Better funding means trauma center shortage may become a glut

From Modern Healthcare:

Some say the growth in trauma centers reflects an increase in trauma cases and local population booms. But the financial incentives for trauma-center expansion have clearly been a factor, as a greater share of trauma-care patients are now covered by public and private insurance. If the expansions lead to overcapacity, it could be detrimental for patient care and the bottom lines of those hospitals.

Doctors’ use of computers during appointments leaves patients less satisfied

From Reuters:

Doctors who entered data into computerized health records during patients’ appointments did less positive communicating, and patients rated their care excellent less often, in a recent study.

“Many clinicians worry that electronic health records keep them from connecting with their patients,” said Dr. Neda Ratanawongsa of the University of California, San Francisco, who co-authored the research letter.

“So it’s not surprising that we found differences in the way clinicians and patients talk to each other,” she said.

But doctors who used the computer more also spent more time correcting or disagreeing with patients, she told Reuters Health by email.

Spectrum Health offers doctors appointments through phone, tablet


Spectrum Health is offering its MedNow service statewide.

The telehealth program allows patients to schedule an appointment online, by calling 1.844.322.7374 or through the Spectrum Health MyHealth app and see a provider through their phone or tablet.

Patients must have a secure Wi-Fi connection to use the service.

Once patients sign up for Spectrum Health MedNow they receive an e-mail with a link to click for their specified appointment.

Working With Law Enforcement to Provide Health Care for the Acute Mentally Ill

From the Psychiatric Times:

The mental health care crisis is a community problem, and it requires a community solution. Some communities are trying to change this reality through programs that offer some nonviolent offenders a way out of incarceration, and a chance to improve their lives. Bexar County’s Center for Health Care Services (CHCS) is an organization dedicated to serving persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse disorders. The CHCS has evolved into a dynamic community resource dedicated to health care integration and improving the mental health delivery system in San Antonio and Bexar County.

Barriers to health care increase disease, death risk for rural elderly

From Medical XPress:

A new study of adults ages 85 or older has found that rural residents have significantly higher levels of chronic disease, take more medications, and die several years earlier than their urban counterparts.

The findings were just published in The Journal of Rural Health by researchers from Oregon State University and the Oregon Health & Science University.

The research confirms some of the special challenges facing older populations in rural or remote areas, who often have less access to physicians, long distances to travel for care, sometimes a lower socioeconomic and educational level, and other issues. It also reflects health problems that might have been reduced if they were treated earlier or more aggressively, researchers say.

Burnout: Emergency Medicine Hit Hardest

From MedPage Today:

Rates of burnout vary markedly by specialty, but generally the highest rates are found among front-line physicians: family medicine, general internal medicine, neurology, and emergency medicine, and the lowest rates were found among pathology, dermatology, general pediatrics, and preventive medicine, according to a survey of burnout among U.S. physicians.

The mean average of those reporting burnout was 45.8%, but the emergency physicians had the dubious distinction of being the specialty with the highest burnout rate: more than 60%.

A change of heart: As evidence mounts, fewer doctors perform unnecessary angioplasties

From the Star:

A study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that the number of elective angioplasties has fallen by a third in just five years. That mean tens of thousands of people are avoiding a procedure that may have done them little or no good but that costs on average $27,000 and may require years of drug therapy to avoid complications.

Meanwhile, a second new study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that even after 15 years, patients who chose medication and lifestyle changes over angioplasty were no more likely to die than those who chose the procedure.

Michigan Freestanding ED Closes

From MLive:

The emergency department at Bronson Vicksburg Outpatient Center will close Dec. 31, 2015.

Laura Howard, system director of Bronson Healthcare, said Bronson Methodist Hospital will be closing its satellite emergency department because the Vicksburg location has been experiencing a steady decline in the number of emergency patients it sees each year, as well as in the acuity of illnesses and injuries it treats.

More school nurses carrying Narcan

From WCVB:

School nurses are increasingly preparing to join the frontlines in the battle against heroin addiction.

MetroWest Daily News says as heroin and prescription opioid abuse continues to ravage communities across the nation, a growing number of schools are equipping their nurses with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, often referred to by the brand name Narcan. More than half the school districts in Massachusetts have joined the trend.

Emergency Physicians Experience Burnout

From MedPage Today:

Rates of burnout vary markedly by specialty. The highest rates were found among front-line physicians: family medicine, general internal medicine, neurology, and emergency medicine. The lowest rates were found among pathology, dermatology, general pediatrics, and preventive medicine.

“It matters to patients that physicians are burnt out; they deliver suboptimal care,” she told MedPage Today. “They are also more likely to cut back on clinical work hours, and more likely to leave current clinical practice. That impacts access and continuity.”