How much guidance do patients want with their medical decisions?The following column was published on November 10, 2011  in Medical Economics. I recently saw two patients in my primary care clinic, each with new-onset hypertension. The first, a middle-aged executive, brought printouts from the Internet and already had researched the various treatment options for high blood pressure. During the visit, we discussed this information, and I gave my thoughts on ...

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Show doctors the value when it comes to social media and EMRsThe common perception is that older doctors are more adverse to technology, especially when it comes to electronic medical records. Recent data, however, says that isn't true. According to a study cited in American Medical News, "physicians more than 10 years out of medical school and those with higher patient volumes were more likely than younger and less busy ...

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Why a physician liaison is a short term career choiceTimes are tough for pharmaceutical reps, with many hospitals and physician offices banning their sales visits. But, there's hope for those out of a job. Consider the physician liaison. Faced with budget cutbacks, hospitals are becoming more aggressive growing their market share. They are not only buying physician practices, they want more doctors to admit, refer to and use their ...

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Solving distracted doctoring from smartphones and tabletsImagine that your neurosurgeon, during surgery, was talking on his cellphone using a headset. Unthinkable? Well, no. A recent article in the New York Times cites a case where a patient was left paralyzed and the neurosurgeon was sued, in part, for being distracted. He made 10 personal calls during the operation. The proliferation of portable electronic devices, smartphones, tablets, and ...

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Bury bad doctor reviews with a strong physician social media presenceWhen I talk about online presence to physicians, the first question I'm often asked is, "How do I remove a negative physician rating?" The short answer is, you can't. American Medical News came out with an article outlining the various legal options physicians ...

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Why doctors need to be better negotiatorsPediatrician Rahul Parikh has a great piece in Salon, Why doctors can’t say no. You should go read it. In the piece, he cites a recent study showing that, in about 10 to 25% of cases, patients come into an office visit with an agenda, or something specific they request. It can be an antibiotic, x-ray or a scan, for ...

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How patient satisfaction scores reward rich hospitalsMedicare is beginning to tie financial bonuses to hospital patient satisfaction scores. Although patient satisfaction is important, I've voiced concern in the past about giving hospitals a financial incentive to cater to patient surveys. In a previous USA Today column, I wrote, "already, more than 80% of doctors ... said patient pressure influenced their medical decisions. And in primary care, ...

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The malpractice risk of high deductiblesAs the cost of health insurance rises, patient deductibles are getting bigger. More doctors are reporting that patients are coming in less frequently for chronic care followups, skipping medication refills, or balking at the out of pocket costs for various tests. Sometimes, however, this can get physicians into trouble. I was reading through a copy of Massachusetts Medical Law Report, and saw ...

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Doctors and patients cannot win when it comes to chronic painThe following op-ed was published on September 18, 2011 in USA Today. A fellow physician recently shared a frustrating clinic visit with me, in which a patient had left by saying, "You doctors need to wake up and realize that patients (who are) in pain are in a no-win situation." The patient was absolutely right. This summer, the Institute of Medicine ...

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The medias role in educating patients about MRI overuseThankfully, there have been more news stories recently illustrating the overuse of tests. Specifically with cancer screening, the PSA test and mammograms have come under increasing scrutiny. I think this type of media attention is long overdue, as the public needs to be aware of the potential downsides of diagnostic tests. Now comes the MRI. A recent piece in the
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