Author: Burl Stamp

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Are too many patients today “lost in transition?”

Since 1983 when Medicare launched the prospective payment system (PPS), the average inpatient hospital stay has declined from 10.0 to 4.5 days. During this same period, Medicare discharges to skilled nursing increased four-fold.  Health care providers are well aware that patients are being discharged at a higher acuity and with far more significant needs for continuing care. What often is not recognized is how vulnerable patients are during transitions between care settings, especially older adults … Read More

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Are “lazy” managers – or misguided organizations – to blame for high turnover?

It is rare that I disagree with the premise or findings of a Harvard Business Review article. They are generally well-researched by top scholars and thinkers on issues facing businesses today.

But when I saw the headline, “Don’t Let Lazy Managers Drive Away Your Top Performers,” I was skeptical. Then I read the first paragraph of the article:

“Many people believe that being a good manager only requires common sense, and that it is therefore Read More

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11 Seconds.

That’s how long, on average, a doctor will listen to a patient tell his story before interrupting.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, we still have far to go in improving one of the most important communication skills in health care: active listening. This study, which was also reported in the July 22 issue of Newsweek, studied clinical encounters between patients and physicians.

The team of scientists … Read More

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What’s not to love about a booming economy – unless you’re a middle manager

What’s not to love about America’s strong economy? More people are employed, wages are finally beginning to inch up for workers left behind in the past, and stock prices are rising.

But for middle managers, a growing economy can bring unexpected consequences. Simply keeping a department staffed can be more challenging, let alone developing employees so that they are individually and collectively more successful.

In September, Bloomberg reported that U.S. job openings rose in July … Read More

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Why empathy may be most important in effective care transitions

Even if they’ve never stayed at a Motel 6, most people remember the hotel chain’s iconic ads that ended with Tom Bodett’s friendly reminder, “We’ll leave the lights on for ya.” While hospitals certainly always “leave the lights on” for patients in need, unlike the hospitality industry, “come back and see us soon” is not something you’ll typically hear from hospital staff.

The emphasis on reducing preventable hospital readmissions has focused a spotlight on effective … Read More