Posts by Jordan Messler

Lessons from a Sprinkled Donut: A Pastry Almost Took out Our Hospitalist Group

The doctors' lounge. A place of collegiality, medical discussions, and food breaks. It's a showcase for new doctors. During a lunchtime visit it can be a window into how well the medical staff interacts. Since many hospitals are removing their doctors' lounges, the fact that my hospital provides 24/7 access to coffee and food seems a privileged perk, a disappearing commodity. Each morning our lounge provides some fresh fruit, a state of the art coffee maker, and a daily assortment of pastries from a local bakery. The chocolate muffins or cream filled donuts provide the perfect treat after a long seven day stretch, the weekly sugary carrot. Yet, somehow, those sumptuous scones led to a litany of surgeons calling the hospitalist office one day yelling, “Get me Messler!” How do delicious freshly baked good bring down a hospitalist group? It started a few months earlier. One of our hospitalists decided to join the nutrition committee. They discussed meal…

Spilled Milk: An Investigation.

Be careful with that. Don’t spill it! A few minutes later, my daughter’s tiny, sweet hands, place the giant cup down on an awkward angle beyond her dinner. The cup rocks back and forth and seems to settle on the tip of the fork. Phew. And then it topples over, onto the table, and over the iPhone. A white wave washes past my plate, onto my lap, and drips down to the floor. There are two aspects about this story that remind me of errors in the hospital, one is the early response, and the other is the steps to take to prevent recurrence, the late system response. The initial response involves  knitting my brow, grabbing everything out of the milk’s path, and yelling, “I knew that would happen, this is your fault!" The Confrontation, pointing of fingers and laying blame. Parents are very good at the warning. Don’t climb there; you're…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Hospitalist Edition

I have won as a father. [caption id="attachment_13770" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Source: starwars.wikia.com[/caption] My daughters are enamored with Star Wars. It’s a simple victory to watch my children appreciate some of the same movies and music that I grew up loving. I can’t whip my nae nae or understand the obsession with Minecraft, but I will smile deeply when they hum Yellow Submarine, Piano Man, or cheer for Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka (outclassed Depp’s version by 100 golden tickets). Their behavior will be short lived, and they will purposefully distance themselves from anything my wife and I enjoy in a few short years. For now, they are enjoying Darth Vader, Han Solo, and Leia as we all learn about Kylo Ren, Rey, and the latest droid BB-8. [caption id="attachment_13769" align="alignright" width="300"] Source: www.bigbadtoystore.com[/caption] Unless you’ve been living in a different galaxy, you know the 7th Star Wars movie is coming December…

This Football Season, Watch out for This Teammate

Fall means football. Even in Florida where it’s still 90 degrees, we can pretend autumn has arrived, with football on the lawn as a rite of passage. Recently, I was in the front yard playing with my 2 daughters, 7 and 9 years old. We decided to play some 2 on 2, with myself as automatic quarterback, just like the good ole days of backyard football. (Although as a kid there were always fights on who would be QB. I often lost. One of the benefits of being a Dad, I just tell them I’m automatic QB and no one argues. “...because I said so.”) Shayna, the older one, and I drew up a play on her shirt, tracing it out with my finger, hidden from the eyes of the youngest, Lyla. We created some complicated play with a little razzle-dazzle, some goofy faces to distract the opponent, and then a…

Are Hospitals Turning into Hotels?

“The idea that hospital patients might benefit from redemptive surroundings is far from new.”—Robert Cork, The Healing Presence of Art My last blog post reimagined a hotel stay through the eyes of a patient. I received numerous responses about the post(ok one person queried me about the post. And that person was actually looking for Flansbaum) regarding the difficulty of comparing hospitals and hotels. Hospitals are matters of life and death, and it can be seen to belittle their missions by comparing life saving hospitals to consumer driven hotels. Patient satisfaction incentives and competitive business practices seem to be transforming hospitals into 5 star atmospheres. This has been written about in several posts here and here. Last year, the NY Times nailed this sentiment in a short quiz aimed to spot differences between hotels and hospitals. Have we gone too far in transforming our bulwarks of illness into bastions of comfort? Or as my post alluded,…
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