Stories from Texas Medicine, December 2014

Hand in Hand - 04/19/2018

Fifteen years after the Institute of Medicine issued its 1999 sentinel patient safety report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, physicians agree there's more work ahead. But they also say heightened awareness of the issue has sparked progress thanks to collaborative quality improvement efforts among systems, physicians, and patients, and a number of patient safety tools that have emerged as a result.

Survey Results Are In - 06/02/2016

Access to care is likely to become a challenge as the physician workforce dwindles, doctors face myriad new regulations, and technology struggles to keep up. A survey of 20,000 physicians commissioned by The Physicians Foundation finds 81 percent of physicians are either overextended or at full capacity in their patient load.

Back to Work - 06/02/2016

Ryan Brannan, new commissioner of the Texas Division of Workers' Compensation, plans to build on the efficiencies created by earlier workers' compensation system reforms, recognizing that one of the best ways to get injured employees back to work is to "get physicians active and involved."

Physician, Heal Thyself: Health Maintenance Behaviors Among Physicians - 05/13/2016

The goal of this article is to assess the need for health maintenance intervention programs directed at physicians and patients. We compared the health maintenance behavior compliance of physicians (as patients) to a control patient population. An online survey was sent to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) medical school clinical and nonclinical basic science faculties and to the non-TTUHSC clinicians of the local county medical society. The survey included questions regarding basic demographics and recent participation in regular health maintenance strategies including annual checkup, influenza vaccination, colonoscopy, Pap smear, and mammogram. Logistic regressions were conducted to determine if being a physician had a significant association with the likelihood of participating in the health maintenance behavior outcomes listed above. This article shows that physicians are less likely than the general population to adhere to specific health maintenance guidel...

Money Over Matter? - 05/13/2016

Nearly 1,500 projects under the Texas 1115 Medicaid waiver are under way in the 20 regional health partnerships set up across the state, most of which focus on increasing access to behavioral health services and primary and specialty care. As the fourth year of the five-year waiver gets under way and the projects start to bear fruit, many physicians agree that extending the $29 billion state-federal waiver will be critical to successful transformation of the program. But they also want to make sure the program stays focused on patients, not dollars.

Equal Justice for All - 05/13/2016

Since the Texas Legislature passed the Tort Reform Act of 2003, physicians in the state have practiced without the constant fear of frivolous medical liability lawsuits brought by personal injury trial lawyers looking for a hefty paycheck. A recent court ruling upheld a provision in the law that bars patients from bringing lawsuits more than a decade after the alleged event. The ruling also clarifies liability protections for obstetricians.