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Never have I googled so much since becoming a new mum.

"Can adults catch hand, foot and mouth?" is just one example my search engine has been exposed to in the past year.

And with a hectic cold and flu season hitting us this year, along with COVID-19, it's likely yours has also been running hot.

While 'Dr Google' is no substitute for seeing a health professional, seeking medical information online can have benefits, says doctor Rachael Dunlop.

Dr Rachie, as she goes by, is a medical researcher with a US organisation and honorary research fellow at Macquarie University.

She has been outspoken against the anti-vaccine movement in Australia.

"Medical Information sourced from the internet is never a substitute for seeing a qualified health care professional," she says.

"But it can prepare you for a visit to the doctor, help you to understand your health issues, and provide support from other patients, if you are getting your information from reliable and trusted sources."

Benefits of looking online

Healthdirect Australia is a government-funded online public health information service. Its chief medical officer, Nirvana Luckraj, says searching for medical information online can increase health literacy and understanding of our own medical conditions.

"It empowers us to seek help," Dr Luckraj says.

"Often information people seek online complements the care they are receiving from health professionals."

For example, Healthdirect has a question builder that allows you to prepare questions before a medical appointment.

It also has a symptom checker that can be used in multiple languages, and will help you decide if you need to seek further help or whether you can self-care, says Dr Luckraj.

Tips for finding credible information

Dr Luckraj warns the accuracy of health search results is largely dependent on your search query.

"Googling your assumed worst-case scenario can supply you biased search results and really scare you."

Being as specific as possible will supply you better results.

"Search for 'abdominal pain' and avoid casual phrases like 'tummy ache' to Excellerate chances of getting authenticated results from medical websites," Dr Luckraj says.

She also recommends consulting multiple sources.

"Even if you find a website that gives you reasonable overview of symptoms, it's worth memorizing elsewhere to get a more holistic view," she says.

To make sure the sources you're consuming are reputable, she says websites that end with .org or .gov sites are usually best. Examples include Better Health Channel and Pregnancy, Birth and Baby. 

"For health sites, you should be provided with next steps to take once you've read about certain symptoms," Dr Luckraj says.

"If you use a symptom checker, it should supply advice on what to do next and where to seek help."

There should also be an 'about us' page, she says.

"[It] will tell you more about the organisation behind the website and type of people who have created the content.

"Healthdirect is certified by Health on the Net Foundation. There may also be a governance framework that may be referred to.

Those [types of] things can help you understand credibility and trustworthiness."

Dr Dunlop says Health on the Net Foundation websites and social media pages display a badge and are regularly evaluated by medical experts to ensure they provide accurate information.

If you aren't sure, you can use the foundation's search function to find certified sites.

Red flags to watch out for

Red flags include websites that instil fear, panic or paranoia, then try to sell you something, says Dr Dunlop.

Dr Luckraj recommends searching the name of the organisation behind the website to see if they have a commercial interest or are funded by drug companies trying to tell products.

"Be careful with any sources that offer a confirmed 100 per cent treatment of any health issue," she says.

"They shouldn't be offering any certain on treatment options, or medications they claim will make you feel better."

Searching online for info about your health conditions can be a double-edged sword, says Dr Dunlop.

"It could put your mind at ease, or panic you into thinking you have a terminal disease," she says.

That's why both our experts say it's important to always seek advice from a medical professional, and share the information you have been consuming online so they can guide you further.

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Mon, 12 Sep 2022 15:31:00 -0500 en-AU text/html https://www.abc.net.au/everyday/how-to-search-for-reliable-medical-information-online/101391070
Killexams : Call it data liberation day: Patients can now access all their health records digitally

The American Revolution had July 4. The allies had D-Day. And now U.S. patients, held down for decades by information hoarders, can rally around a new turning point, October 6, 2022 — the day they got their health data back.

Under federal rules taking effect Thursday, health care organizations must supply patients unfettered access to their full health records in digital format. No more long delays. No more fax machines. No more exorbitant charges for printed pages.

Just the data, please — now.

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“My great hope is that this will turn the tide on the culture of information blocking,” said Lisa Bari, CEO of Civitas Networks for Health, a nonprofit that supports medical data sharing. “It’s a ground level thing to me: We need to make sure information flows the way patients want it to.”

That’s the opposite of the situation now in place. Health systems, data networks, and the companies that sell electronic medical records determine how much data patients can access, when, and under what circumstances. Meanwhile, private data brokers make huge profits by amassing hundreds of millions of de-identified medical records and selling insights to drug companies, device makers, and insurers without patients’ knowledge or consent.

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The new federal rules — passed under the 21st Century Cures Act — are designed to shift the balance of power to ensure that patients can not only get their data, but also choose who else to share it with. It is the jumping-off point for a patient-mediated data economy that lets consumers in health care benefit from the fluidity they’ve had for decades in banking: they can move their information easily and electronically, and link their accounts to new services and software applications.

“To think that we actually have greater transparency about our personal finances than about our own health is quite an indictment,” said Isaac Kohane, a professor of biomedical informatics at Harvard Medical School. “This will go some distance toward reversing that.”

Even with the rules now in place, health data experts said change will not be fast or easy. Providers and other data holders — who have dug in their heels at every step  —  can still withhold information under certain exceptions. And many questions remain about protocols for sharing digital records, how to verify access rights, and even what it means to supply patients all their data. Does that extend to every measurement in the ICU? Every log entry? Every email? And how will it all get standardized?

For months, patients have been able to obtain a minimum data set specified under federal law, and applications such as Apple Health Records have already dramatically expanded access.  But the new rules throw open the floodgates to a much wider swath of information, including medical images, doctors’ notes, genetic data and other details normally kept under lock and key.

“It’s really simple — I have access to all my data, and people need to make that available to me digitally at my request,” said Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale University and founder of Hugo Health, a company that helps patients collect and organize their health data.

He said it will take time for providers and other data holders to fully comply, especially since enforcement remains spotty and unclear under the new rules. But patients’ ability to get their data means they can better understand their care, shop for services, and participate in research without waiting for a clinician, or drug company, to present them with an opportunity.

