Safety of reassessment-and-release practice for mental health patients boarded in the emergency department.

From the American Journal of Emergency Medicine:


Among emergency department (ED) mental health and substance abuse (MHSA) patients, we sought to compare mortality and healthcare utilization by ED discharge disposition and inpatient bed request status.


A retrospective cohort study of 492 patients was conducted at a single University ED. We reviewed three groups of MHSA patients including ED patients that were admitted, ED patients with a bed request that were discharged from the ED, and ED patients with no bed request that were discharged from the ED. We identified main outcomes as ED return visit, re-hospitalization and mortality within 12months based on chart review and reference from the National Death Index.


The average age of patients presenting was 30.5 (SD16.4) years and 251 (51.0%) were female patients. Of these patients, 216 (43.9%) presented with mood disorder and 93 (18.9%) with self-harm. The most common reason for discharge from the ED after an admission request was placed was from stabilization of the patient (n=138). An ED revisit within 12months was significantly higher among patients discharged who had a bed request in place prior to departure (54.0%, p<0.001), than those discharged from the ED (40.9%) or admitted to inpatient care (30.5%). The rate of suicide attempt and death did not show statistical significance (p=0.55 and p=0.88).


MHSA patients who were discharged from ED after bed requests were placed were at greater risk for return visits to the ED. This implicates that these patients require outpatient planning to prevent further avoidable healthcare utilization.

UCHealth, Inova Health System offer nurses 5-figure signing bonuses to solve shortage

From Becker’s:

UCHealth, a nine-hospital, nonprofit health system that operates over 100 clinics across Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska, currently has 330 openings for RNs. UCHealth is struggling to find nurses locally and has been looking for candidates from other states and countries.

The health system is now offering new recruits relocation allowances and signing bonuses of up to $10,000, which provides nurses with up to $4,000 annually to invest in continuing education, Kathy Howell, BSN, RN, chief nursing executive for UCHealth, told CNNMoney. It also offers the Traveler RN program, which allows nurses to complete a 13-week rotation at different UCHealth facilities.

Inova Health System, a six-hospital system based in the Washington, D.C., metro area, is offering candidates who have at least two years of critical care experience and live over 50 miles from one of its hospitals a $20,000 sign-on bonus and up to $20,000 in reimbursable relocation costs, CNO Maureen Sintich, DNP, RN, told CNNMoney.

In addition, Morgantown-based WVU Medicine, an eight hospital-system in West Virginia, will begin offering tuition reimbursement for employees and their children this fall. WVU aims to hire 200 nurses and will also offer free housing to some of its nurses as part of its commuter program.

Florida man upset over 2-hour ED wait steals ambulance to drive home

From Becker’s:

A Florida man stole an ambulance from The Villages (Fla.) Regional Hospital Tuesday night to drive home after enduring a two-hour wait at the hospital’s emergency department, according Fox35 Orlando.

First responders took Danny Konieczny to the hospital earlier in the day after a neighbor called 911, saying the man was drunk and suicidal.

Mr. Konieczny told police he grew frustrated after waiting two hours in the ED to see a physician and decided to drive an ambulance to his home 5.7 miles away, according to an arrest affidavit cited by Fox35 Orlando.

He allegedly parked the ambulance in his neighbor’s driveway, instead of his own, because he believed they were the ones who called the police on him. Investigators found Mr. Konieczny hiding in the trunk of his car in his garage.

Apple Watch wristband sensor claims to detect potassium in your blood — without needles

From The Verge:

The AliveCor KardiaBand, a sensor compatible with the Apple Watch, can detect dangerous levels of potassium in blood with 94 percent accuracy. Though the US Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved KardiaBand for this purpose, it’s an interesting step forward considering that, right now, the condition is usually caught using invasive blood tests that use needles.

The KardiaBand by AliveCor is a sensor that snaps into a slot on the watchband. The user touches the sensor, which then takes a reading of the electrical activity of the heart, called an electrocardiogram (EKG). This reading can reveal abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation (AFib), and the sensor sends the information to an app. Yesterday, at the American College of Cardiology conference in Florida, AliveCor CEO Vic Gundotra presented research done with the Mayo Clinic showing that the same technology can detect too-high levels of potassium in the blood, called hyperkalemia.