Saturday, April 30, 2016

Who is that in the room writing about me?

With the advent of the Electronic Medical Record, many physicians find that they just cannot keep up with the system’s need for data input.  While dictation has advocates, reading and correcting transcriptions takes valuable time, leading to the often applied phrase “dictated but not read” on many such reports.  Recently, some physicians have started using scribes, like the stenographer of old but with a computer rather than a shorthand pad, to record the physician’s words for the record.  In doing so, many potential transcription errors can be avoided, but does the presence of the scribe in the examination room impact the nature of the visit?  Here is a discussion about the topic from the Medpage Today website, looking at that question.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pneumonia - an ancient killer continues to stalk

In the days before antibiotics, pneumonia was the third leading cause of death overall, and even today, it remains the leading infectious cause of hospitalization and death in this country.  The cost in lives and to the economy is staggering, and even celebrities, such as Merle Haggard, can succumb to the disease.  With vaccination and prompt treatment, the toll from many forms of pneumonia can be significantly reduced.  Here is a look at this issue, through the lens of the death of one star.

Sepsis - What is it and how does it kill you?

Heart disease, lung disease, cancer ... those you've heard of.  But my mother, and hundreds of thousands of others each year, die of the effects of an overwhelming infection, a condition called sepsis.  There are many sources for such infections, and many treatments, but the final common pathway is multiple organ failure and death.  Actress Patty Duke died at 69, far too young, from sepsis originating in bowel disease.  Here's a piece from the Self website looking at the disease, and how to recognize it so that it can be treated. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Prince's death - Whether flu or not, it's still important

When the news of the death of Prince first broke, influenza was suspected as the cause of the singer's death.  As the story develops, there is more confusion about just what may have been going on.  But the warning remains real, the disease that is commonly scoffed at, influenza, kills tens of thousands annually.  Here is a look at what the disease can do, and how to prevent it, from the Newsmax website.