Best read of the week


Team led by Lankenau ER doctor wins ‘Star Trek’-inspired competition

Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia magazine, San Diego Union Tribune, Washington Post, Quartz: Dr. Basil Harris (an Emergency Medicine specialist at Lankenau Medical Center and an affiliate clinical member of Lankenau Institute for Medical Research) has also applied for seven patents, including a cutting edge device for testing glucose, hemoglobin, and white-blood cells with a finger cuff instead of the common lancet.


Additional news media reports on MLH physicians and the health care industry, excerpted from MLH’s daily Morning News Report:


Main Line Health News…

Lankenau Heart Institute presents Paint the Town Red

Susan Scovill: The event encouraged women to take charge of their heart health and shop the local artisans, boutiques and businesses who showcased their unique luxury products. Attendees also met with Lankenau Heart Institute’s female cardiology team.


Downingtown East students witness mock crash program

Daily Local News: After the mock crash, Bryn Mawr Rehab presented its program “Cruisin’ Smart,” for the students to hear from an actual crash victim.


Frederick C. Haab, 79, business executive and civic leader

Philadelphia Inquirer: He was a member of the Main Line Health board of governors, lending his expertise when Jefferson University merged with the Main Line Health System to form Jefferson Health.  On June 2, 2011, he was honored by the board in a special resolution, which praised him for “his strategic vision and highly sought-after business acumen…during a time of dramatic changes in healthcare.”


Plan Advanced Healthcare Needs Next Week At Main Line Health Main Line Health will host an event on Saturday, April 22, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 pm at the Main Line Health Corporate Office, 240 N. Radnor Chester Road, Radnor.


Fundraiser focuses on women’s heart health

Hellenic News: Paint the Town Red, a fundraising event from the Women’s Heart Initiative at Main Line Health, was in full swing on the evening of April 5. Vendors manned tables, selling their products and services, donating a portion of their proceeds to the Women’s Heart Initiative. This is the third year for the event.


See the 832 hospitals that earned an ‘A’ in patient safety

Healthcare IT News:  Bryn Mawr Hospital and Paoli Hospital are among those named by Leapfrog.


Independence Blue Cross, Penn Health System sign 5-year deal

Philadelphia Business Journal: Independence has also stated in recent weeks that is in discussions with Temple University Health System and Main Line Health about joining the Independence Facilitated Health Networks model.


Why health care is facing reconstructive surgery

Philadelphia Business Journal: Rothman’s construction of multi-specialty centers is already underway in Bryn Mawr, a project with Main Line Health’s Bryn Mawr Hospital, and in Cherry Hill, a project with Kennedy Health System. Penn Medicine is exploring whether to make outpatient joint replacement surgery part of the services provided by new ambulatory care centers it is planning. (Subscription required; please contact MLH Medical Library for full text.)



Regional Health Care News…

Creating Visual Profiles of Patients to Improve Care

Hospitals & Health Networks: A visual profile of a patient is an accessible ways for clinicians to personalize care, says Christine Holt, chief experience officer at Holy Redeemer Health System in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.



Patient Care News…

For a trip to the ER, some are opting for Uber over an ambulance

STAT: The trend, experts say, is driven by a few key factors. Ride-hailing services are cheaper and more predictable than ambulance services. And it allows riders to choose the hospital they’re taken to. But emergency Uber and Lyft rides come with significant risks — to drivers, to patients, and potentially to the companies themselves.


Race Plays Role in Heart, Diabetes Risk, Even at Normal Weight

HealthDay News: Americans of South Asian and Hispanic descent who aren’t overweight may be more at risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes than normal-weight white people are, a new study finds.


Rude Doctors, Rude Nurses, Rude Patients

New York Times:  An often-cited British study from 2015 called “Sticks and Stones” reported that rude, dismissive and aggressive communication between doctors (inevitably abbreviated, in a medical journal, as RDA communication) affected 31 percent of doctors several times a week or more. The researchers found that rudeness was more common from certain medical specialties: radiology, general surgery, neurosurgery and cardiology.


Childhood trauma linked to risk of depression as women near menopause

WHYY:  Emotional abuse, parents divorcing, or alcoholism in the family were the most common childhood traumas. Women who reported two or more of these during their teen years were twice as likely to face depression during the transition to menopause.


A Doctor Explains the Healing Power of Poetry

Wall Street Journal: “I find that every clinical encounter I have with a patient is really like a poem, in that in order for me to understand the way my patients describe their symptoms, I have to be attentive to issues of language, such as metaphor,” said Dr. Rafael Campo. (Subscription required; please contact MLH Medical Library for full text.)


‘Low-value Care’ More Prevalent in Hospital-based Primary Care Practices

HealthLeaders Media: A study in this week’s issue of  JAMA Internal Medicine finds that hospital-based primary care practices are more likely to make referrals to specialists and order expensive imaging and other unneeded tests for patients with common conditions than do their colleagues in community-based practices.


New Guidelines For Prostate Cancer Screenings

CBS3: Based on the latest research, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.has reversed its recommendation, and now says men 55 to 69 should have a conversation with their doctor and make a decision for themselves.


