‘Difficult’ patients may tend to get worse care

From UPI:

“Patients who behave disruptively by displaying disrespect or aggressiveness may induce their doctors to make diagnostic mistakes,” said Dr. Silvia Mamede, who worked on both studies. She is an associate professor with the Institute of Medical Education Research Rotterdam at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands.

An estimated 15 percent of patients treated in doctors’ offices are aggressive, disrespectful, overly demanding or distrustful, Mamede said.

“As might be expected, these behaviors provoke emotional reactions in doctors,” she said.

Portable ultrasounds gain popularity among specialists

From Modern Healthcare:

Anesthesiologists, emergency physicians, pain medicine physicians and rheumatologists increasingly have been drawn to the use of portable scanners, said Daniel Merton, senior project officer in ECRI’s Health Device Group. Using the device at the bedside allows specialists to gain a more targeted, immediate diagnostic exam than the more comprehensive, broad procedure that would be performed by radiology professionals.

The devices are also being written into hospital policy. It’s now standard at most facilities to use a portable ultrasound when placing a central line, Merton said.

CDC issues new guidelines to limit chronic use of opioids

From Reuters:

Addressing a growing “epidemic” of opioid overdoses and abuse of the prescribed painkillers in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday released voluntary guidelines that instruct primary care doctors to sharply deter use of the medicines for chronic pain.

“Overprescribing opioids, largely for chronic pain, is a key driver of America’s drug-overdose epidemic,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. Sales of the prescription therapies have quadrupled since 1999, causing 165,000 fatal overdoses over the same period and now growing at more than 40 per day, according to the agency.

 The new guidelines recommend non-opioids, including acetaminophen and ibuprofen, as preferred therapy for chronic pain unless patients have active cancer or are receiving palliative or end-of-life care.