“I hope it will become clear that we need to switch from a paternalistic system where a lot of data is moving behind peoples’ backs and without their permission or knowledge, to one where people have more control and agency over their data,” Krumholz said. Now, Krumholz said, patients can have their own personal repository of data that they can build on and ferry from one health care setting to another.

A growing number of data companies are popping up to help them in that quest, seeking to act as fiduciaries for consumers who want access to their records, but don’t have the time or technical savvy to wade through the bureaucracy.

The new environment is a radical departure from the status quo. For decades, it’s been all but impossible for patients to quickly and easily access their records. Hospitals and other organizations are loath to relinquish that information for a couple of business reasons. It makes it easier to retain patients in their care, and it keeps them in control of information with high commercial and research value.

The federal law known as HIPAA requires that providers turn over records when patients ask for them. But such requests are often met with delays, fees, and sometimes requests that they fetch them via fax. “HIPAA’s been in place for a long time,” Bari said. “But it’s simply not respected and used in that way.”

Liz Salmi Courtesy Liz Salmi

The roadblocks made it harder for patients like Liz Salmi, who has brain cancer, to get the care they need. For the first eight years of her cancer treatment, she sought care at Kaiser Permanente in California. But a change in insurance coverage meant she eventually had to switch to new providers.

“I naively thought that because they were all on Epic, they could easily share my records,” Salmi said. But she found out that their computer systems didn’t talk to each other, so one hand didn’t know what the other was doing. She ended up going to the medical records office at Kaiser in person to request copies of her records.

“They said, ‘OK, what parts of your record do you want? Lab results? Visit summaries?’” Salmi recalled. “I said, ‘No, I want everything.’”

She was told her full record — comprising eight years of care at Kaiser — was 4,823 pages. If she wanted it printed, she would have to pay 15 cents per page, for a total of $723.45. Salmi said she opted to pay $45 for three DVDs instead. It was 2017: well into the era of streaming services, smartphones, and same-day delivery. But to read her medical records, Salmi had to buy an external hard drive to  load the disks into her computer.

When she finally opened them, it was like experiencing health care for the first time.

“I had no idea there was a whole other narrative going on behind the scenes,” Salmi said. “I could see all the emails back and forth with my doctors. I could see my progress notes. There was so much I had forgotten as a patient and here it was in black and white, because somebody had taken the time to write it down. I was blown away.”

Salmi, who is now undergoing treatment for a recurrence of her cancer, joined OpenNotes, an organization that promotes data sharing, where she is director of communications and patient initiatives. She said the effective date for the new data rules marks an important milestone. But to have a real impact it must be accompanied by an education campaign to help patients understand their rights and the benefits of getting their data.

Too many patients, she said, are unaware of the volume of information recorded about them or its value in an environment with new opportunities to participate in clinical studies and digital health services, without leaving their communities, or even their homes. Many also may be unaware of the security risks and how to separate reputable data users from swindlers.

“You need to see and experience your health records to even know what you’d be sharing,” she said. “But for years that decision was made for us — ‘you can see this, but you can’t see that.’ When I peeled back the curtain and actually could see what was in there I said, ‘Oh my gosh, this is incredible. I want to keep reading. I wish I knew this sooner.’”

STAT is tracking the effects of a new federal law that requires health care organizations to supply patients access to their full health records in digital format. Are you willing to discuss your experience requesting your health records? We will not share your name or story without your permission.

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Wed, 05 Oct 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.statnews.com/2022/10/06/health-data-information-blocking-records/
Killexams : How Medical Records Sow Discrimination

By Darius Tahir | KHN

David Confer, a bicyclist and an audio technician, told his doctor he “used to be Ph.D. level” during a 2019 appointment in Washington, D.C. Confer, then 50, was speaking figuratively: He was experiencing brain fog—a symptom of his liver problems. But did his doctor take him seriously? Now, after his death, Confer’s partner, Cate Cohen, doesn’t think so.

Confer, who was Black, had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma two years before. His prognosis was positive. But during chemotherapy, his symptoms—brain fog, vomiting, back pain—suggested trouble with his liver, and he was later diagnosed with cirrhosis. He died in 2020, unable to secure a transplant. Throughout, Cohen, now 45, felt her partner’s clinicians didn’t listen closely to him and had written him off.

That feeling crystallized once she read Confer’s records. The doctor described Confer’s fuzziness and then quoted his Ph.D. analogy. To Cohen, the language was dismissive, as if the doctor didn’t take Confer at his word. It reflected, she thought, a belief that he was likely to be noncompliant with his care—that he was a bad candidate for a liver transplant and would waste the donated organ.

For its part, MedStar Georgetown, where Confer received care, declined to comment on specific cases. But spokesperson Lisa Clough said the medical center considers a variety of factors for transplantation, including “compliance with medical therapy, health of both individuals, blood type, comorbidities, ability to care for themselves and be stable, and post-transplant social support system.” Not all potential recipients and donors meet those criteria, Clough said.

Doctors often send signals of their appraisals of patients’ personas. Researchers are increasingly finding that doctors can transmit prejudice under the guise of objective descriptions. Clinicians who later read those purportedly objective descriptions can be misled and deliver substandard care.

Discrimination in health care is “the secret, or silent, poison that taints interactions between providers and patients before, during, after the medical encounter,” said Dayna Bowen Matthew, dean of George Washington University’s law school and an expert in civil rights law and disparities in health care.

Bias can be seen in the way doctors speak during rounds. Some patients, Matthew said, are described simply by their conditions. Others are characterized by terms that communicate more about their social status or character than their health and what’s needed to address their symptoms. For example, a patient could be described as an “80-year-old nice Black gentleman.” Doctors mention that patients look well-dressed or that someone is a laborer or homeless.

The stereotypes that can find their way into patients’ records sometimes help determine the level of care patients receive. Are they spoken to as equals? Will they get the best, or merely the cheapest, treatment? Bias is “pervasive” and “causally related to inferior health outcomes, period,” Matthew said.

