February 2012

Illustration by David Cutler

Scribes: A write way and a wrong way

Taking a patient's history is considered an intimate part of the exam process, one long-cherished by traditionally minded physicians. Like much of the traditional practice of medicine, it's facing a new model for efficiency. Should doctors delegate the dictation?.

Sleep disorders may be overlooked on exams

Experts want sleep habits considered as a vital sign. Sleep problems are important in themselves and can also have consequences on other major comorbidities such as mood disorders, diabetes and hypertension.

Build your own ultrasound-guided thoracentesis simulator

The use of bedside, portable diagnostic ultrasound devices by nonradiologists is increasing, because of both maturing, more affordable technology and evidence supporting improved patient safety and process efficiency.

Combating conflicting information on prescription drug labels

A Consumer Reports check found that five chain drugstores in the New York area provided different warnings for the same warfarin prescription. A College Fellow who is the magazine's chief medical advisor explains how primary care physicians can help their patients stay abreast of their prescriptions.

Experts debate the pros and cons of starting dialysis early

Two experts find common ground in deciding that individualized decisions are the best way to consider early dialysis.

Generic atorvastatin, middle-of-the-night zolpidem approved

Recalls, warnings, approvals and other regulatory news.

College Fellow is new leader of practice managers' association

The president of the newly merged Medical Group Management Association and American College of Medical Practice Executives describes her new role after only a few weeks on the job.

Global outlook toward improving America's health care system

The College's educational programs, products and services are recognized and valued internationally, even as the College takes on a decidedly global membership. More than 30% of the College's members are international medical graduates.

What can the audience expect from Congress' second act?

Congress' dysfunction has led to record-low approval ratings of 11%, and continued delays in resolving issues important to physicians, such as reimbursement and medical education.

Are scribes a potential boon or bane for primary care?

Many doctors feel that the presence of another person in the exam room will have a negative impact on the physician-patient relationship and is antithetical to their training. Will scribes ever carve out a place in primary care?.

Lessen the burdens of Medicare's home health requirements

Home health care now requires face-to-face certification of eligibility based on the patient's current condition, a burden that doesn't have to be one. A few simple tips can ensure that the patient's needs and Medicare's paperwork are both satisfied.

Updates to Medicare program change telehealth codes, PQRS

The second of a two-part series outlines changes to telehealth codes for diabetes and the Physician Quality Reporting System.

Prevent disaster by backing up data

Natural disasters can wreak havoc on a practice's medical records. Five simple tips can help create a backup system that could avoid clinical data loss, and the resulting lawsuits and penalties.

MKSAP Quiz: Management of new-onset afib

A 30-year-old woman is evaluated for management of new-onset atrial fibrillation. She has a history of tetralogy of Fallot that was repaired at age 18 months. She has had no cardiovascular concerns since that time and has not had regular follow-up since childhood. Based upon the findings of a physical exam and chest radiograph, what is the most likely diagnosis?.

Governor-elect designees chosen

The Governors' Subcommittee on Nominations is pleased to announce the Governor-elect Designees.

Chapter Awardees

Chapters honor Members, Fellows, and Masters of ACP who have demonstrated by their example and conduct an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, research, or service to their community, their chapter, and ACP.