I wish I had known back then…

About three years ago I woke up one morning with sharp shooting pain in my hip and lower back.   I was in trouble when I was unable to walk down our stairs or comfortably get in the car to take the children to school.  A few Motrin and several phone calls later I was off to have my primary care doctor check out my injury.  Our insurance at the time required  a referral and authorization before being allowed to see a specialist.
Lucky for me my then practice had a sub-division with a sports injury practice and I was able to quickly get an appointment that afternoon.  The office manager at my doctor’s office had an in with the insurance company to quickly grant me permission.  Did I mention I had left the house so fast I didn’t have my wallet with me containing my insurance card?
I quickly drove across town to get another opinion.  It completely escaped my mind to ask the doctor for a copy of my x-rays and prognosis .
No sooner had I been shown to my room did they send me for more images and then back to wait for a technician to read them.  Almost 2 hours passed before the doctor came in.  There was a problem with the machine that day and so I was bumped so that the doctor could see other patients while we waited.  When the x-ray was finally ready I was diagnosed with a pulled hip flexor and prescribed pain medicine and 12 weeks of physical therapy.
I could have saved everyone time by asking for the images prior to my second appointment.  Everything happened so fast that I just wanted to make it home on time for the school bus.  A few weeks later I earned I could have also saved money by not needed more images.
It would have also helped my physical therapist to have had copies of all of these images and doctor’s notes along with my prescription.  Had I known Footprint ID existed it would have been the perfect solution.

Take it from me….

I am a 50 year old Caucasian woman who has spent the last 3 years of her life in a physical therapy office, and continue to do so.

Sadly I have experienced a lot of different aliments that physical therapy has been recommended for.

I have 2 herniated discs in my neck at c3/c4 as well as herniated discs in my back at L5/s1Ii have a torn labrum in my right shoulder. All of this is accompanied by a tremendous amount of arthritis.
As if that weren’t enough I am also currently receiving PT for a surgery I recently had to remove a morton neuroma from my foot.

While in PT I have received a lot of manual stimulation to help relieve a lot of the tension associated with all of my issues. Additionally I have received heated ultrasounds and stim. I have done countless exercises for all the different issues.

Just about every time we start a new PT session I am asked “May I see your MRI?”. Or “When was your last MRI?”. Sadly I never had that information with me.

If I had access to FootprintID then, all of these questions could be answered in an instant and my PT session could continue as planned. Instead we had to wait for the assistant to call and locate my MRI and have it sent over.

There was one occasion when we could not get my prior MRI in a timely fashion and I had to have it repeated I wasn’t happy with the time or cost of that!

I have also been prescribed different medications to see if they can help with stabilizing different levels that are off in my body. It would have been so much easier to pull up my footprint ID and show my therapist my blood results instead once again we were stuck hunting down my results and more often than that having to repeat blood work.

Finally – FootprintID became part of my life. It stores all of my documents and images-amongst any other health and medical information I choose, so I am never without them. It has been so helpful during my current round of PT for my foot. The physical therapist can also see the doctor’s notes from each time I go for a re-check and incorporate them into their plan.

I now know that if any of these body parts need medical attention again- I have stored all of my information and imaging. I may be able to avoid another test and/or my new test will be so much more meaningful being able to compare it to my prior results. And I don’t have to explain anything to the doctor- all the information is right there for them to see.

PT has been very helpful to me in my rehabilitation. With FootprintID as a partner in my rehabilitation I can be even more successful!

Electronic efforts…

Electronic efforts: Tofel feels FootprintID is telemedicine tool needed to fill gaps of electronic health portals

By Meg FryAugust 8, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Beth Tofel, founder and president, FootprintID, holding a FootprintID membership kit.

Beth Tofel, founder and president, FootprintID, holding a FootprintID membership kit. – (PHOTOS BY AARON HOUSTON)

Beth Tofel knows firsthand how frazzled mothers and working women can get.

Sometimes the mere hassle of going to the doctor keeps them from seeking the care they need before taking care of others, she said.

“Women need to be both proactive and preventative,” Tofel said.

Recent studies have shown that the use of electronic health records has not only helped doctors more effectively manage women’s health, it has also encouraged women to go to the doctor.

“If their (medical) information is readily available, it gives them that push to take better care of themselves,” Tofel said. “That is really key, especially for women who are managing their own health care as well as the health of their family.”

But electronic health records alone still have their limits.

“The portals (today) are all practically silos,” Tofel said. “There is no interaction.”

Tofel, co-founder and president of FootprintID, has made it her mission to fill in the missing gaps.

FootprintID, a mobile health application that provides quick access to self-uploaded medical records, helps individuals better utilize and maintain their electronic medical histories.

