August 6, 2016
By Arvind Cavale Patients, beware: The federal government is forcing your doctor to make a dangerous choice. We can either earn a living by harming our patients, or we can lose money by doing what's in their best interests. This is the sad result of several recent laws and regulations issued by the federal government, including the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the bipartisan 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which cemented many of Obamacare's mandates. The intended goal of these policies was to cut costs and improve quality, but instead they have forced doctors to become bean counters and risk managers rather than healers.
April 17, 2016 |
The number of potentially deadly infections from contaminated medical scopes is far higher than what federal officials previously estimated, a new congressional investigation shows. As many as 350 patients at 41 medical facilities in the U.S. and worldwide were infected or exposed to tainted gastrointestinal scopes from Jan. 1, 2010, to Oct. 31, 2015, according to the Food and Drug Administration. A separate Senate investigation released in January found 250 scope-related infections at 25 hospitals and clinics in the U.S. and Europe.
March 22, 2016
By Renee Amoore As state legislators battle over the budget, patients await a new way to battle their diseases. As a former nurse, I've treated patients who have exhausted almost every treatment option but are still searching for new means of relief. And medical advances have led to more innovative and life-changing medicines - specifically, biologics and their alternatives, biosimilars. Biologics are derived from living cells, making them difficult to replicate. Biosimilars are nearly identical options that are designed to be highly similar to their biologic counterparts.
March 20, 2016 |
Encouraging doctors and nurses to wash their hands frequently has always been considered an easy and effective way to curb the spread of infection in hospitals and other health facilities. But a new research letter published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine points to another key group of people who aren't always keeping their hands so clean and probably should: patients. Researchers focused on inner-city Detroit and examined patients who went from hospitals to post-acute care facilities - rehabilitation centers, skilled-nursing facilities, hospice and long-term care hospitals.
February 20, 2016 |
As superbug outbreaks raised alarm across the country last year, a prominent doctor at Fox Chase Cancer Center wrote in a leading medical journal about how to reduce the risk of these often-deadly patient infections. Jeffrey Tokar, director of gastrointestinal endoscopy, pointed to recent outbreaks from contaminated medical scopes, and discussed steps doctors and hospitals could take to ensure patient safety, in his Sept. 22 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine. "Health-care facilities and providers should strive to establish an environment of open information exchange with patients about what is being done to maximize their safety," Tokar and his two coauthors wrote.
February 19, 2016
By David A. Asch and Sanjay V. Desai Let's say your mother requires a colon resection due to a small cancer and has to be admitted to one of two hospitals in town. Both are well-respected teaching hospitals full of surgery residents - young doctors who have recently completed medical school and are training under the supervision of experienced surgeons. In both hospitals, the residents work no more than 80 hours a week. But in one, the residents sometimes work for 30-hour stretches, while in the other, they are not allowed to work more than 16 hours at a time.
January 10, 2016 |
As a longtime nurse, Mary Lou Manning has seen some horrific infectious diseases, from AIDS to anthrax to Ebola. But Manning, who has published more than 35 articles on infectious diseases, focuses more on how to prevent the spread of infection in the first place. Manning's work as an ambassador for global infection prevention has taken her to numerous countries. In 2007, she joined a post-tsunami recovery team in Indonesia. During the recent Ebola crisis, Manning was on the faculty of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety training program for health-care workers going to West Africa.
November 23, 2015 |
Excessive blood loss after childbirth is a leading cause of death for mothers if the bleeding is not caught in time. It's also a big cause of medical malpractice lawsuits. That's why a team of doctors, nurses, and others at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania worked through a simulation of postpartum hemorrhage on Tuesday with an actor posing as a live "patient. " "It mimicked the chaos" of real life, said Lauren Hughes, a nurse who participated in the training.
October 1, 2014 |
Two new studies add to a mountain of evidence that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has done a poor job of making sure medical devices are safe. The studies, in the current issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, are accompanied by commentaries that point out that the agency recognizes the need for change and is in the midst of improving the device approval system. But critics say the FDA has an inherent conflict because of its dual role of protecting public health and encouraging medical innovation.
September 28, 2014 |
A Delaware hospital system cut the use of heart-monitoring technology by 70 percent without compromising patient safety by changing the electronic ordering system to reflect cardiac-care guidelines. The study by the Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, safely reduced the daily number of patients monitored with cardiac telemetry from 357 to 109, a hefty saving of $13,200 a day. "It is remarkable to achieve such a substantial reduction in the use of this resource without significantly increased adverse outcomes," University of California-San Francisco physician Nader Najafi wrote in an accompanying commentary.