Wearables improve post-op recovery when every step counts

It’s the surgeon’s standard advice to patients as soon as they awaken from the procedure: start walking. Walk with help. Walk to the chair in your room. Walk as much as you can. But how many steps should patients actually aim for? One patient’s understanding of the instruction can differ from another’s, with a related impact on their recovery.

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are looking to put a finer point on the matter with the help of wearable activity trackers. For a study whose results were published in JAMA Network Open, they outfitted 100 patients with digital step-counters and found that those who took 1,000 steps on day one post-surgery had 63% lower odds of a prolonged length of stay related to their operation.

The lede for my  latest at the AMA. The whole shebang.

How the CDC’s opioid prescribing guidance went astray

What’s the news: Three authors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s controversial 2016 guideline on opioid prescribing now say their advice has been misused in ways that can harm patients.

These misapplications “include inflexible application of recommended dosage and duration thresholds and policies that encourage hard limits and abrupt tapering of drug dosages, resulting in sudden opioid discontinuation or dismissal of patients from a physician’s practice,” wrote the CDC’s Deborah Dowell, MD, MPH, Tamara Haegerich, PhD, and Roger Chou, MD, in a New England Journal of Medicine essay, “No Shortcuts to Safer Opioid Prescribing.”

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

Two physicians moving medicine

The AMA recently unveiled a digital magazine, Moving Medicine, that is exclusive to AMA members. Two physician profiles carry my byline in the inaugural issue. You can read them below.

Recognizing the patterns of truth
You may have seen the movie based the life of Bennet I. Omalu, MD, MBA, MPH. Find out the real story behind what he has discovered—in CTE and in letting science lead the way.

Digital designs for the age of evidence
JAMA Editor-in-Chief Howard Bauchner, MD, has worked relentlessly to devise ways for the AMA’s crown jewel of high-quality research to be available to physicians on command.

5 reasons why physicians should use social media professionally

As social media has moved from a toy of the technorati to a mainstream facet of American life, many physicians have learned how to get the most out of Facebook, Twitter and the like while avoiding some of the ethical pitfalls. But if you’re still trying to understand why smart use of social media could help your physician career, AMA member Tyeese L. Gaines, DO (@doctorty), has got the answers.

The board-certified emergency physician spent years as a health care journalist, has earned an MBA, recently launched her own urgent-care practice in New Jersey, and offers training to physicians on how to navigate the intersection of medicine and social media. So, if your social media use is restricted to checking in for pictures of friends’ children on Facebook, here is Dr. Gaines’ perspective on why you should consider engaging more deeply at a professional level.

My lede. The whole shebang.