Archives for March 2009

One of the unintended downsides of the EMR

I like EMR’s but realize there’s a downside.  Like this, for instance:

Hospital: 15 fired for looking at octuplet mom’s file –
(CNN) — Fifteen employees were fired for improperly accessing medical records of Nadya Suleman, the mother of octuplets, a Kaiser Permanente spokesman said Monday.

My particular EMR has a feature called ‘breaking the glass’ that requires an acknowledgment and both a user name and password that match to access a record you didn’t start yourself.  It can be a hassle, but hopefully it’ll help cut down on this sort of invasion of privacy.

A question

What is in prescription paper that makes dogs like the taste?

A corollary: whay are so many sinks and toilets addicted to oxycontin?

Update: As usual I’m a step behind the rest of the internet.  Here’s an actual video of narcotic pills sending themselves down a sink, courtesy of Placebo Journal. Thanks to Hal Dall, MD in the comments for the link.

Skin in the Game and Other Things : PANDA BEAR, MD

Skin in the Game and Other Things : PANDA BEAR, MD

Panda Bear is Back.  To say he’s been missed would be an understatement.

To say his writing is as sharp as ever would be faint praise.  Raised from the dead.

Hat tip to the Happy Hospitalist for finding him.

More on TCOM adding an MD pathway

A good article today in the

Star-Telegram.comFORT WORTH — Tradition clashed with dreams for a new Fort Worth medical school as more than 250 people poured into a public hearing Thursday to voice their views on a proposal to add an M.D. degree to the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s popular osteopathic medicine program.

A string of prominent alumni and current students at UNT’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine — many wearing Don’t Mess with TCOM T-shirts — told the UNT board of regents that adding an M.D. degree would undermine the success of the osteopathic college, which focuses on producing primary care and family physicians, particularly for rural areas.

"This is a monumental decision," said Dr. Robert Deluca, a graduate of the college and a member of a study group that evaluated the proposal. "We believe that the addition of the M.D. degree at TCOM will dilute that effort."

Read the rest to find out the who’s who in the for and against.  Big names and powerful groups on both sides.

BBC NEWS | Health | Steaming hot tea linked to cancer

From the ‘life causes cancer’ files:

BBC NEWS | Health | Steaming hot tea linked to cancer
Drinking steaming hot tea has been linked with an increased risk of oesophageal (food tube) cancer, Iranian scientists have found.

The British Medical Journal study found that drinking black tea at temperatures of 70C or higher increased the risk.

70C = 158F.  Are they sure it’s cancer and not burns?  Yikes.

A commotio cordis survivor

Star-Telegram.comNORTH RICHLAND HILLS — Austin Miller has no memory of his teammate’s knee smacking into his chest as they ran for a pop fly during a softball game.

Commotio cordis.


Lucky guy!  He received intentional hypothermia after his resuscitation, and I wonder how much that contributed to his neurologic recovery.

Galen’s Log is back

Galen’s Log
It’s been four years since I left blogging. Time and energy were limited, and as part of a larger medical group I felt constrained in my ability to write candidly, despite my anonymity.

My situation has changed, and there is certainly no paucity of blogging topics.

He used to be terrific, then left us.  Looks like he’s writing better than ever.  Will revive from the Dead Blogs.

Walk it off, it’s only a heart attack – Baltimore News, Weather, Breaking News | WMAR-TV

Walk it off, it’s only a heart attack – Baltimore News, Weather, Breaking News | WMAR-TV

An Italian doctor completed a brain operation despite having a heart attack after realizing his patient would never recover if he stopped the surgery…

Read the story (it’s short and has a happy ending).

code blog hosts Grand Rounds

code blog
Welcome! This is fifth time I’ve hosted Grand Rounds here at code blog. Although my previous four attempts were fairly creative, I decided to keep this edition simple. All submissions were included – if you do not see yours here, I did not get it for some reason!

Please enjoy her Grand Rounds, and welcome Geena to the 5 Time Host Club.

In the Old Gonzales Jail

Damage Pictures of USS Hartford (SSN 768) | USNI Blog

Damage Pictures of USS Hartford (SSN 768) | USNI Blog
The following images were released by the Navy today. Between these three one can see just about everything there is to see regarding the USS Hartford (SSN 768) damage.

Go and see.  I’m pleasantly surprised she didn’t sink.  The entire conning tower is not just bent front to rear but canted to one side.  I’d guess this means the periscopes don’t work.

I’d second the concerns of the commenters there that she’ll come home on the back of an ocean barge.

Thank goodness only minor injuries reported.

Lobsters of Medicine

I’ve never cooked lobsters but was reminded of the trick to the recipe today: if you try to put lobsters into boiling water you’ll have a big fight and it won’t go well, but put them in cool water and slowly turn up the heat, by the time they realize there’s a problem they’re cooked.

I thought about this while turning sideways between gurneys in the hall to get through to the next patient of many.

The temperature in my ED continues to climb, but I’ve been here so long it just seems like it’s getting a little warm.

ED’s everywhere have rising census, increasing demands, physical plants that aren’t keeping up with the crush.

Coal mines have canaries.  Medicine has lobsters.

It’s getting warm, but there’s plenty of time.


Aggravated DocSurg: 5 Steps to a Happier Healthcare System

Aggravated DocSurg: 5 Steps to a Happier Healthcare System

My favorite is the last bullet on #5, but read it all.  A good plan.

Washington Times – EDITORIAL: Guns on a plane

Washington Times – EDITORIAL: Guns on a plane
After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings.

Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology.

The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots.

Well, now I feel safer.  Those renegade professional pilots won’t be armed any more.  What a relief.

ACP Internist: Grand Rounds at ACP Internist

ACP Internist: Grand Rounds at ACP Internist

Grand Rounds are up.

I stopped doing the weekly announcements, as some months it looked like that was all I did here.  There’s a link in the left upper sidebar to find the Grand Rounds through Dr. Val’s place.