By Sarah Sonies
Baltimore to Beijing: Adventures in Global Health Careexplores academic medicine’s commitment to community health at home and abroad in a profile of partner institution Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá, a medical school and health system in Colombia. The institution practices what they have dubbed “communitarianism,” providing useful services to the public and shaping community through health services and research in underserved areas of Bogota and surrounding areas. The post draws parallels North American academic health centers’ “triple mission.”
The Doctor’s Tablet features commentary on a novel clinical study the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and other collaborating institutions recently completed. In the study, the blood of severely injured trauma patients was drained and injected with salt water to provide needed time for the surgeons to administer lifesaving procedures. The blood was restored to the patients after treatment. The study itself is compelling, and the trial also raises some key issues in bioethics: primarily, when it might be acceptable to conduct research without the consent of the research subject? The post includes a list of guidelines and regulations for researchers and clinicians.
No matter how experienced the physician, delivering bad news to patients can remain a difficult experience for both the doctor and the patient. Progress Notes chronicles a pilot focus group run through the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care’s Innovation Fellows Program.Led by a team of students and residents, the study examined discussions with patients and their family members on death and end-of-life care. The results found that patients and their families often look to primary care providers for guidance in these conversations early on in their care.
For reflections on medical education directly from students, look no further than the Unplugged SMS Series from the Scope Medical Blog. This post on mentorship and the rigorous environment of pre-med and medical school curricula urges medical students and residents to look past constant comparisons, tests, and abbreviations, and focus on reaching the finish line, where they can enjoy the work and passion of medical practice.
Algorithms for Innovation explores health care technology developed in collaboration with University of Utah Health Care (UUHC) and strategic measurement expert Bob S. Kaplan, Ph.D. In order to improve overall value in health care by emphasizing not just cost, but patient experience, UUHC will work with a methodology Kaplan and his partner developed for measuring costs and build on its existing costing measurement model, called Value Driven Outcomes (VDO).
Medically non-adherent patients can be more costly to care for. Disease can progress in the absence of effective treatment, leading to serious chronic conditions and more trips to the hospital. Humanizing Medicine addresses how to care for these “frequent flyer” patients, emphasizing understanding the “why” behind patient failure to adhere to their medications. For more on how to flag and help these patients, with a resource to help guide clinicians, check out our November post, “Hot Spotting: Innovative Approaches to Caring for the Very Ill.”
In a post on The Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation blog, Pritpal S. Tamber, MD discusses how he was inspired to improve the emphasis on wellness in health care. By changing the name of the health-related value in communities to “wellth” and forming a team of 10 “Wellthcare Explorers,” Tamber launched a website to begin a series of video conversations among fellow explorers who share the goal of flipping health care from being sickness-driven to being “chronically well.”
There was Dr. Marcus Welby, Dr. Doug Ross, and Dr. Gregory House. Now, how about Dr. Verizon? The telecommunications company has expanded its footprint to include health care with the launch of its telehealth service, Verizon Virtual Visits. Health Populi details the launch of the program, designed so that patients may be seen at home or when traveling – allowing increased access to physicians. Consumers whose health plans or employers contract for this service will be able to access it via a mobile app on smartphone or tablet, or via a web portal.
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.