By: Terry Graedon March 11, 2021 6 Comments
    Show 1250: Antimicrobial Resistant Infections Co…

    Everyone is weary of the coronavirus pandemic and ready to be done with it. So the news that a new pandemic is already slowly unfolding is unwelcome. But unless we pay attention and do what we can to …

    By: Terry Graedon December 10, 2020 5 Comments
    Show 1239: How Can We Prevent Diagnostic Disaste…

    It seems obvious that to provide the proper treatment, a doctor first needs to know what is wrong. However, although medical experts have been focusing on improving diagnosis in medicine for more than…

    By: Dennis Miller, RPh December 10, 2020 4 Comments
    Can Chain Drugstores Handle the Deluge of COVID-…

    Will your pharmacy have enough staffing to handle the anticipated deluge of COVID-19 vaccinations along with their usual high volume of prescriptions?   For decades, pharmacists have stated passi…

    By: Dennis Miller, RPh September 17, 2020 14 Comments
    18 Pharmacists Discuss Their Most Memorable Medi…

    This is another excerpt from pharmacist Dennis Miller’s new book The Shocking Truth About Pharmacy: A Pharmacist Reveals All The Disturbing Secrets. The Kindle e-book is available for download on Am…

    By: Terry Graedon April 23, 2020 2 Comments
    Show 1209: How a Doctor Confronts Medical Error

    When hospitals are overstressed and understaffed, as they have been during the COVID-19 pandemic, medical errors are hardly surprising. Back in 2016, a group of doctors published an analysis in the BM…

    By: Dennis Miller, RPh April 20, 2020 45 Comments
    A Pharmacist’s 10 Reasons Why Doctors Pres…

    Have you ever wondered why American doctors prescribe pills so eagerly? I have given this question a lot of thought, and here is what I've come up with. [1] Physicians genuinely believe pills are the …

    By: Terry Graedon April 2, 2020 7 Comments
    Show 1207: Can You Use Your Patient Portal for B…

    Staying at home and maintaining safe physical distance means that some primary care practices are not functioning normally during the pandemic. However, you may still want to connect with your doctor.…

    By: Joe Graedon December 26, 2019 9 Comments
    Is Your Doctor Stressed? Depressed Doctors Are D…

    Most patients have no way of assessing the mental state of their physician, but it could have a significant impact on safety. A systematic review published in JAMA Network Open (Nov. 27, 2019) analyze…

    By: Terry Graedon May 16, 2019 7 Comments
    Should You Read Your Doctor’s Visit Notes?

    Many if not most health systems and doctors’ offices around the country have adopted electronic medical records. As a result, patients can access appointment information, pay their bills, check thei…

    By: Terry Graedon April 18, 2019 2 Comments
    What Do Interns Do All Day?

    Interns are medical doctors who have completed four years of medical school but need an additional year of training. They get that by working in a hospital before they go on to practice medicine or sp…

    By: Terry Graedon February 20, 2019 2 Comments
    Improving Patient Safety by Reducing Alert Fatig…

    Drug interactions are a serious hazard in hospitals and in the community. If patients receive prescriptions for incompatible medications, they can experience severe side effects that may even be life …

    By: Terry Graedon January 17, 2019 8 Comments
    How Serious Is the Problem of Inappropriate Anti…

    Infectious disease experts worry a lot about the problem of bacterial resistance related to inappropriate antibiotics. A study of patient records suggests that doctors in the US may be prescribing ant…

    By: Karen Berger, PharmD, RPh August 2, 2018 33 Comments
    Why We Can’t Just Slap a Label on It

    “Don’t you just have to slap a label on it?” Pharmacists around the country hear the same thing, all day, every day. I know this because I am in several pharmacist groups on Facebook, each with …

    By: Terry Graedon April 26, 2018 18 Comments
    How Clean Is the Endoscope Your Doctor Will Use?

    An endoscope is a device used for diagnosis and minimally invasive procedures. Any endoscope is supposed to be carefully cleaned before each use to avoid infections or cross-contamination from one pat…

    By: Terry Graedon April 5, 2018 9 Comments
    How Common Are Antibiotic-Resistant “Night…

    Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DC) have found bacteria resistant to virtually every known antibiotic in samples from hospitals around the country (MMWR, April 3, 2018). …

    By: Terry Graedon March 15, 2018 7 Comments
    Will a Crowded Emergency Room Interfere with You…

    Have you ever had to wait for hours to be seen in an emergency room? Who hasn’t? A Crowded Emergency Room May Mean Doctors Miss Information: A new study shows, unsurprisingly, that care may be compr…

    By: Terry Graedon November 13, 2017 9 Comments
    An Inside Look at Pharmacy Mistakes

    We have frequently urged our readers to be vigilant whenever they pick up a prescription from the pharmacy. Check to make sure that the drug you were given is exactly what your doctor prescribed: same…

    By: Terry Graedon September 27, 2017 36 Comments
    Why Are So Many Pharmacists Disillusioned?

    Most pharmacists receive a nice paycheck, so any claim that they are disillusioned is unlikely to garner much sympathy. But understanding the reasons why pharmacists are disillusioned may help you to …

    By: Terry Graedon December 22, 2016 19 Comments
    Patients Do Better Under Women Doctors’ Ca…

    Female physicians outperformed their male colleagues on key medical outcomes in a recent study. Researchers reported in JAMA Internal Medicine that hospitalized Medicare patients were less likely to d…

    By: Joe Graedon June 13, 2016 13 Comments
    Are Medical Mistakes and Deaths Being Swept Unde…

    A provocative article in the prestigious medical journal BMJ (May 3, 2016) was titled "Medical Error--The Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S." The patient safety experts from John Hopkins went on…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 5, 2016 8 Comments
    What Is the Third Leading Cause of Death?

