Regional Accreditation in Central America

Regional Accreditation in Central America

In response to the need for tertiary-level studies in Central America over the past decades, we’ve seen many new colleges and universities open their doors to deal with the continually growing number of applicants. This response came mainly from the region’s private sector and happened without much regulatory oversight.

It was traditionally the responsibility of individual states or state-sponsored colleges and universities to safeguard the quality of education and degrees offered by a country’s institution of post-secondary education. We could see, however, that the poorly equipped and relatively small governments and academic institutions in Central America had enormous difficulty in reacting to the huge growth in the need for tertiary education, let alone that they could monitor or assess the new institutions’ quality of their educational programs.

Remember that it were mostly private institutions that had responded to the increased student demand for continued education. The consequence was that  the quality of the schools and the educational programs offered at the region’s colleges, universities, and professional schools shows an immense variation. Many citizens questioned the standards and and demanded for all social classes equal access to standardized quality education and instruction.

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Hospitals Start EMR Steps, Struggle with Charging Overhead to Doctors

Hospitals Start EMR Steps, Struggle with Charging Overhead to Doctors

stfranciscareHospitals across the country are evaluating if, when, and how they will subsidize electronic medical record technology purchases for community physicians in light of relaxed Stark anti-kickback regulations. While a few hospitals have begun rolling out programs, most are still developing strategies.

“I see a lot of hospitals still trying to figure out what to do,” says Mark R. Anderson, CEO of healthcare technology advisory firm AC Group, Inc. of Montgomery, Texas. “Hospitals need to learn about the different advantages and disadvantages of the project before offering a service.

Some of the many considerations include whether to provide a hosted solution, whether to offer multiple applications, and how much financial assistance to provide.

St. Francis Emphasizes Integration, Offers One System

St. Francis Care in Hartford, Conn. chose the ASP model. “Our model is one of integration,” says Jess Kupec, president and CEO of the St. Francis physician hospital organization. “One of the key differences is that when doctors opt for our solution, they have only one medical record. That is what makes our solution so unique – it links the community-based physicians with all the hospital-based systems.”

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Do the Opinions of a Non-practicing Physician have Merit?

Do the Opinions of a Non-practicing Physician have Merit?

The worth of an opinion is the worth of the man or woman delivering it.

Given the competitive streak that’s deep in the bone of every physician, it is inevitable that many doctors on the verge of moving away from the clinical arena will wonder if they’ll have an audience any more.

If we’ve spent 20, 30 or 40 years with people eager to hear your point of view, it would take a Zen master ego to calmly walk away, unfettered by thoughts that you might be viewed as over the hill, out of touch or redundant. If you proffer an opinion you may in turn worry about the reaction of colleagues still yielding their stethoscope.

Realistically, your only concern will be with any negatives they might express – such as:
1. Some blend of not practicing/out of touch/chip on shoulder.
2. Not practicing thus free to pontificate.
3. No longer a member of the team; don’t care what he/she thinks.

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Doctor-Patient Interactions, not Transactions

Doctor-Patient Interactions, not Transactions

Borrowing from business parlance to describe the diverse elements involved in optimum healthcare provision is fraught with peril. We need our own lexicon.

I’ve spent much of March traveling, accounting for my sporadic writing as my hypothalamus shut down after an excess of traversing oceans and continents.

A month sleeping at home and grinding my own coffee beans in the morning has appeal, but there’ll be particular satisfaction in avoiding the misery of airline travel which some time ago passed beyond the ‘benign decay’ part of the deterioration curve and now officially qualifies as truly abysmal.

Returning from California two days ago, we were offered the opportunity of paying a supplemental $136 for 5 extra inches of legroom on a flight from LAX to Detroit. I passed, not even caring to know whether it was $136 each (probably), rather laughing at the absurdity of my 61 inch tall missus needing the extra space anyway. Are we going to be strap-hanging in midair next?

Besides it was obscure to me how 5 more inches of legroom was going to compensate for the foul air, the hardness of the seat, and lavatories that are surely too small for 30% of the American populace.

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Helping Physicians Balance Life at Home & Work

Helping Physicians Balance Life at Home & Work

Being told to balance my life at home and at work better smacks of one more platitude. How exactly do I set about doing this? Suggesting to a physician that they examine their balance of responsibilities at home and work is like telling a patient with a bad head cold to take a cup of hot non-caffeinated tea and get a good nights sleep. You get a “you mean that’s it” look, and realize you’ve been dismissed as an amateur. I refer to it as the “remembering things your mother told you” solution.

You’ve never met my rock-of-sense almost 84-year old mother, but I’ve certainly tried hard in recent years to reflect on her lessons rather than those of my hyper-competitive and workaholic physician father dead now these 16 years. If I were to ask my mother to help you balance your professional responsibilities as a physician with your personal life this is pretty much what she’d say.

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Changing Doctor’s Attitude

Changing Doctor’s Attitude

Wistful reminiscences of life in medicine years ago are recollections of what was best and easiest well pruned of all the shortcomings.

None of us like to be told we need to fix our attitude. With me it’s like hearing a nail on a blackboard – all my defenses are instantly brought to bear; I want to grimace and put my hands over my ears to ward the effect off. We feel undervalued, unappreciated, misunderstood. It takes a pliable ego to stand one’s ground, hear out the criticism or complaint and give it a fair appraisal.

Much that ails the medical profession these days is about how we choose to perceive the world about us. We’ve never had it better in terms of the number of clinical, technological and scientific advances that allow us improve the lives of our patients. We’ve never had easier access to information whether that be tapping into new knowledge, or reaching colleagues who may advise you on a clinical dilemma. We can communicate more easily with our patients who are also better informed.

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