About Lisa Suennen
Yes, it’s me
Most Popular Posts
- From Russia With Love
- The Secret to Lower Healthcare Costs: Dying Faster
- You Say You Want a Healthcare Revolution
- We Are the 51%!
- Singing a New Tune: Redefining Innovation in the Medical Device World
- Rap Genius: Healthcare to a Hip Hop Beat?
- When “Cloud-based” Means Technology, Not Heaven: Report from AARP Health Innovation@50+
- A Tale of Two Doctor Visits
- Your CEO May Be A Man, But Your Healthcare Customer is a Woman
- Healthcare IT BINGO!
- I’m On A Boat! The Rising Fleet of Incubators
- Employers and Health Innovation: Will They Go Long or Advance One Yard at a Time?
- Give ‘Em That Old Razzle Dazzle
- Never Let Anyone Make You a Carrot
- What’s Done Cannot Be Undone
- The Star Thrower, or How Healthcare Looks to Consumers
- Medical Technology and Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief
- There Is No “I” in Team, But There Is In “Win”
- A Soda A Day Keeps Your Lifespan Away
- Investor Comedy Relief: The Missed Investment Opportunity
- Psilos Releases Annual Healthcare Outlook Report: A Golden Age in Healthcare Investing
- Discounts on Two Upcoming Conferences for Venture Valkyrie Readers
- Digital Health: The Cat’s Meow
- School Daze
- Showcase Your Start-up at the AARP Health Innovation@50+ Event-Viva Las Vegas
- Biotech and Genetics
- Consumer Engagement
- Diagnostics and Screening
- Digital Health
- General Business Issues
- Girls Rule!
- Health and Wellness
- Healthcare Information Technology
- Healthcare Policy
- Healthcare private equity
- Healthcare Reform
- Healthcare Venture Capital
- Healthy Eating
- Medical Comedy Relief
- Medical Devices
- Medical Marketing and MediA
- Patient Safety
- Preventive Health
- Private Equity
- Random Thoughts of the Day
- Real Science
- Venture Capital
- Women in Venture Capital & Private Equity
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Category Archives: Patient Safety
One of my particular side interests is American Presidential history. I am fascinated by what makes these leaders tick and how their personal make-up drives their decision-making, and thus history. A good Presidential biography chock full of detailed psychological analysis and put into the context of the history of the times can be better than the best fiction.
I just finished reading a book called Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. What was particularly fascinating about it, aside from the manner in which Presidential elections were conducted in the 1800s and the partisan melodrama that would give today’s party leaders a run for their money, was the intersection of Garfield’s fate with the changing face of medicine at the time. This was particularly notable because the same medical mistakes that led to the death of President Garfield are very much in the news today.
President Garfield was elected in 1881; just 4 months later an assassin shot Garfield, who was on his way to catch a train. The assassin, who was clearly delusional and, were the citizenry … (read the rest)
A week or so ago my family went out for dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant. Upon entering, the first person we saw was an elegant looking woman, probably mid-40s, dressed in a classy but casual sleeveless blouse. She was at the table with what appeared to be her friends and her kids. And when she turned around, she had a full arm’s worth of tattoos, shoulder to wrist, Adam Levine style. It looked like she had accidentally put on the wrong arm, so out of place did it look with her otherwise elegant countenance. My daughter’s comment: “Wow, that looks ridiculous.”
I had to laugh because I am constantly cautioning her about the risks of getting tattoos after she is constantly telling me how cool tattoos look on younger inhabitants of the earth with whom she is acquainted. Tattoos used to be the bastion of Hell’s Angels and military men, but today it seems damn near every teenager has or is talking about sporting ink. It has gone from naughty and edgy to acceptable to not even noteworthy to a teenage rite of passage. A recent Harris Poll reported … (read the rest)
One of my favorite things to do is see the companies in which Psilos invests “in action” and actually interacting with their customers. This is particularly engaging when it comes to medical devices, since the patient and provider experience are so tangible and visible. Last week I had the chance to attend the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Annual Meeting (glad I did not attend on Menopause Day–yikes!). As I walked to my destination, I passed so many transvaginal ultrasound set-ups that I thought for a minute I was at the Republican Convention. But ASRM it was and I was there to visit with Psilos portfolio company OmniGuide, a medical device company based in Cambridge, MA, that was exhibiting its new gynecological laparoscopic and robotic products.
OmniGuide has for several years sold a set of unique CO2 laser surgical tools that have been used in more than 50,000 surgeries in the fields of otolaryngology, neurology and head and neck surgery. The company has recently added the gynecological field to its focus, as it’s products are uniquely able to remove tissue safely while surgeons work near fine structures within … (read the rest)
The combination of medical devices and healthcare information technology (HIT) is very much upon us. When most people think about this merger of technical fields, they are drawn to think of the way in which mobile phones are being used in medical applications, some very much in the manner of medical devices such as ultrasound imagers, cardiac and glucose monitors and even medical microscopes.
But even closer to home and at the center of the action, implantable medical devices, are now becoming more and more “wired.” We have entered an era where devices implanted into the body, once only mechanical in nature, feature software and silicon chips that provide means of sensing bodily changes in situ, self-regulating device activity, and reporting parameters to the outside world. Pacemakers, defibrillators, insulin pumps, nerve stimulation devices, and even coming breakthroughs in orthopedic and sight-based medical technologies will extend life and make us the cyborgs we once feared but learned to love as our bodies are rescued from the aging process by man’s power over machine.
