Friday Fireside Chat: Dr. Booker, founder, OnPulse

Today, I’m talking to Dr. Corenthian “Corey” Booker.

Corey Booker, not to be confused with the mayor of Newark, is a physician. He received his undergraduate degree in Neurobiology and Physiology at the University of Maryland College, and his medical degree from Creighton University.

Thanks for talking to MedCrunch. What is OnPulse?

OnPulse is a new healthcare product designed to get you, the patient, on the same page as anyone involved in your healthcare. It’s an online environment allowing providers to communicate to one another and their patients. Not only physicians, but staff members –anyone who owns a piece of patient care. With instant online access through the product’s patient profile, connected health teams can view and share relevant information, no matter what EMR they use, or whether they’re at the office, at home or on the road.

Who should use OnPulse?

Any healthcare provider who is currently communicating by email or any specialist trying to manage a large team with email should love OnPulse. Also, any patient who emails their provider should use OnPulse.

How do patients access OnPulse?

It’s web based now (mobile app will be available this summer), so they would log on at http://www.onpulse.com and enter a username and login. Right now, it is by Invitation Only. You can request an invitation at our website. We will release it to more people next month. It can be accessed on iPads and will eventually be available on mobile phones.

What makes OnPulse different from anything else out there?

What makes OnPulse different is we allow the individuals who have an account to own their information. The difference is whenever you stop receiving care somewhere and close an account, you no longer have access to that information. With OnPulse, if you end a relationship with a doctor or provider, you own your information and you can share it with another provider anywhere or anytime you want or the next time you need to access care you can share it with that provider. As a system, multiple providers from different organizations can communicate. It’s based on 4 things: 1. Simplicity. 2. Access. 3. Peace of Mind. 4. On-line teams communicating in one place.

What regulations exist concerning ownership of patient health information?

Multiple state statutes, regulations, and cases govern the ownership of health information and the information contained in medical records. The classic statement of the rule concerning ownership of medical records is that the provider owns the medical records maintained by the provider, subject to the patient’s rights in the information contained in the record.

 
But,under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), every person “has a right of access to inspect and obtain a copy of protected health information.” The Meaningful Use regulations require that outpatient providers give patients clinical summaries within three business days for at least half of all office visits, if requested. Hospitals have to provide an electronic copy of discharge instructions upon request.

 
The stage two meaningful use places a much greater emphasis on patient engagement and set high standards for making data electronically available to patients. Physicians should think about these requirements as they work to implement a new EHR system. The new rules state that a professional must make electronic records available to 50 percent of their patients. Furthermore, 10 percent of a physician’s patients must actually view and download these records.

Should people be concerned about privacy?


As a patient no one knows you have an OnPulse account unless you tell them. Under HIPPA they allow providers to do what they currently do and allow them to invite other providers to the health team. Everyone on the team knows who has access to information. The system is only transparent to those using it.

When did you develop the idea for OnPulse?
I was exposed to communication in our healthcare system during my first summer of medical school. Writing HEDIS measures for the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), as a Washington Health Policy Fellow intern, taught me that our system was fragmented.

My understanding of communication in healthcare matured in residency when I became responsible for confused patients, busy consultants and returning phone calls to referring doctors for unreceived faxes, but I didn’t do anything about it until my fellowship. As a resident, you learn to communicate with everyone involved, you manage the communication with among your resident colleagues, consultants, patients and the people who are training you. As a resident, you learn to communicate with everyone involved, you manage the communication with among your resident colleagues, consultants, patients and the people who are training you. As a resident I saw, how our means of communication can fail the provider team and the patient. I didn’t know what to do about it at the time.

Within the first six months of my fellowship, I had a patient who looked at me with tears because she had suffered financially, physically and emotionally –she said, ‘I thought you guys were all communicating.’ That was it. I realized that all the faxes, phone calls and emails had failed her and so did our team, despite our best intentions.

Mostly, I learned even more about communicating in healthcare when I became a patient after I ruptured both of my patellar tendons, which connects your knee cap to your lower legs. I realized how difficult it is to navigate healthcare and to have a choice. I also learned how difficult it was for all of the providers to communicate as they are trying to help you reach a certain outcome, especially when they are not in the same organization. For instance I had an orthopedic surgeon and two physical therapist all in different places. This experience really informed how important the asset a patient was to the health team and really improved the system.

How does a patient get started using it?

The patient can either be invited by their provider or they can open their own account. Adding providers is simple. We recommend they that they invite providers that they have an established relationship with, especially an electronic one. If they have multiple providers helping them on a single issue they can suggest to their primary provider to form a health team in OnPulse. Then, you’re able to exchange messages, create a task and share files. Whenever information is requested by you –you receive a text or email alert that something is available to you.

