Home / Healthcare Updates / Healthcare Update — 07-08-2014

Healthcare Update — 07-08-2014

Here’s an easy way to get published … and try to dispel an “urban legend” at the same time. The “Q**** Study.” Researchers went to the emergency department with random envelopes containing the word “Quiet,” “Busy,” or no statement at all. One envelope was opened each shift and the staff repeatedly said the word and then posted the paper in the department for the remainder of the shift. At the end of the study, the researchers found no difference in the number of patient visits regardless of what word was said at the beginning of the shift.
I think the study was flawed. They didn’t measure patient acuity or stress levels during the study periods. Just because there are the same number of patients doesn’t mean that it isn’t less “quiet.” And you could probably cut the tension with a knife when people went around the department saying “quiet” at the beginning of the shift.

Ohio hospital planning to cease inpatient services at the end of the year and focus on outpatient procedures. EMS chief calls the closure a “game changer” for patients if they will have to be transported to hospitals that are farther away.

Interesting story on how the government is trying to sell Obamacare to the masses … including presidential cameos in return for advertising and attempting to get Obamacare placed into the scripts of TV shows and movies.
Hat tip to Instapundit

Cyberhacking of medical health records “only a matter of time” according to internet security experts. The full profile in your medical records can be worth up to $500 on the black market.

“Have you noticed the proliferation of attorney advertisements on television encouraging, advising, goading anyone — with a bruised pinky toe nail to mesothelioma — to sue someone?” Letter to the editor of Connecticut newspaper alleges “greedy human nature” is behind a majority of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Michigan Court rules that patient can’t sue doctor for telling her not to use birth control after patient tells doctor that her fallopian tubes were blocked. Patient argued that the advice was “grossly negligent” when she later had a child and sued for “wrongful conception.”
Why courts even allow a claim of wrongful conception is beyond me. If you’re that burdened by your child, then give him or her up for adoption.

Louisiana hospital sued for woman’s death from sepsis seven days after she had surgery from a cerebral aneurysm repair. Theory is that nausea then emesis of foul smelling fluids and blood six days later should have clued the medical providers into the diagnosis.

Unnecessary testing? Johns Hopkins study shows that by eliminating CPK testing in patients being ruled out for myocardial infarct, they were able to reduce the number of tests by 66% with a decrease in charges of more than $1.25 million over the first year. The number of acute coronary syndrome diagnoses rose by 0.3% during the first year.
I’m not paying $40 to purchase the article, but I would like to see how many times MIs were missed or had diagnosis delayed during this timeframe and would also like to see follow up on whether there were any lawsuits based on care during the study period. Saving $1.25 million only to pay out more than that in a couple of missed MI cases – especially if they occurred during a study to save money – may not be so cost effective.

US veteran collapses while eating in a VA Hospital cafeteria. Instead of wheeling the patient to the emergency department which was about a four minute walk, VA staff members called 911 and waited 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive and bring the patient to the emergency department. By that time, the patient was dead.
EMTALA violation? Doesn’t matter. Nothing is going to happen to the people who make the policies that kill our veterans.

Intuitively, the number seems high to me, but still significant. Twelve million visits to the emergency department every year for childhood injuries. Consider that if there are 150 million visits per year, then one in every 12.5 patients is a pediatric injury patient. Nevertheless, there are still some good pointers to avoid injuries, including supervising swimming at all times, wearing protective gear, and taking care when playing sports.

Give us free stuff. Now that people can use medical marijuana in California, Berkeley is requiring that medical marijuana dispensaries give indigent patients 2% of their total yearly sales. Just wondering if the City Council forces its members to give 2% of their income to the hospitals to provide care to indigent patients. Or requires pharmacies and grocery stores and gas stations and restaurants and department stores to give away 2% of their products.

Kansas’ Wesley Medical Center tells emergency physician group that has staffed emergency department for 50 years to either join EMCARE or leave. Interesting that according to the article, the group used EMCARE to help audit its books and improve financial efficiency shortly before EMCARE took over the contract.

One comment

  1. I’m throwing the BS Flag on The Q Study.
    No doctor or nurse in the ED would utter the Q-word.
    This is the 21st century.
    Video, or it never even happened.

    (And using it in a randomized sentence doesn’t count, as in “I’d like to have a quiet conversation with Joe” or “My BMW is sure a quiet ride”. It has to be used in context, i.e. “Boy, the Department is sure looking pretty quiet”. The ED Gods are not mocked by false tempting, as anyone – except for this lame alleged study’s authors – would know.
    This sort of nonsense is on the level of stoning someone for saying “That pot roast was good enough for Jehovah” a la Monty Python.)

    As for Berkeley pot peddlers, boo frickin’ hoo.
    Voting for legalized pseudo-“medical” marijuana: free.
    Getting a Berkeley business license: $102.
    Having your own hippie-dippie socialism rammed right up your anus: Priceless.

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