Keeping Track Of Patient Information

clipboard-1276947_960_720When one usually thinks about running a hospital, they usually think of the technical aspects. That is to say, the delivery end. Caring for patients, giving treatment, procedures, etc. And while this is the most important aspect, there is another part of the whole machine that couldn’t be done without: administration.

Now I am not really talking about the billing and that sort of thing. Rather, I am referring to the keep track of the patients themselves. It really is an important part of the entire operation.

Think about it. If you are dealing with hundreds of patients at a time, then you need to know what each one needs, what each one may be allergic to, who is treating who, etc. Mix-ups in this area can be catastrophic. Imagine giving the wrong patient a certain medication. It may conflict with something else they are taking. It could also lead to not having the proper equipment to hand (like IVs or a stair chair People have actually died because of administrative errors.

So this is why it is important that the patients themselves are aware of their own basic information.

As a patient, you should keep track of:

  1. The name of your doctor and whoever else has been attending to you.
  2. The names of any drugs you are taking and what they are for.
  3. Anything you know that you allergic to or don’t do well with (from food to certain types of antibiotics).
  4. Any treatments you have had in the past.

Armed with this information, you can be a much more educated patient and can keep an eye out for yourself.

So how do you use his info? Well, for starters you can and should ask questions when anything non-routine is being done. For example, if your nurse is trying to give you a medication that you don’t normally take, speak up and ensure it is for you. Same goes for stopping any medication you have been taking regularly.

Keeping informed is a necessary means to ensuring you aren’t the victim of a clerical error.

The Importance of Medical Sterilization

In medicine, one of the biggest concerns there is is how to prevent the spread of germs and infections. This is actually one of the leading causes of death in surgery. Many times, a wound or injury itself doesn’t kill you, but rather the ensuing infection. So in a profession where you often will intentionally cut a person open, finding ways to keep germs from entering the body is paramount. This has lead to the use of modern sterilization.

Sterilization is the removing of bacteria and other microscopic life forms from a given tool or space. If one can successfully get rid of these micro-organisms, then the chance of them harming a patient is very slim. So there are actually quite a few different ways of going about doing this.

Aside of basic sterilization, there are other ways to keep germs away. Using disposable medical tools is another solution.

For more on how sterilization is done, check out this video:

Getting The Right Diagnosis

doctor-563429_960_720In medicine, it is crucial that doctors know exactly what they are dealing with in terms of illness or injury before proceeding to treat the patient. Most failed treatments actually stem from not knowing what really was wrong with the patient (misdiagnosis). So that would explain why most advances in medical technology are devoted to devices and methods of determining illnesses and conditions. The better and more accurate the diagnosis, the better chance the patient has.

When you walk into your doctor’s office, most of the things that you see around are used to diagnose. The stethoscope allows the doctor to hear your heart, the sphygmomanometer for checking blood pressure, the otoscope for looking into your ear, the opthalmoscope for checking your eyes, etc. All of that medical tech just devoted to diagnosis. This is to say nothing of the tech designed for treatment.

So how much tech is reserved for diagnosis? Well, aside from the above, there are a lot more devices:

  • X-rays for seeing bone structures
  • Cat scans for looking into the tissue of the brain and bones
  • Blood tests for determining a wide array of potential problems
  • Biopsy test for again checking into organic matters
  • Bodily fluid test (urine, saliva, etc) for checking into a plethora of areas
  • Eye exams for checking vision
  • Hearing tests for checking on the state of hearing

And there are many more.

So as you can see, one of the most important parts of the modern medical process is to correctly diagnose the patient. And a whole lot of technology has been created for doing just that. As time goes on, one can expect to see even more developments in this field, until we have something akin to the Star Trek doctor’s device which can perform a rapid diagnosis or virtually anything on the spot.

Staples of Medical Equipment

sphygmomanometer-915652_960_720As we look towards the future in terms of advances in medical technology, we also have to remember that we are where we are today thanks to some of the tried and true medical tech. There are devices that have been in use for decades, and which are still part of a doctor’s regular items even today. So let’s take a moment to reflect back at some of the staples of medical technology.

The Sphygmomanometer is the device that doctors use to measure your blood pressure. It consists of a cuff, pressure gauge and rubber pump. Invented in 1881, this device now comes in digital form, but it is still based off of the original design.

The Stethoscope is another major part of a doctor’s arsenal. In fact, without one, the traditional sphygmomanometer is virtually useless! This device has been with us since 1816 and has has a variety of forms. It is still the most recognized piece of medical equipment in existence and is inseparable from the medical image.

The Otoscope is another commonly used device. It allows a doctor to easily see inside a patient’s ear and is useful for locating and identifying infections. It has been a staple of doctor’s offices since 1838 and now can consist of a simple smartphone attachment.

An Opthalmoscope is similar, except it is used for inspecting the human eye. Invented in the mid 1800’s (lots of medical technology evolved in that century) it can be seen in offices and clinics everywhere. See one here:

Thanks to these medical technological breakthroughs, doctors can more easily diagnose and treat their patients. As technology continues to evolve, doctors will be able to gain even more insight into what’s happening inside the human body, but it will be thanks to the early devices that we will eventually have that technology.