OnPulse spans the communication needs for across sickness, wellness and fitness . For example, some patients even use it to communicate with their fitness trainer, keeping track of a daily routine, and keeping all their health information in one place.

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Are there any costs involved for the patient or the provider?

It is free to an individual patients and individual providers. No fee for individual users either patients or doctors. There are subscription payments as a practice to include your business for independent practices or hospitals.

What are the benefits of using OnPulse?

Medical practices can share vital information with other providers and their mutual patients in an easily accessible, unified place. It gives providers and patients secure access to the entire team of healthcare providers. It gives both peace of mind that what they send is actually received by the right person. It helps streamline communication. And it provides personalized communication with everyone. And it’s free to an individual patient and individual provider to use.

Where do you envision OnPulse in 5 years?

My vision for it is to become the healthcare communication environment of choice for all providers and patients. OnPulse, the new on-line healthcare communication environment for patients and providers.

How did medicine and entrepreneurship meet?

My background is medicine with a consistent thread of entrepreneurship. During my fellowship I completed the masters program in clinical informatics at the Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business to better understand how to apply my ideas to clinical medicine. Prior to this time I dabbled in buying and selling houses, creating an online stationary company for my creative wife Kathy and forming a mobile application development company, but by far (besides my kids) OnPulse is the thing that wakes me up and takes me to bed.

“I believe in better communication in healthcare. That’s why I developed OnPulse, where everyone can easily contribute to the personalized best care for the patient and the patient will own 100 percent of their records, and be able to share them accordingly with their health team of choice.” ~ Corey Booker, MD/founder, OnPulse

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For More Information visit http://www.onpulse.com

 

If you have any questions for Dr. Booker, feel free to ask them below.

5 Foods to Lift Your Mood

Senior editor of Caring.com, Paul Spencer Scott says to try these smart choices when your mood needs a little boost.

The right foods — like the following five — can stabilize blood sugar, eliminate mood swings, and boost neurotransmitters in the brain, all factors that influence your emotions.

1. An omelet — just don’t skip the yolk

Eat it for: The B vitamins and protein. Egg yolks are the vitamin-B-rich part of the egg.

Other examples: Lean beef, wheat germ, fish, poultry

Why they help: A diet rich in B vitamins can help lessen the severity of depression symptoms. B vitamins, especially B-6 and B-12, can help improve neural function — the way the neurotransmitters of the brain send signals, which helps govern mood. There’s also a growing link between vitamin B deficiency and depression. A 2010 study of 3,000 older adults followed over 12 years found that those with lower intake of these vitamins had a higher risk of depression, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The protein in eggs (as with lean meats) helps you feel satisfied longer, stabilizing blood sugar. And eggs can be consumed in a variety of ways, from scrambled to used as a French toast batter to boiled and chopped up as a salad topper — so long as you go easy on the accompanying animal products that are high in saturated fats, like bacon or butter.

2. Nuts and seeds

Eat it for: The magnesium

Examples: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, peanuts. (Green leafy vegetables and whole grains are also high in magnesium.)

Why they help: Magnesium, a mineral found naturally in nuts and seeds, influences production of serotonin, a “feel-good” brain chemical. Magnesium also affects overall energy production.

Bonus: Nuts are also a good source of protein and healthy fats. And as a whole food, they make a healthy alternative to processed snacks, provided you choose unsalted and unsweetened varieties. Salt and sugared coatings don’t add any health benefits and may make you overeat because they set up cravings in the brain for more and more salt or sugar.

3. Cold-water fish

Eat it for: The omega-3 fatty acids

Examples: Wild salmon, herring, sardines, anchovies, tuna (not more than once per week), rainbow trout, mackerel. Fish-oil supplements are a practical alternative for those who don’t eat these cold-water fish at least three times a week, Reardon says.

Why they help: There’s a reason fish is known as “brain food.” Fatty fish such as wild salmon contain the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which has been shown to increase the membrane quality and nerve function of gray matter in the brain. Twenty percent of the gray matter in the brain is composed of DHA. Some studies have found that DHA consumption especially increases gray matter in the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the cingulate, three areas of the brain associated with mood. People with severe depression have less gray matter in these areas.

Fish is also a great source of lean protein, which stabilizes blood sugar. Eating small amounts of protein with meals can help keep your mood on a more even keel.

4. Ancient grains

Eat it for: The complex carbohydrates

Examples: Quinoa, millet, teff, amaranth, spelt, barley

Why they help: Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, which means they don’t cause spikes in blood sugar that can create roller-coaster moods. Complex carbs also increase levels of serotonin in the brain.

