Marketing For Healthcare Providers

Healthcare is rapidly changing. As a practitioner, how should you think about attracting new patients, navigating online reviews, and building a brand? Read this report.

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How High-Tech, Low-Touch Medicine Affects the Decision to Operate

Twenty-something years ago, I was faced with a very important decision. What specialty would I choose to pursue as a physician? There were many that attracted me. But in the end, I chose orthopedic surgery. And why not? As a child I knew my orthopedist better then my pediatrician – he was a happy gent and really seemed to enjoy what he was doing. I liked sports, I like anatomy – it felt like a natural fit.

Twenty-something years later I do not regret my career path. Read more…


With Breast Density, a Gray Area for Screening Choices

The medical field, more so than many other professional arenas, is continuously struggling to balance the concepts of increasing quality metrics, decreasing overall expenditure, and riding the crest of the current technological and scientific expansion wave. Within the past half century, our profession has borne witness to an explosion of advancement, and with this has come a contemporaneous increase in both the need for sub-specialization and, bluntly, the associated cost of having more technology at our disposal.

In the healthcare community, we all share one goal: to ensure that when patients are treated, they are receiving the best and most contemporary care available. This is no easy task. Opinions can differ on what the most appropriate management of certain conditions may be. In addition, the latest innovations in medical technology may not necessarily translate into the greatest (or most affordable) advances in outcomes for our patients. Read more…

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Achieving Patient-Centered and Physician-Centered Care with Clinical Mindfulness

In hospitals and medical offices across the country, we are making long-overdue progress toward a patient-centered health-and-wellness system.

Busily, we renovate hallways and add windows; optimize dinner menus and technologic connectivity; and do the rigorous work of infection control, root cause analyses, and iterative quality improvement. Read more…


At SXSW 2015, Health Is a Growth Industry

Each year, it seems health is the hot topic at SXSW. While edgy new movies and hot music are the foundational elements of the annual festival, health and healthcare are the fast-growing, pervasive themes. (It didn’t hurt that the beautiful, month-old JW Marriott Hotel – right next to the Convention Center – hosted most of the digital health track sessions, putting them front-and-center for all attendees.) Read more…

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The Stories Doctors Keep

Behind every doctor is a child who once watched helplessly. Maybe it was her father or grandfather who suffered under the weight of a disease that was deemed all but incurable. Perhaps her own skin was battered and bruised by the repeated trauma of an unrelenting tourniquet. She swore that when (if) she got older she would protect the innocent from such things. Her vow was the light that guided her through arduous years of study and apprenticeship. Her promise was etched into the depths of her psyche like those two dangling letters she worked so hard to get placed uncomfortably after her name on her hospital ID. Read more…

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What Executive Deaths Teach Us About Early Heart Disease Detection

We know that cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than those of any other system. The numbers are so large – hundreds of thousands a year in the United States alone – that the statistics can seem impersonal and lacking in emotion.

Sometimes, however, personal stories emerge – and when they do, they can make us ask ourselves whether we’re doing enough as physicians to educate and support our patients on this important front. Recently, I came across a paper in the Stanford “Closer Look” series titled “Sudden Death of a CEO: Are Companies Prepared When Lightning Strikes?” The piece noted that seven CEOs of publicly-traded companies die suddenly each year, with heart attacks being the most common cause. Let’s take a look at just two of these narratives. Read more…


Why Patient Autonomy Matters

Many of the patients that I treat have brain injuries. Whether caused by a stroke, car accident, fall, or drug overdose, their rehab course has taught me one thing: nobody likes to be forced to do things against their will. Even the most devastated brains seem to remain dimly aware of their loss of independence and buck against it. Sadly, the hospital environment is designed for staff convenience, not patient autonomy. In the course of one of my recent days, I witnessed a few patient-staff exchanges that sent me a clear message. Read more…


Are You Ready to Cure Your Microbiome Anosognosia?

Do you remember the meaning of the word anosognosia from residency? In the context I’m suggesting it today it means “lack of awareness of one’s own clinical deficit.” This would be an interesting concept in any medical era, but with our understanding of the microbiome and its implications for chronic disease management shifting so dramatically, it’s become a focal one.

When the NIH-funded “Human Microbiome Project” results first came out in 2011, we realized that we are less human that we thought, and might best be described as a “super-organism” [Just guessing here.] made up of 10 percent human and 90 percent microbial DNA. That alone is a discovery that could rock the foundations of what we think and believe. Read more…


The New Promise of Collaboration in Healthcare

This past week I had the honor and pleasure of introducing my book,Women and Cardiovascular Disease, in London. During the event, I was able to meet with many of my European colleagues from both the media as well as the healthcare space. I spoke with countless bright and motivated attendees who are excited to be part of a wave of change in cardiac care for women. We identified many ways in which we may be able to improve education and awareness of women and heart disease in Britain and throughout Europe. Even though the event lasted just a little more than two hours, we were able to brainstorm numerous ideas and made plans for future discourse. Read more…


Rethinking Live Social Media Events in Healthcare

Earlier this week, I followed a live Twitter event that Baylor Scott and White Health conducted around a heart transplant. You can see the stream at #HeartTXLive.

While I’ve not been a fan of live Twitter events, this one made me think. Social health events once conceived in dry, third person narrative have evolved. High definition images render in a way that can made the operative experience pop. In-line video right in my Twitter stream brought the action to life. A nicely designed three-step infographic call for donors was an important message. (On the minus side, I would like to have seen some tighter surgical field shots, and additional context from Dr. Gonzalez, the surgeon, might have added an interesting element.) Read more…