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Fitbit In Healthcare: Is More Data Better?

July 23, 2014 | by Kevin R. Campbell, MD | Comments

For scientists and researchers who are developing new treatments for disease, data is power. For patients, data can mean empowerment. Devices that track health indicators are readily available and in use to track heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar and even respiratory rate and body temperature ...           

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Doctors Must Discuss The Cost Of Care With Their Patients

July 16, 2014 11:36 am | by Peter Ubel, MD | Comments

Dr. Peter Ubel has been writing a bit lately on the need for healthcare providers to talk with their patients about healthcare costs, if for no other reason than to enable patients to determine whether they can afford to pay for the healthcare that their doctors are recommending them to receive...

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Surgery In Space: I Foresee Problems

July 14, 2014 10:27 am | by Skeptical Scalpel | Comments

According to NASA, a miniature robot capable of assisting in surgery has been developed, tested in pigs and is soon to be trialed in a weightless environment. The robot, which weighs less than 1 pound, can be inserted into the abdomen via the umbilicus and controlled remotely...

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VA Apologizes To Whistleblowers Facing Retaliation

July 9, 2014 8:03 am | by Matthew Daly, AP | Comments

James Tuchschmidt, the No. 2 official at the Veterans Health Administration, apologized on behalf of the department. "I apologize to everyone whose voice has been stifled. That's not what I stand for. I'm very disillusioned and sickened by all of this."

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Do Operating Room Checklists Improve Outcomes?

June 23, 2014 11:51 am | by Skeptical Scalpel | Comments

I am not against checklists. When I was a surgical chairman, I implemented and used one in both the operating room and the ICU. They do not add costs and may be helpful. But do they improve outcomes?            

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Treating BE Better

June 16, 2014 10:19 am | by George Triadafilopoulos, M.D., DSc | Comments

One physician's take on combining radiofrequency therapies in a proposed algorithm for effectively treating of Barrett’s Esophagus, which can lead to esophageal adenocarcinoma...              

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Answering 'The Questions'

June 13, 2014 10:09 am | by Bruce Campbell, M.D., Medical College of Wisconsin Otolaryngologist | Comments

Cancer physicians know when “The Questions” are coming. A casual conversation at a party or in the grocery store eventually turns to careers. The pleasant exchange is replaced with talk of life-changing illnesses and impossibly difficult decisions...

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Google Glass Has A Long Way To Go In The OR

June 12, 2014 9:21 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. Here is what I thought about the event...

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Five Ways To Improve The Healing Environment Of Hospitals

June 11, 2014 10:36 am | by Suneel Dhand, M.D. | Comments

The very basic definition of a hospital is a place of healing and recovery. Healthcare is in a tumultuous state of flux at the moment, with the universal drive for quality improvement and the need to reign in costs. These issues, along with the desire to enhance our patients’ satisfaction and overall healthcare experience, were barely even talked about a decade ago...

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What Is The Source Of Deteriorating Patient Care?

June 6, 2014 2:48 pm | by Val Jones, MD | Comments

For the past couple of years I’ve been working as a traveling physician in 13 states across the U.S. I chose to adopt the locum tenens lifestyle because I enjoy the challenge of working with diverse teams of peers and patient populations. I believe that this kind of work makes me a better doctor, as I am exposed to the widest possible array of technology, specialist experience, and diagnostic (and logistical) conundrums...

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Medicare, We Have A (Big?) Problem

June 6, 2014 10:43 am | by Mike Schmidt, Editor, Surgical Products | Comments

It’s not a question of if Medicare patients are receiving unnecessary treatments and procedures. It’s a question of how many. Or so says a recent study conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers and published last month in JAMA Internal Medicine...

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Stop The War Being Waged In The Emergency Department

June 6, 2014 9:16 am | by Nick Dawson | Comments

There’s a war being waged on one of America’s most revered institutions, the emergency room. The ER, or emergency department (ED for the sake of this post) has been the subject of at least a dozen prime-time TV shows...     

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Reducing The Stress Of Teaching Surgical Residents

June 5, 2014 9:37 am | by Eve Karkowsky, M.D. | Comments

When I graduated from my residency, I wanted to write a book called How Not to Get Yelled At in the Operating Room. Or How to Clear the Fear from Your OR. I had these titles in mind because I struggled so much during my intern year. It was a tough year, full of intense patient care and sleep deprivation, but the challenge that I most wanted help with during that time was learning to perform procedures...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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