Transporting The Elderly

stretcher-98579_960_720One of the trickiest parts about working with elderly patients is the actual transportation of them. Some patients are not in a good enough condition to walk easily, and others are bedridden completely. So it can be a bit trying to get them from point A to point B. So the right equipment is needed to safely move them.

Now, a stretcher or gurney is what usually comes to mind and these will work well enough in most situations. But what about if there are stairs to overcome? You won’t be able to use the aforementioned devices as you’ll have to have it at such a steep angle that you risk the patient sliding right off without very tight restraints. You also risk injuring yourself trying to hold and maneuver it. Even though people who cannot move around with ease shouldn’t live somewhere where there is no elevator access, it still happens from time to time.

The solution is a device called a stair chair. Stair chairs look a bit like a regular chair, but have strategically placed sets of handled on the front and back. They are so placed so that two people working together can easily move someone up or down a flight of stairs. This isn’t only useful for the elderly. These are also vital in times of evacuation. And normally able-bodied person unable to move (or just unconscious) who is trapped on an upper floor could be transported with such a device.

By using a stair chair, you reduce the risk of injury to not only the patient, but also the person(s) doing the lifting.

Making Manikins Lifelike

manikin 1In our previous article, we briefly touched upon the history of medical manikins. We saw how they have been a staple of medical training for hundreds of years, and how they continue to be an important part of medical schooling even today. But now let’s look at some of what makes today’s manikins as lifelike as they are.

First of all, they look quite real. Realistic molding and features like eyes and hair ass a sense of realism to the overall experience. Everything down to skin tone is through with in terms of appearance.

There is also the aspect of touch. While some manikins are still hard plastic, others have a more lifelike texture and feel to them. Especially ones that have complete sets of internal organs. This allows for some sort of familiarity with the outside and inside of a human body. This adds to the confidence of young doctors as they have some experience with how a human being feels inside and out.

There are also specialty manikins that are only used for specific training. For example, there are childbirth manikins that only include the needed parts for that specific procedure. Because these manikins only include the necessary parts for a particular procedure, they can be made lifelike and inexpensive (relatively). There are specialty manikins for lots of things, like CPR manikins, prostate manikins, choking manikins, etc. These allow for greater training efficiency and effectiveness.

So as you can tell, the future of medical training looks bright thanks to these devices. And the future holds even more advanced training devices just waiting to be developed and put into good use.


The History of Medical Manikins

manikinThroughout history, there have always been two technologies that have developed faster than others. Those are of course the technologies of war, and of medicine. Though sometimes opposed and other times hand-in-hand, more time and energy have gone into getting these types of tech as far advanced as possible. For our interests, we’ll be looking at the medical side of this technological advancement. Specifically, the use of medical manikins in medical training.

Obviously, a subject is only as good as people can be trained in it. This is one of the reason that mysticism and the like remain esoteric and out of the general public eye. It’s impossible to teach someone how to work with it. So medical training techniques are very important. Training good doctors can’t be dependent upon some natural bent or inherent gift. It must be teachable.

So medical manikins were a way of getting people familiar with the human body and its systems. The started off as wax models of the human form, and various internals. Organs, bones, etc all were molded in clay or wax and colored so that medical students could see and (to a degree) feel these parts. After all, there wasn’t always a fresh cadaver around to work with.

Nowadays, these manikins are state-of-the-art. They are made from materials that not only mimic the human body in color, but also in texture. They vary, with some designed only for a specific use and therefore only containing certain parts of the body, like a CPR manikin or a birthing manikin, while others are full-blown replicas of the complete human anatomy and all of its systems. They yet remain an invaluable tool in the training of medical doctors and are found in all levels of medical training.

The Future Of Medical Training

technik-hintergrundExcellent medical training is always something that is constantly being sought after in the field of making doctors. After all, the more effective your methods are, the better the doctors you’ll produce. And having good doctors is something that everyone needs. So that’s why if you took a look at the history of medical training, you’d see that there have been advancements all throughout the years. But what’s even more interesting is where medical training is heading in the near future.

Back in days of old, if you wanted to see inside a human body, you either had to rely on the sketches of other doctors, or happen to have a cadaver ready. Now, obviously there are photographs, but also anatomical models that can be handled and practices on. While these models are good in that they can be physically manipulated and many even have accurate feel and textures, they usually only depict a healthy body. With virtual reality, the human body can be shown in any condition and represented in a wide variety of states and pathologies.

Virtual reality also allows a student to see a surgery being performed from the viewpoint of the doctor performing it. This would allow for a complete walkthrough of a particular procedure being viewed from the first person perspective.

Another upcoming advancement is that of rapid inclusion into curriculum. As we live in an information and communication-dominated age, when advancements occur in the medical field, they can be immediately implemented into standard curriculum. This means that even new doctors will be completely up-to-date on the latest techniques, treatments and procedures.

The future does indeed look bright for tomorrow’s medical students. And even brighter for their patients. As technology continues to improve, know that it will constantly mean better and better training for the doctors of tomorrow.