BY: ROD HOCHMAN, MD
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System
, a groundbreaking investigation that opened our eyes to the alarming rates of patients killed each year due to preventable medical errors. Three years later, the institute followed up with an even more explosive and comprehensive set of findings, titled Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century.
BY: ARTURO CARRILLO, PhD, LCSW, and CAITLIN L. O'GRADY, PhD, LCSW
In 2015, Saint Anthony Hospital's community health needs assessment ranked mental health as the highest perceived problem in the community, with 82 percent of respondents rating it a major problem. Concerns for mental health far outnumbered diabetes (69 percent), community violence (64 percent), nutrition, physical activity and weight (64 percent), substance abuse (63 percent), family violence (50 percent), and tobacco use (50 percent). The findings also highlighted that self-reported chronic depression, along with fair/poor mental health, was notably higher among adults under 60, Latinos and low-income residents.
BY: KATHERINE L. GODWIN, MD
We categorize eating disorders as mental illness, but they have very high medical seriousness as well, so that assessment and treatment require an integrated approach. Coordinating care for such complex cases can be done well but also can involve distinct hurdles for patients, families, caregivers, insurance companies and hospital systems.
BY: CONCETTA FORCHETTI, MD, PhD
Although public awareness of Alzheimer's disease has grown significantly in recent years, considerable confusion still exists about the disease, its symptoms and its relationship to dementia.
The confusion is not limited to the general public: Even physicians sometimes lack a clear understanding of Alzheimer's. In the past, when seniors exhibited signs of memory loss, mood changes and/or a diminished ability to perform everyday tasks, it was thought to be part of the normal aging process. Such symptoms were chalked up to natural changes in an aging brain — a process that doctors in those days called "organic brain syndrome." Nonmedical types used a simpler term: senility.
BY: JAMES DUBOIS, DSc, PhD
Reflection on human experience is invaluable in understanding the meaning of ethical principles within the lives of people. Such reflection may help us to identify, for example, what actually helps people to flourish or how people are willing to balance concern for their autonomy with concern for their safety.