Category Archives: Patient Safety

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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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Errors In Diagnosis Way Too Common, Report Says

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Most Americans will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine (September 22, 2015).  "Diagnostic errors have been largely unappreciated," says report chair Dr. John Ball of the American College of Physicians.  "The stereotype of a single physician contemplating a patient…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Is Health Care By Appointment in Jeopardy?

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Patients seem to be fed up with having to adapt their own schedules to fit in with what's convenient for the doctor.  "Cost-conscious patients facing higher health plan deductibles have helped make walk-in clinics one of the fastest-growing sectors in the health care market.  With no appointments required and most insurance…
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Today’s Digital Patient (INFOGRAPHIC)

It is estimated that 86% of patients will conduct a health-related search online prior to seeing a doctor. Today’s digital patients are becoming more empowered as they educate themselves online and take charge of their own health. Not only are they embracing mHealth prior to an office visit, they are also staying more connected post-visit.…
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Fit Fashion: Health Wearables (Infographic)

From fitness bands to smart watches, wearable technology has taken the market by storm, and its popularity is only projected to continue to skyrocket. In fact, 2014 saw a 684% increase in its first half alone! While consumers are purchasing these devices at rapid rates, they aren’t the only ones going crazy for these contraptions.…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Should Patients Have Access to Your Notes?

By:Dr. Ken Teufel It's a perennial question with vocal advocates on both sides:  Should your patients have access to the notes you make in their medical records?  It's based, in part, on the idea that better-informed patients will take better care of themselves, that the doctor-patient relationship should be less paternalistic, more of a partnership. …
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