It has been 10 years since the landmark Institute of Medicine report “To Err is Human” uncovered disturbing deficiencies in the quality of our nation’s medical care. Progress in correcting these deficiencies remains frustratingly slow, and it has become clear that achieving the quality and safety improvements we seek will require us to examine our approach to medical education.
For myself I am an optimist — it does not seem to be much use being anything else. -Winston Churchill August 9, 2010 Even before I met him, I could tell that his cancer was extensive. His problems had started several months before with a cough, a voice change, and some trouble swallowing.
They made a regal couple, the elderly man and woman sitting in Room 19. She was the patient, he the supportive husband. She sat in the treatment cot while he sat in a chair pulled near her bedside. Together, they greeted me with their warm smiles as I walked into their room. They both had full heads of healthy, silvery hair that shimmered from the overhead fluorescent bulbs.
We say we exchange words when we meet. What we exchange is souls. -Minot J. Savage It was Monday evening. The shelves in the electronics department overflowed with different styles, prices, and brands of headphones, all displayed in sealed plastic cases. I was in the mood to buy but was baffled by the array of options in front of me.
Greed drives innovation in industry. While I might not always like it, when it comes time for me to deal with a serious medical condition, I want as many treatment and non-treatment options on the table as possible. July 28, 2010 In “What Broke My Father’s Heart,” a piece in New York Times magazine a couple weeks ago, journalist Katy Butler writes about how an implanted pacemaker kept her father’s heart ticking long after the rest of his body was ready to go.
To walk along the water’s edge and be away from the hospital, even for a day, is relaxing. My breathing here is slower, deeper. When I look back on residency thus far, I can hardly believe how much has changed. Central lines slide into the internal jugular with ease; I slip breathing tubes just below the epiglottis and curve upwards into the vocal chords almost as often as I place a straw into a cold glass of iced tea.
As surgery becomes less invasive, facilities must ensure they have the adequate imaging and surgical display technology for surgeons to perform these procedures. Here, Surgical Products speaks with Anne Bondulich, Marketing Manager for Surgical Products at Sony, who discusses new advances in surgical display systems and what facilities should know when purchasing this technology now and in the future.
It’s clear among the surgical community that an increasing number of surgeons are embarking on the single port surgery approach. From the cosmetic benefit of virtually hiding the incision scar in the umbilicus to the potential for reduced pain and a quicker recovery, benefits of this new technique are becoming more apparent.
Admitting Error In a lean environment, doctors and nurses must allow mistakes to be visible in order to perform root-cause analysis and fix the process. But showing mistakes hits most medical providers in a vulnerable place—right in the collective fear of lawsuits and a highly conditioned need to be heroic.
Dear Patients: You have it very hard, much harder than most people understand. Having sat for 16 years listening to the stories, seeing the tiredness in your eyes, hearing you try to describe the indescribable, I have come to understand that I too can’t understand what your lives are like.
In my practice I try to apply some common sense, adopting a colleagues’ phrase “common things are common”. This is particularly useful in the diagnosis of new problems that have eluded diagnosis, and I apply a lesson learned from a fellow resident (a PharmD before med school) who told me: new problems, ask about new meds.
How image and video documentation is proving more valuable — inside the OR and out. July 20, 2010 The transition to HD in the OR has resulted in a need for better archiving solutions. Photo: Sony In today’s surgical environment, the reasons to record images and video are wide and varied.
Maintaining adequate surgical patient temperature is imperative to a positive outcome. Here, Craig Fernandes, Director of Acute Care Marketing for DeRoyal discusses the importance of temperature monitoring in both pre- and post- surgical procedure areas. July 19, 2010 Temperature monitoring has become a required standard both pre- and post-procedure from a patient safety and a reimbursement perspective.