patient safety

Beware Those Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing

wof in sheeps clothing

This post was originally published in July 2013, and was updated in July 2020. Two unrelated stories have crossed my path, but their bottom lines are the same. It’s too easy to be fooled. Story #1: … is based on a scathing article from the Wall Street Journal about the amount of money medical device companies pay to the doctors who use their products. The story is mostly focused on investigations from the Justice Department starting with one doctor who lived and worked in California, Dr. Aria Sabit, who insisted on using certain spinal implant products because he owns part …

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Patient Advocates and the Coronavirus

corona-virus

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know you can’t turn on the news, read news online or in a newspaper, or attend an event, or go anywhere – in person or online – without seeing or hearing something about the 2019 coronavirus. It’s the only health-related story that can knock the horror of uncontrolled medical bills lower down the list of headlines. And, of course, because its eventual impact is totally unknown, it frightens people in ways only the media knows how to frighten people. Since we all work in the world of health and medical care, and …

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The Momma Test

Portrait of an old woman with her adult daughter.

Over the years, one of my favorite things to do has been to work with / speak to / address college students. They are young, aren’t yet set in their ways, still hope to save the world, are naive to the “follow the money” aspects of healthcare and, honestly, it’s just plain fun. Last week I had the privilege of participating in an ethics debate for a well-known and respected university in a course called Controversies in Healthcare (medical, legal, and bio ethics), to a combination group of law students and medical students, on the topic of independent advocacy – …

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Help Us Assess the LoveFest!

Once upon a time, the word “advocate” was contentious: doctors didn’t want us in the room, nurses didn’t want us next to a hospital bed, and health insurers thought we patient advocates were nothing but troublemakers. But in recent years there seems to have been a major shift in attitudes. I’m hoping you can help us assess that. This point came up in several recent conversations with people who have been doing advocacy work for many years; who have been able to observe attitudes for quite awhile, and who tell me they have seen this shift with their own eyes. …

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Serving One’s Country as a Healthcare Soldier

Over the holiday weekend – Memorial Day Weekend – I pondered the sacrifices soldiers have made for our country. I expect you did, too. I’m married to a retired soldier. My husband spent 20 years in the US Air Force during the VietNam War era. I’m so very, very proud of him and his service. Patriotic holidays have a special meaning to us because, well, he lived it. (I was not married to him in those years.) We are grateful to, and honor those who served, including those who lost their lives. All this pondering, and the tendency of my …

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That Very Very Thin Line – Do NOT Be Tom!

My husband and I moved two years ago to Florida where we now live in an “active adult” community*. We love it! We’re very happy here. We’ve met and made many new friends – people we have truly come to care about. I’m following in family footsteps. My parents did the same thing decades ago. They lived in a different city, but they, too, lived in an active adult community for 20+ years. My father, in a somewhat macabre voice, always called it “God’s Waiting Room.” And, as I learned again this past week, it turns out that we now …

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Top 10 “Best Of” APHA Posts: 2017 in Review

As 2017 comes to a close, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the blog posts you, my readers, considered to be most worth your reading time. Using post analytics, I’m able to see how many of you have read each of the 44 posts from 2017. Then, accommodating for the fact that some posts have been online for 11+ months, while others were just posted recently, it’s easy to tell which ones captured your imagination (or google’s search interest) to make the assessment. So here are the top 10 posts (well – OK – I …

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