Tuesday, May 15, 2007


This week’s Guest Blog is by Dr. Anthony DeLorenzo, creator of the LifeMine, the personal health organizer. Dr. DeLorenzo and his team have put together this extraordinary tool that puts us at the center of our health care, by encouraging users to gather information about their medical conditions, the types of treatments provided, tests and results, prescriptions and over the counter medications, doctors’ visits, exercise regimes, wishes about living and dying. His vision is for people to arm themselves with knowledge about personal health and adopt the understanding that our health and wellness is our greatest treasure and life-long responsibility I find this tool remarkable in its simplicity. We all know that having a central repository for information regarding our health, finances, and directives is critical, and yet for most of us this information is scattered around the house, in file cabinets, safes and drawers. How many times have you searched high and low for a medical record or list of drugs you or a loved one takes regularly, cursing because you know it’s somewhere? LifeMine offers step-by-step instruction for gathering and storing personal health related information along with detailed instruction on how to utilize this information to maximize health and wellness. We’ve had many great responses since we started carrying it. It’s easy to use is the comment we hear most. Adult children and grandchildren especially love this personal organizer since they are often the ones who help manage care for their parents or grandparents as they age. As a Boomer who has been caregiver for family members, and as someone whose own collection of paperwork continues to grow, I am impressed with this product.

We all understand the importance of good health. Our society spends more on health
care than ever before, yet most would agree that people are not enjoying greater health.

The old healthcare delivery system put the doctor in the center of the universe with all knowledge and control radiating from this place of most knowledge and understanding of the human body. The doctor asks questions, examines the body and based on knowledge and training, forms a list of possible causes of a particular problem. Modern medicine utilizes procedures that can look at the cells and chemicals in the blood as well as x-rays that allow for views into the body. Based on all this information from questions, exams and tests, the doctor can then narrow the list to determine the problem and make recommendations for how the patient can bring about improved health.

The emerging healthcare delivery system puts the patient at the center of the universe. It encourages us to gather information about our medical problems, to know the types of treatments provided, to keep records of tests reports and opinions, to take over the counter or home remedies, to make doctor's visits to prevent and look for early signs of illness, and to strive to stay healthy and live balanced lives. Armed with this information and insight, the patient is able to collaborate with physicians. There will still be illness, the need for tests and evaluation. As well, the challenges of making the proper diagnosis and prescribing the proper treatments will still exist and require expert help. The difference is that the patient is engaged and informed, educated and involved. The new system is transformed from being illness focused to health focused.

People want to play an active role in attaining or maintaining optimum health, yet our current educational system and popular culture does not provide us with basic knowledge in these matters. In 22 years of experience in direct patient care, I have identified many areas of concern on the part of patients and health care providers. As a result, I developed a system to facilitate the educational process. This system utilizes the most effective step-by-step method for bringing about personal change in health related behavior, the frank and open face-to-face discussion of the doctor and the patient. I developed this easy-to-use basic system which presents information in a way that honors each person's current knowledge and yet provides clear and thorough guidance for personal empowerment. This basic operating system is called the "LifeMine Personal Health Organizer". It truly assists the individual in taking charge of their health. It raises the standard for how we perceive our health and our role in maintaining it.

As each person learns to gather, organize and store all necessary medically related information in one place and in a manner that is useful to them and their caregivers over a lifetime, it also will provide the information needed to make the most of our healthcare dollars. LifeMine will help maximize each doctor's visit by teaching each person how to prepare to help their doctor help them.

I have watched many of my patients increase their knowledge and confidence to be at their center of their own health care. LifeMine has been an important tool for them in this process.

Dr. DeLorenzo is a staff physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at Hinsdale Hospital and Lagrange Memorial Hospital, serves as staff physician at several local extended care facilities, and is on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society. It is our pleasure to feature his blog and LifeMine this week.

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