WhiteCoat

Healthcare Update Satellite — 05-07-2013

More HealthCare Updates from around the web are at my new digs at www.drwhitecoat.com.

Annals study shows clinical signs that necessitate admission in patients with ALTE (when newborns appear to stop breathing): “obvious need for hospitalization (they used persistent hypoxia as one example of this), significant medical history, and more than one ALTE in 24 hours.

Dual energy CT scan can diagnose knee ligament tears more effectively in the emergency department.
Is it necessary to definitively diagnose ligament tears in the emergency department, though?
And how long will it take until government officials blast doctors for ordering these tests?

You know all of those hospitals that advertise their emergency department wait times? Now those ads may end up biting hospitals in the rear. Nevada patient chooses hospital based upon advertised average wait time of 17 minutes, then waits five and a half hours before getting treatment. Newspapers publish statements suggesting that the signs may be “false advertising.”
Will consumer fraud cases against hospitals based on these advertisements be too far behind.

Florida House tries to improve medical malpractice environment by passing bill that would require experts to be in the same specialty as the physicians about whom they are testifying and that would allow ex parte communications between lawyers and a patient’s treating physician.
I still wouldn’t practice medicine in Florida.

Conditions at California’s Contra Costa Regional Medical Center are endangering patients according to the emergency department staff. Examining patients in the lobby and behind screens in the hallways are alleged as the emergency department is seeing twice as many patients as it was designed to accommodate.
So what do hospital administrators do in response? They hire a consultant to tell them the same things that the staff is already telling them.
What? Did you expect rational thinking?

Hospitals finding that they can cut costs by catering to emergency department “superusers”. For example, homeless patient Dennis Manners was treated in the emergency department 337 times in less than two years, amassing charges of more than $626,000. The hospital found him an apartment, assigned him a primary care doctor, and enrolled him in a drug treatment program.
I think that what the hospitals are doing is great, but why should this financial burden fall on the backs of private enterprises when government should be providing the services for its citizens?

Social media strikes again. Picture from Cumberland Infirmary in England shows that the hospital isn’t meeting the government targets for patient throughput.

4 Responses to “Healthcare Update Satellite — 05-07-2013”

  1. mickcgorman says:

    Re the story about waiting times at “Cumberland infirmary”
    I think we are now suffering the worldwide disease of going to the ER for minor complaints?
    A few years ago you could be sure that people only went when absolutely necessary, now people go if they have a splinter of wood in their finger! ER is full of drunks, who should be home with their Mamma,people with minor cuts and scrapes and over anxious parents taking kids for trivial every day conditions that could be fixed by Calpol.

    • The ED is effectively free for many people. They are following the clear incentive.

      The ED may not be free to people with assets and stable addresses, but that is their problem.

      Our US socialist government is proud that millions of people get free care at ED’s. Why look on the downside of unmanageable costs? Our government doesn’t.

      • Mick Gorman says:

        We have free and easy access to family doctors but still these people flood the er? I have epilepsy and have not once been to the er, despite many seizures. Some people think that because something is free, they have to use it! The service is actually “free at the point of use” we pay with our taxes, unfortunately, most of the users don’t pay tax!!

  2. SeaSpray says:

    I think it is ridiculous when hospital’s advertise that way, putting medical staff under pressure for PR purposes and it is ridiculous for patients to expect the same when it is an EMERGENCY department they have gone to where serious cases and/or high patient volume can/will cause longer wait times. Maybe with fast track, but even then patients can end up having more wrong then what they thought they went in for.

    Regarding your spam filter: Come on WC! Math is NOT my strong suit. ;)

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