COVID Burnout Among Health Care Workers: How It Puts You At Risk

Burnout has long been a huge source of concern throughout the health care profession. Long hours, stressful situations, and limited support leave doctors and nurses scrambling to keep their patients safe. Over time, this takes a toll, leaving health care workers not only physically exhausted, but also, susceptible to mental health problems. Unfortunately, burnout harms not only medical professionals, but also, the patients they treat. Stressed, tired, and preoccupied, health care workers may make mistakes during simple procedures that, under ordinary circumstances, would not cause problems. The following concerns are especially alarming: Charting Mistakes Nurses, PAs, and other health care…

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The Biggest Doctor-Related Safety Issues of 2021: Part II

  There’s finally light at the end of the tunnel, but even as we approach the end of the COVID pandemic, doctors and their patients face a variety of alarming risks. In our previous blog on 2021’s most significant safety concerns in health care, we detailed a few of the more obvious issues sparked by COVID. Now, we’ll delve into a few of the hidden, yet equally problematic matters that threaten today’s medical workers and patients alike: Staff Burnout After months of working long hours in stressful environments — and often while understaffed and under-equipped — health care professionals are…

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How Prevalent Are Psychological Issues Among Doctors And Nurses — And How Dangerous Are These For Patients?

  Today’s doctors, nurses, and other health care workers face a variety of stressors. Issues such as understaffing and overwork can exacerbate existing mental health concerns or even prompt the development of such problems where they might otherwise not exist. The following are among the most prevalent psychological issues in the health care industry: Depression Depression is rampant throughout the medical profession. A meta-analysis from JAMA reveals that over one-quarter of doctors experience depressive symptoms — rates three times as high as those among the general population. What’s more, one in ten medical students have contemplated suicide. Nurses are also…

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Surprising Dangers of Physical Rehab Centers

Physical rehab centers promise to promote long-term recovery, but research suggests that, for some patients, they may cause more harm than good. A 2016 report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed that nearly one-third of patients staying in these centers suffered adverse events, often due to negligence. Nearly one-quarter of these patients were ultimately sent to acute care hospitals. Common issues cited in this report include: Medication Errors Nearly half of the rehab center incidents referenced in the 2016 HHS study involved medication errors. Mismanaged drugs included everything from blood thinners to narcotic painkillers. Errors can…

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How Medical Record Errors Can Put You in Danger — And How to Protect Yourself Against Them

Today’s digital resources allow for the seamless input, transfer, and retrieval of key medical information at clinics and hospitals. This facilitates more efficient and accurate care for patients. Unfortunately, even the most advanced tools are far from perfect. The same is true of the employees who manage modern software and equipment. Even simple errors can place patients at grave risk, as we explain below: Data Input While the potential for human error exists in all areas of the health care industry, medical records are uniquely prone to seemingly small mistakes with the potential for major damage. These issues often occur…

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What Are the Most Promising COVID Treatments in Development?

As we await the release of the highly-anticipated COVID vaccine, we’re learning more about the top treatments for severe cases. Certain medications and therapies can dramatically improve outcomes for vulnerable patients who, even a few months ago, would have been unlikely to recover. These include the following: Remdesivir Although medical experts have tested a variety of antiviral drugs on patients actively battling COVID, only remdesivir has consistently shown promise. Previously used against dangerous viruses such as Ebola, the medication has emerged as one of the most effective solutions for severe COVID cases. A study recently published in the New England…

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Lockdowns and Late Cancer Diagnosis: Is There a Link?

  While COVID quarantines dramatically reduce the spread of the disease, they also lead to a variety of unintended health consequences. Many of these relate to delays in preventative care, with early signs and symptoms missed due to a lack of testing or because these issues aren’t as easy to spot during telehealth checkups. Below, we explore the possible link between quarantine and late cancer diagnosis: COVID and Cancer Diagnosis: What the Research Says While research on the connection between lockdown and cancer diagnosis remains limited, data published in JAMA Network Open notes an alarming drop in the number of…

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Understanding the Differences Among Influenza, COVID, And the Common Cold

  Experts and ordinary individuals alike draw comparisons between COVID and the prominent form of influenza with which we’ve dealt with for generations. These are sometimes useful, as some of the strategies (such as masks and social distancing) used to mitigate the flu can also work for COVID. Still, it’s important to understand how these diseases differ, as we clarify below: Symptoms Both influenza and COVID-19 can prompt a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening. People with both illnesses may suffer: Headache Shortness of breath Fatigue Fever Sore throat In some people, however, COVID goes beyond these symptoms…

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Preventative Care Disrupted By the Pandemic: What Long-Term Costs Can Be Expected? — Part II

  Many people neglected preventative care long before the COVID era, but the pandemic has clearly accelerated the problem. We’ve already highlighted a few of the most problematic personal issues prompted by COVID-sparked delays. Next, we’ll take on a broader approach, looking at problems incurred throughout the health care system and in society at large: Increased Death Rate from Non-COVID Causes Evidence suggests that 40 percent of all deaths in the United States can be blamed on behavioral concerns such as diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Unfortunately, unhealthy coping mechanisms appear to be on the rise as people of…

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Preventative Care Disrupted By the Pandemic: What Long-Term Costs Can Be Expected? — Part I

  As COVID cases surged in the early days of the pandemic, many hospitals and clinics switched to “tele-health” or suspended certain services altogether. This was necessary during the initial period of uncertainty, as facilities needed time to prepare for a sudden influx of patients. Unfortunately, the lasting consequences of waiting on preventative care are beginning to appear, especially among vulnerable patients who still remain at risk of catching the virus. The following are a few of the most concerning long-term issues: Increased Risk of Chronic Conditions When warning signs of chronic health problems are caught early on, it’s possible…

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