Health Information Technology: One of the Fastest Growing Career Options

When patients see a health care provider such as physician, dentist, chiropractor, or nurse practitioner, a written document is filed detailing the purpose and outcomes.

This documentation is placed in the patient’s chart and is available for the practitioner to review at the next visit. This provides for continuity of care in the event that another health professional in that office sees the patient as well as refreshes the same practitioner’s memory about the care he/she has provided for the patient.

Results from laboratory tests, X-rays, other diagnostic tests as well as a list of medications or treatments prescribed are also contained in the chart. In addition to this information, the chart will also contain any paperwork the patient completes, such as a family medical history, insurance information and consents for treatment, authorization to share information, and so on.

New Office New Chart

If the patient sees another health care provider, such as a specialist recommended by the primary care practitioner, a new chart is created and most often there is no integration of the information with the other physician’s chart. If the patient is hospitalized, another chart is created. Each health professional creates a new chart or file for the patient and often has to reinvent the wheel to get a complete picture of the patient’s health history.

If the patient obtains medications from several different pharmacies, there is not a complete profile available at any of them. This sometimes results in medication errors from issues such as duplication of medications, or unknown medication interactions.

Oversight Not a Reality

Patients who have primary care providers who are willing and able to oversee the total care of a patient will have records sent from all sources of care each time they see another provider and review them. This is cumbersome, time consuming, and not reimbursable. In reality it does not happen often.

Most patients are not versed in medical terminology. Often they barely understand a diagnosis or treatment. Some things may seem totally insignificant and are forgotten, such as a visit to the Urgent Care for a virus or to the ER for a sprained ankle, and the information doesn’t get passed on to the primary care professional. A complication that could stem back to this illness or injury may never be connected.

Quality Improvement

In the interest of improving medical care, the establishment of electronic medical records (EMR) has become a hot issue and part of the health care reform debate. In order to create and maintain effective records, there has to be standardization procedures. Codes need to be applied to diagnoses and other information so that the records can be meshed.

The software in the physician’s office has to be able to communicate with the software the dentist uses, the eye doctor uses, the surgeon uses, the oncologist uses and the cardiologist uses or it is useless. It also has to be secure so that the patient’s information isn’t accidentally broadcast to those who have no need to know.

Health IT Growing Rapidly

This has opened up and broadened the scope of information technology in the health field. Health care IT (HIT) is one of the most rapidly growing career fields. HIT offers many diverse opportunities from medical records coding and management in a small medical office to a huge hospital or medical corporation.

Another opportunity involves data collection and management of diseases such as for tumor registries. Teaching physicians and other health care professionals how to use their system to record and retrieve data is a related option, as is maintenance of the hardware and software systems.

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Banking Umbilical Cord Blood: Description and Composition of Umbilical Cord Blood

Umbilical cord blood contains stem cells that can be used to treat blood related disorders later in the child’s life.

The pregnancy is coming to an end and there are a plethora of decisions to be made about the labor and delivery. An option that is available to moms today that was not available to previous generations is banking of the umbilical cord blood.

Umbilical Cord Blood Composition

Umbilical cord blood of a newborn is full of stem cells which are cells in the body that can be used to produce all parts of the blood. Stem cells can produce platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells. Stem cells are found in bone marrow as well as blood. Research has shown that stem cells can be used to treat certain genetic disorders. Proponents of cord blood banking promote the fact that new uses for stem cells are being developed in laboratories every year.

Stem Cell Treatments

Because stem cells can reproduce into any kind of blood cell in the body, they can be used to treat blood disorders. Stem cells can be injected into the body’s bloodstream to treat leukemia, sickle cell anemia and lymphoma. Patients who have bone marrow that has been damaged from cancer treatments such as chemo and radiation may also be able to benefit from the injection of stem cells. Once the stem cells are in the patient’s bloodstream, it is believed that they will create new, healthy cells that can ultimately cure the patient’s blood related disorder. Studies have shown that frozen cord blood can be viable for up to 15 years.

Banking Cord Blood

In order to bank an infant’s cord blood, parents must contact a cord blood bank early in the third trimester of the pregnancy. There are several private umbilical cord blood banking services available that all charge similar fees for their service. There is generally a collection fee as well as an annual fee. When the baby is delivered, the doctor or nursing staff will ensure that the umbilical cord blood is collected for storage at the umbilical cord blood bank.

