For the latest in healthcare, join the Hub! We deliver industry highlights straight to your inbox, so you never feel out of the loop. Click here to sign up now! From the mysterious death of Dr. Mark Hausknecht to ways hospitals are fighting human trafficking, this is what’s happening for July.
Renowned Cardiologist Shot and Killed by Cyclist Gunman
A tragic and bizarre event has claimed the life of renowned cardiologist Mark Hausknecht, who was fatally shot three times while biking to work last Friday.
Surveillance images show the mysterious gunman trailing behind Dr. Hausknecht before the two entered a construction area where they were out of view from street cameras. Police report that the gunman rode up in front of Hausknecht at the site and fired three shots head-on.
Dr. Hausknecht treated high-profile patients like former President H.W. Bush. His celebrity and circumstances involved in the event have led Houston’s police chief to believe the doctor was targeted.
How to Qualify Pain for Better Patient Care
Measuring pain has been an ongoing struggle for the medical community, the reason being that most patients don’t know how to accurately evaluate their pain.
A new study from the University of Rochester asked patients to rate their pain on the standard 0 to 10 scale, as well as answer the question, “Is your pain tolerable?”
What the researchers found was that 75% of patients who rated their pain between 4 and 7 on the numeric scale, a moderate pain rating, also said that the pain was “tolerable,” meaning they did not require further pain treatment. The discrepancy in feedback has highlighted the dangers of quantifying pain.
Clinicians feel obligated to alleviate their patients’ pain, no matter how inaccurately self-assessed. This phenomenon can lead to excessive treatment and prescriptions.
That’s why physicians need to look beyond the numeric scale and prompt patients to qualify their pain. For tips on how to do this, check out the full article.
The Fight Against Human Trafficking
According to the FBI, human trafficking is the third-largest criminal activity in the world. Yet most cases go unreported.
However, because the industry is fraught with violence, many of its victims end up in the hospital. In fact, a 2014 study found that 88% of survivors had had contact with a healthcare provider while they were being trafficked, usually while receiving treatment in emergency departments.
As family physician Dr. Santhosh Paulus noted, “When trafficking victims come through the health care system but we don’t identify them, it’s a big missed opportunity.”
Many hospitals have started initiatives to better identify, treat and record trafficking victims using new diagnosis codes established by the American Hospital Association. These are crucial steps to helping a population that remains largely invisible to the public.