When we walked into the room, you could sense the anger and frustration on the patient’s face, as well as two other relatives in the room. We knew that the patient had had lung cancer for several months and had failed radiation and chemotherapy. He had labored breathing and looked miserable. I went to his bed and asked if I could sit down on his bed. I took his wrist and began ...

Read more...

Maybe 10 to 15 years ago, my medical center at the time invited a prominent former resident to give grand rounds. He had become the statistical director for what was a large regional insurer absorbed by a national insurer shortly after that. He spoke very little about the prevalence of disease among his company’s beneficiaries but extensively about how his company assessed the performance of physicians. He also related how ...

Read more...

sonder - noun. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” – from the "Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows," a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. I followed the chaplain into the patient briefing room, not quite sure what to expect. The room was dimly lit. The overhead lights were off, and only one small lamp gave off a weak glow, with ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

As we enter into the hospital each day, our goal is giving patients the best care we can provide. We get a list of patients that we will take care of each day, and as we get that list, we start thinking about what we should monitor in terms of their physical exam, lab results, and vital signs to ensure that their hospital course runs smoothly for the day. However, ...

Read more...

STAT_LogoA good relationship between a patient and his or her physician is the cornerstone of superb medical care. That relationship is important when you know the doctor well. It may be even more important when you don’t, say when you are in the hospital.

Growing competition for new customers is inspiring American hospitals to focus on providing ...

Read more...

It was a case that every physician dreads. I took a deep breath, mustered up some courage and walked towards my patient’s room. When I entered, I saw an apprehensive and anxious family who was patiently waiting for some answers. The mother was sitting at bedside with eyes closed, hands clung to a rosary and lips whispering a prayer. The patient’s sister was standing by the window, looking out with ...

Read more...

Recently, the online version of JAMA published an original investigation entitled "Patient Mortality During Unannounced Accreditation Surveys at US Hospitals." The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of heightened vigilance during unannounced accreditation surveys on safety and quality of inpatient care. The authors found that there was a significant reduction in mortality in patients admitted during the week of surveys by The Joint Commission. The change was ...

Read more...

Nonprofit hospitals have higher profit margins than most for-profit hospitals after accounting for their tax obligations. 3900 (62 percent) of U.S. Hospitals are nonprofit and therefore tax-exempt — they pay no property tax, no federal or state income tax and no sales tax. An article published in Health Affairs found seven of the nation’s 10 most profitable hospitals were of the nonprofit variety, each earning ...

Read more...

There has been much talk over the years about resident work hours. How long is a safe shift? With safety being considered for both the patient and the resident. But no one ever discusses attending work hours. If putting in a 24-hour shift is bad for a resident, isn’t it bad for an attending as well? When I was working in critical access hospitals, I usually was on call for ...

Read more...

371 Pages

Most Popular