There are many different theories out there about the direction that health care should go, and what we need to be doing in the future. Passions run high, and peoples’ opinions vary wildly. It’s frequently difficult to find agreement on anything. There is, however, one universal truth I’ve found about the everyday practice of medicine, and what constitutes great medical care for any individual in any health care system. Having worked ...

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Following my latest article on health care information technology, and how tragic the situation has become for physicians, I received a lot of correspondence. As always with articles that express physicians’ frustrations with the current batch of IT systems, there’s typically a lot of sympathy and agreement (although I believe that just nodding our heads and saying how bad a situation is, doesn’t really mean that ...

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Illness is a disappointing and frustrating time. Nothing could be worse than a sickness which suddenly jolts you out of your daily routine, and forces you to confront a harsh new reality. That’s something that physicians should always remember as they go about their hectic work days. Doctors see patients at extremely low points in their lives. The vast majority of physicians, and indeed all other health care professionals, are among ...

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I’ve spent a lot of time writing about the suboptimal nature of electronic medical records and what we need to be doing better. At their best, health care information technology systems can make finding patient medical data unbelievably quick and easy. However, at their worst, they take up an unacceptable amount of physicians’ time and also dumb down medicine, reducing our patients’ stories to rows of meaningless tick ...

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I recently attended the annual Society of Hospital Medicine conference in Las Vegas. As a proud hospital medicine doctor, this organization has grown exponentially over the last decade, and thousands of hospital physicians from across the nation descended on the city for a few days of great learning and networking opportunities. However, away from the conference, this being Vegas, there had to be some time for fun as well. On Saturday evening, ...

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The world of health care continues to change at a breathtaking pace. For reasons too long to go into during a short article, there’s been a huge shift of power away from individual doctors and patients, and towards administrators and big corporations. Health care in its most raw primary form used to be about Dr. Johnson’s small office around the corner,which would serve you and your ...

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As the world digested the events that unfolded aboard United Airlines Flight 3411 at Chicago O’Hare, and watched the horrific video of Dr. David Dao being forcibly dragged off the plane that was supposed to be taking him home, social media was red with rage at United Airlines. People vowed never to fly with them, customers ripped up their loyalty cards, and United’s stock fell over a billion dollars in ...

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It is not something that is taught enough in medical school, but practicing physicians quickly realize that in this business: Communication is everything. The reality of health care is that you can be the worst physician in the world clinically (not that it’s something desirable to be), display great interpersonal skills, communicating well with your patients -- and they will do absolutely anything you say and put you up on ...

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Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is something that every physician up and down the country will be familiar with. For anyone non-medical reading this, it’s the process by which physician orders are now placed in nearly all U.S. hospitals. As little as five years ago, most hospitals were still using pen and paper to place medication, laboratory, radiology and all other orders. Being able to do this now by computer ...

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Last week I finally got around to watching La La Land. As a fan of musicals, I had wanted to see it for quite some time, and before I stepped into the theater, I didn’t know what it was about nor what kinds of reviews it had been getting. Spoiler alert: Don’t read on if you haven’t seen it and intend to watch it (and I’ve never told anybody before ...

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