In the Public Eye

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 1:49pm

If you’re in a smashup, have a burst appendix or heart attack – there are many rooms in a specialized hospital department that are gateways to life-saving care.  But I’m told I can’t call that place an ED. It’s still got to be called an ER. That’s because pharmaceutical companies have hijacked “ED” with certain TV ads (invariably at dinner time, prompting questions from young minds about a certain condition lasting an undesired and unhealthy four hours).
 


In the Public Eye

Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 2:20pm

Enter hospital. Observe, and ask one question: “Am I in a social fabric that is safe and caring?” Expected answer, from stressed, overwhelmed patient, “I should be.” From caregiver, “We try to make it that way.”


Friday, January 17, 2014 - 8:16am

It’s amazing how keeping people out of hospitals and getting crooks into jail can travel along similar paths. The other day, healthcare futurist Joe Flower reflected on the important forces driving the biggest change in healthcare in anyone’s memory --- demographics, economics and technology.


Friday, January 3, 2014 - 10:49am

He stood typing on a keyboard behind the United Airlines counter. He flashed me a look. “You don’t really see me,” he said, “because I’m not really here.” So much for asking about changing flights. Soon, I’d be watching him trying to queue up folks to board a plane – so clueless that other United staff had to do his work for him.  So much for United's “bug off” brand of customer service in San Francisco.


Friday, December 6, 2013 - 2:21pm

It’s 4 a.m. About 40 emails have accumulated since I last checked my phone six hours ago --- news alerts, various listserves, political updates.

It’s 5:30 a.m. If I’m lucky, the delivery driver has left three newspapers at my door – the Fresno Bee, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Print is not dead, but some days it takes three papers in a blue bag to keep the wind from blowing the contents away. Before I head to work at 6:30 a.m., I will have read two, saving the Journal for later.


Monday, November 4, 2013 - 11:58am

Has the word “patient” outworn its usefulness? That question surfaced some months back at a Mayo Clinic symposium focusing on having patients take greater responsibility for their own care (or should I say “wellness?”).

The noun suggests one thing, the adjective something else again. Are folks awaiting medical care actually long-suffering, uncomplaining? (if yes, does that mean they are “compliant,” if no does that mean they’re an obstacle until handed off?)