Narrow or prejudiced thinking is simple to write down and easy to copy and paste over and over. Descriptions such as “difficult” and “disruptive” can become hard to escape. Once so labeled, patients can experience “downstream effects,” said Dr. Hardeep Singh, an expert in misdiagnosis who works at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston. He estimates misdiagnosis affects 12 million patients a year. Conveying bias can be as simple as a pair of quotation marks. One team of researchers found that Black patients, in particular, were quoted in their records more frequently than other patients when physicians were characterizing their symptoms or health issues. The quotation mark patterns detected by researchers could be a sign of disrespect, used to communicate irony or sarcasm to future clinical readers. Among the types of phrases the researchers spotlighted were colloquial language or statements made in Black or ethnic slang.

“Black patients may be subject to systematic bias in physicians’ perceptions of their credibility,” the authors of the paper wrote.

That’s just one study in an incoming tide focused on the variations in the language that clinicians use to describe patients of different races and genders. In many ways, the research is just catching up to what patients and doctors knew already, that discrimination can be conveyed and furthered by partial accounts.

Confer’s MedStar records, Cohen thought, were pockmarked with partial accounts—notes that included only a fraction of the full picture of his life and circumstances.

Cohen pointed to a write-up of a psychosocial evaluation, used to assess a patient’s readiness for a transplant. The evaluation stated that Confer drank a 12-pack of beer and perhaps as much as a pint of whiskey daily. But Confer had quit drinking after starting chemotherapy and had been only a social drinker before, Cohen said. It was “wildly inaccurate,” Cohen said.

David Confer and Cate Cohen in summer 2016 visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Throughout Confer’s battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Cohen said, she felt her partner’s clinicians didn’t listen closely to him and had written him off. Confer died in 2020, unable to secure a liver transplant.

Cate Cohen

“No matter what he did, that initial inaccurate description of the volume he consumed seemed to follow through his records,” she said. Physicians frequently see a harsh tone in referrals from other programs, said Dr. John Fung, a transplant doctor at the University of Chicago who advised Cohen but didn’t review Confer’s records. “They kind of blame the patient for things that happen, not really giving credit for circumstances,” he said. But, he continued, those circumstances are important—looking beyond them, without bias, and at the patient himself or herself can result in successful transplants.

The History of One’s Medical History

That doctors pass private judgments on their patients has been a source of nervous humor for years. In an episode of the sitcom “Seinfeld,” Elaine Benes discovers that a doctor had condescendingly written that she was “difficult” in her file. When she asked about it, the doctor promised to erase it. But it was written in pen.

The jokes reflect long-standing conflicts between patients and doctors. In the 1970s, campaigners pushed doctors to open up records to patients and to use less stereotyping language about the people they treated.

Nevertheless, doctors’ notes historically have had a “stilted vocabulary,” said Dr. Leonor Fernandez, an internist and researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Patients are often described as “denying” facts about their health, she said, as if they’re not reliable narrators of their conditions.

One doubting doctor’s judgment can alter the course of care for years. When she visited her doctor for kidney stones early in her life, “he was very dismissive about it,” recalled Melina Oien, who now lives in Tacoma, Washington. Afterward, when she sought care in the military health care system, providers—whom Oien presumed had read her history—assumed that her complaints were psychosomatic and that she was seeking drugs.

“Every time I had an appointment in that system—there’s that tone, that feel. It creates that sense of dread,” she said. “You know the doctor has read the records and has formed an opinion of who you are, what you’re looking for.”

When Oien left military care in the 1990s, her paper records didn’t follow her. Nor did those assumptions.

New Technology — Same Biases?

While Oien could leave her problems behind, the health system’s shift to electronic medical records and the data-sharing it encourages can intensify misconceptions. It’s easier than ever to maintain stale records, rife with false impressions or misreads, and to share or duplicate them with the click of a button.

“This thing perpetuates,” Singh said. When his team reviewed records of misdiagnosed cases, he found them full of identical notes. “It gets copy-pasted without freshness of thinking,” he said.

Research has found that misdiagnosis disproportionately happens to patients whom doctors have labeled as “difficult” in their electronic health record. Singh cited a pair of studies that presented hypothetical scenarios to doctors.

In the first study, participants reviewed two sets of notes, one in which the patient was described simply by her symptoms and a second in which descriptions of disruptive or difficult behaviors had been added. Diagnostic accuracy dropped with the difficult patients.

The second study assessed treatment decisions and found that medical students and residents were less likely to prescribe pain medications to patients whose records included stigmatizing language.

Digital records can also display prejudice in handy formats. A 2016 paper in JAMA discussed a small example: an unnamed digital record system that affixed an airplane logo to some patients to indicate that they were, in medical parlance, “frequent flyers.” That’s a pejorative term for patients who need plenty of care or are looking for medications.

But even as tech might amplify these problems, it can also expose them. Digitized medical records are easily shared—and not merely with fellow doctors, but also with patients.

Since the ’90s, patients have had the right to request their records, and doctors’ offices can charge only reasonable fees to cover the cost of clerical work. Penalties against practices or hospitals that failed to produce records were rarely assessed—at least until the Trump administration, when Roger Severino, previously known as a socially conservative champion of religious freedom, took the helm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights.

During Severino’s tenure, the office assessed a spate of monetary fines against some practices. The complaints mostly came from higher-income people, Severino said, citing his own difficulties getting medical records. “I can only imagine how much harder it often is for people with less means and education,” he said.

Patients can now read the notes—the doctors’ descriptions of their conditions and treatments—because of 2016 legislation. The bill nationalized policies that had started earlier in the decade, in Boston, because of an organization called OpenNotes.

For most patients, most of the time, opening record notes has been beneficial. “By and large, patients wanted to have access to the notes,” said Fernandez, who has helped study and roll out the program. “They felt more in control of their health care. They felt they understood things better.” Studies suggest that open notes lead to increased compliance, as patients say they’re more likely to take medicines.

