About James Allen, MD

I am a Professor of Internal Medicine at the Ohio State University and the Medical Director of Ohio State University Hospital East

Why The Medication List In Your Electronic Medical Record is Wrong

Why The Medication List In Your Electronic Medical Record is Wrong

The importance of an accurate medication list for every outpatient cannot be overstated. In theory, the electronic medical record should improve the accuracy of the medication list but in reality, medication lists are very often inaccurate. The act of verifying the medication list is called “medication reconciliation” which sounds so easy on the surface but […]

The 2017 Saline Bag Shortage

The 2017 Saline Bag Shortage

One of the casualties of Hurricane Maria was the Baxter Healthcare. Baxter makes supplies and fluids for intravenous therapy and also makes products for dialysis. One of Baxter’s manufacturing plants is in Puerto Rico. When the hurricane knocked out power to the island, the plant was not able to make products. The products that they […]

The Cocaine Mule

The Cocaine Mule

This morning, I was contacted by the emergency department. We had a patient who came in with severe agitated delirium to the point that no combination of sedative and anti-psychotic medications could control him and keep him from harming himself or ER staff members. Ultimately, he had to be intubated and placed on continuous IV sedatives. It reminded […]

Improving Doctor Communication

Improving Doctor Communication

The HCAHPS survey measures patient satisfaction with various aspect of their hospitalization. One of the sections of the survey is about doctor communication with the patient. Because a hospital’s HCAHPS results are publicly available, hospitals want to do everything they can to keep their scores up. As a hospital medical director, one of my jobs […]

Medications To Prevent COPD Readmissions

Medications To Prevent COPD Readmissions

The number of inhalers available by prescription in the United States grew enormously this year. If it is hard for me as a pulmonologist to keep up with all of them, then it has got to be nearly impossible for the hospitalist or primary care physician to keep up. But with all of the new […]

Prescribing Oxygen

Prescribing Oxygen

It is pretty common to have to start a patient on home oxygen after discharge from the hospital but ordering oxygen for home use is much different and much more complicated than ordering oxygen in the hospital. The good news is that our patients have more options than ever before but the bad news is […]

An Epidemic Of Endocarditis

An Epidemic Of Endocarditis

Last week, I was called about triaging a patient to the intensive care unit. A 38-year-old woman had come to a rural Ohio hospital emergency department with sepsis and chest x-ray changes that looked like septic emboli. She uses intravenous heroin. The opioid epidemic in the U.S. has primarily received a lot of press because […]