Archive for December 2014

My Interview with Health IT Leader John Halamka

Of the nearly 100 people I interviewed for my upcoming book, John Halmaka was one of the most fascinating. Halamka is CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a national leader in health IT policy. He also runs a family farm, on which he raises ducks, alpacas and llamas. His penchant for black mock turtlenecks, along with his brilliance and quirkiness, raise inevitable comparisons to Steve Jobs. I interviewed him in Boston on August 12, 2014. Our conversation was very wide ranging, but I was particularly struck by what Halamka had to say about federal privacy regulations and HIPAA, and their impact on his job as CIO. Let’s start with that. Halamka: Not long ago, one of our physicians went into an Apple store and bought a laptop. He returned to his office, plugged it in, and synched his e-mail. He then left for a meeting. When he came…

The Shield

Recently I received an elderly patient who had been transferred from another hospital where she had been admitted for two weeks. The pertinent information about this patient is that her son, a doctor, a pathologist, had arranged the transfer. The worst thing to have is a patient with a doctor for a relative. No, the worst thing is to have a patient with a doctor who is a pathologist for a relative. I had already heard from the night doctor about how difficult and “micro-managey” the son was, how he walked around the hospital wearing his stethoscope (...pathologists don’t use stethoscopes). So before I even saw the patient I was aggravated and loaded for bear, filled with a bit of self-righteous anger. I was going to “set some limits” with the son. I was not going to let him take over her care. When I complained about the situation, before…

A Day in the Life as an Academic Hospitalist

by Dr. Darlene Tad-y MD The work of an academic hospitalist is never the same from one day to the next. Clinical patient care, medical education and scholarship are all part of what I get to do every single day. The photos below highlight why I love my career! I also have opportunities to add in different types of work as an academician, including teaching and scholarship. [caption id="attachment_11675" align="alignleft" width="300"] Consulting with neurology colleagues.[/caption] Our Teaching Rounds Without a doubt, the care of patients in the hospital is a major part of my day-to-day. As a hospitalist, I get to see a wide variety of patients who are acutely ill. Because I practice general medicine, the diversity of illnesses I see always makes clinical care exciting and challenging. As an academic hospitalist, I also have the responsibility and benefit of providing top-notch patient care as part of training residents…

The ED-Hospitalist Relationship: Friend or Foe?

One of the things that I love about my job as a hospitalist is the ease with which we can develop friendships with colleagues from other disciplines. Since I am an inpatient physician, it’s not surprising that some of my good friends are cardiologists, nurses, endocrinologists, physical therapists and, of course, other hospitalists. In fact, I met my neurosurgeon husband while co-managing his patients at the hospital. While thinking about this two years ago, I realized there were very few ED physicians on my list of friends. I was perplexed because while I interact with ED docs more than any other group of physicians, I didn’t seem to have many as close friends. To better understand this discrepancy, I took a trip back in time and thought about how we learned to interact with our ED colleagues during residency. I realized that many of us unfortunately learn to perceive them…

Hospital Medicine and My Airport Parking Experience?

With the festive season upon us, which often includes traveling, I thought I would write about something off the beaten track and share an interesting experience I had recently. A couple of weeks ago I had just returned to Boston after a trip to London. As usual I had taken the latest flight possible and it was night by the time the plane touched down at Logan airport. When I got out of the airport the first thing that struck me was how much colder it was in Massachusetts compared to England (a common misconception is that England is an extremely cold country, but being a small island it’s actually quite mild compared to other countries at the same latitude). I had a short bus shuttle ride with my two large suitcases to where I usually park, and was delighted when I saw my car, knowing that my home and…
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