How the Obesity and Diabetes Epidemics Are Straining Our Healthcare System

It’s no secret that obesity rates have skyrocketed in the United States, but most people fail to grasp the full impact of this epidemic. In the healthcare industry, however, obesity’s prevalence and damage are easy to spot when examining financial trends and injuries among medical professionals. Below, we offer just a few examples of the many ways in which today’s obesity and diabetes epidemics are impacting the healthcare system: Hospital Staff Safety Healthcare employees often suffer significant strain as they attempt to assist obese and immobile patients. These patients may need to be moved every few hours. While transfer systems…

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The Pareto Principle in Medicine: Why Just a Few Doctors Are Responsible for Most Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice is far too common. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States. But while many patients fall victim to negligence in the healthcare industry, most medical professionals abide by an impressive standard of care. The exceptions, however, cause horrific suffering. The Pareto principle may explain this apparent discrepancy, as we demonstrate below: What Is the Pareto Principle? How Does it Apply to Medical Malpractice? A common concept in everything from sales to HR, the Pareto principle states that 80 percent of the results in…

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Is Today’s Culture of Surgery Putting Patients at Risk?

Surgery is a notoriously difficult medical specialty, and for good reason; the high-stakes nature of the job makes it inherently stressful. Perhaps this explains why surgeons suffer so many mental health issues and are so likely to turn to substance abuse in an effort to cope. Burnout is especially high among surgeons, many of whom simply cannot handle the pressure of the job. But is the job description alone to blame? Or could a negative work culture be making an already difficult position that much worse? We examine these concerns in detail below: Mistreatment Among Surgical Residents An anonymous letter…

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Common Mistakes Hospital Administrators Make — And How They Can Affect You

Hospital administrators are responsible for keeping facilities running seamlessly. It’s not an easy job — opportunities for errors abound. Unfortunately, these errors can prove deadly for vulnerable patients, who depend on the skill of hospital administrators as much as they do on nurses and doctors. Detailed below are among the most common — and deadly — hospital administrator mistakes: Hiring Decisions Often, hospital administrators are responsible for overseeing facility personnel. This may mean making final decisions regarding hiring or employee termination. Those who fail to vet new employees appropriately place patients at risk of being cared for by incompetent workers….

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The Surprising Dangers of Spring Allergies — And What to Do About Them

Seasonal allergies might seem like a minor annoyance, but they have a greater impact than you suspect. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that allergies are the sixth most common chronic condition in the United States — and that they cost the nation’s economy over $18 billion per year. Some patients only experience mild symptoms, but others suffer severe heart and respiratory issues due to high pollen counts. No matter the extent of your allergy symptoms, it’s important to get the issue under control as soon as possible. Your allergies impact your quality of life, making…

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How Medical Software Glitches Can Hurt You

Medical advances promise to take us into a new age of possibility, in which facility visits are more convenient and patient records are more secure. Used correctly, medical software can have a positive impact. Glitches, however, are far from uncommon — and they place you and your fellow patients at risk. Below, we explain why these technological issues cause so much harm. Delayed Patient Results Every moment counts when treating severe health conditions. Unfortunately, while technology promises to speed up the process, glitches can prompt significant roadblocks. In Canada, for example, 2017 issues with electronic health records (EHR) software from…

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How Patients Can Evaluate Different Hospitals

An alarming disparity exists among hospitals and other health care facilities in the United States. Some hospitals provide stellar care, while others see continued medical errors or may be breeding grounds for infection. Clearly, where you stay can have a huge impact on both your current symptoms and long-term health. If possible, you’ll want to assess local options while you feel healthy to ensure that you make the right decision in the event of a medical emergency. The following are a few of the many factors worth considering as you select the best possible location for treatment: Look at a…

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When And Why You Should Get a Second Opinion From a Doctor

Errors are far more common than the medical establishment would have us believe. In fact, research from Johns Hopkins indicates that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Sometimes, these mistakes are difficult to detect — but sometimes, patients can tell something is wrong. If your gut reaction suggests that your physician made an incorrect diagnosis or developed an inadvisable treatment plan, it’s worth seeking a second opinion. Not only is this approach common, it often yields different (and hopefully, better) results. According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, a whopping 88 percent of…

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How Meditation Can Help Medical Professionals Avoid Mistakes

Today’s health care workers face unprecedented levels of stress, with many turning to alcohol, food, or other unhealthy behaviors to cope. In the midst of these issues, it’s no wonder that medical errors remain the third-leading cause of death in America. While structural shifts in scheduling and workload can make a huge difference, we might not see these much-needed changes for years. Until then, another solution may help: meditation. Medical Errors: How Common Are They And What Role Does Stress Play? Researchers at Johns Hopkins estimate that medical errors account for over 250,000 deaths every year. Stress could be partially…

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Common Medication Errors: How You Can Avoid Top Dangers at Home

If you’re anything like most Americans, you have a medicine cabinet chock full of pills — and you take at least one every day. One wrong move, however, and the drugs you rely on could prove deadly. Medication errors are far too common, but they’re nearly always preventable. The following are among the most common mistakes involving prescription drugs: Overdose Overdoses are responsible for a significant portion of drug-related injuries and deaths. These can occur due to doctor or pharmacist mistakes — but user error is often to blame. Overdoses can best be avoided by only taking prescribed drugs at…

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