The Art of Patient Care Blog

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The Art of Patient Care Blog contains a listing of all the new and/or updated pages on this site. Also included are visitor comments, editorials, article reviews, case studies, pertinent news items and other miscellaneous information all related to enhancing our ability to provide high quality, competent and compassionate care to patients who are looking to us for our knowledge and support.

If you wish to add your own entry to this page, please fill out the form on the Comments Page.

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New Entries and Updates...

Mar 17, 2013

Afterlife

Is there an afterlife? Should we use this to comfort people as they are dying?

Continue reading "Afterlife"

Mar 09, 2013

Health Insurance - Information

Looking for some reliable, updated, easy-to-understand information about health insurance in the U.S., and how it is affected by Obamacare? Check out this site...

Continue reading "Health Insurance - Information"

Mar 03, 2013

Primum Non Nocere

We understand the need for proper utilization of medical resources, but knowingly causing potential harm to patients to reduce costs should not be part of the equation.

Continue reading "Primum Non Nocere"

Dec 26, 2012

Interesting Patients

Medical students and residents love to have interesting patients. What makes a patient interesting? It's more about provider perception than the type of illness.

Continue reading "Interesting Patients"

Dec 10, 2012

From The Beginning!

I first met Dr. Warth Dec.20, 1976 in the emergency room at Virginia Beach Hospital. God Blessed me that night. Coping with a masive heart attack, he worked

Continue reading "From The Beginning!"

Nov 03, 2012

Maintaining the Extraordinary

If somehow we can manage to maintain the same techniques taught in achieving our status in the medical field we would be extraordinary. Unfortunately, even newcomers loose site very fast when dealing with over worked, under staffed, and plain lazy people who actually hide or pretend they do not hear a bell or alarm. Mercy!
-Barbara Jones, USA

Nov 03, 2012

"Gods"

I would like to appreciate your insight regarding this very important aspect of the medical profession. i think this article will or should enhance retrospection by all health professionals,majority of whom have forgotten how to be human and act like they are "gods".
-Julius Banks, Uganda

Jul 07, 2012

Health Reform

How much do we really know about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)? Amidst all the hype, emotion, confusion and misinformation about it, when it comes down to the real facts about it, I don't think the average, news-watching American really understands it or knows what's in it. I'm in the healthcare business and tested myself with a questionnaire about it recently and was surprised to find out that I didn't know as much about it as I thought.

I've also been a victim of media hype and misinformation.

I think one of the things that we have to be careful about is that there are many opinions about how certain aspects of the program are going to effect various groups and the nation as a whole in the future. These are mostly guesses and conjecture heavily tainted with bias. The bottom line about future effects is that nobody really knows; there are just too many variables - that's why there are so many differing opinions and projections. I think we will just have to live it and see what happens, then try to fix the parts that aren't working well.

One of the major physician organizations, the American College of Physicians, of which I am a member, seems to have a positive viewpoint about it. The article sited here seems factual, although it's not totally without bias, because it's written from the viewpoint of internal medicine physicians.

The government's informational website about it is at www.healthcare.gov. Of course, this has a positive bias about it also, but it is nevertheless factual.

One of the better listings of some of the important aspects of the ACA program presented as facts without a lot of guessing or conjecture can be found here in a format that even I could understand...

Continue reading "Health Reform"

Apr 30, 2012

Support for the Patient During A Serious Illness

How should friends or family support a patient during a serious illness?

Continue reading "Support for the Patient During A Serious Illness"

Apr 17, 2012

On the Subject of Rewards in Medicine

After two long years of suffering with end-stage COPD and cor pulmonale, my patient, a 92 year old retired surgeon, whom I had seen on numerous occasions for home visits, died at home comfortably with a hospice nurse and family at the bedside. A few days later, the whole family came to see me at the office for the sole purpose of saying 'Thank you" for providing the same good care and personal attention to their father that he provided to his patients while he was practicing. Made my day!

Jun 04, 2011

Protocols

It's becoming common practice to use protocols based on evidence-based medicine in writing orders and treating various illnesses. While this is helpful as a reminder of evidence-based guidelines and provides a checklist so that you don't forget certain things as you are writing orders, please try to avoid the pitfall of using the protocol as a cookbook and as a replacement for thinking and using proper clinical judgement about an individual case.

Protocols are written as a guide that will probably work for the majority of routine illnesses, but patient care is loaded with so many different variables, that what works for many or even most, will not work for all patients.

Remember that, no matter how much certain institutions want to standardize care for diseases, it is impossible with current technology to standardize individual patients. If it were possible, our computers could direct patient care, and there wouldn't be a need for doctors. There may come a time, I am told, when computers will be able to think and maybe even surpass human intelligence, but we're definitely not there yet, and I personally hope we never will be.