Conflicts Ahead?

But there’s also a darker side to opening records: if patients find something they don’t like. Fernandez’s research, focusing on some early hospital adopters, has found that slightly more than 1 in 10 patients report being offended by what they find in their notes.

And the wave of computer-driven research focusing on patterns of language has similarly found low but significant numbers of discriminatory descriptions in notes. A study published in the journal Health Affairs found negative descriptors in nearly 1 in 10 records. Another team found stigmatizing language in 2.5 percent of records.

Patients can also compare what happened in a visit with what was recorded. They can see what was really on doctors’ minds.

Oien, who has become a patient advocate since moving on from the military health care system, recalled an incident in which a client fainted while getting a drug infusion—treatments for thin skin, low iron, esophageal tears, and gastrointestinal conditions—and needed to be taken to the emergency room. Afterward, the patient visited a cardiologist. The cardiologist, who hadn’t seen her previously, was “very verbally professional,” Oien said. But what he wrote in the note—a story based on her ER visit—was very different. “Ninety percent of the record was about her quote-unquote drug use,” Oien said, noting that it’s rare to see the connection between a false belief about a patient and the person’s future care.

Spotting those contradictions will become easier now. “People are going to say, ‘The doc said what?’” predicted Singh.

But many patients—even ones with wealth and social standing—may be reluctant to talk to their doctors about errors or bias. Fernandez, the OpenNotes pioneer, didn’t. After one visit, she saw a physical exam listed on her record when none had occurred.

“I did not raise that to that clinician. It's really hard to raise things like that,” she said. “You're afraid they won't like you and won't take good care of you anymore.”

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

Sat, 24 Sep 2022 23:15:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-medical-records-sow-discrimination
Killexams : Your Medical Test Results Are Available. But Do You Want to View Them? No result found, try new keyword!The 21st Century Cures Act gave patients easy access to their health information. Now, some diagnoses delivered without context are causing high anxiety. Send any friend a story As a subscriber ... Mon, 03 Oct 2022 10:15:00 -0500 text/html https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/03/well/live/medical-test-results-cures-act.html Killexams : Electronic health records may be key to improving patient care, MU study finds

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- When a patient gets transferred from a hospital to a nearby specialist or rehabilitation facility, it is often difficult for personnel at the new facility to access the patient’s electronic health records – which includes important patient-specific information such as their medication history and allergies. This lack of electronic compatibility often leads to wasteful and expensive duplication of tests, X-rays and paperwork that can interfere with the treatment of patients.

A accurate study at the University of Missouri highlights how the use of electronic health records have resulted better quality of care – which can direct the next steps of government programs to ensure hospitals use electronic health records in a way that promotes interoperability, or the ability for various health care organizations to quickly access a patient’s records, reduce waste and speed up decision-making to Excellerate patient health outcomes.

So far, the adoption and implementation of electronic health records has been a bumpy road, said Kate Trout, assistant professor in the MU School of Health Professions and lead author on the study. Electronic health records have widely been cited in research literature as the most cumbersome technology ever implemented in the health care industry.

“They have the potential to be very helpful, but in practice they tend to be very disruptive because it’s time consuming to train personnel how to use them. They’re expensive, and there’s always new complicated updates and new forms that come out, and there is often a lack of interoperability for the data to be shared among different health care organizations,” Trout said. “Given the massive national investments, we wanted to see if electronic health records are being utilized in a meaningful way to promote interoperability and ultimately Excellerate quality of care.”

More than $30 billion has been invested by the federal government in the adoption and use of electronic health records by health care organizations in an attempt to Excellerate the quality of care delivered to patients.

In 2011, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid established the “Meaningful Use” program – now known as the “Promoting Interoperability Program” – which offers financial incentives to health care providers who effectively utilize electronic health records in a way that promotes information sharing, public health reporting and interoperability.

Trout analyzed the impact of electronic health records on mortality rates for patients with various medical procedures and conditions. More than 5 million patients in 300 U.S. hospitals were included in the study, which merged large datasets from the electronic health records, the American Hospital Association and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Three main categories emerged: hospitals that meet the “Meaningful Use” requirements with their electronic health records, hospitals that fully implement electronic health records but not in a way that meets the “Meaningful Use” requirements, and hospitals that have either none or only partially implemented electronic health records.

Trout found that the hospitals that meet the “Meaningful Use” requirements were able to Excellerate quality of care and reduce patient mortality rates to a greater extent than hospitals in the other two groups. While the results show some optimism, Trout cautions that more still needs to be done, including the need to analyze the impact of interoperability and advanced electronic health record functions on quality of care.

“This research highlights the importance of using electronic health records in a way that promotes interoperability to streamline processes, speed up decision-making, reduce wasted time and ultimately Excellerate patient health outcomes,” Trout said. “Ideally, the United States could implement one standardized electronic health records system for everyone to ensure compatibility, so policy makers can hopefully benefit from this research.”

Trout added that with the use of data mining and analytics, electronic health records can be better used going forward to potentially identify patient characteristics that put them at higher risks for possible infections or other conditions.

“With this information, are there alerts we can put in after a surgery to ensure we follow up at critical points in time?” Trout said. “Are there certain patient populations that we can use the data to catch them earlier and make sure we supply them extra care and not just put them through the same routine protocols as everyone else? That is how we move away from only focusing on implementing the technology and progress toward encouraging innovative ideas that ultimately Excellerate patient health outcomes.”

Trout said this research can be particularly useful for rural hospitals that historically have less resources and lag behind their urban counterparts in adopting health technology like telehealth and electronic health records. There have been many closures of rural hospitals, an issue that has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and rural patients tend to have more co-morbidities and worse health outcomes.

“I am passionate about helping vulnerable, underserved populations, and our personal health is often tied to where we live and various social determinants of health,” Trout said. “Those ideas are not incorporated into our clinical data yet, but they should be going forward. My overall goal is to harness the data in a way that we can hopefully start to spend less and get more.”

