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Poll: Many unaware how Ebola is spread

Healthcare News - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 06:25

A new survey finds the public has a lot to learn about how the Ebola virus is transmitted, which could help explain the growing fears of the disease. The survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that while nearly all adults (97 percent) know a person can become infected through direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of someone who is sick with Ebola, there are still misconceptions. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) One third of respondents are unaware they cannot become infected through the air. About 45 percent are unaware they cannot contract Ebola by shaking hands with someone who has been exposed to the virus but who does not have symptoms.

Categories: Healthcare News

Hackensack University Medical Center announces merger with Meridian Health

Healthcare News - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 06:20

Hackensack University Medical Center and its parent company are merging with Meridian Health and its six hospitals in Ocean and Monmouth counties to create the state's largest hospital network. The new organization, to be called Hackensack Meridian Health, will employ 23,400 people and have more than $3.4 billion in revenues, eclipsing Barnabas Health, currently the state's largest health care system. The "combined organization would serve a much broader geography, expanding access to services and developing a vast array of new non-hospital services to conveniently serve area communities," Robert C. Garrett, president and CEO of Hackensack University Health Network, said. The plan to merge was announced Thursday.

Categories: Healthcare News

When doctors and nurses work together

Healthcare News - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 06:19

Not long ago, I heard a respected senior colleague recount to a group of medical students and trainees the story of a patient who had died under his care some 15 years earlier. Afterward, he had spent hours talking with the family, trying, he said, "to be as kind to them as I possibly could." The family had been grateful for all his efforts, but my colleague still struggled even to tell the story. "Were you afraid of getting sued?" one of the students suddenly asked. My colleague's eyes widened, and he answered slowly, the tone of his voice shifting from grieving to professorial. "In medicine, malpractice isn't something we just think about when a patient dies.

Categories: Healthcare News

New - Ebola Information and Resources

ASA - News - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 00:00

Ebola is an infectious disease caused by a filovirus (Ebola virus). It is usually transmitted by direct contact between contaminated blood and body fluids and broken skin or mucous membranes. View resources for dealing with the virus.

Categories: Anesthesia News

CMS’ New Investment Model Will Help ACOs With Health IT

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 13:28

CMS announced a new program in which it will invest up to $114 million in infrastructure and redesigned care processes for up to 75 Medicare Shared Savings Program participants to improve patient care through health IT and other efforts. Healthcare IT News et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Paper Looks at Benefits, Challenges of EHR Data Warehouses

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 13:25

A research paper published in eGEMS highlights the benefits and challenges associated with creating a centralized data warehouse that is shared among multiple community health centers with different electronic health record systems. FierceHealthIT, eGEMS.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Interoperability Center Stage at Health IT Committee Meeting

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 13:14

Yesterday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released updated details about a draft roadmap for health IT interoperability. Meanwhile, the agency’s Health IT Policy and Standards committees approved a set of six recommendations from the JASON task force that calls on CMS to focus efforts on public application programming interfaces. Health Data Management et al. 

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

China Looks to Health IT To Address Doctor Shortage, Data Sharing

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:26

China is increasingly turning to health IT to improve health care access and management, especially as its population ages and rates of chronic disease increase. As a result, investments in the country’s health IT market are expected to double to about $5.6 billion in 2017. Reuters.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Health IT Funding Reaches $956M in Q3 2014, Report Finds

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:20

A Mercom Capital Group report finds that venture capital funding in the health IT industry reached $956 million in the third quarter of this fiscal year, compared with $1.8 billion in Q2. However, health IT merger and acquisition activity in Q3 was at its highest monetary level since 2010. Healthcare IT News et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Women's Health and Gender-Specific Guidelines

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 11:07

Leading providers now focus on educating and empowering women about the unique healthcare needs they have.

Categories: Healthcare News

It's not just Ebola. Healthcare is pretty dangerous work.

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 07:38

The Ebola outbreak shows that being on the front lines of disease can be particularly dangerous business for health-care workers. More than 230 workers have died overseas trying to battle the deadly virus, and the infection of a Dallas nurse treating the first U.S. patient diagnosed with Ebola is a reminder that health-care workers put themselves at risk to treat the sick. When it comes to treating Ebola patients, it's hard to understate how careful health-care workers must be. As this graphic explains, there's about 30 distinct steps workers have to take to avoid a risk of infection. After the infection of the Dallas nurse, the CDC is rethinking protocols for care — and that's after the country's largest nurse's union has warned that its members haven't been adequately trained on Ebola.

Categories: Healthcare News

Ebola: Second TX Nurse Diagnosed After Improper Protective Gear Application

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 06:56

The CDC believes two nurses were likely infected during lapses of infection protocols during the three days before the first patient's diagnosis. The second nurse, diagnosed hours after a flight, "should not have been allowed to travel."