For now, the doctor, not the protocol, should be running the show.

May 23, 2011

Compassion

Compassion is an important component of patient care from both a therapeutic as well as a humanitarian viewpoint, yet its importance is little emphasized in our training.

Continue reading "Compassion"

Apr 22, 2011

Nurses Week!

Beginning April 12th, Fibers.com kicked off their 2nd annual Nurses Week Design Challenge, where nurses and nurse-aficionados can create clever t-shirt designs in celebration of Nursing Week and the nursing profession. Users may submit designs using the simple yet powerful Fibers.com design tool.. no design skills necessary!

Three brilliant & creative winners will be chosen on May 16th to win over $2000 in prizes including an iPad2.

Visit the following link to view, participate, and vote in the contest:http://www.fibers.com/contests/nurses-week-2011

Continue reading "Nurses Week!"

Mar 23, 2011

Objectivity

Objectivity is another mark of professionalism in patient care - another goal for which to strive - but it's not always as easy as you might think.

Continue reading "Objectivity"

Mar 04, 2011

Clinical Judgment

Clinical judgment requires a balance between compassion, science and common sense. How do we sort out what is the best option when there are no textbooks or studies that tell us what to do?

Continue reading "Clinical Judgment"

Oct 10, 2010

Case Study: Code Status

This case study demonstrates the problems you can get into if the predetermined code status is not followed properly.

Continue reading "Case Study: Code Status"

Sep 19, 2010

Call the Palliative Care Team Early

An recent article in the August 19, 2010 issue of the NEJM caught my attention - "Early Palliative Care for Patients with Metastatic Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer", by Jennifer Temel, et al. The investigators found that when patients with newly diagnosed NSC lung cancer received early palliative care, the quality of life and mood were significantly higher at 12 weeks than those who received standard care. Furthermore, the group that received the less aggressive palliative care actually lived longer than the standard care group who had more aggressive care!

Continue reading "Call the Palliative Care Team Early"

Aug 08, 2010

Contextual Medical Errors

Contextual medical errors are very common. We must explore the literacy and the social history of our patients to be sure that treatment we prescribe can be carried out properly.

Continue reading "Contextual Medical Errors"

Aug 03, 2010

Humility

I was happy to see an article appear in the Annals of Internal Medicine in this current issue (2010;153:200-201) written by Jack Coulehan entitled, "On Humility". This is a very well-written treatise on the art and virtue of humility in patient care, showing that it is not a sign of weakness as it is sometimes regarded, but rather an "unflinching self-awareness" that allows us to connect to patients, understand them and advocate for their welfare. Humility also wisely reminds us that despite all our knowledge, we still don't know everything and never will. We have to keep this always in the backs of our minds, so that we will never be so arrogant as to prevent us from learning from our patients, about life, death and humanity.

Continue reading "Humility"

Jul 28, 2010

Unexpected Death

Dealing with an unexpected death is never easy for healthcare providers. How can we help families and ourselves cope with these situations?

Continue reading "Unexpected Death"

May 09, 2010

Medicine Library

My online medicine library contains my favorite resources for medical diagnosis and treatment. I keep these bookmarked for easy access on my office desktop computer.

Continue reading "Medicine Library"

May 04, 2010

Continuity of Care A Personal Voyage

Carol Stickney and Opal Bristow published a book (let) entitled Discharge Planning and Continuity of Care. Carol had gotten sick later in life and needed

Continue reading "Continuity of Care A Personal Voyage"

Apr 18, 2010

Politics and Patient Care

As much as I like to avoid the subject, I just can't ignore the importance of politics and discussions about health care in this country that directly effect the daily lives and livelihood of all healthcare providers and patients alike. One of my favorite blogs that helps provide insight and understanding among all the confusion is the ACP Advocacy Blog...

Continue reading "Politics and Patient Care"

Apr 05, 2010

Concierge Medicine - The Myths and Misconceptions

The concept of concierge medicine has emerged as an alternative to traditional medical practice. Many generalizations have been made that may not be accurate. Here is my experience.

Continue reading "Concierge Medicine - The Myths and Misconceptions"

Mar 20, 2010

Altruism vs. Burnout

I have a concern about your statement that we should be concerned about the well being of the patients far more than our own (paraphrase).I beg to differ. There is a fine balance. If we do not look after our own well being we can not do a good job taking care of others. That is why we see the burn out,family discordance, drug abuse etc. and the stress to the point of distress. In this case charity must begin at home. - Lal Arora

{Point well-taken. You're right. Each of us has to find the right balance, which is sometimes difficult to discover these days when there is so much pressure to see more patients in less and less time. For more on this, see the page on Burnout. GJW}

Mar 05, 2010

New Resources on Medical Professionalism

I'd like to share the latest resources on many issues surrounding Medical Professionalism from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University.

