Must-Read Books On Healthcare Inequity In 2022

Healthcare is an extremely important aspect of any society, but it’s also a flawed one. Healthcare systems all over the world underserve people of varying backgrounds, and we as individuals must make ourselves aware of these things, whether we’re in the healthcare system or not. A great way to become more knowledgeable on this difficult subject is by reading some of the many books written by those who have experienced these healthcare inequities firsthand, whether as the patient or the provider. Here are a few of those books.

Black Man in a White Coat – Damon Tweedy, MD

In his memoir, “Black Man in a White Coat,” which is about his experiences as a medical student and practicing physician, Damon Tweedy talks about how he was initially unaware of how much racial discrimination would affect his interactions with patients. Through his time in medical school and as a practicing physician, he eventually comes across the root causes of various health problems that disproportionately affected African-Americans. His experiences with chronic disease also serve as a basis for his discussions about the inequities in healthcare.

Bodies and Barriers – Edited by Adrian Shanker

In Bodies and Barriers, which came out in 2020, 26 prominent queer activists share their experiences with the healthcare challenges they face throughout their lives. Editor Adrian Shanker aims to help medical professionals and policymakers identify areas of potential improvement and develop a road map to ending the health disparities that exist in the queer community.

Doing Harm – Maya Dusenbery

In 2018, Maya Dusenbery wrote a book about women’s health research that tackled the various issues that have been raised about the lack of resources and training for female healthcare providers. Dusenbery dives into issues alongside a history of women being misdiagnosed and mistrusted. She then goes on to explain how these issues have affected the healthcare industry today.

Sex Matters – Alyson J. McGregor, MD

In her book, McGregor talks about the various types of illnesses that women and men experience differently. She also provides a variety of tools that women can use to improve their health. In addition to talking about the symptoms of different illnesses, she additionally talks about how medications can affect women’s health differently than they would a man’s.

This article was originally published on Todd Berner’s website!

Great Medical Podcasts To Check Out In 2022

In today’s world, people are more likely to turn to other methods of learning when they don’t have the time to sit down and read. They prefer to listen to audio media such as podcasts, which is convenient and can be done anywhere, like when you’re driving or cleaning your home. In the medical world, podcasts can be a great resource for both education and entertainment. Check out some of these great medical podcasts worth listening to in 2022.

Second Opinion

Michael Wilkes, a medical doctor from UC Davis, hosts this podcast, which is about examining the ethical and practical issues faced by doctors. He talks about topics such as patient satisfaction and the decisions that doctors make when it comes to treating their patients. In addition, he talks about the use of stigmatized language in healthcare. This production by Kansas City radio station KCRW provides a great overview of the latest developments in medicine.

Docs Outside The Box

Who says that doctors should only stay in hospitals? In this weekly podcast, Nii Darko, a cool and inspirational doctor, talks about the extraordinary individuals who have made a difference in the medical field. He invites other doctors to share their own stories of inspiration and achievement. Docs Outside The Box has a good following and is regularly updated with new content. One of its most popular episodes is with Dr. Zoanne Clack, the executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy.

The Doctor Paradox

The way people perceive doctors has changed over the years. From being an altruistic and caring individual to being apathetic robots, this podcast aims to find out why this is happening. Dr. Paddy Barrett talks with doctors about the issues that are affecting their profession. Besides the usual issues such as burnout, this podcast also tackles other challenges that doctors face, such as sleep deprivation and stress. In addition, the show features advice from real doctors. The goal of this program is to help doctors find their dying passion and find solutions to their issues. Only then can they truly add value to the lives of their patients.

Behind The Knife

The goal of this podcast is to provide a deeper understanding of surgical topics, such as the controversial side of the procedures. It also explores the various techniques that are used in general surgery. Hosted by Kevin Kniery, John McClellan, Scott Steele, and Jason Bingham, the show is an educational tool that can be used to supplement your knowledge.

This article was originally published on Todd Berner’s website!

Mental Health Tips For New Moms

Being a new mom can be a challenging and life-changing experience. This is because it is usually a life far from the amazing Instagram moments. The life changes that come with one becoming a mom cause pressure that can result in anxiety, stress, or even depression. If this problem isn’t handled early enough, it may lead to serious mental health among new moms. Below are tips on how new moms can care for their mental health. 

4 Tips to Care for New Moms’ Mental Health

Set Small and Achievable Goals

New moms may at times feel unproductive because of the care and attention that is needed for a new baby. It may be overwhelming for them especially when they know that other house duties still await them. With no one to help them, they are forced to plan on laundry, dishes, cleaning the house, and other tasks. Things become more difficult for them where the baby doesn’t want to be left alone or sleep. In such a case, they may face a lot of pressure which can be a threat to the condition of their mind. Planning only want can be achieved without much stress is the best way for them to stay safe mentally.

