Beginning in the 1970s, the house call began a slow death. As the medical-industrial complex (MIC) burgeoned, with bigger hospitals and a surfeit of technology, it became incumbent on patients to come see us rather than us going to see you. Yet there are pockets of house calls still left in the U.S. For the geriatric age group, there has been growth in the care-at-home sector, especially for homebound elders. They can ...

Read more...

A version of this op-ed was published on March 15th, 2010 in the USA Today. If you recently saw a doctor, you might subsequently receive a survey in the mail asking whether your physician was friendly, spent enough time with you, or showed the appropriate level of concern for your medical issues. Patient satisfaction surveys are being increasingly used in hospitals nationwide. Press Ganey, a leading organization measuring patient satisfaction, counts more ...

Read more...

by Joyce Frieden Retail clinics aren't just for strep throats any more; they'll also be managing diabetes and other chronic diseases. "It's a new service strategy," Sandra Ryan, CPNP, told attendees at a meeting on retail clinics sponsored by the Convenient Care Association and the Jefferson School of Population Health. "We're evolving our clinic offerings," said Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems, which operates retail clinics inside Walgreens pharmacies, ...

Read more...

If there's one thing everyone agrees on, it's that preventive care is always a good thing. Well, I'm a doctor and I'm afraid of preventive medicine. The theory behind preventive medicine is sound. It is better to treat prevent disease than to treat it. It is better to refrain from smoking and never get lung cancer than it is to treat lung cancer. It is better to refrain from alcohol abuse ...

Read more...

With the attention focused, rightly, on patient safety, what about health care workers? It's somewhat of a hidden phenomenon, but attacks on doctors and nurses are on the rise. Rahul Parikh writes about this in a recent Slate piece. He cites data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which found "health care workers are twice as likely as those in other fields to experience an injury from a violent act at ...

Read more...

When someone dies at home we call it ‘going to a better place.’ When someone dies in the hospital we call it a ‘code.’ Recently, working in the cardiac ICU, I have been thinking a lot about code status. Code status is the medical term that describes what a patient’s wishes are should his or her heart stop or lungs fail. While code status is not a topic that typically ...

Read more...

A sweet little lady came to the emergency department recently. She said she felt short of breath and sweaty at home. In the department, she looked like a rose! Normal oxygen levels, normal labs. Her chest x-ray had a faint area that ‘one might possibly imagine could perhaps be’ a pneumonia. It looked remarkably like her previous film. But her history was concerning to me, and it was concerning to ...

Read more...

In 1927, Francis Peabody remarked that, "The secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient." Medicine has made much progress since those days, but some might argue that some of the humanitarian cornerstones of caring that concerned Peabody have been lost. Of course, there are many health professionals that still embody this caring ethic. And in today's era, perhaps the group that best personifies this central ...

Read more...

by Joseph Lombardi, MD You probably remember the tragic death of actor John Ritter in 2003. Recently, his family partnered with the Thoracic Aortic Disease (TAD) Coalition to shed light on the condition that took his life: aortic dissection. In addition to TAD Coalition’s “Ritter Rules,” which focus on recognizing, treating and preventing the condition, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology also released new guidelines designed to prevent ...

Read more...

by Nikolaos I. Kakavoulis, MD Physicians are working harder than ever to generate even a small increase in their income. Despite seeing more patients, average physicians net income between 1995 and 2003 has declined about 7% after adjusting for inflation, according to a national study from the Center for Studying Health System Change. Why is this happening? Now more than ever, physicians face an avalanche of complex rules, regulations, and administrative processes needed ...

Read more...

Join 150,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.