Why Your Doctor Is Distracted — And What You Can Do About It

Distraction has become a way of life. In some contexts, however, distraction isn’t merely a source of annoyance — it can also prove life-threatening. This is particularly true in the health care industry, where an increasing number of doctors and other professionals are demonstrating signs of distraction. Below, we examine this phenomenon and offer up potential remedies. How Distracted Are Today’s Doctors? Data presented by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s John Makary indicates that medical errors are more common than previously assumed, with estimates reaching an alarming 250,000 per year. According to the FDA, these errors lead to injury…

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How to Keep Track of Your Prescription Medications

If you’re like many Americans, your day begins with a hot cup of coffee…and a handful of pills. A report from the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings indicates that seven out of ten Americans rely on at least one prescription medication. Many others take several pills every day. Some maintain a complex regimen involving different drugs at different times, sometimes totaling five or more pills before the sun sets. Keeping track of all these medications can prove difficult, even for the most conscientious among us. Poor medication management, however, could have devastating consequences. If you struggle with keeping track of your…

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Is Your Medical Device a Hacking Risk?

More and more, Americans are relying on medical devices to extend and improve the quality of their lives. From insulin pumps to pacemakers, there is a medical device for every part of your body. Unfortunately, every one of them is vulnerable to hacking. “We’ve yet to find a device that we’ve looked at that we haven’t been able to hack,” said Jonathan Butts, a cybersecurity researcher. Medical devices have computers. Anyone who can hack a computer can hack into a medical device and take control, potentially putting the patient’s life in jeopardy. It is not even necessary to be in…

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What Can You Do If Your Privacy Is Violated?

Privacy is a principal concern in the healthcare industry. Your doctor knows more about you than almost anyone else. We often tell doctors things we would never tell anyone else and it is all stored in your medical records. Medical records are a convenient way to store information from multiple institutions and from multiple specialists in one place. Doctors make use of the convenience, but they are not the only ones. Unscrupulous individuals, both inside and outside the healthcare field, want access to your private information. According to recent reports, they are getting that access. Source of the Leaks Many…

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Advances in Medical Tech Don’t Necessarily Guarantee Safety

Progress in the field of medicine and surgery continues to advance, instilling in patients greater trust in the safety of procedures. It is important to be aware, however, that physician error and malpractice can still occur, even with the latest technology at hospitals’ disposal. The da Vinci Surgical System The da Vinci surgical system is a robot designed to make surgeries and recovery more efficient. Its precision should lead to less scarring and less recovery time for the patient. Complications have fallen to under 3 percent when surgeons use it. Intuitive Surgical, the makers of da Vinci, as well as…

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Doctor Burnout: Risks, Causes, and Consequences

Doctors have a very strenuous job – however, their job is also extremely important to the well-being of the people they treat. Many physicians report feeling stressed and burned out as a result of their profession, which can lead to dangerous medical errors. Have you suffered injuries due to doctor burnout? Doctor Burnout Statistics A national survey found that over half of American doctors experience burnout, making them more likely to cause medical errors. Out of the 6,700 clinic and hospital physicians surveyed: Over 10% of doctors stated that they committed at least one severe medical mistake in the three…

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The Importance of Scribes in Emergency Room Settings

Visiting the emergency room can be a stressful experience for patients and medical staff alike. However, many hospitals can make the experience smoother and eliminate the risk of physician errors. A study by Australian emergency room doctors examined the importance of professional scribes in these settings. Study Design and Participants A scribe is a person who works with a doctor to record a doctor’s instructions, patient history and all facts relevant to treatment. The research team aimed to evaluate how productivity could increase when scribes worked in Australian emergency departments. Multiple hospitals participated in this study – five emergency departments…

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The Most Common Hospital-Acquired Infections

Many patients arrive at the hospital seeking treatment for deadly infections — but some acquire infections at the hospital. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) account for nearly 100,000 deaths every year. Below, we offer insight into a few of the most common HAIs: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Better known as MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is arguably the most well-known hospital-acquired health problem. The staph bacteria is notoriously resistant to common antibiotics. Thankfully, research indicates that hospital-acquired MRSA is on the decline. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal…

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Physician Burnout: A Deep Dive (Part II)

Physician burnout is one of the most concerning and least understood issues in the health care industry. We’re here to shed light on this alarming phenomenon. In the first half of our series on burnout, we explored the scope of the problem and explained why it’s getting worse. Now, we’ll show you how physician burnout impacts patients — and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones. Physician Burnout and Healthcare Outcomes In a Stanford analysis of a national physician study, over ten percent of respondents confessed to committing major medical errors in the last three months….

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Physician Burnout: A Deep Dive (Part I)

Few professions are mentally or physically more taxing than medicine. Physicians, in particular, face long hours and considerable stress. With over one-quarter of doctors working between 61 and 80 hours per week, it’s easy to see why burnout is at an all-time high. In this two-part article, we’ll investigate the prevalence of burnout and the reasons behind its dramatic rise in the medical profession. How Common Is Physician Burnout? In 2016, the Mayo Clinic published a physician study in which 54.4 percent of respondents admitted to suffering at least one symptom of burnout in 2014. Sometimes, this burnout proves fatal;…

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