telehealth - JASE Medical

The Advantage of Telehealth During Bad Weather

The massive influx of historic, record-breaking weather that has swept the country has left many communities reeling. Power outages, impassable or treacherous road conditions illuminates how fragile our society is when infrastructure breaks down. Hopefully you have your basic over the counter medicines well stocked along with prescription medicines. You had topped off your preps, food, extra water, and a small indoor safe heater with fuel  in case of power failure.

If you haven’t considered or don’t have a generator check out the Jackery portable power station.. It has USB plug ins to keep cellphones recharged and can take care of basic electrical needs, such as keeping a min fridge cold, running small appliances and even your laptop. You can recharge it via AC outlet, solar panel or car outlet. This could prove invaluable during a power outage, by keeping your phone recharged to monitor weather, check in with family members and neighbors, and if needed, to contact your care provider in case of minor emergency or illness.

Medical preparedness

During inclement weather, you may not have access to in person, non-emergent health care. Power lines or trees may be downed and block the road, snow and ice storms can make a trip to the urgent care or clinic outright dangerous or impassable. Even Southern California experienced blizzard conditions and Portland, Oregon set a record for the second most snowfall to date.  In Oklahoma, tornados have left scores of communities homeless, many injured and without vital infrastructure needed to maintain adequate living conditions. During times such as these EMS workers are spread thin due to wrecks and other health emergencies, road crews can’t keep up with the massive amounts of snowfall and other road hazards. Staying home can be the safest and most prudent thing to do until after the storm passes and infrastructure is restored.

By now you should have medicines that you use on a regular basis, a well-stocked first aid kit and a Jase case (which covers a broad variety of infections) specifically for every member of your family.

Telehealth can help bridge the gap

Sometimes it only takes a phone call to the doctor’s office to answer a question or seek guidance for you or your loved one’s illness or injury. Other times a clinic visit would be preferable, however may not be immediately possible. Telehealth is an effective option for scenarios like this. For example, if your child had been exposed to strep throat while at school and has developed a sore throat while at home for snow days, a virtual visit via telehealth can determine if an antibiotic is needed. A virtual visit can keep you and your child safe, warm and not exposed to the elements.

Telehealth isn’t ideal for every injury or illness, however, if you are stuck at home with no availability to pharmacy or medical care, it is a valuable tool that has proven to be highly successful in diagnosing and resolving minor emergencies and illnesses.

Some common telehealth visits include:

  • Coughs
  • Colds and influenza symptoms
  • Earaches
  • Stomach aches
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin rashes
  • Sore throats
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Sprains or strains
  • Urinary tract symptoms (until you can get to the clinic for an urinalysis)
  • Food poisoning

Non emergent visits can  include chronic illness visits, prescription refills, weight checks, blood pressure checks and review labs.

How to access telehealth

While telehealth can be a valuable tool to access healthcare, nothing replaces the in person visit to your healthcare provider. Telehealth should be viewed as another valuable tool in your preparedness toolkit when healthcare isn’t accessible.

An increasing number of insurances are allowing telehealth visits. Even Medicare pays for telehealth visits. Check with your insurance company for a list of providers that offer telehealth as an option to in person visits.

Most all regions across the United States offer telehealth services as an alternative to in person visits. Check with your local health systems services, your care provider or health department.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

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“Normal” Won’t be Returning Anytime Soon

5 Steps to Help You Navigate These Challenging Times

You are not alone. We are all feeling tensions both globally and at home. We are on the precipice of World War 3, out of control energy and food prices, still reeling from the pandemic, layoffs, consumer debt hitting record highs, severe weather extremes, supply chains disrupted leading to drug and medical supply shortages- these are affecting all our lives. No one is immune to this assault.

To overcome and eventually prosper in this ever changing landscape, we must be solution oriented. Difficult times are here, and it doesn’t look like our “normal” will be returning anytime soon. Our families, communities and our very lives depend on how we face the challenges we are experiencing and will be experiencing over the coming months and years.

