Healthcare Update — 05-17-2012

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Going green may make you feel blue. Reusable grocery bag cited as cause for norovirus outbreak. Member of girls soccer team became sick in bathroom where bag was sitting, later passed bag around to other players who ate cookies contained in the bag. The following day, six teammates developed vomiting and diarrhea. Testing showed norovirus on the sides of the bag. How it got there is another story … I’m assuming that the soccer player was looking for something else in the bag, but the thought of someone eating cookies while simultaneously vomiting and having diarrhea is less than appealing to me.
In other news, the Joint Commission is now declaring anything reusable as being a threat to patient safety.

Australian emergency department director quits when she won’t agree to stop “ramping” patients. When the emergency departments are overcrowded and ambulances are waiting outside for a bed in the ED to open up, the doctors were going outside onto the ramps and evaluating patients in the ambulances. Apparently this was bad since the patients weren’t being charged for the ambulance rides.
In another article on the same topic, doctors argue that ramping patients is better than leaving patients unattended in hospital corridors.

Charity care at one South Carolina hospital has doubled in the past three years – and the waiting list for a new patient appointment at the free clinic there is two months long. “We’re the choice for health care for people from all over, because they can’t get it anywhere else.” Is the problem just the poor economy or is health care reform playing a part in less accessible health care as well?

Patients gone wild – international edition. Israeli patient won’t stop yelling into his cell phone, then gets mad at nurse who tells him to be quiet and spits at her. Doctor steps in and gets “powerfully” slapped in the face. Not so tough after being put in matching man-bracelets by men with guns.

If you build it, they will come … quickly. South Carolina hospital adds a wing in the emergency department for psychiatric patients. Twelve psychiatric beds may seem like a lot … until you realize that the emergency department sometimes has 30 psychiatric patients waiting for placement at other facilities at the same time. State cutbacks on psychiatric funding are cited as cause. If this is true, look for waiting times in emergency departments to skyrocket in those hospitals that cannot afford to build another psychiatric wing.

Toddler visits to ED surge – hurt by binkies , bottles, batteries. Cue pediatricians and their pitchforks. Wait … hello? No protests? Cold medications are a scourge to modern society for the same reason and they get recalled, but binkies are immune from the AAP’s ire? Do binkies serve any legitimate medical purpose than cold medications? But they’re OK? Huh?
Doesn’t matter. I’m sure JCAHO will soon declare binkies, bottles, and batteries a national health threat.

New male birth control on the horizon. 100% effective and completely reversible. Just waiting to hear about the side effects that it makes your woo hoo shrivel up or something.

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