Tag Archives: technology

Richard D. Miller, M.D.

Health Reform and the Chinese Curse


The Chinese curse goes something like this, “May you live in interesting times” (again). In the mid-nineties, health care reform was the hot topic and health care executives and clinicians were scrambling to figure out how to respond to the myriad of regulations. At that time they only had the cliff notes version of what we have today, a mere 1300 pages of a language only spoken in our nation’s capital. We were certain that we were headed into capitation and integrated systems were being developed at breakneck speed. So déjà vu, right? Well, probably not and here’s why. First of all the country is in a very different financial situation. Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIPS (Children’s Health Insurance Programs) account … Continue reading

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Eric Van De Graaff, M.D.

Physician Communication


I remember my very first pager vividly, just not fondly. I was a medical student on a surgery rotation at the VA Medical Center and was issued a heavy, bulky device that looked like a cross between a transistor radio and a toaster. It was equipped with a clip that theoretically allowed it to be attached to the waistband of surgical scrubs, an option made impractical by the heft of the device and which led to the risk of inadvertent mooning of bystanders during morning rounds. It was a voice pager, meaning there was no digital read-out, only a squawking speaker that transmitted whatever message was called into the system. Anyone interested in reaching me would simply dial the number … Continue reading

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Eric Van De Graaff, M.D.

A Better Patient Experience


What was your experience like the last time you were referred to a specialist? Odds are pretty good it went something like this: Your doctor says you need to see a cardiologist and recommends a guy he uses. You go home and fret for a week before the secretary at the cardiology office calls you to schedule your appointment. You arrive early and the nice lady at the front desk hands you a clipboard with a stack of papers—asking about insurance information, previous health conditions, and prescriptions—along with a pile of waivers and releases to be signed. When the doctor finally sees you he seems to have no clue why you’re there and knows nothing about your medical history. You’ve … Continue reading

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Eric Van De Graaff, M.D.

Domo Arigato Dr. Roboto


A couple weeks ago I received an email request from the SETI Institute to do an interview for a program to be aired on National Public Radio.  SETI, as some of you are aware, is a scientific organization whose purpose it is to look for evidence of life beyond Earth (SETI is an acronym for Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence).  For a geek like me, being interviewed by the organization once championed by Carl Sagan is an honor akin to a Husker fan being asked for football advice by Bo Pellini. Of course I immediately agreed.  They wanted to talk to me about a blog post I’d written a few months back entitled “The Art of Medicine.”  If you go back … Continue reading

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Jen Homann

Tune Out the Technology, Tune in to Life


We’re all familiar with the concept of a couch potato … and it’s clear how someone who spends his life in front of the television, surfing the web or even playing video games might not be the healthiest person you’ll ever meet. Couch potatoes stereotypically enjoy a less-than-healthy diet and all of the time spent lounging doesn’t leave a ton of free time for physical activity (and no, walking to the kitchen for a snack or to the door to meet the pizza guy does not qualify as physical activity – even if it requires taking the stairs). I’d imagine that none of this is really groundbreaking to anyone, though, right? But what you may not realize is that this … Continue reading

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