Below are 5 steps to guide you through these rocky times. 

  1. Focus on solutions
  • “We become what we think about” Earl Nightingale
  • “When you focus on problems, you get more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you have more opportunities.” Zig Ziglar
  • “Good health is true wealth.” – Urijah Faber “

What challenges are you and your family facing right now? Financial? Health related? Whatever the challenge is there is a solution. We need to acknowledge our problems, shortcomings and unexpected turns our lives take. Absorb and realize the impact these have in our daily living. However it isn’t healthy for you or anyone around us to dwell too long in this. Focus on possibilities. This will lead to opportunities.

2. Plan success = Reduce stress

Solutions start with a realistic plan 

Take time out, away from the noise of media, work, and technology each week. Set priorities to work on during the week. Start each day reviewing this list, set aside time for tasks that take precedent over others. Review your plan and goals. Make sure they are realistic and allow enough time to implement them. What can you do NOW that can make your day run smoother and more efficiently? Prioritize your days tasks; work towards accomplishing them. Move undone tasks to the next day. And so on.

Download our Goal Setting PDF to help you make and track your goals!

Finances-a major stressor

The out-of-control gas, energy and food prices have caught many off guard. You are not alone.

Financial Stress Has a Surprising Link to People’s Health, Relationships, Sleep, and More according to a white paper by Thriving Wallet, Discover and Thrive Global. Their survey included 3,000 adults. 90 percent stated that finances played a major part in wellbeing and stress levels. 

U.S. credit card debt jumps 18.5% and hits a record $930.6 billion 

If you are experiencing financial struggles, there are agencies that can help you budget and plan your finances. Consumer Review lists the top 7 financial consolidation companies. They work with you to consolidate and work with companies you owe money to. Some offer financial coaching and budget planning and clasess on financial education.  

Health

If you are having difficulty affording your prescription drugs, paying for insurance and copays, office visits, etc check with your local care provider and county health and welfare offices for any programs you may qualify for. 

Physical health-If you are out of shape, work on an exercise and diet program with your healthcare provider. Many chronic health conditions respond positively to lifestyle and food choices. Reduce or eliminate alcohol. Alcohol has empty calories and is a depressant.  In some cases, lifestyle changes can reduce or eliminate the need for prescription drugs. 

 Check out online exercise classes- You Tube has many classes geared for beginner to advanced levels. These are free, easily accessed and can be done around your schedule. Plan meals. Restaurant food is convenient but expensive and in many cases not as good tasting or nutritious as a home cooked meal. Make a meal plan and grocery list and don’t shop when hungry. 

Emotional health– If you are experiencing anxiety, are depressed, or feeling stressed talk your healthcare provider. Find meaningful work, volunteer, or take up a hobby. Plan a coffee date with a friend. We are wired for connection. Deep breathing exercises along with mediation or prayer can have profound effects on our health. 

Be prepared for minor emergencies

Urgent care visits may or may not be entirely covered by your health insurance. Depending on deductible you may have to pay out of pocket for the visit. As of this writing, the cost of an urgent care visit, without tests or treatments is a minimum of 75 dollars. Having basic knowledge and supplies for minor emergencies can reduce cost, exposure to diseases, travel time and cost(gas). Enroll in a basic first aid and cpr class if you aren’t medically trained. Keep an updated list of medications, medical conditions and allergies for all members of the family readily available. Look into telehealth visits for minor emergencies. Keep your medical supply kit stocked. In addition, a Jase case , contains antibiotics that cover a wide variety of infections, along with a consultation with a doctor if you have questions. This alone can keep you or your loved one out of the doctor’s office and on the road to recovery.

3. Implement plan- the most important step

A well thought out plan will free up time in your day to reach your goals. Taking charge of your finances will reduce stress and free up cash for necessities. Health is wealth, don’t neglect your health! Carve out time each day to put your plan in place. Stick to the plan, revise as necessary. The most important part is consistency.

