The Joint Commission New Speak up™ Infographic on Anesthesia and Sedation Safety

The Joint Commission release noted: “Nearly 40 million anesthetics are administered annually in the United States. To raise awareness of the risks of anesthesia or sedation and precautions that should be taken, The Joint Commission released a new Speak Up™ infographic today for patients and consumers titled ‘Speak Up: About Anesthesia and Sedation.’ The publication was developed in collaboration with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the American Society of Anesthesiologists®.” Read more

Reduce Costs with Selective Pre-Op Testing

The Anesthesiology News article noted “Routine preanesthetic tests cost more than $60 billion every year, but far fewer than 1% reveal pertinent abnormalities relating to the anesthetic or the surgery, according to a 1989 study published in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia (1989;36:S13-S19).”

“For that reason, national guidelines recommend minimizing preoperative testing in low-risk, stable patients undergoing non-emergent surgery. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) released a guideline in 2012 that advised against routine testing, such as labs, chest x-rays and electrocardiograms (EKG). But the ASA suggested a tailored approach for anything with a high risk.” Read more

Revolving Doors at Hospitals

The New York Times article noted: “Everyone on the ward fell hard for the patient in the room at the end of the hall. Her roommate was loud, demanding and a complete nuisance — nobody spent more time in that part of the room than was absolutely necessary. But the gently smiling, impeccably mannered little 90-year-old, admitted to the window bed with a touch of pneumonia, was a big favorite.”

“The doctors joked with her, the nurses stroked her head and brought antibiotics and nebulizers right on time, and her private-duty attendant organized her pillows and fed her little snacks. She looked like a million dollars when they sent her home.” Read more

“Breakfast of Legends” Honors Supporters

The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center (MSAHC) honored four individuals and a nonprofit organization for their commitment to the young people of New York City at its eleventh annual “Breakfast of Legends” event held Thursday, October 23, at The Plaza Hotel.

The MSAHC is one of the largest and most comprehensive adolescent health centers in the nation, and provides free medical, mental health, sexual and reproductive health, dental, and optical services to more than 11,000 underserved youth and young adults, ages 10 to 24.

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Insurers Fill Gaps in Health-Law Plans

The Wall Street Journal article noted “Health insurers in several states are adding to the choices of doctors and hospitals in their health-law plans amid concerns among some consumers and state officials about access to care.”

“The insurers that are expanding their networks said they aren’t responding to complaints. Instead, they said, the tweaks reflect more willingness by some health-care providers to join the new networks, which often pay them less than traditional employer plans, as well as adjustments to serve the specific populations who enrolled.” Read more

Health-Care Providers Want Patients to Read Medical Records, Spot Errors 

The Wall Street Journal article noted: “The aim is to move patients and doctors into a relationship of shared accountability. Health-care providers are giving patients more access to their medical records so they can help spot and correct errors and omissions.”

“Studies show errors can occur on as many as 95% of the medication lists found in patient medical records. Errors include outdated data and omissions that many patients could readily identify, including prescription drugs that are no longer taken and incorrect data about frequency or dosage. Patients also are being asked to fill in the blanks about pain relievers and other over-the-counter medications, as well as supplements and vitamins, all of which can interact with prescription drugs.” Read more

“Post-Hospital Syndrome.”

The New York Times article noted “In a 2013 paper, Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a professor of medicine and public health at Yale School of Medicine, described a syndrome that emerges in the days and weeks after a hospital stay: ‘Physiologic systems are impaired, reserves are depleted, and the body cannot effectively avoid or mitigate health threats.’ He called this period of vulnerability ‘post-hospital syndrome.’”

“The syndrome was identified as a result of new Medicare rules that hold hospitals responsible for re-admissions within 30 days after discharge. When health systems began studying patients who returned to the hospital soon after discharge, two critical facts emerged. First, the problem is common and widespread, occurring after nearly one in five hospitalizations of patients on Medicare. Second, and even more surprising, the majority of cases represent an illness distinct from the initial hospitalization.” Read more

7 Things You Should Absolutely Know before Going to the Hospital

The Huffington Post article noted : “Let’s be honest: No one goes to the hospital to relax. Getting there, whether for a medical emergency or a scheduled appointment, is overwhelming — especially when you’re worried about a loved one. And once you arrive, the situation only seems to feel more tense.”

“If you happen to end up in the hospital (either with a loved one or for yourself), these tips will help you feel calm and in control. Below are seven things you should know before making a hospital visit. Read more

The Foreign Language of Health Insurance

The Kaiser Health News article noted “As soon as Deb Emerson, a former high school teacher from Oroville, Calif., bought a health plan in January through the state’s insurance exchange, she felt overwhelmed.”

“She couldn’t figure out what was covered and what wasn’t. Why weren’t her anti-depressant medications included? Why did she have to pay $60 to see a doctor? The insurance jargon – deductible, co-pay, premium, co-insurance – was like a foreign language. What did it mean?”

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