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The Friday Four: Toddler Overcomes Health Issues To Become Internet Singing Sensation

January 24, 2014 11:54 am | by Mike Schmidt, Editor, Surgical Products | Comments

The Friday Four seeks to highlight some of the people behind some of the interesting stories I stumble upon during my daily search for relevant content. This week's list features an adorable toddler, a politician, among others. Happy Friday!                     


Let’s Learn From No Child Left Behind: Measuring Quality In Healthcare

January 23, 2014 11:01 am | by Luis Collar, M.D. | Comments

Healthcare quality programs must limit unwanted variance (e.g. wrong therapy, unnecessary test), while retaining desired variance (e.g. patient preference, physician judgment) and accounting for inherent variance (e.g. genetic or socioeconomic determinants of health). Failing to recognize the need for this new paradigm will lead to problems, particularly as financial and therapeutic decisions are increasingly tied to quality...


Robotic Surgical Incident Reporting Leads To More Questions Than Answers

January 22, 2014 10:40 am | by Mike Schmidt, Editor, Surgical Products | Comments

Some questions simply lead to more questions. No questions lead to definitive answers without data and evidence leading the way. That thought came into my mind when I read a recent San Francisco Chronicle article about adverse-event reporting in healthcare, specifically as it relates to Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robotic surgery system...


Report: Effort To Curb Health Costs Should Be ‘Led By The States’

January 21, 2014 9:33 am | by Julie Appleby | Comments

Governors and other state leaders have the leverage to slow rising health costs and should not wait for action by the federal government, a commission chaired by two former governors said in a report Wednesday...      


Expanding Surgical Residency Training Programs -- Good Idea?

January 20, 2014 11:29 am | by Skeptical Scalpel | Comments

I find it hard to believe that a hospital that has previously not had a residency program and has private practice surgeons who do nothing but operate can turn itself into a setting where surgical education is important...   


Public Awareness Of C. Difficile Must Rise

January 20, 2014 3:48 am | by Christian John Lillis | Comments

Most bacteria never have a breakout year. But when the nerve center for the nation’s fight against deadly diseases last fall ranked C. diff. first among the three most “urgent” threats to public health, an overdue spotlight shone on an epidemic that much of the press overlooked for decades...


Make The EHR A Safe Harbor From Criminal Prosecution

January 17, 2014 11:06 am | by Adrian Gropper, M.D. | Comments

Physician-patient confidentiality is important to public health, and networked electronic health records have both individual privacy and public health consequences. Privacy is essential in infectious disease testing, domestic violence, mental health, adolescent, reproductive, and addiction medicine. Subjecting clinical encounters to law enforcement surveillance beyond the physician’s discretion is life-threatening...


The Friday Four: Surgeon Accused Of Leaving Heart Operation Early

January 17, 2014 10:41 am | by Mike Schmidt, Editor, Surgical Products | Comments

The Friday Four seeks to highlight some of the people behind some of the interesting stories I stumble upon during my daily search for relevant content. I'm not going to lie to you. This is not the most uplifting edition in The Friday Four's brief (BUT ILLUSTRIOUS) history...


Should Doctors Ever Google Their Patients?

January 16, 2014 9:32 am | by Joyce Ho | Comments

The most obvious cases I can think of for Googling patients are one in which the doctor suspects that the patient is lying to abuse the healthcare system. Malingering is intentionally faking illness for secondary gain, whether it is to get time off work, narcotics, disability insurance, avoiding jailtime, etc...


When Doctors Disagree: What Should You Tell Patients?

January 15, 2014 10:49 am | by Zackary Berger, M.D. | Comments

Tactfulness is key, and collegial relations with other providers can be maintained in such a circumstance, but identification of systematic missteps in care (such as leaving the patient out of a treatment discussion) is no vice...    


Four Scenarios That Would Dramatically Improve Healthcare

January 15, 2014 9:09 am | by Robert Pearl, M.D. | Comments

Radical change often happens suddenly, the result of a single decision or event. As we begin the New Year, I invite you to indulge in a thought exercise: Imagine what would happen to our healthcare system if the following hypothetical scenarios suddenly became reality...


Intellectual Doping: Stimulant Abuse In Medical Students

January 14, 2014 9:55 am | by Aimee Merino | Comments

No one can deny that medical students today face an increasingly competitive environment with a strong focus on board scores and class grades as strong requirements for entrance into competitive specialties. Mirroring the trends in both primary and secondary school, a standardized test has become the yardstick by which all physicians-in-training are compared...


Fighting ‘Observation’ Status

January 13, 2014 10:09 am | by Susan Jaffe | Comments

Every year, thousands of Medicare patients who spend time in the hospital for observation but are not officially admitted find they are not eligible for nursing home coverage after discharge. The over-classification of observation status is an increasingly pervasive problem: the number of seniors entering the hospital for observation increased 69 percent over five years, to 1.6 million in 2011... 

A Busy Doctor’s Right Hand, Ever Ready To Type

January 13, 2014 8:55 am | by Katie Hafner | Comments

Without much fanfare or planning, scribes have entered the scene in hundreds of clinics and emergency rooms. Physicians who use them say they feel liberated from the constant note-taking that modern electronic health records systems demand. Indeed, many of those doctors say that scribes have helped restore joy in the practice of medicine, which has been transformed — for good and for bad — by digital record-keeping... 


The Friday Four: Surgeon Who Operated On MLK Passes Away

January 10, 2014 11:27 am | by Mike Schmidt, Editor, Surgical Products | Comments

The Friday Four seeks to highlight some of the people behind some of the interesting stories I stumble upon during my daily search for relevant content. You didn’t ask for it, but you got it anyway. You’re welcome...      



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