Maintaining Healthy Habits

In most cases, the coming of new babies results in new moms forgetting about their health. This is because they in most cases think about their babies plus the challenges that may come with being a mom. The new moms end up denying themselves healthy habits like enough exercise, sleep, and nutrition at the expense of their babies. Research shows that exercise, enough sleep, and keeping on the nutrition can help prevent or solve many mental challenges.

Asking for Help and Building Positive Relationships

Support is important during the baby year to avoid feeling overwhelmed, irritated or lonely. Though accepting help for some may be tough, new moms should be encouraged to seek assistance when they need it. Joining groups like for moms and others can help them to be socially active. In such groups, they can share and ask for assistance in case of any challenge.

Staying in Touch with the Doctor

Open and frequent communication with the doctor is healthy for new moms. The doctor can assist to monitor their progress or even advise them to seek a therapist for more help. Being in touch help to discover and act according to any mental-related issue that may be discovered in new moms.

This article was originally published on ToddBerner.com

Why Mental Health Awareness Matters

If you struggle with a mental illness of any kind, you can take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.  And this is evidenced in a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed 1 in 25 Americans live with a mental illness.  Considering that Mental Health Awareness Month, which runs from May 1st through May 31st, is right around the corner, this is an opportune time to discuss why mental health awareness matters.

What You May Not Have Known About Mental Health Disorders but Definitely Should

Something to note relative to mental health disorders is they come in many different flavors, and all of them can dramatically affect someone’s life. To that end, some of the more commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in the U.S. include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Substance use disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Suicidal ideation

While most people struggling with a mental health disorder are in the care of a physician or therapist, some are not receiving treatment at all.  There are several reasons why that is the case, but one of the most concerning, however, is some people with a mental illness don’t realize they have one.  Thanks to campaigns like Mental Health Awareness Month, more people have become adept at recognizing some of the telling signs of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and the like.  As a result, more people are being officially diagnosed and getting the treatments they need to improve their life.  Some of the signs synonymous with most mental illnesses include

  • Abusing drugs, alcohol, or both
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Impulsive decision making
  • Loss of appetite

Stigma and Mental Health Resources: Feeling Judged and Not Knowing Where to Go For Help

If you suspect that you might be struggling with anxiety, depression, or a similar disorder that affects how you feel about yourself or the world around you, there are two things you need to know.  Firstly, thanks to 2021 Olympian Simone Biles, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, and other athletes, not to mention A-list celebrities, there is less of a stigma surrounding mental illness these days.  Second, there are countless resources available to those who need help, including mental health hospitals when things get especially scary.

Bottom Line

In summary, life is unpredictable and downright intimidating sometimes.  But it can be that much more unpredictable and intimidating when you have a mental illness.  If you suspect you have a mental illness, please don’t suffer in silence; get the help you need today.

This article was originally published on ToddBerner.com

How to Achieve Health Equity

Evidence shows that race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status affect how healthy a person is and how long they live. The conditions people live in have a profound impact on their ability to live healthy lives.

Living with poverty, unemployment, and lack of health care detracts from the health of individuals and whole communities. There is a direct correlation between lack of resources and increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

The health disparity between affluent and poor Americans is persistent and growing each year.

Health Equity–Why It Matters

Health equity exists when everyone has a fair opportunity to be as healthy as possible. It means having access to safe and secure housing, adequate quantities of nutritious food, and access to medical care.

Groups marginalized or excluded by low income and food and housing insecurity suffer the majority of the chronic diseases in the United States. Building health equity is critical to building a happy and prosperous nation.

(SDOH) Social Determinants Of Health

SDOH are the environmental conditions people live in that affect their health and quality of life. These determinants are examined in the most vulnerable communities nationwide. Interventions addressing needs are crucial to creating fair opportunities. Examples include:

Housing Security– Helping provide access to secure and affordable housing in safe neighborhoods

Food Security– Making foods available that support healthy eating habits

Employment opportunities, job training, transportation

Education– Early childhood education and development, language and literacy, enrollment in higher education

Health Care– Access to health care, primary care, health literacy

Community–Civic participation, social cohesion, creating healthy green spaces

Narrowing The Wealth Gap For Health Equity

Studies show that people with more wealth have better health. Higher incomes can provide healthier living conditions, better housing, increased educational opportunities, and more access to better healthcare.

Low-income and mostly minority communities have been historically and systemically limited from wealth-building opportunities. Residential segregation in impoverished neighborhoods, discriminatory bank lending practices, and discriminatory policing and sentencing practices promote wealth inequality.

The inequalities in the education, housing, banking, and justice system should be addressed at state and national levels. Increasing educational and economic opportunities in impoverished communities is essential to achieving long-term health equity and helping communities reach their maximum health potential.

