Category Archives: Critical Care & Intensivists

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...

13 December 2016

Five Key Strategies for Driving Change in the OR

Now more than ever, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers are seeking anesthesia partners capable of driving positive change in their operating rooms. However, for many anesthesia providers, there are hurdles that must be overcome before such change can be realized.

Anesthesia groups of any size, regardless of their financial strength, can employ proven strategies to ensure the success of facility-wide patient care improvement initiatives. Here are five such strategies that Dr. Adam Blomberg, Sheridan’s national education director, has found to be effective.

Collaborate with nursing and surgeons on incremental steps toward larger improvements

Securing the buy-in of nursing and surgical staff is...

1 December 2016

Five Medical Practices That May Soon Be Outdated

With scientific advances and better health knowledge changing the health care industry almost daily, it’s sometimes worth reflecting on the policies and practices best left in the past. In the face of great systemic changes anticipated for 2017, a recent STAT article theorized about five industry activities that may soon become as outdated as hospital cigarette shops and cure-all bloodletting treatments. 

1. Advising doctors not to apologize

Doctors have only been saying sorry to patients within the last decade, which marks a change from the previous industry status quo of doctors not acknowledging or disclosing mistakes. Medical errors were considered incidental...

29 November 2016

Three Radiology Research Projects to Better Understand Concussions

A recent article in Radiology Today illustrates how radiological imaging is becoming an increasingly important tool in studying and diagnosing concussions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 248,000 children and teens visit the emergency department each year to evaluate concussions suffered during physical activity. Concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, have serious short- and long- term effects on thinking, sensation, language and emotion. In the short run, repeated concussions can potentially cause dramatic, fatal brain swelling. In the long run, they have increasingly been linked to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s...

24 October 2016

Using CRM and Time-Outs to Focus Hurried OR Teams on Patient Safety

The shift to value-based care and the imminent implementation of MACRA have made efficiency healthcare’s new mantra, and U.S. hospitals and healthcare systems have made operating rooms a high-priority target for optimization. ORs in U.S. hospitals generate about 70% of a hospital’s revenues and operate at a staffed-capacity utilization of 60-70% and OR time costs roughly $80 an hour, so it’s not surprising that metrics like on-time starts, turnover times, same-day cancellations and OR under- and overutilization are under scrutiny. But speed is not the same thing as efficiency, and the faster OR teams work, the greater the risk of something going wrong. 

Dr. Adam Blomberg, National Education...

7 January 2016

Improved Care through ED-Hospitalist Integration

Improving communication and collaboration between emergency department physicians and inpatient doctors, such as hospitalists and intensivists, has numerous benefits to physicians, hospitals and patients. An integrated model increases patient throughput and patient satisfaction, decreases costs stemming from redundant treatments, and improves patient safety and quality outcomes.

The transition of care from the emergency department to an inpatient bed is a complex process with numerous steps and moving parts, and is consequentially a difficult process to streamline. Hospital departments have traditionally operated within separate silos, focusing on the state of their intradepartmental communication rather than...