The beginning of November: Stores are getting a jump-start on holiday decorations, students are buckling down to study for fall midterms, and one month has passed since the federal and state insurance exchanges opened. Dean Katz’s blog from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University kicks off Chart Review this month with a post on what the exchanges could mean for the physician workforce. A new bill from the New Jersey Senate Education Committee could help combat a projected physician shortage in the form of loan forgiveness. If passed, the bill will allow graduates of the state’s medical schools and residency programs to have full loan repayment after ten years of practice in New Jersey in underserved urban and rural locations.
Next, we have some posts chronicling innovations at home and abroad. The Wing of Zock joins Educate the Young in sending a hearty congratulations to the individuals from the MedStar Health Institute for being one of eight teams selected from over 250 applicants who submitted entries to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pioneer Project. The team’s project, entitled Creating a Social Epidemic of Safety, aims to “harness the power of natural social networks within health care organizations to identify those who can influence an epidemic of safety.”
Baltimore to Beijing, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s global health blog, describes an innovative employee wellness initiative from Dubai. To help encourage employees to make healthy decisions, the government provides monetary incentives for citizens who improve their fitness profiles. The post explores the challenges of motivating patients into truly changing behaviors, proposing that employers are in a great position to help people live healthier lifestyles.
On Project Millennial, Karan Chhabra explores the heady task of “slaying the health care cost monster.” In order to truly lower costs – or slay the looming “monster” — hospital payment and incentive policies will have to change. While progressive payment models such as accountable care and episodic bundling are a great start, Chhabra writes, he urges payers to embrace them in order to substantially lower risk. However, improving doctor–patient communication about the costs of certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, is also vital in the battle to lower care and hospital costs, public health student Kevin Wang writes on his own blog.
Chief Information Officers are integral to the successful implementation of Meaningful Use and other health information technology aspects of the Affordable Care Act. John D. Halamka, Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, proposes that the projects CIOs are tasked with managing will present certain specific challenges, but predicts the long-term benefits from HIT integration will make the hard work worthwhile.
Israel Green-Hopkins, MD, a second-year fellow in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, examines patient engagement in the new era of care delivery in a post on Vector, the hospital’s science and clinical innovation blog. Based on the goals of patient safety outlined by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Green-Hopkins outlines various tools to enhance the patient experience in the emergency department, where visits can be unexpected and often jarring to the patient.
Chart Review is a monthly feature in which the editors at Wing of Zock highlight our favorite blog posts from the previous month. We focus on blogs about academic medicine, whether from the perspective of student, resident, faculty member, dean, or administrator. Medical schools and teaching hospitals provide fertile ground for innovative responses to health care challenges. We are pleased to highlight some of the best here, and hope you will send us your favorites as well. As always, we encourage cross-posting.