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Lawrence Kerr

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That Rude Doctor? He May Be Hurting His Patients, Too

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Jun 27, 2019 @ 06:00 AM

ethan-sykes-TdM_fhzmWog-unsplashIn medicine, we tend to separate the “hard” skills of medicine from the “soft” things that simply don’t matter so much. For instance: surgical skill matters; the comfort of your waiting room chairs doesn’t.

Many providers have an ethos that is almost sports-like in its single-minded focus on executing the hard calls, crucial maneuvers, and life-saving techniques on behalf of the people we serve. Things like the tone we use with our colleagues, whether we sit down and listen to an aide with an idea, or even seeing a patient post surgery — these can all be dismissed as relatively inconsequential.

Well, it turns out this approach is wrong — and there’s data to back me up.

I’m not sure whether professionalism and teamwork are getting better or worse in healthcare, but there is certainly a lot of room for improvement. It used to be that there was a bit of a “gentleman’s club”  attitude, that, while exclusive to a very specific group of people and often excessively hierarchical, at least it had high standards for the work. Flash forward to current times, and (thankfully) medicine is less exclusive and more democratic… but many providers also treat it more like a job than a calling.

All of which is to say: not every provider has high standards for their personal conduct, professionalism, and team leadership. For so long, at ClickCare, we’ve been advocates of all of these things. Our own medical experience is that politeness, professionalism, respect, listening, collegiality, and leadership all are the foundation of good medicine. In fact, we've always believed that good patient care simply can't exist unless these "softer" elements are in place. 

This has not always been a popular viewpoint. Many doctors and healthcare providers have challenged us on the importance of these approaches, saying that they don't have time to concern themselves with that kind of thing. Certainly, we have the ROI of iClickCare to prove the validity of these approaches. But we've never had a more general confirmation of the importance of professionalism — until now. 

A recent study in JAMA found that “Patients whose surgeons had higher numbers of coworker reports about unprofessional behavior in the 36 months before the patient’s operation appeared to be at increased risk of surgical and medical complications."  Other studies also found links between the way healthcare providers treated their teams and the effect on their patients.  Why?  Well, as JAMA reminds us, “For surgical teams, high reliability and optimal performance depend on effective communication, mutual respect, and continuous situational awareness.”  Part of the core job of a surgeon is to be a team leader — and that means creating a team that displays and expects respect and professionalism. If that's not the case, the team doesn't function as well, and outcomes simply aren't as good.

I'll be blunt. Just as it is your responsibility to scrub before surgery, it is your responsibility to collaborate effectively with your team. Good patient outcomes depend on both; and both are within your control. Demand the tools to collaborate, certainly. But don't let yourself off the hook. 

 

Learn how other providers do medical collaboration quickly and easily here: 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

 

 

Tags: good medicine, medical collaboration tool

5 Big Insights from a (Yes, Really) Tele-ICU Program

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Jun 20, 2019 @ 06:00 AM

luis-melendez-530478-unsplash (1)Telemedicine has its limits. There will never be a completely virtual replacement for in-person visits and care. 

Where that limit really is, though, I don't know. I find I hear about more and more unbelievable telemedicine programs every day. The most recent? A tele-ICU program that actually seems to be working. 

Honestly, I'm not positive whether this program is ultimately "good medicine" or whether it's a shortcut that shouldn't be taken. But I do think that the very extremeness of the the program gives us some insights about telemedicine and medical collaboration more broadly (not all of which are positive.)

Recently, Lou Silverman of the telemedicine company Advanced ICU Care sat down with Fierce Healthcare to share thoughts about his program and about telemedicine more generally. 

And these are 5 insights about telemedicine and telehealth that that came out of that conversation:

