Patient Safety: The Physician’s Responsibilities

The “hot button” topic in medicine right now is patient safety and optimizing outcomes. What is that and what does it mean? In a nutshell, it’s all about creating an environment where practicing physicians are educated about how to follow established guidelines in decision-making for patient care and also for dealing with complications when they arise. By doing this, patients will receive the best possible care.

As a founder of a software company that has created a mobile software platform (AnzuMedical) for physician education and collaboration, I am actively involved in this entire process. I have recently been appointed to the Patient Safety Committees of ASAPS ( American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) – specifically to develop a technological solution to accomplish the goal improving patient safety. It is a really exciting project.

Here are some basic principles for all patients to understand:

Proper and Appropriate Training and Education

Has your physician been appropriately educated and trained for the services that they are operating? For example, you wouldn’t want your family practitioner performing a facelift nor would you want your plastic surgeon treating your high blood pressure. Education and training includes undergraduate, medical school,residency training and specialty training.

Certification and Professional Membership

Your physician should be certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). This means that they have met all accepted professional requirements to practice in their specialty. Here is a link to the ABMS website: http://www.abms.org.

Your physician should also be a member in good standing of the professional societies associated with their specialty. In plastic surgery, these societies are the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

Continuing Education

Your physician should be constantly updating their knowledge base. . Professional societies and hospitals all demand that physicians maintain their memberships and certifications through continuing education. – attending meetings, reading etc…

My software platform, AnzuMedical, is the mobile education platform for ASAPS and their entire national and international membership. We are using mobile technology to facilitate delivery of educational material and also the ability for physicians to collaborate with each other. These all facilitate keeping “up to date” in the most efficient manner.

Next I will be talking about the patient’s responsibilities regarding the issues of safety and outcome.

The “Connected” Physician