american society of anesthesiologistsA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Earlier this year, I spoke to an audience of physician anesthesiologists about setting up a basic quality assurance (QA) program within their departments. At the end of the presentation, one physician anesthesiologist stated that his group “will not let anyone out of the operating room ...

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shutterstock_116371780 The war on medical error was officially launched in 1999, when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published its landmark report To Err is Human, alleging that up to 98,000 yearly deaths in US hospitals were due to human missteps. Despite significant ambiguities in the definition of a medical error, numerous militias known as patient safety organizations ...

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shutterstock_139099055 I'm usually a huge fan of Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel's writing -- whether it's his controversial piece on health care resources at the end of life or his book describing the tumultuous health care policy that led up to the Affordable Care Act, I generally enjoy reading his editorials and vehemently agree with many of his opinions. This being said, when I saw that ...

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shutterstock_134719667 Some months back I read an interesting interview with Jonathan Skinner, a researcher who works with the group at the renowned Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. More than anyone else I can think of, the people at the Dartmouth Atlas have studied and tried both to understand and to explain the amazing variations we see in how ...

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big-fish Health care consolidation affects every area of health care.   What does this radiologist-illustrator think about it? I think it speaks for itself. James Chang is a radiologist and author of Oh Doctor, The Places You Will Go… He blogs at Poor MD and can be reached on Facebook.

shutterstock_246706588 Imagine a surgeon removing a gallbladder miles away from where he or she actually is. Imagine when you are ill, a physician has the ability to diagnose you from your living room. Telemedicine. Telemedicine itself is not a concept that is all that new. In the 1930’s, Italy used telemedicine to communicate with ships at sea, while in the United States, NASA ...

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Recently, I was back in the United Kingdom for a short trip home. It happened to be the week of the general election, and after a long campaign the country finally went to the polls on Thursday. For those of you unfamiliar with U.K. politics, for the last five years there’s been a coalition government between David Cameron’s Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats (the first coalition government for 70 years). The ...

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After four years working as a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Brooklyn treating the underserved, I decided it was time to dedicate myself fully to my growing private practice. Functioning solely as an out of network provider in private practice, as expected, my clientele grossly changed. Unlike my hospital patients, a majority of my patients are upper class to wealthy. Finances are not concerns or stressors. Wealth does not predict a decrease ...

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One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) was to increase access to primary care physicians. The notion is that if people have insurance it would be easier for them to get appointments with primary care physicians. This is because many physicians are unwilling to accept new patients who are uninsured. Further, a key component of the ACA was to increase physician reimbursement for Medicaid because this program ...

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The buzzwords many use in medicine today are "personalized," "individualized," or "targeted." Rather than doctors prescribing tests or treatments that work in most people but might not work for you, proponents argue, we should tailor medical interventions to unique patient characteristics, such as genomic data. (The White House's Precision Medicine Initiative is an example of this kind of thinking.) Although I am skeptical that big data-driven genetic ...

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