NY Times Take on Annals ED Utilization Study

From the New York Times:

It is often said that emergency rooms are crowded because of the disproportionate number of uninsured people using them. But data based on telephone surveys and in-person interviews, published on April 14 in The Annals of Emergency Medicine, tell a different story. The number of uninsured people nationwide rose to 15.7 percent in 2004 from 15.4 percent in 1995. Yet in that period, the proportion of uninsured people using emergency rooms declined.

Who Should Not Be Saved in a Pandemic?

From AOL.com

Doctors know some patients needing lifesaving care won’t get it in a flu pandemic or other disaster. The gut-wrenching dilemma will be deciding who to let die.

Now, an influential group of physicians has drafted a grimly specific list of recommendations for which patients wouldn’t be treated. They include the very elderly, seriously hurt trauma victims, severely burned patients and those with severe dementia.

More on “Never Events”

From the Wall Street Journal Health Blog:

Should “never events” really never happen? Eliminating some mishaps that should never happen is a laudable goal, but just isn’t possible 100% of the time, some inside the medical establishment say.

Nancy Foster, the American Hospital Association’s VP for quality and patient safety policy, took issue with whether there’s strong evidence that two items on the new list, delirium and disease associated with clostridium difficile infection, are preventable, according to American Medical News, published by the AMA. “There has to be good evidence that someone has been able to employ a strategy that has driven incidence to near zero,” she said. “Otherwise, it’s just a wish.”