The Status of the COVID-19 Vaccine — And What to Know About Vaccine Safety: Part I

As we continue to deal with the uncertainty of COVID-19, one glimmering sign of hope keeps us from giving in to despair: the ongoing development of a COVID-19 vaccine. In the midst of so much bad news, it’s easy to forget the remarkable ingenuity and security of the vaccine development process. The highly anticipated vaccine first reached clinical trials a record 69 days after researchers identified SARS-CoV-2 as the force behind the outbreak. Since then, researchers have maintained this breakneck pace. What does this mean for the eventual release of a vaccine? We delve into the details below: What We…

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COVID-19 and the Increased Risk of Medical Errors

Could Doctors or Nurses Be Too Distracted By COVID-19 to Provide Proper Care For Non-COVID Patients? Health care professionals face a heavy burden in a time of COVID. Every day, they place themselves at risk of infection as they care for more patients than they’re equipped to handle. Many are alarmingly short on sleep, taking on extra responsibilities to cover for coworkers who have contracted the disease. Even if they manage to remain physically healthy, the sheer mental burden of working in healthcare during a pandemic can be difficult to overcome. Given the unique challenges faced by today’s doctors and…

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Keeping Track of Your Medications When You Have More Than One Illness Or Condition

Today’s Americans take more medications, vitamins, and supplements than past generations. A Consumer Reports survey reveals that the average American who uses prescription drugs takes four each day. If taken at the wrong time or under the wrong circumstances, however, these medications can prove dangerous. Thankfully, a variety of new apps and devices ease the hassle of managing multiple prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs. Top options are highlighted below: Make the Most of Your Mobile Device Set alarms on your phone to remind you when to take various medications throughout the day. Better yet, download a medication management app. These offer…

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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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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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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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Seven Common Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes take care of our society’s most vulnerable members. The elderly and permanently disabled may reside in these facilities. Like other health care facilities, nursing homes can be hotspots for medical mistakes. In nursing homes, medication errors are one of the most common types of mistakes made by staff members. Seven common medication errors in nursing homes include: Providing patients with the wrong medications. This type of mistake may occur for several reasons. For instance, a nurse may confuse medications with similar names. Prescribing the wrong dosage. Nurses may give patients too little or too much of a medication….

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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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Parents: Here’s How to Prepare for Flu Season This Year

It is officially flu season. Between the months of October and May, the influenza virus peaks and infects adults and children, although symptoms and severity may vary significantly. The flu is far more dangerous for younger children than the common cold, which is why the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges parents to prepare. Listed below are some helpful tips for parents during flu season: Get vaccinated. An annual flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to protect your family from the flu. The vaccine has been proven to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization…

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