Monthly Archives: December 2016

Are Female Doctors Safer Than Their Male Counterparts?

A new JAMA Internal Medicine article has good news for senior citizens receiving treatment from female doctors. They may have better patient outcomes. According to the Harvard doctors responsible for the article, senior citizen patients treated by women had lower mortality rates within 30 days of admission. The data shows 11.07 percent patients treated by female doctors died within 30 days of admission, compared to 11.49 percent of patients treated by male doctors. This accounts for tens of thousands of patients. The differences in patient outcomes persisted for multiple health conditions, including kidney failure, irregular heartbeat, sepsis and pneumonia. Researchers also accounted for the age, income and gender of patients, and severity of illness upon admission. Despite adding these factors in the analysis, the differences in patient outcome remained. This study analyzed 1.5 million hospitalizations occurring between 2011 and 2014. To gather data, researchers reviewed cases involving 18,751 female and…
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Will This Alarming New Policy Cause an Increase in Medical Mistakes?

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education will vote on increasing the number of consecutive hours first-year residents can work. This private organization is responsible for overseeing physician training in the United States. If this new policy goes into effect, it may have implications for patient safety in hospitals. At the moment, first-year residents fresh out of medical school can only work 16 hours straight. If the new policy goes into effect, this cap will increase to 28 hours. A prior study released by the Institute of Medicine shows doctors put themselves and their patients in harm’s way when they work too many hours. According a separate Harvard study, first-year residents working in intensive care units made 36 percent more medical mistakes when working for 24 hours or more. This is compared to first-year residents that worked shorter shifts. Overworked residents also fell asleep on the job, and were too…
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Can Big Data Prevent a Medical Misdiagnosis?

Forbes recently published an article on how software can pair patients with doctors who are most likely to give them an accurate diagnosis. The article explains how Grand Rounds, a mobile app, can help people find doctors in their area who have the most experience treating specific health conditions. According to the creators of Grand Rounds, the service can help decrease the chances of a misdiagnosis. Grand Rounds uses a database of 700,000 physicians, or about 96 percent of all doctors in the United States. The app then uses insurance-claims data and biographical information on the doctors to help patients make a selection. For example, a patient suffering chronic headaches could look for a doctor in their area who specializes in diagnosing neurological conditions. The theory behind the app, is that patients can select doctors who are most likely to offer a correct diagnosis. In addition, the app allows patients…
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Posted in Medical Malpractice | Tagged | Leave a comment