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Sensing Savvy

Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP

Thomas has been a physician for more than 25 years. He is board certified in family medicine, completing his family medicine residency and earning the honorary degree of fellow, granted by the American Board of Family Medicine (AAFP). Thomas has been a teacher and mentor of medical students and residents for more than a quarter century and served as an assistant family medicine residency director for more than a decade.

Recent Posts

Which Surgical Risk Score is Best?

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 11, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Doctors from Inova Heart & Vascular Institute, Falls Church, Virginia, recently published their findings after comparing the precision of three risk scores used to measure the quality of cardiac surgical care. They compared the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) surgical risk score, primarily used in the United States, with the European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation (EuroSCORE II, EuroSCORE I).
The original EuroSCORE I was developed between 1995 and 1999 from data of 19,000 cardiac surgery patients, most of whom had undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. About a third underwent valve surgery. The EuroScore I was updated in 2012 to be more user-friendly and applicable to a greater number of procedures.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, CABG Surgery, cardiothoracic surgery

Tips Hospital Leaders Can Use to Prepare for Disaster

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 9, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Turn on the TV or open your internet browser and you’ll likely be confronted with a story or two about a local or national disaster. And while your hospital has likely prepared for disaster, it’s difficult to gauge how your staff will respond until it faces an adverse event.

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Topics: Hospital Administration

The State of Doctor-Patient Relationships & How to Improve Them

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 5, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Think back to the last time you visited your physician. How much time did you actually spend speaking with your doctor? For a portion of the appointment, your doctor was likely reading through a file or typing information into an EHR. Researchers at the Annals of Internal Medicine wanted to see how physicians were interacting with patients. They found that doctors spent slightly over half the time in the exam room providing direct clinical facetime. The rest of the time was spent updating EHRs or reading files. They also found that during a typical workday, physicians only spent 27 percent of the day face to face with patients. The rest — you guessed it — was spent on administrative tasks.

It’s no wonder then that patients and doctors can feel frustrated by the state of their doctor-patient relationships.

Here are a few things you can do to strengthen your relationships with your patients.

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4 Ways Physicians Can Reduce Task Time on EHRs

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Dec 16, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Technology can have many benefits. It can shorten the time spent on tasks, make finding information easier and make communication easier.

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Cardiothoracic Surgeons Love Their Jobs: Here’s What They Had to Say

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Dec 12, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Think back to an unforgettable experience in your life. Maybe it was that time you ate one of the most delicious dinners you’ve ever had. Maybe it was a concert where the arena was full of energy and excitement. Maybe it was simply a perfect cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop that brightened your day.

What made that experience so special? Whether it was the chef who prepared your meal, the band members who put on a show or the barista who made your drink, every one of these people loved their jobs — and it showed.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic

Beating Surgeon Burnout: Advice From Your Peers

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Oct 10, 2016 6:30:00 AM

“Doctors and other health workers pay dearly for the relentless stress of patient care, a plight compounded by mounting bureaucracy and accelerating change in the healthcare industry,” Dr. Mark Greenawald concluded after tragically losing one of his ob-gyn patients during childbirth, and being unable to successfully process the grief from the experience.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, CABG Surgery

What Physicians and Hospital Administrators Should Know About MACRA

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Oct 3, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Healthcare payment reform is coming. As healthcare delivery is shifting from a fee-for-service model to a value-based model, Medicare is changing the way it will reimburse physicians.

The result is the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and it’s slated to go into effect on January 1, 2017.

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Topics: Hospital Administration

How Do You Rate the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? These Docs Gave it an F

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Sep 26, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Since its inception six years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received lots of feedback. Regardless of political opinions, physicians have voiced their thoughts on the law, praising it for improving access to healthcare but saying it has negatively affected their practices.

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Topics: Hospital Administration, Clinical Trends

CMS Star Ratings: 3 Things to Know

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Sep 21, 2016 6:30:00 AM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings and with it came a slew of questions and comments.

CMS says its ratings system is designed to help individuals, their family members and caregivers compare hospitals “in an easily understandable way.”

Here are three things you should know about the latest CMS Star Ratings.

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Topics: Hospital Administration

How Medicare’s Outpatient Prospective Payment System Rule Could Affect Hospitals

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Aug 17, 2016 6:30:00 AM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) recently released its 2017 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Rule (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Proposed Rule.

Beginning in FY 2017, the proposed rule will result in a 1.6 percent increase — of approximately $5.1 billion compared to FY 2016 — in payment for hospitals paid under OPPS.

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Topics: Hospital Administration

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