Overworked and Overwhelmed? You’re Not Alone.

A study recently reported in Newsweek shows that one-third of Americans are chronically overworked—and even more feel overwhelmed by their jobs.

More than half of those surveyed complain that during a typical week they have to work on too many tasks at one time and are often interrupted, making it difficult to complete projects.

Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the Families and Work Institute, expressed suprise that more than 30 percent of respondents reported that they didn’t take their full vacation time. Another finding of note? Twenty-nine percent say they are spending a lot of time doing something that is a waste of time.

Read the Article from Newsweek Health


March 30th is National Doctors’ Day

Doctors’ Day is set aside to show appreciation for the role of physicians in caring for the sick and advancing both the art and science of medicine. It is a day to encourage, commend, and thank, the many excellent physicians who provide our care, or who are our professional colleagues.

Scary stories about sub-standard medical practice make news headlines. Yet rarely is the excellent work of the bleary-eyed surgeon who hurries to the hospital to perform emergency surgery at 3:00 a.m., or the pediatrician who not only heals the hurts but takes time to reassure and comfort, noted.

We have high expectations of our health-care providers, and that’s as it should be. It is important to remember however, that they also deserve our respect and our appreciation. Most probably work harder, and are more self-sacrificing that we realize.

So to all of you who have chosen medicine as your life’s work – thanks, and Happy Doctors’ Day.

Virtual Medical Professionals – A New Credentialing Challenge?

ABC News reports on the next step in telemedicine – virtual medical staff members. The report states that hospitals in 19 states are now using “enhanced intensive care unit” or “eICU” technology. Through eICU, a remote nurse or physician can watch patients on a computer screen, check medical charts, monitor vital signs, and even have two-way conversations. If a problem arises, the remote staff quickly alerts the on-site staff.

A software vendor for eICU products states: “ICU patients require around-the-clock specialized care, however most ICUs don’t have the specially trained physicians (intensivists) available to provide this. With an eICU facility linked via telemedicine and computer monitors to their hospital ICU rooms they now can.”

Read the ABC News Report

And if you’re in Detroit – How about Dr. Robot?

Medicare Publishes Proposed Rule Updating Hospital Conditions of Participation

On March 24th The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule to alleviate hospitals of overly burdensome regulations and allow doctors and nurses to focus more time and energy on patient care.

The proposed rule would revise requirements in the hospital conditions of participation (CoPs) for completion of history and physical (H&P) examinations, authentication of verbal orders, securing medications, and completion of post anesthesia evaluations.

Read the text of the proposed rule change here.

If you wish to comment on this proposed rule via the internet, you can do so here: http://www.regulations.gov/

Federal Register

Thanks to Trauda Gilbert of Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron for forwarding this update.

Conducting Reference Checks – Tips from an Attorney

George Lenard, a labor and employment law attorney and author of George’s Employment Blawg has tackled the thorny problem of pre-hire reference checking. His focus is on employees, but much of the thought process also applies to background and reference checks for medical staff applicants. As you can imagine, medical staff credentialers are not the only people having trouble getting meaningful information.

Mr. Lenard writes: “Hasn’t the reference checking process become just a useless waste of time? Tempting as it may be to write off this often time-consuming step of the hiring process as futile and ineffective, doing so is inadvisable. Powerful legal and business reasons remain for making all reasonable efforts to investigate the background and suitability of job candidates, and checking references continues to play an important role in this process. “

The articles address defamation concerns, negligent hiring issues, who to contact, etc. He promises Part III next month on how to persuade reluctant references to talk. Mr. Lenard is an attorney, sworn to uphold the law, so I suppose thumb screws are out… stay tuned.

Solving the Reference Checking Puzzle – Part I:

Solving the Reference Checking Puzzle – Part II:

Staying Healthy At Work

A recent study reported in Newsweek found that germs lurk throughout offices. Researchers tested samples from 328 surfaces—from cubicles to conference rooms. The study, funded by a grant from The Clorox Co., recorded that the human virus that causes respiratory infections like bronchiolitis and pneumonia can live on surfaces for up to three days — on the desktops of cubicles and offices. They also found the virus on telephones, door handles and light switches.


Newsweek – Surviving the Sick Office

Oh, and it may pay not to stand too close to
dressed up doctors

American Board of Radiology Certificates

Click here for an overview of the certificates issued by the American Board of Radiology. There are links on the left side of the page that offer information about American Board of Radiology Primary Certificates (three), Supspecialty Certificates (four), and Discontinued Certificates (thirteen).

You may find the Discontinued Certificates section particularly helpful, since it includes the years those certificates were issued.

Thanks to Julie Costa-Bickmore, CPCS, Director, Research & Development, Medkinetics, Inc., Franklin, TN, for sharing this resource.

Due Diligence for Medical Recruiters – From MedCareers.com

MedCareers.com has an interesting article written by Les Rosen, an attorney practicing employment law. The article deals with due dilegence for medical recruiters, and outlines some useful sources of credentialing and background information available to them.

Mr. Rosen helps the reader better understand the difficult task medical recruiters face. However, although the article points out that “a recruiter is not in a position to engage in a full-fledged credentialing investigation before a recommendation is made,” he fails to include any suggestion that recruiters and credentialers work together.

Mr. Rosen adds, “Consequently, despite having interviewed the candidate, checked references, asked about unexplained gaps in employment, and looked for the “red flags” that recruiters can spot from years of experience, it still comes down to an educated guess.”

He then concludes with this statement, on which both credentialers and recruiters will certainly agree: “Taking into account the tremendous risk and costs of just one bad hire, the minimal extra time, effort and expense in exercising due diligence through background screening has proven to be a very wise and prudent decision.”


Due Diligence for Medical Recruiters – by Les Rosen, J.D.

Free, Quality Healthcare? There’s Got to be a Catch.

Healthcare in Canada is "free" and the quality is generally considered good. So what’s the catch? The average Canadian family pays about 48 percent of its income in taxes each year, partly to fund the health care system. However, when care is needed the wait can be long, months, sometimes years, to get the needed treatment or surgery.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is campaigning for tax reform and private enterprise in health care.

Read the ABC News Report – Canadians Face Long Waits for Health Care

Medpundit Weighs In

Ten Traits of Self-Motivated People

Do you consider yourself highly motivated? Are you highly successful? That doesn’t necessarily mean you have a VIP job. It’s more about paying attention to what is important to you and then striving for success in that area.

A little self-contemplation can be good for the soul. You may find that you are a much more successful individual than you give yourself credit for.

National Seminars Group offers a list of ten attributes the highly-motivated among us display.

1. Have extraordinary purpose
2. Are willing to take risks
3. Participate fully in life

Read the rest of the list