Best read of the week


5 myths physicians believe about patient experience

The Advisory Board: More than amenities, clean rooms, or quiet during night, the factors that most inflect patient experience all relate to communication and coordination among the care team—factors that physicians are in a unique position to influence.


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


Main Line Health News…

Tricorders For Everyone! Dr. Basil Harris Shares What’s Next for the Prize-Winning DxtER Tricorder

MedGadget: “We have tests ongoing at Main Line Health near Philadelphia and will spin up new tests at University of California – San Diego. Although I’d love it to be sooner, realistically I hope the first production-grade components will be approved and available for use in about 2 to 3 years,” said Dr. Harris.


Main Line Health receives Advisory Board Workplace of the Year Award

PublicNow: ‘Engaging the workforce is arguably more important now than ever before, with all signs indicating that the pressures impacting the health care industry will continue and increase in intensity,’ said Jack Lynch, president and CEO of Main Line Health.


Dr. Mel Reichman Pursues Lofty Goal of Ending ALS

Main Line Today: The Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 allowed the ALS Association to funnel a whopping $77 million into research. Part of that came to the Main Line. In July 2015, Dr. Mel Reichman, a senior investigator at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research in Wynnewood, received a three-year $240,000 grant from ALSA to find drugs that could stop the disease in its tracks.


Art Of Aging: Making Hospitals More Senior-Friendly

6ABC: Clarice Grant never knows what to expect when the phone rings. Grant handles the Senior Navigation Line for Main Line Health, and gets a wide range of calls from patients, family members, and caregivers. Dr. Thomas Lawrence says the system realized that keeping older patients healthy takes more than just doctors.



Regional Health Care News…

New Media Campaign Unveiled As Drug Overdose Deaths Skyrocket In Philadelphia

CBS3: City health officials say too many people don’t realize that prescription opioids and heroin are the same thing.


No monkeying around: Philadelphia Zoo & St. Christopher’s Hospital form partnership

Philadelphia Business Journal: The Philadelphia Zoo and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children have formed a three-year partnership that will focus on educating the community on health and safety issues, and helping out new mothers.



Patient Care News…

3 Factors That Improve Patient Outcomes

HealthLeaders Media: Informal caregivers, postacute care connections, and direct care worker compensation can all influence patient outcomes positively.


For Some, Pre-Hospice Care Can Be A Good Alternative To Hospitals

NPR: Social workers and nurses from Sharp HealthCare in San Diego regularly visit patients in their homes to explain what they can expect in their final years, help them make end-of-life plans and teach them how to better manage their diseases. Physicians track their health and scrap unnecessary medications.


The newest faces in hospital C-suites are focusing on patient engagement

Healthcare DIVE: As the healthcare industry continues to move to value-based care with its emphasis on patient experience and reducing costs, some hospitals and health systems are putting stock in a new leadership role: chief experience officer (CXO).


Try This At Home: Program Brings Drug Addiction Treatment To Patients

Kaiser Health News: Aware Recovery Care treats addiction as a chronic illness that doesn’t disappear just because symptoms are under control. Aware comes into clients’ homes and connects them with a nurse, a primary care doctor, a therapist, peer support, 12-step meetings and a case manager.


Overcoming Opioids: When pills are a hospital’s last resort

Philadelphia Inquirer: The nation’s opioid crisis is forcing hospitals to begin rolling out non-addictive alternatives to treatments that have long been the mainstay for the severe pain of trauma and surgery, so they don’t save patients’ lives or limbs only to have them fall under the grip of addiction.


Death Rate Among Black Americans Declines, Especially For Elderly People

NPR: Younger black people are still developing, and dying from, major health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke at younger ages than their white counterparts.



Gift-bearing drug reps can influence a doctor’s prescription

Tribune: Doctors prescribed fewer brand-name drugs when hospitals put barriers between the doctors and pharmaceutical companies, according to a new study co-authored by a Carnegie Mellon University researcher.


Jimmy Kimmel’s son’s heart defect could have been found before birth

Philadelphia Inquirer: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1,700 babies are born each year with tetralogy of Fallot — roughly one in 2,500 births.


Rethinking Pain Can Help Hospitalists Fight Opioid Crisis

Medscape:  The pattern of reflexively prescribing opioids when a patient in the hospital reports a high pain score needs to be broken, said an expert at the Society of Hospital Medicine 2017 Annual Meeting. The three-item PEG scale — which evaluates average pain intensity (P), interference with enjoyment of life (E), and interference with general activity (G) — is recommended as a way to assess pain by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Jefferson study finds more effective drug shortens therapy for addicted newborns

Philadelphia Inquirer: Their treatment time could be cut nearly in half by giving them buprenorphine, a milder opioid addiction treatment, concludes a study by Thomas Jefferson University researchers published online Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.



Quality and Safety News…

Compulsory flu shots for health workers: How far should policies go?

Philadelphia Inquirer: The effectiveness “is uneven, there’s no denying that,” Bioethicist Art Caplan said. “But it’s going to help, and it won’t hurt. We’re talking about getting a shot, not amputating a limb.”


Study Finds Link Between Medicine And Miscarriage

CNN: Macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides and metronidazole were related to higher rates of pregnancy loss, the researchers say. However, a greater chance of pregnancy loss was not seen with the most frequently used antibiotics, including penicillin.


CDC: US could run out of yellow fever vaccine by mid-2017

The Advisory Board: Yellow fever has been eradicated in the United States, but CDC recommends the vaccines for U.S. residents traveling to countries with “endemic or epidemic yellow fever virus transmission.”


Electronic OR Scheduling Linked to 33% Reduction in ‘Weekend Effect’

HealthLeaders Media: The outcomes of patients who undergo non-elective surgery on weekends improve when hospitals use electronic operating room scheduling systems and bed-management systems.



Health Care Business News…

Health IT important, but too burdensome for doctors, Tom Price says

Healthcare IT News: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said he supports efforts to achieve true interoperability between electronic health records and other systems, but not at the expense of physician face-time with patients.


How patient portals can improve patient engagement

Healthcare Dive: “Where health systems start to see the portal as a way to have more of a two-way relationship between the healthcare organization and the patient, there starts to be some benefits of providing more proactive care,” says a consumer engagement and consumer directed healthcare analyst.


Hospital profits in Pa.: some doing great, others not

PennLive: It’s generally accepted that a hospital needs a total margin of at least four percent to remain financially stable and to invest in upgrades such as new technology.


Top 10 highlights in new AHCA bill

Modern Healthcare: House Republicans plan to vote Thursday on a revised bill that seeks to eliminate provisions of the Affordable Care Act.


Physicians Should Pause Before Posting, New Study Says

Medscape: One of the most important things to keep in mind when posting on social media is how you will maintain trust in the profession and in patient–physician relationships, the study author advised, adding that clinicians should never forget the permanent nature of social media postings, noting that social media posts persist even after they are deleted.

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