Many times I have heard physicians and other providers lament that the outcomes for their patients would be so much better if they could “get them to listen and follow instructions.”  They understand that they can be most effective in treating patients if the patients would follow all of their directions. Do the physicians’ or care providers’ responsibilities end with this wish?  Can physicians do more than just hope and pray ...

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If you are a healthcare provider -- physician, administrator, or some other leader at a healthcare site -- then you know that you face many challenges.  Some seem overwhelming and you may be thinking that you may not be able to handle some of them well.  Perhaps the transition to ICD-10 coding is your main concern right now. The solution to difficult challenges begins with the first step.  I am taking ...

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Health care providers want their patients to have the best outcomes possible.  They know that for this to happen that the patient must be engaged in managing his or her condition, whether it is an acute or chronic condition.  Patients need to follow the provider’s directions and orders.  If they do not, then the outcomes will be sub-par. For instance, if you the provider give a patient a prescription then they ...

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If you are a healthcare provider—physician, administrator, or some other leader at a healthcare site—then you know that you face many challenges.  Some seem overwhelming and you may be thinking that you may not be able to handle some of them well.  Perhaps the transition to ICD-10 coding is your main concern right now. The solution to difficult challenges begins with the first step.  I am taking the liberty of adapting ...

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The advantages of having a connected EHR Most clinical providers are aware of the more common capacities of EHRs.  However, there are many capacities that are being underused that can be of great assistance in providing safe care that avoids waste and identifies best practices.  Electronic communication with providers outside of one’s clinical setting, clinical decision support and improving the body of knowledge of best practices are three of ...

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Explaining the rise in legal narcotic misuse and addiction Quick!  Can you name the leading cause of accidental death in the United States now?  It is prescription drug overdose.  Since 2009 death from legally prescribed narcotics has led auto accident deaths as the number one cause of accidental death in the United States.  More than 15000 die now annually. On October 5, 2012 the Wall Street Journal on its front page published ...

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Do you read the comic strip Dilbert” by Scott Adams?  I read it most every day.  It tells the story of an engineer named Dilbert and the people with whom he works, including notables such as Wally, Alice and the pointy-haired boss.  Mr. Adams daily relates amusing situations of the dysfunctional relations at Dilbert’s work site.  While the situations are hilarious at times, they reflect the actual work processes at ...

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“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”  A famous quote from the movie Cool Hand Luke.    As many know poor communication is common in healthcare. Consider the following examples. According to Charles Duhigg in his newly released book, The Power of Habit, Rhode Island Hospital was one of the nation’s leading medical institutions.  It was the teaching hospital for Brown University and the only Level I trauma center in southeastern ...

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Obesity is becoming a major health issue in the United States across all age groups.  It is well known that obesity is a major contributor in the occurrence of type 2 diabetes and heart conditions.  Although physicians and other clinicians are often called upon to become the primary players in the prevention and treatment of chronic conditions, it is not possible for them to do so alone when it comes ...

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Recently I was asked, “How can I improve my Press Ganey scores?”  Presently this question applies mostly to hospitals as CMS is requiring hospitals to use the HCAHPS as a part of their quality reporting. Press Ganey can manage the HCAHPS for hospitals.  Few physicians or physician groups presently survey patients for satisfaction; they should begin thinking about doing so in the near future as it seems likely that CMS ...

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