Misdiagnosis of Heart Failure
The most-frequent diagnostic errors are for common conditions seen by primary care doctors, including ailments such as pneumonia and heart failure that can lead to severe harm if not treated appropriately, a study found in the US.
The misdiagnoses occurred most often during the doctor’s examination, including trouble getting a complete history from the patient, performing the physical exam and ordering tests, according to research published today in JAMA Internal Medicine. Other common misdiagnoses were for kidney failure, urinary tract infection and cancer.
The findings show that doctors miss or wrongly diagnose a wide range of conditions that can be harmful to patients’ health, said lead study author Hardeep Singh. To reduce the number of misdiagnoses, more needs to be done by doctors and hospitals to engage the patient in their own health care and to improve their access to physicians, he said.
“If we do it together with patients, providers and health care systems, we will have a much deeper impact of understanding and improving this problem,” Singh, chief of health policy and quality program at the Health Services Research and Development Center at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg.
Is Telehealth really the solution?
There is currently a lot of reporting in the press on “Telehealth” trials and how it could save the NHS £billions by remotely monitoring a patients condition. I suppose what they are intimating is it’s like having a nurse at the other end of the phone 24hrs a day 7 days a week. We do agree that this approach is a good addition to services for people with long term conditions that need managing however what a machine can’t help you with is the emotional isolation from information that a human can give. The output is black and white.
It is all well a good that these systems can save valuable resource in the long term however our opinion is that if clinicians become over reliant then patients will inevitably make mistakes, not be consistent how they use the telehealth system, a bit like forgetting to take your prescribed medicines and therefore you get to a “what’s the point in having it” as misinformation is worse than no information sometimes. You will also have the spectre of “Big Brother” looking over your shoulder. Many patients are brusied and battered with the torrent of information that they recieve and a lot of the time if this information is not delivered correctly it can be seen as “Big Brother” telling you what to do. The system is great for producing Health Data.
There is a place for “Telehealth” in the pathway to self management but it is only one element and should be treated as an information provider not as a golden solution. Unfortunatley the obsession with this system has led to yet another justification that it’s all about saving money.
Heart Failure and Holidays
First things first lets look at Travel Insurance.
The NHS recommends that all UK citizens travelling to Europe should carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to free or low cost state health care in most European countries. It’s free and you can pick it up from the Post Office or apply for one here .Please read the information carefully.
This is however not a substitute for travel insurance and does not cover lost baggage, cancellations etc etc. Therefore we know how difficult it is to get travel insurance. The first rule we suggest is be up front and honest with insurance companies about your condition. Everybody has heard of nightmares of people having to pay many £10,000′s for medical care because they have failed to mention something about their condition. Also the vast majority of insurance companies won’t touch you if you have any long term condition however we have developed with AllClear Travel a tailored approach for those looking for comprehensive travel insurance. It has been developed by heart patients for heart patients.
Click here to be taken to our website where you can get a quote. If you purchase your policy through us then AllClear Travel will donate 10% of your policy total to Pumping Marvellous the Heart Failure Charity.