Webnotes: Nurse Comics, Uninsurance, Hospital Image vs. Reality, Social Media Guidance

September 15, 2011

The Web comes back to life after Labor Day weekend. Will, the nurse and artist who relates episodes from his life in comics at Drawing on Experience, has a new post about starting a job in a cardiothoracic intensive care unit (CTICU). There’s a thumbnail version of it below—click it to see the actual post in full size at his blog.

The best hospitals? The New York Times reports that “the country’s leading hospital accreditation board, the Joint Commission, released a list on Tuesday of 405 medical centers that have been the most diligent in following protocols to treat conditions like heart attack and pneumonia.” Many of the hospitals often considered among the “best” (including those in New York City) did not, however, make this list (though some came very close). While hospital representatives argue that there are several mitigating factors that might have influenced these findings, this is a reminder that reputation and the presence of famous specialists may not necessarily mean the best care.

Their own darn fault. Though some may laugh at letting sick people who can’t pay for care just die, many of us are able to imagine ourselves, a friend, or neighbor in such a situation. For those who believe America should be more like Victorian England in its division between the the haves and have-nots (bring back debtors’ prisons!), good news: such hilarious down-on-their-luck characters should be easier than ever to find:

Nearly one million more Americans went without health insurance in 2010 than in 2009. This distressing news is further evidence of the need for government safety net programs and the national health care reforms that will take effect mostly in 2014.

Social media guidance for nurses. Last, but not least, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has released new social networking principles (which, somewhat surprisingly, given the topic, you have to purchase!). Still, it’s good that these exist, since nurse blogger Megen Duffy recently noted in her September iNurse column in AJN, “Patient Privacy and Company Policy in Online Life”:

Social media is a newcomer to health care, and policies are still being formulated. Mistakes will occur, and policies will be revised. Nurses can rise to the challenge and make sure their voices are heard in the formulation of workable guidelines; we live and breathe the nursing process, and if something isn’t working, we reassess and implement another plan.

Leave us your comments. This is social media, after all.—Jacob Molyneux, senior editor 

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  1. It was interesting to read Will’s perspective of the interview process and getting the job. I find those “Best Hospital” reports rather useless to a certain degree because many statistics are skewed and hospitals use loopholes to get on the list. One example I heard of was that a hospital brought down the number of days a patient stayed in the hospital post-op, but it was because they put the patient in a hotel nearby providing care there, so technically the days in the hospital were reduced. It’s pretty insane what these people will do to get recognition. I’d rather go unrecognized and be thorough and safe, than obtain recognition through loopholes.


  2. Thanks for pointing out that statement by Ron Paul! That is quite radical, as are many of the current attempts to dismantle most regulatory bodies and other quality controls that it took a very long time to put in place, all in the name of competition. Competition and sensible regulation aren’t inherently opposed, despite suggestions to that effect….–JM, AJN


  3. the most radical statement in the Republican debate was Ron Paul’s suggestion that licensing is the problem–kills competition. Do we really want to ditch regulations and let the patient beware?



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