  • Good care is what matters -- not whether it has "tele" in front of it.
    We've always said that if you put the individual patient first, the means for caring for them will follow. For instance, you get a telemedicine consult via iClickCare because the patient's case demands it -- not because it's routine. As Mr. Silverman says, "The industry has done itself a disservice by continuing to imply that 'health' is distinct from 'telehealth' or that 'medicine' is distinguishable from 'telemedicine.'  My view is that we are all part of a singular ecosystem with uniform goals and a unified vision around improving care for patients and delivering the care where and when it is needed in a manner that is both clinically and cost effective."
  • Medical collaboration gives us the best answer, regardless of who contributed it. 
    Most people in medicine are altruistic; but egos can also creep in. That's why Mr. Silverman's reminder about team collaboration is crucial: "Success is achieved by the team, that performance counts and politics do not. Our attitude is that the best answer always wins. Period. It doesn’t matter who had the idea or how we got there."
  • Expensive technology does not make a program "important."
    We've had hospitals turn down iClickCare because it doesn't require any expensive hardware -- it's shocking how much people connect expense, novelty, and quality. But Mr. Silverman is right: "Great healthcare delivery is a fusion of data, expertise, experience and empathy. Viewing technology as a facilitator—and not a shiny new toy unto itself—is also an important part of the mindset. Healthcare is about people helping people. Twenty-first century healthcare is about helping the most people possible achieve outcomes that they did not think were possible."
  • Broad telemedicine adoption is on its way. 
    It's so heartening to know that telemedicine is finally finding broad support. "Today, there are very favorable tailwinds regarding government policy in telemedicine. Individual states and the federal government are making tangible progress in advancing telemedicine initiatives," Lou Silverman confirms. 
  • Just because something is possible, doesn't mean it's desirable. 
    The fact that a tele-ICU program is even possible is reflective of just what an amazing time we live in. That said, the fact that it's possible doesn't necessarily mean it's the best way to provide care. The truth is that I am not completely familiar with the realities of this program. But I do think it's crucial to always look beyond ROI to what makes an impact on the patient. 

 

Telemedicine is an exciting and important tool. But as the insights above illustrate -- it's not an end unto itself. It's about finding the best tool for the best care. And that's for each provider and hospital to decide. 

Curious about using telemedicine for medical collaboration in your setting? You can get started here. 

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Tags: good medicine, telemedicine technology

When It Comes to Gun Violence, Doctors Need Collaboration to Save Lives

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Jun 13, 2019 @ 06:00 AM

alejo-reinoso-1330078-unsplashWhen a gun shot victim comes into the Emergency Room, so much has gone wrong.

An interaction between people has gone awry. Our social fabric that keeps violence at bay, has torn. And of course, our patient’s body is experiencing a cascade of things going seriously wrong.

So as doctors, it’s natural to do everything we can to fix the patient in front of us… but shrug our shoulders at all of the other things that have gone wrong to put that person in that position. Our job, it’s common to believe, starts when the stretcher enters the door. But a new program has me rethinking that — in ways that could save millions of lives.

Massachusetts General Hospital announced the launch of the Mass General Center for Gun Violence Prevention last week. The center was a collaboration of everyone from the Boston Police Department to doctors themselves. And it's envisioned to include programs ranging from providing education for providers on treating gun violence to sponsoring gun buyback programs. The center was founded by the pediatric surgeon Peter Masiakos, who says: 

"For as long as our profession has existed, our patients have depended on doctors to be sentinels against hidden societal dangers and advocates for policies that protect us against such dangers. On the front lines of patient care, we are routinely exposed to the faces affected by modern ills such as unemployment, food insecurity, substance use, racism and gun violence. We must stand front and center to better understand the determinants of gun violence and to develop the tools to impact this epidemic that is indiscriminate of race, age, creed, gender and sexual identity.”

The center itself challenges some of our implicit understandings of where healthcare providers start and end. It reminds me of the NRA's plea from last year for providers to "stay in their lane" and the heartfelt rejoinder by an ER doc that guns and violence prevention are very much a doctor's "lane."  This initiative goes even farther than advocacy and treatment — it positions doctors and the hospital as responsible for actually "treating" gun violence before it starts, in all of the social, economic, cultural, and educational ways that can happen.

The truth is that when I first read about Mass General's project, it seemed a surprising use of hospital time and resources. But the more I thought about it, the more the initiative made sense to me. This is a collaboration among multiple stakeholders. Just as we need collaboration across the continuum of care within medicine and for any given patient case, we need collaboration across diverse stakeholders outside of medicine to really change results for our patients.

It's one more reminder that, as doctors, we need to keep asking: 

  • How can we be more collaborative to get better results for our patients?
  • Who are the people we need to collaborate with for the best possible care?

Mass General's answers to these questions led them to a comprehensive new program. Your answers might just lead you to chatting with a colleague in the hallway. But all of us can ask the questions. 

