Physician Practice Roundup—STD cases reach a record high; 6 steps to better doctor-patient interactions

A stethoscope on a computer keyboard
“STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number and outpacing our ability to respond,” says the CDC's Jonathan Mermin, M.D.

STDs reach record highs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its 2016 STD Surveillance Report that showed sexually transmitted diseases are at a record high, with staggering health consequences for millions of Americans. Rates of syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea all increased, with more than 2 million cases reported in the U.S. in 2016—the highest number ever.

“Increases in STDs are a clear warning of a growing threat,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, in an announcement. “STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number and outpacing our ability to respond.” CDC report  

6 factors that lead to better doctor-patient interactions

Most patients don’t demand perfection, but they do want a plan that connects them with their doctor, wrote David Loxterkamp, M.D., of the Seaport Family Practice in Belfast, Maine. He identified six habits that will lead to healthier, happier encounters with patients. They include active listening, a careful physical examination and looking at the patient rather than the computer, he said. Annals of Family Medicine article

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Using scribes makes Stanford doctors happier

Using medical scribes to take some of the burden off busy doctors can increase physician satisfaction, according to a small study. Scribes can help with charting, significantly improving physicians’ overall satisfaction. Researchers from Stanford University said they believed this was the first randomized control trial to measure the impact of using scribes, which has become increasingly popular as a way to take away some of the documentation burden from doctors. Annals of Family Medicine article

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