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Must A Surgeon Mention Death As A Complication?

June 4, 2014 10:54 am | by Skeptical Scalpel | Comments

Earlier, I wrote about the tragic case of a young girl in California who was declared brain dead after what most media sources called a tonsillectomy. In fact, the patient had a much more extensive procedure for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. In addition to having her tonsils removed, she underwent an uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and resection (removal) of her inferior nasal turbinate bones...


Four Ways To Improve The Affordable Care Act

June 3, 2014 10:04 am | by Bob Doherty | Comments

The fate of the ACA will be the big issue in the upcoming mid-term congressional elections, with Republicans and their allies continuing to press for repeal, believing that it is a winning issue with voters (or at least the base voters who lean Republican). Opinion polls are not as clear-cut, though. Although more Americans continue to have a less favorable than more favorable view of the law, most oppose outright repeal...


Better Outcomes And Lower Costs: The Perioperative Surgical Home

June 3, 2014 9:58 am | by Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D. | Comments

Whether it’s a knee replacement avoided for years or an urgent life-saving tumor removal, when the decision for surgery occurs, too often the patient begins a journey into a complex system of fragmented medical care. Perioperative care, which generally refers to the three phases of surgery — preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative — can be variable and fragmented...


Implementing Lean: A Hospital Case Study

June 2, 2014 11:53 am | by Kim Barnas | Comments

Lean was a serious initiative from the beginning. It was energetically championed by our CEO at that time, John Toussaint, MD, who began his own lean investigations in 2002. By this time, I was a vice president with operational responsibilities in the hospitals for obstetrics, cancer care, and surgery, in addition to the philanthropic foundations, so I was involved from the beginning of our ambitious lean initiative...

Health Technology Must Improve Patient Safety

May 30, 2014 9:44 am | by J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, M.D. | Comments

This was the dream: We would use technology to create a seamless health care system, one where people, computers and machines would work together to improve patient care in many different ways. Healthcare would be more efficient, it would be safer, it would be less expensive, we would be able to transfer health-related information quickly and accurately...


Managing Unhappy Patients After Surgery

May 29, 2014 10:18 am | by Sid Schwab, MD | Comments

Surgery is simple: You come to me with a problem, I fix it, you go away happy. And when you come back, you’re still happy. What’s so wrong with that? If I wanted to be miserable, I’d have gone into primary care. When a surgeon screws up, his/her role is clear: Admit it, make it better, or as good as possible, and stick with it as long as it takes. But what about when you don’t screw up, and the patient is still unhappy?

A Life Lesson In The Operating Room

May 27, 2014 10:46 am | by Starla Fitch, M.D. | Comments

Recently, there was an issue in my O.R. No, the surgery went well. The patient was healthy and tolerated the procedure just fine. And, yes, we had the proper equipment and it all functioned perfectly. This was another kind of issue, something that I had not encountered before. It turned out to be a life lesson...

Google Glass In The OR: Not Ready For Prime Time

May 23, 2014 10:08 am | by Skeptical Scalpel | Comments

The Royal London Hospital and the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry presented the first live-streamed surgical procedure in the UK. The operation was an extended right hemicolectomy with resection of a metastatic liver lesion. I was able to view the entire broadcast portion of the surgery live...


The White Coat Can Be An Inadvertent Barrier To Care

May 20, 2014 11:09 am | by Cullen Truett | Comments

Most children stare at me with that wide-eyed look. Thinking from their perspective, the six-foot something curly headed giant with big round glasses probably appears very strange to the little human that barely scrapes my knee. They do not cry. They just stare...


Reducing The Handoff Errors After Hospital Discharge

May 16, 2014 10:25 am | by Kenneth Lin, M.D. | Comments

As a long distance runner on my high school track team, I won few accolades in individual events, but shone in relays. My teammates and I spent hours perfecting our baton exchanges, which must occur within a limited area of the track, until these handoffs felt smooth and effortless...

Crowdsourcing Medical Advice

May 15, 2014 9:53 am | by Skeptical Scalpel | Comments

A website called "CrowdMed" offers "crowdsourcing" of medical diagnoses. You enter a narrative about your illness and the crowd, which may not necessarily all be MDs, comes up with a diagnosis for you. Patients are supposed to discuss the most likely diagnoses with their own physicians. Via a somewhat complex system, the medical detectives can win money if patients offer cash rewards, which are not mandatory...


What Keeps Nurses Going Strong In Spite Of Everything? (Part III)

May 12, 2014 10:13 am | by Martie Moore, R.N., MAOM, CPHQ, Chief Nursing Officer, Medline | Comments

As we close out National Nurses Week today, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, the essence of her mission to pioneer and transform public health lives on.  In the final installment of Medline’s blog series, we hear from Linda in Georgia. This nurse veteran shares how she’s driving home her mission to improve infection prevention and create an environment where patients and nurses can feel safe and empowered...   


What Keeps Nurses Going Strong In Spite Of Everything? (Part II)

May 8, 2014 10:18 am | by Martie Moore, R.N., MAOM, CPHQ, Chief Nursing Officer, Medline | Comments

Nurses continue to rank as the most trustworthy profession.  As the healthcare landscape changes, it’s creating new opportunities and challenges for those in the field. With that in mind, here is the second installment of Medline’s blog series celebrating National Nurses Week...


How Should Residents Spend Their Time?

May 6, 2014 10:38 am | by Skeptical Scalpel | Comments

As everyone knows, residents are now restricted to working 80 hours per week. One of the lesser known side effects of this work hours limitation is the drastic loss of educational conference time. Since at least one third of the residents must now go home after morning rounds, afternoon conferences are no longer possible. Most residency programs now devote part of at least one morning per week to dedicated educational time...


What Keeps Nurses Going Strong In Spite Of Everything?

May 6, 2014 10:17 am | by Martie Moore, R.N., MAOM, CPHQ, Chief Nursing Officer, Medline | Comments

The emotional and professional demands on nurses are greater than most of us can imagine. Patient population on the rise. Staffing shortages. Ethical issues. Compassion fatigue. Bullying. Despite these factors, nurses find a way to stay passionate, energized, and dedicated. Medline is marking National Nurses Week with stories from the field...



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