16 February 2017

No Link Between Maternal Influenza and Increased Autism Risk for Children

Current research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects about 1 in 68 children in the United States. While the exact causes for ASD are not yet known, previous and now widely discredited scientific research contributed to the popular belief that vaccinations can cause the disorder. Despite new research that increasingly disproves any potential link, this belief continues to linger. To further investigate a possible connection, a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics examined the association between maternal influenza vaccination during pregnancy and an increased risk of ASD for children.

For this cohort study, researchers from Kaiser Permanente...

14 February 2017

Virtual Coaching for Patient Engagement

A recent study published in the American Journal of Managed Care found that patients who used “virtual health coach” (VHC) technology while waiting for their physicians in the exam room were encouraged to engage in conversation with their physicians about a healthy lifestyle topic that was not discussed during previous appointments. 

Eighty-nine patients who agreed to test out “new technology” during their exam room downtime were given handheld tablet computers equipped with virtual health coaches driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language understanding (NLU) technologies, similar to Apple’s Siri or Google’s Alexa. The patients interacted with an...

9 February 2017

Are the Best Hospitals Led by Physicians?

Healthcare’s increasing complexity in this country and the growing emphasis on patient-centered care and efficiency in delivering clinical outcomes are forcing clinicians get better at balancing the competing imperatives of cost versus quality and technology versus humanity. Those challenges are preparing them to take on leadership roles—a good thing, say the authors of a recent op-ed published in the Harvard Business Review, who make a strong case that the best hospitals are led by physicians.

Many of the Top-Ranked Hospitals Are Led by Doctors

James K. Stoller, MD, a pulmonary/critical care physician at the Cleveland Clinic and chairman of the Education Institute; Amanda Goodall, PhD, senior...

7 February 2017

Grand Strand Medical Center Adds Neonatology Program

Grand Stand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has launched a new neonatology program that has been in the works for about a year. The hospital is working to recruit two permanent, local neonatologists. Until those positions can be filled, neonatologists from other counties in South Carolina are working at the hospital, making Grand Stand Medical Center the only hospital in Horry County to have a neonatologist either in the hospital or on-call at all times.

Dr. Art Shepard, the Sheridan neonatologist who worked on staff at the hospital during the first week of the new program, told local ABC News affiliate WPDE that the hospital delivers about 1,000 babies a year, and that 8-10 percent of all babies need...

2 February 2017

Making it Easy for Patients to Read Their Doctors’ Notes

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) gives patients the right to inspect, review, and receive a copy of their medical records, including doctor’s notes, held by health plans and health care providers. Accessing those records can take time and the process can be a hassle, so most patients don’t bother. Yet patients often have a hard time remembering the details of their medical diagnoses and care instructions after leaving the doctor’s office, especially when there is a complex diagnosis, stressful news, or when the patient has cognitive issues. Electronic health records (EHRs) enable doctors to share their notes with patients the push of a button. Most health systems and...

31 January 2017

Learning Health System (LHS) Pilot Saved Nationwide Children’s Hospital $1.36 Million in 12 Months

Researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University (OSU) found that a learning health system (LHS) pilot program at Nationwide combining tailored electronic health records system entry, care coordinators and evidence-based clinical data and research reduced total inpatient days by 43%, reduced inpatient admission by 27%, reduced ER visits by 30% and reduced urgent care visits by 29% during the first year. Per a recent article in HealthLeaders Media, those reductions generated an impressive $1.36 million savings in health care costs during the 12-month period in 2010 and 2011.

The National Academy of Medicine’s Learning Health System Series defines a learning health system...

27 January 2017

Jason Cobb, CRNA Receives Inaugural Bob & Ethel Allison Patient Safety Award

The Bob & Ethel Allison Patient Safety Award was conceived in response to a potential wrong-site surgery two years ago that was prevented thanks to the alertness, quick thinking and willingness to speak up of CRNA Jason Cobb. On Tuesday, Cobb became the first recipient of the award his actions helped inspire.

In December 2014, Bob Allison was being prepared for knee surgery at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Clay County in Middleburg, Florida. All the records, including the consent form Bob had signed, showed that the surgery was to be performed on Allison’s right knee, and the OR team confirmed that as the correct surgical site during the routine pre-op time-out. But when Jason Cobb looked over the...

24 January 2017

Strategies to Provide Neuroprotection for Preterm Infants

Neuroprotection for preterm infants can be one of the most important aspects of care provided to preterm neonates, yet it is sometimes overlooked because the providers are focused on other health issues. It is also essential that neuroprotection for preterm infants be done correctly to avoid causing lifelong struggles for both the babies and their families. A recent article in Neonatal Network, “Neuroprotection of the Preterm Infant,” co-authored by Sheridan Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) Abby Kaspar, offers simple strategies that providers and nurses can use to provide effective neuroprotection for premature infants.

The article defines neuroprotection as...

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...