Monday’s New Yorker has a story, Personal Best, by Atul Gawande. It’s about coaching, and the seemingly novel idea that doctors might engage coaches – individuals with relevant expertise and experience — to help them improve their usual work, i.e. how they practice medicine.
Dr. Gawande is a surgeon, now of eight years according to his article. His specialty is endocrine surgery – when he operates it’s most often on problematic glands like the thyroid, parathyroid or appendix. Results, and complications, are tracked. For a while after he completed his training he got better and better, in comparison to nation stats, by his accounting. And then things leveled off.
The surgeon-writer considered how coaches can help individuals get better at whatever they do, like playing a sport or singing. He writes:
The coaching model is different from the traditional conception of pedagogy, where there’s a presumption that, after a certain point, the student no longer needs instruction. You graduate. You’re done. You can go the rest of the way yourself…
He wonders about how this might apply in medicine: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medical Lessons*
Here is Clara Barton, posing with a new class of graduate nurses who received their nursing education through a correspondence course offered by the Chautauqua School of Nursing. Did you know that some of Clara Barton’s contemporaries did not view her as a legitimate nursing leader because she supported alternative ways of getting a nursing education? It’s kind of ironic that many nursing leaders back then didn’t view the founder of the American Red Cross as an equal. Some things never change.
It’s an old discussion. Are nurses with an advanced degree better nurses? Do they make better leaders and does getting a degree elevate the profession? My blog mother, Kim McAllister, from Emergiblog brought my attention to an article that appears at HealthLeadersMedia.com. The article contains Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*
I have opposed Medicare’s use of claims data to evaluate the quality of medical care. Quality medical care is the goal that must be achieved. However, no one has described the measurement of quality medical care adequately.
Physicians recognize when other physicians are not performing quality medical care. Physicians recognize when another physician is just testing and performing procedures to increase revenue.
These over testing physicians are a small minority of physicians in practice.
Quality medical care is not about doing quarterly HbA1c’s on patients with Diabetes Mellitus. Quality medical care is about helping patients control their blood sugars so their HbA1c becomes normalized. It is about the clinical and financial results of treatment.
The clinical and financial results depend on both patients and physicians. Patients must be responsible for Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*
I spoke on health care social media and regulatory compliance at the Health Care Compliance Association’s New England Regional Annual Conference last week. As you may expect, the room was full of the folks who, generally speaking, are the folks who block social media sites on health care organization networks. I sent a link to an online bio to one of the session organizers in advance, and even that site was blocked by his facility’s network. Clearly, we have a long way to go in educating health care compliance professionals about the risks and benefits of using health care social media, and an appropriate approach to balancing these risks and benefits so as to establish an appropriate social media presence for each health care organization.
My talk was followed by a presentation by two federal prosecutors, one of whom reminded the audience that they may need to produce copies of all online postings in response to government document requests or subpoenas. We may quibble about the scope of material that might be covered by such a production request, but the key takeaway from this comment should be Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog*
Many physicians, and especially primary care physicians, aren’t happy campers. Why should they be? They feel disrespected, overworked, over-managed, and underpaid. They tell me they wouldn’t advise their children to go into medicine. Some feel that physicians are singularly beset upon. “Our government acts toward the medical profession in an abusive fashion. No other industry or profession is humiliated in this way,” writes RyanJo, a frequent commentator to this blog.
I can appreciate why many physicians are upset. They’ve had a decade where the Medicare SGR formula repeatedly has threatened to cut their fees, only to have Congress enact last minute reprieves that replace the cut with a small token increase that has not kept pace with their costs. Last year, Congress actually allowed the cut to go into effect and then retroactively restored it, creating havoc in physicians’ offices during the four weeks when they weren’t being paid. Like Charlie Brown and Lucy’s football, they are told each year by their members of Congress that that “this will be the year when the SGR will finally get repealed, really, for sure, we promise, this time will be different”–only to see it pulled away at the last minute.
In the meantime, they are constantly hounded to be more accountable for the care they deliver, to fill out just another form, to document their encounters, to get Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*