As she herded her two young sons into bed one evening late last December, Laura Devitt flipped through her phone to check on the routine blood tests that had been performed as part of her annual physical. She logged onto the patient portal link on her electronic medical record, scanned the results and felt her stomach clench with fear.Devitt’s white blood cell count and several other tests were flagged as abnormal. Beyond the raw numbers, there was no explanation.“I got really tense and concerned,” said Devitt, 39, a manager of data analysis who lives in New Orleans. She immediately began searching online and discovered that possible causes ranged from a trivial infection to cancer.“I was able to calm myself down,” said Devitt, who waited anxiously for her doctor to call. Two days later, after hearing nothing, she called the office. Her doctor telephoned the next day. She reassured Devitt that the probable cause was her 5-year-old’s recent case of … [Read more...] about Without context or cushion, do online medical results make sense?
Even as opioids flood American communities and fuel widespread addiction, hospitals are facing a dangerous shortage of the powerful painkillers needed by patients in acute pain, according to doctors, pharmacists and a coalition of health groups. The shortage, though more significant in some places than others, has left many hospitals and surgical centers scrambling to find enough injectable morphine, Dilaudid and fentanyl — drugs given to patients undergoing surgery, fighting cancer or suffering traumatic injuries. The shortfall, which has intensified since last summer, was triggered by manufacturing setbacks and a government effort to reduce addiction by restricting drug production.As a result, hospital pharmacists are working long hours to find alternatives, forcing nurses to administer second-choice drugs or deliver standard drugs differently. That raises the risk of mistakes — and already has led to at least a few instances in which patients received potentially harmful … [Read more...] about The other opioid crisis: Hospital shortages lead to patient pain, medical errors
The State of Idaho has chosen a contractor from among four bidders to handle the non-emergency medical transportation needs of Medicaid patients. Medical Transportation Management, Inc. (MTM) will take over the program March 6, 2018. The existing contractor, Veyo, exercised an early-out provision in its $70 million, three-year contract, citing expensive, unexpected restrictions on its business model that uses independent drivers. “The Department of Health and Welfare will work with the existing broker, MTM and stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition for our Idaho Medicaid participants and providers,” said Matt Wimmer, administrator of Health and Welfare’s Division of Medicaid. The $34 million contract with MTM runs through June 2019, with an option to extend the contract for up to an additional five years. The contract involves providing about 100,000 non-emergency medical transports per month for Idaho Medicaid clients. MTM, with headquarters in St. Louis, … [Read more...] about New Medicaid vendor chosen for non-emergency medical transportation
Originally written in 2000 by Gary Schwitzer, founder and publisher of HealthNewsReview.org. Each of the “7 words you shouldn’t use…” in this article was suggested to him by patients he has interviewed through the years. We still see them used too much today. When I was a young reporter in Milwaukee, comedian George Carlin was arrested for publicly performing what was then becoming a popular part of his routine – “the seven words you can’t say on television.” Carlin ridiculed network censors by expounding on the attributes of the seven words he claimed could not get on the airwaves. (of now more than 40 years) in medical journalism and health care communications, I have developed my own list of taboo terms – all of which appear in print and on the public airwaves too frequently. I offer my own list of the seven words you shouldn’t use in medical news and health care communications. I urge … [Read more...] about 7 words (and more) you shouldn’t use in medical news
Dive Brief: Lyft has partnered with Acuity Link to expand non-emergency medical transit options for hospitals, the latest in the ride sharing app's expansion into healthcare. Acuity's HIPAA-compliant dashboard will power Lyft’s ride-hailing platform. Providers can discharge patients through the new logistics management system. Dive Insight: Tech and ride-sharing companies are seeing NEMT as an opportunity to grow revenues while serving providers with an easy, cheaper option than taxi vouchers. Uber this month launched Uber Health, a new platform for providers to use the app to get patients to their facilities. Several days later, Allscripts launched its cloud-based Avenel EHR product and announced a partnership with Lyft to integrate NEMT ordering into Allscripts’ Sunrise EHR for physicians. Echoing sentiments from Uber, Lyft officials wrote in a blog post an ambitious goal to eliminate transportation barriers to healthcare, which affect … [Read more...] about Lyft expands medical transit options with Acuity Link partnership