I have posted several articles relative to traveling or temporary healthcare workers and you can real the partial clips below or go to the entire post.  Surgeons are now working at several locations, so are doctors at facilities such as Kaiser as they tend to be less expensive employees and everyone is cutting budgets and corners every which way they can.  I mention this item relative to having your healthcare records available for them.  Kaiser has done a pretty good job with their records system and they would be available for temporary doctors, but what if you are seen by a temporary doctor at a facility still using paper and the records or the medical records are not integrated anywhere?

Obvious solution, get your PHR going.  This will help you and the doctors, nurses pharmacists, etc who work in more than one location and maybe even for more than one healthcare company.  The PHR is the back up for when EHR/EMRs are not available or accessible.  We all know many nurses that work from a registry and now 25% of the population of general surgeons are moving around quite a bit too.  No wonder we have the first post below with hospital patients unable to identify their physicians, and of course that works in reverse too as we are all human, but whether or not the doctor recognizes me or not, I’m not going to worry too much as long as he/she can read my records and make the right decisions without having to shoot from the hip.  Of course I prefer to stay with the same physician but realize today I may not always have that opportunity, like in case of an emergency, etc. so best to be prepared. 

Also from the other side of the coin we are becoming pretty mobile ourselves as patients too so that door can swing both ways.  BD 

Most Hospital Patients Unable to Identify Their Physicians - Survey

With many surgeons and nurses working from registries today, this might have something to do with the study.  Under the related reading you can read about how general surgeons are moving from one hospital to another to make ends meet as they close up local practices that are not being able to withstand the pressures of the economy today, so the answer is to be mobile and work and work there.  Nurses have been doing this for a long time and depending on the hospital and one’s length of stay, you may not see the same nurse twice. It makes one wonder too, can the physicians on the other hand identify their patients too?  Good question.

Medical migrants - “locum tenens” Healthcare on Temporary Assignment

Doctors get to select where they want to go and how long they will be able to stay at the facility.  This used to be pretty dominant in rural areas, but not any more, in the big metropolitan areas too as shortages are appearing everywhere.  Of all places, I would not have thought of Kaiser having a big need with so many private practice physicians taking on a job with the company, but this just goes to show there are issues everywhere.

Of course the fill-in doctor is not going to probably be as good as the patient’s regular doctor, but when the alternative is “no doctor” well you can figure that one out. This also points out one more reason to have electronic medical records too, not only for the traveling doctor, but also for those nurses and staff who will need the information for follow up with patient care, etc.  We all know that there are a number of traveling nurses too with registries, etc., lots of pharmacists do it, so nobody seems to get left out of the medical traveling business, except maybe the CEOs (grin).  BD 

Surgeon Shortage Pushes Hospitals to Hire Temps – Scalpel Services

Scary that the number of general surgeons per capita has declined 25%.  The physicians that work from a staffing agency though get additional lodgingimage and other accommodations as well.  This costs the hospital more money as well, but with a lack of general surgeons, there’s not a whole lot of choice.  Robotic surgery will later emerge in handling a portion perhaps, but not all surgeries by any means can be done robotically.

“For a complex hemorrhoid removal, a general surgeon got $390 in 2008, compared with $574 in 1997. Private insurers followed suit.”

Nursing Jobs in demand – Shortage of nurses grows

The article brings up a good point about nurses, are they members of the medical team or just another pair of helping hands?  Sometimes as cut backs are beginning to occur the duties of a nurse may slip over in to other areas where it is really outside the realm of the occupation as well.

Leadership roles are important as well.  In the Los Angeles area, there’s a look for nurses over the border in Mexico to help fill in the gaps.  By today’s standards in healthcare, nurses are not just an assistant, they are the ones who see the patients day by day, hour by hour, administer medications, imageetc. and the demands can be high and hours can be long, not to mention stress.  From a prior post, the Gordon and Betty Moore foundation has donated 100 million to build a nursing school in northern California.

Outsourcing education in California- Nursing Schools in Guadalajara, Mexico

If you are bilingual with both Spanish and English and looking to enter nursing school, Mexico could be the next stop in California...hospitals are also kicking in some donations..cost will be about half of the training here in the US...read the entire article for all details...many items still unresolved...BD 

The entire section on PHRs at this site can be found here. 

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