Medical Training

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    Developments in Spinal Surgeries Provide an Opportunity for Professional Expansion

Developments in Spinal Surgeries Provide an Opportunity for Professional Expansion

Advances in surgical technologies have been occurring at an increasing rate. This means patients may be asking about innovative procedures more, which begs to question, what does that mean for the spinal surgeon?

The purpose of surgical advancement is to improve patient outcomes. In the area of spinal surgery, this means:

Developing minimally-invasive approaches to spinal conditions
Expediting patient recovery
Reducing the duration and severity of post-operative pain
Minimizing surgical risks
Improving the integrity of spinal fusions
Preserving optimal spinal motion in treated segments

These goals are achieved more easily with high-tech approaches. The use of robotics is a prime example. Robotic surgeries are minimally-invasive and very precise due to the use of 3D cameras and computer-assisted navigation. Robotic surgery may also reduce exposure to radiation during certain procedures.

Some of the recent advances that have elevated spinal surgeries include:
Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement
This procedure has begun to emerge as an alternative to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery for various pathologies. Studies suggest that the insertion of an artificial cervical disc achieves 4 to 7 years of clinical results. As clinical results have been established, surgeons have begun performing this technique as a two-level procedure.
Spinal Fusion
Over the past decades, spinal fusion surgeries have achieved better outcomes that include fewer complications and less post-operative pain. In addition to less invasive techniques, spinal fusion has improved with the development of innovative implants and cages that provide better fixation. Finally, surgeons have more bone graft options today than were available years ago.
Vertebral Augmentation
An injury such as a vertebral fracture has historically been a painful and challenging problem due to a lack of surgical repair options. Today, we have multiple surgical techniques to address this condition. Examples include kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty, […]

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    Live Streaming is Now Available! Here’s why More Doctors are Engaging.

Live Streaming is Now Available! Here’s why More Doctors are Engaging.

Life is much different today than it was a few months ago. Doctors are having to navigate new ways of providing the highest-possible standard of care while minimizing face-to-face patient contact. Additionally, doctors and other medical personnel must continue to advance their skills in whatever way possible. At this time, the live streaming is the way. We are proud to offer live streaming that includes one doctor, one assistant, and all of the planning done for continued learning. Here, we discuss why more doctors are engaging in this model.

Live streaming allows attendees to consume content “live” or as a recording, creating more accessibility for more professionals. Greater accessibility to medical content on one’s own schedule opens the door for more attendees and a wider reach for necessary training.
Live streaming may incur lower costs than in-person trainings that require facility fees as well as equipment fees. Software platforms are currently an affordable alternative to on-site options.
Attendees of live stream labs and courses can engage in real-time when participating at the time of the event. Communication and comprehension need not diminish in the absence of face-to-face interaction.
The content of the live stream may be repurposed. Just like all video content, live stream medical labs may be repurposed for additional usage. Examples include transforming the live video into an infographic or YouTube video.

Live streaming was becoming a powerful channel for content delivery before it became necessary to social distance. Now that we must work together to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, doctors and training organizations are rethinking their models of practice. Just like doctors are transforming their practices to facilitate care without unnecessary physical contact, so are we. We have put […]

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    How Do Healthcare Providers Build and Retain Patient Trust in The Time of Technology?

How Do Healthcare Providers Build and Retain Patient Trust in The Time of Technology?

The doctor-patient relationship is one that we don’t hear about at dinner parties or on the news. It may not be a topic that is discussed nearly often enough even in professional circles. It should be. Patients rely on their physicians to help them make important, sometimes life-saving decisions about their health. To provide the highest quality advice and treatment, patients must be honest with their physicians. In recent years, research has indicated erosion in the trust that patients have in their doctors. There may be several reasons for this that are outside of the control of the medical system. However, there are steps that healthcare providers can take to ensure they are mindfully building trust in their patients. There may be no time in our lives when this may be more important.
Expectations are Everything
According to recent research, approximately 65 percent of patients appreciate the option to interact with their healthcare providers through smartphones and other devices. This is beneficial, seeing that telemedicine may be the future of healthcare. While the majority of patients do not mind skipping their trip to the doctor’s office, they do expect the same customer service they would receive from other service providers, such as their bank or a hotel. When discussing health, this expectation of service is even more vital to optimal outcomes.

What patients want from their doctors includes:

Authenticity and transparency. If you do not have a clear answer for a patient, they want to know that. It is okay to be uncertain, as long as patients are told the truth. Patients understand their doctors are humans, too, and that they may not have all the answers.
Active listening. With the emergence of immediate reporting and digital […]

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    Expectations for Paramedics are High. We Can Help You Meet Them.

Expectations for Paramedics are High. We Can Help You Meet Them.

Years ago, a day in the life of a paramedic may have involved basic patient or casualty transport. Since that time, expectations have gone from providing minimal interventions on scene or during transport to providing comprehensive emergency care. The care that today’s paramedic is expected to provide, without hesitation, spans the realm of trauma and medical procedures.

