altWith or without fiberoptic assistance, nasal intubation remains a valuable technique in some emergency airway situations, despite its overall decline in use. It is best in patients who are not critically hypoxic and in whom there is obvious oral pathology making intubation and ventilation through the mouth problematic.

In this series, much space has been dedicated to explaining the changes coming to emergency medicine as hospitals try to qualify for federal stimulus dollars, by demonstrating meaningful use of electronic health records. But as these changes unfold, another tech revolution is taking place in health care – the way patients interact with each other, and with health organizations, using social media. 

“It’s like a drug. First, it makes you feel better even though your situation isn’t any different. Second, and worse, it’s addicting.” Chuck Shufflebarger, MD, said this to me about ambulance diversion last summer as I was preparing a talk about concepts in patient flow.

The emergency department is undoubtedly the area of the hospital that most frequently requires the services of interpreters. As of January 1, 2011, the Joint Commission requires the use of “qualified translators” in the emergency department 24/7.

altIn this installment of "Rick's Picks" Rick Bukata discusses a couple law suits resulting from excessive emergency department wait times. Should the Joint Commission step in? 

Are you writing or thinking about writing a book? Do you want to get published but have no idea how to go about it? As someone who got my first book published last year, I can tell you it is a confusing and sometimes arduous process, but one that can be navigated with a little direction. This article is going to focus on non-fiction writing. The rules are completely different if you are writing fiction.

When the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its 2011 Workplan – a formal announcement of the areas it plans to investigate – it boldly brought physicians under increased scrutiny for fraud, based solely on what may be an unintended consequence of the evolution of documentation technology.

altCould HHS’s new payment structure really save Medicare as much as $960 million over the next three years?

The management of patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeds (UGIB) presenting in extremis is enough to make any physician have melena. In an effort to preserve your own clothes, make your life easier by classifying the condition in terms of variceal versus nonvariceal.

Emergency physicians have historically been ambivalent about inappropriate ED utilization. We deplore it but are reluctant to address it because we believe that there may be no alternative for these patients, that excessive risk or the threat of an EMTALA violation are prohibitive, or that it may cost us practice revenue. But failing to address an issue of critical importance to our hospital customer is the first step on the path toward losing the contract.

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