shutterstock_154685816 I practice gastroenterology in Cleveland in the dark shadow of a large medical institution whose name contains the name of our city.  They are a world class medical institution whose reputation is largely derived from its cardiovascular department.   Presumably, these practitioners, like all doctors, advise patients who smoke that cigarettes have deleterious health effects. The entire campus is smoke-free, as ...

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Mr. U* came to the hospital overnight with severe heart failure. His breathing was supported by a ventilator and he was sedated. Thus, our primary means of communication was via his daughter. His daughter, distraught, stayed awake through most of the night. She appeared suspicious about her father’s care, immediately asking my credentials when I entered the room and demanding that we discuss treatment decisions with her alone. The next ...

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o-SULLY-SULLENBERGER-BABIES-facebook The story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger -- the “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot -- is a modern American legend. I’ve gotten to know Captain Sullenberger over the past several years, and he is a warm, caring, and thoughtful person who saw, in the aftermath of his feat, an opportunity to promote safety in many industries, including health care. In my continuing ...

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As the CMS Innovation Center rolls out the Next Generation ACO Model, I wonder what doctors are thinking. The Next Generation ACO model ups the ante on risk and reward and is the next delivery model iteration as CMS marches on to 30 percent at risk Medicare in 2016. Some of the docs will generally acknowledge that medicine is changing, but there is often no corresponding change in behavior. Other ...

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Managing diabetes is all about control: controlling what you eat, when you eat, and the amount of insulin you give yourself. As someone with type 1 diabetes, I understand how control over one’s blood glucose levels is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When I was hospitalized due to a car accident, however, I saw how the hospital’s desire to control my care ended up costing my insurance company more ...

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As a traveling physician, I’m often asked if I have a favorite place to work. Since I have licenses in 14 states, I have an unusual vantage point from which to compare hospitals. I know that people who ask this question presume that my answer will be heavily influenced by the town where the job is located, and all the associated extra-curriculars, environmental peculiarities (ocean, mountains, desert), and potential amenities. ...

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What does patient safety mean to you? I believe patients get the safest care when

  1. The patient is known as an individual.
  2. The health care team gives the patient their undivided attention.
  3. The team is well-supported with efficient workflows and organized, easily accessible information.
  4. The health professionals find joy in their work.
By being “known” I mean, that the nurses and physicians know the patient as a real person, what their life is like, who are their supports, what are their ...

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Our specialty of hospital medicine has grown exponentially over the last decade and now finds itself at the forefront of American medicine. I’m proud to be part of such a growing movement and must say that I find the job just as rewarding as when I first became an attending physician when the specialty was still in its fledgling stage. As the number of us soars towards the 50,000 mark, the ...

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EverythingIsAwesome Recently, I was asked to fill a questionnaire during check-out at a hotel in India. I was very pleased with my stay, so I agreed to provide feedback. It is worth pointing out that if I was only mildly satisfied I would not have agreed. If I was disappointed with my stay, I would have filled the form more enthusiastically. When I ...

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A big challenge facing academic medical centers is how to maintain a focus on patient care in an artificially divided environment.  Most academic medical centers developed in a system with abundant resources, cost-based reimbursement and a traditional academic departmental structure.  This led to individual departments growing as microsystems formed around particular specialties. The untoward effect of this is that the different silos within the system tend to operate with their own ...

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