Posts Tagged ‘ COMMUNICATION ’

Nursing Burnout and the Three-Day, Ten-Hour Work Shift

Nursing Burnout and the Three-Day, Ten-Hour Work Shift

It’s no secret that hospital nurses are overworked and underpaid. Worse, long shifts lead to emotional and physical burnout that places the safety of patients, as well as the nurse’s own career, at serious risk. One study revealed that nurses who work shifts longer than ten hours are at sharply increased risk for burnout....

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What Can One Person Do to Improve Health Care Quality?

What Can One Person Do to Improve Health Care Quality?

Because our current health care system places patients in the position of caveat emptor (“Buyer Beware”), we cannot currently rely upon medical providers to maintain, much less implement, even basic patient safety protocols. Just a few examples include (1) your assuming that a doctor complies with hand hygiene, or (2) that hospitals wipe surfaces...

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The Prognosis: You Know the Diagnosis, Now What?

The Prognosis: You Know the Diagnosis, Now What?

The brave new world of cancer treatment – and prognostic information – was featured in the New York Times: “A Life-Death Predictor Adds to a Cancer’s Strain.” This is notable not only for the novel medical treatment but also for the revelation of practicing physicians’ ethics and the way in which new treatments are...

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An Ethical Question: Whether to Reveal a Devastating Diagnosis

An Ethical Question: Whether to Reveal a Devastating Diagnosis

Suppose you learn that your mother’s longstanding memory problems have been diagnosed as “mild dementia” by her neurologist. You are witnessing her deteriorating cognitive impairment and memory loss and so you meet privately with her doctor. You learn that your mother has Alzheimer’s. The physician counsels postponing this information to your parent because he...

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Can We Talk?

Can We Talk?

A new report by a division of the AHA agrees with previous research: that effective physician-nurse communication positively impacts patient safety. The research was conducted by HealthGrades, which identified the top performing 5% hospitals in patient safety. Kristin Reed, Vice President of Clinical Quality Programs and author of the study, asserted that it is...

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Educational Podcasts for the Health Care Consumer

Educational Podcasts for the Health Care Consumer

Free podcasts are available to the general public, courtesy of my professional association, the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC).   For instance, Richard Heasley, director of San Francisco’s Conard House, presented a teleconference on May 16, 2012  entitled “Effective Teamwork with Psychiatric Patients.” Other topics include eldercare, patient safety, Medicare, and many others. You can...

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Caveat emptor*

Caveat emptor*

There is a Catch-22 (well, one of several) for health care consumers trying to manage medical expenses. This is especially galling if you happen to be in a so-called “consumer-directed health plan,” also known as a high-deductible plan. What’s the catch? The idea of the consumer-directed plan is to make you aware of how...

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Trust Your Instincts!

Trust Your Instincts!

As a patient advocate, I’ve sometimes had to explain to clients that often a positive result from an early diagnostic will not change their medical regime. Additionally, many health issues in early stages either do not progress or, thanks to homeostasis or perhaps just the vagaries of life, sometimes self-resolve. 

Too much medical treatment...

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It’s here! National Patient Safety Awareness Week: March 4 – March 10

It’s here! National Patient Safety Awareness Week: March 4 – March 10

“Be Aware for Safe Care” is this year’s theme of the National Patient Safety Foundation. The NPSF leads global efforts to promote patient safety awareness among health care providers and consumers. Every year the NPSF reaffirms the Universal Patient Compact, a set of principles which emphasize the importance of partnership between patients and providers....

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