Posted on | October 19, 2010 | 1 Comment
If , while reading this blog, you have a medical emergency, please stop reading and dial 911 or go to a nearby emergency room. Because sometimes you just need help from a doctor or other medical professional. But what about all of those other times–that aren’t emergencies–where you aren’t sure you really need to see someone, just need a little information, or have a small worry where a nurse or doctor might ease your mind? Can an advice nurse help triage and assuage your healthcare concern over the phone? Does a quick search of the internet help or harm your confidence in knowing what to do? Is it worth making the appointment, trip, and co-pay (assuming you have insurance) to visit your care provider?
I recently wrote about the hype cycle around the topic of “mHealth.” But it’s certainly not the only hot topic making the rounds in the U.S. marketplace of healthcare ideas right now. Perhaps running a close second for the most-hyped award is “accountable care organizations,” or “ACOs” for short. I’ve just landed in Washington, D.C., where I know of no less than five workshops this week on ACOs, yet few consumers (or clinicians for that matter) understand–or have even heard of–this concept, which is a pretty significant aspect of the healthcare reform bill here in America.