“The impact of electronic health records and meaningful use on inpatient quality” was published in Journal for Healthcare Quality.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Tue, 20 Sep 2022 09:36:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/965329
Killexams : Electronic Medical Records Global Market Report 2022

ReportLinker

Major players in the electronic medical records market are AdvancedMD Inc. , Allscripts Healthcare, Athenahealth, Cerner Corp, CureMD Healthcare, EClinicalWorks, Epic Systems, GE Healthcare, Greenway Health, McKesson Corporation, NextGen Healthcare Inc.

New York, Sept. 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Electronic Medical Records Global Market Report 2022" - https://www.reportlinker.com/p06316473/?utm_source=GNW
, GoodWill, IBM, Modernizing Medicine Inc., Neusoft, and PCCW Solution.

The global electronic medical records market is expected to grow from $31.78 billion in 2021 to $34.3 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.0%. The electronic medical records market is expected to grow to $44.18 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 6.5%.

The electronic medical records market consists of sales of electronic medical records by entities (organizations, sole traders, and partnerships) that refer to a digital version of patient information. The electronic medical record includes organizing, presenting the storing clinical data or documents of patients over long periods interpreting health conditions, placing orders, and providing ongoing care, scheduling, billing, and prescription.

The main types of electronic medical records are acute, ambulatory, and post-acute.Acute electronic medical records are those that include clinical data repositories, order input, outcomes reporting, and/or clinician charting and documentation software packages that provide basic inpatient functionality.

The products offered are client-server-based EHR and web-based HER that is delivered on a cloud-based, on-premise model. The business model of electronic medical records includes licensed software, technology resale, subscriptions, professional services, and others, that can apply in various industries such as e-prescription, practice management, referral management, patient management, and population health management.

North America was the largest region in the electronic medical records market in 2021.The Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the forecast period.

The regions covered in the electronic medical records market report are Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, and Africa.

The electronic medical records market research report is one of a series of new reports that provides electronic medical records market statistics, including electronic medical records industry global market size, regional shares, competitors with an electronic medical records market share, detailed electronic medical records market segments, market trends and opportunities, and any further data you may need to thrive in the electronic medical records industry. This electronic medical records market research report delivers a complete perspective of everything you need, with an in-depth analysis of the current and future scenario of the industry.

Growth in healthcare information technology is significantly driving the growth of the electronic medical records market in healthcare.Electronic medical records are one of the significant applications that can be created, managed, and accessed by authorized staff within one health care organization for providing prompt healthcare services electronically.

The rapid growth of electronic medical records adoption needs more development and simpler application that can be achieved through the advanced IT sector in the health care sector.According to the Henry J.

Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit healthcare organization based in the USA, 2019, shows that 45% of US citizens think that electronic health records have improved the quality of care in the medical sector. Hence, growth in healthcare information technology is expected to propel the growth of electronic medical records in the healthcare market in the forecast period.

Incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) to predict EHR-based clinical outcomes is shaping the electronic medical records market.Artificial intelligence (AI) is the robotic capacity of a computer to do activities that normally require human intelligence and judgment.

AI is used in EMR to analyze, display, and comprehend complicated medical and healthcare data in a way that mimics human behavior.For instance, in October 2021, Suki, USA-based AI-powered voice solutions for a healthcare company, launched a Windows version of Suki Assistant that provides an end-to-end voice-enabled clinical digital assistance.

It uses AI to listen to and understand the words spoken by the doctor and translate them into a written form.

In September 2019, WELL Health Technologies Corp, a Canada-based multichannel digital health technology company acquired OSCARwest for $1.35 million. With this acquisition, WELL Health Technologies Corp aims at increasing its clientele and product portfolio to approximately 1,446 healthcare clinics servicing over 8,280 physicians and practitioners across Canada. OSCARwest is a Canada-based EMR developer and service provider.

The countries covered in the electronic medical records market report are Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, UK, USA.
Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p06316473/?utm_source=GNW

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Fri, 23 Sep 2022 07:04:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/electronic-medical-records-global-market-171100112.html
Killexams : Medical records' role in discrimination

Research increasingly suggests physicians can convey bias under "the guise of objective descriptions" found in medical records, Kaiser Health News reported Sept. 26.

Dayna Bowen Matthew, dean of Washington, D.C.-based George Washington University’s law school and an expert in civil rights law and disparities in healthcare, told Kaiser some patients are simply described by their conditions while others are characterized by things other than their health – such as social status. 

The characterization of patients can sometimes determine the level of care they receive. A 2021 study found that Black patients were quoted in records more frequently than other patients – which could signify clinicians trying to communicate sarcasm or irony to their peers. 

The digital shift for medical record keeping has intensified the bias in some instances. "It’s easier than ever to maintain stale records, rife with false impressions or misreads, and to share or duplicate them with the click of a button," the Kaiser report said.

Mon, 26 Sep 2022 05:18:00 -0500 en-gb text/html https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/health-equity/medical-records-role-in-discrimination.html
Killexams : The holy grail for medical records

TWEET STORM

It’s just a matter of days before a U.S. health care milestone.

That’s the Oct. 6 deadline the Health and Human Services Department set for providers to ensure medical records follow patients from provider to provider.

The rule bars providers from hoarding records and aims to make it easy to switch doctors and help specialists get up to speed on their patients’ conditions.

In some corners of the Twitterverse, that’s cause for celebration.

But setting a deadline and getting organizations to comply are different things.

As Ben reported earlier this week, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association, which represents doctors, asked for more time. They cited technical challenges and misaligned compliance deadlines HHS set for their technology vendors.

There’s also a debate about whether health care providers are refusing to share records.

And then there’s enforcement. A rule without penalties, and with multiple exceptions, isn’t much of a rule, some argue.

WELCOME TO FUTURE PULSE

This is where we explore the ideas and innovators shaping health care. The Atlantic's Ed Yong is going on sabbatical after three years covering Covid-19. He says the pandemic broke him and honestly we get it. Read his pandemic coda here.

