Todd Berner is a pharmaceutical expert with a focus on improving outcomes through patient advocacy, particularly when it comes to rare diseases.
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As we as a nation and a world move into the second year of struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves in a position to look back on the response efforts from the public and private sectors. While many industries were able to mobilize and innovate at a pace previously unseen, the shortcomings of the United States healthcare system resulted in difficulties in response, treatment, diagnosis, and education, among other issues. …


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Technologically assisted health services have been critical for health providers to utilize during the pandemic to give their patients safe and convenient options for accessing healthcare. However, these services- collectively referred to as connected health- are not a phenomenon unique to this moment. Providers have been increasingly interested in adopting these services to increase patients’ engagement in their health.

Connected health encompasses many different types of engagement tools; online portals, messaging clients, apps, telehealth, and monitoring devices are examples of connected health services. These tools’ unifying factor is that they allow patients and providers to interact with each other digitally…


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When it comes to patient engagement, ample attention is given to doctors and nurses. After all, they’re the most prominent points of contact for any patient that goes through a healthcare facility. Their input can encourage good medication adherence and spur a patient to better engage with their own care. There’s no arguing the monumental impact of patient engagment-but sometimes, it’s individuals outside of the hospital that can make the biggest differences.

Social workers are able to engage with patients in a way that doctors and nurses cannot. However compassionate a medical professional is, they are limited by the reality…


Some time ago, I wrote an article on mobile health clinics and their benefits. Over the course of the year since then, little has changed regarding healthcare disparity-populations in isolated areas often struggle with access to care, and MHCs can help bridge the gap. What has changed is the necessity of delivering flexible care to account for the COVID-19 crisis. Often, brick-and-mortar clinics are too overburdened to be safe or effective centers of care. …


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Information exchange between healthcare organizations has always been a major obstacle when it comes to delivering effective patient care. Patient privacy and EHR formatting are just two of the factors that limit the speed and efficacy of data exchange and the ability of other facilities to interpret and act on patient records. From a population health standpoint, this also hamstrings any efforts to collect data for research and can slow its often already labored pace.

Some of these barriers have been cast aside in the name of combating the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as the disease has come to become better…


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Since the new year, COVID-19 has created many challenges within the global healthcare community. One of the biggest challenges will be to improve how healthcare data is handled to communicate effectively between healthcare systems. COVID-19 has allowed professionals to see the strengths and weaknesses of the healthcare system. There has not been nearly enough information to understand how patients have been treated during this pandemic. This has resulted in lack of data for medical professionals to study and use in the future. …


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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare organizations were faced with the herculean task of updating decades of physical data to EHRs. This task has been drawn out for a long time, to the point where earlier EHRs themselves are outdated enough to require another migration to a more robust system. Both compliance concerns and the high material and labor cost of making the switch have slowed down digital health transitions. However, the necessity of remote healthcare during the pandemic has accelerated digital development for many organizations and highlighted opportunities in digital health.

In many cases, infrastructure improvement projects were already…


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The eternal struggle of managing EHRs lies in ensuring that they contain consistent and correct information. With varied infrastructures across care providers and plenty of room for error, it’s easy for a mistake to be lost and never found, potentially leading to harm for the patient. However, research is showing that patient access to their data can help mitigate errors and give a patient more control over their healthcare process.

Research found one in five patients that read their ambulatory visit notes found some sort of error. 40% of these patients perceived what they found as serious. Mistakes included incorrect…


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It seems that the COVID-19 pandemic brings new challenges to healthcare every day. Recurring issues include shortages of staff, rationing personal protective equipment, and ensuring that healthcare professionals are as safe as can be while treating patients who have come down with the virus. Another common issue is how people who need medical attention that isn’t related to COVID-19 can receive the care they need without putting them in harm’s way, and making sure they feel as comfortable as possible. One way this can be addressed is with remote patient monitoring.

Healthcare organizations around the world have begun being slammed…


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Many industries, including healthcare, have begun to turn to digital formats as they’ve been forced into remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth care access has become more commonplace over the years for patients with low-acuity health needs, but now that the nation has gone into quarantine mode it’s become more important than ever before. While telehealth has been around for a while, many patients have been unenthusiastic about it due to not understanding how it works, thinking care quality won’t be the same, or not being sure if their insurance would cover it. …

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