stories filed under: "doctors"
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 31st 2008 5:45am
Anyone want to take a guess on when we'll see the first laws proposed to ban the practice of walking-while-texting? We've already seen a few proposals that would ban walking and talking in a crosswalk. And, to add some fuel to the fire, some ER doctors are warning people who walk and text at the same time that it's risky behavior. The doctors say they're seeing a rise in reports of people walking and texting at the same time, leading to some sort of injury, including two people who were hit by a car after paying more attention to their phone than oncoming traffic. Since technopanics always seem to start with a news article, just wait for someone to propose a law against this -- rather than insisting that perhaps it's time to institute a little common sense. Update: Apparently, I'm too late. At least one state has already proposed just such a law.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 7th 2008 9:14am
from the seems-simple-enough dept
Reuters is running an article talking about how folks in India are urging doctors to stop writing prescriptions so illegibly, as it all too often leads to filling the wrong prescription (even to the point of putting someone's life at risk). However, this is hardly just an Indian issue, as the same thing happens in the US as well. In an age where more and more doctors' offices are computerized, it simply doesn't make any sense not to offer computerized prescriptions that accurately display the drug in question (including, perhaps, questions or warnings about possible conflicts or side effects). The fact that it may save a few seconds for a doctor to scribble hardly seems like a reasonable excuse when people's lives are on the line and it's part of the doctor's job to do whatever possible to keep them healthy.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jan 15th 2008 1:58pm
from the it-saves-patients dept
Bans on using mobile phones while driving are pretty common these days, so there's not much to talk about in hearing about another such ban. However, up in Calgary, some folks are fighting back against such a ban. The Calgary Health Region has banned staff from driving while talking on a phone, but doctors are arguing against the ban, saying they rely on pagers and mobile phones to respond to emergencies -- and that banning the use of mobile devices while driving could put patients at risk. Of course, that leaves out the potential of putting other drivers on the road at risk -- but at least a doctor would be present following any such accident (for the sarcasm impaired, that's a joke). Still, given all the calls for banning driving-while-yakking for safety's sake, it's amusing to see doctors claim safety reasons for allowing the practice.
from the housecalls-by-IM dept
Back in the day, when you were sick, you would call the doctor, and they make a house call to diagnose your condition and provide care. In this modern age of managed care, where doctors are evaluated on the volume of patients that they are able to process, house calls are now but a distant memory. Now, Dr. Jay Parkinson, a Brooklyn doctor, brought the house call back -- but it's been updated for the times. Parkinson has started a new medical practice that centers around instant messenger, email and house calls. During regular business hours, he is available to his patients for online medical consultations. Dr. Parkinson then pays the patient a house call only if it is really necessary (you get two included house calls in the fee), but most issues can be addressed virtually. This is not surprising since studies confirm that online chat with your doctor is nearly as effective as an in-person visit. Specializing in young adults age 18 to 40 without traditional health insurance, this approach could teach a few things to the health care industry. Of course, what he's doing is really similar to what many nurse practitioners do, so you could see him scaling his practice by employing a staff of nurse practitioners who answer IMs and emails, and then escalating qualifying issues to doctors and specialists. A second interesting point about Parkinson's plan is that since all of his clients are very price conscious (since they're paying out of pocket), he actively shops around for the best value specialists to send his clients to. In the age of copayments and insurance, you very rarely see much price comparison shopping in health care. As we've discussed here before, the current health care system is beset with problems, so it's encouraging to see a differentiated spur some excitement (and competition) in a very homogeneous marketplace.