Archives for August, 2011

How is the EMR Purchase Coming?

Over the years, I have seen significant decision in practice management come and go, some being made by exhaustive research and others through simply avoiding the decision hoping it would pass then make itself.  Remember Y2K, electronic billing, even your first purchase of practice management software?

I recently sat through a live risk management seminar put on by a medical professional liability insurance carrier that featured a very knowledgeable, experienced defense attorney.  The first middle and last point that the attorney had made was, document, document and then document.  The crux of his point was that it was near impossible to convince a jury that you, the physician, had in fact informed the patient of the potential side effects, that you had extensively reviewed lifestyle or family history predisposition, etc.  While this is a standard office visit or consult, and you have performed it thousands of times before, this moment in the courtroom demands proof, and it is coming down to your word against the patient.  One of the obvious benefits of an EMR system is the ability to document this visit and have that proof positive.

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The Medical Malpractice Debate is Deadlocked over Accountability Issues

The recent Congressional debate related to the nation’s debt ceiling was reminiscent of the furor over skyrocketing medical malpractice premiums and the need for some type of “ceiling” to cap costs and remove accountability entirely from the process.  As with any complex problem, if there were a simple solution, then it would have been implemented long ago.  However, the solution is not a simple one when it comes to the medical malpractice premium “crisis”, despite the heightened rhetoric employed by various stakeholders in the process.

Curiously enough, there are many stakeholders to be found, another reason the debate is endless and never ending.  A financial “status quo” exists that provides some form of stability and certainty for a few of the major participants, but the general public at large, the patients in this equation, is the loser in the end when health care costs increase and access to basic medical care is constrained.  A simple review of articles on the topic yields a host of one-sided opinions, typically biased in their representation of the facts and preaching for actions that would tip the scale in their direction.

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How Medical Liability of Doctors is Affected by Using Social Media

Social Media Icons on the Screen of an iPhone4

There is no question that most of the American population is a part of at least one social networking site. Social media is a great source for people acquiring news, knowledge, and communities.  However, social media can also hurt the career and personal lives of the people who use it. With literally nothing off limits, how do we know when people are crossing the line between appropriate and inappropriate? This has been a hot topic issue for physicians and surgeons using social media and social networking sites, especially with how it affects their medical liability insurance.

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What Communication Should I Expect From My Defense Counsel?

The communication between defense counsel is a critical component of a successful defense of a medical malpractice claim.  The defendant-physician can play a pivotal role in directing defense counsel to witnesses, medical literature, theories, and experts.  The challenge for the defendant-physician is how to establish the expectations for communication with defense counsel during the progress of a claim.

Begin at the beginning

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Approval of Incentives for Proficient Healthcare

Inspired by incentives in the federal health-overhaul law, doctors and hospitals all over the country are starting to come up with new entities that target more affordable health insurance.

However, their efforts are already cause for concern because many people question if it is truly a way to save money, or if it will in fact cause the costs to increase even more.

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Usability in the EHR World

With more and more physicians adopting electronic health records (EHR), the next great frontier is ensuring the new tools are used in the most safe and efficient manner.  And, as with most products, not every EHR system is created equal.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, that’s why the Obama administration is proposing a plan to develop standards to measure how effective and easy digital patient records are to use — applying a research discipline known as human-computer interaction or human factors.

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