USDA grants to support telemedicine in rural areas

From Healthcare IT News:

Thirty-four states will receive more than $30 million in funding from the Department of Agriculture to improve access to healthcare and educational services in rural areas.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding from USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Program on Dec. 8.

Man facing robbery charge after incident at ER

From The Salem News:

Shortly after 8 p.m., a technician who was sitting behind a counter in the ER realized that Burroughs had come behind that counter and slipped up behind her, reaching for her cellphone.

When the 23-year-old woman tried to grab her phone, Burroughs began struggling with her, grabbing her wrist, Prosniewski told Salem District Court Judge Michael Lauranzano.

The woman screamed, and as two security guards who had been just down the hall came running, Burroughs tried to escape by climbing over the counter.

Gundersen Lutheran Launches ‘Telemedicine’ in ER

From WXOW:

A new piece of technology has launched at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital, which is expected to lead to better emergency care at a hospital 60 miles away.

Teleconferencing, or face to face chatting via television or computer screens, is often used as a social medium.

But a spin off – dubbed “telemedicine” – is used in healthcare.

Doctors around the country use telemedicine to treat patients or confer with doctors at far away locations.

But Gundersen Lutheran has now become the first hospital in Wisconsin to implement a telemedicine system in its emergency room, which links Gundersen with its affiliate hospital in Hillsboro.

Usefulness of brief intervention for patients admitted to emergency services for acute alcohol intoxication

From the European Journal of Emergency Medicine:

Background: In hospital emergency services, the prevalence of alcohol-related admissions is about 20%, of which 80% display elevated [gamma]-glutamyl transpeptidase or carbohydrate deficient transferring (CDT). We investigated whether intensive case management (ICM) that included cognitive behavior-oriented brief intervention could decrease patient morbidity.

Methods: This study was a 13-month, prospective, exhaustive, longitudinal, controlled trial in an emergency department. Readmission rate of patients previously admitted to the emergency services for the same reason was chosen as an indicator of efficacy.

Results: A total of 203 patients were enrolled in the study: 106 in the intervention group, who received ICM, and 97 in the control group, who received standard care. In the control group, 59% of the patients were readmitted for the same reason in the 1-year follow-up against 32% in the intervention group. Thus, the 1-year readmission rate decreased by 45%.

Conclusion: ICM in an emergency ward can successfully treat patients with alcohol problems and reduce relapse rate. Alcohol intervention should be part of the standard care in alcohol-related emergency admissions. It treats the alcohol problem early, effectively, and at low cost, and can have a major impact on long-term patient health.

40 percent of emergency department visits in Indiana over a three-year period were by patients who visited more than one emergency department

From MedicalXpress:

The Regenstrief Institute study, “All Health Care Is Not Local: An Evaluation of the Distribution of Emergency Department Care Delivered in Indiana” reports that nearly all emergency departments in Indiana shared patients with nearly every other emergency department. The high degree of connectedness between emergency departments had not been previously recognized at this scale, according to the researchers.

Ask the Doctor: Why Are Waits in the Emergency Department So Long?

From MSN Health:

Answer: The reasons for emergency department waits are complicated; our entire health care system is implicated. It is impossible to explain every aspect here, but one place to begin thinking about the problem is to separate waiting to be evaluated from waiting to be admitted to the hospital, if an evaluation shows that to be necessary. The reasons for each differ, although there is some overlap.