Practicing Medicine While Distracted: How Ubiquitous Cell Phone Use Impacts Health Practitioners And Places You at Risk — Part 2

Distraction is a big deal in the health care industry. In the first portion of this two-part series, we delved into the many ways in which constant technological distractions can impact doctors, nurses, and other health care workers — and how patients are negatively impacted by this problem. Now, we highlight potential solutions capable of mitigating the constant sense of distraction pervading the health care industry. Switching to Job-Exclusive Devices Mobile devices provide considerable value throughout the medical field. Simply abandoning them is not a realistic option. That being said, many steps can be taken to reduce associated distractions. Sticking…

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Practicing Medicine While Distracted: How Ubiquitous Cell Phone Use Impacts Health Practitioners And Places You at Risk — Part 1

Mobile devices are increasingly prominent in health care settings, where doctors and nurses increasingly use iPads to update patient information or access critical records. But while mobile devices can dramatically improve health care efficiency, they hold several notable drawbacks. Chief among these? Distraction. In this two-part series, we will explore the alarming role distraction and cell phone use play in the modern health care industry — and how this issue can be addressed. Health Care Workers Are Vulnerable to Distraction It’s no secret that distraction impacts our performance in a variety of arenas. On the road, for example, cell phone…

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How to Know Whether Your Hospital Is Great, Bad, or Somewhere In Between

United States hospitals vary dramatically in quality. Some maintain an exceptional standard of care, while others exhibit shocking negligence on a daily basis. Don’t assume that your hospital is the former. The following suggestions will help you determine whether you should continue with the status quo or find a new facility: Take Advantage of Hospital Ratings Numerous scales are available to help you determine how your hospital stacks up compared to other options. Each rating scale holds different criteria; examine several to get a well-rounded take on your hospital. Top options include: Leapfrog Medicare’s Hospital Compare Hospital Safety Grade Hospital…

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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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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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Understanding False Positives And False Negatives

False positives and negatives are a huge problem in the health care industry. Most patients, however, are unaware that their symptoms could prompt incorrect or missed diagnoses. Read on to learn how and why these errors occur: False Positives The same set of symptoms can point to multiple medical conditions. False positives occur when results indicate that a particular illness or disorder is present — even when it’s not. False positives are particularly common among lab results in general practice. Many clinics are heavy-handed with ordering tests — a huge problem, given that by their very nature, these tests almost…

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Lab Errors: These Mistakes Can Be Deadly | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

An article in the Boston Globe last week, by Jonathan Salzman,  reports that a lawsuit has been filed by a patient who had surgery to remove his prostate after being told that he had prostate cancer.   Our blog mentioned this case last week.  The surgery left him incontinent.  Tragically, he did not have prostate cancer. It was a lab error.  The lab technician mistakenly mixed up his results with that of another patient.  As a result, this patient had a surgery he did not need and must now wear adult diapers and live with the consequences.  Another patient reportedly…

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98,000 Deaths A Year From Medical Errors: Enough is Enough | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

98,000 Reasons is a website set up to get the word out on how medical errors harm real patients every day and what we can do about it. According to decade-old data published by the National Institute of Medicine, there are documented preventable medical errors which lead to 98,0000 deaths in U.S. hospitals each year. That figure does not include patients who are seriously harmed. Now think about the fact that this number has remained static over 10 years.    Tragically, it is the 6th leading cause of death in our country. To put that into perspective, 98,000 annual deaths…

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Tainted Equipment at VA Hospitals Cause HIV Infections | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire Former patients at several Veterans Administration Hospitals have been tested positive for HIV or hepatitis following exposure to dirty medical equipment.  According to a recent report at Chron.com, “[f]ive patients have tested positive for HIV and 33 have tested positive for hepatitis since February, when the VA started notifying more than 11,000 people treated at three VA medical centers to get follow-up blood checks because they could have been exposed to infectious body fluids.” The specific VA hospitals involved are located in Miami, Fla., Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Augusta, Ga. The VA determined last December…

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