Choosing to bank a baby’s umbilical cord blood is a personal decision. The storage fees over time can be very expensive but can also prove to be priceless if the investment later treats an illness in the child that saves his life. Parents should discuss the option with the obstetrician as well as the pediatrician to decide the best route for their individual situation.

Pediculosis Explained: Having Critters in Your Hair

If you have children, you probably know that from time to time something occurs that is an all out and complete nightmare. Among these things is head lice or pediculosis.

Kids tend to be the most prone to acquiring pediculosis, particularly when they are still attending elementary school.

The most obvious culprit? Other children! You may observe that grownups very rarely ever contract pediculosis, but kids frequently do. As a matter of fact, it’s probably rare that you know one adult individual that did not get pediculosis as a child or has a kid who has already experienced something of this nature.

The Dangers of Pediculosis

Head pediculosis isn’t life-threatening and they do not spread diseases, but they’re contractible and can be quite bothersome for your youngster. Their stings may cause a youngster’s scalp to turn nail-bitingly excruciating and reddened, and long-term itching may lead to skin irritation and possibly infection!

The majority of parents realize what it’s like to have to experience something with your child and not be capable of dealing with it so when it comes to pediculosis capitis or body pediculosis you might not even find out your kid has it till you genuinely pay attention to a few key signs and symptoms.

There are a few things you can be watching out for in order to ascertain if your child has Pediculosis

Pediculosis eggs (also known as nits) seem like tiny brown, purplish, or yellow dots prior to them hatching. After hatching, the leftover shell looks light yellow or white. Pediculosis is when nits are deposited on hair follicles located at the skin’s surface, where the heat is ideal for keeping the eggs warm until they hatch.

Nits look much like dandruff, but they cannot be terminated by shaking or brushing them off. Unless the problem is utterly serious, it is more commonplace to see nits in a kid’s hair than it is to observe live pediculosis crawling on the scalp. The eggs hatch approximately 7 to 14 days after they are deposited.

Itching and Pediculosis

Scratching is a natural response to itching, but if your youngster is continuously scratching his scalp, it’s a good idea to have a look and see if you are able to notice anything! In addition, if they notify you about “little things” running around and tickling their foreheads this is a very dependable “sign” that they may be carrying pediculosis!

It is recommended that if your child does notify you of scratching or “tickling” you can take a fine-toothed comb and “sweep” his hair from side to side, look at his hair follicles and scalp. If you do discover something, it’s crucial that you call a physician who can recommend a effective shampoo or conditioner for your kid to eliminate the pediculosis. This is unquestionably not something you would like to delay!

These might be nonprescription or prescription drugs, contingent on what treatments have already been administered. Medicated pediculosis treatments normally wipe out the pediculosis and nits, but it could take a few weeks for the itching to cease.

Many people say that pediculosis is like varicella: once they contract it, they will most likely never get it again. This just isn’t the case regrettably!

Be on the lookout for pediculosis on your children and once you do come across its signs, be sure they see a physician right away. No one should accept this for a longer length of time than necessary.

What Are the Causes of Diabetes?: The Main Causes and Symptoms of Three Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that appears to be increasing each year. Its main characteristic is an inability to process sugars in the body, leading to high blood sugar levels and illness. Despite the growing number of people who have this condition, not everyone is aware of the causes of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes. The first is called simple type 1 diabetes. It can also be called “juvenile diabetes” and “insulin-dependent diabetes.” This is the least common type of diabetes, usually striking during childhood. Considered an autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes is caused by the body attacking the cells of the pancreas. This organ produces the hormone insulin, which is needed to break down sugars in the blood. As the amount of insulin decreases, sugar levels increase can cause serious damage.

Type 2 Diabetes

The most common type of diabetes today is type 2 diabetes. This condition occurs when external factors cause the pancreas to create less insulin, or the body becomes resistant to it’s effects. This condition can strike at any time and is most often linked to obesity and a poor diet. Though type 1 diabetes is incurable, for some losing weight and changing their diet can stop and reverse type 2 diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes strikes women during pregnancy and generally ends as soon as they give birth. Women who face gestational diabetes, however, are at higher risks for type 2 diabetes later in life. For some women, pregnancy hormones can cause a temporary decrease in insulin product or change how the body uses insulin. Blood sugar levels will increase if not treated, causing complications with fetal development and birth.

