ER Personnel Must Work With Police While Maintaining Patient Confidentiality

From Medical Research:

Issues of patient confidentiality with police presence in the emergency department represent a challenging aspect of emergency medical practice. In cases where patients are unable or unwilling to provide consent to release of information to police, only limited patient information can be disclosed to police in the absence of a search warrant, court order, or subpoena.  That information is limited to the patient’s name, next of kin, and medical status described as stable, fair, or critical. Seven provinces mandate reporting of gunshot wounds to police and four provinces require mandatory reporting of stab wounds that are not self-inflicted.  Physicians should be aware of the specific legislations that apply to them.

Doctors say federally mandated survey leads to unnecessary pain pill prescriptions

From WATE:

A patient satisfaction survey at hospitals, required by the federal government, is putting pressure on some medical professionals to prescribe prescription pills when they aren’t necessarily needed. The survey is mandated by the US Department of Health and Human Services through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services.

Public officials and medical professionals say the results of the survey are linked to federal reimbursement money hospitals receive for Medicare and Medicaid services, so a low score means less money and it is putting pressure on pain treatment which is difficult for doctors when patients want pills.

Emergency Physician charged with providing painkiller prescriptions in return for sexual favors and money

From Ohio:

An Akron emergency room doctor has been named in a federal indictment accusing him of writing dozens of painkiller prescriptions “in return for sexual favors and money,” according to court records.

Ingram was accused of writing 46 prescriptions, totaling approximately 1,087 tablets of the powerful painkiller oxycodone, for 11 different patients. He wrote six prescriptions for morphine products, totaling 672 tablets, for one person alone, the indictment says.

Pediatric telemedicine program with rural EDs nets savings

From Fierce Health IT:

A pediatric telemedicine program can improve quality, safety and patient satisfaction while also saving money, according to new research from the University of California Davis Children’s Hospital.

James Marcin, UC Davis interim head of pediatric critical care medicine, previously headed published research showing “significant” improvements in care quality through telemedicine for children treated at rural emergency rooms. That study, however, didn’t address the costs of providing those services, according to an announcement.

ICD-10 Diagnoses Codes Seen Wreaking Havoc with Hospitals, EDs

From Health Data Management:

The October 1 deadline to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 poses special challenges for emergency departments in terms of how medical diagnoses are coded. According to new research, about a quarter of all ER clinical encounters could experience difficulties after the code switchover this fall.

Aortic Dissection in the ED: A Review of ACEP’s New Guidelines

From EP Monthly:

In early 2015, ACEP released its clinical policy on the evaluation and management of adults with ‘suspected’ non-traumatic AAD [3]. The key word here is of course ‘suspected’—and that word is exactly our diagnostic dilemma: in those patients with acute chest (or abdominal or back) pain, when should we suspect AAD as the cause? By highlighting key elements of the ACEP guidelines, we will focus on the inherent strengths and limitations of current clinical information. Click here to read the guidelines.

JAMA Creates “Med Men” Microsite


Link to Site

From Modern Healthcare:  The site offers links to seven JAMA studies from the era that match the bad habits and unhealthy behavior the characters so entertainingly indulged in.

Schools require EpiPens, but doctors balk

From EdSource:

Six months after the Jan. 1 law required schools to stock these pre-loaded syringes – known as epinephrine automatic injectors and considered the first line of treatment for potentially life-threatening allergic reactions – many districts have been unable to obtain what Murietta Unified has: a doctor’s prescription for the devices.

Up and down the state, doctors have declined to write prescriptions for epinephrine auto-injectors for districts, citing liability concerns and derailing the promise of the law. A February survey of 408 school nurses by the California School Nurses Organization found that 57 percent had been unable to obtain epinephrine auto-injectors for their district, calling the inability to find a doctor to write a prescription a major obstacle.

Illinois House approves heroin treatment measure

From the Tribune:

The Illinois House on Wednesday overwhelming pushed through a sweeping measure aimed at curbing heroin use and preventing overdose deaths by expanding specialized drug courts that focus on treatment.

The measure also would require police departments and fire houses to stock opioid antidotes that could be used to counteract heroin overdoses. In addition, the state’s Medicaid health care program for the poor would have to cover the cost of drug treatment programs.

Simple Changes for Emergency Department Success

From HealthLeaders Media:

The effective and efficient triage of patients is key to the flow of an emergency department. Not only for practical reasons but also because a new survey measuring patient satisfaction in the ED is on the horizon. ED-CAHPS—similar to HCAHPS, the survey that allows patients post-discharge to rate hospitals on communication, noise level, and other factors—is in development now.