Share news, tips and feedback with Ben at [email protected], Ruth at [email protected] or Carmen at [email protected]

Send tips securely through SecureDrop, Signal, Telegram or WhatsApp.

WEEKEND READ

A major nonprofit hospital network, urged on by one of America’s most prestigious management consulting firms, hounded indigent patients for money.

It’s a tale laid out by New York Times investigative reporters Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Katie Thomas, that explains why many low-income people, especially people of color, are reluctant to seek medical care.

Experts believe disparities in health outcomes have roots in how we pay for medical care and the hardball tactics some providers use to get patients to pay up.

What’s more, state laws require the chain, Providence, to provide free care to low-income patients.

The details: A fast-food restaurant manager on Medicaid gave birth to a gravely ill premature baby at a Providence hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. Before she was discharged — and after her son died — a hospital employee confronted her with a bill.

A dental office worker making minimum wage sought care for a headache and nausea at an Orange County, Calif., Providence facility. The hospital sent a debt collection agency after him for $4,394.45.

A senior citizen in Everett, Wash., on Medicare, her only income a federal disability stipend, sought care for complications from diabetes. After the hospital demanded payment, she cut back on food and heat to pay the medical bil.

The story concluded:Many nonprofit “hospitals have become virtually indistinguishable from for-profit companies, adopting an unrelenting focus on the bottom line and straying from their traditional charitable missions.”

In Providence’s case, the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which the hospital network paid at least $45 million in 2019, devised the tactics.

Gregory Hoffman, Providence’s chief financial officer, told the Times the paper’s findings were “very concerning.” Providence has stopped referring Medicaid patients to debt collectors and asked its collection agencies to stop garnishing wages or referring people to credit agencies.

A growing story: Last year, Wall Street Journal reporters Melanie Evans and Tom McGinty highlighted a study in “Health Affairs” that “found some hospitals were more likely than others to take patients to court and low-income and Black patients were disproportionately sued.”

Evans and McGinty pointed out that billing practices varied widely. Hospitals in Wisconsin, for instance, had “sued patients over medical debt at a rate that amounts to one out of every 1,000 residents a year, especially people in low-income areas and who are Black.”

Government gets involved: Journal health insurance reporter Anna Wilde Mathews looked at the public policy response in another piece that preceded the Times’ take. Mathews found that at least 10 states, including Connecticut, Maryland, New Mexico and Maine, have recently enacted laws to protect patients.

The laws differ, but some include “requirements for hospitals to provide financial assistance to people with low incomes or limit aggressive debt-collection practices.”

Why it matters: Mathews pointed out that hospital prices vary wildly and uninsured patients are often charged the highest amounts.

She noted that nearly one in five U.S. households have medical debt, with people of color most likely to owe money. She wrote: “Medical bills are the biggest source of debt in collections, larger than all other types of debt combined.”

Yes, but: In their Times piece, Silver-Greenberg and Thomas cited Providence’s more-than-$27 billion in revenue last year but noted in a parenthetical that the hospital is losing money so far this year. The hospital chain ramped up collections, they wrote, to balance “hundreds of millions of dollars” it spent providing free care to patients who couldn’t pay.

Mathews sought a response from the American Hospital Association, which said its members had provided “more than $700 billion in uncompensated care since 2000.”

Fri, 30 Sep 2022 08:51:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.politico.com/newsletters/future-pulse/2022/09/30/tktktk-00059591
Killexams : New ‘digital mask’ could protect patients’ privacy in medical records

By Stephen Beech via SWNS

A new 'digital mask’ could protect the privacy of patients' medical records.

Cambridge University scientists teamed up with researchers in China to develop the ground-breaking online safety system.

The 'mask' will allow facial images to be stored in medical records while preventing potentially sensitive personal biometric information from being extracted and shared.

The research team used three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction and deep learning algorithms to erase identifiable features from facial images while retaining disease-relevant features needed for diagnosis.

They explained that facial images can be useful for identifying signs of disease.

For example, features such as deep forehead wrinkles and wrinkles around the eyes are "significantly associated" with coronary heart disease, while abnormal changes in eye movement can indicate poor visual function.

Illustration of a girl’s face being digitalized. (via SWNS) © Provided by talker Illustration of a girl’s face being digitalized. (via SWNS)

However, facial images also inevitably record other biometric information about the patient - including their race, sex and age.

The increasing digitalization of medical records raises the risk of data breaches.

While most patient data can be anonymized, the researchers explained that facial data is more difficult to anonymize while retaining essential information.

They said that common methods - such as blurring and cropping identifiable areas - may lose important disease-relevant information, yet even so cannot fully evade face recognition systems.

Scientists say that, due to privacy concerns, people often hesitate to share their medical data for public research or electronic health records, hindering the development of digital medical care.

Professor Haotian Lin, of Sun Yat-sen University in China, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to turn to consultations over the phone or by video link rather than in person.

"Remote healthcare for eye diseases requires patients to share a large amount of digital facial information.

"Patients want to know that their potentially sensitive information is secure and that their privacy is protected.”

Illustration of three patients who consult a doctor successively. (via SWNS) © Provided by talker Illustration of three patients who consult a doctor successively. (via SWNS)

Prof Lin and colleagues developed the ‘digital mask’ which inputs an original video of a patient’s face and outputs a video based on the use of a deep learning algorithm and 3D reconstruction while discarding as much of the patient’s personal biometric information as possible – and from which it was not possible to identify the individual.

Deep learning extracts features from different facial parts, while 3D reconstruction automatically digitizes the shapes and movement of 3D faces, eyelids, and eyeballs based on the extracted facial features.

The researchers say that converting the digital mask videos back to the original videos is "extremely difficult" because most of the necessary information is no longer retained in the mask.

Next, the team tested how useful the masks were in clinical practice and found that diagnosis using the digital masks was "consistent" with that carried out using the original videos.

Prof Lin said it suggests that the reconstruction was precise enough for use in clinical practice.

