Over the years, I’ve had more than my share of difficult cases. I’ve had patients with life threatening conditions whom I wished I could offer more than to just shake my head and speak empty words of encouragement. They stare back at me and I see their eyes full of hope. How many times have been forced to say: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do that will make you better, or cure you, or ease your pain.”
All surgeons do that move: keeping an instrument in half a hand while doing something else, then regaining full use of it. Still, mundane as it is, that “third eye” part of my brain notices and likes that I can do it. It’s part of that little voice that constantly reminds me, whispers in amazement, that I’m here doing this stuff.
On June 10, 2013 a 32-year-old "heavily" pregnant woman was reported to have died after having an ovary removed instead of her inflamed appendix. As the infected appendix festered, she became septic and succumbed to multiple organ failure. This tragedy occurred in the UK in late 2011, but has just come to light. How could this have happened?
Medical device manufacturers should welcome the proposed ruling for Unique Device Identification (UDI); however, being compliant by the effective date (based on classification) for some organizations may be a concern. UDI aims to identify errors involving medical devices and provide more rapid resolution of device problems.
Medicine has had the luxury of being one of the great professions within societies throughout history, along with practitioners in areas such as law and religion. Though some may argue that modernism has significantly transformed these historic societal roles, there is still a great deal of respect and prestige commanded by these positions.
For the past several years, hospital CEOs have been talking a big game about accountable care. But investing in risk-sharing doesn’t mean health systems are giving up on the fee-for-service system, which rewards providers for every test and treatment whether or not it improves the health of a patient.
In the business of medicine, one of the brightest hopes is the potential for re-optimizing our spend around what patients want. That’s important because decades of research in the field of shared decision making have shown that when there’s a range of options to treat a condition, informed patients choose less spending and less invasive treatment.
Treating every single patient who enters an intensive care unit with special disinfectant soaps and ointments drastically reduces the spread of the drug-resistant bacteria MRSA and cuts the rate of bloodstream infections in hospitals, a new study shows. By adopting a universal strategy of disinfecting the most vulnerable patients, hospitals could make substantially more progress against serious infections.
Perhaps the problem is that I still use the term “medical record,” or (worse) “EMR” to describe what I am looking for. While computers have been an important part in the corruption of the system, they have not been the cause of the screwing up, they have simply made the screwing happen at a much faster rate.
Most people I knew became doctors because they wanted to interact with patients. Now a new study confirms the opposite: doctors-in-training are spending less time with patients than ever before. There is just no substitute for time in doctor-patient relationships. Efficiency is important but it isn’t the end of the story.
An intracranial bleed? You couldn’t do much worse than miss an intracranial bleed. How had I let my craze to decrease my patient load overtake proper medical care? I had failed to check the head CT! I was appalled at myself, mortified by my negligence. I stumbled through the rest of the day, an acrid mix of shame and guilt churning inside me.
It’s been nearly 23 years since the Americans With Disabilities Act, a federal law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities, went into effect. Despite its unequivocal language, studies in recent years have revealed that disabled patients tend not only to be in poorer health, but also to receive inadequate preventive care and to experience worse outcomes.
Transitional care programs are ripe for innovation for forward-thinking providers who are willing to do the difficult work of making these programs a success. For hospitals, even seemingly modest success, such as preventing a few dozen readmissions, can yield a financial benefit – and preventing more than that could save a hospital millions of dollars.
Doctors hate pain. Let me count the ways. We hate it because we are (mostly) kindhearted and hate to see people suffer. We hate it because it is invisible, cannot be measured or monitored, and varies wildly and unpredictably from person to person. We hate it because it can drag us closer to the perilous zones of illegal practice than any other complaint.
Simply acquiring technology is not enough; it is essential to implement the technology effectively to achieve those types of results. Here, then, are the top 10 mistakes practices make in implementing information technology — and how to avoid making them.