Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Talking Cure

Interesting Excerpts from WSJ article

The Talking Cure
Doctors need to work on their people skill
Doctors are rude.
Doctors don’t listen.
Doctors don’t explain things in term patients can understand.
Lack of communication can hurt the quality of care, drive up the costs and increase the risk of lawsuits.

Medical schools, health systems, malpractice insurers and hospitals are trying to help doctors improve their bedtime manners. They are setting up education programs from everyone from medical students to seasoned pros that have spent years talking to patients.

The efforts take a variety of innovative approaches such as putting doctors through role-playing sessions with actors to teach basics like always facing the patient, letting them speak uninterrupted for two minutes and using keyword to show compassion & empathy. (I am so sorry that you are in pain).

Making the Connection
Research shows that when doctors don’t listen to patients, they miss important health cues and misdiagnose illness.  Meanwhile, patients who don’t understand what their doctors’ say, fail to follow the regimens, leading to preventable hospitalizations, complications & poor outcomes. 40 % or more of malpractice suites are caused due to breakdown in physician-patient communication.
Medicare payment is based on survey which asks how doctor’s communication was.

Bring In Help
Doctors are trained to ask permission to enter a room, introduce themselves & put patients at ease.
Before leaving, they are expected to thank the patient and family and let them know it has been enjoyable to work with them.

Lessons for old hand
Jeffrey was surprised t find that he learned  some valuable lessons about explaining complex medical information, talking to patients emotionally difficult issues and using simple phrases to convey concerns.

Four habits
Health System are turning to another model known as four habits which teaches doctors how to create rapport with patients, elicit their views , demonstrate empathy & assess their ability to follow a treatment regimen.

Communication does not mean you are going to hug & skip & run off into sunset with the patient. Some conversation will not go well, but you will walk away with the feeling you did best. You could maintain your professionalism and compassion despite challenges coming at you from multiple directions.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Can you build a human body?

Technology/Science/Medicine has always strived to match the incredible sophistication of the human body. Now electronics and hi-tech materials are replacing whole limbs and organs in a merger of machine and man.

Very Informative Article

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Top 10 Trends

Very Interesting dated post
Top 10 Trends that will reshape healthcare in next decade
The billions of measurements of an individual patient that is leading us into the era of personalized medicine will need highly sophisticated computer databases and computational Software
Bio-Connectivity becomes the next big thing.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Know Your Healthcare Domain

Found in job posting

Healthcare Domain Knowledge Required
 • Knowledge of healthcare system interface technologies
• Knowledge of HL7, DICOM, IHE
 • Knowledge of major EMR vendor systems (Cerner, Epic, GE/IDX, McKesson, MEDITECH)
 • Knowledge of healthcare integration engines (Cloverleaf, eGate, OpenLink, etc)
• Knowledge of Enterprise Master Patient Index Implementation (Initiate, IBM, etc)
• Knowledge of ancillary hospital systems (PACS, Lab, Pharmacy, Financials, etc)
• Knowledge of eHealth applications including Patient Portals and Physician Portals


HL7 is an international community of HealthCare subject matter experts and information scientists collaborating to create standards for the exchange, management and integration of electronic information.

HL7 promotes the use of such informatics standards within and among healthcare organizations to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare information delivery for the benefit of all.

HL7 specifies a number of flexible standards, guidelines and methodologies by which healthcare systems can communicate with each other.

DICOM(Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) is a standard for handling, storing , printing and transmitting information in medical imaging. It includes a file format definition and a network communication protocol.

DICOM files can be exchanged betwen two entities that are capable of receiving image and patient data in DICOM format.
DICOm eables the integration of sanners, servers,workstation, printers and network hardware from mulitple manufacturers into a picture archiving and communication system.

IHE is an intiative by healthcare professionals and industry to improve the way computer system in healthcare share information. IHE promotes the cooridianted use of established standards such as DICOm and HL7 to address clinical need in support of optimal patient care. System developed in accordance with IHE communicate with one another better, are easier to  implement , and enable care providers to use information more effectively.

eHealth is a relatively recent term for healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication, dating back to at least 1999. Usage fo the term varies : some would argue it is interchangeable with health informatics.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Life should be cheap

How China and India can help cut Western medical bills.

Nice article by Economist.
Some great points
Frugal innovators in China and India are making products that are stripped to their essentials: scanners that cost $10,000 rather than $100,000; portable electrocardiographs that cost $500 instead of $5000.

Western medical-device firms are well aware of eastern innovation. Indeed , firms such as GE Healthcare, Philips and Medtronic are investing heavily in China and India: setting up research centers, hiring local talent and developing frugal inventions of their own, which they gleefully sell both locally and in the other emerging markets.

Just as the appearance of cheap, well-engineered Japanese cars disrupted Western car markets, so the rise of frugal technology could transform the market for medical devices.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Interesting Points
  • Researchers at Harvard have made the point that illness or medical bills were behind 62 per cent of personal bankruptcies in the United States in 2007. In India, high spending on health is a major reason for people sliding into poverty.
  • In India, there has been an increase in the share of private insurance to meet private health expenditure, up from 1.1 per cent in 1995 to 2.2 per cent in 2008

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Universal health care(India): media push needed

S. Vishwanathan makes the following points

  1. Hardly five years ago, when multi-discipline hospitals started mushrooming in cities across the country, thanks to liberal support from the governments under the policy of privatisation and liberalisation, rising India celebrated their arrival. Many believed their arrival was a landmark in the history of health care in India. There was, further, the aspect of medical tourism. In sum, this was seen as the end of the search for a cost-effective and modern private medical service, with particular significance for the secondary and tertiary sectors.
  2. the Annual Report to the People on Health, which was published in September 2010, begins, understandably, with listing the achievements of the Indian government in the health sector. In terms of life expectancy, child survival, and reducing maternal mortality, the report notes, India's performance has improved steadily. Life expectancy at birth now is 63.5 years; the infant mortality rate is 53 per 1000 live births; and the maternal mortality rate is 254 per 100,000 live births. The report, however, calls attention to the wide variations across States in the improvement of these key human development indicators, and to the “inequities based on urban divides, gender imbalances, and caste patterns.”
  3. Now, the private sector is providing healthcare to about 80 precent of Outpatient population and 60 percent of Inpatient Volume.
  4. Further, “the private sector in India has a dominant presence in all the sub-markets such as medical education and training, medical technology and drugs and pharmaceutical manufacture and sale, hospital construction and ancillary services and finally, the provisioning of medical care.” In fact, more than 75 per cent of the human resources and advanced medical technology, 68 per cent of an estimated 15,097 hospitals and 37 per cent of 6,23,819 total beds in the country are in the private sector, most of which is located in urban areas.
  5. As a result, Govt hospitals are losing key skilled staff to private sector and conditons are get worse there.
  6. Author is requesting India Press to highlight this issue.