 

For more stories of medical collaboration, download our free Quick Guide: 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration

 

Tags: medical collaboration, medical responsibilities

Cutting Edge Prenatal Programs Demand Telemedicine & Care Coordination

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Jun 05, 2019 @ 06:00 AM

carlo-navarro-219810-unsplashPrenatal care in the United States is a bit of a crucible for issues related to rising health costs, telemedicine, and medical collaboration. 

Maternity and prenatal care are at the nexus of high-pressure healthcare, patients with often-routine but occasionally hyper-sophisticated care, and the high cost of care. For instance, OB-Gyn providers consistently have the highest rates of malpractice law suits in all of medicine. 

As the leading edge of healthcare, prenatal care is an interesting lens through which to see common dynamics in the rest of medicine. So two new articles are relevant to all of us, even though they're focused on prenatal medicine. 

First, UnitedHealthcare is launching bundled payments for maternity care. It will roll out the program to 20 provider groups by the end of the year. Under this program, providers will be paid a lump sum for prenatal, delivery and postpartum care. 

While a small percentage of all maternity care in this country, I believe that the impact of this program will be outsized. As a huge cost center within healthcare, insurers have a keen interest in shaving prenatal costs in any way they can. And a bundled payments system is, potentially, a way to do that. In a hypothetical kind of way, this program makes a lot of sense for everyone involved. In practice, the onus of doing the care coordination and medical collaboration that is demanded by a bundled payments system is huge. It requires that providers manage the diversity of providers across the continuum of care, and across the length and breadth of prenatal scenarios -- from the most simple to the most complex. 

I do think that eventually, this kind of integrated payment system is what we need for healthcare. But in the short and medium term, I think it's unwise to just pay in  a bundle without giving providers the appropriate tools to make sure the requisite care coordination happens. It's a "sink or swim" model, without giving providers the tools they need to swim.

Related to this is a study done to see whether a prenatal app could complement in-person visits effectively. Prenatal care has a notoriously intensive visit schedule -- which can be burdensome on both the patient and on the providers. But, as Fierce Healthcare reports, “providers say visits are hard to cut back on due to decreased patient satisfaction, the need for weight and blood pressure monitoring as well as the importance of providing educational information around pregnancy health.” So a new study looked at whether an app providing weight and blood pressure monitoring, as well as timed education for expectant moms, could be as effective as in-person visits for lower risk patients. The results? Patients were able to use the app to decrease their number of prenatal visits by about 20% without a decrease in patient or provider satisfaction. That said, it was a very small study size of less than 100 patients and perhaps more investigation is needed.

 

 

On one hand, I was excited to see the study of the use of the prenatal app -- as it's an example of actually providing a tool, rather than just changing how payments happen. On the other hand, I wonder whether it's the best tool we can come up with. I'd like to see more communication and coordination, and a more holistic approach -- rather than simply remote monitoring and one-size-fits-all education. 

I applaud any effort to improve healthcare and to use technology to evolve how we communicate and care for our patients. That said, I also think that it's important that we continue finding ways to care for our patients better -- not just less or more cheaply. 

 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

 

Tags: care coordination, medical collaboration tool

Your Afternoon Patients Get Worse Care: Here's How to Fix It.

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Fri, May 31, 2019 @ 06:00 AM

haidan-775442-unsplashIn theory, none of us SHOULD need to do medical collaboration. In an ideal world, each healthcare provider has perfect knowledge of every disease and impeccably up-to-date information on their patient, at all times.

The reality? Each healthcare provider has a rich, powerful, and incomplete perspective. That means that the super-specialist and the aide both have a crucial role to play. And that the more we communicate with each other about our patients, the more fully we can help them.

It’s not often you have precise confirmation of this reality. But a recent article in JAMA put a spotlight on it for me.

One of the more routine things we do as doctors is recommend cancer screenings. It’s not the most sophisticated analysis; it’s not the most intense moment. But it is important and absolutely does save lives.

As routine as this may be, however, it is still powerfully impacted by the real limitations we have as busy, human people who are acting within a context of too-short visits and too-hectic care contexts. In fact, this recent study by the University of Pennsylvania, and published by JAMA, shows that "As the overall clinic day progresses, clinicians may face decision fatigue, defined as the depletion of self-control and active initiative that results from the cumulative burden of decision making"' and that "Relative to 8 am, the adjusted odds ratios (OR) of clinician ordering and patient completion of breast cancer screening was significantly lower for each hour from 10 am to 5 pm."

In other words, even the most fundamental aspects of the care we provide are impacted by our own energy levels and the context in which we see the patient. 

