Does Your Surgeon Tweet?

In the short amount of time that our blog, Senior Help Forum, has been live (a little over a year and a half), I have seen incredible advancements in the tools that the healthcare industry is developing and offering to the general public. They are even embracing social media and mobile technology.

In January of 2009, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan became the first hospital to tweet a live surgery (@HenryFordNews).

The lead surgeon, Dr. Craig Rogers, and his chief resident, Dr. Raj Laungani tweeted  updates throughout the surgery (CNN.com, February 17, 2009).  According to CNN.com, “at the end, Rogers had the last tweet. ‘The robotic partial nephrectomy was a success. ‘Thank you for joining us today.’” The entire Twitter stream was then uploaded to YouTube.  (By the time I wrote this post, it was no longer available on YouTube.)

Throughout 2009, several other hospitals around the country embraced Twitter and began tweeting, as well.  On November 23, 2009, I followed a Hip resurfacing surgery on The Detroit Medical Center’s Twitter and Facebook feeds. It was fascinating!

I am now a regular follower on Twitter of the DMC and follow their Twitter surgeries.  The DMC can be followed on Twitter at @DMC_Heals.

We would love to hear your thoughts on Tweeting in the operating room……

Handicapped Parking Plates Tags by State (updated)

Caregivers often provide transportation to doctor’s offices, grocery stores, pharmacies and the like. When a parent has difficulty walking even short distances, a driver without a handicapped card, or tag, is often faced with dropping them off at the curb, parking the car and then running into the building in order to catch up. For these situations, handicapped parking privileges can be often granted to caregivers when transporting eligible persons.

Every state offers either disabled parking cards, or plates, or both. While the requirements vary by state, they are very similar. While not in every case, it often requires a doctor’s letter.

To give you an idea of what they typically require, we’re posting Wisconsin’s basic requirements below:

  • Cannot walk 200 feet or more without stopping to rest;
  • Cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, another person or brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assistance device;
  • Is restricted by lung disease to the extent that forced expiratory volume for 1 second when measured by spirometry is less than one liter or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest;
  • Uses portable oxygen;
  • Has a cardiac condition to the extent that functional limitations are classified in severity as class III or IV, according to standards accepted by the American Heart Association;
  • Is severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition;

We’ve included links to each state so you can check the specific requirements. The links either take you to an application form, which typically include the requirements, or to their department of transportation page which discusses the application requirements. Links to Acrobat documents are noted with ‘PDF’: