Stories about: Innovation

Preparing patients for spinal fusion surgery

A nurse assists as a spinal fusion surgery patient practices giving a medical dummy an IV drug.
Hands-on experience before surgery day: A simulation of what to expect during spinal fusion surgery.

Several studies have contributed to the school of thought that thoroughly preparing patients for surgery can reduce their anxiety and even lead to better recoveries and outcomes. That notion appears to be corroborated by the first-hand experience of Michael Glotzbecker, MD, a pediatric spine specialist and surgeon in the Boston Children’s Hospital Spinal Program.

“In my experience, patients do better when they are well prepared for surgery,” says Glotzbecker. …Read More

Innovations and advancements: Honoring American Heart Month

We celebrate American Heart Month every February by doing what we do every day: treating a full spectrum of cardiac disorders and creating new ways to improve care.

This month, we also honor our patients, raise awareness around pediatric heart conditions and give thanks to Boston Children’s Heart Center faculty who are committed to finding solutions and serving every patient’s needs — no matter how complex the condition or situation.

Read a selection of five stories from the past year that highlight some of the Heart Center’s recent innovations and advancements. …Read More

2017 Watchlist: 5 clinical mobile apps to track


According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, there are more than 165,000 mobile health care apps in the marketplace today, and only a small fraction (fewer than two percent) focus on enhancing clinician productivity.

Boston Children’s Hospital Director of Clinical Mobile Solutions, Michael Docktor, MD, says it is important for clinicians to embrace the consumer-facing technology movement because digital natives (pediatric patients and their parents, for example) will come to expect an on-demand, well-designed, digital health care experience.

It is equally important, he says, for clinicians to utilize technologies that help improve productivity and efficiency given the increasing demands of clinicians and expectations of patients.

“The future of health care will embrace mobile and digital technology to better capture and assimilate vast troves of data,” Docktor says. “The interface of technology with medicine is moving fast. It’s better to keep up with the trends and hop on board, or risk being out of touch and working inefficiently.”

Here is a list of clinician-focused mobile apps Docktor recommends. …Read More

Health care news roundup

Notes-worthy articles from around the web

health-care-news-roundupNew medical schools aim to fix America’s broken health care system

STAT News reports new medical schools are launching across the country to address a projected physician shortage. They’re promising innovative curriculums that let aspiring doctors spend time on research, working in community health settings, and following the same patients for months — but they face big obstacles. Last fall, Notes discussed an innovative semester within the Boston Combined Residency Program that has a similar focus.


DIY Blood Tests? There’s A Downside To Ordering Your Own

NPR reports that companies like Theranos and WellFX continue to stir things up n the world of patient-initiated lab tests. While doctors warn of over-testing and false positives, others feel individuals deserve to make their own decisions about certain screenings.  Vector covered the controversy over “consumerizing medicine” last winter.


1 in 3 antibiotics prescribed in U.S. are unnecessary, major study finds

You may already know that antibiotics are widely over prescribed in the United States. But the problem is worse than you might think, according to a study discussed this week in the Washington Post. Earlier this month, Notes shared news about ResistanceOpen, a project of the HealthMap team at Boston Children’s that is mapping pockets of antibiotic resistance across the country.


Learn more about how HealthMap is putting big data to work for the greater good.