4. Assess plan-weekly

Set aside time for assessing your plan. Did you reach your goals? If not, why? What barriers did you encounter? What went well? Were you able to free up time in your day for exercise or hobby? Assess your plan at least once a week will help you tweak and improve your plan and reach your goals.

5. Adjust and revise as necessary- or the only thing consistent in life is change

Plans are not meant to be set in stone. What worked well one day or week may not work at all for the following week. Schedules change- planned and unplanned events and life-come and go. If you get off track, jump back in. You will reach your goals!

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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Caring for Wounds – The Right Way

There have been many misconceptions and wives tales when it comes to how to properly care for a wound. One of the more dangerous is spreading butter or other grease on a burn to relieve the pain. In reality, any type of grease can cause more harm by trapping heat, suffocating the tissue and trapping any harmful bacteria against the burn. Another is pouring alcohol or peroxide directly into an open wound to cleanse it. Again, this practice causes further destruction of the tissue, and delays the healing process.

How to care for an open wound

To begin with, assess the wound. What type of wound is it- A puncture wound? A slice caused by a sharp object such as a knife or outdoor equipment? Is it a jagged, irregular wound such as a chainsaw injury, where a lot of debris is in the wound? A scraped knee with gravel embedded?

All wounds are a break in the integrity of the skin, the largest organ in your body. It is the first line of defense between you and the outside world. Once that defense has been breached, how you care for it will determine the outcome of the healing process.

Steps to care for a wound

Once you have assessed what type of wound you are dealing with take the following steps

  1. Stop or control bleeding if excessive or not well controlled. A little bleeding helps clear out invading pathogens and debris.
  2. Remove any obvious debris, gravel or other objects from the wound. Use tweezers, or manually pick out debris. Flush out with plain water. Tap water is fine.
  3. Continue to flood the wound with water, further cleansing the area. Be sure to clean and rinse around and away from the wound. This will prevent bacteria from entering the wound. Rinse with copious amounts of water. If you have access to a syringe or any way to deliver water under pressure, use it. This will help flush out any debris, bacteria or other matter that may not be visible to the naked eye. DO NOT use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen directly in the wound. This can cause further destruction to the skin integrity and delay the healing process.
  4. Once all debris has been removed, and area adequately flooded and flushed with water, pat dry with clean gauze if you have it. If not, a clean, free of lint piece of cloth will do.
  5. Cover with dressing. Do not use specialized dressings, ointments or creams unless instructed by your care provider. Products such as Neosporin do not prevent cellulitis. In fact, there is some evidence emerging that use of Neosporin or similar products may slow the healing process.
  6. If the wound is caused by an animal or human bite, seek medical attention as soon as possible. The mouth is full of pathogenic bacteria, and a prophylactic antibiotic may be necessary to prevent a systemic infection or cellulitis. This also goes for wounds that have been exposed to contamination and couldn’t be properly cleaned, puncture wounds and other wounds that you were unable to effectively clean.
  7. Change dressing daily. There will be some clear or even discolored exudate- this is normal, your body is healing itself. However, if the wound smells, or is swollen, the surrounding skin is hot or red to the touch, any red lines traveling from the wound outward, excessive drainage (cloudy, yellow or grey) seek medical attention. Also seek medical attention if fever over 100.4 (see below-signs a wound needs an antibiotic)
  8. If any of the above complications arise and you are unable to get to the doctor, there are two antibiotics in the Jase case that are effective in most cases of infected wounds or wounds that have a high likelihood of infection– One is amoxicillin clavulanate and the other one is doxycycline. The Jase case includes a booklet to help you identify when an antibiotic may be necessary. This is especially helpful when unable to seek medical care or medical care isn’t available.

