More medical news over at the Satellite Edition at ERStories.net.
Another emergency department closes its doors. Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital in East St. Louis stopped seeing patients on June 7,
Visitors gone wild. Gang of people tried to push their way into the emergency department at Nassau University Medical Center and were threatening hospital staff in the process. Police were called and fight breaks out. Police officer breaks hand. Eleven people were arrested.
An average of 640 people each day are treated in the emergency department each day for nonfatal injuries that occur in the bathroom. In other news, as a result of this study, JCAHO has now declared bathrooms a public health threat. In the name of patient safety, JCAHO will now require that all hospitals install outhouses in their parking lots.
Medicaid jumps on the “never event” bandwagon. There are some errors that shouldn’t be compensated. Other errors on Medicaid’s list are unpreventable. Remember the discussion about obstetricians refusing to treat obese patients? When governments refuse to pay for some events that are unpreventable, it just gives providers another reason not to treat patients at risk for those events.
Patient’s estate sues physician and hospital after surgeon accidentally nicks bowel during hernia surgery, patient returns to emergency department a few days later, the injury is found during exploratory surgery five days after initial surgery, and then patient dies more than 8 months later. OR nurses are dismissed from the complaint, but other defendants continue to defend the suit.
63% of people polled in Massachusetts support the health care reforms in that state. 30% of those polled stated that the plan increased their health insurance costs. It would be interesting to determine what percentage of people who need to access health care on a regular basis supported the plan and a comparison of health care plan supporters versus amount of health care premiums paid. My guess is that the number of supporters would be significantly lower in groups that needed more frequent care and that paid more for their insurance.
Good thing Dr. Google isn’t liable for medical malpractice … yet. 87% of online diagnoses made by patients are wrong.
When hospitals are so busy that they can’t take ambulance runs (known as “being on diversion”), patients have a greater chance of dying from heart attacks. Study shows that patients with heart attacks were more likely to die when their closest hospital was on diversion for more than 12 hours during the day they suffered their heart attack. Interesting that there was no difference in mortality between hospitals that were on no diversion and those that were on diversion for less than 12 hours. The researchers noted that “It is important to emphasize that while demand on emergency care is increasing…, supply of emergency care is decreasing. If these issues are not addressed on a larger scale, ED conditions will deteriorate, having significant implications for all.” I would probably change that last sentence to “will continue to deteriorate.” As more emergency departments close and as emergency department utilization will soon increase significantly, we’re getting very close to a tipping point.
Fear of litigation hurts doctors and can hurt access to care. This article shows that an average neurosurgeon in Cook County, IL pays $4,500 per week in malpractice insurance and internists pay about $730/week. Specialists in outlying counties who pay high prices for malpractice insurance but who see fewer patients may not be able to sustain a practice – which reduces available care in rural counties.
1-800-GET-THIN turns into 1-800-GET-SUED. While the advertising campaign garnered more than 100,000 phone calls and generated 10,000 lap band surgeries in 15 months, the company and its affiliates have been hit with numerous lawsuits and now the insurer for the company is threatening to withdraw coverage.