Third Annual SINAInnovations Conference “Engineering and Medicine”

This year’s program will feature a number of exciting speakers, exhibitors, and demonstrations exploring the expanding interface between engineering and medicine—and how it is transforming all aspects of health care.

Topics include: breakthroughs in material science, nanotechnology, and imaging; genomics and personalized medicine; transformative technologies, including apps, software, and mobile technologies; and engineering to improve global health.

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Breakfast of Legends

The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center (MSAHC), a pioneer and leader in the treatment of adolescent-specific health services, will celebrate its 11th annual Breakfast of Legends benefit on Thursday, October 23, from 7:30 to 9 am, at The Plaza.

Funds raised at the Breakfast of Legends enable the MSAHC to provide free comprehensive health care—medical, mental, dental, optical, reproductive, and health education—to more than 11,000 adolescents from New York City and surrounding areas.

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“Nurse Practitioners Are Worthy Professionals … but They Are Not Doctors.”

The New York Times op-ed noted “EARLIER this month, the New York State Legislature passed a bill granting nurse practitioners the right to provide primary care without physician oversight. New York joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia in awarding such autonomy. (Most states still require nurse practitioners to work with physicians under a written practice agreement.) The bill’s authors contend that mandatory collaboration with a physician “no longer serves a clinical purpose” and reduces much-needed access to primary care.”

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Beware of Shifting Options within Medicare Plans

The New York Times reported: “The Medicare open enrollment season, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, gives individuals a chance to rethink it all and reassess whether their plan still fits their needs.”

“Elizabeth Cooper, a 68-year-old former elementary schoolteacher, weighs her options each year. She has already tried a couple of plans, including one through Medicare Advantage, which lured her in because it had no monthly premium. But the plan required her to shoulder a significant share of her medical costs.”

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How Hospitals Should Prepare For A Potential Ebola Patient

The Huffington Post reported “Back in August, it only took Mount Sinai Hospital workers in New York seven minutes to isolate and start treating a man who they suspected of having Ebola. Other U.S. hospitals have also speedily screened and tested suspected Ebola patients, all without incident.

The contrast between those other hospitals’ responses and the actions of workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, who recently mistook a Liberian man’s symptoms for a common illness and didn’t properly communicate his travel history to other colleagues, can be explained with training and drills, explained Dr. Brian Koll, the executive director of infection prevention for Mount Sinai Health System.

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Better Hygiene Through Humiliation

Recently The Atlantic reported: “As doctors and nurses move through hospitals, they aren’t the only ones making rounds—hitching a ride on their hands are dangerous bacteria that can lead to infections ranging from antibiotic-resistant staph to norovirus.”

“In recent years, a number of companies have designed systems that aim to nudge doctors and nurses into washing their hands regularly. One of these devices, a badge made by Biovigil, aims to exploit a very powerful emotion: shame. When a doctor enters an exam room, the badge chirps and a light on it turns yellow—a reminder to the doctor as well as an alert to the patient that he is about to be touched by someone with unclean hands. If the doctor doesn’t wash her hands, the light flashes red and the badge makes a disapproving noise. After the doctor waves a freshly sanitized hand in front of the badge, alcohol vapors trigger a sensor that changes the light from red to green.”

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“Doctors’ Stethoscopes Are Contaminated With Bacteria … That Can Easily Be Transferred From One Patient To Another”

The New York Times article noted “Doctors’ stethoscopes are contaminated with bacteria that can easily be transferred from one patient to another …”

“Researchers cultured bacteria from the fingertips, palms and stethoscopes of three doctors who had done standard physical examinations on 83 patients at a Swiss hospital. They tested for the presence of viable bacterial cells, looking specifically for the potentially deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.”

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“The Doctor-Patient Relationship Is Ideally An Intimate Partnership Where Information Is Exchanged Openly And Honestly.”

The New York Times article addressed this concept by stating “That it is seldom the reality, however. Deception in the doctor-patient relationship is more common than we’d like to believe. Deception is a charged word. It encapsulates precisely what we dread most in a doctor-patient relationship, and yet it is there in medicine, and it often runs both ways.”

Then a vignette:

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Preventing Clothing Infection Transmission From Your Doctor

We used to hear that male pediatricians do not wear ties to prevent the spread of infection.

Recently an article in the New England Journal of Medicine “issued new guidelines to help prevent infection transmission through healthcare personnel attire outside the operating room,” while acknowledging “role of clothing in cross-transmission remains ‘poorly established.’”

Among the recommendations, published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology:

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