Better Bystander CPR Training Needed

From MedPage Today:

To improve responses to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, the advisory recommended:

  • Increased data collection and metrics that would continually improve the quality of information on which to base action.
  • Data analysis to identify why such wide disparities exist in bystander CPR and in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
  • Using geographic information systems and spatial epidemiology to target and better understand where out-of-hospital cardiac arrest outcomes are poor.
  • Identifying trends in neighborhoods and other geographic areas regarding out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and CPR.
  • Evaluating community-based programs that teach CPR, including the evaluation of dispatchers who answer 911 calls.
  • Using more brief and technologically current public safety messages — for example, employing social media and other Internet distribution of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and CPR information.

Lights on late at doctor’s office to reduce emergency-room visits

From the Columbus Dispatch:

“It’s a great alternative to the emergency room,” Mr. Williams said, minutes after a nurse practitioner had examined his daughter.

That’s the kind of case that Dr. Ralph Newman hopes to attract by keeping the office open late on weekdays. Starting last month, his practice, which focuses exclusively on walk-in patients, pushed back its closing time from 5:30 to 11 p.m.

Newman, who is 66 and has practiced medicine for 39 years, said his patients are among those who regularly clog emergency departments with less-severe ailments that should be treated by family-practice doctors. But those practices often aren’t open when families need them, he said. That lack of access comes at a cost to taxpayers, employers and patients when emergency departments are used instead.

Measures Such As Interstate Cooperation Would Improve The Efficacy Of Programs To Track Controlled Drug Prescriptions

From Health Affairs:

In response to increasing abuse of prescription drugs, forty-four states have implemented—and five more states will soon adopt—monitoring programs to track prescriptions of controlled medications. Although these programs were originally designed to help law enforcement officials and regulatory agencies spot possible illegal activity, health care providers have begun to use data from them to help improve patient safety and quality of care. For this article we reviewed government documents, expert white papers, articles from the peer-reviewed medical literature, and reports of the experiences of local health officials. We found some evidence that prescription drug monitoring programs are a benefit to both law enforcement and health care delivery. However, the programs have strengths and weaknesses, and their overall impact on drug abuse and illegal activity remains unclear. We believe that improving the efficacy of prescription drug monitoring programs will require such changes as more standardization and interstate cooperation, better training of providers, more secure funding, and further evaluation.

Return to School After Concussion

From MedPage Today:

Regulations have tightened on when students may resume playing sports following a concussion, but there has been far less attention given to an equally important concern — when they may fully return to school, a group of experts said here.

“Protocols are needed not just for return to play, which is mandated in many state laws, but also for return to school, which is not part our state law in Pennsylvania,” said Brenda Eagan Brown, MSEd, coordinator of a novel statewide school re-entry program for head-injured children.