Symptoms of Diabetes

People who are suffering from diabetes all face similar symptoms to varying degrees. Understanding what the symptoms are can make early diagnosis easier to that treatment can be had sooner. With early treatment, diabetics can reduce the among of damage their bodies suffer.

Increased hunger and thirst, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss are the most common early signs of diabetes. Fatigue, headaches, and blurred vision are also symptoms of diabetes that many sufferers face. Rarely for some, a loss of consciousness can indicate undiagnosed diabetes.

The causes of diabetes can range from genetic traits passed down to outside factors, such as diet and lifestyle. Understanding the causes can help people make smarter choices to prevent potential diabetes in their lives.

What is Nitroglycerin: About Drugs Used To Treat Chest Pain Also Known As Angina

Nitroglycerin is classified therapeutically as an antianginal medication and pharmacologically as a nitrate. It is used to treat sudden episodes of angina and to prevent the occurrence of future episodes. Some other medications in this class are:

  • nitrostat
  • nitroQuick
  • deponit
  • nitrek
  • nitrong

How Nitroglycerin Works

Angina is caused by a lack of oxygenated blood flow to an area of the heart. A person experiencing angina may feel painful pressure or a squeezing sensation in their chest area. This pain may radiate to a person’s shoulders, jaws, back, neck or arms. Nitroglycerin increases blood flow to the heart by making the blood vessels that deliver oxygenated blood to the heart bigger. This process is called vasodilation. It relaxes the blood vessels in the body and decreases chest pain. Vasodilation of blood vessels that deliver blood to the rest of the body reduces the amount of work the heart has to perform, thereby reducing the oxygen needs of the heart. Nitroglycerin is available as a spray, tablets, capsules, extended release tablets.

Side Effects Of Nitroglycerin

Some side effects of this drug that should be reported to a healthcare provider if they become severe are as follows:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • flushing
  • lightheadedness

Adverse Effects Of Nitroglycerin

Side effects with potentially serious effects are called adverse effects and need to be reported to a healthcare provider immediately. The adverse effects of nitroglycerin are:

  • nausea
  • vomitting
  • weakness
  • blurred vision
  • fainting spell
  • abdominal pain
  • sweating
  • chest pain
  • pale skin
  • rashes
  • peeling of the skin
  • blisters on the skin
  • hives
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing

Precautions

A person taking nitroglycerin should always take the following precautions:

  1. Get up slowly from a sitting or standing position to prevent falls due to dizziness or light headedness.
  2. Take the medication as prescribed if when feeling better.
  3. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication and speak to a doctor before taking any over the counter drug.
  4. Be aware that headaches are a common side effect of this medication and should stop after a while.
  5. Notify a doctor of the headaches become unbearable or persistent.
  6. Take the medication at the first sign of angina. If the pain is not relieved in five minutes, another tablet can be taken. A maximum of three tablets should be taken at five minute intervals.
  7. Notify a healthcare provider or go to the emergency room if the pain is not relieved after taking three tablets.
  8. Store the medication in the container it came in to prevent loss of potency.
  9. Replace the medication every six months.

Be aware of symptoms of nitroglycerin overdose and contact emergency services if they happen.

Causes of Renal Failure: Degenerative Conditions Invoke Compromise to Kidneys

Renal failure can be caused by a number of prominent and degenerative precursors, stressors, and diseases.

Renal failure, a physically and biochemically degenerative condition in itself, can be caused by an array of other life-threatening complications and conditions. Its onset may occur suddenly, as typical of acute renal failure or regressively over a period of time (months or years), as customary with chronic renal failure.

Catalysts which bear the potential to trigger a downward spiral in kidney function have been disclosed here (briefly), yet this outline is not all-inclusive.

Severe Dehydration Causes Kidneys Stress

Severe dehydration may be due to poor fluid intake; excessive diarrhea, fever, sweating, and vomiting. Some medications (like diuretics), may also induce excessive fluid loss and thereby invoke undue stress on the kidneys.