And that should make us very afraid. Because where there is hardware and software there are problems. You … (read the rest)
Each year the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano on March 19 and the Summer Solstice occurs on June 21. July 1 is also a date to remember, as it should strike terror in hearts of those who find themselves in need of hospitalization. This is because July 1 is the traditional date on which new medical residents start their practice of medicine in earnest each year, taking care of patients in the hospital without their doctor training wheels. It is a well-documented phenomenon that, in contrast to all other months of the year, July is the month when medication errors, surgical mistakes and other patient safety problems spike. Note to self, if you get sick on July 1, try leeches first.
The New York Times wrote last week about a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, in which, ”…researchers at the UCSF School of Medicine looked at 39 published studies and concluded that while there is mixed evidence, “our analysis suggests that mortality increases during the changeover months,” says co-author John Young, associate program director of the residency training program in the school’s department of … (read the rest)
General Hospital is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera currently in production (according to Wikipedia). What a perfect metaphor this is for the real hospital industry, which is facing more drama than ever.
This week I visited two hospitals, one a very large and well-known academic medical center, the other a very small community hospital. Fortunately, neither visit was as a patient. In both cases I was there to talk about healthcare information technology and the hospitals’ respective strategies for innovation in that general area.
It is always really interesting to talk with hospitals about how they want to use technology to enhance their operations. There is an inherent tension between the desire to, on the one hand, do the right thing for patients by continuously improving quality of care and, on the other hand, to respond to the fiscal challenge that sometimes doing the “right thing” might just cost more or at least take a while to pay off. Often times the decision to provide better care can result in hospitals actually losing money, because it means that patients need … (read the rest)
Many people are talking about (or actively trying to ignore) the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent declaration that cell phones might actually cause cancer. WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer did a review of dozens of published studies on cell phones and cancer before classifying cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic.” “Possibly carcinogenic” is a specific category that WHO uses to characterize medical risk; other categories include “probably carcinogenic,” “carcinogenic, “ or “probably not carcinogenic”. Other things in the “possibly carcinogenic” category are night-shift work, engine exhaust and coffee. Guess we know what that means? I’ll die from coffee before the cell phone gets me.
Meanwhile, hospital leaders have for years taken extra precautions with cell phones, barring visitors and staff from carrying them into patient areas for fear that they might interfere with medical equipment and monitors. What they didn’t realize was that they had the right villain but the wrong crime, according to a study in the June issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. Turns out that the real risk that cell phones present at hospitals is that they are chock full of bacteria, some of … (read the rest)
Talking about health insurance is a good way to clear a room. It is a rare person who is excited to interact with their insurance company or who can understand the explanation of benefits they receive in the mail detailing all of the things that the insurance carrier has decided not to pay on their behalf. According to JD Power and Associates, only four out of ten people fully understand their health benefit plan. No doubt those four are also able to read the Dead Sea Scrolls in their original text.
JD Power also found that consumers rank health insurers at 710 on a 1000-point scale, a number heading downhill faster than Lindsey Vonn. In contrast, consumers rank homeowners insurance carriers at 750 on a 1000-point scale and auto insurers at 837. Nothing like being last place in the league: just ask the Minnesota Twins.
“So what am I supposed to do about it?” you might say. “My employer gives me whatever insurance they want to give me and I have little say in it.” We as consumers have become accustomed to paying (through paycheck deductions and lower wages) … (read the rest)
In the category of “duh, do they really need to spend money to study the obvious?” an April 2011 study in the Archives of Surgery reports that surgeons who are hung-over from excessive alcohol intake make a significantly higher number of medical errors as compared to those who do not drink to excess the night before. News flash: grass is green, the sky is blue, and people who can’t remember where they left their underwear last night but know it was somewhere after last call shouldn’t do surgery.
I hate to point out the part of this study that begs the politically incorrect question, but I got a little laugh out of the fact that it was led by Professors at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland and Queens University in Belfast, Ireland. I know it is totally inappropriate to say it, but I wonder if they remembered to control for the fact that study participants might be Irish and thus might skew the results? Okay, I know…it’s wrong. Sorry, just couldn’t help myself.
In any event, the researchers began by taking eight surgeons and sixteen medical students … (read the rest)
There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. ~Chinese Proverb
Nobody ever thinks their kids are ugly, but it is especially gratifying when you get independent verification that they are, well, awesome.
As a venture capitalist, my portfolio companies come to feel like my kids. I am invested in them, financially and emotionally. I care about what happens to them. They always need more money than I expected and sometimes don’t want to listen, even when I am right. When they make great strides forward, I feel proud. When they stumble, I feel protective and concerned. Occasionally they infuriate me, but I love them all the same. When people speak ill of my portfolio companies, I get protective. When people say they are awesome, I get that special little glow.
So today I am glowing because the Wall Street Journal published their list of the Top 50 Venture-backed Companies and lo and behold, number 18 is Patient Safe Solutions, Inc., one of my “kids” and a company that truly deserves the honor. The entire article and list of the Top 50 can be … (read the rest)