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Study makes alarming findings concerning robotic surgery - II

Last time, we started delving into a fascinating -- yet highly alarming -- study undertaken by a group of researchers from the University of Illinois, Rush University Medical Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which uncovered an alarming number of complications and technical difficulties associated with robotic surgery.

In today's post, we'll continue our examination of this study, entitled Adverse Events in Robotic Surgery.

Study makes alarming findings concerning robotic surgery

In last week's posts discussing hernias and some of the potential dangers associated with laparoscopic surgery, one of the primary treatments for hernias, we briefly touched on the topic of robotic surgery. Specifically, we mentioned how use of this advanced equipment for the treatment of hernias was still relatively limited due to a variety of factors.

As it turns out, a group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois and Rush University Medical Center recently published a rather fascinating study raising questions about the overall safety of robotic surgery given their discovery of a rather significant number of complications and technical difficulties.

Committed to uncovering what went wrong and why during laparoscopic surgery

In our previous post, we discussed how millions of Americans develop a serious medical condition known as a hernia every year. To recap, the condition -- characterized by a prominent and painful bulge in the abdomen -- is caused by the deterioration of the muscle in the abdominal wall, which creates a space through which tissue or even an organ can protrude.

We also discussed how thanks to things like misdiagnoses, denial and even pure stubbornness, many people do not undergo one of the three surgical options available to help correct the condition, such as traditional open surgery, laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery.

Why you can't ignore that pain in your abdomen

While we would like to think otherwise, the reality is most of us have been in complete denial about our health at one point or another. For instance, maybe you downplayed your cold symptoms to your manager in order to finish a big project or intentionally ignored your stomach pains in order to make it to a much-anticipated concert.

While this behavior is never advisable, it's typically harmless in the long run. However, it's important to note sometimes people take things one step further and really do jeopardize their health through denial, maybe neglecting to make an appoint for a mammogram, colonoscopy or skin cancer screening, or even ignoring a significant and painful bulge in their abdominal wall.

Survey: An alarming number of medical professionals work while sick

It's a question most people have grappled with at one point or another during the course of their professional career: Am I too sick to go to work today?

The unfortunate reality is even though the answer to this question was probably a resounding yes, many people nevertheless made the choice to drag themselves into their respective workplaces, putting their own well-being and perhaps even that of colleagues at risk.

Study explores effectiveness of restrictions on resident work hours - II

Last time, we discussed how past studies have found the work-hour restrictions for medical residents, introduced by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education back in 2011 as a means of reducing potential fatigue-related medical errors, had little impact on outcomes among general surgical patients.

We also touched on how a recently published study by researchers with the American College of Surgeons found largely the same results among surgical patients who underwent more specialized procedures. In today's post, we'll take a more in-depth look at this study.

Study explores effectiveness of restrictions on resident work hours

While long hours have traditionally been viewed as one of the rites of passage for physicians-in-training, experts long wondered whether this was necessary or even dangerous, perhaps contributing to a greater number of fatigue-related medical mistakes.

Interestingly enough, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the body responsible for setting the various standards governing the nearly 9,500 medical residency programs here in the U.S., introduced some major changes to the work hours of medical residents a little over four years ago.

Is a federal database providing information about MDs accurate? -- II

Last time, we started discussing how consumers face something of an uphill battle when it comes to attempting to learn as much information as possible about physicians, particularly information that may cast them in an unfavorable light, or call their abilities or judgment into question.

Specifically, we discussed how not only are databases run by state licensing boards woefully devoid of information, but how recent reports have even determined the federal database available to consumers contains inaccurate -- and possibly dangerous -- information.

Is a federal database providing information about MDs accurate?

While the Internet is a veritable treasure trove of information for consumers looking to purchase any sort of goods or services, the same can't necessarily be said for health care. In fact, outside of a few nascent websites, consumers -- or prospective patients -- must rely primarily on government-run databases to find information about physicians.

The problem with this, however, is many of the databases run by state medical boards decline to make otherwise highly desirable information such as complaints, medical malpractice suits, etc., available to the public. Indeed, a December 2014 report by the nonprofit the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute assigned 44 state medical boards failing grades for the quality and quantity of public information.

Should patients be doing more when it comes to their health records? - II

Last time, we started discussing how electronic health records (EHRs) are rapidly becoming the new norm in both physician's offices and hospitals. We also discussed how patients should be aware that despite their utility, EHRs can present certain dangers for patients from missing data to incorrect information.

In today's post, we'll continue this discussion, examining how a patient can assume control of their EHR and why this is so important.

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