Grand Rounds #49

Grand Rounds #49 – The Carnival of the Caregivers is hosted this week at Elisa Camahort organized this week’s listing by how each set of posts helps people understand the health care system and the people that work in it.

MSSPNexus was included for Corporate Blogging.

I encourage you to take a moment to also read this included post from GruntDoc: Reporting Impaired Docs: What would you recommend?

Hospitals in Katrina’s Path – Updated 8/31

To our colleagues and friends in the Gulf Coast area – we’re thinking about you.

Reports from various news agencies and web sites on the status of hospitals in the hurricane-stricken area:


The Louisana Hospital Association has announced that all hospitals in New Orleans are being evacuated.  "One of the things they have got to do _ we’ve got to plead for _ is to make sure that when these hospitals get evacuated, the National Guard or somebody is there putting major security around these hospitals, or they’re going to get ransacked. And it’s going to make a bad situation even worse," said John Matessino, President of the Louisiana Hospital Association.

Associated Press / MSN Report:
Hospitals across flooded New Orleans face deteriorating conditions

MedPage Today:
Hospitals Evacuate in Wake of Rising Waters From Katrina



Gulf Breeze Hospital near Pensacola Beach, Florida has dispatched their air ambulance service, LifeFlight to New Orleans to assist with evacuation of patients from Tulane and Charity (and elsewhere as necessary).  It appears that Tulane has a number of patients to evacuate with only 5 hours of fuel left in the generators.

Charity Hospital in New Orleans is being evacuated.  The Associated Press reported:  As floodwaters rose around Charity Hospital, nurses hand-pumped ventilators for patients who couldn’t breathe. Helicopters landed on the garage to airlift critically ill babies. Doctors canoed supplies to and from Charity and three nearby hospitals.

Tulane University Hospital is evacuating more than 1,000 people with the help of the U.S. military.

New Orleans’ VA Hospital is evacuating as the medical center anticipates complete loss of power this afternoon.



All hospitals on the Mississippi Gulf coast have reported damage and most are operating on generator power.

Gulfport Memorial Hospital in Biloxi, MS reported major damage.

Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans has a notice on its Web site that Ochsner Hospital and all clinics in New Orleans would be closed until at least Wednesday.

Windows on five floors of the Charity Hospital in New Orleans were shattered, forcing patients to be moved to lower levels.  Reports this moring (8/30) indicate that at least some patients are being evacuated.

Childrens Hospital, New Orleans
has posted an annoucement on their web site that the Emergency Room is operational and emergency admissions are being accepted.

If you have additional information you’d like to share, send it to

New Orleans

Today our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues in New Orleans and surrounding areas who are being affected by Hurricane Katrina.

I stayed in the French Quarter for a few days early this year at the Hotel Monteleone.  The bellman was an older gentleman who had assisted countless guests during his many years of employment at the Monteleone.  As he carried my suitcase to the room, he gave me a brief a tour and shared a bit of the long history of the hotel.  I enjoyed listening to him because he so obviously loved the grand old hotel and the city of New Orleans.

I’ve been thinking about him today, wondering how he’s dealing with the threat to his beloved city.

Psychiatrist Indicted for Fraud

Modern Healthcare reports that a New Orleans psychiatrist has been indicted for fraud by the Federal Government.

The case is in part based on the allegation that Dr. Maria Carmen Palazzo fraudulently billed the government for medical visits she made to patients during a five-year period, when the visits were actually made by a physician assistant in her employment.

FDA Letter to Dr. Palazzo, December 2003

NAMSS Conference Just 23 Days Away

The Annual National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) Conference, which I’ve been working on all year as part of the Conference Planning Council, is now just 23 days away!

The Executive Office recently announced that a session has been added on Tuesday afternoon at the Hyatt Hotel.  Richard Sheff, MD, Chairman and Executive Director of The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro, Inc., will speak on the topic  Tough Times/ New Opportunities:  The MSP’s Role in Creating Today’s Truly Effective Medical Staff.

