storage limitations to Google Drive and its spreadsheet system is not as powerful as Microsoft Excel.

These four health-tracking solutions allow you to look in-depth at your health and take action for improvements. You can also use them to get an overview of your medical care. Consider using these systems to track the health of each person in your household.

 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700

How Healthcare Providers Can Encourage Patient Trust

Consider becoming a nurse patient educator and earning your nurse educator certification
Consider becoming a nurse patient educator and earning your nurse educator certification

One of the most important things in regards to the patient doctor relationship is trust. Patients must trust that their healthcare providers will make the best decisions for their well-being. If that trust is broken, it can be traumatizing for the patient. Engendering trust in your patient’s is something that’s not always easy to achieve.  But with practice and patience, it can be done.  Getting into the habit can be a little slow, but building genuine concern and generosity is possible everyday. Below are three ways to increase patient trust.

Effective Communication

Above all else, the key to gaining and keeping a patient’s trust is effective communication. While you may want to explain a medical condition or treatment in technical terms, you must always explain it in a way that allows the patient to understand exactly what you’re trying to convey. Different patients are more receptive to different ways of explaining things. Don’t be afraid to change your approach depending on the person in question.  It’s always helpful to adjust your approach depending on the situation.  It’s always advisable to be delicate and have a gentle touch when interacting with patients one-on-one.

Effective communication also means being receptive to what the patient says to you. If a patient has questions, try to answer them as effectively as you can. If a patient feels their concerns are not being answered, they will certainly lose trust in your ability to provide them with adequate healthcare.  Part of being a professional is providing the right kind of care and the right approach to each individual’s treatment needs.

Mandatory HIPAA and HITECH Training

Another thing that should be required for all staff working for a healthcare provider is mandatory HIPAA and HITECH training. HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This law was passed in 1996. One of the things essential HIPAA training did was create rules denoting how a patient’s personal information can be shared by a healthcare provider. HITECH stands for Health Information Technology for Economic Clinical Health. It is a law that was passed in 2009 with the goal of making sure healthcare providers covert medical records into a digital format.

Not only are following these laws important in regards to maintaining patient trust, not following them could result in severe legal penalties. You need to make sure your staff knows these laws and how to conform to them when dealing with patients’ information and records. Not doing so is both illegal and immoral. Patients expect health providers to protect their privacy when dealing with their information.

Try to Develop Relationships with Patients

While your contact with patients shouldn’t extend to outside of the professional healthcare setting, it’s good to try to form a bond with them. Show them that you also care about them as a person. Some small talk about their family or personal lives is certainly okay. That personal touch can go a far way in regards to building trust.  Every patient feels better if he or she is cared for not only physically, but mentally as well.

Overall, trust is extremely important. Building it requires communicating effectively with patients, protecting their personal information and showing that you care. If you build that trust, you may have a loyal patient for decades to come.  Trust in your providers is essential to health and the process of healing.  When your trust is misplaced or you’re not able to rely on the professionals caring for you, it can be detrimental to your well-being.

 

Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter and facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700

 

If you are interested in earning a Nurse Patient Educator Certification from AIHCP, please review the program

 

AIHCP

 

 

 

 

Nurse Patient Educator: Trust and Communication with Patient

How Healthcare Workers Can Restore Patient Trust in the Internet Age

A nurse patient educator not only educates but also communicates and builds trust with his or her patients
A nurse patient educator not only educates but also communicates and builds trust with his or her patients

Have you ever typed in symptoms of a headache in a search engine and found out that these signs may be linked to a tumor, cancer, or other scary disorders? Chances are, if you are reading this article, you have done the aforementioned. Being certain that you have a terminal illness, maybe you have even scheduled an immediate appointment, only to find out that your symptoms are common. Do you trust your doctor or do you search for a second opinion to validate your internet diagnosis?

The internet age has caused problems for healthcare workers all over the world. Some patients value information off of Wikipedia more than they do their physician’s opinion. The fact is that the internet has devalued the doctor-patient relationship, causing struggles for both doctors and patients alike.

Communication

Ensuring communication throughout every doctor-patient interaction is key to building a trustworthy relationship. While it is easy for a doctor to spout off medical jargon, leaving the patient with a list of terms to google, it has become bad business for doctor-patient relationships. Doctors should realize that some patients do not understand medical jargon and need the layman’s version of diagnosis.