This isn't shocking; it is completely natural and human. But — it’s our responsibility to support ourselves so that every patient we see gets the same standard of care. Just as it is our responsibility to wash our hands, it is our responsibility to get the collaboration and support we need from colleagues through telemedicine-based medical collaboration. We can't fix the healthcare system. But we can make sure that we have the tools we need to work effectively within it  every hour of the day. 

 

Get the support you need with iClickCare. Try it for free: 

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Tags: medical collaboration, healthcare provider burnout, medical mistakes

Why We Need “More Than Medicine” to Keep Patients Alive

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, May 23, 2019 @ 06:00 AM

 

blubel-103318-unsplashWhen we became doctors, we did so because we wanted to help patients live longer, healthier lives. Not because we wanted to "provide healthcare."

That said, as days get more hectic, as visits with patients get shorter, and as demands on us get more intense, it's not easy to keep our sights on that vision of health. 

But a recent study reminded me of the very real difference between healthcare and true health -- and I bet it's a reminder that most of you need, too. 

A recent article in Fierce Healthcare looks at a study by The Stanford University School of Medicine's Clinical Excellence Research Center in California, which explored what role healthcare plays in avoiding premature death.

This question about the role of healthcare almost feels like a contradiction in terms -- our knee-jerk reaction is to say, "Of course healthcare plays the primary role in preventing premature death!"  But the results of the study contradicts that intuitive response. In fact, although healthcare plays a role in longevity, behavioral and social factors have much more influence on the longevity of people in the United States

 

Healthcare is estimated to prevent 5-15% of premature deaths. Behavioral and social factors, on the other hand, account for between 16% and 65% of premature deaths in the United States. As Robert Kaplan, research director of the Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC) said, “in order to bring the U.S. health back in line with other rich countries, we need more than medicine.”

So what is that "more than medicine" that our patients need?

Dr. Steven Woolf, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University explains, “Healthcare systems need to do their part, such as paying attention to the social needs of their patients in order to help lower emergency department visits and hospital admissions.”  In other words, we need to: 

  • Take a holistic view of our patients' health, including their social, environmental, financial, and behavioral realities. 
  • Coordinate care and do medical collaboration so that we can actually attend to the full picture of our patients' health, rather than just "providing care."

That might mean realizing that a patient can't take time off work -- so using iClickCare to collaborate with a colleague on the case, rather than sending the patient for a consult. It might mean coordinating with a patient's care team across the continuum of care, including all of the aides and nurses that will care for that patient when they are discharged. It might mean doing medical collaboration with our young patient's teachers, social worker, pediatrician, and family -- rather than performing a procedure in isolation. 

We've said it before and we'll say it again: medical collaboration is not an optional flourish -- it's the foundation of caring for our patients in a truly effective way. 

Get our Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration for free, here: 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration

 

Tags: hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, care coordination, medical collaboration tool

The Unstoppable Trend in Medicine That’s Here to Stay

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, May 09, 2019 @ 06:00 AM

jeremy-bishop-335002-unsplashSome things in medicine come and go.

Many trends — demands on our time or our practice  start off as the trend du jour but eventually get abandoned for new trends on the horizon.

But there is one trend in medicine that appears to be here to stay— and it’s coming to your state and town, whether you are ready or not.

That trend that’s here to stay?  Value-based payment in medicine.

As Fierce Healthcare summarizes, in just 5 years, 700% more states have adopted value-based payment (VBP) systems. Currently, only 4 states have yet to launch a value-based model.

What does that mean for most healthcare providers?  It means that it's not enough to simply put our heads down and provide good care for the patient in front of us. In a value-based model, it becomes very much "our problem" whether care coordination happens, whether we need to do medical collaboration, and what "non-medical" things are affecting our patients.

For instance, in a value-based model, there are concrete consequences to referring a patient to a doctor 3 hours away and hoping the patient gets an appointment and that they actually go. The patient may not make it to the appointment, end up with a bad outcome, and ultimately  in addition to the subpar care  it becomes a financial hit for the doctor and her organization.  Far better?  Use a system like iClickCare to get a 2-minute consult from that provider, while the patient is in front of you. 

For a long time, healthcare providers felt that medical collaboration and care coordination were altruistic things they would do "when they had time."  In a VBP world, collaboration and coordination are the most practical, incentivized activities in healthcare. Coordinating a medical team means that followup care happens and readmissions drop. Medical collaboration means that you can efficiently pull in providers across the continuum of care to determine the best possible course of treatment  decreasing length of stay.

