The Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, is law. And its implementation is moving along slowly, but steadily. You have to give credit to the folks who believed in it, whether grass-roots supporters or highly placed politicians. They rammed it down the American gullet like a lead ball down the muzzle of a Hawken rifle. The problem is, once it goes off, the whole thing is going to explode...
One would never guess that a frequent activity in the OR is painting. I’m not referring to the application of paint to the walls of a room or house. The painting I’ve seen is limited to the patient and his or her body parts. I suppose the first application of “paint” would be the initial scribble placed by the surgeon, marking the surgical site...
The buzz is that Google Glass will transform medicine. But unless it’s carefully vetted it could be a disaster for patients, clinicians, and hospitals. Until the FDA or research confirms its safety, Google Glass is banned from my clinic as a privacy and medical practice hazard. Here are four reasons why.
Correlation doesn’t always indicate causation, but there are times when certain statistical data deserves another look. According to a recent study from the University of Michigan, nearly one in five older adults who have common operations will end up in the emergency department within a month of their hospital stay.
We need the tools to collect all of the information in one place — a virtual clearinghouse where people can see and review all of the data that is being collected about them. Not only do they need to make sure that it is accurate, but also they could take the opportunity to get a glimpse into what others know about them, something amazing in its own right.
The question has been raised: Why re-invent the EMR wheel? What is so different about what I am doing that makes it necessary to go through such a painful venture? I ask myself this same question, actually. Here’s my answer to that question.
A big problem with changing the focus of healthcare in the United States is that hospital chief executive officers are incented to produce profits for their institutions. If you were a hospital CEO, why would you want to emphasize preventive care and outpatient services when your bonus is tied to profits, admissions, and growth?
In the years since that first difficult bedside admission, I have done my best to avoid making medical errors, but I still make them. I still find it very hard every time I meet with a patient and family members to acknowledge that I made a mistake.
If you are interested in patient safety and medical errors and haven't read the story in the Texas Observer about a spectacularly incompetent neurosurgeon, you should. It is long but worth it. As I tweeted last week, it will make you cringe. The story includes many details about operations done poorly and patients suffering paralysis and death at the hands of Dr. Christopher D. Duntsch.
I am by no means a hospital policy expert. But, it’s not hard to see that across the country, smaller hospitals are either being bought or joining larger hospital systems. This has already played out in Ohio’s larger cities of Cleveland, Toledo, and Columbus.
If all medical, nursing, and ancillary staff members are not aware of the tracking features of EMRs, they should be. This is the same type of tracking that catches unauthorized personnel who peek at the chart of a celebrity or other prominent patient in the hospital.
What should doctors disclose to patients in the aftermath of adverse events? Does it matter if the adverse event was related to an error? Does it matter if it was preventable or not, anticipated or unexpected? Recently, I was at the Carolina Refresher Course facilitating a session on adverse events in anesthesiology. We touched on a variety of issues, but spent the most time discussing the importance of disclosure conversations.
For years, Dr. Mark Katlic wanted a more specialized surgical approach for older people. Last fall, he persuaded executives at the nonprofit health organization LifeBridge in Baltimore to take that step. The Sinai Center for Geriatric Surgery, which he directs, is one of the first to focus on elderly surgical patients, and it is already collecting information on what improves their experiences in the operating room and afterward.
Just a little over four years ago, President Obama, in his inaugural address, challenged us a nation to “wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its costs.” This was an awe-inspiring, “we will go to the moon” moment for the healthcare delivery system. But the next thought that ran through the minds of so many of us who work on health IT issues was this: how were we going to get there?
An orthopedic surgeon from New York reportedly has 261 malpractice suits against him. He has been accused of performing "phantom" and unnecessary operations. If you've been following my blog, you know that I am not a big fan of lawyers. But I have to admit that one lawyer's questions about what the hospital knew about all this and why the surgeon wasn't scrutinized sooner are good ones.