Obesity And Diabetes Kill More Than Initially Thought, According To New Study

Forbes:  Researchers used information from National Health surveys to determine which patients had diabetes and likely died from complications of diabetes. Then they searched the death certificates of these individuals to find the recorded cause of death. Based on the survey data, over 11.5% of the patients had died from diabetes complications. This was close to four times the percentage of patients who had diabetes complications mentioned on their death certificates (3.3–3.7%).


Virtual reality takes doctors on a ‘fantastic voyage’ inside hearts

STAT: Stanford University offers doctors a “room” with a unique view — the inside of an infant’s beating heart, valves opening and closing, blood cells rushing past.



Quality and Safety News…

Medication errors in hospitals don’t disappear with new technology

Post-Gazette: In the first six months of 2016, Pennsylvania hospitals reported 889 medication errors or close calls that were attributed, at least in part, to electronic health records and other technology used to monitor and record patients’ treatment. A majority of the errors pertained to dosages — either missed dosages or an administration of the wrong dose.


20 percent of patients with serious conditions are first misdiagnosed, study says

Washington Post: Twelve percent of the people who asked specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to review their cases had received correct diagnoses, the study found. The rest were given diagnoses that were partly in line with the conclusions of the Mayo doctors who evaluated their conditions.


Cigna reports 12 percent cut in opioid use among US customers

Reuters: The company sends doctors information from its own claims databases to detect opioid use patterns that suggest possible misuse by individuals and alerts physicians if their prescription patterns are not consistent with CDC guidelines.


New ransomware variant targets hospitals

Becker’s Hospital Review: “Philadelphia,” described as an “unsophisticated ransomware kit,” is sold for a few hundred dollars. Hackers deploy the ransomware using a phishing email, which redirects the user to a personal storage site. This site downloads a file with the hospital logo and a set of fake patient information documents. By clicking these icons, the user executes the Philadelphia ransomware.


Shadow IT systems leave healthcare vulnerable to attacks

FierceHealthcare: In an effort to work around inefficient systems, clinicians occasionally resort to unsecured communication tools like personal email or texting. Those workarounds create additional vulnerabilities within the system that might not be easily identified by security professionals.


Medical devices are the next big target for hackers

FierceHealthcare: Although hackers have not launched a successful attack on healthcare devices yet, the patient safety implications of an attack have made cybersecurity a priority among device manufacturers, hospital CISOs and the FDA.


Levels of doctor burnout, depression may be creating public health problem, research suggests

WHYY: A new paper, published on the National Academy of Medicine’s Perspectives site, has called it a public health problem. The paper focused on specifically on osteopathic physicians. But the level of burnout was roughly the same for doctors as well, the authors said.


Leapfrog Group releases latest hospital safety report

Healthcare Dive: Patients at hospitals performing poorly against quality measures were three times more likely to die and 13 times more likely to experience complications than patients at high-performing hospitals, according to a study published last December



Health Care Business News…

Bill would expand roles of nurse practitioners

Republican-Herald: Those opposed to SB25 note that CRNP education and training time is not as extensive as that of physicians.


Pa. Medical Society launches new company to support independent medical practices

Central Penn Business Journal: The society invested $15 million to start the company, The Care Centered Collaborative, after months of work and preparation, and its goal is to provide tools that will help independent physicians with things such as improving quality and patient experience while lowering costs.


Medicare Advantage payment rates to increase by 0.45%

Healthcare Dive: The agency will adjust its use of encounter data in determining risk scores for plans. The new score blend will take provider information about the care an enrollee received for 15% – not 25% – of the risk score.


Interstate licensure compact now accepting doctors’ applications

FierceHealthcare: The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission is accepting applications from physicians who want to obtain multiple licenses from participating states.


Pa. releases draft medical marijuana regulations for doctors

Philadelphia Inquirer: The Pennsylvania Department of Health issued draft regulations on Tuesday that would govern how doctors become registered to prescribe medical marijuana and certify patients to receive the drug when it becomes available.


Hospitals and Hospitality: What Customer Service and Patient Experience Can Teach Your Business

Forbes: Cleveland Clinic was long known for positive medical outcomes. By humanizing Cleveland Clinic’s scheduling and discharge processes and improving wait times, the physical environment, and other “soft” aspects, the institution was able to move from an average rating on patient satisfaction to being within the top 8%.


Survey: 1 in 5 patients comparison-shop for healthcare

FierceHealthcare: A nationwide survey conducted by Public Agenda found that about half of patients in the U.S. have tried to find how much their healthcare would cost before going to get care, but 63% said that there is not enough information on costs available.


Hospitals participating in value-based programs have lower readmission rates

Healthcare DIVE: For heart failure patients, participation in an ACO was associated with a 2.1% reduction in readmissions each year, while hospitals enrolled in meaningful use saw a 2.3% drop. Hospitals that participated in an ACO or meaningful use plus bundled payments had 2.6% and 2.5% fewer readmissions, respectively.


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