Paramedics must now develop competency in multiple invasive procedures. Examples include airway management via endotracheal intubation, tube thoracostomy, needle thoracentesis, surgical cricothyroidotomy, and several other emergency procedures. To be confident in making vital medical decisions on the fly, the paramedic must be competent in the performance of each. Strong working knowledge of human anatomy is the baseline for this competency. Studies indicate that the best way to gain skills is through real-life exposure and demonstration of procedures followed by the actual performance of these skills in a controlled environment.

“In a controlled environment” is key here. Not every paramedic is immediately competent in the various skills they will be required to demonstrate. Due to the nature of medicine, on the job training is simply not acceptable. With the demands on paramedics and first responders at an all-time high, the demand for suitable training modalities has intensified. Working on mannequin models doesn’t cut it. Like other vital medical personnel, paramedics need exposure to human tissue. A cadaver lab provides them with the perfect opportunity.

For many paramedics, the first clinical exposure they get to the human body is in a cadaver lab. Comprehensive training courses for first responders build familiarity with surface landmarks, internal structures, and other human characteristics that are vital to the successful performance of emergency procedures such as:

Airway management
Central access
Saphenous access
Suturing and ligation
Tourniquets and pressure dressings
Wound management
Improvised splinting
And […]

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    Medical Advancements Providing Hope for Women with Stress Urinary Incontinence

Medical Advancements Providing Hope for Women with Stress Urinary Incontinence

Statistics suggest that, at any given time, approximately 15 million women are affected by stress urinary incontinence. Of the various types of incontinence, this is the most common. Historically, women have had relatively little help in managing this condition. Over time, though, both nonsurgical and surgical solutions have been developed. We’ll briefly outline them here.

Nonsurgical treatment options for stress urinary incontinence have included:

Pelvic floor exercises. Known as Kegel exercises after the physician who developed this technique, pelvic floor exercises work by contracting and releasing the muscles that span the lower pelvic region, which includes the vagina, rectum, and the urethra.
Behavioral modification. Avoiding certain activities may reduce episodes of urine leakage, but this can also decrease quality of life.
Transurethral bulking agents such as collagen have been injected around the urethra to thicken tissue and control urine leakage.
Pessary, a removable device that supports the bladder neck by repositioning the urethra.

Surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence has generally consisted of mesh techniques, also referred to as “sling” surgery. Mesh techniques became popular due to their minimally invasive nature compared to fascia or donor slings. However, surgical mesh for stress urinary incontinence has had somewhat of a turbulent history that has included numerous cases of complications. Now there is an alternative.
Innovative Technology for the Reduction of Stress Urinary Incontinence
Medical professionals are aware that our industry is constantly changing. New technologies are continually being assessed in stringent clinical trials. Earlier this year, the FDA cleared a new device by BTL Aesthetics, a leader in energy-based devices. This device, Emsella, reportedly tones the pelvic floor without a woman having to perform repetitive exercises. Emsella works via HIFEM®, a patent-protected technology that is already winning awards for its […]

Patient Engagement Improves Overall Satisfaction

Medicine sustains a nearly-constant state of evolution. Every year, new devices and techniques are tested. New products and technologies are presented to the medical community for clinical trials and FDA approval. With the consistent advances in the clinical side of care, providers may overlook the opportunities they have to also improve overall patient satisfaction. Here, we discuss a few ways in which technology is improving patient engagement and how that engagement benefits each patient’s experience with their provider.

More medical offices, clinics, and hospitals are equipping spaces with technology that patients are familiar with. These technologies may be used to educate patients or, sometimes, to provide an entertaining distraction from discomfort and stress. Some of the strategies that are making a big impact on patient engagement at this time include the following.
Entertainment Systems
One of the biggest challenges that nursing and support staff face is helping patients deal with physical discomfort. A patient that is in pain is also dealing with stress, fear, and anxiety. Altogether, unmanaged pain and emotional distress will degrade the patient’s sense of well-being. It may sound simplistic that entertainment systems that interact with the patient could make a difference in state of mind. However, devices such as televisions, mobile devices, and tablets have demonstrated efficacy in distracting patients from their immediate situation. Not only does this distraction ease the load of nursing staff, but it can also enable patients to rest better and heal more quickly.
Doctor Accessibility
Patients feel more satisfied when they know they have access to their doctor. The higher doctor-patient interaction is, the better care the patient feels they receive. Utilizing the same software and technology on which entertainment systems are based, doctors can communicate more readily with their […]

Train Smarter, Not Harder

For the medical professional, training is a never-ending process. Surgical techniques are constantly changing. New devices and products are continually being developed, even the administrative and collaborative aspects of medicine do not stay the same from year to year. Fortunately, there is one thing we can always count on (and you know we never say “always”): the human body.

Med Ed Labs has been established to provide surgeons with the most accurate medical training they can get. This is working smarter, not harder. Studies show that, even in light of advanced virtual reality technology, the greatest value in medicine continues to be found in the human cadaver lab. Physicians and other medical professionals don’t just want to develop and advance their skills, they want to do so with reference to the real-life tissues they will handle in the clinical setting.

