shutterstock_113875279 Recently I received an elderly patient who had been transferred from another hospital where she had been admitted for two weeks. The pertinent information about this patient is that her son, a doctor, a pathologist, had arranged the transfer. The worst thing to have is a patient with a doctor for a relative. No, the worst thing is to have a patient ...

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shutterstock_140188489 Dear health IT staff, I know that, on many levels, physicians must be the absolute banes of your existence.  We are grumpy and resistant to change. And some of us are still confused by graphing calculators, much less complex modern computer systems.  We call you because we forgot our passwords, then because we forgot the new passwords.  We call because the system ...

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nursedoc gomerblog Nurse Shannon Wilkens on floor 4 west thought she saw someone she knew in scrubs walking into room 414. “He was tall, I swore he looked familiar. Our charge nurse informed me he was recently hired and volunteered to work nights,” Wilkens recalled. “So being that it was slow, and I had only three patients as opposed to ...

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The world of health care has made tremendous progress in the last several years in raising the quality and safety of clinical medicine. Despite this, the discharge process (when patients are discharged from hospital) is still fraught with potential pitfalls and opportunities for things to "slip through the net." If you ask most patients who are discharged -- particularly the elderly with multiple medical problems -- they will tell you that ...

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Atul Gawande is the preeminent physician-writer of this generation. His new book, Being Mortal, is a runaway bestseller, as have been his three prior books, Complications, Better, and The Checklist Manifesto. One of the joys of my recent sabbatical in Boston was the opportunity to spend some time with Atul, getting to see what an inspirational leader and superb mentor he is, along with being a warm and menschy human being. In my continued series of ...

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shutterstock_150490757 Do physicians in training take better care of patients or perform better on their exams when their work hours are restricted?  Two recent studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that the answer is no.  In one, patients of surgery residents showed no difference in morality or postoperative outcomes after duty hour restrictions were implemented.  Their test scores ...

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Welcome to Friday night as a hospitalist in the ultimate Green State, Colorado: Time to gear up for some marijuana-facilitated paranoia, memory loss, nausea and vomiting, and memory loss. I’m not a teetotaler, but I do find the new surge in cases of preventable disease a bit disheartening if not occasionally humorous. Prior to this past year, it wasn’t uncommon for me to encounter an occasional marijuana medical problem, but ...

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Happy 2015! Health care in the United States continues to change faster than any of us can keep pace with and this shows no signs of slowing down. Having written a lot in 2014 on a variety of different topics, I wanted to focus on my own 5 wishes for hospital care this New Year. A lot of you may think that what you’re about to read sounds like wishful ...

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If you delve into the personal stories of health IT innovators, most journeys rest on their personal interaction with the health care system on behalf of themselves, a parent, a child, or perhaps a sibling. Just a few weeks ago, I had a small interaction with the health care system that confirmed many of the impressions I have developed of providers' strengths and weaknesses. There's no way to start except with ...

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It's tempting to blame it all on Henry Ford.  I was standing alone at the empty counter, waiting to order in a fast food joint at 9 p.m.  Off to my left, three or four carloads of customers had been served before anyone noticed me and came over to ask what I wanted.  After all, Henry gave us the mass-produced (and therefor affordable) automobile.  I wondered if the day ...

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