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Imagine a world where complex health issues can be solved or prevented with relative ease. As lifespan increases, technology innovators race to outpace the growing demands of the planet’s expanding population. Medical technology companies create faster, more, and less expensive answers to patient care needs. Engineering and science have converged, making medical practice easier for physicians, more effective for patients, and less costly to the system struggling to hold it all up…Read more
Scribes may improve the overall quality of documentation. It can be more detailed, comprehensive, and available quickly. Improved documentation in turn can be used to achieve “meaningful use” EHR Incentive Program criteria and improve compliance with quality monitors, billing, and reimbursement…Read more
Doctors, especially long-established doctors, are tempted to treat their junior partners like children. It’s a variation on the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and senior physicians are self-appointed gurus for how you should practice medicine. It’s not dictatorial or mean-spirited, however. You must remember an established practice has a good reputation for good reasons. Nevertheless, senior physicians expect their subordinates to be obedient and productive and not upset the course of the practice.
When intolerable limitations aren’t known before committing to a practice, they can brew like an ugly abscess, inflamed and painful. It’s no fun being the foreign body that initiates a practice’s innate immune system against you. This is a psychological burden that is unexpected while you’re trying balance risks vs benefits, follow a therapeutic flow sheet, or even concoct an empiric regimen. Can this burden be avoided? Just what are the warning signals?Read more
When you are a new doctor jumping on board an established practice, it is expected that you subscribe to a way of doing things. Maybe these ways are right or maybe they’re wrong. Can you abide them or can the practice abide your not abiding them? You’ve always dreamed of how you would treat, educate, and relate to patients, and a well-oiled machine (i.e., an established practice) invites no torpedoes. Sometimes you must draw the line right away if you think there are dangers to patients or unethical practices. When your moral compass points south, it takes no time before you walk out the door. Other times you assimilate without difficulty; at some point, however, you will want to be your own person, your own doctor. Will you be a torpedo or an additional gear in the well-oiled machine?Read more
Institutions must strive for an environment that promotes respect for all staff – regardless of their position in the hierarchy. From maintenance personnel to rainmaker physicians and administrators, every employee’s role is critical to the operation of the institution, and every employee must be treated with professionalism and dignity. Lawsuits are costly, as is turnover, but the damage to an institution’s reputation and brand may be a cost that no healthcare provider can afford. Without the trust of the community, institutions may struggle maintain their position as a leading provider their area.Read more
Politics is a very strange thing. It changes your friends and your enemies faster than the turnover in a schoolyard playground. It is a flawed system in which the disgruntled are tempted to think that the only people politicians represent are themselves. Like most responsible people, politicians are neither as bad as their detractors say nor as good as they themselves feel they are. A moral compass is usually there, but it is fragile because its needle is easily magnetized toward the politician him or herself.
Being a physician requires a crystal-clear moral compass because it’s too hard and too important of a job to do for just money. The labor, whether it’s cost efficient or not, is worth the satisfaction of doing one’s best while helping someone out the most. For doctors, their moral compass points to true North; for politicians, it sometimes points the way the wind is blowing.Read more
From thousands of years ago to now, we harvested the opium poppy and eventually the morphine molecule to give the LC some competition. The LC tones down the pain signals initiated by injury, but narcotics, when they fill the opioid receptor site’s on neurons, block the pain signals from registering at the brain level, and the LC’s response doesn’t even happen.Read more
In my dad’s time, I know he did hysterectomies, appendectomies, vein stripping, colon surgery, proctology, and many other things that just having his diploma and a knife qualified him for. True, it was a pretty good diploma as diplomas go, but today we know that you can’t know everything about everything.Read more
The point of the blame game isn’t to persecute the players, but to understand the dynamics of interoperability issues, in order to create solutions. Of the stakeholders, only policymakers have a clear, strong interest in promoting interoperability. They should ensure that cross-vendor interoperability isn’t prohibitively costly for EHR vendors and providers. Once the business case for interoperability outweighs the business case against it, both vendors and providers can pursue it without great harm to their bottom lines.Read more
Working in healthcare is a noble and rewarding career, but knowing which occupation offers you the best chance for a job is also rewarding.Read more