This article was originally published on ToddBerner.com

AI and Diagnosing Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer simply because it often goes undetected for so long. However, if it is caught early, it is highly treatable as this type of cancer tends to be slow-growing and often responds to treatment well. Fortunately, artificial intelligence may start to emerge as a helpful tool for diagnosing skin cancer. Here’s more information about how it can be used in the future to help both physicians and patients.

Ways It Can Be Used

Before a physician can study x-rays to determine whether or not there are any abnormalities, he must go through a lot of training. Unfortunately, there may not always be someone with enough training available to study these types of images, and this can delay a diagnosis. AI can change all of this. Computers can scan x-ray images, and they can make an assessment as to whether or not they find an abnormality. They may be able to catch things even a physician would miss. Physicians can become distracted or fatigued, and this can lead to them giving a patient an incorrect diagnosis. Computers also may be able to scan images a lot quicker than a physician can.

The Likelihood of AI Being Widely Used In The Future

While there does seem to be a lot of excitement surrounding AI and the potential of it being able to diagnose things like skin cancer, there still needs to be more research done. Many individuals feel that it’s better to have a human component involved in diagnosing certain medical conditions. Even if a computer identifies an abnormality on an x-ray, a physician would still have to review the results to make sure that they were accurate. Unfortunately, computers do have error rates, and this could influence their findings as well.

AI will never be able to completely replace a diagnosis from a doctor, but it can be an important part of the diagnosis process. Despite the fact that there are still some studies that need to be done on the accuracy of AI, it may end up being a helpful tool that many physicians use in the future to diagnose skin cancer as well as other types of conditions.

This article was originally published on ToddBerner.com

A Breakthrough in Prostate Cancer Treatment

The American Cancer Society reports that 248,530 men contract prostate cancer every year in the United States alone. That results in more than 34,100 deaths. One in six men is at high risk to develop this form of cancer by age 85.

In 2011, Johnson & Johnson introduced a new treatment for this disease branded and sold as Zytiga. Pharmacologists call it abiraterone acetate. It is designed to treat late-stage cases of prostate cancer in combination with prednisone, a common and widely used steroid medication.

Zytiga quickly became a frontline treatment because of its demonstrated effectiveness in slowing down the rate at which prostate cancer develops. Now researchers at the University of South Australia (UniSA) say they have produced a significantly improved formulation of this life-saving prescription drug. Preliminary tests show the new Zytiga formulation is 40% more effective.

The breakthrough was led by medical researcher Professor Clive Prestidge. He leads the Nanostructure and Drug Delivery Group at UniSA. He said the new drug takes advantage of an oil-based formulation that is taken orally. It allows for smaller doses of Zytiga that, in turn, will have the effect of reducing side effects, such as diarrhea and swelling of the joints.

Fellow Researcher Dr. Hayley Schultz explained that many drugs that are water-based and water-soluble preparations dissolve poorly in the intestines. This results in a significant depression in effectiveness. This was the case for the original version of Zytiga. A full 90% of the drug was essentially wasted in the human gut because it could not be absorbed. That meant just 10% of the dose produced therapeutic action.

An additional drawback of Zytiga was the requirement to fast for at least two hours before taking the drug and another hour of no eating after. This was necessary to gain maximum absorption of that critical 10%. The new formulation changes all that.

The only bad news about this breakthrough is that at least two more years of clinical trials are needed before the new Zytiga can obtain FDA approval in the U.S. and from Australia’s top drug regulation agency.

Even so, the case for an oil-based Zytiga looks more than promising. Furthermore, researchers are excited because the same formulation will have application for an array of other medications that are currently water-based drugs.

This article was originally published on ToddBerner.com

The Importance of Electronic Heath Records (EHR)

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a digital system that records, stores, and shares information about the health status of patients. When done right, it can be an invaluable tool for healthcare providers. This article will discuss some reasons why having an EHR is so important.

It saves time

If you have to keep looking up patient info from paper charts or other sources, it takes more time away from caring for them. Time saved means fewer wait times and shorter appointment times, which increases the likelihood they’ll come back when they’re sick again because they were treated well last time around. It helps make sure patients get all their needed care and medications.

It helps with the transition from one provider to another

Having a patient’s electronic health record makes it easier for other providers and their office to look up needed information about them faster and more efficiently. This saves lots of time for the patient, too, since they won’t have to repeat everything when they go in for a new appointment.

It’s not just for your patients

An EHR can also help you and your staff organize and keep track of information about other things in the office, including lab results, insurance info, supply orders, clinic organization (e.g., schedules, etc.).

There are government incentives to have one

Some governments offer incentives for having an EHR. They’re usually in the form of cash or tax breaks, so it makes sense to use them!

It helps facilitate research and education

If your office has an EHR, you can share all types of information about patients with other clinicians. This includes things like outcome data and education materials.

