Dr. David Klein’s post on “Dying With Dignity” didn’t just top the list of most-read posts from the past year. It touched a nerve unlike anything The Shift has ever published. Writing a little over a year after his own father passed away in his sleep, Dr. Klein, the USACS National Director of Quality, recommended that our teams institute a Moment of Silence after someone is pronounced in the ER.
The post was shared more than 170 times from our Facebook page, and it reached more than 16,000 people. It wasn’t just the most-read post of this year – it was our most-read post ever. In the comments on social media, many of our providers said they would be implementing the change in their own departments.
Perhaps the success of that post is a reminder for us all: as we welcome the New Year, let us write from the heart the true stories that matter about our mission of caring for patients. And let us not lose sight of the common humanity we are capable of bringing to that mission.
#1. Dying With Dignity: Instituting a Moment of Silence in the ER by Dr. David Klein
“We are trained to give full attention to the body,” writes Dr. Klein. “Is there a pulse? Blood pressure? We certainly don’t have time to reflect on the person. The patient becomes a body and we detach. Shortly after a physician pronounces the patient dead, everyone scatters to take care of the next patient… Working in a busy ED, we often forget that we are caring for people with meaningful relationships and accomplished lives.”
#2. Building a World-Class Acute Care Group Means Developing and Attracting World-Class APPs by Krisi Gindlesperger, PA-C
In 2017, USACS Vice-President and National Director of APPs Krisi Gindlesperger published a post outlining our group’s commitment to attracting and developing world-class APPs. Nearly a year later, in mid-2018, readership on the post skyrocketed when it was posted to the popular Facebook Group EM Docs. Shall we say: a lively debate ensued. Frankly, we are happy our leadership on this issue finally got its due. As we have for years, USACS continues to be a leader in developing and training APPs to help us deliver the highest quality patient care in emergency medicine.
3. Hospital Capacity Management II: The Surge by Dr. Robbin Dick
Dr. Robbin Dick’s 2013 post on hospital capacity management is perhaps the most evergreen blog post on The Shift. It has been one of the most-read posts on our blog every year since it was published, largely based on traffic from organic google searches, and rightly so. Dr. Dick is a nationally-recognized expert on observation medicine and hospital capacity management. He has literally written a book on the subject. And don’t forget that next year, Dr. Dick will be speaking at Observation Care ’19. Registrations are open now.
4.Working Shifts on Nantucket: “What Medicine Is All About” by USACS Staff
Working shifts on Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts is ” really what medicine is all about: taking care of patients and leaving the politics behind,” says Dr. Noah Keller, one of several providers we interviewed to get this portrait of a truly unique practice environment. It’s the kind of place where the patients are endlessly grateful and the cynicism which can so often creep into other departments simply doesn’t intrude. Add to that the island’s history, nightlife, and sheer beauty, and there is one word providers kept coming back to to describe it all: magical.
5. The Work, Life, Schedules, and Challenges of Husband-Wife ER Docs by USACS Staff
Meet Drs. Jenny and Jim McQuiston from Maryland and Drs. Yana and Brannon Duncan from Texas. Two couples, all four emergency medicine physicians, each couple with different approaches to balancing their work, life, and family. “A lot of people think having kids and mixing dual ER schedules together is impossible, but it’s not impossible,” said Jenny McQuiston.