If you’re looking for information on products, consulting services, education, software, etc. Phoenix is defintely the place to be.  Over fifty vendors are exhibiting this year.  The opening Vendor reception is Sunday evening, September 18th.  (There’s a band, so wear your dancing shoes!)

Georgia Day and I are looking forward to our Monday morning presentation Effective Communication, Leadership At Its Best.  We’ve been working on it all summer and plan to make it both lively and educational.

Additional conference news can be found here.

I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and making a few new ones next month in Phoenix. 

Corporate Blogging

So who needs a blog anyway?  And just exactly what IS a blog?  Blog – short for Web Log is an online journal.  Nothing more exotic than that. 

If you wrote your youthful secrets to someone called Dear Diary, you pretty much get the concept.  Advances in technology now allow youthful (and not-so-youthful) authors to publish their thoughts on the web.  Just like those scruffy little diaries that we hid under our beds, some blogs are filled with meaningful insights and flowing prose, and some are, well… not.

Blogs started a few years ago primarily as online personal diaries.  Many of them contained what most of us would consider way too much information about the author’s personal life.  As the concept caught on however, businesses began to see the benefits, and new corporate blogs are now popping up every day.

The best business blogs offer brief but worthwhile articles, tips, and links, along with a few insights into the humans behind the logo.  They are informal business conversations with the reader.  If the reader enjoys the conversation, they’ll come back for more.

Business blogs are a growing trend, as reported in a recent article in the Charlotte Observer:  The Corporate Blogger. 

Mary Jacobs writes – If you can’t beat ‘em, hire ‘em.

That emerging marketing strategy is creating a new career: corporate bloggers.

At times, individuals who run online journals known as blogs — or Web logs — have been a thorn in the side of big companies, generating bad buzz about products and airing unhappy customers’ complaints to a wider audience.

But some companies are taking a different approach, hiring corporate bloggers to get their messages out to the blogosphere.

"Given the changes barreling down upon us, blogs are not a business elective," decreed a recent BusinessWeek article. "They’re a prerequisite.


‘Doing Lunch’ at the Networking Cafe

If you’ve read my article in July/August Synergy magazine, you know that I did an informal poll asking “what’s the best reason to attend a national conference?” The number one answer was networking.

You’ll get no argument out of me. The opportunity to interact with colleagues from around the country is one of the great benefits of attending a national conference.

So we all agree, professional networking is a good thing. So how much professional networking do you do on a weekly basis within your own organization? If your response is along the lines of “Well, duh, none. No one in this place knows or cares what I do, that’s why I need to go to a national conference,” it’s definitely time for a little attitude adjustment.

When it comes to career advancement your professional reputation, what bosses, co-workers, and colleagues think about you, is more important than your resume. Although being technically good at your job is a worthwhile goal, it shouldn’t be the only one you consider worth effort.

Let’s consider lunch (always one of my favorite topics!)

Who do you have lunch with, and who should you consider adding to your “invitation” list? (If you have lunch at your desk every day you’re wasting great networking opportunities!)

Let’s say you’re having lunch with the hospital’s Chief-of-Staff, someone you interact with regularly, but don’t often get a chance to chat with informally. You’re sitting together in the hospital’s cafeteria having an animated discussion. People notice that you and Dr. Chief-of-Staff seem to be getting on well. Score a “good reputation” point for you. Others may (fairly or unfairly) see you as someone with influence in the organization based on who is included in your peer group.

While outside observers may be giving you points, how will you be perceived by Dr. Chief-of-Staff?  Pay attention to what you say, how you say it, and what your body language reveals.

DOs and DONT’s…

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JCAHO Telemedicine Field Review

8/20/05 – From The Joint Commission: The closing date for the Credentialing and Privileging Requirements Relating to Telemedicine/Contracted Services Field Review has been extended to September 5, 2005.

Credentialing and Privileging Requirements Related to Telemedicine / Contracted Services Field Review