As healthcare professionals, we must recognize our responsibility to protect patients – care should not provide any avenue for the transmission of infections. By working together, we can ensure infection prevention practices are understood and followed by all, during every patient visit. Healthcare continues to transition to settings outside the hospital, and efforts to prevent infections must extend to all settings where patients receive care.
Today, CDC is pleased to present the Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care. a summary guide of infection prevention recommendations for outpatient settings. Although these recommendations are not new, this guide is a concise, one-stop resource where ambulatory care providers can quickly find evidence-based guidelines produced by the CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC).
Repeated outbreaks and notification events resulting from unsafe practices highlight the need for better infection prevention across our entire healthcare system, not just in our hospitals. Based primarily upon elements of Standard Precautions, including medical injection safety and reprocessing of reusable medical devices, this guide reminds healthcare providers of the basic infection prevention practices that must be followed to assure safe care.
I urge you to use this guidance document, and the accompanying Infection Prevention Checklist for Outpatient Settings to assess the practices in your facility to assure that patients are receiving the safe care that they expect and deserve.
I also invite you to view our CDC Expert Video Commentary on Medscape titled New Infection Prevention Guidance for Outpatient Settings to learn more about the guidance.
*This blog post was originally published at Safe Healthcare*
The medical app industry is a big business, but the apps are no longer the product – the physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers who use them are. In the first part of this series, we examined some of the financial forces driving the medical app industry. Our focus then was Epocrates, the veritable founder of the industry. As is clearly stated in their recent SEC statement, Epocrates primary revenue stream has become the pharmaceutical industry and as such a key goal has become to further grow their user base by enhancing their free offerings.
Now, one might be tempted to say that this is just one company or even that it is just limited to free apps. An expected counter-example would be Skyscape, which probably has the largest cache of apps of any developer and nearly all for fee. As a private company, there isn’t much financial data available nor is the website particularly forthcoming, but it does appear that the company has been enjoying some success. A deeper look however suggests they in fact have more in common with Epocrates than you may think. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*
There are plenty of reasons why medical students aren’t choosing primary care as careers. Lack of role models. Perception of professional dissatisfaction. High burnout rate among generalist doctors. Long, uncontrollable hours.
But what about salary? Until now, the wage disparity between primary care doctors and specialists has only been an assumed reason; the evidence was largely circumstantial. After all, the average medical school debt exceeds $160,000, so why not go into a specialty that pays several times more, with better hours?
Thanks to Robert Centor, there’s a study published in Medscape that shows how money affects career choice among medical students. Here’s what they found:
Sixty-six percent of students did not apply for a primary care residency. Of these, 30 percent would have applied for primary care if they had been given a median bonus of $27,500 before and after residency. Forty-one percent of students would have considered applying for primary care for a median military annual salary after residency of $175,000.
And in conclusion:
U.S. medical students, particularly those considering primary care but selecting controllable lifestyle specialties, are more likely to consider applying for a primary care specialty if provided a financial incentive.
Money matters. There should be no shame for new doctors to admit that. After all, they’re human too, and respond to financial incentives just like anyone else. And when most medical students graduate with mortgage-sized school loans, salary should be a factor when considering a career. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*
From the Medscape Medical Ethics article entitled “‘Some Worms Are Best Left In The Can’: Should You Hide Medical Errors?“:
Consequences aside, from a strictly ethical perspective, if a patient doesn’t realize that his physician made a mistake, should the physician fess up?
Before you jump to conclusions (as I did), look at the article’s three parts. It’s about a survey. The title is on the inflammatory side; the article is a window into physicians’ views. The introduction continues:
Evidence of the complex prisms through which physicians view these issues was apparent in the replies to four questions asked in Medscape’s exclusive ethics survey. More than 10,000 physicians responded to the survey in 2010.
— Mistakes that don’t harm patients. “Are there times when it’s acceptable to cover up or avoid revealing a mistake if that mistake would not cause harm to the patient?” Sixty percent said “no;” the others split between “yes” and “it depends.”
- I personally can understand this note from a survey respondent: “If there is a mistake that would have no medical effect but would cause extreme, uncalled-for anxiety, then yes,” especially since I know people (some elders, some young) who would indeed freak out, out of proportion. But, that’s a big judgment call.
- I have a harder time accepting this comment: “Why shake the patient’s trust in the doctor for something that is irrelevant?” Irrelevant is a big judgment call, and I’d be really concerned about the natural human tendency to minimize the probable impact of a mistake — especially if a provider thinks it’s all about maintaining a patient’s trust, even when the topic is their own error.
— Mistakes that might harm patients. Ninety five percent said “no;” some still said “yes!” One commented: “If the mistake has not progressed to harmfulness, then it’s essentially a non-issue. Treatment correction takes place and you move on.” Another says if there hasn’t been harm yet, “I think a ‘wait and see’ approach is okay.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at e-Patients.net*
This article was written more for family medicine physicians, but all of us can benefit from self-assessment of potential biases that might affect our judgment. It was also written with the potential bias towards the obese patient in mind, but the article could have been written with any “fill in the blank” bias as the topic.
The article points out that bias among physicians tends to “be implicit rather than explicit because of social pressure for healthcare providers to show tolerance and cultural sensitivity.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*