Healthcare Blog

Archive for June, 2017

IMPROVING PHYSICIAN TO PHYSICIAN COMMUNICATION

Posted by capcityspeakers on June 29, 2017

By Steve Berkowitz, MD

Let’s get back to the basics and start talking again

I must admit that I am getting more impressed with the ability of the various electronic medical record’s (EMR) ability to capture and transfer information.  Slowly but surely, the profession is integrating the individual EMRs that hospitals and physicians have independently acquired, and are gradually developing a meaningful platform whereby physicians can communicate and share information.  This has not come easy, though, and we are far from done.  EMR’s are still the greatest source of pain and dissatisfaction amongst physicians and providers across the country.

Lack of appropriate communication in patient transfers and handoffs increases medical errors; every time a transfer occurs, there is another opportunity to drop the ball.  How does one know what the other is doing?  And maybe more importantly, how does one know what the other is thinking?

The electronic record, although very helpful, can also become a crutch.  “I entered my consultation into the electronic record, so everyone should know exactly what I did with the patient”, physicians have said.  Well, maybe.  Just because the consultation note was entered electronically, one should not necessarily assume that all the parties have received, read, or even understood that referral.  At a minimum, it accomplishes the old CYA, as one can easily verify that the information was entered into the record.  But did it accomplish the overall goal.  Did the other physicians receive that information?  Was that information incorporated into the treatment plan for the patient.  Did it improve the patient’s outcome?  Was there a meaningful, interactional discussion of the treatment plan?

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WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE BUT WHAT THE HECK TO DRINK?!

Posted by capcityspeakers on June 7, 2017

By Dr. Brad Nieder

20161027 Google image labeled for reuse water-bottle-pollution
There’s an apocryphal story of a woman who attended her first Weight Watchers follow-up meeting and said, “I’m having trouble with the 68 bottles of water a day.”  Poor lady.  She had heard the instructor wrong at the previous meeting. Six to eight bottles.  That’s the range she was told (which, by the way, is apocryphal in and of itself).

It’s been over ten years since Lewis Black thoroughly and hilariously (and with an abundance of expletives!) covered the topic of bottled water.  Yet we’re still unnecessarily buying it, paying a lot of money and using a lot of energy to package, transport and refrigerate it.  And then we’re polluting the planet even more when the bottles wind up in landfills or the ocean.

20161027 google image ice cubes labeled for reuse 2045290249_4ccfd06b2e_z

It’s crazy, especially when you consider that tap water is safe to drink in almost all parts of the country.

Yet it seems there are more varieties of bottled water than ever: mineral water, spring water, distilled water, purified, vitamin-infused, ionized …

Soon they’ll sell us expensive ice by calling it “frozen concentrated water.”

Or maybe they’ll sell us condensed water.  Just add … water!  (Half-filled bottles you simply fill up at the tap!?)

Instead of coffee houses we’ll have water houses where you can order a tall half reverse-osmosis-filtered vitamin E-infused sparkling Aquafina and half distilled Artesian kiwi-infused Deep Rock with 3 squirts of O2 and a double shot of Fiji with an Evian magnesium mineral boost all over Dasani ice cubes … nonfat … no whip.

20161027 Google image labeled for reuse Fish_tank_(2)

One of the more ludicrous options is oxygenated water. Our lungs are great at obtaining oxygen, folks.  Our digestive tracts, not so much.  Unless you’ve developed gills in your stomach, I’d save the water for your pet fish.

And speaking of our pets, there’s actually water specifically formulated to appeal to our four-legged friends.  “But Dr. Brad,” you may say, “my dog drinks out of the toilet!”  Indeed.  Yet people buy this stuff.

20161027 Google image labeled for reuse Toilet_double_flush_01

Come to think of it, maybe all this nonsense started with toilet water (“eau de toilette”) … for which we pay good money to spray on ourselves!  “If they’ll do that,” said the marketers, “let’s sell them a bunch of bogus waters to drink, too!”

So, unless you’re in Flint, MI, feel free to go straight to the tap for your 68 (or six to eight) glasses a day. Otherwise you’re just flushing away your money in the water closet.

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