Two interesting stories appeared in the press recently covering very different approaches to medical diagnosis. The first is a targeted approach and relies on an informed patient while the second is very blunt and relies on medical screening.Read More
Isabel Healthcare Blog
Hay fever season is upon us, and if you suffer from this seasonal allergy, soon, if you’re not already, you’ll be sneezing every minute and wanting to itch your eyes every second. Sales of antihistamine and nasal spray will soar and we’ll all be annoyed at ourselves for wanting spring to arrive. Think you know everything there is to know about hay fever? We’ve put together 10 facts about hay fever, some of which might surprise you.Read More
Yesterday marked this year’s World Health Day, meaning the World Health Organization (WHO) select a subject of growing concern surrounding global health to focus on and highlight to the world. This year’s chosen topic is food safety. The emphasis is on the entire food safety journey around the world, “from farm to plate,” which means there’s an awful lot of things we could talk about surrounding food safety and health.Read More
Topics: food safety
Implementing any new system or protocol into a large and busy environment such as a hospital can be daunting, and it can often seem like there are more hurdles to overcome than the venture is worth. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few tips and some careful preparation, a smooth adoption of a differential diagnosis tool such as Isabel in your institution is perfectly achievable.Read More
In the space of just two weeks, a paper has appeared and a new UK government task force has been launched which both point to the important role that will be played by the symptom checker in the brave new healthcare world where the patient starts to take greater control.Read More
I wrote about Ebola and the importance of mobile diagnosis decision support in 2012 when the last outbreak occurred. Now in 2014, West Africa is experiencing the worst outbreak of Ebola in history with as many as 7000 people diagnosed and 3,338 people who have died from the disease. However, these figures may be underestimated due to under reporting and the fact that many cases are not counted as people aren’t attending health care facilities due to lack of transport or as they are full and closed to new admissions.
In the USA, media articles are reporting the Dallas Ebola case of Eric Duncan who had helped carry a pregnant woman in Liberia who was desperately ill with Ebola. Mr Duncan then returned to the USA and presented twice at a hospital with Ebola symptoms, unfortunately he was not diagnosed until his second visit when he presented with severe symptoms. During his first visit to the ED, his travel history of having recently visited West Africa was recorded by a Nurse in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) but due to a system / process / workflow breakdown key members of the care team did not see this vital information. We could go round in circles allaying blame on the EHR, the Nurse or the Physician but this is pointless. Overall it's a system failure and the lesson to learn is how could this have been prevented from the onset and rectified so it doesn't occur again.Read More
NHS England today 23rd October 2014 has published its 5 Year Forward Report which shows the NHS is at a cross road and needs to change and improve as it moves forward. The report is a collaboration between the six leading NHS groups including:Read More
There is increasing coverage and discussion in the press about the empowered consumer and all the tools that are now available for people to use to help be empowered. The symptom checker is one of the key tools that consumers should use as it helps make sense of all the data such as symptoms, abnormal test results or abnormal readings from the various monitors that are now available.
The Wall Street Journal ran a special report on healthcare this week and included two great articles that both referred to the Isabel diagnosis decision support tool:
A study entitled ‘The Ecology of Medical Care Revisited’ from the NEJM of June 2001 graphically shows how important it is to try and guide and influence the patient from a very early stage in order to ensure appropriate flows into primary and secondary care. Encouraging patients to use a symptom checker could be one way to help them at that crucial stage when they are considering seeking care.