Chronic Diabetes is a Major Cause of Renal Failure

Chronic diabetes mellitus, otherwise known as “sugar diabetes” is due to long-term unregulated blood glucose levels. It includes:

  1. Type 1 diabetes
  2. Type 2 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas’ insulin production is inadequate for the body.

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces adequate insulin for the body but the body is unable to process it.

Acute and Chronic Glomerulonephritis

Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease which results in the occurrence of blood and protein in the urine and a decrease in urine output. This is a disease of the glomeruli capillaries in which they become damaged or inflamed, thus interfering with the kidney’s natural ability to filter and remove excess waste and fluid from the body. A compromised immune system as well as other diseases and unknown causes can give rise to glomerulonephritis. Glomerulonephritis may be detected by urinalysis and confirmed through renal biopsy.

Chronic Hypertension is a Major Cause of Renal Failure

Hypertension (a.k.a. high blood pressure) is a condition in which a person’s systolic pressure and diastolic pressure are above 140 mmHg and 90 mmHg respectively, for prolong periods of time.

Renal Failure From Hypovolemia

Hypovolemia is a condition of low blood volume within the body. It may develop because of severe blood loss (resulting from a tragic accident or injury, etc.) and can bring about a lack of blood supply to the kidneys.

Kidney and Bladder Stones Can Block Urine Flow

Kidney stones and bladder stones are comprised of mineral deposits which precipitate out of urine and form stones. These stones may block and hinder the flow of urine within the urinary tract and could potentially result in obstructive uropathy or reflux nephropathy.

Medications and Renal Failure

Some medications though helpful for other areas of the body, may stress the kidneys causing them harm and toxicosis.

  • Diuretics
  • Regular use of analgesics (aspirin, acetaminophen)
  • Lithium

Multiple Myeloma Incites Renal Failure

Multiple myeloma causes the kidneys to be more susceptible to infection and disease. This condition is often referred to by several other names, such as: cancer of blood plasma cells, cancer of white blood cells, cancer of the immune system or cancer of bone marrow.

Obstructive Uropathy Damages Kidneys

Obstructive uropathy is an obstruction of urine flow from the ureters or the bladder, resulting in damage to the kidneys. This condition may be caused by enlarged prostate (in men), bladder cystocele, tumors and a host of other disorders and chronic diseases found in both men and women.

Defects From Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a chromosomal (non-sex type) disease caused by several dominant and recessive genetic defects. PKD is responsible for a variety of kidney defects and deformities.

Prostate Disease May Precede Renal Failure

Prostate disease impedes the healthy production of semen (semi-produced) by the prostate gland found in men. This disease may also lead to renal failure.

Reflux Nephropathy Scars Kidneys

Reflux nephropathy is the unnatural, backward flow of urine into the kidneys. This condition may occur as a result of obstructive uropathy and can cause scarring or other damage to the kidneys.

Renal Toxicity From Rhabdomyolysis

In rhabdomyolysis (a hefty breakdown of muscle tissue), myoglobin (which happens to be toxic to kidneys) is released from the muscle cells as they break down. Rhabdomyolysis may stem from a number of biological, chemical or physical impairments and complications.

Sepsis is a Renal Detriment

Sepsis (a.k.a. blood poisoning) is an infection of the blood stream or other tissues in the body. It is caused by an unhealthy accumulation of pathogens or other toxins in the body. This condition is an absolute detriment to the kidneys.

It’s apparent that the catalysts which trigger renal failure are abundant and can occur simultaneously or even be intertwined. Diabetes and high blood pressure have become infamous for being the leading, known causes of reduced kidney function and ultimately, renal failure. It is important however, to remain conscious of the other varied agents which have harmful and toxicological effects on the kidneys.

Disclaimer

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It does not take the place of a doctor’s advice. Before making decisions regarding your health, seek the consultation of a well-trained, medical professional.

Lung Diseases – Restrictive vs Obstructive Types: How are COPD and IPF Different from Each Other?

COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. IPF is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from one of these major lung diseases.

Respiratory diseases count for about one in seven deaths every year. Interstitial lung disease affects five million people in the world annually; other major lung diseases include cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, mesothelioma, sarcoidosis, and pulmonary hypertension.

What is a Lung Disease?

Any disorder that affects one’s ability to breathe, including lung cancer, which results in a nagging cough, shortness of breath, pain in the chest and a decrease in one’s ability to perform any significant exertion, is a lung disease.

