Direct Care & Doctor Shortages Are Related, But Not How You’d Think

David Bornstein recently reported on doctor burnout, something we’ve been following over the last few years. This concern isn’t falling on deaf ears, instead half of the nation’s medical schools are reacting, by including a course called The Healer’s Art (this course was created by physician Rachel Naomi Remen, and according to Bornstein, helps “doctors and students discover and reconnect to the deep meaning of their work and maintain their commitment for it.”) His article caused a commotion on the Web, with hundreds of readers — patients, medical students, doctors and spouses and children of doctors among them — expressing their personal experiences. After we reviewed a host of comments, we noticed something missing in the conversation: direct care…

We’re all running out of time
One reader from New York writes, “I am a primary care doctor who started idealistic, and am disillusioned and dejected. By far, the biggest barrier to being a compassionate healer in our current working environment is time. We simply don’t have the time we need to do our jobs well. And we all lose.”

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Posted by: AtlasMD

September 19, 2013

An Ex-Google Health Product Manager Talks About What’s Next in Health Data

Missy-Krasner-Smiling-Small-3.1.2012AMissy Krasner was brought on to Google Health in April of 2006 — a time she calls “pre-social, pre-quantified-self and pre-internet-of-things.” Google was trying to create a central repository for consumers to collect and store their health records, and they wanted to make the APIs available for developers so they could integrate this data into their own applications. She might have been too early in the game, because Google Health rolled up shop. But Krasner is now entrepreneur-in-residence at Morgenthaler Ventures and a startup mentor. She has a lot to say about health data and its potential benefits.

Krasner says newer PHRs are getting business if they have amazing (user interfaces) — if they’re beautiful, if they have companion user apps, and they’re social. Companies don’t just say “we want to structure your data; now we want to connect you with other people who have your same illness, if you’re comfortable with that.” Leave it someone at the top of the tech industry to remind us that big companies are expecting more from technology (in opposition of that stagnant acceptance of archaic EMR still bogging down countless docs).


We’re not scaled at the level of Google, but we are on board with this type of agile thinking. That’s why we’re working to integrate FitBit into our EMR software. This will be the first PHR that our EMR communicates with. From there we’ll continue to iterate our software to communicate with other PHR over time, specifically ones that patients find helpful and trust using. The goal here is to facilitate healthier decisions for patients and help doctors understand what their patients habits are, and what can be done to improve their health.

Photo of Missy Krasner courtesy of

Posted by: AtlasMD

September 19, 2013

Betsy McCaughey Stands For EMR Security And Against Government Interrogations

Wouldn’t you be off put if your dermatologist asked, “How many sex partners do you currently have?” Well what if we told you that new Obamacare legislation would make these types of arbitrary questions mandatory, and necessary for all doctors to include within patient EMRs just so that practices weren’t fined? Okay, but the data will be safe within the patient EMR, right? Well, sure, maybe the government just checks to see if the box was filled out and doesn’t abuse their power. But even if kept “private” in the best case scenario, there’s a new problem — what if patients just lie in order to protect themselves, and their privacy? Well then we have a new problem, we’ve tied more of that red tape around doctors, getting them to do more tasks that accomplish nothing. This is the red tape we keep mentioning as one of many culprits contributing to expensive healthcare in America.

Yes, we’ve chosen to polarize the above assumptions to illustrate the potential setbacks of this type of legislative intrusion. Now say we take the middle ground and accept, okay, EMRs are secure and patients are honest. Why the heck does my dermatologist need to know how many people I slept with to treat an external skin condition?


Needless to say, she is opinionated, and a little assumptive. This can be a good thing, though, because we need investigative journalism to get to the bottom of what’s inside those thousands of pages of legislation. We’re guessing that as more of these line items are exposed McCaughhey will not be the only person yelling fire in this great big American healthcare theater.

LINKS: Rage Against The Healthcare Machine

h gilbert welchIn case you needed any more reasons to get incensed with healthcare’s exorbitant costs, The New York Times has you covered. First, you’ll want to read their piece about how ridiculously overpriced it is to have a baby in this country (“American Way Of Birth, Costliest In The World” via The New York Times).

According to the article, “Women with insurance pay out of pocket an average of $3,400, according to a survey by Childbirth Connection, one of the groups behind the maternity costs report. Two decades ago, women typically paid nothing other than a small fee if they opted for a private hospital room or television.”

And that’s just the start. Read more