It's not always the case that the right thing to do and the selfish thing to do are the same. But in a VBP world, the right thing and the selfish thing are the same  use medical collaboration, telemedicine, and care coordination to care for our patients. 

 

You can try iClickCare for free. Get started in 5 minutes or less here: 

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Tags: care coordination, value based care, medical collaboration tool

Disturbing but True Facts About Technology and Doctors

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Fri, May 03, 2019 @ 06:00 AM

 

glenn-carstens-peters-282287-unsplashIt’s one of the conundrums of modern life that time-saving technology sometimes takes more time than it saves us.

For instance, email is quicker than a phone call, and yet office workers spend an average of 4 hours a day checking their email. We're somehow spending so much time managing the technology of connection that we have less time to actually... connect.

And medicine is no different — healthcare providers are spending dramatically increased times interacting with EHRs/EMRs and plummeting hours with patients. 

It’s disturbing but true: a study of first-year residents shows that 43% of their time is spent interacting with electronic medical records — that’s 3 times more than they spend interacting with patients. In fact, according to JAMA, they spend nearly 90% of their time away from patients.

The problem with this time split isn't so much that it's not efficient. The problem is that healthcare's most valuable assets  the human beings who are our healthcare providers  aren't being used to their "highest and best" potential. That matters for the output that we see from them (in terms of quality of care and innovation) as well as for the long-term sustainability of healthcare (considering the sky-high rates of healthcare provider burnout.) 

It's easy to look at this and bemoan the use of technology in medicine. Perhaps technology is inherently distracting, alienating, and time-consuming?

Personally, I don't think so. Technology can detract from our time with patients or it can add to it. What makes the difference is whether the technology we are using has been thoughtfully designed, intuitively structured, and whether it integrates into our workflow. The answer to all three of those questions for most Electronic Health Records is a resounding "no," which is why EHRs have become such a time-sink and distraction for doctors.

The truth is that we can’t go backward to an era of black doctors’ bags and paper medical records. But we can go forward to an era of holistic, integrated technology. And I think that as leaders in medicine, it's our responsibility to demand technology that supports human engagement, the art of medicine, connection and collaboration with our colleagues, and the highest and best use of our time. This demand of our technology is far from frivolous; it's key to our ability to uphold our commitment to our patients.

Thankfully, I think that there are subtle signs that healthcare is beginning to swing its huge pendulum back toward human interaction and human-scale healthcare. As Dr. Zimlichman wrote recently, even hospitals themselves are becoming a "technology" that is unwieldy and shows signs of shrinking in significance: 

“The hospital as we know it—a medical center crammed full of patients, beds, equipment, medical staff and service workers, and much more—is an expense society can't really afford anymore... Other industries—retail, banking, finance and others—have long used digital tools to enable clients and businesses to collaborate and connect, anytime and anywhere. Those tools are now available to the medical industry—and given the constantly ballooning costs of care, the hospital is a perfect candidate for its own digital revolution.”

In other words, its possible that we are actually at the peak of technology's negative impact on medicine. And that as technologies mature and healthcare evolves, technology may actually begin to bring medicine back into a more sane, human-centered way of working. As healthcare providers, we can usher that new way of working into reality  or we can resist it by holding tight to "the devil we know."  I suggest the latter.

 

Curious how a simple technology like iClickCare actually works? Watch a 1-minute video to learn more: 

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Tags: EHR, EMR, telemedicine technology

Why Developing Countries Beat the US in Medical Technology

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Apr 23, 2019 @ 06:00 AM

annie-spratt-210845-unsplashThose of us who live in the US tend to think of our medical system as the most cutting-edge in the world.

And there is a lot of truth to that — medical innovation is certainly an area of strength for us and we can be proud of our contributions. 

That said, a recent New York Times article put a spotlight on the ways developing countries can show a special kind of rapid innovation with technology that sometimes leapfrogs our slow, deeply challenged adoption patterns.

Any new technology presented to the US medical community has to beat a gauntlet of obstacles to be adopted. Between regulatory issues, compatibility troubles, concerns about compensation, and political drama, the adoption of any new technology is a minefield.

Sometimes the needs of developing countries make technological adoption quicker and more focused than it would ever be in the US. For instance, a new ultrasound scanner has been invented that can do ultrasounds anywhere in the world, with a device the size of an electric shaver, connected to an iPhone.

