19 January 2017

Integrating Telemedicine Responsibly

Providers and patients alike view telemedicine as an increasingly important healthcare delivery modality. Per a recent article in Medical Economics, “How to balance telemedicine advances with ethics,” the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) reports that more than half of all U.S. hospitals use some form of telemedicine; and IHS Technology predicts the number of patients using telehealth services will jump from fewer than 350,000 in 2013 to 7 million in 2018.

But this modality can also be challenging to implement responsibly.

Telehealth Benefits

The dramatic growth of telemedicine is driven by its ability to further the goals of the “quadruple aim” framework for...

17 January 2017

Study Identifies Risk Factors for Congenital Heart Disease in Infants

A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal identified the chronic conditions that may predispose women to give birth to infants with congenital heart disease, also known as congenital heart defects or CHD.

The study reviewed the Taiwan Maternal and Child Health Database’s records of 1,387,650 live births from 2004 to 2010. The researchers investigated three data sets including:

Birth Registrations data on the sociodemographic characteristics of live births Birth Notifications data on prenatal care and the lifestyles of pregnant women Medical claims data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance program

The researchers found that...

12 January 2017

Research Suggests Discussing Opioid Risks With Patients Reduces Misuse

Patients who were counseled by their physicians about the long-term risks of abusing prescription opioid pills were significantly less likely to save those medications – a high-risk abuse behavior – according to a research brief published in the November/December 2016 issue of Annals of Family Medicine. 

The researchers analyzed data from two April 2015 random-digit-dial telephone surveys, both conducted by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and The Boston Globe, of adults 18 and older. One survey targeted Massachusetts residents; the other was national in scope. The researchers restricted their analysis to data from respondents who reported having been prescribed...

10 January 2017

Retail Clinics Near EDs Do Not Decrease Low-Acuity ED Visits

The opening of retail clinics within a 10-minute drive of emergency departments (EDs) has not resulted in reduced ED utilization for low-acuity conditions such as influenza, urinary tract infections and earaches, according to a recent study by RAND Corporation researchers. The study was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, the peer-reviewed scientific journal for the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

The findings contradict the assertions of some healthcare experts and policymakers that increasing the number of retail clinics could reduce ED visits by patients with low-acuity conditions. The study notes that about 13.7% of all emergency department visits are for low-acuity...

5 January 2017

Our 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

The most-read posts on the Sheridan blog in 2016 focused on key topics – ranging from the challenges involved in the transition to value-based care and this country’s physician burnout epidemic to exciting technology innovations and trends in clinical practice.

The 10 most popular posts from the past year are:

How to Manage the Burdens of Change on Physicians and Health Care Practitioners, a summary of Chief Quality Officer Dr. Gerald Maccioli’s presentation at the 2016 Health:Further Summit about the overwhelming burdens on providers created by current and planned changes to the U.S. health care landscape and strategies for managing them.

Sheridan’s 2016 Leadership...

3 January 2017

How Patient Satisfaction Scores Affect Physicians and Care

Enhancing patient experience is part of the quadruple aim for value-based care. CMS uses the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey to measure patients’ perceptions of their hospital experiences and compare them across hospitals, locally, regionally and nationally. Those scores have played a role in hospital payment through the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program since 2012. Now, under MACRA, physicians’ and hospitals’ patient satisfaction scores beginning in 2017 will affect their Medicare reimbursements beginning in 2019. Sheridan is rolling out patient satisfaction scoring for all its physicians and Gerald A. Maccioli, MD, MBA, FCCM, Chief Quality Officer, was...

22 December 2016

Practice Management Changes in 2017

A new Physicians Practice article, “7 Predictions for Practice Management in 2017,” features several respected healthcare experts including Sheridan’s Chief Quality Officer, Gerald A. Maccioli, MD, MBA, FCCM. Their predictions addressed seven areas of anticipated change:

The Affordable Care Act and congressional action New data and deadlines Shifting payments Added regulation Changing insurance scene Technology demands Patient communication

Dr. Maccioli spoke about the modifications to the phase-in year of MACRA made by CMS to address the physician community’s “angst” about the program’s implementation, including technology and operational issues such...

22 December 2016

Putting Patients at the Center of the Perioperative Period

Dr. Adam Blomberg, Sheridan’s National Education Director, Anesthesiology Division, is a strong proponent of putting patients at the center of the entire perioperative period rather than just during preoperative testing. That’s the focus of a new program, TEMPO, that Sheridan has just begun to roll out formally at two partner facilities. 

TEMPO evolved from Sheridan’s proprietary ClearPATh preadmission testing (PAT) framework, which significantly streamlined the PAT process by increasing efficiency and freeing up other operating room (OR) resources. This framework has helped Sheridan anesthesiologists reduce or eliminate unnecessary testing, consultations and preoperative visits and given them the...

21 December 2016

Sublingual Sufentanil Safe and Effective for Controlling Postoperative Pain

A recent postoperative pain study sponsored by AcelRx Pharmaceuticals has demonstrated the safety and efficacy of sublingual sufentanil for controlling moderate to severe acute postoperative pain. AcelRx has an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prove that sublingual sufentanil mini tablets are safe and efficacious in the treatment of moderate to severe acute postoperative pain. The sponsor approached Sheridan Clinical Research in April, 2016 about participating in this multicenter, randomized study of its 30-mcg sublingual sufentanil tablet, which must be administered by a healthcare professional. Sheridan anesthesiologist Juan Restrepo, MD, who had participated...

19 December 2016

Identify Pain Points First to Effectively Implement Radiology Process Improvements

Radiology departments are under tremendous pressure to increase efficiency without sacrificing quality, as nearly every department in the hospital depends on them to produce and read images in a timely manner. Hospital workflows are complex, and investments in new software, equipment or people that are not informed by a thorough understanding of the underlying causes of inefficiencies are unlikely to deliver the desired improvements.

An article in Radiology Today earlier this year advised department heads to do a full assessment of workflow processes to identify the “pain points” that result in inefficiencies. Pain points can be areas that may need improvement, like patient throughput, or areas where...