Posts tagged ‘Postoperative Report’

What We Talk About When We Talk About Structured Data (part 1)

Still trying to find that needle...

Sometimes it feels like my job wholly consists of talking about structured data. I give definitions and abstract examples – but it’s not easy to help people understand the real benefits of it. And so, as I try to find the best way to get my point across, I often think of real world examples of how structured data is useful in our daily lives and why it tends to be preferable to unstructured, narrative text.

With that in mind – let’s go out to the ball park!

THAT's the Chicago way!

Baseball. America’s Past Time. The Sweet Science. City of Lights. The Ghost and the darkness.

Okay, I’m not the biggest baseball fan. I will watch playoffs and world series. But I do know that a lot of baseball is about numbers: strike outs, home runs, bases stolen, RBIs, wins, losses, saves, ERAs, pitches thrown. Each of these play a crucial factor in determining how well your team is doing or how a player is perceived by his fans. And, following theories like those laid out in Moneyball, these metrics can even determine who will be signed on to your favorite team.

So what does this have to do with structured data? Glad you asked!
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August 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm 2 comments

Common Language: The Rise of Standard Formatting for Surgical Reports

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz

Gottfried Leibniz. That name doesn’t mean much to most people, outside of math nerds with a penchant for historical trivia. Leibniz is credited with simultaneously creating calculus at the same time of Sir Isaac Newton. Years of debate ensnared the scientific community as patriotic mathematicians of Germany and Britain argued for their respective countrymen. Each camp tried to prove the independent, solitary insight needed to develop calculus solely rested with one man or the other – but were unable to find definitive proof that Newton or Leibniz had been the one to originally conceive of this new field of mathematics. There are suggestions that Leibniz was inspired by some of Newton’s works but, as there’s still too many gaps in the works of Newton that would have been available for Leibniz to consult in order to develop calculus, there’s no substantial proof that Leibniz plagiarized Newton’s work.

Rob's attempt to innovate calculus was met with much less enthusiasm

So what happened then? Perhaps this is an example of Rupert Sheldrake’s pseudo-scientific theory of “morphic resonance” in which behavior is somehow transported across great geographical distances between similar types of animals or people. And while it is always interesting and neat to consider such a possibility – an example of some innate telepathic or cultural osmosis that seems to exist on a cellular level between people – it’s rather unlikely. How, then, did this rise of a new way of thinking occur at the same time in two different places? How were two men able to discover the same mathematical principles without being in collaboration? And what does any of this have to do with surgical reporting?

To put it simply – great minds think alike. The fact of the matter is that both Newton and Leibniz recognized a need for something in the world – in this case, the lack of a particular mathematics field that could be applied to many facets of our lives and used to explain so much of what we don’t understand. It is this same ability for multiple people, unrelated and independent of one another, to see the writing on the wall in the medical community and recognize the absolute need and demand for standardized and structured surgical reporting.
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June 23, 2010 at 10:22 am Leave a comment

Interview with Dr. Jared Ament: A New Way to Tell an Old Story

Dr. Jared D. Ament recently completed clinical research fellowships at Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) and at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (UMass) in surgical outcomes. He has worked with Dr. Dohlman (MEEI) and Dr. Black (Brigham and Women’s Hospital) for 3 years now and with Dr. Richard Moser (UMass) for the last year. His MD is from the Medical School for International Health, a collaborative initiative between Ben-Gurion and Columbia Universities. His MPH is from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is adjunct faculty at Harvard Medical School’s department of Population Health and Epidemiology and has specific interests in cost-effectiveness research, international surgery, surgical outcomes, and medical education. He is currently a surgical resident at UMass.

How did you become interested in medicine?

I was a kid who was fascinated by the workings of the body. I was also very involved in martial arts and interested in the inherent mechanics and physiology. And then, as a teenager interested in culture and public health, I traveled extensively to non-industrialized countries, volunteering in all sorts of public health efforts. I guess I just found a niche where working with people from many cultures, coupled with my fascination for human physiology, struck a cord. The left side of the equation seemed to equal “medicine” on the right.

And how did you decide on being a surgeon, specifically?

Many people just know; for a select minority, however, it’s a struggle between the operating rooms of surgery and the diagnostics and offices of internal medicine (and its specialty fields). I always loved surgery and truly knew that the operating room was where I belonged. Yet, I struggled, as the detective work and thorough understanding of bodily functions was tantalizing. My conclusion, however, was that a good surgeon should, first and foremost, be very strong, clinically. They are, too, diagnosticians, physicians, empathic healers, that have dedicated significant time and training to perfecting a tactile skill in addition to, and very much in parallel with, their medical skills. I am still in training but truly enjoy both the clinic and operating room. I need both. I enjoy the time with my patients; the interaction; the teaching and learning that takes place (bi-directional); collaborating with colleagues (surgical and medical); and hold the operating room, the unconscious patient and the delicate work to be performed with the utmost of respect.
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June 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm 2 comments

An Overview of OpNote & Some Site News

Below you will find a video that introduces the concept, design and purpose of the product we’ve been working on for a while – the mTuitive OpNote.

Over the next few weeks, there will be some changes to this blog. Nothing is going away or being replaced. However, as we roll out our new product, the blog will be more of a hybrid showing various aspects of OpNote, including videos showing how to perform various tasks with it, along with the pieces we’ve been posting about transcription, Health IT and all other manner of medical nerdery. The posts we write tend to show off our thinking and philosophy on how information technology should be used in the medical field – and we believe the OpNote embodies that way of thinking. OpNote is our philosophy in practice and we hope you like what you see.

May 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

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