The stethoscope has been a symbol of the medical profession for two centuries. Dr. René Laennec probably had no idea how his idea would take off when he first invented the simple wooden tube in Paris back in 1816. After a few modifications over the course of the next several decades, it evolved into what we know today. A central part of the physical examination, the stethoscope currently gives doctors priceless information about the cardiac and ...

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I always pay attention to the reaction I receive from an audience at a talk or individual I encounter when I discuss the difference between a tool and a solution. Marketing a technology as a solution before it has been trialed, integrated into clinical workflow or even an EHR can even be met with legitimized skepticism by an educated purchaser. I offer a few thoughts on the subject which are critical ...

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Over the past few months, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has been exploring the use of wearable computing. In the emergency department we’ve been evaluating an early unit of Google Glass, a high tech pair of glasses that includes a video camera, video screen, speaker, microphone, touch pad, and motion sensor. We have been able to access our internal web-based ED dashboard on Glass, in a secure manner that ensures all ...

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Do you believe that I have to mention this?  I can’t believe it either but since the advent of the EMR, this seems to be an issue; a really big issue.  Amazingly enough, you are there, as a doctor, to treat the patient and not the computer.  You would think it was the other way around with all the bogus quality indicators, meaningful use baloney and pay-for-performance nonsense being stuffed ...

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Should doctors grab a .health domain?So, you're setting up a website for your practice. You thought you'd just grab a .com, .net, or maybe .info. But now there's .health. Will one of those set you apart from the .com crowd? So what do you need to know about these new domains? 1. Will patients come looking for me on .health? The bottom line is that it's highly unlikely patients ...

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The title itself should make us all cringe!  If there’s one thing I know to be true, it is that putting clinicians at the helm of electronic medical record (EMR) design is doomed to create a product with limited scope and lack of forward-thinking trajectory.  Yet, the concept of integrating and considering the physician point of view and workflow is critical to successful EMR functionality. The question is how can clinician ...

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There’s that line about art, “good artists copy, great artists steal.” There’s some debate about if Picasso said it first, but most of us geeks know it from Steve Jobs. Often, I see things from companies and industries outside of health care  -- processes, products, best practices -- which inspire me. I like these little inspirations because they often aren’t rocket science, but nonetheless fuel some creative thoughts about their applicability ...

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If you’re a practicing provider, chances are you still feel some anxiety about several issues related to the ICD-10 transition that are critical for maintaining the health of your practice. These probably include reimbursement, documentation workflows, potential audits, and claims denial. As a family medicine provider, what I hope to see develop is the opportunity for providers to encourage payers to be more transparent about topics like the level of coding ...

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There are over 58 million references to "patient engagement" if one conducts a Google search. The term has been diluted and changed in the past couple of years and has become a buzz phrase, used more from a business than clinical benefit perspective. The Center for Advancing Health defines patient engagement as “actions individuals must take to obtain the greatest benefit from the health care services available to them.” This implies ...

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Your coffeemaker went dead on you this morning, and while lamenting your drowsiness at work, your friend Denise mentions that she just bought a new coffeemaker at Target and she absolutely loves it. You take your coffee the same way Denise does, black, strong, and all day long, so you decide to buy one for yourself. You are a busy professional and you don’t have time to go to Target, search ...

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