Ohio bill spurs debate between ER doctors and their patients

From Fox 19:

An Ohio Senate bill that’s currently sitting in committee is stirring up a heated debate between ER doctors and the attorneys who represent their patients.

If passed, Ohio Senate bill 129 would protect doctors, doctors’ assistants, dentists, optometrists and nurses from lawsuits from mistakes, as long as those people are providing emergency care in compliance with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, or acting as a result of a disaster, and are not engaged in willful misconduct.

Identifying factors inhibiting or enhancing family presence during resuscitation in the emergency department

From Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal (via Pub Med):

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore inhibitors and enhancing factors surrounding the practice of allowing family presence in the emergency room. Staff and physician interviews were transcribed and decoded for themes. A visual model was built to depict the results. Inhibitors and enhancing factors included the following drivers: staff emotions, personalizing the patient, seeing/hearing everything, closure, emotional support of the family, and “if it were me.” The following staff needs were also identified as important issues that needed to be addressed before practice could change further: staff education, optimize environment for privacy, and implementation of a family liaison. The use of qualitative research methods was effective in identifying organizational barriers to transition of evidence into practice.

Factors associated with failure to follow-up at a medical clinic after an ED visit

From the American Journal of Emerency Medicine (via Pub Med):

BACKGROUND: Although emergency department (ED) discharge is often based on the presumption of continued care, the reported compliance rate with follow-up appointments is low.

STUDY OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study are to identify factors associated with missed follow-up appointments from the ED and to assess the ability of clinicians to predict which patients will follow-up.

METHODS: Patients without insurance or an outpatient primary care provider (PCP) were given a follow-up clinic appointment before discharge. Information identifying potential follow-up barriers was collected, and the physician’s perception of the likelihood of follow-up was recorded. Patients who missed their appointment were contacted via telephone and were offered a questionnaire and a rescheduled clinic appointment.

RESULTS: A total of 125 patients with no PCP were enrolled. Sixty (48%; 95% confidence interval, 39-57) kept their scheduled appointment. Sex, distance from clinic, availability of transportation, or time since last nonemergent physician visit was associated with attendance to the follow-up visit. Clinicians were unable to predict which patients would follow-up. Contact by telephone was made in 48 (74%) of patients who failed to follow-up. Of the 14 patients willing to reschedule, none returned for follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Among ED patients who lack a PCP and are given a clinic appointment from the ED, less than half keep the appointment. Moreover, clinicians are unable to predict which patients will follow up. This study highlights the difficulty in maintaining continuity of care in populations who are self-pay or have Medicaid and lack regular providers. This may have implications on discharge planning from the ED.

Recycled Medical Records Used As Scrap Paper At School

From CBS Minnesota:

Detailed medical information discovered on the back of a first-grader’s school drawing sent Minneapolis school officials scrambling.

Jennifer Kane was tidying her dining room when she found the drawing by her daughter, Keely, who goes to Hale Elementary School. On the back of the paper was the name, birth date and detailed medical information for a 24-year-old St. Paul woman named Paula White.

“The more I read it, the more alarmed I became about the amount of information I had about this person,” said Kane.

WCCO-TV located White, who was shown the record.

“It’s got my account number, my birth date, my job,” said White. “I’m outraged. I am embarrassed. I don’t want anyone to know my personal information.”