Emergency, Primary Care Physicians Need More Teamwork

From Medscape:

Emergency department (ED) physicians and their primary care counterparts all too often work poorly together, and that spells trouble for patient care, say researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) in a new study.

The researchers write that better communication and coordination among PCPs and ED physicians are more important than ever since the nation’s new healthcare reform law will extend insurance coverage to more than 30 million additional Americans, who will be more likely to visit EDs as a result.

Explosive device found on man treated in hospital emergency room

From the Kansas City Star:

Staff at Liberty Hospital called authorities this week after finding an explosive device in clothing worn by a patient admitted to the emergency room.

Liberty police responded just after 11 a.m. Thursday to the hospital, where staff members had been assisting a 19-year-old Holt, Mo., man who had been involved in a rollover car accident near Kearney.

Staff members had found marijuana, assorted pills, drug paraphernalia and an apparent explosive device in the man’s clothing. They moved the items to the ambulance bay and called police.

Welcome to the Emergency Room. Papers Please.

From Time (Swampland blog)

Arizona, which passed a controversial immigration bill last year, is again debating measures to discourage undocumented immigrants from living in the state.

Another (bill) would take the immigration battle all the way into the emergency room. If passed, the measure would require hospital personnel to verify immigration status of each person before they are admitted. If a person could not prove he or she was in the country legally, the hospital would be required to report that to federal immigration officials. If the person needed emergency care, the hospital would still be required to provide it under the rules spelled out in the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which makes it illegal to deny care to anyone on the basis of his or her ability to pay.

According to the Arizona Republic, this last proposal has the state’s health care workforce worried. Doctors, nurses and hospital administrators could be on the hook legally if they did not check immigration status and report those who appeared to be undocumented. Some are also concerned that Medicaid funding – partially paid by the state – could be withheld from providers and facilities that don’t check immigration status and report offenders. This “compliance burden” could tax already swamped medical workers. There are also concerns about the threat to public health if illegal immigrants with communicable diseases stay away from emergency rooms for fear of being deported.

Many errors result of physicians not listening

From Modern Physician (free subscription required):

Great effort goes into stopping preventable errors such as wrong-site surgeries, but authors of a study on unwanted variation in elective procedures say that many more errors are taking place because physicians are not listening to their patients.

Patient fires starter pistol in Oklahoma ED

From NewsOK:

A patient fired a starter pistol loaded with blanks inside a Yukon hospital Wednesday night, hospital officials said.

The man, whose name was not released, had been detained by El Reno police on a trespassing complaint, but complained of chest pains and was taken to Integris Canadian Valley Hospital, Integris spokeswoman Brooke Cayot said.

The man was combative at the hospital and was put in a room by himself while security was notified. The starter pistol was fired once while the man was alone in the room, Cayot said.

Patient abandoned at the ED dies

From the Chicago Tribune:

Sheriff’s officials are investigating the death of a man dropped off at a hospital emergency room in Shawano, WI.

Authorities say the 21-year-old Town of Weston man was in “severe medical distress” when an individual left him at Shawano Medical Center’s ER Tuesday about 5 p.m., then left on foot.

“…you’re going on YouTube!”

From WhiteCoat’s blog on EPMonthly:

A patient’s mother completely freaked out on one of our nurses because her child wasn’t getting Demerol for her chronic back pain. So she holds her iPhone up to the nurse’s face and says …

“Smile, bitch, you’re going on YouTube!”