Every week, I add new medblog feeds to my reader. There are so many interesting bloggers writing these days. Here's a few posts that got me thinking this week:
Dr. Val wrote a great post about the complexity of medicine and the pitfalls of Internet health information. Every doctor I know faces the uphill battle of reasoning with patients who come to clinic armed with a list of factoids gleaned from various health websites. It's nice to see a respected medblogger putting the problem into perspective--for both medical personnel and laypeople.
Posts relating to the current fad for performance indicators were plentiful this week. DB Medrants wrote about reasonable limits we should place upon performance standards, such as--duh--using only those strategies that have been proven to be effective at achieving the target goal, and only targeting those patients who stand to benefit from the intervention. Dr. Wes gives an excellent example of automatically-generated redundancy in medical orders resulting from knee-jerk implementation of core measures. Sheesh.
Dr. Happy, always with his finger on the pulse of hospital-based absurdity, reported on the professionalization of nurse-specialists whose job it is to nitpick over every word a doctor writes in the medical record and make sure these words --> maximum CMS reimbursement. Now, I believe language is power, sure, but the difference between writing "CHF" and "acute systolic CHF" should not be the break point in a hospital's bottom line, nor should it be the measure of the doctor providing services.
Buckeye Surgeon commented on the Congressional opposition to physician-owned hospitals. Personally, I have no interest in owning and financing a hospital, and I understand the concern laypeople have about the possibility of doctors ordering more tests if they own the testing equipment, but I agree with Buckeye that physicians should not be excluded from opening hospitals if they are moved to do so. Speaking from a rural doctor's perspective, I know we could use another earthquake-safe, fully-functional hospital in this area, but I don't think Kaiser, Sutter, or even Catholic Healthcare West is going to drop everything and start breaking ground.
And, just because we all need a good laugh sometimes, I recommend reading Not Totally Rad's compilation of hysterical medical mis-transcriptions.
Have a great weekend!