As a nursing student, I always enjoyed being able to see first-hand new procedures, treatments, wounds and wound care on patients. Many of the patients were older and all were in the nursing homes we did our clinical rotations in. It wouldn't be unusual for several of us to be gathered around a patient while the wound care nurse or doctor cleaned, debrided and dressed a pressure ulcer, and for ...

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Have you noticed that most sick characters on TV shows look pretty good and are coherent -- often feisty -- even when they are in the hospital? Have you caught the number of ads for drugs and health plans showing happy, vigorous people that dominate the major consumer health websites and are common on TV? Have you noted that websites of disease voluntary organizations (lungcancerCrohn's diseasearthritis) tend to show healthy people participating in ...

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Historically, the “do more, bill more” fee-for-service model of healthcare measured success by increased billings. In the fee-for-value era, we need a new framework for assessing healthcare results. Quality indicators are logical but they  are mostly geared towards measuring actions taken. We can borrow a concept from the energy sector for an additional metric.  We need a concept for removing waste and unnecessary care that could be inspired by a concept ...

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The lyrics to Janet Jackson's song, Nasty, includes this line, "No, my first name ain't baby, it's Janet. Ms. Jackson if you're nasty." Miss Jackson doesn’t like being called, “baby,” and neither do a lot of patients. Many healthcare professionals call patients by nicknames, such as, "honey" and "sweetie." I believe these are terms of endearment and in most cases meant with genuine warm feelings toward patients. However, from interviewing hundreds ...

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What is patient engagement? Everyone agrees that it’s a good thing, and that we healthcare providers should be fostering it. How to do so, however, depends on just what you believe patient engagement means. As Dan Munro recently pointed out, the term “patient engagement” is a hot buzz phrase, and -- in the best tradition of such phrases -- it’s amorphous enough and appealing enough to mean just about anything. Provided that it ...

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Yesterday, I went with my friend to meet his new nephrologist and receive an unwanted diagnosis.  I went with my friend because I have a unique skill set at meeting new doctors and healthcare providers and dealing with unfamiliar health situations. I know this routine. I know after awhile any diagnosis at all, no matter how awful or serious, becomes a rhythm. I've done this as a patient and I've done it ...

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I always wanted to become a medical doctor to cure the sick and save lives. In fact, most doctors I know chose the profession for the same reason. This fundamental desire among physicians to treat patients is because our beliefs have been deeply rooted in the concept of disease management rather than the provision of health care. As an aspiring physician and student of health care, I often catch myself heading to ...

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Several studies have explored the experience of grief that physicians feel when they lose a patient. But what about when the patient loses a physician -- when the doctor dies? Dr. K was a well-known child psychiatrist, a loving husband, a father of two, and an irreplaceable support and friend for a number of children suffering from trauma, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism and other challenging psychiatric conditions. Earlier this year, ...

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Researching your health is about balanceResearching your health is about balance An excerpt from Chronic Resilience: 10 Sanity-Saving Strategies for Women Coping with the Stress of Illness. The temptation was overwhelming. I typed "google.com" into my Internet browser and stepped into a hypochondriac’s dream. Once at Google’s home page, the search bar begged for something interesting. My fingers clicked out “kidney disease ...

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Health care providers want their patients to have the best outcomes possible.  They know that for this to happen that the patient must be engaged in managing his or her condition, whether it is an acute or chronic condition.  Patients need to follow the provider’s directions and orders.  If they do not, then the outcomes will be sub-par. For instance, if you the provider give a patient a prescription then they ...

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