Continue reading "New Resources on Medical Professionalism"

Feb 24, 2010

Saying No to Patients

The art of saying no in patient care sometimes depends on how well the health care provider can explain to patients why some medications or treatments may be ineffective or even harmful.

Continue reading "Saying No to Patients"

Jan 13, 2010

Science and Patient Care

Here is a simple but eloquent story about making a connection between the science of medicine and caring for patients...

Continue reading "Science and Patient Care"

Nov 25, 2009

Burnout

Burnout is a syndrome that can bring even the most compassionate physician to his/her knees, resulting in poor bedside manner and, even worse, poor patient care.

Continue reading "Burnout"

Oct 24, 2009

The Doctor Patient Relationship

The doctor patient relationship is a special bond like no other. It needs to be respected and treated carefully as a partnership emphasizing equality and trust.

Continue reading "The Doctor Patient Relationship"

Oct 10, 2009

Hospice Care

Hospice care can provide peace and comfort for terminally ill patients and their families.

Continue reading "Hospice Care"

Sep 20, 2009

Palliative Care

Palliative care has become a specialty all its own, dealing with compassionate symptomatic control for suffering patients.

Continue reading "Palliative Care"

Sep 13, 2009

Patient Rights

Knowing and understanding patient rights are an integral part of patient care. Here's where to find a summary of these rights.

Continue reading "Patient Rights"

Aug 05, 2009

Narrative Medicine

The integration of Narrative Medicine into medical training appears to be an excellent method of teaching young professionals how to incorporate humanity and understanding into patient care.

Continue reading "Narrative Medicine"

Jul 30, 2009

Continuity of Care

Talking about continuity of care isn't enough. We have to do something about it.

Continue reading "Continuity of Care"

Jul 19, 2009

Psychosomatic Disorders

Patients with psychosomatic disorders present special challenges to health care providers. How can we help from a primary care standpoint?

Continue reading "Psychosomatic Disorders"

Jul 16, 2009

Patient Centered Care

The healthcare industry in this country needs to refocus itself on patient centered care. What's good for the patient will also be good for the healthcare system.

Continue reading "Patient Centered Care"

Jul 09, 2009

Advance Directive

Discussing the advance directive and code status with patients and families is an art unto itself.

Continue reading "Advance Directive"

Jun 15, 2009

Evidence Based Medicine

Evidence based medicine has been popularized as the goal to strive for in medicine; perhaps the goal should be good patient care first.

Continue reading "Evidence Based Medicine"

Jun 06, 2009

Patient Compliance

Poor patient compliance is a frequent and frustrating cause of poor outcomes in patient care.

Continue reading "Patient Compliance"

May 31, 2009

Health Information on the Web

How do you know which websites displaying health information are reliable?

Continue reading "Health Information on the Web"

May 25, 2009

Medical Practice Models

There are different types of medical practice models from which to choose. How do they compare?

Continue reading "Medical Practice Models"

May 23, 2009

Whole Patient Care

Whole patient care requires knowledge of the patient's background and emotional stresses blended with scientific medical knowledge for optimum care and treatment.

Continue reading "Whole Patient Care"

May 21, 2009

Health Care Technology and Patient Care

Health care technology is growing at a rapid rate and has great potential for improving patient care but not without cost.

Continue reading "Health Care Technology and Patient Care"

May 20, 2009

Phone Calls

Phone calls are sometimes a large part of private practice in medicine. How should these be handled?

Continue reading "Phone Calls"

May 20, 2009

Developing Good Communication Skills in Patient Care

How to develop good communication skills that will help immensely in taking care of patients in all kinds of situations.

Continue reading "Developing Good Communication Skills in Patient Care"

May 14, 2009

Medical References and Resources for The Art of Patient Care

A listing of medical references and resources relating to the art of healing and patient care.

Continue reading "Medical References and Resources for The Art of Patient Care"

Apr 29, 2009

Your Comments on Patient Care

This is the place where you can add your own comments on patient care - experiences, concerns and ways to improve on the art of caring for patients.

Continue reading "Your Comments on Patient Care"

Apr 29, 2009

Sitemap for The Art of Patient Care

This page contains The Art of Patient Care sitemap with links to all the pages on this site.

Continue reading "Sitemap for The Art of Patient Care"


This page was last updated on March 3, 2013.