In many midstate hospitals, ER docs aren’t hospital staff

From WITF:

A simple question can sometimes get a not so simple answer.

“Are you a Hanover hospital employee?”

“Yes and no,” answers Michael Denny, Medical Director for the Emergency Department at Hanover Hospital in York County. “[I] do all the quality assurances for the department. So I review charts, respond to concerns in the department, staffing issues, also any type of patient complaints.”

Denny’s responsibilities are right in line with what you would expect for a medical director.

But his check is not coming from Hanover Hospital. Instead, a company called Team Health pays his salary, his malpractice insurance, and for his continuing education.

The nurses who tend to patients? Hanover Hospital employees.

The physicians though?

That’s an independent contractor with Team Health.

UPMC Now Offering Online Doctor Visits

From CBS Pittsburgh:

Fifteen months ago, UPMC launched, a website that you can use for an electronic visit. So far, 4,000 visits, most commonly respiratory complaints, like bronchitis, sinusitis, and colds.

For adults, conditions like back pain, birth control, colds and flu, diarrhea, and shingles. For kids three years and older, cough cold and pink eye.

You fill out a questionnaire and a doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner will send back a diagnosis and care plan, usually within 30 minutes. But you have to be in Pennsylvania.

ACEP: “Go To Bed! Doctor’s Orders”

Press Release from the American College of Emergency Physicians:

Your lack of sleep not only is affecting your health, but also the health and safety of those around you.  Daylight savings time doesn’t make it easier, so the nation’s emergency physicians are warning about the dangers of sleep deprivation.

“Sleep deprivation has been linked to chronic diseases, such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes,” said Dr. Michael Gerardi, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.  “You may think it’s minor now, but you could be doing serious damage to your body by not resting it properly.”

About 70 million people in the United States suffer from chronic sleep problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Here are some statistics about how much sleep we need versus how much sleep we get.

  • School-age children need at least 10 hours of sleep daily, according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • Teenagers should be getting about 9-10 hours each night.
  • On average, only 30 percent of high school students get at least 8 hours on an average school night.
  • Adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Nearly 30 percent of adults get an average only 6 hours of sleep per day.

Sleep deprivation can be potentially dangerous for other people, especially if you’re driving a vehicle.  The National Sleep Foundation reports that about 60 percent of adult drivers say that they’ve driven at some point in the past year while feeling drowsy — some have even nodded off while driving the car.  Approximately 11 million drivers have almost had or did have an accident because they either fell asleep at the wheel or were too tired to drive.  Oftentimes emergency physicians treat many of these accident victims who were lucky enough to survive.

Additionally, if you share a home or a bedroom with a partner, your lack of sleep could also be affecting his or her sleep pattern.

Sleep hygiene is just as important as getting daily exercise or eating a proper diet.  Experts advise people to set a routine and live by it.

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and wake at the same time each morning.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  • Avoid large meals before bed.
  • Avoid nicotine.

Make sure your bed is comfortable.  If you are waking regularly during the night, you might need to have a sleep study done or you may need to do something to make yourself more comfortable in bed.

ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

ED Docs Well Placed to Give Positive Info About Vaccination

From Medscape:

Because so many children are seen in the emergency department, emergency physicians are in a good position to screen for vaccinations and help parents understand information about vaccines, said Zachary Repanshek, MD, speaking at the American Academy of Emergency Medicine 21st Annual Scientific Assembly in Austin, Texas.

“We’re not primary care doctors or pediatricians, but when we find a child who has not been vaccinated, we should ask why,” Dr Repanshek, from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, told Medscape Medical News.