Improving telephone communication with patients

Physician on telephone with patientTelephone communications with physicians, pharmacists, medical staff, and patients can result in miscommunication and lead to treatment and prescription errors. Anna Reisman, MD, and Karen Brown, MD, point out in their Journal of General Internal Medicine article that telephone communication may be error-prone because of technical issues and an absence of visual cues.

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Managing opioid discrepancies with your patient

managing opioidsAs a clinician, you are aware of the many complications that arise from a patient’s opioid misuse, and you know about the regulatory scrutiny on providers who prescribe opioids. You are not only ultimately responsible for patient safety, but you are also responsible for how you respond and react in the face of challenging scenarios.

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Should physicians disclose the risks of medications to patients—even if the risks are small?

Physician explaining risks of medication to patientPhysicians know that before a patient consents to a procedure, informed consent is a must. Patients need to know the details of the procedure, any alternatives, the benefits, the risks, and the possible complications (PABRC).

But what about the medications physicians prescribe? Continue reading

Treating joint infections in obese patients

medical exam of joint infectionObesity, now affecting more than 30% of the U.S. adult population, is associated with increased risks for gallstones, type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, cancer, disability, and death.1 Obese patients also have increased risks for skin, soft tissue, and surgical-site infections,2 and studies have shown that obese patients are at a disadvantage when they develop pancreatitis or H1N1 infection. They are also more likely to suffer postsurgical and nosocomial infections.3  Continue reading

Reducing medication errors in the office

144462871_5_edit-blogNumerous studies point out the need for reducing medication errors. Most errors happen during prescribing and administering the medication.1 In one study, of the 854 discharge reports containing 4,055 prescriptions that were evaluated, 38.8% of the prescriptions expressed doses using abbreviations and nonrecommended symbols.2

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Working with patients for medication safety

Physician holding a handful of medication

Health care providers know that patient safety is a process that works best when patients and providers work together. In fact, a provider’s communication and engagement with patients remains a cornerstone of high-quality, safe care.

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