Category Archives: Patient Safety

The Art of Delivering Bad News

Breaking bad news is never easy. It is a difficult task that can take it's toll on a physician and requires a thick skin to be able to leave those feelings at the hospital once your shift ends. Shock. Silence. Tears. Anger. These are all things a doctor can expect to experience over the course of…
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Where Are Patients Going for Health Information?

In today's technology-centered society, nearly everything can be found online. Majority of people turn to internet research before almost every big decision, healthcare included. In fact, roughly 72% of internet users seek health information online. With the internet's vast pool of knowledge, there are numerous online sources patients can look to for health information. Some,…
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An Emergency Medicine Physician’s Twelve Days of Christmas

We all know and love the traditional "12 Days of Christmas" song, with its turtle doves and french hens, but for those in the healthcare industry, particularly emergency medicine, the twelve days leading up to Christmas may mean something a little different. With the holiday season well underway, emergency medicine physicians know to anticipate all types…
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The Doctor Will See You Now

Imagine: a world where artificial intelligence can transcribe office visits right as they’re happening. This is a reality for any doctor incorporating the Google Glass into their practice. This allows an examination to be viewed by a scribe thousands of miles away through a sleek, tiny lens. While some may believe that bringing additional technology in…
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Pain Patients Cut Off From Prescription Drugs

Earlier this year, the CDC released guidelines for prescribing opioids in response to the rapidly growing number of patients becoming addicted to prescription medication. Doctors like Dr. Ken weighed in on the subject, which you can read more about here. Since the release, reports detailing patients being abruptly cut off from their medication or having…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Overuse of Prescription Drugs a Growing Danger for Aging Americans

While prescription medications can provide relief to patients in pain, they can also lead to unintended consequences resulting from accidental misuse. Elderly patients are especially susceptible to this. Often seen by several providers, elderly patients can end up taking over a dozen prescribed medications a day, raising their chances of dangerous drug interactions and side…
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The Scary World of Doctor Google

With a wealth of information accessible at your fingertips, it’s no surprise that roughly one third of patients turn to the web for medical research. What was once saved for the privacy of a doctor’s office can now be found across the internet. However, like with anything, there are positive and negative effects of turning…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: First Ever Guidelines Issued for Prescribing Opioids

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Think twice before writing that prescription for a pain-relieving opioid. That's the clear, strong message from the CDC in its attempt to curb the growing "epidemic" of pain killer abuse and opioid-related deaths. According to CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., sales of opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet have quadrupled since…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: 1% of Physicians Responsible for 32% of Paid Malpractice Claims

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Approximately 1% of all physicians account for 32% of paid malpractice claims (New England Journal of Medicine, January 28, 2016).  Using the National Practitioner Data Bank as their resource, Stanford medical law expert David M. Studdert and his colleagues concluded that "a small number of physicians with distinctive characteristics accounted for…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Does Defensive Medicine Reduce Malpractice Claims?

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Doctors are often criticized for practicing "defensive" medicine -- doing an excessive number of tests and procedures, or admitting patients to the hospital when it's not medically necessary -- "to cover myself in the event of a malpractice claim."  The sole purpose of defensive medicine is to reduce the likelihood of…
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