Category Archives: Patient Access

Crowdsourcing Humanitarian Innovation

By Jennifer J. Salopek

The cover of a recent issue of Parade magazine featured a photo of a girl with a bright blue prosthetic hand. The accompanying article was titled, “How 3-D Printing is Transforming Everything from Medicine to Manufacturing.” The writer noted that the girl’s Robohand cost “just $2,000.”

For many people around the globe, $2,000 might as well be $2 million. Fortunately, there’s e-NABLE, a nonprofit organization that exists at the intersection of ingenuity, innovation, and patient care. On a gorgeous fall Sunday in September, more than 400 people gathered at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to talk about how they could help get prosthetics to underserved populations, especially children. I was lucky enough to be there.

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Health Care Professional Students Learn to Hotspot

Originally published October 6, 2014

By Sonya Collins

This summer marked the launch of the 2014 Hotspotting Mini-Grant Project. The initiative, a collaboration between Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers (CCHP), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and Primary Care Progress (PCP), gives health professional students an unprecedented hands-on opportunity to learn and practice an innovative model of health care delivery called hotspotting.

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State of Emergency: Overcrowding in the ER [Infographic]

Originally posted on July 15, 2014

By Emily Newhook

In 2010, more than 130 million Americans visited the emergency room. Most of them waited hours to be seen by a medical professional, and even longer to be admitted to the hospital or discharged. But long wait times are symptomatic of a much bigger, systemic problem: emergency room overcrowding has been shown to increase mortality rates, compromise quality of care and strain budgets for patients and providers alike.

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Physician Filmmaker Documents One of America’s Busiest ERs in Code Black

By Sarah Sonies

There are few places of such constant drama and excitement as a hospital emergency room. Crowded with patients awaiting urgent care, Los Angeles County Hospital’s ER is one of the busiest.

Code Black, a documentary directed by ER doc and first-time filmmaker Ryan McGarry, MD, highlights the physicians fighting to save lives in one of the largest public hospitals in the country. Continue reading Physician Filmmaker Documents One of America’s Busiest ERs in Code Black

Train the Next Generation of Doctors to Take Housing and Hunger Vital Signs

By Megan Sandel, MD, MPH

Early in my residency, a young girl was hospitalized in the intensive care unit for a severe asthma attack. We were puzzled; her asthma was previously well controlled. But a single piece of vital information explained everything: The family had just gotten a cat and the girl was severely allergic. Her parents found a mouse in her bed and they had tried to get their landlord to fix problems with the building, but he was unresponsive. Desperate, her parents faced an awful choice: live with the mice that were making their daughter sick, or get a cat that was just as harmful to her health. As her physician, I knew none of the medicines I could give her would help her breathe well in her home. The prescription I wanted to write was for healthy housing.

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Telemedicine: Leading the Way to Virtual Care Delivery

By Sarah Sonies

Health care and insurance specialists predict that within a few years, almost the majority of health care will be delivered virtually.

In remarks two weeks ago in the opening of the 2014 American Telemedicine Association (ATA 2014) annual meeting and technology trade show, Edward M. Brown, ATA president and CEO of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) discussed the future of technology in care delivery.

“I fully believe that within the next five years, more than 50 percent of health care delivery will be virtual,” said Brown.

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No Dignity Required: Improving Patient Engagement by Elevating Humanity

By Lisa Goren

All it takes is a single visit to the doctor’s office to place one’s pride and self-esteem a dozen notches below baseline. I didn’t think much of my appointment, knowing it was just a routine scan at the dermatologist’s office, a new annual pilgrimage resulting from a diagnosis called Middle Age.

Entering the room, the medical assistant asked me to undress and, as is customary, pointed to the gown and the sheet that would further preserve my dignity. She instructed me to tie the gown in the back and then she promptly left. What ensued was a magician’s botched illusion as I transformed from confident professional to scrawny kid about to get shoved into my own locker. My slight stature of 5’1” makes “one size fits all” a true misnomer, particularly when coupled with three pieces of raggedy fabric that I’m supposed to tie behind my back. Continue reading No Dignity Required: Improving Patient Engagement by Elevating Humanity

Medical–Legal Partnership Builds a Culture of Upstream Advocacy

Originally posted on March 13, 2014

By Elizabeth Tobin Tyler, JD and Edward Paul, MD

Sometimes the screening questions a doctor most needs to ask her patients are not the ones she has traditionally been taught to use.

During a recent visit, Dr. Jordan, a family physician, asked Maria if she had any concerns about her housing or her family’s safety. Maria, a married, young mother of three, burst into tears. She told Dr. Jordan that the utility company was threatening to shut off the electricity and gas in their home because they were behind in their payments. Maria’s husband was disabled on the job several months earlier and had been unable to work. His application for disability insurance was denied, leaving the family with limited income.

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