Tag Archives: Medicine

Has Physician Burnout Become a Patient Safety Threat?

Doctors have one of the most difficult jobs in the world, and comes with a great amount of responsibility. The requirements of this job might be causing an epidemic of physician burnout in hospitals. According to a Mayo Clinic survey, 54 percent of doctors report feeling burnt out. This study claims factors like long hours, electronic health record requirements (EHR) and life-work conflicts are to blame. Respondents to the survey claimed they spent more than half their time dealing with EHR requirements, a major cause of burnout among physicians. In a strange twist of irony, the very policies and technologies we need to coordinate patient care may be also putting patients at risk. 3 Ways Physician Burnout in Hospitals Affects Patient Care and Safety Doctors feeling burn out can negatively affect patient care in the following ways. Patient satisfaction: Studies show patients of burnt out doctors are less likely to…
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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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Brave New Ward: Will Robots Replace Surgeons?

Robots are continuing to take more roles in our workforce, whether it be assisting drivers, factory workers or other jobs that have been historically performed by humans. In the near future, surgeons may be assisted by autonomous robots to carry out highly complex medical procedures with perfect accuracy. For almost two decades, da Vinci machines have helped surgeons carry out surgical procedures. Da Vinci machines use robotic arms to help guide surgeons, but they are not autonomous. New technologies are far more exciting. Researchers associated with Children’s National Health System (CNHS) and Johns Hopkins University recently performed open bowel surgery on pigs using autonomous robotic equipment. The Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) can help surgeons perform operations that would otherwise be highly risky and difficult. STAR can use three-dimensional imaging and night vision to perform surgeries in the dark. It can see through and read the temperature of soft tissue….
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