It happens to everyone from time to time: a thorny issue sprouts up, a worry takes root. Soon those roots dig in so deeply and spread so wide that they leave little room for anything else to grow. Worrying, searching for a solution, and forecasting the future move from preoccupation to full-time work.
When that starts to happen, it’s critical to call a timeout, explain stress experts Herbert Benson, MD, and Aggie Casey, the medical editors of Harvard Medical School’s Stress Management Special Health Report. Certain hormones fuel the body’s stress response (also dubbed “fight-or-flight”), speeding breathing and heartbeat, directing extra blood flow to the brain and muscles, perking up the immune system, and triggering other changes that prepare your body to respond to a perceived threat. At times, the stress response is appropriate and necessary, helping us rise to meet physical and emotional challenges. But stress hormones that are triggered too often or stuck in overdrive can fuel worrisome health problems—from headaches and heartburn to high blood pressure and heart disease. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*
Over at the WSJ Health Blog, some academic docs, such as hospitalist Dr. Wachter are suggesting just that.
Punishments such as revoking privileges for a chunk of time tend to be used for administrative infractions that cost the hospital money – things like failing to sign the discharge summaries that insurance companies require to pay the hospital bill. By contrast, hospital administrators may just shrug their shoulders when it comes to doctors who fail or refuse to follow rules like a “time out” before surgery to avoid operating on the wrong body part.
Docs and nurses who fail to follow rules about hand hygiene or patient handoffs should lose their privileges for a week, Pronovost and Wachter suggest. They recommend loss of privileges for two weeks for surgeons who who fail to perform a “time-out” before surgery or don’t mark the surgical site to prevent wrong-site surgery.
This couldn’t have come at a better time. At Happy’s hospital there is a massive witch hunt to crack down on not signing off verbal orders within 48 hours. This has nothing to do with patient safety. It has everything to do with meeting the requirements of CMS so the hospital does not lose their funding. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at A Happy Hospitalist*