Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Grand Rounds at Charlotte's Web

Welcome to this holiday edition of Grand Rounds! It's the time of year when friends and family gather, when stories are told and memories are made. But the winter weather and short days here in the northern hemisphere seem to prompt brevity in our everyday comings and goings. It seems like the right time to combine storytelling and brevity and channel Charlotte, one of the most masterful storytellers I met during a childhood spent with my nose in a book.

In keeping with Charlotte's knack for saying what she meant and meaning what she said succinctly, I've categorized this week's submissions using six words that describe quality healthcare. (They're borrowed--in ways I suspect would make Templeton the Rat proud--from the Institute of Medicine's report Crossing the Quality Chasm.) This week participants were asked to submit one word describing the inspiration or take-away lesson for their post, and you'll find their words woven into today's Grand Rounds.

I hope you enjoy the tale. And do take the opportunity this holiday season to revisit Charlotte's Web. Better yet, share it with the next generation. As we seek solutions to the vexing issues healthcare bloggers wrote about for this edition, we'll be needing new words, spun by young people whose imaginations are ignited.

The word used by the authors of Crossing the Quality Chasm to say that patients should not be injured from care intended to help them.

Last week The Blog of the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative completed an ambitious commemorative series marking the 10th anniversary of To Err is Human. Since Florence dot com is, first and foremost, a real-time patient safety primer, I'm going to carefully letter my chosen word here: LEARN. And tell you to click on this link to access INQRI's lovely collection of stories, recollections, and sage advice.

Care does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic means.

Dr. Rich gets to the meat of the matter in  Let Us Shun The Obese this Holiday Season. Dr. Rich's heart of darkness post (key word: demonization) could have fit nicely in many dimensions of care, patient-centered and effective sprung to mind. But his astute observation that obesity is often rooted in genetics makes it fit best here.

In The Users' Guide to the Health Reform Galaxy, Bruce Siegel stays on message with his word: equity. But read this post to learn why an insider believes minority groups could lose ground if health reform is not "done right." Louise from the Colorado Health Insurance Insider says the word is flaws and writes Why Health Care Reform is Important.

Care based on scientific knowledge should be provided to all who could benefit and not provided to those not likely to benefit (avoiding underuse and overuse, respectively).

Amy Romano, CNM gets a blue ribbon in this category for maximin, a word I didn't know and one that would surely delight Charlotte. Amy wisely included a vintage PubMed link explaining her word, and she articulates her position in What SUVs Can Teach Us About Maternity Care. Paul Auerbach discusses The Canadian C-Spine Rule, with a take-away word of algorithm Allergy Notes offers up "allergy" as an index word for the post describing the difference between food sensitization and food allergy.

Rounding out this dimension of quality healthcare are those who prompt us to pay attention to the quality and accessibility of  high end data. Eve Harris offers transparency as the take-away lesson in Asking Dr. Science. Walter Jessen at Medpedia, an innovative 2.0 health information community, uses "reliable" to describe Medpedia Now Includes News & Analysis, Alerts, Q&A. And over at Clinical Cases and Images - Blog, we're reminded that it's also helpful to think. And rewarded with a thoughtful post, Medical Textbooks and Atlases Searchable on Google Books.

Care is provided in ways that are respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values. It ensures that patient values guide all clinical decisions.

The ACP Internist offers Doctors, Ditch the Tie and Coat, an interesting piece about appearance (how patients' perceptions of providers are shaped by both culture and the providers' choice of attire). I found another new Charlotte-worthy word reading this post: zoris. (Check out the post to learn what it means if it's new to you, too.)

Laurie Edwards says the relativity factor is confounding when people with chronic diseases go about Learning to be a Primary Care Patient. Amy Tenderich winds up in the middle here, too, a welcome place according to her Wayback Wednesday post Oh, Glorious Middle. And Rachel's simply titled post is For Now. But the word she sent along, patience, may say even more about what patient-centered care really entails.

Jacqueline at Laika's MedLibLog captures the arachnoid spirit, giving her post a one word title: empathy. The post shows how much we long for care that considers more about who we are than our "chief complaint" often reveals. If Jacqueline had been in the mood to spin longer, she could have called this post, "What comes around, goes around!"

