Moving to a New Department!

16 10 2009

The pathology department at Albany Medical Center is moving!  Our current building is being demolished and replaced by a new, second, huge OR suite on track for a 2011 opening.  Our new accommodations will now be in the hospital proper (very exciting).

We are moving Tuesday, but the bones are all in place, and the new dept. looks beautiful.  We will have two full sign out rooms accommodating 4 multi-headed scopes.  A single central residents room with 16 cubbies and a separate attached office for the chief residents.  Each of the cubbies has its own ethernet jack, and there is a common area for department computers, printers, and image capturing scopes.  The new conference room is greatly opened and expanded and will contain a new projection system with a smart board and all modular furniture.  We are giving up some window real estate, but ultimately we are closer to the morgue, the OR, the cafeteria and the parking garage; so, overall, I think this is definitely an upgrade for us.

How does it stack up to yours?

Check out me Qik’ed video walk-through below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The New AMC Path Dept.“, posted with vodpod

New York: Get a flu shot, or get fired.

15 10 2009

I’m not sure if this kind of mandate has been rolled out across the country, but here in New York, we were told, up front, that the entire hospital staff was required to get a flu shot this year (and the swine flu shot as well when it comes out) OR face termination.  Fired over a flu shot?  I thought Cleveland Clinic’s anti-smoking policy was pushing it…

There have already been talks of protests and law suits here in Albany.  Personally, I’m indifferent, but I guess I can see their point- being forced into doing something they otherwise would not have done, but is it worth a law suit?  Probably not.

I’ve heard a few different explanations for dissent.  Perhaps the most interesting reasoning I’ve heard is this- because the flu shot is offered for free or reduced cost by the drug companies, the companies are protected from litigation if a patient is injured as a direct result of the vaccination.  Another question to be asked would be, “Does the punishment fit the crime?”  Is termination the proper penalty for not receiving a shot?  They require house staff to be up to date on their vaccinations, after all.  So is that any different?  I suppose.  Can you fire an employee for poor hygiene?  Either of my examples could perceivably place patients at risk, but it’s not clear to me that either of these would be enforced.  Finally, do ALL employees really need the shot, even those with no patient contact?  As a pathologist, I did ask myself that question.  Sure we have some patient contact, and we surely have contact with other employees that do have contact with patients, so I suppose the idea is to cover all your bases and just vaccinate everyone.

In the end, it seems clear to me that the New York State government has gotten swept up in the media craze surrounding the H1N1 virus, which, as a concept is sad, but in practice is probably better for everyone in the long run.  I do wonder, however, if we will be required to get our flu shots next year too… 😉

Albany Medical Center’s CEO Defends the Public Option

7 10 2009


Below is a link to the mp3 of an interview with Albany Medical Center’s CEO Jim Barba in which he defends Obama’s Public Option proposal.  The interview originally aired on Siena College’s WVCR Radio Station.

I thought it was a very interesting perspective, and is yet another health professional coming out in support of the public option.  Interesting!

He goes on to talk about the viability of a single-payer system as well (waters far too murky for me).

I guess when I’ve thought about health care reform, I had never really imagined that the CEO of a hospital would support a single-payer system…  A public option? Sure, but not single payer.  He does make an interesting argument, however.

Definitely worth a listen!

AMC CEO Supports Public Option

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