He said that compared to the traditional method used to ‘de-identify’ patients – cropping the image – the risk of being identified was "significantly lower" in the digitally-masked patients.

The researchers tested this by showing 12 ophthalmologists digitally masked or cropped images and then asking them to identify the original from five other images.

They correctly identified the original from the digitally-masked image in just 27 percent of cases; for the cropped figure, they were able to do so in the overwhelming majority of cases (91 percent). The research team said that is likely to be an overestimation, however: in real situations, they would likely have to identify the original image from a much larger set.

The team surveyed randomly selected patients attending clinics to test their attitudes towards digital masks.

Illustration showing the process of digital masking. (via SWNS) © Provided by talker Illustration showing the process of digital masking. (via SWNS)

More than 80 percent of patients believed the digital mask would alleviate their privacy concerns and they expressed an increased willingness to share their personal information if such a measure was implemented.

Finally, the researchers confirmed that digital masks can also evade artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition algorithms.

Professor Patrick Yu-Wai-Man, of Cambridge University, said: “Digital masking offers a pragmatic approach to safeguarding patient privacy while still allowing the information to be useful to clinicians.

"At the moment, the only options available are crude, but our digital mask is a much more sophisticated tool for anonymizing facial images.

“This could make telemedicine – phone and video consultations – much more feasible, making healthcare delivery more efficient."

He added: "If telemedicine is to be widely adopted, then we need to overcome the barriers and concerns related to privacy protection.

"Our digital mask is an important step in this direction.”

The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.

The post New ‘digital mask’ could protect patients’ privacy in medical records appeared first on Talker.

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 01:38:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/new-digital-mask-could-protect-patients-privacy-in-medical-records/ar-AA124Y7h
Killexams : How Medical Records Sow Discrimination

Lynne Shallcross/KHN

By Darius Tahir | KHN

David Confer, a bicyclist and an audio technician, told his doctor he “used to be Ph.D. level” during a 2019 appointment in Washington, D.C. Confer, then 50, was speaking figuratively: He was experiencing brain fog—a symptom of his liver problems. But did his doctor take him seriously? Now, after his death, Confer’s partner, Cate Cohen, doesn’t think so.

Confer, who was Black, had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma two years before. His prognosis was positive. But during chemotherapy, his symptoms—brain fog, vomiting, back pain—suggested trouble with his liver, and he was later diagnosed with cirrhosis. He died in 2020, unable to secure a transplant. Throughout, Cohen, now 45, felt her partner’s clinicians didn’t listen closely to him and had written him off.

That feeling crystallized once she read Confer’s records. The doctor described Confer’s fuzziness and then quoted his Ph.D. analogy. To Cohen, the language was dismissive, as if the doctor didn’t take Confer at his word. It reflected, she thought, a belief that he was likely to be noncompliant with his care—that he was a bad candidate for a liver transplant and would waste the donated organ.

For its part, MedStar Georgetown, where Confer received care, declined to comment on specific cases. But spokesperson Lisa Clough said the medical center considers a variety of factors for transplantation, including “compliance with medical therapy, health of both individuals, blood type, comorbidities, ability to care for themselves and be stable, and post-transplant social support system.” Not all potential recipients and donors meet those criteria, Clough said.

Doctors often send signals of their appraisals of patients’ personas. Researchers are increasingly finding that doctors can transmit prejudice under the guise of objective descriptions. Clinicians who later read those purportedly objective descriptions can be misled and deliver substandard care.

Discrimination in health care is “the secret, or silent, poison that taints interactions between providers and patients before, during, after the medical encounter,” said Dayna Bowen Matthew, dean of George Washington University’s law school and an expert in civil rights law and disparities in health care.

Bias can be seen in the way doctors speak during rounds. Some patients, Matthew said, are described simply by their conditions. Others are characterized by terms that communicate more about their social status or character than their health and what’s needed to address their symptoms. For example, a patient could be described as an “80-year-old nice Black gentleman.” Doctors mention that patients look well-dressed or that someone is a laborer or homeless.

The stereotypes that can find their way into patients’ records sometimes help determine the level of care patients receive. Are they spoken to as equals? Will they get the best, or merely the cheapest, treatment? Bias is “pervasive” and “causally related to inferior health outcomes, period,” Matthew said.

Narrow or prejudiced thinking is simple to write down and easy to copy and paste over and over. Descriptions such as “difficult” and “disruptive” can become hard to escape. Once so labeled, patients can experience “downstream effects,” said Dr. Hardeep Singh, an expert in misdiagnosis who works at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston. He estimates misdiagnosis affects 12 million patients a year. Conveying bias can be as simple as a pair of quotation marks. One team of researchers found that Black patients, in particular, were quoted in their records more frequently than other patients when physicians were characterizing their symptoms or health issues. The quotation mark patterns detected by researchers could be a sign of disrespect, used to communicate irony or sarcasm to future clinical readers. Among the types of phrases the researchers spotlighted were colloquial language or statements made in Black or ethnic slang.

“Black patients may be subject to systematic bias in physicians’ perceptions of their credibility,” the authors of the paper wrote.

That’s just one study in an incoming tide focused on the variations in the language that clinicians use to describe patients of different races and genders. In many ways, the research is just catching up to what patients and doctors knew already, that discrimination can be conveyed and furthered by partial accounts.

Immigration Red Tape Imperils This Girl’s Transplant Chances

Confer’s MedStar records, Cohen thought, were pockmarked with partial accounts—notes that included only a fraction of the full picture of his life and circumstances.

Cohen pointed to a write-up of a psychosocial evaluation, used to assess a patient’s readiness for a transplant. The evaluation stated that Confer drank a 12-pack of beer and perhaps as much as a pint of whiskey daily. But Confer had quit drinking after starting chemotherapy and had been only a social drinker before, Cohen said. It was “wildly inaccurate,” Cohen said.

David Confer and Cate Cohen in summer 2016 visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Throughout Confer’s battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Cohen said, she felt her partner’s clinicians didn’t listen closely to him and had written him off. Confer died in 2020, unable to secure a liver transplant.

