"If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his oral medication [...], I'm sure we can administer it in another way."
The character of nurse Mildred Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest presents a serious, strict, orderly and authoritative figure, with a lot of self confidence and all her actions are carried out with the firm conviction that they are aimed at the welfare of the patients in her care. If we asked her if she takes into account the patients' point of view she would answer, without a doubt, affirmatively. The clear example appears in a discussion in which she is asked to watch a game of baseball on television where she goes the extra mile in persuading all that everyone's vote is necessary for any change in the usual programming, thus she finally manage to impose her point of view. She would not hesitate at any time to use persuasion, interpersonal influence, or even threat to guarantee the administration of a prescribed treatment.
Deconstructing Harry, a film directed by Woody Allen
From time to time I like to reread the first chapters of the Martín Zurro Family Medicine Book. Review the excellent reviews of Borrell, Gené, Casajunana, de la Revilla and many others. I try to seek inspiration and encouragement, guidance and light when the confusion or complexity I face in my clinic overwhelms me. There are days or weeks when I sail the seas of uncertainty, as Juan Gérvas would say, with sufficient dignity but in others I shipwreck when the swell of my ignorance, the shortcomings of the system or the great pressure of an unbearable number of complex patients overflow me.
According to the Health and Climate Change Commission of The Lancet, the greatest opportunity in 21st century health is an adequate response to climate change. I have to confess that, had I been asked, I would surely have answered that the next revolution in health would be technological, probably connected to personalized medicine, 3D printing or electronic health.
The content of this week's article has been developed, over the past few years, with my colleague and friend Miquel Àngel Mas (@DrMqAgMas), a geriatrician, former PhD student in our research group and currently a member of the expert nucleus in chronicity of the Gerència Territorial Metropolitana Nord de l'Institut Català de la Salut. We’ll discuss the subject from two points of view in the hope of generating interest and debate among the blog followers.
Our health and social system experiences periods of rethinking, mainly due to the changing requirements in the need of attention of older adults. This fact suggests that the approach to problems solving from the big acute hospitals, as structures that works separately from the community, loses centrality. The logic that follows is the evolution towards increasingly integrated systems, adapted to the different territories, with primary care and attention to the community in the middle. As Professor Dennis L. Kodner said in his classic - Integrated care: meaning, logic, applications, and implications - without a discussion at different levels, all aspects of the provision of attention suffer: patients lose (and get lost), the services are not provided correctly (or arrive late), the quality and the satisfaction of the patients goes down and the potential for sustainability of the system diminishes.
In a previous post, "Against manual medicine," I analyzed the concern of two internal physicians at Brigham and Women's Hospital for the excesses of manual medicine in their bookWhen doctors don’t listen. Avoid misdiagnoses and unnecessary tests. on this same subject I want to talk about Jerome Kassirer, John Wong and Richard Kopelman, three authors who in 1991 published Learning Clinical Reasoning, a reference work that laid the foundations of clinical reasoning through the inferential process of hypothesis generation diagnosis, its subsequent refinement with the elaboration of a diagnosis of work, the sustained request of complementary tests, the management of Bayes' theorem, the causal models, the diagnostic verification and the taking of therapeutic decisions. Twenty years later, the same authors published the second edition of the book, and in their presentation said they were forced to update it because in recent times, the practice of medicine had undergone very profound changes. According to them, rapid triage in emergencies and reduction of hospital stays are forcing doctors to be less contemplative and they are often seen short-circuiting the diagnostic process, or by cutting out minutes of time spent in interviewing or exploring where they try to compensate by quickly sending patients to perform diagnostic tests. This obsession with the performance of physicians is detrimental to the reflection on what has been learned in the observations made and the establishment of a qualified relationship with the patient. The authors state that the diagnostic process, as it was known, has been replaced by "take a look and ask for a CT".
In the 2018 edition of the Mobile World Congress has drawn to a close. Among the different technologies exhibited this week at the mobile fair, the chain of blocks or blockchain has appeared tangentially. Announced as the new revolution in the digital world - which some consider as disruptive as the internet - the block chain is the technology that allows the popular bitcoin crypto currency to work and whose value has reached unimaginable value (exceeded $ 18,000 last December).
But what is really the block chain and how can it be of interest to the readers of Advances in Clinical Management?
Blockchain is a distributed database system that allows transactions between agents to be both secure and anonymous by means of a trusted timestamp in the distributed public registry (distributed ledger). Although its best known application is to carry out operations with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ethereum, the chain of blocks can also be used to manage valuable elements such as certificates, insurance or votes, and is being widely experienced in different sectors such as finance, logistics or food.