    Patient safety experts from Johns Hopkins University estimate that more than 250,000 Americans die each year because of medical mistakes. That makes health care errors the third leading cause of death…

    By: Terry Graedon January 11, 2016 19 Comments
    Be Wary of Deadly Mistakes in Health Care

    Most people never imagine that doctors, nurses or pharmacists make mistakes. They trust their health professionals to make the correct diagnosis, prescribe the best treatment and administer it correct…

    By: Terry Graedon December 10, 2015 1 Comments
    Residents Fond of Low-Value Tests

    Some doctors have been trying to get their colleagues to cut back on the number of low-value tests that are ordered. The American Board of Internal Medicine has targeted such tests for its Choosing Wi…

    By: Terry Graedon November 9, 2015 16 Comments
    Should You Fire Your Doctor?

    How do you know if the doctor you are seeing is right for you? Checking to make sure that there are actually papers hanging on the wall stating that the practitioner graduated from medical school and…

    By: Joe Graedon September 24, 2015 30 Comments
    Are You Furious You Will Be Misdiagnosed? You Sh…

    Chances are shockingly good that you will be misdiagnosed by at least one doctor sometime during your life. That's the conclusion of a blue-ribbon panel of experts from the prestigious Institute of Me…

    By: Joe Graedon July 8, 2015 8 Comments
    Keeping Patients Safe in the Hospital

    A large study of patients and their families sought feedback on health care harm. The findings could help with keeping patients safe in the hospital. Safe Patient Project: The Safe Patient Project spo…

    By: Joe Graedon March 1, 2015 12 Comments
    Taking a Peek at Your Doctor’s Notes

    Doctors have long treated their clinic notes like top secret documents, but that attitude is changing. Research shows that patients appreciate being able to check their records and doctors' notes. A f…

    By: Joe Graedon February 5, 2015 5 Comments
    Why Do Surgical Patients Land Back in the Hospit…

    Hospitals have begun paying much more attention to readmissions of patients within a month after they have been discharged. That is because neither Medicare nor Medicaid will pay for the care of such …

    By: Joe Graedon December 4, 2014 0 Comments
    Survey: Medical Errors Are Common

    Just how common are medical errors? A poll conducted in Massachusetts found that one in four adults questioned reported that they had personally experienced a medical error of some kind within the pas…

    By: Joe Graedon December 4, 2014 2 Comments
    Medical Mistakes Are Killing Fewer Americans

    A new report from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) acknowledges that medical errors are common. Government analysts reviewed between 18,000 and 33,000 medical records of Med…

    By: Joe Graedon October 20, 2014 16 Comments
    Nurse Is Distressed about Poor Hand Washing Habi…

    Q. Yesterday my next-door neighbor (a nurse in our local monster-sized hospital) vented aggressively about doctors she witnesses moving from patient to patient without washing their hands or wearing g…

    By: Joe Graedon October 15, 2014 1 Comments
    Patients Need to Wash Their Hands Too

    Doctors, nurses and other health professionals have been urged to wash their hands frequently. Hospitals even penalize health care professionals who do not follow hygiene guidelines. But is the messag…

    By: Terry Graedon April 24, 2014 5 Comments
    FDA Calls for Change in Techniques Used for Hyst…

    The safety of a technique used in laparoscopic removal of uterine fibroids has been called into question. Fibroid growths in the uterus can be quite uncomfortable, though they are benign. Gynecologist…

    By: Joe Graedon March 24, 2014 7 Comments
    What Can Health Care Learn from Malaysia Airline…

    The tragic news yesterday confirmed what we have all been anticipating, ie, that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean with 239 people on board. This heartbreaking news f…

    By: Joe Graedon February 20, 2014 78 Comments
    Can You Trust Your Blood Pressure Measurements? …

    Visit a doctor's office for almost anything that ails you and the chances are good you will have your blood pressure measured. That's because it is an essential diagnostic procedure to detect hyperten…

    By: Terry Graedon January 30, 2014 1 Comments
    Norepinephrine Shortage Threatens Safety of Seri…

    Another serious national shortage affects patients with sepsis, a systemic reaction to infection that can result in shock. This life-threatening drop in blood pressure is treated with injections of no…

    By: Joe Graedon September 30, 2013 19 Comments
    Are You Mad As Hell About Medical Mistakes? If N…

    What if the cure was indeed deadlier than the disease? An analysis published in the Journal of Patient Safety suggests that as many as 440,000 hospital patients die each year from medical mistakes tha…

    By: Joe Graedon August 22, 2013 10 Comments
    Distracted Doctor Prescribes Heart Medicine for …

    Q. It is essential that patients take a proactive role when interacting with their doctors, especially when it comes to medications. Here is my story. As soon as my doctor walked into the exam room I …

    By: Terry Graedon July 11, 2013 7 Comments
    How Vital Are Nighttime Vital Sign Measurements?

    If you have ever spent the night in a hospital bed, you know it is a terrible place to sleep. People come in throughout the night and wake you up to take your temperature, pulse and blood pressure. In…

    By: Terry Graedon July 8, 2013 10 Comments
    How to Avoid Disaster at the Drugstore

    Pharmacists remain among the most trusted professionals in America, just behind nurses and ahead of doctors, engineers, dentists and police officers. But even pharmacists make mistakes. We recently re…