Emergency Department Trends

From Health Leaders Media (tipped by Suzy Thorby, via LinkedIn. Thanks!)

Perhaps no part of the hospital is more problematic-and more critical to the success of the facility as a whole-than the emergency department. The ED is a unique culture within the larger framework of the hospital, and as the hospital’s “front door” to the public, its influence continues to grow; one study showed that in 2005, the ED represented the admission source for 45 percent of all inpatients. But even as the ED becomes ever more important, overcrowding and call coverage issues continue to plague hospital leaders.An American Hospital Association survey of hospital leaders showed that EDs at 65 percent of urban hospitals and 73 percent of teaching hospitals were either at or over capacity in 2007.

Maine hospital, ambulance service pay $1 million settlement

From Modern Healthcare:

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Maine says Northern Maine Medical Center, Fort Kent, and an area volunteer ambulance service have paid over $1 million as part of a settlement regarding claims that they overbilled Medicare and Medicaid, a problem that originated with an overworked and untrained billing clerk.

BSN Better?

From Modern Healthcare:

Citing recent research showing that patients have better survival rates in hospitals with more-educated nurses, a new study from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is recommending that all entry-level registered nurses be mandated to have baccalaureate degrees and to get master’s degrees within 10 years of licensure.

Several scholarly studies since 2003 have concluded that patients in hospitals with higher proportions of baccalaureate-trained nurses have lower mortality rates. A 2008 study by University of Pennsylvania researchers found that a 10% increase in nurses with bachelor’s degrees correlated with a 5% decrease in the risk of death and failure to rescue for surgical patients.

Patients Can Skip Sign-In Process At Local ER

From CBS2.com:

Providence Holy Cross Medical Center received a $500,000 grant from the wireless company Verizon Friday to set up a self-check-in kiosk in the hospital’s emergency room — and to keep others out of the ER.

Patients will receive instructions in English or Spanish, and Verizon says the system will reduce the wait times for treatment, increase the accuracy of medical records and alert the staff to the most urgent cases so they can be treated immediately.

Additionally, some money from the grant will be used to establish an outreach program to help uninsured patients find cost-effective primary health alternatives to treatment in the emergency room.