Personal Health Records – Your Solution to Minimizing Health Risks

How do you feel, is not it will be nice that you have a health assistant to give you a reminder about perhaps a blood sugar level test or any other health related test that you have to undergo within a month or a year. Isn’t it will be nice if there is an alert emergency record about your personal health and you do not have to remember all the records and history of your health before visiting your doctor for the second check up. This help can be at your fingertips in the form of a computerized personal health record, where you can store all health care information in one place. Now while visiting a doctor you do not have to arrange your files and prescriptions and test history just with a few keystrokes, you can electronically send information to the provider or can take a copy with you.

It is very essential for a doctor to know what medicines a patient is in taking and what other health related problems he has before doing any emergency treatment to him. You will be stunned to know that over 1.5 million of patients each year are hurt by taking the wrong medicine or dosage. And it is believed now that many errors can be avoided if a proper information is provided. But do not ever confuse a personal health record with an electronic health record which are created and controlled by hospitals and doctors for their own use.

Just imagine your close one has met with an accident and he has been carried to the hospital unconscious and unaccompanied. The nurses have to look for a patient’s wallet hoping to gather some information which will tell them about the patient’s medications, health conditions or at least a phone number. Many patients have contact lenses and the doctors and nurses in lack of any proper information are totally unaware of the fact and many patients ended with scratched corneas. Even some patients have to loose their life in lack of any medical records. I still remember one of my friend who has an accident, has been given blood thinners in the ER. The doctors are totally unaware of the fact that the patient is taking Vitamin K which has a terrible interaction with blood thinners and he has to loose his life only in lack of a personal health record.

According to the American Health Information Management Association, keeping a personal health record is important even when you’re not in an emergency situation. Most of the times while going to a doctor do not remember to tell him about every nook and corner of our health history. Store all your detailed health records, including all the information that you will need, is it for visiting a doctor or for an emergency. Keep a track of your health from now in your computer and keep a hard copy of it in your car also for emergency. Several organizations are now offering various ways to organize and store a personal health record Remember a simple piece of paper might bring a lot of difference between life and death.

Affordable Medical Insurance Deals – Guide For a Personal Health Insurance Plan

If you choose to be selective on the kind of job you take considering the present economic crunch, you will find it hard to survive. This is not applicable to everybody searching for a trusted health deal.

Most growing companies deprive their workers of the opportunity of obtaining a good health cover policy. This affects the growth of the company and also scares people whose plans are to work in the company. It also leaves people with no choice but to obtain any kind of personal health plan that comes their way.

The internet is a sure way to quickly get trusted providers and reliable quotes. There are companies that offer the different health cover plans in your area. For instance, there are plans with higher monthly rates and lower annual deductibles. The best is the one with a lower rate and a higher annual deductible. Whatever plan you desire, you will get quality information and the necessary guidelines you need online.

It will be a wise choice to check on your active health insurance policy yearly. Your lifestyle may have changed over time, so getting a suitable plan for it now is good. If at the end of the year your employer decides to add health insurance as one of your benefits, do not be in a hurry to sign the papers. Make your research on other plans available, compare their rates and select the plan ideal for you. Make sure it suits your health cover need.

You also need to consider the office-co-pay, the deductibles prescription amount, restrictions like hospital and doctors visits and many more. Make sure you are saving money and at the same time getting your preferred plan. Ask questions because it is vital to know about the coverage you are buying. The benefits of having a personal health plan are priceless. Get different quotes from trusted providers and compare.

Where To Get An Affordable Health Plan from trusted Providers and Compare Their Rates Online?

Personal Health Insurance – Ensuring Your Well Being

Personal health insurance is a great way to ensure you get the medical treatment you require when you need it. When you start a family you will inevitably have more people relying on you to be healthy and fit. If you find that you are in need of medical assistance you’ll want it immediately rather than having to wait on the public system. Unforeseen expenses are not what you need to worry about and personal health insurance will make sure you can afford it.

Many countries offer a comprehensive public health system and if you require emergency care the system will provide you with what you need. However if your medical problem is not an emergency you will be put on the public waiting list and it could take months if not years for you to be treated. It also ensures you won’t have to worry about medical complications arising while you’re on the waiting list because your treatment will be brought forward. Personal health insurance ensures you will get the treatment you need immediately so you can get back to a normal way of life as soon as possible. Alongside getting immediate medical treatment, health insurance gives you the ability to cover unexpected expenses with ease. Elective surgery is often quite expensive and if you have a young family covering these costs can be very difficult. Having personal health insurance will give you the peace of mind that you can afford to look after your family when you need to.

