Here’s a question I’m almost afraid to ask: when you go to a doctor (not one you see all the time), does the doctor usually introduce himself (or herself) and explain what they are there to do? And, do they sit down? I really hope that you are answering yes ... but I know that the answer is often no. In a study recently published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, researchers observed 29 ...

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The term “open access” in the context of primary care means that patients are able to get an appointment whenever they wish. The ultimate in open access is 24/7 availability. No, I don’t offer this, although I come pretty close. I’m available by cell phone virtually 24/7 and I’m also almost always willing to come in and see someone if they really need to be seen. This seldom happens. Most of ...

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Ms. Smith (name changed) is 82-years-old, but currently looks about a hundred. I met her, intubated, in the ICU two weeks ago. She lived alone, hadn't told family she wasn't feeling well, but had called 911. In the emergency department, she was struggling to breath, and was intubated, having gone into respiratory failure. She was found to have a severe pneumonia affecting the majority of both her lungs. She also went ...

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Patient satisfaction and improving the hospital experience is being discussed in hospital boardrooms across the country. Now that financial reimbursements are directly tied to HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey scores, there is a significant incentive to do so. A multitude of ideas are being put forward into how this can be achieved, and hospitals are investing heavily to get tangible results. Many involve complicated and ...

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acp-logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. A couple of weeks ago, a television commercial caught my attention. It was an official-sounding announcement, a “national healthcare alert” that if you have Medicare, you might qualify for a knee brace “at little or no cost to you.” I found it interesting because a week earlier, a durable ...

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Doctors are tough critics -- as well they should be. The news that CVS Caremark pharmacies will no longer sell tobacco brought about quite a bit of rapid online dialogue. Even President Obama chimed-in with praise, a response that some in the business world say is worth billions for CVS. Having a good reputation, particularly when you’re in the business of delivering health care and lending health advice, seems essential. In my ...

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Are you a practicing primary care physician, board-certified in either family medicine or internal medicine, and in good standing with your state licensing board? Do you have concerns about the relative lack of primary care professionals, especially now that 40 million new patients have been added to the U.S. health care system this year? What if I told you that you, simply by carrying on with your usual daily primary ...

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It started with a dead laptop. For the first time in more than 3 years I felt like a doctor again. I had forgotten what it was like. Having neglected to plug in my laptop the night before, it was without power. (Without power!) An opportunity for an uprising, of consciousness if not full revolt. For the first 1½ hours of clinic I entered each exam room without the weight of the ...

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Recently, CVS Caremark announced that starting October 1, they will no longer be selling tobacco products, including cigarettes, in their CVS stores. Taking a bold and unexpected stance on the issue, CVS’s CEO Larry Merlo reasoned to ABC News that “We’ve come to the conclusion that cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care is being delivered.” What does he mean by that? Here, he is referring to ...

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janis babson I was 8-years-old in June 1963 when the Readers’ Digest arrived in the mail inside its little brown paper wrapper. As usual, I sat down in my favorite overstuffed chair with my skinny legs dangling over the side arm and started at the beginning,  reading the jokes, the short articles and stories on harrowing adventures and rescues, pets that had been ...

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