Program Innovators
  • Just Passing Gas | Perspectives from the trenches

    Author(s): Andrew J. Schuman, MD

    Welcome to the new Nurse-Anesthesiology.com website and welcome to my new column!

    I’m Andrew Schuman MD, a pediatrician with over 30 years of clinical experience.  I was recruited to create a “interesting” column that will provide perspectives, news, insights, and opinions on wide ranging topics for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and anyone else who wanders by.   Like you, I practice in the “the trenches of healthcare” and enjoy caring for patients, learning about medical innovations, and acquiring new skills.  Like you, I am frustrated by a healthcare system that has grown increasingly complicated and impersonal.  We practice at a time when insurance companies override clinical decisions with regularity, pharmaceuticals companies inflate the cost of necessary medications, and government agencies impose unreasonable and impractical regulations on providers.  Oh, and while I’m complaining, we also use overpriced EHRs developed (mostly by non-medical software engineers) to expedite care, but most are poorly designed and in fact, have become obstacles to care.

    But let’s not focus on the negative, for even at a time when “coronaphobia” is pervasive, there is much to look forward to.

    I’ve written nearly 200 articles on medical technology and medical practice for “Contemporary Pediatrics” a very popular publication (I’m on the Editorial Advisory Board and Editor of the “Practice Improvement” section). In addition, I’ve developed a medical technology review site called Medgizmos.com, that features blogs and video reviews of software, applications, and medical devices for a primary care audience, as well as webinars, and interviews with inventors, product representatives, and “persons of interest”.   Many of these are relevant to CRNAs and will be featured on Nurse-Anesthesiology.com (aka as “NAC”, for brevity). I’m interested in Telemedicine (been doing this for years), practice improvement (we can always do better), and the history of medical practice (it’s fascinating).

    As I grow older, I’ve learned that medical providers should not accept the status quo.  We can help patients obtain necessary care and services, and work with colleagues to promote change in our clinics and hospitals. We can also partner with national organizations to campaign for much needed healthcare reform.

    As I write this, our country is battling COVID-19, and the healthcare system is stretched to its limits. In an effort to reduce the spread of infection, many elective surgeries and routine office visits are being canceled.  While calming and reassuring patients, it’s difficult to suppress our own anxieties and fears.  Looking forward, I am optimistic that US Healthcare 2.0 will emerge from this crisis, a more streamlined and efficient version compared to what we have now.

    I look forward to producing content of interest for thousands of NAC visitors.  As the content is not yet written, I anticipate some may be serious, some lighthearted, and some will feature insights into medical history. You’ll just have to wait and see. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Don’t be a stranger and stay tuned!

    So, dish!  What technology or device in the Internet of Things has changed your personal or professional life? Let us know the what’s and why’s of your essential tech at tmcnulty@healthcommedia.com.

    Andrew J. Schuman, MD, is Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Darmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, and has been in pediatric practice for over 36 years. He is presently on the Editorial Advisory Board of Contemporary Pediatrics, for which he has written about medical technology and practice improvement  for 30 years. He is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Sections on Practice Management, Telehealth, Computers and Information Technology, as well as AAP’s Section on Advances in Therapeutics and Technology. He is Founder and CEO of MedGizmos.com, where he regularly writes about and reviews medical devices and software for the healthcare provider community.