Thursday Review: “Moving Beyond Readmission Penalties: Creating an Ideal Process to Improve Transitional Care”

As a quantitative metric, write Dr. Robert E. Burke et al., readmisssions can be problematic. In the Journal of Hospital Medicine, the authors write that one difficulty is the lack of an intentional process of discharging a patient to avoid readmission.

The authors lay out an ideal process for a care transition. I’d like to look briefly at how this idealized transition is like and unlike a story, and comment on how story can intervene at a few key points.
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Thursday Review: “Patients’ unvoiced agendas in general practice consultations: qualitative study”

In the discussions about how to bring the humanities into medicine, one essential feature often gets lost. The attempts to make care more human and more humane aren’t being done for the sake of warm fuzzies. There are concrete ways medical outcomes suffer when healthcare practitioners and patients aren’t communicating well.

Writing in The BMJ, Christine A. Barry, et al. provide one of the clearest discussions on medical outcomes suffering from ineffective communication, and why both patients and doctors are hesitant to change communication for the better.
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Thursday Review: “What Is Value in Health Care?”

I read Dr. Michael E. Porter’s article in The New England Journal of Medicine a number of years ago. At the time, I was interested in concrete ways to talk about value and effectiveness in healthcare. Rereading it now, it strikes me that Porter provides a framework not only for those ideas, but also a template for having difficult conversations with patients.

The big idea in the paper is that value boils down to a simple equation:

Value = Outcomes / Costs

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Thursday Review: “Effective Physician-Patient Communication and Health Outcomes”

Dr. Moira A. Stewart, writing in the 1995 Canadian Medical Association Journal, writes that although there had been reviews of data exploring the relation between communication and patient satisfaction,1 which linked communication with quality of care,2 and others exploring the theory of physician-patient communication or how medical education could incorporate these ideas, none specifically looked at the relationship between communication and health outcomes.
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