If you’ve been following healthcare news, you may have noticed the recent spike (and uproarious backlash) in EpiPen, a lifesaver for those who suffer from life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
Some people are so allergic to things like peanuts that they develop anaphylaxis, when the airways for breathing swell and close. Possible allergies include but are not limited to peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts and pecans), shellfish, fish, cow’s milk, eggs, wheat and soy. Many affected are children, who rely on EpiPens in case of emergency. Between 1 and 2 percent of people have this condition, but there’s a simple hormonal treatment to counteract this allergic shock; Epinephrine ( or adrenaline). It’s a hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands. In addition to making your heart beat faster, pupils to dilate, and blood vessels to constrict, it opens your airways. When it stimulates the heart it works to reduce hives and swelling that may occur around the face and lips thus saving peoples’ lives everyday.
In September 2016, CEO Heather Bresch testified before a congressional committee last week saying Mylan’s profit was $100 for a two-pack of the injectors, despite a $608 list price. Since acquiring the rights to EpiPen in 2007, they have increasec prices 550%. Pens now sell for $608. What this means is people can’t get their medication. The situation is so dire that people on Youtube are showing ways to DIY the medication at home. This alternative “EpiPencil,” is the brainchild of Michael Laufer of DIY medicine collective Four Thieves Vinegar. It consists of an auto-injector (usually used by diabetics), a syringe (available isn ten-packs), a 22-gauge hypodermic needle, and the epinephrine (a prescription still necessary, but its generally inexpensive).
Nobody can force Mylan to lower its prices. But what consumers are doing with their angry articles and clever alternatives are showing that it is possible to provide affordable healthcare to those who need it. Their profit margin was an entire 60% higher than what they originally told Congress. Remember, this product saves lives. While the health care industry is a playing field for high profit margins in research and product, when it comes to life-saving drugs, significant increases in price like Mylan’s abuse of EpiPen prices translate as profiteering off a person’s life or death need.
As electronic medical records continually find their place in news coverage, a new article from EHR Intelligence is reflecting how health care consumers are accessing their medical records at a growing rate. These findings also show that the healthcare industry’s goal f
A recent study by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health reported that nearly four in 10 surveyed individuals who were surveyed were offered accesses to their electronic health records in 2014. This increase is substantially higher than from 2013 where only 28 percent of survey respondents reported being offered electronic access to their health records.
Here’s an interesting video on EHR and security
One important point to note, half of the individuals who reported being offered access to their records actually checked them, and 81 percent of those individuals considered the information they accessed to be helpful and informative.
Despite the increase in the individual access to electronic health information, challenges remain in the gaps in information exchange. The ONC reports that between 2012 and 2014, total reported information gaps dropped from 39 to 36 percent, which the ONC states is not a statistically significant difference. Experiencing a gap in information exchange meant a patient had to bring his or her test results from one provider to another, had to recall his or her own health information because it was not on record, having to repeat a test that had already been administered, or had to wait for test results for longer than he or she believed reasonable.
According to the ONC, “this growth in patient-accessed electronic health information may be a result of various policies and initiatives fostering health information exchange and interoperability. For example, in 2014 about half of primary care providers and hospitals had their own view, download, and transmit (VDT) capabilities. This is notably higher than in 2013, prior to the start of Stage 2 Meaningful Use, which had specific provisions regarding the sharing of electronic files with patients.”
EHR’s when safe and protective of users information, can be very helpful to hospital administration and patients alike.
To learn more about the increasing number of patients opting for electronic medical records, visit this article by EHR Intelligence
With scandals like the SONY and Ashley Madison fiascos, experts and the general public alike are wondering how secure their electronic medical bills really are? An article entitled,“How secure are your medical records?” from NBC4i provides insight into what exactly is going on with this new practice in the medical industry.
In 2013, it was recorded that 78% of physicians had switch to electronic health record. In 2001, this was at 60%. The increase is courtesy of the federal Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.
The Ponemon Institute conducted a 2012 study which discovered that 94% of the 80 health care organizations they polled had experienced at least one breach in their systems during the past two years. It was estimated that around 3,000 documents and records were stolen during each of these breaches. This adds up to $2.4 million worth of damages as names, birthdates, addresses, and social security numbers were compromised.
The study further determined that info was obtained from stolen computing devices, employee mistakes, and third parties.
“Just think of all the different places where your health care information may eventually end up. It’s not secure. You should assume that at this point. We have this tension in our society about wanting doctors to know everything about us, wanting to know everything about us to provide care, but then having this tension with privacy as well” said Jim VanderMey, an innovation officer at Open Systems Technology.
Another problem can come from how you access your information. The expansion of technology has created a few problems. People are filling out forms and accessing their medical accounts from computers, smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.
All of these details should make you aware that anything online is probably not secure, and if it’s out there, it’s vulnerable to hackers. Change your passwords frequently and research other ways to help protect your identity and personal information. EMR’s have created convenience and allowed for physicians’ employees to put their time elsewhere, but it’s important to discuss and find solutions to the growing issue of hackers in the cyber world.
Gone are the days when doctors would sieve through file cabinets looking for a patient’s record, to what some would call a waste of time and hospital resources. That method proved to be inefficient and a clear time waster. Today, there is a mass exodus from old record keeping to the use of electronic medical records systems in domestic and global hospitals.
Healthcare providers at many physician practices and health systems across the United states, rely on EMR’s to give a seamless use of critical data to the patient, family members and medical team. EMR’s have become the golden boy and poster child for the debate on hospital care information. The advantages are obvious, access is easier, patient tracking is also easier. Health care providers also credit the rise in EMR’s for efficiency in tailored patient care and appointment scheduling.
The advocates and critics, if left to decide, will bring up numerous points on the pros and cons of EMR’s in the medical space. One notable con of EMR’s is the possibility of many health care providers losing funding if they don’t adopt this system. Critics view this as a way to force federal administration on private institutions who follow their own processes. No suprise here, but critics also see grave security dangers and the potential of hacking and exposing user information with the proliferation of EMR’s in healthcare administration. As one learning more about EMR’s and how they can be beneficial in the hospital care system, here are some highlights on the pros of adopting this recording system
According to US News and World Report, here are some of the Pros and Cons of adopting EMR’s in the healthcare system.
Improved Data Recording
With electronic medical records, errors made in spelling mistakes or poor number recording from handwriting can be eliminated. EMR’s also allow for more information on a patient to be included in a database without the limits of paper space.
Enhanced Communication and engagement
These days, families, patients and medical teams can access patients information through smartphones and mobile devices. This way looking up medical history and lab results, just became easier.