I’ve never been more worried about the safety movement than I am today. My fear is that we will look back on the years between 2000 and 2012 as the Golden Era of Patient Safety, which would be okay if we’d fixed all the problems. But we have not.
Is wireless medicine just a passing fad, or will healthcare professionals be able to find ways to leverage powerful hardware and software tools to better prevent or treat injury and illness? Time will tell. In the meantime, we should monitor its growth and hope it realizes its immense potential.
From my vantage point, the finding that there is no correlation between attitude and survival serves as a gift for our patients and for us. Allowing people to accept their condition and honestly question their fate, no matter how they handle the challenge, might be enormously helpful for some. They don’t need to fear honest discussions.
I know that tremendous effort and resources are directed toward solving the problem of organizing and coordinating patients’ health information, and I don’t doubt that within four or five years, this problem will fade.
A new battle is underway. This fight is not about credibility or legitimacy, but sustainability and identity. It’s about the “E.”
Before you write that brutal retort which I may/may not deserve, some simple disclaimers before we tackle this subject: This is not a ruthless attempt to crush your dreams and passions. This is not an op-ed on our current healthcare system. This is targeted towards individuals who are considering medical school in order to practice clinical medicine. This is being written by a physician in postgraduate training.
“Grades don’t have a lot of meaning,” says Dr. Sara B. Fazio, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who leads the internal medicine clerkship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “‘Satisfactory’ is like the kiss of death.”
As I have mentioned before, all surgeons think they are the best. Of course when we ourselves need surgery, there is a bit of a dilemma deciding who is the best qualified to carry out the procedure. So when I realized there was a strange looking skin lesion in my right inner thigh, I decided only the best would do to operate me.
Could something like this happen in medicine? It might not be exactly the same, but an interesting dilemma is looming.
Information technology in healthcare is still stuck in the 1980s. As an emergency room physician, I can attest that the technology we do have does more to slow me down than help me deliver better, more efficient care.
Doctors do stuff — tests, procedures, drug regimens, and operations. It’s what they’re trained to do, what they’re paid to do and often what they fear not doing. So it’s pretty significant that a broad array of medical specialty groups is issuing an expanding list of don’ts for physicians.
A study concludes, “Additional work must be undertaken to identify strategies to optimize operating room efficiency and to develop alternate strategies to prepare participants for the performance of the procedure.” And what would those “alternate strategies” be? You can pick up beads on a simulator all you want, but it’s not the same as doing an operation. And assuming open surgery is still being done somewhere, there is no simulator for open surgery.
The X-Files fans will remember the poster that Agent Mulder had on his bulletin board with a picture of a flying saucer and the words, “I want to believe.” That’s how I feel reading EMR notes sometimes. I want to believe, but I doubt.
Experimentation in one’s career path has become a natural process. Learning new skills is a constant; adapting to new environments is mandatory. But is the healthcare workplace environment ready to adapt? Probably not as well as it could or should. Here are five critical ways the modern healthcare workplace can adapt to this rapidly evolving healthcare workforce.