It’s practically a requirement for meaningful use

Many electronic health record systems are Medicare certified, which means that the federal government has approved them for use in Medicare claims submissions. This means that if a provider wants to get paid from Medicare, they must use an EHR certified for this purpose.

In conclusion, having an electronic health record in your office will help you and your staff keep track of patients’ important information. It can also make it easier for other providers and clinic staff to access this info as needed. An EHR is a great tool, but only if it’s implemented and used properly!

This article was originally published on ToddBerner.com

Big Data’s Impact on Healthcare

One industry that has been consistently favored is healthcare. Patient accountability and novel treatments have been increasingly important in recent years. With the rise in such demands, the sector has adopted some of the most up-to-date technologies. The implementation of Big Data and Analytics is one such key advancement that has emerged. Big data is expected to grow quicker in healthcare compared to other industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, and so on.

Big Data in Healthcare

Big data’s potential is abruptly transforming the elements and dynamics of numerous domains, notably healthcare. Big data in healthcare is huge data volumes created by the application of digital technology, such as electronic medical records. It is useful in monitoring clinical outcomes of patients and assisting in hospital management training, which would otherwise be time-consuming and inconvenient with earlier technologies.

Positive Impact of Big Data in Healthcare

When used in healthcare, Big Data will employ exact health data from patients to help prevent and cure illnesses, reduce costs, and so on. Let’s look at the reasons why Big Data is important in the healthcare industry:

Keeps Human Errors to a Minimum

Several times, specialists have been noted for either prescribing the wrong drug or administering a different treatment by mistake. these problems can be overcome using Big Data since Big Data can be used to review user data and suggested medication. Big Data can back up patient information and identify potential community medications in order to avoid mistakes and prevent fatalities. For doctors that see several patients daily, this tool can be a massively useful piece of machinery.

Monitor Health Information

Big Data is revolutionizing how multiple patient statistics and vital signs are tracked. Wearables can be used to track patients’ blood pressure, heart rate, walking distance, and much more. This will allow healthcare organizations to detect underlying health conditions and provide care prior to them becoming more problematic.

Maximizing Patient Outcomes

Numerous clients and potential patients currently benefit from digital sensors that track their every move, their sleeping patterns, heart rate, etc. All of this information can be combined with other monitored data to identify hidden health hazards. Long-term insomnia and an elevated heart rate, for example, can suggest a risk of heart problems in the future. Patients are instantly involved in the management of their health, and health insurance might compel them to begin living a healthy lifestyle.

Cost-Effective

It is an excellent approach for hospitals with over-booked or under-booked personnel departments to save money. By predicting approval rates and aiding with staffing, data analysis can help solve this challenge. It will lower the investment rate gained by hospitals and will assist practitioners in maximizing their investment. The insurance industry can save money by encouraging the use of wearables and wellness trackers. It can reduce patient wait times since healthcare organizations will always have enough personnel and empty beds.

This article was originally published on Todd Berner’s website!

The Future of Digital Health

Over the last decade, the healthcare industry has accomplished some impressive technological developments. Many healthcare centers have shifted from in-person consultation to telemedicine within the pandemic period through video appointments, apps, and phones. These trends have come about due to the pandemic’s policies and guidelines, such as ensuring social distancing to avoid the spread of infection.

A large number of healthcare providers are looking for ways to invest heavily in digital healthcare. The dramatic shift in the healthcare industry seeks to ensure that patients stay connected to their doctors despite physical distance. Through digital, healthcare providers can engage directly with their clients by closing down space. Netherlands, France, and Germany are among the top highest in improved resilience and preparation for future crises.

One of the primary focuses in the booming future health technology is Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. Hospitals have vast amounts of data, and working with large amounts of information can be challenging. The increasing advancement in cloud computing, analytics, and machine learning has increased the amount of data and, even more interestingly, provided new ways of looking at the data. AI can help hospitals shift through the piles of data and gain new insights in identifying and dealing with risks before they happen. It will help patients avoid the hospitals and also speed up the recovery process.

In the past, healthcare facilities ranked performance according to the volume of healthcare services. However, there has been a growing shift where clinics are now targeting value-based care. In value-based healthcare predicting the correct patient diagnoses will be vital. AI can assist clinics in this crucial role by helping in making clinical decisions and predicting the outcome of various clinical processes.

In value-based healthcare, providers are paid for improving the health of patients rather than for the number of patients they treat. The model’s focus is to have illnesses and injuries treated quickly and efficiently to avoid the development of chronic conditions. The outcome is better healthcare at minimal costs for the patient and the healthcare system.

The rapid development of digital healthcare and its utilization in the industry is likely to rise in the future. The promise of high-quality, individualized patient care at a reduced cost will encourage this evolution.

This article was originally published on ToddBerner.com