Ramblings on healthcare, medical education, and life with a spinal cord injury

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Interesting NYTimes Article on EMRs

Just came across the following op-ed in the Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/opinion/02thu2.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

It discusses the extremely poor adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) systems throughout hospitals and physican offices, and touches on a major factor that, until addressed, will prevent EMRs from obtaining the widespread adoption that President Obama would like to see.  And by the way, just throwing money at hospitals and physicians and telling them to implement EMRs is not going to do anything to fix the problem.  It’s a lot more complicated than that, although yes, money is definitely a part of it.

The subject is of particular interest to me, as I am leaving the information security and technology realm for medicine.  I’ve designed several large systems before, and have seen the obstacles that you have to deal with. This article does hit the nail on the head, albeit several years late.  Of particular importance is the following:

The ultimate goal is an “interoperable” system that would allow easy exchange of clinical data between hospitals and doctors. The modernization effort will have limited value if a mélange of different computer systems can’t talk to one another.

While applying to medical school two years ago, I wrote one of my secondary application essays  on the very subject of interoperability and what I view as the only way to solve the problem.  That essay is attached here for your perusal.

EMR Secondary Application Essay Response

April 8, 2009   3 Comments

Cleveland and More Walking

Recently Kristina and I took a trip to Cleveland to meet with faculty at Case Med in preparation for my matriculation in July.  It was the first time I’d taken a plane since the injury, so it was a new experience.  But thanks to Sinai and the Internet, not anything I was apprehensive about.

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March 1, 2009   4 Comments

A Much Needed Update

Well, it’s been quite a long time since the last update.  Not for lack of activity, mind you.  Those of you who know me well know that I certainly don’t live a life of inactivity – wheelchair or not.  These past few months have been no exception.  So what follows is synopsis of what I’ve been up to, as well as the real important stuff: where I’m at with respect to recovery.

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February 12, 2009   6 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everybody, at least those of you in the US, had a wonderful Thanksgiving, replete with turkey, pie and all the trimmings.  And I hope you were able to celebrate it with those people who you are thankful to have in your life.  When I think back to last Thanksgiving, things are definitely vastly different for me than they were last year.  And while the events of the past year certainly could leave me with a laundry list of complaints, the things for which I am truly thankful far outweigh the meaning of any of the negative things.

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December 2, 2008   7 Comments

A picture’s worth a thousand words

Well, it’s been a while since I posted something.  I’ve been pretty busy lately both with therapy and some other things I’m keeping my mind occupied with.  I’ve ramped up to four days per week of physical therapy, and I’m hoping to add a fifth before too long.  I feel like I’m at the point where my core and my legs are starting to get strong enough that more work is actually beneficial to them, as opposed to resulting in stiffness for days after. It’s a good feeling, and although I’m occasionally frustrated at having to deal with all of this, the continued progress really helps me to stay positive.

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November 6, 2008   5 Comments

Baby’s First Steps

That’s right, I’ve moved up in the world from merely crawling on the ground or standing on the parallel bars.  As I’ve said before, recovering from a spinal cord injury can be a lot like being a baby again.  I’ve been fortunate enough to slowly regain functionality throughout my lower body, which was more unexpected than expected by those who know the field and my case well.  This past week, I took my first steps on the parallel bars in physical therapy.  They weren’t pretty steps.  In fact, they were barely steps at all.  But they were still steps nonetheless.

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September 21, 2008   13 Comments

The Passing of Time

One thing that has truly struck me since being discharged from the hospital is just how quickly time passes.  And I’m not even talking about how quickly life flies by when we’re all busy living it, but how quickly it passes when you’re not busy living it.  Time seems to be passing me by much quicker now than when I was preoccupied with work and/or school.  I would have thought it to be the other way around.  But I guess when one doesn’t have a significant mental goal to reach for and focus on that there is no basis by which to judge how quickly time is passing.  Or at least, that’s how it is for me.

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September 8, 2008   4 Comments

A dip in the pool…

I’m still damp.  Not sopping wet, mind you, but just a nice damp.  I got in the pool late this afternoon during a session with a physical therapist I know who lives close by and is helping me out.  It was the second time we got in the pool, the last being about a month ago, and I was excited at the prospect.  The last time we got in the pool, I was able to put weight into my left leg and stand on it.  I was also able to take a few steps, although the therapist had to brace my right knee since the quadriceps and hamstrings weren’t kicking in to help straighten it.  This time went even better.

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August 13, 2008   4 Comments

A special thanks..

Recently, I received a package in the mail from Cleveland, OH.  It had been something I was expecting, as I’d been told by a few folks in the admissions office that something was on the way.  But I had no idea what was inside, and so I anxiously awaited its arrival.  When it did come, I was beyond surprised.

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August 7, 2008   7 Comments

Want to see the screws in my neck?

While an inpatient at Mount Sinai, a set of CT images of my neck were ordered.  Dr. Stein reviewed them and determined everything was healing nicely, and also provided them on CD to Dr. Anant.  Well after my recent visit with Dr. Anant, I managed to get a copy of the CD and I thought I would share some of the more interesting images with you all.  In them, you can clearly see the titanium that is now implanted in my neck: four screws in the back, and one plate in the front.

There are about 52 images in here, so I apologize for the load time.  But they’re worth it.  :)  I also apologize for the layout problems on this page.  They’re due to the width of the CT images, and I will work on getting it resolved at some point, but I make no promises.

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July 25, 2008   4 Comments