You wake up one morning, and your shoulder hurts. You’re not sure why, and blame it on your sleeping position. Perhaps you bend down to pick something up, and when you stand up your knee hurts. These are very common stories heard from patients in an orthopedic surgeon’s office. The onset of joint pain without significant trauma is very common over the age of 40. Perhaps you wait a ...

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Robert was the picture of health. He had run eight marathons and finished countless 5K and 10K races. He tracked everything from sleep to food intake, logging his exercise parameters religiously. A seven-minute mile was a routine workout for Robert. But over the course of a few days, he noticed that he felt more winded during his run. One morning, when he awoke and checked his heart rate variability (HRV), it ...

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shutterstock_110078714 In Bill’s room were his doctor, a medical scribe, a physician assistant, and a medical student. Not an imposing group, but in that moment each of them knew more about what was happening to Bill than he did. They were strangers who held keys to his fate. The doctor first instructed the scribe to generate an electronic note. Then, he turned his ...

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Establishing a digital presence is rapidly becoming a necessity for health care professionals, medical practices, and institutions. Yet something that often gets obscured in the discussion is the fact that at its heart, digital media is about people. As such, it’s about relationships, and it’s about communication, and increasingly, your digital footprint means educating, engaging and growing your audience. When you do this in a way that authentically reflects you and your ...

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Thousands of health care providers now utilize Twitter and other social media as a means of communicating and staying in touch. We follow conference hashtags from afar to keep up-to-date, and to e-meet new and interesting people who share a common goal. In this way, we are able to grow our networks, foster our relevance, improve our knowledge base, and reach out to assist others. Whether we are physicians, nurses, or physical ...

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In a voice confident and ringing with anticipation, Mr. A explained with meticulous detail how he determined which approach shot to hit to the second green on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. Only ten minutes earlier, when we first met, Mr. A had been weary, his face drawn, and his speech so quiet that the sound of the aortic balloon pump keeping him alive made it nearly impossible to ...

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If knowledge is power, then content (in proper context) is king. Why am I online blogging, pushing content through my website and even interacting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and many other sites?  Because my patients are there. Increasingly, they are utilizing the Internet to self-diagnose; to look for “second opinions” from peers and friends; to research a physician, recommended treatment, or hospital; or to find the latest information on their ...

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I come across many people using the terms social and digital interchangeably. Some doctors are digitally savvy. Yet that does not mean that they are practiced communications experts, or that they have the skills to make the most of today’s digital social tools. I thought this might be a good opportunity to open up this discussion. As physicians, we were among the first professionals to adopt smartphones and iPads into our workflow ...

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Trust: A firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
Technology, technology, technology. It is all we hear. Ugh. Let’s change the focus from “technology” to the useful and meaningful processes that technology enables:
  • knowledge
  • sharing
  • communication
  • trust
Technology is only an enabler, much like the social graph. They are tools, they are platforms, and if properly utilized, they may enable “disruption” or transformation. It is the few individuals, and I do mean a few, ...

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The pressures mounting on most institutions as the years trudge by are mounting. They are mired in mountains of regulations, the need to implement millions of dollars of IT "improvements," streamline their most productive service lines, strip down their front-line staff to dangerous levels … and all this while their reimbursements are being crushed. Consider that a profitable hospital currently operates on a 1% margin. Consider that the hospital is considered the most costly ...

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Most of you are quite familiar with the rather astounding facts regarding medical errors.   There are many reasons why medical errors occur in healthcare. There are errors in omission, there are errors because of poor communication, there is the ever present risk of human error and perhaps the ever increasing stress on physicians to see more and more patients in less and less time. ...

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The world of healthcare is inherently siloed,  tethered,  fragmented and prone to poor communication and collaboration.  Today, healthcare workers solve their problems via traditional methods that are often costly, inefficient, nor timely.  Increasingly, more savvy healthcare workers are looking outside the system to digital media and communities for answers, but are challenged with uncertainty over concepts of usefulness, practicality, bandwidth issues, "ROI" and privacy concerns. Establishing a digital presence is rapidly ...

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We are all guilty of confirmation bias from time to time. Confirmation is something that resident physicians in particular are guilty of more so than experienced, qualified physicians.   Resident physcians and attending physicians alike may quickly form a diagnosis in their mind during a brief discussion with a patient.  Now they will try to convince themselves (sub-consciously) that the other complaints and physical exam fit that diagnosis.   They force ...

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I lived in Japan in 1991. When I was having a conversation with someone, they would always nod their head as if they completely understood the message I was trying to convey. It turns out that was not the case. The nodding was a sign of respect. When I began to inquire if they understood what I was trying to say — it became clear that the answer was usually no. Many ...

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This is a message that should resonate loud and clear with providers, institutions or members of the healthcare enterprise world  who are ruminating over the upsides -- and potential downsides -- of a wide reaching, multiple digital property: social media presence. As Ted Eytan found out when he questioned the (anonymous) physicians on Sermo, many physicians are simply not interested in establishing an online presence. "Risk” is the overwhelming variable they’re ...

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This has been a very busy week already.  I have seen many second opinons and I am always very interested in the reason why the patient initiated the second opinion. In many situations it was simply to see if I would perform the surgery.   After I spent a while listening to the patient, examining them and coming up with an appropriate ...

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Gentle nudges is a concept termed recently to describe a micro-choice movement that is beginning to carve out a sizable niche in the healthcare start-up space, and is gaining a lot of well deserved national attention.  The secret ingredient relates to the power of a gentle nudge; verbal, text or otherwise to accomplish a change in the behavior of the person who receives the nudge.  We are just starting to ...

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"Instead of focusing on treating him, an employee said, St. Mary nurses and other hospital staff did the unthinkable: They snapped photos of the dying man and posted them on Facebook." What can you say about an article like this? I bet there is not a single physician or nurse who are not reasonably conversant about the basic tenets of the health care privacy laws under which they practice. Stupid is as ...

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You are now out of the Gray Zone, and you are now a member of an exclusive club. But membership to this club comes at a steep price.  Membership is not offered, it is not dependent on your income, title nor your social status.  Membership is granted simply by surviving or living with a grave or potentially fatal illness or injury and realizing just how fragile life is and how quickly ...

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How far will some women go to fit into high heels? The menu of services at Beverly Hills Aesthetic Foot Surgery in Studio City, Calif., provides a clue. There's the trademarked "Cinderella Procedure"—a preventive bunion correction that makes feet narrower. The clinic also offers the "Perfect 10! Aesthetic Toe Shortening" that invisibly trims toes that hang over the end of sandals or have to be crushed into tight shoes. There's also ...

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