EMS providers are using in-home visits to prevent 911 calls

From the Journal Star:

EMS providers have forged an industry from responding to emergencies, but a paradigm shift has ambulance providers and fire departments increasingly thinking about preventing calls to 911.

“This is where we believe EMS need to go,” said Greg Chance, vice president of strategy at Advanced Medical Transport.

AMT and the East Peoria Fire Department are among the first responders testing a new way of meeting the community’s health needs.

Paramedics from both agencies have partnered with OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center to launch a program funded by the hospital called Mobile Integrated Health based on the concept of using in-home visits to prevent trips to the emergency room.

“Our goal is to keep the patient out of the hospital once they get back home,” said Debbie Trau, director of emergency services and patient experiences at OSF St. Francis.

Why The Eclipse On Monday May Be A Full Moon For Emergency Rooms On Tuesday

From Forbes:

There is an old saying among ER docs to beware of a full moon because of the crazy things that happen in the ER.

But Monday’s spectacular eclipse of the sun may provide a different kind of show–one that ER doctors could potentially face Tuesday, due to people looking directly at the eclipse or from wearing improper eye protection.

Rural America seeks more doctors

From the East Oregonian:

Maggie Elehwany, the National Rural Health Association’s vice president of government affairs, said rural America needs more doctors.

“Twenty percent of the population is scattered over 90 percent of the land mass,” she said. “This 20 percent of the population has nine percent of the physicians.” In addition, “there’s a higher percentage of chronic disease in rural America. They’re poorer and sicker.”

Oregon isn’t quite that low. Based on Oregon Medical Board licensures and the OHSU Office of Rural Health, 10,247 of Oregon doctors practice in urban/non-rural areas and 2,362 work in rural areas (defined as 10 miles or more away from a population center of at least 40,000).

The national shortage could grow to 45,000 by the year 2020, according to the NRHA. Since 2010, more than 80 rural hospitals have closed, including Walla Walla General Hospital.

Electronic documentation impedes emergency department efficiency

From AMA Wire:

A recently published study finds that one emergency department’s implementation of a custom electronic documentation system reduced patient throughput, and researchers call for new strategies to mitigate the efficiency effects of going paperless.

The study, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that the use of a custom electronic documentation system resulted in small but consistent increases in overall and discharge length of stay (LOS) in the ED. The study found a 6.3-minute rise in LOS for patients treated and released and a 5.1-minute increase for discharged patients. There was no statistically significant change in time to disposition or LOS for admitted patients.

Even though the increase in LOS was small, it still played a significant role in a high-throughput ED. It was extrapolated to the entire department that an “additional six minutes per patient encounter would add more than 16 hours per day for an ED serving 165 patients per day.” As a result, these increases could lead to decreased patient satisfaction and delays in care for time-sensitive conditions, argued the study’s authors.

How Clinicians Can Prepare for Active Shooter Incidents

From Medscape:

Healthcare employers should provide workplace violence prevention education and should enact policies that empower employees to anonymously report behaviors that indicate that another employee may be on a path toward committing a violent act in the workplace. This may be provided as part of orientation or through annual mandatory training modules. If a physician’s employer does not provide this training, physicians should request it from department administrators, human resources, or security or hospital police departments. Physicians in private practice or small groups can review planning guides available online[6] and can work with local law enforcement or government offices of emergency management to provide preparedness and prevention education.

Mylan, U.S. finalize $465 million EpiPen settlement

From Reuters:

Mylan NV has finalized a $465 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department resolving claims it overcharged the government for its EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, which became the center of a firestorm over price increases.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts revealed the accord on Thursday, 10 months after Mylan said it reached a deal resolving claims it misclassified the EpiPen as a generic rather than a branded product, underpaying rebates to the Medicaid program as a result.

Virtual Consultations With Doctors Speed Up Non-Emergency ER Visits At Area Hospital

From CBS Local New York:

Have you ever gone to the emergency room for a cut or a sprain, or maybe if you were running a fever? Chances are you waited a pretty long time to be seen and treated.

But as CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported, one hospital is now using telemedicine to make the ER visits faster and less stressful. And the doctor does not even have to be in the room.