Monthly Archives: November 2016

Can Artificial Narrow Intelligence Improve Patient Safety?

Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) may play a role in providing care for patients and their families in the near future. According to the Harvard Business Review, ANI systems can offer suggestions, update hospital staff with need-to-know information and prevent medical errors. In many ways, ANI could improve patient safety. ANI systems can gather massive amounts of data, and pick up on specific patterns human beings would miss. It could use patient chart information and warn doctors of specific drug interactions. If a patient were to crash, it could provide nurses and doctors with the most pertinent information required to provide treatment. ANI could help protect patients from misdiagnosis, one of the most common medical mistakes. Could ANI Improve Patient Safety by Preventing Misdiagnosis? IBM’s Watson, an ANI system, has proven it can diagnose patients in a matter of minutes. Doctors at the University of Tokyo were stunned after Watson saved…
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Can Genetic Testing Cause a Medical Misdiagnosis?

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, African Americans are at risk for receiving incorrect results from genetic tests for an inherited heart disorder. Specifically, doctors may misinterpret these tests and give a medical misdiagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The condition, which causes a hardening of the heart walls, is known for triggering the sudden death of athletes who were otherwise healthy. What Happens When Genetic Testing Causes a Medical Misdiagnosis? The effects of being misdiagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are devastating. Patients go through life believing they could die at any moment. They may receive unnecessary medical follow-ups, or told to avoid physically demanding activities. Patients may also undergo unnecessary surgery to implant heart defibrillators. A recent Wall Street Journal article shared the story of a family that received incorrect information from genetic testing. After a 13-year-old boy died from sudden heart failure, more than 20…
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How Can Patients Protect Themselves from Readmissions?

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) statistics show that one in five hospital patients face readmission within 30 days after discharge. Hospital readmissions remain high across the country for several reasons. Patients may succumb to infections after leaving the hospital, or they may be released before receiving adequate treatment. Hospitals may also do a poor job of explaining discharge instructions to patients, their families and caregivers. This can also happen when health care providers communicate to patients who do not speak English as a primary language. How to Avoid Hospital Readmissions There are several ways patients can protect themselves from readmission. Meet with a discharge planner: Consumer Reports suggests patients, their families, or caregivers should schedule appointments with discharge planners. These health care professionals can provide written summaries for how to care for surgical wounds, activity restrictions and a detailed medication list. Discharge planners can also provide test results,…
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