Wellness Report: Faster, Better Patient Care
A new biopsy table at Virginia Mason's Breast Clinic is getting great results, but it's the clinic's new spa-like look and ever-evolving "team medicine" approach that's a big hit with patients.
"From the schedulers to the medical assistants to the care provider," says Searles, "they get together and work on it and figure out how it's working right now and what's not working about it and what they want to do to improve it."
"Symptoms like itching, burning, pain, throbbing," begins Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Gautam Velamoor.
"He's talking about painful varicose vein disease. He says the number of people being diagnosed is way up this year. But doctors at Virginia Mason are now using a low-risk procedure that threads a small catheter up the bad vein and uses heat or radio frequencies to close it.
"The recovery is almost immediate. After the procedure people are getting up and walking and getting out of the hospital and back to their regular activities within a day or so," says Dr. Velamoor. "It's easy to perform and patients are really, really happy with it."
"It started to look like it was swollen and pain would shoot up from here up through two fingers right here," says Kira Spears, pointing to the middle and side of her palm. She's spent months trying to ease the pain in her hands.
A simple stress test at Virginia Mason can now quickly determine if it's carpal tunnel. Spears says she saw a specialist, got the test, her results and treatment all in less than a day.
"She can come up here quickly get the test," says Neurologist Dr. Michael Elliot, "and go right back down to the hand surgeon and we can get people answers quickly with one visit as opposed to coming back to the doctor which is kind of the old way of doing things."
Virginia Mason: Health Risk Assessment Test
eHealth.com: Carpal Tunnel Tests & Information
WrongDiagnosis.com: Tests for Varicose Veins
National Cancer Institute: Breast Cancer Screening & Testing