Fixing the medical staff shortage problem in rural areas

From Becker’s:

Another tool used in rural recruiting is the Community Apgar Program (CAP), a recruiting structure developed by researchers, educators and clinicians at Boise State University. The CAP identifies strengths and opportunities for improving rural medicine within specific communities, as well as identifying specific challenges that could hinder future growth. The CAP and related programs have enhanced the probability of attracting and placing a practitioner for many rural communities.


Why rural counties are dying in America

From Axios:

Rural counties — particularly in the Midwest and Northeast of the U.S. — are losing people due to higher death rates than birth rates and more people moving away than moving in.

The outlook: The 2020 census is likely to show the extent of this drastic trend. “Barring a significant reversal in the next few years,” Richard Fry of the Pew Research Center tells Axios, “the share of the population living in rural counties will be less than it was in 2010 … Rural clout in Congress and the electoral college will be diminished.”

The Future of Healthcare Is Mobile

From ReadWrite:

Like nearly everything before it, healthcare is turning to mobile. But unlike nearly everything before it, healthcare has long been viewed as a hands-on industry, one where interactions happen in person, allowing healthcare providers to use both their clinical knowledge and intuitive senses to treat the patients before them.

Despite healthcare’s hands-on history, Zebra’s “The Future of Healthcare: 2022 Hospital Vision Study” observes that the mobility trend has taken the healthcare industry by storm, noting that forward-thinking hospitals are already seeing the benefits. Nearly three-quarters of the survey’s respondents said mobile technology had resulted in higher-quality patient care, and more than half indicated that patient care also costs less when mobile technology plays a role.

But perhaps the biggest harbinger of what’s to come is patients’ reactions: A full 95 percent of patients said they were comfortable sharing health stats provided by wearables, and 77 percent thought the use of mobile devices in healthcare was a positive development. With this kind of support from the people who would have to usethe technology in order to benefit from it, mobile tech has a definite opening to shape the future of healthcare.

Don’t Blame Doctors for Outrageous ER Prices

From MedPage Today:

Part of the solution is legislation to regulate ER prices for uninsured and out-of-network patients. In doing that, we not only need to set price ceilings but also price floors. We shouldn’t let Medicaid programs or powerful insurers squeeze ER reimbursement so tightly that hospitals feel they have little choice but to dramatically hike prices for other patients.

Another part of the solution is to expand insurance coverage in the United States. It’s egregious that we live in a wealthy country that tolerates policies that leave tens of millions of Americans without insurance.

Clinicians working in emergency rooms should be able to provide care without worrying that they are bankrupting the very patients they are caring for.

AI ambulances and robot doctors: China seeks digital salve to ease hospital strain

From Reuters:

In the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, an ambulance speeds through traffic on a wave of green lights, helped along by an artificial intelligence (AI) system and big data.

The system, which involves sending information to a centralized computer linked to the city’s transport networks, is part of a trial by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The Chinese tech giant is hoping to use its cloud and data systems to tackle issues hobbling China’s healthcare system like snarled city traffic, long patient queues and a lack of doctors.

Alibaba’s push into healthcare reflects a wider trend in China, where technology firms are racing to shake up a creaking state-run health sector and take a slice of spending that McKinsey & Co estimates will hit $1 trillion by 2020.

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center devotes lane outside ER for police to drop off gunshot victims

(Not The Onion) From Becker’s:

A zone outside of Philadelphia-based Penn Presbyterian Medical Center is now designated for police transporting gunshot wound victims, according to The Inquirer.

A sign reading “Police Emergency Drop-Off Here” is posted outside the medical center’s Level 1 trauma center. A yellow line and words stating “Police Drop Off” are painted near the ER to section off the lane.

Philadelphia is one of the few cities where police transport stabbing and shooting victims to hospitals rather than waiting for an ambulance. The practice, called “scoop and run,” has been a factor in lowering Philadelphia’s homicide rate, according to the report. The city has seen 500-plus shootings this year, up 8 percent from the same time in 2017.

Fewer People Are Dying In Hospitals

From OPB:

Fewer people are dying in hospitals, according to a new study by Oregon Health And Science University and Brown University.

Lead researcher Joan Teno says people generally prefer to die at home or in an assisted living facility, surrounded by family — rather than attached to a machine in an intensive care unit. And she found that in-hospital deaths decreased from 33 percent in 2000 to about 20 percent in 2015.

In addition, the number of patients being moved to different health care facilities during the last three days of life decreased from 14 percent in 2009 to less than 11 percent in 2015.

Titration of oxygen therapy in critically ill emergency department patients: a feasibility study

From BMC Emergency Medicine:


Liberal use of oxygen in an emergency situation is common. Today, most health care professionals do not adjust the amount of oxygen given when a saturation of 100% or a PaO2 which exceeds the normal range is reached- which may result in hyperoxia. There is increasing evidence for the toxic effects of hyperoxia. Therefore, it seems justified to aim for normoxia when giving oxygen. This study evaluates whether it is feasible to aim for normoxia when giving oxygen therapy to patients at the emergency department (ED).


A prospective cohort study was performed at the ED of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). A protocol was developed, aiming for normoxia. During a 14 week period all patients > 18 years arriving at the ED between 8 a.m. and 23 p.m. requiring oxygen therapy registered for cardiology, internal medicine, emergency medicine and pulmonology were included. Statistical analysis was performed using student independent t-test, Mann–Whitney U-test, Fisher’s exact test or a Pearson’s chi-squared test.


During the study period the study protocol was followed and normoxia was obtained after 1 h at the ED in 86,4% of the patients. Patients with COPD were more at risk for not being titrated to normal oxygen levels.


We showed that it is feasible to titrate oxygen therapy to normoxia at the ED. The study results will be used for further research assessing the potential beneficial effects of normoxia compared to hyper- or hypoxia in ED patients and for the development of guidelines.

St. Louis hospital offers nurses summers off to retain staff

From Becker’s:

The pediatric unit at Mercy Children’s Hospital in St. Louis will give nurses summers off work in an effort to retain staff, KMOV reports.

The nurses who choose the seasonal staffing option would still work full-time — three shifts per week for the pediatric unit’s nine-month busy season (September through May). The nurses can take off from June through August, while keeping full-time benefits, and return to their jobs in September.

Poncho the Spanish Police Dog Goes Viral For Showing Off His CPR Skills

From Gizmodo:

It’s rough out there for humans right now. But at least we have dogs to cheer us up. This police dog in Spain, a very good boy named Poncho, has gone viral after demonstrating his CPR skills.

The video, which was originally posted to Twitter by Madrid Police, has been viewed over 2.3 million times already and over 1.3 million on Facebook.