Best read of the week


Cyberattack on Britain’s National Health Service — A Wake-up Call for Modern Medicine

New England Journal of Medicine: The NHS’s cyberattack experience exposed the fact that, although much has been written about cyberattacks potentially breaching confidential patient information, health care providers have not truly considered the physical harm that could befall our patients should an external party with malicious intent take over health service computers.


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


Main Line Health News

Two Philadelphia medical centers make ‘Top Hospitals’ honor roll

Philadelphia Business Journal: Local hospitals following University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on the list are:

  • Christiana Care- Christiana Hospital
  • Lankenau Medical Center
  • Chester County Hospital
  • Bryn Mawr Hospital
  • Pennsylvania Hospital
  • Riddle Hospital
  • Paoli Hospital
  • Virtua Voorhees


163+ ASC administrators to know | 2017

Becker’s ASC Review: Margaret Adams, CASC, is administrator of Riddle Surgery Center in Media, Pa., and group vice president at Nueterra. Riddle Surgery Center features four operating rooms and was developed by area physicians, Bryn Mawr, Pa.-based Main Line Health Systems, Philadelphia-based Rothman Institute and Leawood, Kan.-based Nueterra Healthcare.


Health Officials: Colon Cancer Cases, Deaths Increasing Among Young People

CBS3: Dr. John Marks, the chief of colorectal surgery at Main Line Health, said, “I think that with better attention to symptoms and screening at the ages younger than 50, we’re catching things earlier and seeing them in a different age…demographic.”


3 Signs You Could Have Sleep Apnea—And Why You Should Address It Now

Prevention: For patients who, for whatever reason, don’t want to wear a CPAP machine,  Rochelle Goldberg, MD, the director of sleep medicine services at Main Line Health, a health system in the Philadelphia area, says there are other options like mouth appliances and Inspire surgery, which stimulates a nerve to make the tongue steer clear of your air path while you sleep.



Regional Health Care News

Penn medical school joins national initiative to increase house calls

Philadelphia Business Journal: The Home Centered Care Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the prevalence of home-based care in the U.S., is leading the effort with the creation of the “HCCI Centers of Excellence for Home-Based Primary Care.” The educational program designed to train new doctors to care for elderly and other medically complex patients in their homes. (Subscription required; contact MLH Medical Library for full text.)


Philly prof helps launch nationwide study of empathy among osteopathic med students

WHYY: A research professor in Thomas Jefferson University’s department of psychiatry and human behavior, is troubled by results of some empirical studies on empathy — and whether they could be part of a bigger trend.


New Pa. health rule: Get your kids vaccinated or they can’t go to school

Philadelphia Inquirer: Unlike the old eight-month grace period, the current rules allow children to be granted a waiver of up to five days to get a required dose of a vaccine. That deadline can be extended if a doctor provides a medical plan explaining when the vaccines will be provided.


Pennsylvania’s First Human Case of West Nile Virus in 2017 Reported in Montgomery County

NBC10: Officials say mosquitoes that transmit the West Nile Virus are most active at dawn and dusk. People outdoors can avoid mosquito bites by properly and consistently using DEET-containing insect repellants and covering any exposed skin with lightweight clothing.



Patient Care News…

Americans Taking More Prescription Drugs Than Ever: Survey

HealthDay News: A new survey finds 55 percent of Americans regularly take a prescription medicine—and they’re taking more than ever.


Mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s diagnoses trigger lower self-ratings of quality of life

Science Daily: “When a clinician discloses the diagnosis and prognosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment or mild stage Alzheimer’s disease, a patient may experience additional symptoms, like anxiety or depression,” said the study’s lead author.


Jump-starting hard conversations as the end nears

Kaiser Health News: Most Americans avoid end-of-life decisions, although some people may be more likely to make them if a doctor or social worker starts the discussion. The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania is among groups that offer end-of-life-planning resources on their websites.


Why doctors need to look past the stats

Daily Pennsylvanian: By using five-year survival rates to tell patients how long they have to live, doctors ignore one major factor: the patient’s humanity. It ignores characteristics such as a patient’s physical fitness, and more importantly, it ignores intangible aspects such as a patient’s mental status, emotional capacity and relationships.


CVS Moves Deeper Into Doctors’ Turf

Wall Street Journal: It intends to expand a program in which it marshals pharmacists, hundreds of on-site medical clinics and its vast data network to help people manage chronic diseases including asthma and high blood pressure. It is an extension of a test program launched earlier this year to help improve the health of people with diabetes through close monitoring of glucose levels, medication adherence and lifestyle habits. CVS said it shares the results with patients’ health providers that use the same record-keeping network, provided the patient consents. (Subscription required; contact an MLH campus Medical Library for full text.)


