By Janet Rae-Dupree – Now that it’s upending the way you play music, cook, shop, hear the news and check the weather, the friendly voice emanating from your Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speaker is poised to wriggle its way into all things health care.
By Shefali Luthra – It’s 4 p.m., and if you’re a hospital patient, that could be one of the most critical times of the day. Your doctor’s shift just ended, and someone new will take over your care. How these professionals communicate could have major repercussions for your recovery. Those shift changes, also known as handoffs, are prime opportunities for key information about a patient’s condition to get lost in the shuffle.
By Barbara Feder Ostrov – When we hear the phrase “digital health,” we might think about our Fitbit, the healthy eating app on our smartphone, or maybe a new way to email our doctor. But Fitbits aren’t particularly useful if you’re homeless, and the nutrition app won’t mean much to someone who struggles to pay for groceries.
By Julie Rovner – Medical students cram a lot of basic science and medicine into their first two years of training. But most learn next to nothing about the intricacies of the health care system they are soon to enter. That’s something the medical school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is trying to remedy.
By Shefali Luthra – Medical errors are estimated to be the third-highest cause of death in the country. Experts and patient safety advocates are trying to change that. But at least one of the tools that’s been considered a fix isn’t yet working as well as it should, suggests a report released on April 7, 2016.
By Shefali Luthra – In a perfect world, patients with advance directives would be confident that their doctors and nurses, no matter where they receive care, could know in a split second their end-of-life wishes. But this ideal is still in the distance. Patients’ documents often go missing in maze-like files or are rendered unreadable by incompatible software.
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