Archive for June 2015

Do Hospitalists Need Paid Time Off?

by Leslie Flores, MHA, SFHM Does paid time off (PTO) make sense for physicians like hospitalists and ED docs who are largely shift workers? I guess it depends on your perspective, though I have some definite opinions of my own. But before sharing my thoughts on the value of PTO for hospitalists, it might be instructive to understand a bit about the current state of PTO in hospital medicine groups. It’s hard to know what to make of the information that’s currently available about PTO for hospitalists. Only about 31% of hospital medicine groups serving adult patients provide some paid time off, according to SHM’s 2014 State of Hospital Medicine Survey, though the prevalence of PTO is much higher in academic groups (55%) than non-academic groups (27%). And academic groups provide a median of 208 hours of PTO annually while non-academic groups provide a median of 120 hours annually. But…

The ABIM Controversy: Where the Critics are Right, Where They’re Wrong, and Why I Feel the Need to Speak Out

“What’s up with the ABIM?” “I just got a note about an alternative board. Should I join it?” “Aren’t you glad to be off the Board?” These days, I get these questions from friends and colleagues regularly. When I first joined the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in 2004, the organization was a well-respected pillar of American medicine. Today the organization finds itself in a fight for its life, being painted as everything from out of touch to money-hungry to, more recently, corrupt. I just completed my decade-long service to the ABIM and, more recently, the ABIM Foundation. I’ve waited until now to write this because I wanted to be clear that I am not speaking for ABIM or its leadership. I am also well aware that there is a vocal group of critics who feel passionately about this matter, whose minds are made…

A Chat with Dr. Greg Hall from Project Protect

by Dr. Ian Jenkins MD I recently had the opportunity to serve as a mentor for Project Protect, an initiative of the Health Research & Education Trust (HRET) that paired rising stars in quality and infection prevention with mentors from several organizations, including the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM). Mentees worked on Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) prevention in ward, emergency room, and intensive care settings with their mentors, and received web-based training from IHI supplemented by a series of group phone calls.  The project culminated in a meeting in March of this year when the fellows shared their work and my mentee, Dr. Greg Hall, won second place overall for his efforts to reduce unnecessary urinary catheter insertion in the MUSC emergency room. How did you find out about Project Protect? The Chief Risk Officer and Hospitalist at our hospital, Dr. Danielle Scheurer, is one of my mentors.  We…

Why We Should Care about Alarm Fatigue

by Mimi Zander When I arrived back at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) after my first year of medical school, I knew what was awaiting me: thousands of alarms from physiologic monitors, most of them inconsequential, lined up neatly in spreadsheets, splattered all over research databases, lighting up on video screens, chirping down hallways and up elevators. Of course, they were incessantly firing at the bedside, but when patient care is video recorded for Dr. Bonafide's research study on alarm fatigue, those patient care hours turn into data points that live on hard drives and servers waiting to be classified, annotated, and cataloged by a team of research assistants, including me. I began working at the CHOP while attending the University of Pennsylvania’s post-baccalaureate premed program. What started as a temporary summer research position, turned into an almost three year endeavor. The pilot that I helped design uses video…

The Artist Arrived First: Anatomy and Art in Italy

Life is short, the art is long. -Hippocrates Aphorism Our pivotal moments today are holding warm hands and discussing issues of survival and comfort. And yet, the journey into medicine began with cold fingers and deciding which tortuous tool to use next. The medical school told us, "We trust you, you are now on the path to becoming a physician. But we trust you only so far as to start your education with a patient who doesn’t talk back." But this patient, our first patient, was alive with secrets and hidden beauty and we were granted a unique opportunity to unlock the “mysteries within.” The cold cadaver on the table, the chemical miasma, the cold air, and the jars of congenital malformation specimens lining the shelves on the walls: anatomy lab seems anything but beautiful. It’s a ritual rooted in hundreds of years of medical education, and a journey in…
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