Definitions of Restrictive and Obstructive Lung Disorders

When the airways of the lungs become narrow or are blocked so that one cannot exhale completely, the disorder is defined as “obstructive.” Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and asthma are considered obstructive lung diseases. Generally these are caused by inflammation in the airways.

When the lungs have lost tissue or the cells stiffen due to invasive environmental factors, the lungs lose their ability to expand on inhalation. They are restricted, and the term “restrictive” is applied to the disease. Lung cancer is a restrictive lung disease as are pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and pneumonia. This eventually impairs the body’s ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream.

“Interstitial” refers to any restrictive disease of the air sacs around the lung cells. Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) was a synonym for IPF but now is used as an umbrella term which includes IPF.

Thus, an obstructive lung disease prevents proper exhalation, and a restrictive lung disease prohibits proper inhalation. Someone with obstructive lung disease can take a full deep breath, but cannot exhale it completely (risking the retention of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream and further inflammation of the airways). A person with restrictive lung disease cannot take a deep breath but has no difficulty exhaling all that he does inhale. As his disease progresses, the lung tissue stiffens in greater amounts and the capacity to hold oxygen in the lungs diminishes steadily. Less and less oxygen is supplied to the body’s organs.

Differences Between Two Types of Lung Disease

COPD is characterized by heavy mucus production and a constant loose cough. Effective treatments include prescribed inhalants using handheld inhalers, nebulizers or other forced-air equipment. As the disease progresses, supplemental oxygen may be used to assist the active patient. There is no cure for these diseases; current treatments can enable the patient to continue a fairly active lifestyle for a number of years.

Pulmonary Fibrosis (referred to as IPF if it is “idiopathic,” or has no known cause) does not produce mucus, nor is it helped by inhalants to clear obstructed airways. Many patients experience a dry cough which becomes extremely debilitating. Other symptoms include increasing demands for supplemental oxygen and a decline in ability to perform daily living tasks. Lung capacity diminishes to as little as 11% of normal, and oxygen requirements can exceed 12 liters per minute (unlike COPD oxygen requirements which seldom exceed 2 liters per minute in most patients.)

A standard of treatment used to be giving the patient high doses of prednisone (a steroid) to halt further progression of scarring thought to be caused by an inflammation. However, prednisone treatment is successful in a smaller percentage of patients than previously thought, and its side effects are so damaging to the body that many health professionals feel prednisone is no longer the preferred choice of treatment. Drug trials have been conducted for many years to find a more successful treatment for IPF, including pirfenidone, which is currently awaiting FDA approval following a series of favorable trials. At present, however, there are no known drugs that successfully treat IPF and the only “cure” available is lung transplant. Progression of the disease is usually more rapid than with COPD.

Differencesmay be Confusing

Since the greater number of lung disease cases tend to be obstructive, such as asthma and COPD, many healthcare professionals are ill-prepared to treat restrictive diseases such as IPF. There is a tendency, unfortunately, to assume that those treatments that succeed with COPD will also work for IPF. Consequently, IPF patients are often taught “pursed-lip exhalation” in which one forces the exhaled breath out between tightly pursed lips. This is a useless strategy for anyone who has no difficulty exhaling but can’t inhale sufficiently.

Other misguided treatments include prohibiting IPF patients from having greater amounts of supplemental oxygen than 2 lpm, because “the patient might become dependent on it” or “it will damage the lungs.” COPD patients do have issues with high-flow supplemental oxygen, but patients with restrictive lung diseases need all the oxygen they can get. Loss of oxygen to the brain, to the extremities, and to other vital organs can seriously affect quality of life and will hasten death.

Preventing Lung Disease

The most obvious preventive strategy is never to smoke. Quitting is the number one health measure to prevent lung disease. Other measures include maintaining a healthy diet, keeping active with cardiopulmonary exercise, and avoiding exposure to such environmental triggers as asbestos, second-hand smoke, and air pollution. Some lung disorders are inherited, so be aware of family history and prepare accordingly to keep one’s lungs as healthy as possible.

If anyone begins to experience symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion, or a persistent nagging cough, he or she should see his physician as soon as possible. Treatment at the earliest stages of lung disease will prolong life and extend one’s quality of life immeasurably.