While any whole grain is good, so-called “ancient grains” are even better, according to Reardon, because they’re less likely to be man-modified and processed. Packaged, processed, and refined foods made with wheat flour and sugar, in contrast, tend to be digested quickly, causing cause blood sugar to spike. When this happens, the body responds with an oversecretion of insulin, which winds up moving too much sugar into cells — and blood sugars plummet. The end result: poorer concentration, fatigue, mood swings, intense cravings, and overeating.

Ancient grains are increasingly available at mainstream grocery stores and big-box stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club. Look where rice products are shelved. Many ancient grains can be cooked like pasta or rice and served in their place as side dishes, in casseroles, or as a base for fish or chicken.

Bonus: Some ancient grains are a whole-grain alternative for those who are allergic to wheat or have gluten intolerance. (Barley, though, contains gluten.)

5. Green tea

Drink it for: The amino acid L-theanine

Examples: Hot green tea, brewed iced green tea — including flavored varieties like jasmine green tea or berry green tea

Why it helps: L-theanine is an amino acid found mainly in tea leaves; it’s been shown by EEG tests to stimulate alpha brain waves. This can improve focus while also having a calming effect on the body.

“Despite the caffeine, the L-theanine in green tea seems to be profoundly relaxing, with effects that last up to eight hours,” Reardon says. L-theanine is easily absorbed and can cross the blood-brain barrier, adding to its effectiveness.

Clinical depression is a serious illness that requires treatment beyond nutrition, changing what you eat can help beat garden-variety blues caused by stress, and will boost low energy, too.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, be sure to visit: http://www.caring.com

This content was originally published by Caring.com: “5 Food to Eat When You’re Depressed” and this excerpt reprinted here with permission.


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Other non-food things to do

  • Get plenty of sunshine. Natural sunlight is a proven cure for depression.
  • Engage in regularexerciseat least three times per week. Exercise lifts and mood and alters brain chemistry in a positive way.
  • Experience laughter. It’s goodmedicine.
  • Take a quality superfood supplement to get even morenaturalmedicine from the world of plants.

Four more foods for beating depression from Naturalnews.com


Brown Rice:Contains vitamins B1 and B3, andfolic acid. Brown rice is also a low-glycemic food, which means it releases glucose into the bloodstream gradually, preventingsugarlows and mood swings. Brownricealso provides many of the tracemineralswe need to function properly, as well as being a high-fiber food that can keep the digestive system healthy and lowercholesterol. Instant varieties of rice do not offer these benefits. Any time you see “instant” on a food label, avoid it.

Brewer’s Yeast:ContainsvitaminsB1, B2 and B3. Brewer’s yeast should be avoided if you do not tolerate yeast well, but if you do, mix a thimbleful into any smoothie for your daily dose. Thissuperfoodpacks a wide assortment ofvitamins and mineralsin a small package, including 16amino acidsand 14 minerals. Amino acids are vital for the nervous system, which makes brewer’s yeast a no-brainer for treating depression.

Cabbage:Contains vitamin C and folic acid. Cabbage protects against stress, infection and heart disease, as well as many types of cancers, according to the American Association for Cancer Research. There are numerous ways to getcabbageinto your diet; toss it in a salad instead of lettuce, use cabbage in place of lettuce wraps, stir fry it in your favorite Asian dish, make some classic cabbage soup orjuiceit. To avoid gas aftereatingcabbage, add a few fennel, caraway or cuminseedsbefore cooking. Cabbage is also a good source of blood-sugar-stabilizingfiber, and the raw juice of cabbage is a knowncurefor stomach ulcers.

Also worth mentioning:Foods likeraw cacao, dark molasses and brazilnuts(high in selenium) are also excellent for boosting brain function and eliminating depression. Get rawcacaoand brazil nuts atNature’s First Law. Another source for cacao isNavitas Naturals.

Things to avoid

If you feel you are depressed or at risk for depression, you also need to avoid certain foods and substances. Some commonly prescribed drugs — such as antibiotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, pain killers, ulcer drugs, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, anti-Parkinson’s drugs, birth control pills, highbloodpressure drugs, heart medications and psychotropic drugs — contribute to depression. If you are taking any of these, don’t quit them without talking to yourdoctor; but be aware that they may be contributing to your condition by depleting your body of depression-fighting vitamins and minerals.

You should also avoid caffeine, smoking and foods high infatand sugar. Keeping your blood sugar stable and getting B vitamins is important for stabilizing your mood. Cacao can be good for mood because it releases endorphins inthe brain, but watch out for milk chocolate and candy varieties high in sugar.

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Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/020611.html#ixzz1sJ20Y5CM

Stay healthy! :-)