Thanks to internist Steven Mussey for translating the language of hospital administrators.

Rehabilitation medicine is one of the best-kept secrets in health care. Although the specialty is as old as America’s Civil War, few people are familiar with its history and purpose. Born out of compassion for wounded soldiers in desperate need of societal re-entry and meaningful employment, “physical reconstruction” programs were developed to provide everything from adaptive equipment to family training, labor alternatives and psychological support for veterans. Physical medicine and rehabilitation ...

Read more...

“I was surprised when the emergency doctor at Cityside Hospital said he was going to call you to discuss my case," Farmer Carr said when I saw him today. “I figured you’d be asleep at that hour.” I smiled as I recalled the cell phone call that had come in at 9:30 the night I had sent him back to the hospital for a reassessment. “No, I was sitting in my camping ...

Read more...

The moment that an accreditation team shows up unannounced can spike the pulse of even the most seasoned hospital executive. The next several days will amount to one big exam for the safety and quality of care, as surveyors meet with executives, managers and care teams, and watch first-hand as care is delivered. Make the wrong move or give a wrong answer, have them see rust on a ceiling sprinkler, ...

Read more...

Dear pharmacist, You just paged me and, I must admit, I’m not feeling excited to call back. I estimate that I probably get paged, called, texted or stopped in person by you exactly X·102 per day, where “X” is the number of days I’ve been on service. Despite all of the interactions over the years, I have never stopped to really consider our relationship. Here are a few of our most ...

Read more...

I am working hospitalist right now. On Friday, a man in his 80s was admitted with difficulty breathing. He had a complicated history, including a heart attack at age 35 with all the subsequent sequela of heart disease. He had an abnormal heart rhythm and was taking a blood thinner for stroke prevention. In addition, he had scarring of his lungs (cause unknown). He was transferred to us from another hospital. ...

Read more...

Being in a hospital is a scary and frightening time, and it’s easy for those of us at the frontlines — doctors and nurses — to forget that as we go about our busy work days. Patients are at a very low point in their lives and will remember everything about their hospital stay, including all their interactions, for a very long time. As someone with a keen interest in improving ...

Read more...

When Barbara (name changed) recently underwent her fourth Cesarean section, she was appalled by the care she received during her recovery.  Her catheter overflowed, and a CNA asked her to check her own incision.  When the CNA asked if she was breastfeeding her baby, Barbara replied tearfully that she couldn’t lift her out the bassinette.  Rooming-in is a great idea. Unless you’ve had a 36-hour labor or major abdominal surgery. Pregnant ...

Read more...

Telemedicine is often in the news and until recently I had only casually glossed over the latest articles. The details I paid little attention to, but the headlines I would remember. “Great for rural areas” I would read! “Extend physician reach!” “Get specialists to greater numbers of patients with unique conditions!” As a nearly graduated anesthesia resident in a large city with an abundance of doctors, I didn't think telemedicine would have ...

Read more...

Recently, I wrote a letter to hospital executives, urging them to deliberately invest their own personal time and effort in fostering hospitalist well-being. I suggested several actions that leaders can take to enhance hospitalist job satisfaction and reduce the risk of burnout and turnover. Following the publication of that post, I heard from several hospital executives and was pleasantly surprised that they all responded positively to my ...

Read more...

Most Popular