Video language-interpretation service

From the Stockton (CA) Record:

A first-of-its-kind video language-interpretation service in place at San Joaquin General Hospital since October is on the verge of being rolled out to two other public hospitals in Northern California.

The Health Care Interpreter Network’s ultimate goal is to establish a nationwide standard for providing cost-efficient, accurate and immediate translation between the patient and health-care provider – wherever they might be.

The difference between the new network launched at San Joaquin General and videoconferencing and telephone-based translation services in other hospitals is its regional scope, ease of use and the technology pulling it all together.

It also costs less than commercial services now available, according to project officials.

“It’s a pretty new type of solution,” said Cisco Systems’ Jacqueline Pigliucci, whose company’s unique software is at the heart of the network.

The call center at the county’s public hospital is connected to the participating hospitals by a secure high-speed data line dedicated to video and voice interpretation services.

Interpreters employed by San Joaquin General speak Spanish, Cambodian, Lao and Hmong. When a non-English-speaking patient comes into one of the hospital’s units, such as the emergency department or one of several medical clinics, the doctor, nurse or even the admitting clerk attending to that patient turns on the video unit and in 15 seconds connects with a live interpreter.

"Smoker torches emergency room"

From the Salt Lake City Tribune:

A patient who decided to light up ignited a fire at Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, burning himself and closing the emergency room on Saturday.

The fire occurred at about 5:45 p.m. in the hospital’s emergency room when an intoxicated patient receiving oxygen lit a cigarette, said Brian Dunn, the hospital’s chief executive officer. The patient caught fire, as did his oxygen tube and the wall to which it was connected.

Dunn said hospital staff extinguished the flames on the patient before firefighters arrived.

“I can’t praise enough the emergency room physicians and the emergency room staff that acted and put the fire out,” Dunn said.

Dennis McKone, a spokesman for the Salt Lake City Fire Department, said firefighters arrived to find some flames still on the wall where the oxygen was connected.

The patient had minor burns to his face and was transferred to University Hospital, Dunn said. A male acquaintance of the patient suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to another hospital.

"No Wait" ER’s

From the NY Times:

It had all the markings of a typical emergency department waiting room: magazines scattered on end tables; a wall-mounted television; more than two dozen institutional chairs lining the walls.

Only the people were missing. On a recent weekday afternoon, the waiting room at the Hudson Valley Hospital Center here was empty. The hospital has adopted a no-wait emergency room procedure. A recent $1 million renovation eliminated the registration desk. A greeter now sends patients to one of three triage rooms. Insurance information is taken at bedside. The department is split into two zones: fast track, for minor injuries and illnesses treatable by nurse practitioners, and critical care.

“Nobody wants to wait for anything anymore,” said Dr. Raymond Iannaccone, director of the emergency department. “We have to focus on clinical care, but no-wait is also good medical care.”