Overzealous in preventing falls, hospitals are producing an ‘epidemic of immobility’ in elderly patients

From the Washington Post:

Falls remain the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans. Hospitals face financial penalties when they occur. Nurses and aides get blamed or reprimanded if a patient under their supervision hits the ground.

But hospitals have become so overzealous in fall prevention that they are producing an “epidemic of immobility,” experts say. To ensure that patients will never fall, hospitalized patients who could benefit from activity are told not to get up on their own — their bedbound state reinforced by bed alarms and a lack of staff to help them move.

That’s especially dangerous for older patients, often weak to begin with. After just a few days of bed rest, their muscles can deteriorate enough to bring severe long-term consequences.

“Older patients face staggering rates of disability after hospitalizations,” said Kenneth Covinsky, a geriatrician and researcher at the University of California at San Francisco. His research found that one-third of patients 70 and older leave the hospital more disabled than when they arrived.

These telemedicine doctors are getting licenses in all 50 states to treat patients in most remote areas

From CNBC:

Blake McKinney is a doctor with medical licenses in 49 states and a 50th likely on the way. That would put him into a small but growing group of physicians who see a big future online.

Telemedicine, which involves medical consults via the web and smartphone apps, requires that doctors have licenses to treat patients wherever they are, not just in a single location. With licenses across the country, McKinney can be at home in Denver, but treat a patient in Rhode Island or Delaware or anywhere else in the U.S.

 

“See Me Now” program connects emergency room providers with former patients

From Fox43:

On Tuesday night, Penn State Hershey Medical Center hosted an opportunity for emergency room staff to reconnect with some of their former patients.

It’s part of an effort called “See Me Now,” which are events allowing families to express gratitude and find closure while giving healthcare providers the chance to see the meaning of their work in a positive setting.