Category Archives: Healthcare Information and Trends

Being a grandpa cool enough to blog

Social Networking When I was asked to be part of the Children’s blog, I got very excited thinking, wow, I’m now one of those up-to-date type of managers. Even as a grandfather, I could be cool because I have a blog. The fact that I even understand some of the manifestations of social media is a little bit mind-blowing (an old term by the way).

When I told my adult children I had a blog and asked if they would read it, my oldest son, a Generation Xer of 32 years of age, sent me the definition from Urban Dictionary (by the way, a site that I highly recommend). Under Urban Dictionary the definition of blogger is:

“Term used to describe anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives. Possibly the most annoying thing about bloggers is the sense of self-importance they get after even the most modest of publicity. Sometimes it takes as little as a referral on a more popular blogger’s website to set the lesser blogger’s ego into orbit.” – Maddox

Well, as soon as I saw this I realized it wasn’t dissimilar from my own feelings when people ask me if I’ve seen their Facebook and read their recent writings. I once told my sister-in-law that while I love her dearly, seeing her 6 to 8 times a year is enough and I don’t need to know what she is doing every day.

Nevertheless, social media is here to stay whether it is Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or the blogs. Rather than being afraid of it, one needs to realize that it is just another technological advancement no different than telephones, the Internet, email, etc. Each one of these modalities just continued to do what the previous one did: allow people to network with others who they consider friends or think similarly to communicate with each other.

Even by the time I write this blog there will probably be some new technology out there that my children will have already started using. Since I realize they don’t call me back and hardly ever respond to emails anymore, I won’t find out immediately. If I’m not texting or tweeting, I’m just not with it.

I bring this up because from a management standpoint, one has to know what the next generations use, think or value if we are to have any success in getting things accomplished. That is, we have to know what technology to use.

In the New York Times on March 14, there was a small article in the paper about a professor and other teachers taking away cell phones and computers for one week from their students to see what they’d be able to do without them. For most, it was a major struggle. For me, not having my Blackberry would be a major struggle. Nevertheless, they are here and there will be more and for those of us who want to work with other young doctors and other young staff, we will have to learn to adapt to them and with them. Tweet away.

Why do you think it’s important for health care professionals to stay on top of new communication trends?

Phillip M. Kibort, MD, MBA, is the Vice President Medical Affairs/Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Read Phil’s full bio.

Introductions: Boris Kalanj

Dr. Culbert With a Patient Did you know that more than 50% of patients who seek care at Children’s are nonwhite; 20% speak a language other than English in the home; and greater than 40% are from low-income families, insured through Medicaid?

In this blog, I will write about these and other groups who are often referred to as “underserved” – lacking either in access to health care, its quality, or both.

I will explore some of the social issues that help define Children’s in our community.  You can expect me to write about health care disparities – differences in quality and outcomes of health care due to personal characteristics such as ethnicity, primary language, location, and socioeconomic status.  I will also write about cultural competence and attention to diversity in health care organizations as some of the key methods for reducing disparities.  There are many topics that can be discussed in this context, and I look forward to hearing about issues that particularly resonate with you.

I started at Children’s nine years ago as manager of its then-nascent program of interpreter services.  Over the years, my role has evolved into responsibilities for broader organizational cultural competence.  Currently, as Director of Health Care Equity and Cultural Competence, I collaborate with others to identify, understand and eliminate health care disparities, particularly within care provided at Children’s. Continue reading

Frustrations with healthcare reform

Dr. Phil Kibort

From my perspective, it has been a frustrating few weeks.

The number one reason for my frustration is the country’s lack of courage in doing anything about healthcare reform. Now, I’ll point out to you that I’m a bleeding heart liberal. At the same time one of my hobbies, my main hobby in fact, is studying American presidential history. Knowing it as I do, I don’t get as upset when there is partisanship and infighting in Congress. Having the perspective that when the country is ready for things, it does take action.  Unfortunately, it’s usually crises that make us take action, whether it was the Civil War, Pearl Harbor, Kennedy being assassinated leading to Lyndon Johnson being able to create a lot of reform, Katrina, and of course 9/11.

I don’t know what it will take to get the country to realize what a catastrophe we have right now without healthcare reform.

For 17% of the gross domestic product it continues to rise by a quarter percent per year.  It will make our country absolutely noncompetitive in the world market. What’s frustrating is, one party tries to do one thing and the other just opposes it regardless or one party declares “let’s start from scratch,” when we all know that the lobbyists for the insurance companies and those who benefit by keeping the status quo do everything in their power to keep it as-is.  This is done regardless of the fact that we all know how much waste there is in healthcare and how our total outcomes compared to other developed countries is only average. Continue reading