Professionals who have used one of the nationwide training labs we put together come from all walks of medicine, including gynecology, neurosurgery and neurology, orthopedic, head and neck surgery, spinal surgery, urology, dental, arthroscopic surgery and more. Why? Because each and every one of these specialties provide treatment on living, human tissue and there is no better way to get insightful information than to engage in training on cadavers.
Training smarter means:

Refining skills. It is an unspoken expectation of every patient that their clinical provider has the necessary skills to provide their treatment. It doesn’t matter if that treatment involves a few injections or a surgical procedure on the brain, heart, or other vital organs. Studies have shown that medical professionals who have trained in a cadaver lab hold a high degree of confidence in their clinical abilities and can thus communicate this to their patients, […]

January 15th, 2019|Medical Training|0 Comments|

Strategies for Reducing Medical Errors in Patient Care

According to a Johns Hopkins analysis of the medical death rate during an eight-year period, more than 250,000 deaths a year could be attributed to medical error. Each year, great strides are made in the medical community to improve patient safety. Continued research and development are necessary not only in hospitals but also in public and private medical practices. Here, we discuss a few strategies that are being implemented to achieve this.
Encourage a culture of reliability.
First and foremost, it is vital that the medical community develop an environment in which accountability is encouraged. The line here is that it is far too easy to lean to a “punishment” type of environment in which medical providers are actually discouraged from accurate reporting. The rule of proper accountability is to focus on behaviors rather than care providers.
Reliability is also a cornerstone of adequate medical care, and there may be no better way to achieve the highest standards of reliability than for each medical provider to have an in-depth familiarity with human anatomy. Training is something that never stops for the medical professional. Med Ed Labs has been established to support physicians and staff in their quest to improve quality of care while simultaneously reducing the risk of medical errors. Although numerous VR platforms have been developed to assist medical students in their training, they are not and should not be perceived as a substitute for human cadaver training.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration
In just about every instance of patient care, there is a chain. Where there is a handoff of patient care from one provider to another, communication will always be a critical point; one at which medical errors could happen. Quality assurance experts have observed positive […]

We Can’t Overlook Robotics in Surgical Success

The da Vinci robotic surgical platform was first introduced to medicine in 2000. At that time, the robotic device was approved for the performance of laparoscopic surgeries. Now, nearly two decades later, we see the use of robotics used far more expansively than ever before. A large percentage of the minimally-invasive surgical procedures that are performed today involve either the da Vinci or another robotic platform. Because robotics is not going away, it is vital that physicians become acquainted with the merits of robotic surgery and well-versed in communicating the details of robotic surgery with their patients.
Robotics as the Surgical Assistant
Platforms like the da Vinci do not take over the role of the surgeon; they act as a highly-trained assistant. Through robotics, surgeons can increase their efficiency by using smaller surgical instruments without affecting precision. Most robotic surgeries are performed by two surgeons; one in the direct presence of the patient and the other at the platform console, observing the surgical field and maneuvering robotic arms using computer controls.

One of the most significant ways that robotics assist surgeons is by reducing fatigue. This is possible because the surgeon operating robotic arms is seated for the duration of the procedure. Also, the cameras involved in robotic surgeries magnify the surgical field up to ten-times – and in 3D high definition.
Robotics Benefit Patients, Too
Robotic surgical devices have been developed for mutual gain. A surgeon who is not affected by fatigue is a better-performing surgeon. The availability of small surgical tools and robotic hands significantly reduces the need for long incisions and more “open” surgical technique. Smaller incisions are the cornerstone of minimally-invasive surgeries and the basis of faster, more comfortable recovery.
Uses of Robotics in Modern Medicine
Robotics […]

Simulation is No Match for Hands-On Cadaver Training

Several aspects of medicine have been improved with the advent of innovative new technologies and systems. One such advancement has been the use of virtual reality software and apps in the area of medial education. Because we have seen an increase in the sophistication and use of these apps, some say that virtual reality will at some point make hands-on bioskills training obsolete. Here, we discuss the value, as well as the limitations, of virtual reality in medical training.
Virtual Reality as a Reliable Instructor
The use of digital technologies is nothing new. Medical classrooms have incorporated a range of programs, including advanced medical imaging, 3D printing, multimedia, and even games, to disperse information to students and engage various abilities through interactive and effective methods. Virtual reality falls into the same category as these technologies; it is simply the latest and greatest to be developed, albeit one that has extensive capabilities in and outside of the classroom.

Some of the recent uses of virtual reality, thanks to the collaboration between universities and developers like Microsoft, have been the simulation of medical exams and VR apps that teach anatomy.
Several Tools Beat One Tool
Medicine is a practice of precision. We cannot rely on a singular modality or technology to teach us what we need to know. To do so could open the door for a decline in the level of patient care we provide. To maximize our potential as medical examiners, surgeons, and general physicians, our reliance should be on multiple educational tools, including cadaver training.

What cadavers bring to the table is the ability to observe the unique aspects of every human body. The anatomical variations are unique even between twins. To recreate these numerous variations from one person […]

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