Choosing the right plan is important in you receiving the healthcare you need. There are two main types of healthcare insurance plans and an insurer will potentially have policies that give altering levels of cover between the two. The first is called Major Medical and this plan covers hospital and specialist needs only. Large medical expenses such as surgery or specialists are covered by this plan but not daily healthcare costs. The second one is a Comprehensive plan and this covers a wider range of needs. It covers the major medical costs as well as day-to-day healthcare needs such as doctor’s visits, prescriptions, dental and optometry needs.

The monthly or annual premium for your personal health insurance depends on which cover plan you choose and the excess. An excess is the sum you pay as part of every claim. If your excess is $50 and your claim is $200 then you will be reimbursed $150. If you decide to get a higher excess then this will mean you will pay a lower premium. To guarantee you get the best deal it is important to look around at the health insurance plans offered by various insurers so you can find the best prices available.

New Personal Health Device Could Compromise Your Personal Information

Are you using a wearable fitness and personal health device to monitor your steps, heart rate, blood pressure, and other personal medical data? This new health trend has become a huge fad for people of all ages. Nearly every user understands the positive features these devices offer. Most are not aware of issues that could compromise their personal information.

The use of wearable fitness and personal health devices is a fast growing industry. Experts at Gartner Research say the devices will be a $5 billion market by 2016. They are a part of a new industry that are involved in the process of capturing, organizing, combining and applying specific and applicable operational technology with IT. It represents the next generation of business transformation.

On the positive side

According to Gartner, when these health sensors and data links are used, healthcare can monitor a patient’s behavior and symptoms in real time and at a relatively low cost, allowing physicians to better diagnose disease and to prescribe tailored treatment regimens. Obviously, it allows each individual to keep track of their personal information daily and over the course of time, too.

What are the hidden dangers?

On the other hand, the 2015 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report raises red flags and hidden dangers that every person using these devices should guard against. They explain that with countless Internet connected wearable devices on the market and more coming, including the highly anticipated Apple Watch, there is an obvious security and privacy threat.

The Symantec report states that there have already been proof-of-concept attacks on Fitbit devices and their researchers have revealed significant vulnerabilities in many devices and applications in this area. They explain that in a review of the 100 health apps in the App Store:

20 percent transmitted user credentials without encrypting them
More than half (52 percent) did not have any privacy policies, and
On average, each app contacted five Internet domains (typically a mix of advertising and analytic services).

They say the potential exposure of personal data from health-monitoring devices could have serious consequences for individuals, for example, if insurance companies started to use the data to adjust premiums, if people used hacked location data to track other people without their knowledge. Symantec says is a fast-moving and early-stage industry, developers have a strong incentive to offer new functionality and features, but data protection and privacy seem to be a lesser priority.

What should a user do to protect personal information when using a device like this?

There are several steps every user of these devices should do to protect their personal information and fight identity theft.

Read their privacy policies and make sure they clearly state how your information is used and protected
Seek programs that use encryption to protect your credentials and personal information
Avoid programs that connect with advertising and analytic services that could use your information without your permission (This is the most challenging – especially with free apps).
Subscribe to a whole identity theft protection service that monitors all types of identity theft including personal, financial, medical and other types of fraud.

Everyone should take protecting their personal information and fighting identity theft seriously. Having your identity stolen can cost you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of time to clean up. Even then, your stolen information is lost forever. You will never be able to pull it back out of the dark web.

Implement these four steps when selecting any app, not just wearable fitness and personal health devices, to secure your personal information. It is important to understand there are dangers everywhere you go on your mobile phone and on the web. Always take steps to defend against identity theft.

Seven Reasons to Have a Personal Health Record

A digital personal health record (PHR) is a computer-based software application that allows you to store a variety of personal health information including illnesses, hospitalizations, encounters (i.e. visits and communications), journal information in between doctor visits, medications, allergies, immunizations, surgeries, lab results, and family history. The personal health record differs from an electronic medical record which is a similar application with much more all-encompassing features used by healthcare providers such as scheduling and insurance billing, in addition to the storage of patient health data. Owning and maintaining an up-to-date digital personal health record has many benefits and is the cornerstone of proactive healthcare involvement and better healthcare experiences.