As the New York times reports, “Two-thirds of the world’s population gets no imaging at all,” so the allure of an ultrasound wand that can provide even rudimentary imaging is compelling for medical providers and NGOs in developing countries. Many times, the stance is one of finding innovative ways to use technology, rather than having the immediate reaction be one of resistance. Further, experimentation seems to come at less of a perceived cost, as downsides of failures may not be as dramatic in terms of repercussions.

So within a short period of time, providers in Uganda used their new ultrasound wand to scan everyone from babies to nonagenarians. And their approach to using it in service of diagnoses was deeply creative.

 

My challenge as the founder of a medical technology company is to support US medical providers in approaching innovation in this same way — but of course in combination with all of the advantages that we have in our medical system. How is that possible?  I believe that when providers in the US make an effort to try new technologies as quickly and cheaply as possible, it lends us the type of speed and innovation sometimes only found in a country like Uganda when experimenting with an ultrasound wand. The smaller and faster our experiments are, the less investment we have in every single one succeeding. That's what I'm so passionate about iClickCare as a medical collaboration tool  it doesn't require expensive hardware, even one doctor can start using it on his/her own, and it's so intuitive to use that you can do your first consult within minutes. That means that it's inexpensive and fast for medical providers to experiment with its optimal usage in their unique medical setting  making innovation much faster and more expansive than it is with huge, expensive, and years-to-implement videoconferencing hardware. 

 

We can certainly learn something from the resilience and creativity of other countries  and innovation around medical technology may be one place to start. 

Try iClickCare for free, and do your first consult in minutes:

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Tags: telemedicine technology, healthcare collaboration software

Do Hospitals Hide Data that Could Help with Care Coordination?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 @ 06:00 AM

daan-stevens-282446-unsplashI’ve always said that it’s better to stay out of the hospital.

When confronted with risks of infection, error, or complications — it’s of course better to stay healthy and stay home.

But sometimes an elective surgery is wise or an emergency hospital stay is necessary. And in those cases, all of us want to be sure that our patients are safe.

But recent data and evidence has begged the question — are hospitals incentivized to hide infections when they occur?

I have to believe that almost all hospitals across the country prioritize patient well-being above any concerns about reputation or profitability.

But when antibiotic resistance combines with age-old concerns about infection and sickness in hospitals, things get serious. And even good intentions  for instance, to thoroughly investigate an outbreak without alarming people  can end up hiding data and information that could keep people safe. 

And the reality is that we all depend on hospitals sharing this information on their own behalf because there aren't agencies that will do so for them. In fact, as the New York Times reports, "under its agreement with states, the CDC is barred from publicly identifying hospitals that are battling to contain the spread of dangerous pathogens."  For instance in 2016, there was an outbreak of a drug-resistant pathogen in a Kentucky hospital  but it was not until 2018 that the CDC issued a report on the outbreak. And, of course, hospitals themselves have often "circled the wagons" when an outbreak occurs, looking into the infections themselves rather than sharing information more broadly. 

I completely understand wanting to limit public disclosure, especially in cases when public perception could be misinformed and reactive. Infection is complex and hospitals are often so big, they're like miniature cities, with outbreaks affecting a small minority of people.

But I do wonder whether the instinct to limit information about drug resistant infectious outbreaks within the medical community make sense. In fact, the tendency to limit information in this way is common in medicine, both at the level of the institution and at the level of the individual provider. We're under such immense pressure and scrutiny in the medical community  with such devastating consequences if mistakes are made  that many providers and organizations learn that it's better to keep information to yourself. The medical community often notices that "silos" keep excellent care, medical collaboration, and greater efficiency from happening  but the reality is that many of us have incentives to maintain those silos. So when an outbreak of an infection occurs, hospitals try to limit misinformation or panic  and in so doing, may limit information that could help other providers do care coordination or support them in solving the problem. 

I hope that hospitals are doing the best they possibly can to prevent outbreaks, as well as sharing information when the outbreaks occur. But I also know that all of us in medicine should learn to share information more freely, collaborate more effectively, and put our patients' care well above our own instinct to hide missteps or needs for support. And we hope that iClickCare can play a role in helping providers share information securely, safely, and without risking negative consequences. 

 

Try iClickCare for sharing information among the medical community members and within your medical team  safely and securely:  

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Tags: medical collaboration, care coordination

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