Knowledge Library

Implicit Bias in Healthcare

Doctors have the duty to treat patients equally, regardless of their gender, age, race, or medical history. However, research shows that despite best efforts at accomplishing this healthcare providers can unknowingly fall short. The California Legislative Counsel defines implicit bias as meaning the attitudes or internalized stereotypes that affect our perceptions, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner, and often contributes to unequal treatment of people based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, and other characteristics. The stark difference that implicit bias has from explicit bias is that you are unaware of the positive or negative attitudes...

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Doctors and Social Media: The Influencer Will See You Now?

There are currently 192 million daily active users on Twitter. Facebook enjoys a staggering 1.84 billion daily active users. It is no secret that social media platforms are widely used for both personal and professional purposes, and physicians are no exception. One 2014 survey found that more than 90% of physicians used social media for personal activities and 65% used these sites for professional reasons, numbers that have likely grown in the intervening years. In the professional realm, many physicians use social media to promote their practice, engage with colleagues, and provide trustworthy health education to patients and the general...

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ADA Website Compliance

Most healthcare providers and other business owners know that they must make their physical environment accessible for all members of the public, including those with disabilities, as required under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, some may not be aware that accessibility also extends to the virtual environment; websites must also comply with accessibility requirements under the ADA. Recently, MIEC has fielded a number of calls from concerned members regarding how they can comply with accessibility requirements for their websites. Many of these calls have come from the acupuncture community, although this issue exists for all...

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Informed Refusal: What to do when patients cancel recommended treatments or procedures due to COVID-19 related concerns.

Physicians are often faced with situations where they believe a specific medical treatment or procedure is necessary or even lifesaving and yet the patient declines the service due to concerns of being exposed to COVID-19. Taking extra time to have a clear and candid conversation with the patient can make a significant difference. First, consider whether the patient was given adequate information and encouraged to ask questions about the treatment options. Assuring the patient is fully informed allows the patient to make the best decisions for their healthcare. Second, take efforts to explain what additional measures you have adapted to...

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Test Result Management Key to Accurate and Timely Diagnosis

The failure to follow up on imaging, test and lab results is a widespread issue that continues to pose challenges to patient safety. As in years past, ECRI Institute named Missed and Delayed Diagnosis as one of its Top 10 Patient Concerns for 2020 and noted that mismanagement of test result have long been a primary contributing factor to errors in diagnosis. Although the complexity of the diagnostic process means that many factors contribute to missed and delayed diagnoses, system factors such as test result management play a significant role. A 10-year analysis of 124,000 medical professional liability cases revealed...

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