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June 17, 2009

Nursing By Cell Phone

Nursing By Cell Phone

President Obama is on the road this week, talking about reforming health care. As most people who work in health care know, even small changes can be a challenge.

Jo Holt recently began nursing school, and she's found out she's full of new ideas. Jo used to be an engineer. She puzzles over how to do even simple procedures like tracheotomies more efficiently. When Jo had a patient with a wound that required regular dressing at home, she thought to record photos and detailed voice instructions into his cell phone. Jo encountered some push back from her colleagues, but as she tells Dick Gordon, she believes fresh thinking and new technology can only benefit the health care industry.

Taking The Reins

Lisa Shock was a physician assistant in a rural health clinic who loved her patients. But she didn't always have the authority to give patients the kind of care she wanted. Lisa left the clinic for a plum job at a prestigious university. But she couldn't shake the feeling she was letting her patients down. Instead of going back to the clinic, Lisa put her house on the line and bought into her own primary care practice.

As she tells Dick, PAs face different rules and lower Medicare reimbursements for work which is much like a doctor's. But Lisa thinks relying more on mid-level providers is a good option, especially in rural areas.

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