“My goal in founding this business is to help people feel empowered with knowledge and information about their own health so they can self-advocate and be prepared,” she said.

Tofel left her job as an executive for a private-label shirt manufacturer to stay home with her two children in 1993. She became heavily involved in school administration and organizations to advocate for the safety and health of the children.

She could only have prepared for so much for her family.

“My brother had a massive heart attack at age 43,” Tofel said. “No one was there to provide his doctor with any information on his health history — what prescriptions he took, what our family history was.

“I realized we needed to make access to this information very easy.”

Her business partner, Jason Hubert — co-founder, CEO and chief technology officer of FootprintID — had been living in the same community as Tofel, having spent more than 25 years working in IT and corporate business.

Healthy women
According to the Society for Women’s Health Research, Big Data has the ability to revolutionize medical treatment for both genders.
Data patterns can help inform researchers how to specifically care for men and women moving forward, based on factors such as genetics, age, weight and lifestyle, and the development of precision medicine and genomics can help to create more individualized treatments. 
Women, however, tend to need more routine medical attention than men for conditions that require ongoing care, such as reproductive planning and health, mammograms and cervical cancer screenings. 
Recent studies by the Journal of the Medical Informatics Association showed that the presence of electronic health records make it more likely that doctors order essential tests to address these issues, such as Pap smears and breast exams.

“He had this massive experience in managing technology projects and automated systems,” Tofel said. “So, I decided to use my leadership skills and concerns for the population to go into business with Jason.”

Tofel and Hubert founded the company in 2012 and began marketing the Livingston-based business last year. FootprintID currently employs eight nationwide in order to handle its growing volume.

With unlimited storage and a user-friendly interface, FootprintID provides templates such as emergency contact lists, allergies and conditions, prescriptions and medications, hospitalizations and surgeries, and more for members to fill out.

Members are then encouraged to scan and upload prior test results and documents such as living wills and explanations of benefits.

“With constant changes in health insurance, testing locations and doctors, it is so important to be able to compare tests to prior results,” Tofel said.

Sometimes that is easier said than done.

“Electronic health portals have made it much easier for our members to compile their information,” Tofel said. “However, if that information is ever polluted by, for example, medical identity theft in the case of someone wanting to be insured for treatment or to get prescriptions filled, FootprintID can provide more accurate information.”

Membership for the first year is $40 for the first member and $30 for each additional member. Yearly renewals are $25 per member.

Members can only access and change their information via the use of a username and password. They can provide their doctors, family, friends and caretakers with a shareable access code.

A FootprintID membership kit.

A FootprintID membership kit.

“We do not store Social Security numbers or credit card information, which helps take us out of the target market for financial and medical identity theft,” Tofel said.

Instead, FootprintID uses both local level and secure encryption via Amazon Web Services.

“People have sensitivities regarding information about their health, so we wanted to make sure our members feel in control and comfortable that their information is safe and secure,” Tofel said.

More than 10,000 members believe that it is.

So do a rapidly growing number of employers, which account for 80 percent of FootprintID’s business.

“Employers and organizations are recognizing how important it is for an individual to have access to their medical information,” Tofel said. “They are providing FootprintID to their employees as a value-add within their health and wellness benefits. It is a very affordable tool that benefits both the employer and the user.”

Doctors have also recommended Footprint ID to their patients.

“They recommend us and stand by the same philosophy that we have,” Tofel said. “The more you can bring to the table for yourself, the better your care will be.”

Tofel hopes the state will step up, too, citing the importance of keeping businesses in New Jersey.

“Because there is so much conversation surrounding the health environment here, perhaps the state can assist us in terms of research and showing health care organizations in New Jersey how a tool like ours can benefit individuals long term,” Tofel said.

In the meantime, Tofel said the plan is to expand FootprintID membership through employers and organizations.

“Our goal is to educate people in the importance of being empowered with this information,” Tofel said.

E-mail to: megf@njbiz.com
On Twitter: @megfry3

How you can make your babysitter’s job less stressful this summer by Kelly Egan

As a college student who is home for summer vacation eager to make money, I have decided to take on the role as a babysitter and driver for several families in town. My role for these children is to watch them while their parents are out of the house and drive them to and from sports and other activities. As their babysitter I am essentially responsible for the safety and health of these children while their parents are not home. I am to make sure that as I take them to their countless summer activities that they are safe in my car. I also have to limit any accidents that may happen while they are on my watch. Although, I personally have not had an experience where a child I am watching has been hurt, I know that there is a possibility of something happening. In any situation that regards these children’s health, FootprintID can be very useful. If anything was to happen I would be prepared with their medical information by having their FootprintID login. If the parents could not get to where we were right away I would be able to provide the majority of their health information to the health care provider by using the FootprintID portal.babysit_700

Staying safe while visiting your family-By Zoe Zashin

 

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I always love when my younger cousins come to visit and it is always a fun packed week!  Our entire family goes nonstop from one activity to the next.  But……sometimes things do not go according to plan…

 

While my cousins were visiting last summer, my younger cousin got a rash. My aunt and uncle were not with us, so my cousin’s health quickly became my mom’s responsibility.

