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Latest Posts

Waiting In The ER Is Okay As Long As Patients Know How Long

Patients don’t mind waiting in the ER as long as they’re kept apprised of the time, an industry survey revealed. This is a good thing, since ER waits have risen nationally to an average of four hours and seven minutes this year.

Press Ganey Associates, Inc., has conducted the survey annually and says that ER wait times are four more minutes than last year, or a half hour more than the first survey in 2002. The company collected data on 1.5 million patients treated at 1,893 hospitals in 2009.

Despite longer wait times, patient satisfaction with U.S. hospital emergency departments stayed about the same in 2009. Communication was the key, as patients who waited more than four hours, but received “good” or “very good” information about delays were just as satisfied as patients who spent less than one hour in the emergency department.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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