Category: Health Risk Management

genetic testing
Sep 23 2020

What you should know about the potential unintended consequences of genetic testing

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Clinical and direct-to-consumer genetic testing are much less expensive and more common than they used to be. You can buy a genetic test kit at Walmart or your local pharmacy for under $200 and learn about your ethnicity and family tree, as well as your risk for certain diseases. More than 26 million people used... Read More

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advance directive
Aug 11 2020

An advance directive is only for the elderly and other myths

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

You may think of an advance directive as a document you only need once you’re in your 60s and 70s or when you’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness. In fact, it’s a good idea to create your advance directive when you’re young and healthy. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fact that anyone at... Read More

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work during the pandemic
Jul 21 2020

Returning to work safely during the pandemic

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

If you’ve been working remotely or have been furloughed during the pandemic and your employer is now reopening your workplace, you may have concerns about whether it’s safe to return to work during the pandemic. If you’re in a group that’s at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including people over 65 and... Read More

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healthcare documents
Mar 17 2020

Protect yourself against electronic health record-related medical errors

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

A carefully reviewed, comprehensive electronic health record can save lives and reduce the risk of medical errors and inappropriate treatment and duplicate diagnostic testing. For example, if you are unconscious and unable to answer questions about your medical history and medications, an electronic record can provide the answers you’re unable to so physicians can quickly... Read More

medication errors
Feb 25 2020

Take these steps to lower the risk of medication errors

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Incorrectly filled prescriptions occur more often than most people know and the effects of these medication errors can have a significant impact on your health. According to one paper on the impact of medication errors, preventable medication errors affect more than 7 million Americans and cost nearly $21 billion each year. Health problems caused by... Read More

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genetic testing
Feb 18 2020

Why affluent families may want to reconsider direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Ads suggest they make great Father’s Day or holiday gifts. Around 30 million people have tried them and that number is projected to grow to 100 million next year. Direct-to-consumer genetic tests that provide information about your ancestry and risk of developing certain health problems are undeniably popular, but people from affluent families may want... Read More

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rare health problem
Nov 19 2019

How you can lower your risk of misdiagnosis if you have a rare health problem

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Recent vaping-related illnesses are an example of something that can happen with any new or rare health problem. When faced with a new or rare condition, patients may face a higher risk of being misdiagnosed. For example, when patients who were eventually diagnosed with vaping-related illnesses first sought treatment, most were believed to have pneumonia... Read More

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osteoporosis
Oct 15 2019

Strategies to lower your risk of osteoporosis

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

While osteoporosis prevention may not cross your mind in your 20s, it’s the best time to start taking steps that can strengthen your bones and lower your risk of developing this disease when you’re older. Even if you don’t get started building bone strength that early, you can still have a positive impact on the... Read More

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medications
Oct 8 2019

Are you taking more medications than you need?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

If you have heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, or other chronic diseases, you may be taking several prescription medications each day to treat your condition. And the older you get, the more likely it becomes that you’re taking more than one medication. In fact, approximately a third of Americans and Canadians between... Read More

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plant-based diet
Sep 24 2019

What are the health benefits of a plant-based diet?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

A growing number of people are choosing to eat a plant-based diet. Some make the switch because of concerns about the environmental impact of greenhouse gasses and water and land consumption associated with meat production. Another key reason people choose a plant-based diet is because of the potential health benefits it may offer, including weight... Read More

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