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Sensing Savvy

Survey Says Most U.S. Hospitals Don't Meet Minimum Surgical Safety Standards

Posted by Tim Callahan on Oct 28, 2019


Hospitals in the United States are failing to meet the minimum surgical safety standards for certain high-risk procedures. 
In fact, the majority of hospitals in the U.S. fail to meet hospital or surgeon volume standards, deeming them unsafe. This is according to a study from nonprofit organization Leapfrog, a watchdog group for healthcare purchasers.

The report analyzed data from a 2018 survey of more than 1,300 hospitals. Under the guidance of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, experts at Leapfrog made these discoveries:

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Topics: Hospital Administration

Cardiovascular Disease in Patients with CKD – 2018

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Oct 23, 2019

(Gleaned from the 2018 USRDS Annual Data Report: Volume 1, Chapter 4: www.usrds.org)

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States and most other developed countries. It accounts for approximately 39 percent of deaths among those on dialysis. Among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), death from CVD is far more common than progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). CKD has been identified as an independent risk factor for CVD, and arguably should be recognized as a coronary disease risk equivalent, similar to diabetes mellitus (DM). The complex relationship between CVD and kidney disease is thought to be due to shared traditional risk factors, such as DM, hypertension (HTN), physical inactivity, left ventricular hypertrophy, smoking, family history and abnormal lipid levels in the blood.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Can Mindfulness Help Surgical Residents Cope with Stress?

Posted by Anna Mueller, MS on Oct 21, 2019

Surgical training is demanding and stressful. It’s so stressful, in fact, that nearly 70% of surgical residents report feelings of burnout. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), found that without adequate coping skills, overwhelming stress among surgeons can cause performance deficits, surgical errors and poor professionalism.

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Topics: Clinical Trends

United States Renal Data System (USRDS): What’s New from 2018

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Oct 16, 2019

No individual data source exists that captures the disease experiences of all Americans who live with kidney disease. A large proportion of the USRDS information is drawn from Medicare beneficiaries. However, they are not a nationally representative population. Since 2017, two new data sources have been utilized that have expanded the USRDS’s coverage of the U.S. population.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

USRDS Weighs in on the Vascular Access

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Oct 14, 2019

(Gleaned from the 2018 USRDS Annual Data Report: Volume II: Chapter 3)

Clinical practice guidelines from the National Kidney Foundation in 2006 recommend an autogenous arteriovenous (AV) fistula as the preferred vascular access for hemodialysis. Central venous catheters are associated with higher risks of death, infection and cardiovascular events than other types of vascular access. Patients with a usable AV fistula exhibit the lowest risks for these events.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

What's Behind a Patient's Choice of Care Setting?

Posted by Anna Mueller, MS on Oct 9, 2019


When a person (or their loved one) becomes ill or injured, they have several choices for where they’ll receive the care they need. In addition to traditional physician’s offices and emergency rooms, patients today can also select from urgent care facilities, retail clinics, telemedicine solutions and home health visits.

To determine how patients and their families choose care settings, the University of California Irvine surveyed more than 5,000 employees and published an analysis in Health Services Research. The survey included 10 clinical scenarios ranging in severity, and participants were asked to select their preferred care setting for each.

Here are a few key findings you need to know.

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Topics: Hospital Administration

5 Interesting Statistics on Female Physician Compensation

Posted by Anna Mueller, MS on Oct 7, 2019

Though there is still a wage gap among physicians, the earnings for female physicians increased from 2018 to 2019, going from $203,000 per year for primary care physicians to $207,000 and from $263,000 for specialties to $280,000.

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Healthcare Expenditures for Persons with CKD in 2018

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Oct 7, 2019

(Gleaned from the 2018 USRDS Annual Data Report: Volume 1, Chapter 7: www.usrds.org)

Persons with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but not end-stage renal disease (ESRD) often have extensive healthcare needs and frequently face coexisting illnesses. Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in managed care grew from 13 percent in 2004 to 33 percent in 2017. In March 2017, 19 million individuals were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Kidney Care News to Know

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Oct 2, 2019

Large Dialysis Providers have Strong Growth in Home Dialysis

According to a survey from Nephrology News & Issues, the 10 largest dialysis providers had 35% of patients on home dialysis, that‘s 15 percentage points higher than survey results from 2018 and 2017. Among the providers, home hemodialysis grew from 5,783 patients in 2013 to 8,807 patients in 2019.

Source: Nephrology News & Issues

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Prescription Drug Coverage for ESRD Patients

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Sep 30, 2019

(Gleaned from the 2018 USRDS Annual Data Report: Volume II: Chapter 10)

Pharmaceutical therapy is integral to ESRD treatment and has positive health outcomes. Medications combined with the clinical and socioeconomic status of ESRD patients make their prescription drug benefits particularly important. Drug coverage, drug-related costs, and patterns of prescription drug use for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients is irrelevant information. Analgesics used by ESRD patients is of particular interest because of the continuing opioid epidemic. Another category of prescription meds worth examining is prescription antivirals, a category with high and growing costs.

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