Doctor Patient: What Happened When I Got Cancer

Mittleman-Craig MD Bristol_July 2012It was last Summer in July when I became sick. It was a range of not unusual upper respiratory symptoms, but as time progressed and my symptoms didn’t respond to the usual combination of steroids and antibiotics, I became concerned. I’d developed a more distinct pain in my chest, and became increasingly mindful about those bad things we see from time to time.Continue Reading >

Posted in Life in the ER

The New World of Patient Satisfaction: Even Ice Chips Matter

David Klein headshot“My wife died uncomfortable and alone. She died thirsty!”

The man who spoke those words came in to the Emergency Room recently where I was working a shift. He was accompanied by his wife, a 70-year-old with high sugar, weakness, and nausea. The team worked to get her seen under the presumption that her diabetes needed control. Once she was brought back to the room, she began vomiting. While waiting for the physician, she became thirsty, and asked for ice chips. She was told that, with doctor’s authorization, the nurse would bring them right in.Continue Reading >

Posted in Life in the ER

Imagine If Your Favorite Restaurant Ran Like an Emergency Department

Patsy McNeil MD SGAH-2014Setting patient expectations in the ER

Imagine you walk into a restaurant named Luigi’s. From the décor and the smell of pasta sauce coming from the kitchen, you assume that this restaurant serves Italian food. You walk forward, your name is taken and you are then told to sit off to the side and wait until your name is called so that you can get a table. Time goes by, and no one gives you any eye contact or tells you what’s going on but you’re quite hungry and so you wait. Other people go get seated ahead of you and you don’t know why.Continue Reading >

Posted in Life in the ER, Quality, Efficiency, Utilization

Inside the Media Training for ER Docs to Learn to Talk About Ebola

Russell Max Simon HeadshotIt was toward the end of the second day of the largest conference in the country for emergency physicians, when the official Twitter account for the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) sent out this little nugget of truth:

#Ebola is not the only topic at #ACEP14. It just feels that way.

Continue Reading >

Posted in Life in the ER

Emergency Medicine Residents: What Will Your Story Be?

Jesse Irwin headshotIt’s Day 2 of ACEP 2014, and, as I have in past years, I’m scrolling through the emergency medicine resident resumes of the young doctors who have visited our booth. And that’s when I decided I just had to look up the etymology of the term, CV.

The impulse came as I was looking at the dozenth list of lectures and papers that such and such candidate had delivered during medical school, the titles of which are too mind-numbing to look up again for reproduction here. Then I kept scrolling, down, down, until I got to the “Interests” section. This particular candidate had listed swimming, running, and improv comedy.Continue Reading >

Posted in For Residents

I Have a Message for Third-Year Emergency Medicine Residents at ACEP

Neil Roy HeadshotI have a message for 3rd-year residents, particularly those who are walking around to the different exhibitors at ACEP 2014 in Chicago this week looking for a job, thinking about a job, hoping they’ll get a job, or otherwise fearing they might not get a job. Here’s the message: don’t worry.

You might think that these young, budding emergency physicians have nothing to fear. After all, there are far more emergency job openings than there are emergency physicians. They are in high demand, and by most projections that demand is only going to grow.Continue Reading >

Posted in For Residents

What US Hospitals and Healthcare Providers Should Take Away from the Ebola Outbreak

David Klein headshotAmong reams of coverage on the ebola outbreak, Politico just published a characteristic story with the headline, “In the world of ebola, no room for error.” The only problem is that is as soon as you introduce a human element to any system, there will be error.

That’s the reality that healthcare leaders across the United States are grappling with now in a simultaneous effort both to tighten the healthcare system’s ability to safely identify ebola patients and not say anything that would lead to widespread panic. Continue Reading >

Posted in Leadership, Life in the ER, Quality, Efficiency, Utilization

Residents: Here’s Why Your Email Inbox Is Clogged With Job Offers

Jesse Irwin headshotIf you’re a 3rd or 4th year resident, chances are you’re no stranger to unsolicited job offers showing up in your email inbox. Maybe it’s a few a week, or maybe it’s a few a day, but they are always there. The emails find you. I’ve been out of residency for years and I’m still getting them.

The macro reason for this flood of unsolicited job offers is obvious: you’re in high demand. There are many specialties where the number of job openings far outpace the number of new residents looking for a job, including my own, emergency medicine. Employers need to go looking for you much more than you need to go looking for them.Continue Reading >

Posted in For Residents

MEP’s Foundations of Leadership Program Provides the Management Skills They Don’t Teach in Medical School

MEP's current Foundations of Leadership group.

MEP’s current Foundations of Leadership group.

By now, most hospitals are aware that in order to run a great Emergency Department, you need more than excellent clinicians. You also need exceptional managers and leaders.

Among the many ways in which MEP conscientiously develops physician leaders (see our Case Study on the subject), we have recently crystallized part of our development program into an 18-month curriculum called MEP Health Foundations of Leadership.Continue Reading >

Posted in Leadership

Why Big Data in Healthcare is Failing, and What Can Be Done About It

Jason Giffi, DOA few days ago a colleague of mine was inching south through the mother of all traffic jams: 60 straight miles of construction work on I-95 just south Washington DC. The three-lane highway was jammed. Route 1, which runs parallel to I-95 was also jammed. Cars were stalled in the middle of the highway having run out of gas from waiting so long.Continue Reading >

Posted in Future of Healthcare, Life in the ER