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Articles of Interest

2019 Novel Coronavirus and Patient Safety in the Medical Office

Debbie Hill, MBA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across multiple continents, infecting tens of thousands of individuals worldwide, with thousands of deaths. On Tuesday, February 25th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, urged the U.S. public to begin making preparations for the possibility of a U.S. pandemic with “the expectation that this could be bad.” Given that outbreaks are expected to occur at a community level, medical offices will undoubtedly experience an influx of patients seeking assistance. The question is: Are medical offices doing enough to prepare?

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Real Estate: The Second-Highest Expense in Your Practice

Orlando Medical News

When it comes to managing expenses in your practice, there are dozens of categories to evaluate: equipment, technology, loan costs and interest rates, sundries, marketing and on and on they go.

Many practice owners are quick to shop-out what they believe are the most obvious expenses, but few understand the impact of one of the largest expenses and how it can be dramatically reduced to increase profitability. The highest expense for most practices is payroll, followed by real estate. Real estate encompasses your monthly rent or mortgage payments, along with the property’s operating expenses, maintenance fees, utilities, and janitorial costs.  Read More

Tackling Physician Burnout Requires Unprecedented Leadership

By Robert D. Morton, CPHRM, CPPS, Assistant Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

The term “burnout” has been questioned as a labeling error—and rightfully so. Burnout implies victim shaming. What many healthcare professionals on the frontlines are experiencing is a normal response (symptoms) to an abnormal situation (cause), like sick fish in a tank of toxic water. A diagnosis of burnout suggests that the solution is to medicate the fish. A more holistic view is to say, “There’s really nothing wrong with you; let’s clean the tank.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced plans to include what it labels “burn-out” as an occupational phenomenon in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The syndrome, which results from chronic workplace stress, is characterized by feelings of exhaustion, increased mental distancing from one’s work or cynicism about work, and reduced professional efficacy.1 The WHO’s actions seem to further legitimize what many are experiencing: an evermore exhausting, distancing, and chronically stressful healthcare system that makes connecting with patients and providing quality care more challenging and contributes to burnout, healthcare professional distress, or to what some have even labeled moral injury or human rights violations. Read more