How to tell if a wound requires an antibiotic

In many cases a wound will heal nicely on its own. The body is equipped with an amazing ability to heal itself. There are some instances, however when an antibiotic may be necessary, either to prevent infection in high-risk wounds or to treat active infections

Signs a wound needs an antibiotic

  • The wound is red, swollen and hot to the touch
  • The wound is substantially more painful than the initial injury
  • Excessive drainage – foul smelling, yellow and/or grey
  • Chills or fever over 100.4
  • Red streak spreading from the wound

Antibiotics needed prophylactically

  • Diabetic, heart valve disease or immune compromised- all are at high risk for infection
  • Puncture type wounds from animal bites-cats, some rodents, etc. or human bites- These bites contain bacteria that is almost impossible to thoroughly clean with pressurized water.
  • Other types of puncture wounds- nails, fencing, needles, garden tools and implements
  • Contaminated wounds-wounds exposed to manure, feces, swampy or bad water
  • Open fractures where bone breaks through the skin

- Shawn Rowland, MD

CEO & Founder of Jase Medical

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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Join Our Newsletter

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Healthcare Predictions for 2023

Now that January is “in the bucket”, 2023 is well on its way to challenges never before encountered in recent history. The following is a list of healthcare predictions for 2023:

Telemedicine will continue steady growth

During the pandemic, telehealth came to the forefront for patients unable to visit their care providers in person. Remote visits ensured that patients were still able to receive non-emergency care without being exposed to pathogens in the waiting room.

Telemedicine will continue to see growth as technology becomes easier to interface with, and patients start to see the value of remote visits.

Telemedicine will never replace in-clinic visits; however, for routine screenings (blood pressure visits without complications, allergies, and chronic health conditions that require monitoring) the convenience of having your appointment with your practitioner from the comfort of your home will become more appealing. 

Some of these benefits include saving time in transit to the clinic, saving money on gas and transportation costs, limiting exposure to pathogens, and a more flexible schedule for both patient and practitioner. 

Digital health tools, such as blood pressure monitors, scales, respiratory monitors, and thermometers will continue to make their way into homes as this technology is embraced. In addition to monitoring equipment, mobile apps on phones where patient and care provider can communicate. One example is blood sugar readings via an app that can be sent directly to the care provider.

Continued medical supply chain disruption.

Healthcare worker shortage continues.

Prior to 2020, the trend of healthcare workers- doctors, nurses, techs and aides leaving the workforce was already in progress. The covid 19 pandemic escalated the numbers. An aging workforce, job burnout and employees leaving healthcare altogether have added to the burden hospitals and clinics face. A recent (September 2021) Mercer study of healthcare workers found that 49% of healthcare professionals surveyed cited burnout due to workload as a primary reason they would consider leaving their current employer. Since 2021 the shortage has escalated. 

A September 2022 survey of 673 respondents done by the Medical Group Management Association reported healthcare worker shortage as its primary concern (58% respondents) heading into 2023. This shortage is already being felt by patients- staffing shortages lead to not enough available hospital beds, and longer ER wait times. 

Escalation of Russia-Ukraine conflict affecting US healthcare and supply chains, and possibility of nuclear war

According to Becker’s hospital review, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has and will continue to compromise US healthcare and supply chains by:

  • Increase in transportation costs-tensions in the area of conflict have caused some ships to avoid the area altogether. The result is a potential delay /backlog of supplies at ports.
  • The US has very limited manufacturing of healthcare products- we rely on other countries to provide medical supplies, instruments and medications, political tensions and sanctions continue to compromise the supply chain

The escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict has also brought the possibility of nuclear war to the table. Potassium iodide, Prussian blue and EDTA are treatments for certain radiation exposure. Prussian blue, a prescription drug, and potassium iodide (over the counter but experiences waves of shortages) are taken by mouth and EDTA is given by intravenous delivery. 

Drug shortages continue into 2023

 The National Community Pharmacists Association indicates that many independent community pharmacies are experiencing ongoing drug shortage issues and difficulty filling open staff positions.

