National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2015 Emergency Department Summary Tables

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The Ambulatory and Hospital Care Statistics Branch is pleased to release the most current nationally representative data on ambulatory care visits to hospital emergency departments (ED) in the United States. Estimates are presented on selected hospital, patient, and visit characteristics using data collected in the 2015 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). NHAMCS is an annual nationally representative sample survey of visits to EDs; outpatient departments; and hospital-based ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) (starting in 2009), and freestanding ASCs (starting in 2010)

The Yelping of the American Doctor

From Wired:

In the face of these medical and financial costs, why do doctors continue to prescribe antibiotics inappropriately? Some health care workers and researchers are beginning to talk about an uncomfortable explanation: Doctors feel pressured by what patients may say about them afterward. The fear of bad patient-satisfaction scores, or negative reviews on online sites, may be creating a “Yelp effect” that drives doctors to provide care that patients don’t actually need.

Study supports biomarker assay for emergency department diagnosis of acute heart failure

From MedicalXPress:

A multi-institutional study supports the value of a biomarker to accurately diagnose or rule out acute heart failure in patients seen for shortness of breath at hospital emergency departments. The report published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology also validates the use of age-adjusted thresholds of the protein NT-proBNP to diagnose heart failure in a wide range of such patients.

NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide) and a related protein called BNP (B-type natriuretic peptide) are both produced when the cardiac muscle is under stress. One of the earliest studies of the value of NT-proBNP testing, conducted in the MGH Emergency Department, suggested age-based diagnostic cutoffs for diagnosis of  – 450 pg/ml for patients under 50, 900 pg/ml for those 50 to 75, and 1,800 pg/ml for those over 75. An NT-proBNP level of 300 or below appeared to rule out acute heart failure no matter the patient’s age.