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Sensing Savvy

Our CABG Patency Assessment Program Improves Outcomes

Posted by Anna Mueller, MS on Apr 17, 2018 7:55:00 AM

The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) established in the Affordable Care Act has further focused hospital efforts to improve quality and patient outcomes.

In a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) report to Congress, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery was ranked as having the highest potentially preventable readmission rate. Volume flow measurement provides an objective, intraoperative assessment of the quality and patency of grafts and could help prevent costly re-operations and readmissions.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, CABG Surgery

7 Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2018

Posted by Tim Callahan on Feb 28, 2018 6:15:00 AM

After a rollercoaster year in the spotlight, healthcare remains one of the top concerns for our country — in fact, 47% of Americans named it one of their top two issues this year.

And while governmental policies are a large part of shaping the healthcare landscape, fields like technology, science, information management and consumer demands also make a huge impact. Take a peek at 7 healthcare trends to watch for in 2018 below.

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Topics: Clinical Trends

Should I Use Telehealth Technologies to Connect with Patients?

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Aug 23, 2017 7:01:00 AM

Telehealth technologies are on the rise. In fact, 71 percent of providers now use some form of the technology. These tools can easily connect patients with their physicians via phone, email or webcam, and in many cases physicians also use them to consult with peers.

Patients can manage their conditions at home by sending their physicians information like heart rate, blood pressure and other vital signs.

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Topics: Clinical Trends

Does Physician Age Impact Patient Outcomes?

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Aug 2, 2017 7:30:00 AM

Can a physician’s age affect whether his or her patient dies? Does physician age impact patient outcomes? Researchers wanted to find out, and what they discovered was surprising.

Researchers in England examined a group of elderly U.S. patients on Medicare who had serious illnesses, required hospital admission and who were being cared for by a hospitalist. They found that the mortality rate rose to 12 percent for those patients who were cared for by physicians aged 60 and up. The mortality rate was a little over 11.3 percent for those aged 50-59, just over 11 percent for those in their 40s and 10.8 percent for those doctors under age 40.

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Topics: Clinical Trends

Resident Work Hour Limits: Should They Be Extended?

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on May 22, 2017 7:00:00 AM

An 18-year-old woman was taken to the ER of New York Hospital on March 4, 1984. Suspecting she had a viral syndrome after presenting with a fever and jerking movements, physicians admitted her for observation and hydration.

As the night wore on, however, the woman became more and more agitated, leading her doctors — a first- and second-year resident and an attending — to order additional medications and restraints. A few hours later the woman was dead. This was the infamous case of Libby Zion, and it forced the medical establishment to take a hard look at resident work hours and supervision due to errors made during her care.

Before work hour restrictions were implemented, it wasn’t uncommon for residents to stay awake for upward of 36 hours. In 2011, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) limited resident shifts to 16 hours, but the ACGME proposed in late 2016 that the shifts be extended to 28 hours.

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Topics: Clinical Trends

Temporary Doctors are Gaining Popularity: 5 Things to Know

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on May 10, 2017 6:30:00 AM

For the past 10 years, Dr. Louise Henson has been working as locum tenens physician. Because she’s a temporary doctor, Henson can avoid long hours and being on call, and can set her own hours and doesn’t have to worry about taking time off for family or personal commitments.

Until recently, locum tenens physicians traditionally filled in for colleagues who were ill, traveling or otherwise unable to work. Now, the opportunity to work as a temporary doctor is becoming an attractive option for physicians who feel burned out. Healthcare facilities are also seeing the benefits of employing more locum tenens staff members.

A recent report from locum tenens staffing agency Staff Care found temporary doctors are on the rise. Here are five things to know about the increase in locum tenens physicians.

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Topics: Clinical Trends

Does Physician Gender Influence Patient Outcomes?

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Apr 5, 2017 7:00:00 AM

You’ve probably seen the headlines:

“Female Doctors May be Better than Male Doctors”

“Having a Female Doctor Might Save Your Life”

“New Study Says Female Doctors Save More Lives than Male Doctors.”

The study that spawned the above headlines was conducted by a team of Harvard researchers who sought to answer the question: Does physician gender influence patient outcomes?

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Topics: Clinical Trends

French President’s Assassination Leads to Development of Suturing Techniques Used to Reconnect Blood Vessels

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Mar 22, 2017 7:00:00 AM

When a major blood vessel is severed, death will occur if the bleeding isn't stopped and circulation restored. This was the case in 1894, when the fifth president of the Third Republic of France, Sadi Carnot, was attacked with a knife in the abdomen that left his portal vein severed. The surgeons who treated the president felt that the vein was too large to be successfully reconnected. Consequently, the vein bled out and the president died as a result of his wounds. This left a deep impression on a young French medical student at the University of Lyon, Alexis Carrel (1873-1944).

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Topics: Clinical Trends

Life Expectancy in the US

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Mar 20, 2017 6:30:00 AM

The statistics alarm. Despite being one of the world's wealthiest nations and one which spends more than any other country on healthcare, the United States trails most other industrialized countries and even Cuba in life expectancy. According to the UN's World Population Prospects of 2015, the US, with an average life expectancy of 78.88 years, ranks 43rd in life expectancy at birth. American males are expected to live to 76.47 and females to 81.25 years.

"Some people need health care some of the time, but all people need health and wellness all the time."

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Topics: Clinical Trends

Is Physician Leadership Right for Me?

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Mar 13, 2017 6:30:00 AM

When you started your career in medicine, were you thinking about eventually making the transition to a leadership role? Many physicians begin their careers knowing they want to take this step, and as a result pursue degrees like a Master of Public Health or Master of Business Administration, in addition to a Doctor of Medicine.

However, only about 5 percent of the 6,500 hospitals in the country are led by physicians. Issues like patient outcomes and safety, reducing readmissions and quality of care all require the expertise and leadership of physicians, according to Medscape.

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Topics: Clinical Trends

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