Two antibiotics, Amoxicillin powder is still in shortage and Augmentin (amoxicillin and clavulanate)was recently reported in shortage. The prescription drug Ozempic, an injectable drug indicated for type 2 diabetics has been in short supply in various pharmacies. 

In a report by the Pharmacy Checker titled “Not Made in the USA” 78 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients for brand name pharmaceuticals are sourced out of the country. China, India, and Mexico lead the way in terms of volume of ingredients. It is estimated the number is even higher for generic drugs.

Get prepared NOW

Given the precarious situation overseas with global instability on the rise, our medical supply chain and medicines are teetering on the verge of collapse. There is no time better than now to stock up on your prescription medicines, get any medical supplies you and your family need, and order a Jase Case.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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Avoid Exposure to Infectious Diseases by Accessing this Medical Model

With emergency room department waiting times ranging from just over one and a half hours (North Dakota) to just under 4 hours, (Maryland) the likelihood that you will be exposed to contagious diseases in crowded waiting rooms is almost certain.

 From urinary tract infections to respiratory infections (pneumonia, covid, influenza and others) to gastrointestinal illnesses (diarrhea and vomiting) to hospital acquired infections,  the waiting room in the emergency department is a cesspool of infectious agents.

It is estimated that up to one in four ER visits are unnecessary or could be handled via doctors office or urgent care visits. In addition, the CDC estimates that 42 percent of the US population visits the ER annually. Given the long wait times in the ER waiting rooms, this is a massive number of potentially unnecessary exposures to infectious diseases.

 To put this in perspective, this calculates to approximately 3.48 million ER visits that could be handled by urgent care or doctor’s office visit Even with shorter waiting times (average wait time in doctors waiting room is 18 minutes) you are still exposed to other sick people for an extended period of time.

The most common reasons for an ER visit as of 2020 are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Pain, non-specific
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Back pain
  • Accidents

While many of these visits are true emergencies, a sizeable number are preventable.

Healthcare worker shortage

Along with extended wait times, the US is facing an unprecedented healthcare worker shortage.

The pandemic put a tremendous strain on the healthcare population, many report burnout as a factor for leaving. In addition, the workforce is aging faster than the replacement rate of qualified workers.

Both these statistics point to compromised patient care, The remaining workers are stretched to their limit, working long hours, leaving them exhausted both mentally and physically.

A viable and highly effective option to non-emergent in person visits is telemedicine

Telehealth — sometimes called telemedicine — lets your health care provider care for you without an in-person office visit. Telehealth is done primarily online with internet access on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Telehealth visits can range from:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Allergies and asthma management
  • Flu symptoms
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Monitor chronic health conditions such as arthritis, and blood pressure.
  • Medication refills
  • Order labs and x rays as necessary
  • The telehealth provider can triage and advise if an ER or in-person visit is warranted.

Cons of telehealth

  • Should never be used as emergency care
  • Should not be used in place of in office visits
  • Some populations may not be familiar with digital access and how to use. There can be a learning curve.

There are several ways to utilize telehealth care:

  • Speak to your health care provider live over the phone or video chat.
  • Send and receive messages from your health care provider using secure messaging, email, secure messaging, and secure file exchange.
  • Use remote monitoring so your health care provider can check on you at home. For example, you might use a device to gather vital signs to help your health care provider stay informed on your progress.

Advantage of telehealth visits

  • Avoids exposure to infectious diseases by avoiding waiting rooms.
  • Saves transportation costs and time traveling.
  • Can save time accessing medical care.
  • Many health insurance plans now cover these types of visits.

Your healthcare provider may already be providing telehealth services. Check with them and see if this is an option. In addition, check with your healthcare insurance provider and inquire if they cover telehealth visits.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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Keeping you informed and safe.

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Our mission is to help you be more medically prepared. Join our newsletter and follow us on social media for health and safety tips each week!

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