Wireless ECG Telemetry Delays Problematic

From MedPage Today:

Wireless ECG monitoring systems may have clinically significant delays between when a patient’s heart rhythm is measured and when it shows up on a bedside monitor, according to a science advisory from the American Heart Association.

In cases when instantaneous assessment is needed for clinical decision-making, healthcare professionals should use hard-wired telemetry systems, stated a writing group chaired by Mintu Turakhia, MD, of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California.

Kinect Can Help Doctors Monitor Your Physical Rehab From Home

From Gizmodo:

Bright minds at the West Health Institute in San Diego have developed a technology that allows patients in need of physical therapy to perform necessary exercises away from their doctors expert guidance through use of a Microsoft Kinect. The technology, called the Reflexion Rehabilitation Measurement Tool (RMT), utilizes a Windows 7 personal computer and the Microsoft Kinect for Windows motion camera device to keep patients actively and consistently engaged in physical therapy throughout their daily lives.

“Emergency Rooms Are on Life Support”

From the Huffington Post:

Emergency departments are the frontlines of our health care system, ready to provide care for you, no matter who you are. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) of 1986 was intended to prevent hospital from turning away uninsured patients and to guarantee that all patients in the U.S. could receive emergency treatment. As an unintended consequence,55% of emergency care now goes uncompensated, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In addition, the average emergency physician provides nearly $150,000 a year in uncompensated care due to the mandates of EMTALA. And, since no other medical specialty is under this mandate, other physicians can send uninsured patients to the emergency department for medical treatment that they do not want to provide.

Yet emergency medicine researchers receive less than 1% of National Institutes for Health (NIH) funding — the largest source of federal funding for research in the US.


Georgia Group Proposes No-Fault Patient Compensation Malpractice System

From the Augusta Chronicle:

An effort to lower medical costs that would change the way patients are compensated in malpractice cases is gaining traction among Georgia conservatives.

The state’s doctors ring up $15 billion annually in avoidable costs, mostly in efforts to create evidence in case they are sued. Just in the state’s Medicaid program, that amounts to $4 billion of expenses passed along to taxpayers every year, according to BioScience Valuation in a study sponsored by the Atlanta-based advocacy group Patients for Fair Compensation.

“This is massive savings, something to be taken very seriously,” said Charles R. Evans, the vice chairman of Patients. “Certainly it should draw the attention of every state lawmaker grappling with fiscal uncertainty.”

The latest proposal calls for establishment of a no-fault patient compensation system similar to state workers’ compensation plans.

Severed Human Finger Found Inside Fish Traced Back to Its Original Owner

From Neatorama:

The sheriff’s office offered to return the finger, but Galassi declined.

“I’m like, ‘uhhh, I’m good,'” he said.

How to Get Reliable Medical Information on the Internet Without Turning Into a Hypochondriac

From Lifehacker:

Getting sick seems a lot more stressful now that we have the internet. You can research your symptoms, but inevitably you’ll fall down a rabbit hole of illnesses that are so unlikely, every search will turn up a life-threatening disease. It is possible to get reliable, useful information, vet it properly, and even get an expert opinion, all online. Here’s how.

Rural areas still not wired for digital health care

From Hospitals and Health Networks:

… many rural hospitals are still stuck with slow Internet service — even dial-up. In the FCC’s 2010 National Broadband Plan for improving broadband access, the commission estimated that 26 percent of the nation’s roughly 1,300 critical access hospitals lack adequate high-speed Internet connectivity.

A dearth of broadband is just one hurdle small rural hospitals face in implementing an electronic health record and meeting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ meaningful use regulations, especially as the emphasis shifts toward health information exchange.

“We know some hospitals are lagging on EHR,” says Aaron Fischbach, public health analyst at the Office of Rural Health Policy, part of the Health Resources and Services Administration. “Broadband is one of the issues.”