acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. I recently saw a new patient who came to our practice following a lengthy hospitalization. He is in his 80s with a fairly complex medical history typical of many in this age range. Yet, after carefully sifting through my first introduction to this ...

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Fake news is a term that’s become notorious over the last couple of years. For notorious reasons perhaps. But there’s actually another serious arena where there is inadvertently an awful lot of “fake news” on a daily basis. And that is, well you guessed it: in health care throughout our nation’s hospitals and offices! Let me explain, and I suspect anyone who works in health care will be familiar with the scenario. ...

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The digital divide used to be about who had internet access and who didn't, with broad implications for every aspect of life — especially health care. But digital health innovation is growing rapidly, with projections showing a $536.6 billion market by the end of 2025 compared to the $179.6 billion market at the end of 2016. So, what does that mean for the digital divide? We ...

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Technology can be both a blessing and a curse and nowhere is this more painfully evident than in the U.S. health care system. If technology is to be used to improve the patient-doctor relationship, its systems should be designed by physicians who understand these needs, not by regulators and health care conglomerates for whom business objectives are paramount. When it’s all about billing and meeting documentation checkboxes and hospital requirements, ...

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How smart do we want our electronic health record to be? Somewhere between as dumb as a piece of paper and a pen, and too smart for our own good. Many, many years ago, before we spent the majority of our office visit staring at a flatscreen LED and typing away, our charts were simple manila folders with those bendy metal bars that allowed you to insert new pages, separated into multiple ...

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Drivers are distracted klutzes and computers could obviously do better. Self-driving cars will make all of us safer on he road. Doctors have spotty knowledge and keep illegible records. EMRs with decision support will improve the quality of healthcare. The parallels are obvious. And so far the outcomes are disappointing on both fronts of our new war against human error. I remember vividly flunking my first driving test in Sweden. It was early ...

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Wouldn't it be cool if ... ? Wouldn't it be better if ... ? Wouldn't it be much easier when we see patients if ... ? How come we can't ... ? It seems like every day, someone in our practice comes up with an idea for a way to do something better:

  • From our front desk staff who check patients in, and have to deal with a multitude of electronic systems for registration, ...

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Physicians do not have a lot of power these days. But if you know when, where and how to look, we can, on occasion, score some victories. Case in point: hospital bylaws that every physician is required to acknowledge and sign before being granted privileges. It is always a good idea to carefully read before signing anything, and I did the just that before signing my hospital's bylaws. I asked a ...

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Blockchain technology has the potential to dramatically transform health care delivery by facilitating data exchange between providers and electronic health record (EHR) systems. A decentralized and transparent platform, blockchain technology provides an authenticated platform that applies a consensus-driven approach to facilitate the interaction of multiple entities through a shared ledger. For the health care sphere, blockchain is simply the sharing of medical information through EHRs across numerous hospital systems that ...

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Physician burnout is increasing at an alarming rate. According to a January 2017 AMA Wire report, physician burnout rate has increased from 2013 to 2017 across every specialty in medicine. Greater than 50 percent of primary care providers are burned out. Therefore, every patient at the entry point of medical care is, more likely than not, going to be treated by a burned out physician. The question is why are ...

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