Developmentally appropriate care may mean calling on the healing power of friendship, something Nancy Brown points out in Helping Friends Who are Stressed and Depressed. In another part of the village, Barbara Kivowitz cautions that assumptions are not always helpful in Seven Myths about Couples and Illness. And Will Meek says the word is forgiveness and writes about it in How to Forgive.

One of the things I like best about the IOM's six dimensions of care is this: stakeholders don't always wind up tangled in their own little bitty egg sacs. Lock Up Doc offers the word transparency to explain her position on Should Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder Be Told Their Diagnosis? (It's a stance that also earns her a place in the coveted "patient-centered" category.) Curiosity earns The Happy Hospitalist a place here, too. (And his post Gynecological Exams: Best Done By Male or Female Gynecologists earns another label: funny.)

Dr Charles gives a nod to resilience in his post Hypochondriachal Heroism. And child psychiatrist An Ang Zhang explains something that makes healthcare delivery a challenge: Lying people. She says more in The Smartest Lie: Lord Winston; Super Doctors & The Dark Side. But At How to Cope with Pain, the word is contest! Visit for a holiday-inspired change of pace and see what's cooking! (Spoiler alert: It's not pork.)

The need to reduce waits and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive and those who give care.

Kim, a future nursing student, writes revisiting my hospital stay. Although she sent patience along as her take-away, I've chosen to place her post here because omissions count in quality measures. Rats!

Harry Stern at InsureBlog is worrying about supply and demand, too. His post, More (Un?)Intended Consequence, projects doctor shortages and backs up rather glum predictions with data from the Association of American Medical Colleges. ACP Hospitalist echoes the concern, with a call-to-action word: need. The post is New York survey shows dire need for hospitalists, internistsI'll take this opportunity to weave in a bit of Cavatican-style cheer: mid-levels.

  Avoiding waste (of equipment, supplies, ideas, and energy).

At Shoot Up or Put Up, Tim's NHS pharmacist guest blogs with Diabetics - Blight of GPs; Milk Cows of Pharmacists, explaining why people with diabetes should engage their pharmacists. (He gets a blue ribbon for including a farm animal in the post title.) And a wry, trans-continental laugh for his take-away word: Pharma-conomics. Dr. Wes offers a one-word take-away to describe a mixed blessing: patient-provider e-mail. And he articulates both "added value" and "be careful" features of this mode in The Inefficiency of Medical E-Mail.

Jessica Otte explains how hard it is sleep while completing an obstetrical rotation in No electric sheep for me: Sleep is fragmented. Medical residents and how much sleep they get impacts the efficiency of individual physicians and the system that depends upon them. Her word is delusion. (I think it's meant to describe her current sleep-impaired state. But the word may also describe conventional wisdom that allowed residents' hours to remain relatively unchecked in the latter part of the 20th century.)

Over at the Healthcare Business Blog, David Williams says Atul Gawande is too optimistic about healthcare cost control when he advances the idea that the future of healthcare reform may lie in the county extension office. Williams is serious: his take-away word is pessimism. Marya Zilberberg calls out Gawande for another reason: shortsightedness. It's explained in her post Can US agriculture reform inform the healthcare debate? She offers thoughtfulness as her word.

Joseph Kim's one word is "leaving," a topic that inspired his post, Should You Leave Clinical Medicine? Finally, Jolie Bookspan offers appreciation at this time of year, with some special "academy" awards.

Correction to information for the next edition of Grand Rounds! It will be hosted next week, 12/22 by Nancy Brown of Teen Health 411. Nancy will accept submissions (to brownn at pamfri dot org) until Sunday, 12/20/09 at midnight. The theme is "coming together."

Note: The descriptors of the IOM's Six Dimensions of Care are reproduced from pages 5 & 6 of the Executive Summary, Crossing the Quality Chasm.


rlbates said...

Wonderfully done!

Barbara K. said...

Great job. Love the theme!

The Happy Hospitalist said...

That was really great. How cleaver

Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC said...

What a unique and wonderful way to present GR. Nice!

Thanks for hosting, and for including our post.

Laurie said...

Wonderful job! (And not just because I am biased--Charlotte's Web was one of my all-time favorites!) Thanks so much for including my post and pulling all of this together.

Lockup Doc said...

Very cleverly done!

Thanks for weaving my post into your web.

Eve Harris said...

Thanks, Barbara, for cleverly bringing the IOM dimensions of care to life - and of course for including "A Healthy Piece of My Mind"

Rachel B said...

Love Charlotte's Web!

Thank you for including me.

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