Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

The Myriad Uses Of The iPad In The Operating Room

Post image for Future Uses for the iPad in the Operating Room: a Game Changer ?

As we discussed in the first of this two part series, mobile devices are already entering the world of the surgeon. Currently, it is mostly downloadable apps that promise to help surgeons with the informational portions of their tasks, such as tracking the cases they have done, e.g. Surgichart or helping in the consent process, e.g. Surgery Risk

While apps that are dedicated to the technical aspects of surgery, such as the excellent AO Surgery Reference, are becoming available, in the future we will see the iPad (or its brethren) actually in the operating room. Why ? Because the iPad has many characteristics that make it a great an advanced surgical instrument.

First is its small size. Every modern operating room has stacks of electronic equipment hanging from the ceiling or in large cabinets for patient monitoring and controlling in-field devices. Since the iPad already supports a bevy of standard wireless communication protocols, many of these large boxes’ functions could likely be off-loaded to an iPad with clever engineering. One immediate advantage would be that Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Surgery Is An Organized Chaos Of Cords, Tubes And Wires

Surgery is messy… and I don’t mean in terms of blood and guts…

What I mean are wires, cables, tubing, etc.

Electric cord for the operating tableLet’s take a routine tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for example…

  1. Electric cord for the anesthesia machine
  2. Electric cord for the surgeon’s headlight
  3. Light cord from the surgeon’s headlight to the lightbox
  4. Breathing circuit tube from the patient to the anesthesia machine
  5. Carbon dioxide outflow tube from the patient to the anesthesia machine
  6. Suction tubing from the surgical table to the vacuum canister
  7. Vacuum cable from the vacuum canister to the wall socket
  8. Electrocautery cable (along with electric cord to power the machine)
  9. Coblation cable (along with electric cord to power the machine)
  10. IV fluids lines from patient to IV bags
  11. EKG lines
  12. Grounding pad cable
  13. All the wires and cables that go with running a computer
  14. etc. etc. etc. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*

Years Of Planning And Construction Lead To A One-Day Transition

Tomorrow we’ll be far away

Tomorrow is the judgement day

Tomorrow we’ll discover what our God in heaven has in store

One more dawn…

On an unrelated note, tomorrow morning at 5AM our new ER opens and the old one closes down. I’ll be there working clinically. To the degree that it doesn’t interfere with patient care, I’ll live-tweet the experience.

For those not familiar with the institution or the project — it’s a 110,000 annual visit ER closing down and reopening next door in a new, state of the art 83 bed ER, with an entire new 10-story hospital opening directly above at the same time, more or less. The logistics of the transition are pretty staggering. The ER will be the first unit to open. The old ambulance bay will have a barrier put up at 5AM and the new department’s ambulance bay and drop-off will be illuminated at that time and all new patients will go there. The staff closing out the old shop will dispo all the patients they can, and at a certain point, maybe by ten AM, any patients still in the old ER will roll across the skybridge to the new facility. We will open one cath lab and one OR in the new hospital while retaining capability at the old rooms. New patients admitted will go to the new tower and the old inpatient units will start discharging patients. By Friday, any patients still in the old tower will move across to the new inpatient units. They’ll be bringing the other ORs and interventional labs online in a stepwise fashion during the week. Interestingly, a lot of expensive equipment is being “salvaged” from the old hospital. For example, the telemetry monitors in the ICU — about half of the new ICU beds have monitors now. When a patient is discharged from the old ICU, they will take that monitor across to the new building and install it in a new ICU bed, which will only then become open for a new patient. Eventually, all the monitors will be re-installed in the new units. Elective surgeries are pretty much out this week. When everything is open we will have 16 ORs and 8 cath/vascular/EP labs with room for four more as need demands.

For the ER (and more importantly for ER patients) this will be Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*

A Child’s Impression Of An Operating Room

He must have been about eight at the time. I had made the mistake of watching doctor shows on TV with him and he had probably heard my wife and I describe the challenges of my doctor lifestyle at times over dinner. For the most part, he seemed oblivious and liked the things that most young boys at that age do: sports, jungle gyms, mud, and bicycles, but he had never seen his Dad at work.

So the day came when my wife was doing errands and stopped by the hospital with the kids to drop off my pager which I had inadvertently left at home. As timing would have it, I had just scrubbed in a case, so she was kind enough to bring the pager to the electrophysiology lab control room where the technicians could retrieve it for me. My son, realizing how close he was to my workplace asked within earshot of the technician, “Mom, could I see?” She looked at the technician, and he nodded agreement. Cautiously, they entered the control room just to wave “hi” briefly through the glass. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

Microsoft Kinect Helps Surgeons Review Radiology Images In The OR

2whae44.jpgEngineers at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital have been trialing a new system that uses Microsoft’s Kinect to allow surgeons to browse through diagnostic images without having to physically touch any controls. Using the system surgeons can manipulate images without losing sterility, without any assistance from a nurse or other person in the OR, all while not having to move away from the patient.

Here’s a report from The Globe and Mail:

More from The Globe and Mail: Toronto doctors try Microsoft’s Kinect in OR

Flashbacks: Microsoft Kinect 3D Camera for Hands-Free Radiologic Image Browsing;

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Latest Interviews

Caring For Winter Olympians In Sochi: An Interview With Team USA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gloria Beim

I am a huge fan of the winter Olympics partly because I grew up in Canada where most kids can ski and skate before they can run and partly because I used to participate in Downhill ski racing. Now that I m a rehab physician with a reconstructed knee I…

Read more »

How Do Hospital Executives Feel About Locum Tenens Agencies And Traveling Physicians?

I recently wrote about my experiences as a traveling physician and how to navigate locum tenens work. Today I want to talk about the client in this case hospital side of the equation. I ve had the chance to speak with several executives some were physicians themselves about the overall…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

Unaccountable: A Book About The Underbelly Of Hospital Care

I met Dr. Marty Makary over lunch at Founding Farmers restaurant in DC about three years ago. We had an animated conversation about hospital safety the potential contribution of checklists to reducing medical errors and his upcoming book about the need for more transparency in the healthcare system. Marty was…

Read more »

See all book reviews »