STAnley Hoffman

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STAnley Hoffman - Medical Peer Review Law isAAdministrative...
Medical Peer Review Law isAAdministrative Nightmare' best-looking the her his his RANDOLPH - An experiment is under way at Gifford Memorial Hospital that could greatly alter the administration of medical care in hospitals throughout the nation. The program, known as Medi-Scan, Medi-Scan, Medi-Scan, is a computer service designed to help hospitals meet standards established in the 1972 Professional Standards Review Organization (PSRO) Act. The federal law sets up peer review for physicians and requires every U.S. hospital to have a mechanism so doctors can evaluate their colleagues' medical performance. "Of course, the paper work and the time needed to carry out this continuing review is just incredible," said Gifford administrator, Philip Levesque recently. "This law is the government's first major step toward the control of medical care, but it is an administrative nightmare." illnesses. Dr. Stanley Hoffman, a "Once these were established, consulting surgeon at Gifford they were fed to the computer to and clinical assistant professor serve as the standard, which was of surgery on the University of drawn up by our own group of -Vermont -Vermont medical faculty, doctors, for future use in caring became aware of the difficulties for these ailments." created by the peer review An example of the system in requirement and joined forces operation might be the case of a with Vermont Technical College normal, healthy, pregnancy. The mathematics professor Paul Calter. The result was a small, Randolph-based Randolph-based Randolph-based firm known as Medical Computation Service, Inc., which used information provided by Gifford in an attempt to enlist the computer's aid in streamlining medical care. "It seems complicated at first," explained Levesque, "but it's really not. What happened here at Gifford is that our doctors worked with Dr. Hoffman and arrived at a set of agreed upon standards for diagnosis and treatment of eight criteria for hospital care have been set by the Gifford physicians and programmed according to Medi-Scan. Medi-Scan. Medi-Scan. When a woman enters the hospital to deliver her child, additional personal data such as age and a medical history are combined with the normal pregnancy program, and the computer prints out the treatment schedule and length of hospital stay for that patient. Each day information is added to the computer, which may revise its recommended care plan depending on several factors, such as complications which may arise. But if all has gone well and the patient and child have received their treatment according to schedule, the computer informs both the doctor and the hospital business office when the mother and infant can be discharged. "Many people think we're tying to make the computer into a doctor or tell doctors exactly how to practice, but that's not so," said Calter, the president of medical computation and author of a college textbook on computer programming. Calter said this service, which has been successful in preliminary runs at Gifford recently, is mainly a reminder to doctors and other medical personnel. It provides a checklist that a physician can consult for diagnosis, and then it plots the steps needed for treatment. And. at the same time, a complete record is being made that will make peer review easier and help satisfy federal PSRO requirements. "There are numerous benefits here," said Calter, "such as aiding the doctor in being thorough and keeping down medical expenses from unnecessary tests and hospitalization." hospitalization." Dr. Hoffman agreed adding. "The objective of the law is to establish norms, standards, and criteria for various disease entities, admit patients according to the established criteria, and then monitor the length of stay." Although many doctors across the nation oppose peer review and more standardized medical practices, such is not the case at Gifford. "We had a peer review committee before this all began," said Levesque, "and our doctors were more than willing to assist Dr. Hoffman in trying out his idea." Medi-Scan Medi-Scan Medi-Scan is still in its infancy, and eventually programs will be written for well over 100 illnesses. "And once this system is off the ground," Levesque noted, "we at Gifford can look back and recall where it all began." Advice In Case of Lightning If you're traveling in an electrical storm, stay in your car. Rubber tires offer excellent Be alert for the classic danger signs. Tingling skin or hair standing on end indicate an shock and-or and-or and-or burns, they do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. 11 -D -D 9 a a. a. a o

Clipped from The Burlington Free Press03 Jul 1974, WedMain EditionPage 11

The Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont)03 Jul 1974, WedMain EditionPage 11
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  • STAnley Hoffman

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