Immediately we took my cousin to the doctor’s office to be checked out.  My mom kept calling my aunt about the medical information that needed to be filled out on the patient forms, as well as for any additional information that would be helpful to the doctor treating her. There certainly were a lot of back and forth phone calls! It turned out that my cousin’s rash was nothing very serious. However, if my family had FootprintID, my aunt could have easily shared my cousin’s medical information with my mom and the doctor. This would have resulted in less frantic back and forth phone calls and my mom would have been prepared to handle this situation (and future ones when they visit us in a few weeks!)

 

 

#‎preparedness ‪#‎medicalrecords ‪#‎knowledgeispower ‪#‎accessispossible ‪#‎health ‪#‎safety ‪#‎family ‪#‎caregiving ‪#‎digitalhealth ‪#‎employeebenefits

 

Is your child leaving for college this fall? Add this to your list of “things” to explain before they fly the nest! By: Zoe Zashin

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Starting college is a hectic time for any student. Everyone is adjusting to a new environment, accepting new roles, and becoming more self-sufficient. In the past, my parents took care of my doctor’s appointments and medical information. It was not until college that I was allocated the responsibility of handling this information. At first, I was overwhelmed about everything health related that came my way. Slowly, I became more accustomed to keeping track of my medical information and making sure it was organized and up to date. When I gained this responsibility, it was vital for me to accept the role as a knowledgeable patient. This required me to increase my awareness of not only my medical history, but also my family’s. Had I known about FootprintID earlier, this would have alleviated the process.

#preparedness #medicalrecords #knowledgeispower #accessispossible #health #safety#family #caregiving #digitalhealth #employeebenefits

What our college intern wished she had packed with her when leaving for college…(by Kelly Egan)

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The transition from high school to college is both exciting and nerve-racking. It is the first time many students are living on their own in a new environment where they do not know anyone. They are worried about making friends, finding their way around campus and starting this new chapter away from home. What many students do not think about in this transition is what to do if they get sick or hurt. As a first year student, I learned about this early on. Entering college as a student athlete on the women’s soccer team was an exciting experience for me. We arrived on campus two weeks prior to the other students for preseason. After those two weeks I found my group of friends on my team and felt completely comfortable with campus. I was ready for the rest of the students to arrive and to start classes in my new home.

The night prior to classes we had our last double session of preseason and a team lift. At the team lift we were learning our new workout plan for the season so it was fairly light. I was sitting on a bench and got up to start my workout, when I tripped and fell backwards onto my right wrist. I have never broken a bone prior to this but I knew right away the pain was not good. I was taken to the hospital to get x-rays. When I got there I panicked, this was my first time at a new doctor alone without my mom. I immediately called my mom hysterically crying, not knowing how to fill out any of the paperwork. I was unable to write since I am a righty so a friend I just met on my team talked on the phone with my mom and filled out all of my paperwork. Once I was in the room I was overwhelmed with questions, which I did not know most of the answers. The nurses were asking me about vaccinations, allergies to medicines and other information I could not recall.

As I reflect back on this day, I realize how beneficial it would be to have my digital health records. Prior to this day, I never thought about what I would do in a health emergency. The idea behind FootprintId is to keep families medical records together digitally so in case of emergency they are at the touch of a button. For Parents it is reassuring that no matter where your child is, they can have access to their medical records in case of emergency. As for a college student like myself, it is reassuring to know that filling out medical forms can be done correctly without my mom’s guidance.

 

#preparedness #medicalrecords #knowledgeispower #accessispossible #health #safety#family #caregiving #digitalhealth #employeebenefits

What would you do if the hospital computer screen went blank?

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Imagine being in the hospital, and all of a sudden all of your medical information was gone?  Imagine going to the hospital, and they no longer had any of the information from your prior visits, procedures, surgeries.  Not only can this happen…it did.  This California hospital was cyber attacked -http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/02/hackers-are-holding-a-hospitals-patient-data-ransom/463008/

At FootprintID we want to make sure you are in charge of your information, and can always have access to it.  We believe in self-advocacy, empowerment and provide a consumer-centric tool to help you, your family, your employees or anyone you wish  manage and maintain their health information.  We help provide peace of mind knowing that our information is always at our fingertips!

Visit our home page to learn more and become a member today!