Collaborative Decisions

While it is common practice for doctors to offer a simple “one-way” solution for a diagnosis, some patients may prefer the atypical approach when it comes to treatment. Doctors have a responsibility for explaining different procedures, testing, and routes of treatment. A medical malpractice specialist from Rosengren Kohlmeyer Law Offices says that, as medicine has become more specialized, patient reliance on medical providers has increased. Patients need to realize they have every much as much of a part in the decision-making process as their doctor and should be comfortable with treatment options before proceeding.

Honesty

It is a common misconception that all medical doctors have all the answers. The fact is, it is quite the opposite. A patient may get frustrated when a doctor cannot give an immediate diagnosis or refers them to a specialist for further treatment. When this happens, it is important to reiterate to the patient the exact process physicians go about for reaching a specific diagnosis. Keeping the patient informed of your medical limits, while ensuring they will still receive excellent care is important when building a trustful doctor-patient relationship.

Transparency

One of the greatest draws of the internet, for the self-diagnoser, is the apparent transparency of information. When a symptom is brought up, the patient only has to type it into their search bar to read up on all the information available (true or otherwise). Between the user and the internet, there is no withheld information, which patients greatly appreciate, even if it’s not the best way to receive said information. Doctors and other healthcare professionals can combat this potentially dangerous form of diagnosis by disclosing relevant information and offering the patient resources for their own research. This way, the patient can satisfy their curiosity and answer their own questions using materials their doctor is aware of.

Conclusion

While it is hard to compete against the internet filled with seemingly endless knowledge, physicians can still provide a trustworthy doctor-patient relationship. Keeping open lines of communication, involving the patient in decision-making, limiting medical jargon, and being upfront with limits of medical knowledge is just a head-start to earning a patient’s trust.

About the Author: Marlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from the University of Georgia.

If you would like to become a Nurse Patient Educator or would like to learn more about our Nurse Patient Educator Program then please review

 

Mixing Medications: What Most of Us Get Wrong in the Disposal Process

Mixing Medications: What Most of Us Get Wrong in the Disposal Process

 

A nurse patient educator can play a key role in advice of medicine disposal. Please review our nurse patient educator program
A nurse patient educator can play a key role in advice of medicine disposal. Please review our nurse patient educator program

Whether your doctor changed your prescription or advised you to discontinue a specific drug, disposing of them properly is an important consideration. While it may seem easy to simply throw the drugs in the trash, this is not always proper protocol, and can result in accidental poisonings or disease transmission. Always be careful when looking to clear out the medicine cabinet and keep these tips in mind.

Drug Take-Back Programs
Some pharmacies will take back prescription and over-the-counter drugs, no questions asked. Others will not. Ask your pharmacist about proper disposal procedures. Even if they cannot take the drugs off your hands, they should be able to advise you about how to safely throw them away. Proper disposal is discussed in all online pharmacist degree training, and most professionals will happily share the information with you.

Mixing Drugs with Trash
Most medications can be thrown away in the trash if absolutely necessary. Leave the pills intact and mix them in with coffee grounds, potting soil, or used kitty litter. These substances will absorb the medication and destroy it gradually while also making it unattractive to wildlife, curious pets, and anyone who stumbles across them. Seal the mixture in a plastic bag or a container you’re throwing out anyway, then include it in the weekly trash pickup.

Medications Dispensed as Injections
Insulin for diabetics, some birth control methods, some allergy medicines, and some fertility medications are dispensed as injections that patients use at home. If you have pre-loaded syringes or used needles that you need to dispose of, contact your local pharmacy for assistance, or ask your doctor if you can bring them in for disposal. These items cannot be placed in the household trash, so always be sure you dispose of them properly, and that everyone in the house knows they can’t get rid of them through the regular trash.

Inhalers
Asthma inhalers can explode if they are incinerated, which could be very dangerous for the workers if your local household trash is usually burned. If your town burns household trash, dispose of inhalers at the pharmacy or through the doctor’s office. To avoid abuse by others, make sure to empty the inhaler into the air before throwing it away.

Flushable Drugs
Some very dangerous or controlled medications should be flushed down the toilet in order to be disposed of properly. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) asks that patches such as fentanyl be flushed to rule out poisonings by someone handling the trash, and being dosed by the used patches. Powerful painkillers such as dilaudid and morphine are also best disposed of by flushing them down the toilet since an accident with such drugs could prove fatal.

Knowing how to dispose of your medications properly is crucial to avoiding accidental poisonings or disease transmission. Once you know the rules concerning your specific medications you can more safely get rid of them. Most drug take-back programs will be able to take care of any you have questions on including injections and inhalers. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor and pharmacist what is recommended and follow the directions on the bottle. You can also throw away most by mixing in with other trash or by flushing. By following these guidelines, you can dispose of your medications safely and easily.

“Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.”

 

Please review our certifications for nurses as well as a our Nurse Patient Educator Program.  Nurse Patient Educators can play an important role in teaching patients how to discard outdated medications as well.

Mesothelioma Help Now

We are here to educate and support mesothelioma patients and their families. Research has shown the more you know about a disease, the better prepared you’ll be to cope with everything that comes your way. So, let’s learn, share, and take action together.

This site provides comprehensive and excellent resources related to Mesothelioma. Highly recommended.
Access Site: click here

Prostate cancer and treatment choices: Decision shared by doctor and patient?

Certified Nurse Patient Educators can play a pivotal role in helping teach and inform men about prostate cancer
Certified Nurse Patient Educators can play a pivotal role in helping teach and inform men about prostate cancer

Doctors strive to make treatment decisions together with their patients – but is the decision really shared? According to researchers, shared decision-making isn’t easy, and clinicians need help. The international research group has studied the decision aids for treatment choice of localized prostate cancer.

Source: www.sciencedaily.com

Understanding the treatment plan and who is the decision maker in it is key for success for the patient.  Shared decisions can be very beneficial if guided by a competent doctor.

Certified Nurse Patient Educators can play a key role in relaying plans and how to implement them with the patient

If you are interested in becoming certified in Nurse Patient Education, then please review the program

#certifiednursepatienteducator

Which Nursing Certification Would Best Suit You?

Find Out What Nursing Certification Finds Your Career Needs.

Every nurse knows that nursing education does not stop when they receive their RN.   You must increase your knowledge and constantly learn new technologies.   There is also the question of do you want to specialize your nursing career with a nursing certification in a specialty field?

Which nursing certification would you choose?

When looking for a nursing certification, you need to look for the best possible field to fit your career goals.    For example if you want to go into case management then you would want to look for online nurse case manager training.   Likewise for legal nurse consulting, nurse patient educator, etc.    Your next step would be choose the nursing training.

When choosing your courses do you want to physical attend classes or would online nurse training better fit your needs?   Both have positives and negatives to them.   In the end you need to decide which one would best suit your situation.

When you decide to earn a nursing certification, you will be taking positive steps to better yourself and your career.   Online nurse training is great for nurses who still need to work full time.   It gives you the flexibility your job can demand!    If you are in the market for a high quality online nursing certification then you might want to visit the American Institute of Health Care Professionals.   They offer online nursing courses in several different specialties.

5 Ways Nursing Patient Education Can Reduce Readmissions

Nursing Patient Education
Nursing Patient Education

The article, “5 Ways Healthcare Providers Can Reduce Costly Hospital Readmissions”, by Our Thought Leaders states

“Founder and CEO, Robert Herzog of eCaring describes how healthcare providers can reduce costly hospital readmissions to avoid costly medicare penalties.”

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:
Great article! Good nursing patient education advice. It all hinges on good patient education. Recommended read for anyone in the hospital management field.  To learn more about patient teaching, click here:
patient education courses

See on www.hitconsultant.net

Nurse Patient Education Increases Patient Satisfaction.

Group of nurses on a roof top
Nurse Patient Education leads to higher patient satisfaction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better Nurse Patient Education Could Lead to Better Patient Satisfaction.

The article, “Patient education improved satisfaction after surgery for ankle fracture”, by Mayich D. states

“The researchers analyzed 40 patients who had operative treatment for ankle fractures and were randomized to either an enhanced information group that received handouts with information from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons covering postoperative ankle fracture treatment and a pamphlet outlining standard physiotherapy at the institution or a standard group that did not receive the handouts.”

For the full article please go here.

Nurse Patient Education has shown improvement in ankle surgeries.   It might go without saying that a nurse educator could help improvement other areas in the medical field.    Because truth be told, the more we know about a medical procedure the more comfortable we are going to be about having it performed on us.
If you are a nurse and would like to learn more about earning a Nurse Patient Education certificate then you might want to come to our webpage.

Patient Education and How It Can Help With Compliance.

Patient Education And Why It Is Important.

The article, “Proactive Patient Education and Engagement Helps Hospitals Achieve Stage 2 Meaningful Use Compliance”, Source; Beckers Hospital Review

“The hospital, Ms. Peacock adds, is partnering with two outpatient facilities to continue their educational outreach effort after patients go home, focused initially on congestive heart patients and patients at risk for central line infections.”

For the full article please go here.

With the growing need for quality patient education, any nursing professional looking to specialize themselves should become a nurse patient educator.    Where else can you always be in depend and serve such an important role?
For more information on becoming a nurse educator, please visit our website.