One of the chief reasons to have your health data stored electronically is it improves the quality of healthcare you receive by enabling you to be better prepared for doctor visits, equipped with the accurate and relevant information that your doctor needs to pursue an optimal treatment course. Because that vital data can then be conveyed to your doctor more efficiently, more time can be spent during the visit focusing on diagnosing and treating as opposed to gathering information. The latter fact is of paramount importance given the fact that healthcare providers in general have busier schedules and less time to spend with individual patients.

A digital PHR also ensures the availability of your health information in a legible form and facilitates the flow of that information between your and healthcare provider(s) whether only one physician is treating you or several doctors are participating in your care. Information in the record can be conveyed to your health-care provider(s) verbally, in print out form, digitally on an external medium such as a flash drive, and in some cases via the Internet prior to office visits. This ease of transfer of medical data is vitally important considering the fact that 18% of medical errors are due to inadequate availability of patient information. Moreover, medical records are frequently lost, doctors retire, hospitals or HMOs purges old records to save storage space, and employers frequently change group health insurance plans resulting in patients needing to change doctors and request transfer medical records which are sometimes illegible. Despite efforts on the part of the government to encourage doctors to keep medical records on a computer, i.e. utilize electronic medical records (EMRs) also called electronic health records (EHRs) in order to reduce errors, the fact of the matter is only 5% of doctors keep medical records on the computer and many that have purchased EMRs have never effectively implemented them or continued to use them in their practices.

Another compelling reason to have an updated personal health record is it could save your life. The Center for Disease Control on its annual list of leading cause of death included medical airs which was listed six ahead of diabetes and pneumonia. Approximately 120,000 Americans die each year as a result of preventable medical errors in hospitals, and who knows what the total is including patients treated outside of the hospital. Equally daunting is the fact that most emergency rooms cannot adequately retrieve your critical health information in a time of emergency.

The fourth reason to have a PHR is to reduce your healthcare expenses. Doctors generally use subjective and objective information about you in arriving at a diagnosis and treatment plan. Subjective data is that information which can be expressed by you such as your symptoms, and objective data is that information which can be measured and recorded, such as physical exam findings, x-ray reports and laboratory test results. Many diagnoses and treatment decisions can be based in large part on subjective information obtained from the patient or patient’s family, but if sufficient and appropriate subjective data cannot be obtained healthcare provider tend to rely more on objective data including x-rays and lab tests which result in higher treatment costs. X-rays and laboratory tests are oftentimes performed unnecessarily because they were recently performed but the patient did not know the results or did not even know they were performed, fueling the flames of rising healthcare costs.

The fifth reason you need your personal health information stored in a computer desktop-based application is to ensure the privacy of your information. There are online repositories that will store your health record, but there are definite concerns regarding privacy and the security of your data. By using a computer-based application to store all-important data about your health, you can ensure that the information remains private and secure. If you feel the need for greater security of the data within your computer or that which has been exported to a flash drive, there are affordably priced folder protection software programs which will protect the data by requiring a login. Alternatively, there are also biometric fingerprint reading devices which can be installed on your computer allowing login with a finger swipe.

The sixth reason you should have a computer-based record of your health information is the fact that maintaining a health record is a shared responsibility between the health-care provider and the health-care consumer. If you doubt that, try filling out a health insurance application without recorded health information to refer to. Traditionally patients have relied upon their healthcare providers to know everything about them and to record that information, but in today’s era of change and looming healthcare reform, that cruise control approach is rapidly coming to a screeching halt. Just as taxpayers are held accountable for knowing and verifying the information they submit or the information that is submitted for them on their tax returns, healthcare consumers are going to be held more accountable for knowing and verifying what is in their medical record. This will be readily apparent if you are ever audited by the Internal Revenue Service or if you have health insurance benefits excluded after your policy has gone into effect because of pre-existing conditions which were not recorded in the insurance application questionnaire at the time of filing.

The seventh reason to have a digital personal health record is to enhance your doctor/patient rapport and engender mutual appreciation. I can recall those patients who were well-prepared with organized, relevant quality information to provide during their patient encounters and the delight I had in treating them. That type of encounter makes the practice of medicine much more fun and mutually beneficial. On the other hand, the patient, by seeking and obtaining a better understanding of my diagnostic and treatment course developed a greater appreciation for me and my efforts. I trust that your experience will be the same.