Categories: Healthcare News

Providers Ask HHS to Address EHR Interoperability Barriers

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 06:49

"Strict MU requirements and deadlines [do not] provide sufficient time to focus on achieving interoperability" says a letter co-signed by eight provider organizations and large health systems.

Categories: Healthcare News

Lax US guidelines on Ebola led to poor hospital training, experts say

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 06:41

Many American hospitals have improperly trained their staffs to deal with Ebola patients because they were following federal guidelines that were too lax, infection control experts said on Wednesday. Federal health officials effectively acknowledged the problems with their procedures for protecting health care workers by abruptly changing them. At 8 p.m. Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued stricter guidelines for American hospitals with Ebola patients. They are now closer to the procedures of Doctors Without Borders, which has decades of experience in fighting Ebola in Africa. In issuing the new guidelines, the C.D.C. acknowledged that its experts had learned by working alongside that medical charity.

Categories: Healthcare News

Dallas hospital learned its Ebola protocols while struggling to save mortally ill patient

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 06:40

The hospital that treated Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan had to learn on the fly how to control the deadly virus, adding new layers of protective gear for workers in what became a losing battle to keep the contagion from spreading, a top official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. "They kept adding more protective equipment as the patient [Duncan] deteriorated. They had masks first, then face shields, then the positive-pressure respirator. They added a second pair of gloves," said Pierre Rollin, a CDC epidemiologist. Despite the infection-control efforts, a nurse, Nina Pham, 26, somehow contracted Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas while caring for Duncan, a Liberian man who flew to the United States last month.

Categories: Healthcare News

Obama urges 'aggressive' monitoring of Ebola threat in US

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 06:37

President Obama on Wednesday night canceled his planned travel on Thursday, for the second straight day, so he could stay at the White House to oversee the government's response to the Ebola crisis, officials said. Mr. Obama had been scheduled to travel to Rhode Island on Thursday for an economic-themed speech before continuing on to New York City to raise money for Democratic candidates in next month's midterm elections. Officials said the president would "follow up" Thursday on a meeting he held Wednesday with members of his cabinet who are responsible for confronting the spread of the virus in West Africa and its arrival in the United States.

Categories: Healthcare News

Can Dallas hospital recover from Ebola transmissions?

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 06:36

Until now, the focus at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has rightly been on the Ebola patients. But as more cases have sprung up, so has the question: Can the hospital itself recover? "I worry about the hospital being able to make it through this," says StatSeal representative Rachelle Cohorn, a healthcare vendor. She has been inside the hospital in recent days and reports, "The vibe is pretty much lockdown. It feels like a ghost town. No one is even walking around the hospital." Doctors confirm their patient loads at Presbyterian have fallen off dramatically as people cancel elective procedures. And the Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said patients have also been avoiding the hospital's emergency room.

Categories: Healthcare News

Union warns of Ebola nightmare for nurses

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 06:34

The nation's largest nurses union is calling on President Obama to impose strict national standards to protect healthcare workers from the deadly Ebola virus, pointing to a lack of safety protocols. The appeal Wednesday for swift executive action comes as the second Ebola diagnosis of a U.S. healthcare worker stokes fresh fears among employee advocates and raises questions about the scope of the federal government's response to the crisis. "This month has been a nightmare for the nurses across the nation," National Nurses United (NNU) Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro said. "They're looking for answers."

Categories: Healthcare News

Spike in ER, hospitalization use short-lived after Medicaid expansion

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 06:28

While the Medicaid expansion may lead to a dramatic rise in emergency room use and hospitalizations for previously uninsured people, that increase is largely temporary and should not lead to a dramatic impact on state budgets, according to an analysis from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released Wednesday. Researchers reviewed two years of claims data from nearly 200,000 Californians, including a group who had enrolled in public programs well in advance of the expansion of Medi-Cal, the state's version of Medicaid, in January. These programs were designed to ease the expansion of Medicaid by providing insurance to low-income adults who were not eligible for Medi-Cal at that point but would be when the health law's expansion went into effect earlier this year.

Categories: Healthcare News

Univ. Of Maryland first East Coast medical center to offer proton therapy

Healthcare News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 06:26

Cancer tumors doctors couldn't touch may soon become fair game. Alex DeMetrick reports the University of Maryland will be the first East Coast medical center to offer cutting edge proton therapy. Inside the newest building at the University of Maryland Medical Center, technicians are working on some of the newest cancer technology?a proton therapy center. Like a small scale linear accelerator, it's still a city block long and designed to go after cancer tumors doctors can't normally treat. "It allows us to treat much larger tumors, much larger targets, much more complicated diseases. For example, head and neck cancer," said Dr. Minesh Mehta, director of the University of Maryland Proton Therapy Center.

Categories: Healthcare News