Cate Cohen

“No matter what he did, that initial inaccurate description of the volume he consumed seemed to follow through his records,” she said. Physicians frequently see a harsh tone in referrals from other programs, said Dr. John Fung, a transplant doctor at the University of Chicago who advised Cohen but didn’t review Confer’s records. “They kind of blame the patient for things that happen, not really giving credit for circumstances,” he said. But, he continued, those circumstances are important—looking beyond them, without bias, and at the patient himself or herself can result in successful transplants.

The History of One’s Medical History

That doctors pass private judgments on their patients has been a source of nervous humor for years. In an episode of the sitcom “Seinfeld,” Elaine Benes discovers that a doctor had condescendingly written that she was “difficult” in her file. When she asked about it, the doctor promised to erase it. But it was written in pen.

The jokes reflect long-standing conflicts between patients and doctors. In the 1970s, campaigners pushed doctors to open up records to patients and to use less stereotyping language about the people they treated.

Nevertheless, doctors’ notes historically have had a “stilted vocabulary,” said Dr. Leonor Fernandez, an internist and researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Patients are often described as “denying” facts about their health, she said, as if they’re not reliable narrators of their conditions.

One doubting doctor’s judgment can alter the course of care for years. When she visited her doctor for kidney stones early in her life, “he was very dismissive about it,” recalled Melina Oien, who now lives in Tacoma, Washington. Afterward, when she sought care in the military health care system, providers—whom Oien presumed had read her history—assumed that her complaints were psychosomatic and that she was seeking drugs.

“Every time I had an appointment in that system—there’s that tone, that feel. It creates that sense of dread,” she said. “You know the doctor has read the records and has formed an opinion of who you are, what you’re looking for.”

When Oien left military care in the 1990s, her paper records didn’t follow her. Nor did those assumptions.

New Technology — Same Biases?

While Oien could leave her problems behind, the health system’s shift to electronic medical records and the data-sharing it encourages can intensify misconceptions. It’s easier than ever to maintain stale records, rife with false impressions or misreads, and to share or duplicate them with the click of a button.

“This thing perpetuates,” Singh said. When his team reviewed records of misdiagnosed cases, he found them full of identical notes. “It gets copy-pasted without freshness of thinking,” he said.

Research has found that misdiagnosis disproportionately happens to patients whom doctors have labeled as “difficult” in their electronic health record. Singh cited a pair of studies that presented hypothetical scenarios to doctors.

In the first study, participants reviewed two sets of notes, one in which the patient was described simply by her symptoms and a second in which descriptions of disruptive or difficult behaviors had been added. Diagnostic accuracy dropped with the difficult patients.

The second study assessed treatment decisions and found that medical students and residents were less likely to prescribe pain medications to patients whose records included stigmatizing language.

Digital records can also display prejudice in handy formats. A 2016 paper in JAMA discussed a small example: an unnamed digital record system that affixed an airplane logo to some patients to indicate that they were, in medical parlance, “frequent flyers.” That’s a pejorative term for patients who need plenty of care or are looking for medications.

But even as tech might amplify these problems, it can also expose them. Digitized medical records are easily shared—and not merely with fellow doctors, but also with patients.

Since the ’90s, patients have had the right to request their records, and doctors’ offices can charge only reasonable fees to cover the cost of clerical work. Penalties against practices or hospitals that failed to produce records were rarely assessed—at least until the Trump administration, when Roger Severino, previously known as a socially conservative champion of religious freedom, took the helm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights.

The Sneaky Way Docs and Lawyers Leave Patients with Debt

During Severino’s tenure, the office assessed a spate of monetary fines against some practices. The complaints mostly came from higher-income people, Severino said, citing his own difficulties getting medical records. “I can only imagine how much harder it often is for people with less means and education,” he said.

Patients can now read the notes—the doctors’ descriptions of their conditions and treatments—because of 2016 legislation. The bill nationalized policies that had started earlier in the decade, in Boston, because of an organization called OpenNotes.

For most patients, most of the time, opening record notes has been beneficial. “By and large, patients wanted to have access to the notes,” said Fernandez, who has helped study and roll out the program. “They felt more in control of their health care. They felt they understood things better.” Studies suggest that open notes lead to increased compliance, as patients say they’re more likely to take medicines.

Conflicts Ahead?

But there’s also a darker side to opening records: if patients find something they don’t like. Fernandez’s research, focusing on some early hospital adopters, has found that slightly more than 1 in 10 patients report being offended by what they find in their notes.

And the wave of computer-driven research focusing on patterns of language has similarly found low but significant numbers of discriminatory descriptions in notes. A study published in the journal Health Affairs found negative descriptors in nearly 1 in 10 records. Another team found stigmatizing language in 2.5 percent of records.

Patients can also compare what happened in a visit with what was recorded. They can see what was really on doctors’ minds.

Oien, who has become a patient advocate since moving on from the military health care system, recalled an incident in which a client fainted while getting a drug infusion—treatments for thin skin, low iron, esophageal tears, and gastrointestinal conditions—and needed to be taken to the emergency room. Afterward, the patient visited a cardiologist. The cardiologist, who hadn’t seen her previously, was “very verbally professional,” Oien said. But what he wrote in the note—a story based on her ER visit—was very different. “Ninety percent of the record was about her quote-unquote drug use,” Oien said, noting that it’s rare to see the connection between a false belief about a patient and the person’s future care.

Spotting those contradictions will become easier now. “People are going to say, ‘The doc said what?’” predicted Singh.

But many patients—even ones with wealth and social standing—may be reluctant to talk to their doctors about errors or bias. Fernandez, the OpenNotes pioneer, didn’t. After one visit, she saw a physical exam listed on her record when none had occurred.

“I did not raise that to that clinician. It's really hard to raise things like that,” she said. “You're afraid they won't like you and won't take good care of you anymore.”

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

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Sat, 24 Sep 2022 16:10:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://news.yahoo.com/medical-records-sow-discrimination-040348430.html
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