Walter White and the narrow networks of Obamacare As we behold the continued wonders of Obamacare, we receive another reminder of the president’s empty promise: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”  The New York Times observed, “No matter what kind of health plan consumers choose, they will find fewer doctors and hospitals in their network -- or pay much more for the privilege of going to any provider ...

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Every player in the medical arena has found itself challenged by conflicts where one’s self-interest competes can skew what should be pure advice.   This issue is not restricted to the medical universe.  Every one of us has to navigate through similar circumstances throughout the journey of life.  If an attorney, for example, is paid by the hour, then there is an incentive for the legal task to take longer than ...

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Jordan Grumet is an internal medicine physician who blogs at In My Humble Opinion.  He's a gifted storyteller, with many of his articles regularly featured here.  In this dotMED 2013 presentation, Jordan shares powerful stories from medical training that define him as the physician he is today.

For the past couple of years I’ve been working as a traveling physician in 13 states across the U.S. I chose to adopt the locum tenens lifestyle because I enjoy the challenge of working with diverse teams of peers and patient populations. I believe that this kind of work makes me a better doctor, as I am exposed to the widest possible array of technology, specialist experience, and diagnostic ...

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The doughnut shop I pass on my drive to the hospital isn't the kind of place where you might expect to see outpourings of random kindness. It sits in the shadow of a raised highway, a few doors down from a bail bond business and a block away from a prison complex that resembles a medieval castle. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, the line to get served there was long, checkered ...

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When I first learned to take care of patients in the hospital, as a third-year medical student, we used a mnemonic to help us remember what to order when a patient was first admitted. Patients would come in to the hospital from a doctor's office or from the emergency room and the nurses needed a set of orders to know what to do for the patient. The mnemonic we used ...

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Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is being rolled out across our nations’ hospitals. The old days of written, and often illegible, orders from doctors are fast becoming a thing of the past. The potential for this measure to improve patient safety and transform medical practice is unquestionable. As a physician who has worked in several different hospitals since finishing my residency, my time in practice has coincided with the new age ...

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Implementing lean: A hospital case studyImplementing lean: A hospital case study An excerpt from Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare. Lean was a serious initiative from the beginning. It was energetically championed by our CEO at that time, John Toussaint, MD, who began his own lean investigations in 2002. By this time, I was a vice president with operational responsibilities ...

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Patient noncompliance. I wasn’t very familiar with this term until I started my clinical rotations. But after just the first week, I started noticing that health care providers throw this phrase around all time. We particularly like using it as an excuse. Why did this diabetic patient require a foot amputation? Why does this patient come in monthly with congestive heart failure exacerbation? Why did this patient suffer a stroke? It’s often ...

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The Institute of Medicine in 2010 famously recommended that nurses should be encouraged to practice “to the full extent of their education and training.” Often, you’ll hear people advocate that every health care worker should “practice at the top of their license.” What this concept is supposed to mean, I think, is that anyone with clinical skills should use them effectively and not spend time on tasks that can be ...

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