Physician

How only lawyers can determine medical standard of care

by Michael Kirsch, MD

A medical malpractice case was recently filed against me.

I received the thick envelope from noble and altruistic Cleveland barristers about 6 weeks ago. Once again, I saw my name in the good company of many other physicians and our local hospital. I reviewed my medical records and felt comfortable with the care I had provided. In a medical malpractice case, quality of medical care is important, …

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Best ways to get more patients for your medical practice

Originally published in HCPLive.com

by Ed Rabinowitz

Pump up the volume. That’s what physician practices would like to do, and it has nothing to do with louder music. An increase in patient volume is the goal of virtually every practice. Even though the economy is struggling, there are still things physicians can do to increase the foot traffic passing through the practice’s corridors. And according to Drew Stevens, PhD, a practice management …

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Physician burnout in the operating room and emergency department

It’s no secret that burnout is prevalent among primary care doctors, with 30 percent wanting the leave the field within five years.

It gets no better in other specialties.

I recently read that, frighteningly, almost 9 percent of surgeons admitted to a lapse in medical judgment within the past 3 months, in part due to the fact that nearly 40 percent admitted to burnout.

The author of that post, an emergency physician, …

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Primary care needs more sex appeal

Cardiologist Dr. Wes gives his take on primary care’s demise, asking, “How does one go about putting the ‘sexy’ back in primary care?”

He contends that the sex appeal of primary care has been completely neutered. Indeed, paperwork and pre-authorization responsibilities overwhelm the professional satisfaction of the field. The purported savior, the patient centered medical home, comes with heavy regulation, putting its potential in doubt.

He also supports what …

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Will electronic records raise the legal standard of care and increase malpractice risk?

Originally published in HCPLive.com

by Robert J. Mintz, JD

As EHRs are widely adopted and the quantity of information about a patient expands dramatically, does provider liability increase even if the quality of care is vastly improved?

What happens if the quality of care really does get better but because of all the new and easily accessible information, the standard of care for …

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Doctors saying sorry to patients after medical errors is the right thing to do

What are two of the hardest words for a doctor to say?

“I’m sorry.”

Evan Falchuk, speaking from a legal perspective, understands why some defense lawyers counsels physicians not to apologize to patients: “If you say you’re sorry for something, you are implicitly taking some degree of responsibility for whatever has happened. Plaintiff’s lawyers will use a doctor’s apology to the maximum extent possible to show the doctor knew what …

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Why it’s important to brand your medical practice

Originally published in HCPLive.com

by Jeff Brown, MD

You might be thinking, “Why should I consider branding or marketing?” And your reasoning might go something like this:

1. As a doctor, I already have a powerful, built-in identity;
2. My practice is full;
3. Even if my practice isn’t full, Congress is in the process of putting 40 million more insured people into the available patient pool over the next few years.

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Intensive care unit (ICU) infections can lengthen hospital stays

Originally published in Insidermedicine

More than half of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) worldwide are suffering from infections, which lengthen their hospital stays and increase their mortality rate, according to research published in the December 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Baby boomers don’t receive enough preventive health

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Only a quarter of baby boomers take advantage of preventive services such as flu vaccines and cancer screenings, a new report from the government and two powerful interest groups says.

At the same time, states are falling behind goals to increase certain screenings and reduce unhealthy behaviors, according to the …

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The hard to reach on-call doctor, and how that affects patient care

Originally posted in HCPLive.com

by Lisa Schulmeister, RN, MN

It’s well known that many physicians are “on call” after hours and on weekends and holidays.

“Call schedules” are commonplace in healthcare facilities and answering services. In an interesting study conducted at two Canadian hospitals over a two month period of time, Dr. Brian Wong found that 14% of all pages were sent to …

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Op-ed: Humor can be healing for both doctors and patients

A version of this op-ed, co-written with Doug Farrago, was published on October 26th, 2009 in Medscape.

It’s tough to be a doctor these days. Whether it’s listening to the difficulties of our medical colleagues as they try to best care for their patients, or engaging other health professionals about the uncertainties surrounding health reform, we’ve noticed a tense, sometimes gloomy, atmosphere among physicians.

A recent survey from the Annals of Internal …

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Primary care disrespect starts early in medical school

In medical schools, primary care continues to be among the least respected fields a student can choose.

No where is that more starkly illustrated than in Pauline Chen’s recent New York Times piece, where she tells a story of a bright medical student who had the audacity to choose primary care as a career:

Kerry wanted to become a primary care physician.

Some of my classmates were incredulous. In their minds, primary …

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A lack of computer skills will make a doctor unemployable

How important is it for doctors to have computer skills?

It’s imperative.

Emergency physician Shadowfax is recruiting doctors for his hospital, and balances the typical choices one must make balancing clinical knowledge versus interpersonal skills.

One deal breaker, he notes, is the lack of computer skills:

Unfortunately, in this modern age, if an employee can’t use a computer effectively, they are a liability. Our group performs most of its essential communications …

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