Hospitals nationwide are racing against the clock to ensure their health IT systems meet meaningful use guidelines. The incentive?  Money, of course. Systems that meet certain criteria make doctors eligible for up to $44,000 in bonus money from the government. As mentioned on this blog previously, implementing an electronic health system is difficult. The usability of the current generation of EHRs is still relatively primitive, especially when compared to other industries, and ...

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Doctors: if you're sick, don't go to work. The stereotype of doctors is that they go to work, despite whatever symptoms ail them. Calling in sick places strain on colleagues. Especially in residency, where team members are expected to pick up the slack. In a recent column, the New York Times' Pauline Chen discusses the image of self-sacrifice that a sick doctor going to work portrays:

Hacking, febrile or racked with the ...

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Is the doctor-patient relationship really more sacrosanct than the nurse-patient relationship? That's the provocative question asked by Theresa Brown in a recent column from Well, the New York Times' health blog. She discusses an instance when she had a disagreement with a physician over a patient care issue.

I couldn’t believe that this doctor, who had always worked well with the nurses on my floor, had just suggested, at least in my ...

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Ezra Klein calls Peter Orszag's proposal in a recent New York Times column a "new idea on medical malpractice reform." Except it's really not. The idea of immunizing doctors who follow strict clinical practice guidelines was floated by the AMA back in May of 2009. I supported the idea back then, saying the AMA is

acknowledging and embracing the data that is very influential in the White House, as well ...

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Authors of a recent study from the Archives of Internal Medicine are unlikely to endear themselves to specialists. As reported by Reuters, and provocatively titled, Do specialist doctors make too much money?, the study gives a per-hour breakdown of how much doctors make. I think this is a good approach, since annual salary figures do not account for the number of hours doctors work -- and in the case of primary ...

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Dr. Robert Sears' The Vaccine Book, is, as Rahul Parikh puts it, "a nightmare for pediatricians like me." In a piece from Salon, Dr. Parikh brings his issues to the author.  The controversy of the book is the so-called "alternative vaccine schedule," which, as vaccine developer Paul Offit puts it,

is "misrepresentation of vaccine science" that "misinforms parents trying to make the right decision for their children" in the Journal of ...

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I'm back from my whirlwind trip to Las Vegas, and I want to think those who followed our panel at BlogWorld 2010. I was joined by Bryan Vartabedian of 33 Charts, and Kerri Morrone Sparling of six until me in a panel moderated by Kim McAllister of Emergiblog. A few thoughts from my end. Are social networks competitive or compatible with the medical blogosphere? Are social networks competitive or compatible with the medical blogosphere?
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One of the supposed strengths of electronic medical records is better tracking of test data. In theory, when using more sophisticated digital systems, doctors can better follow the mountains of test results that they encounter daily. But a recent study, as written in the WSJ Health Blog, says otherwise. Apparently, a study performed in 2007 found,

VA doctors failed to acknowledge receipt of 368 electronically transmitted alerts about abnormal imaging tests, or one third ...

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Peter Orszag wants doctors to work weekends. The former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget wrote as much in this past weekend's New York Times:

Doctors, like most people, don’t love to work weekends, and they probably don’t enjoy being evaluated against their peers. But their industry can no longer afford to protect them from the inevitable. Imagine a drugstore open only five days a week, or ...

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Boston Medical Center has provided care to the underserved and Medicaid population in Boston for almost 150 years. And what's happening to the venerable institution is gut-wrenching to read. I trained at Boston Medical Center (BMC), completing my internal medicine residency there in 2002.  A recent write-up in Boston Magazine highlights the financial trouble the hospital is going through:

Boston Medical Center is almost broke, perilously close to what its ...

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