For patients with diabetes, consider ‘deprescribing’ to improve outcomes

Healio: A provider considering prescribing or recommending a new medication for a patient with prediabetes or diabetes should also consider eliminating at least one therapy the patient is already taking, according to an advanced practice pharmacist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.


Stroke Rates Drop for U.S. Men, But Not Women

HeathDay: “We also found that the declining rates of stroke in men are primarily driven by a decrease in ischemic strokes, a specific type of stroke caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain as a result of blocked arteries or clots,” the study’s lead researcher said. The rates for hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by bleeding in the brain, remained stable for both women and men, the study found.


When the Prescription Is a Recipe

New York Times:  A growing number of doctors and medical groups are now teaching patients how to cook. Some are building teaching kitchens or creating food pantries right next to their practices. Others are prescribing culinary education programs.


One in Five Physicians Find Patient Empowerment Annoying

HealthLeaders Media: The poll of more than more than 1,000 physicians and nurses showed that 54% of physicians said patient empowerment was helpful.


Suicide rate for teen girls rises dramatically

WHYY: The suicide rate of girls from 15 to 19 has doubled from 2007 to 2015; while researchers have several theories, they aren’t quite sure what’s brought about the increase.



Quality and Safety News…

Leftover opioids are a common dilemma for surgery patients

Associated Press: Uncertainty among doctors about how much medicine patients really need after common operations contributes to the problem. Many patients also don’t know how to safely get rid of unused medications, said lead researcher Dr. Mark Bicket, a Johns Hopkins anesthesiologist.


Medical Device Cybersecurity Act Draws Industry Support

HealthITSecurity: Recently proposed legislation on medical device cybersecurity aims to clarify device security enhancement expectations and improve remote access protections.


A ‘perfect storm’ superbug: How an invasive fungus got health officials’ attention

Fox News: The lengths to which the Royal Brompton was forced to resort to rid the hospital of Candida auris — a member of a broader fungal family named Candida — raised red flags for the small community of scientists who study fungi that infect people.


DHS issues warning over cybersecurity vulnerabilities in Siemens imaging devices

FierceHealthcare: Siemens said it is updating the affected products and recommended running the devices on a dedicated network protected by a firewall or disconnecting the devices from the network and reconnecting only after a patch has been installed.


Study finds doctors trained at elite medical schools don’t prescribe nearly as many opioids

Patriot-News: Doctors trained at the top-rated medical school, Harvard, are three times less likely to prescribe opioid painkillers as doctors trained at the lowest-rated schools, a new study has found.


With drug overdoses soaring, states limit the length of painkiller prescriptions

Washington Post: Mishael Azam, chief operating officer of the Medical Society of New Jersey, said the state’s five-day limit, which went into effect earlier this year, is still a “work in progress” for the state’s physicians. Doctors, she said, are still being educated about the law and some are now leery of treating pain patients because of it.



Health Care Business News…

Looking for another gripe with MOC? Study finds specialty boards may profit from physician fees

The Advisory Board: According to Medscape, “Board certification is thought to play an important part in maintaining quality standards.” But many physicians have opposed American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) programs—particularly MOC—citing a lack of support evidence and clinical relevance, as well as the programs’ high fees.


Design Thinking for Doctors and Nurses

New York Times: In recent years, a growing number of health care workers have been stepping up to create innovations by applying “design thinking” – a human-centered approach to innovation that was originally developed in the business world to create new products.


Internet-based EHRs gaining some customers but still a small segment

Modern Healthcare: Though Epic Systems Corp. and Cerner Corp. still dominate the hospital market, cloud-based EHR vendor Athenahealth more than doubled the number of hospitals it has contracts with last year. (Subscription required; contact an MLH campus Medical Library for full text.)


Cureatr Named One of Top Companies Driving the Future of Healthcare Technology Digital Journal: Clinical events such as visits to the ER, admissions to the hospital, patient transfers, discharges, doctor visits, and transitions from the hospital setting to follow-up care are securely communicated via Cureatr’s platform.

AMA, LexisNexis partner to make provider directories more accurate

The Advisory Board: A January CMS report found that “45.1 percent of provider directory locations listed in (Medicare Advantage) online directories were inaccurate,” with inaccuracies ranging from erroneous addresses to misidentifying providers that were accepting new patients.


Google’s Machine Learning Looks to Improve Predictions in Health Care

Hospitals & Health Networks: Google’s machine learning can now include in a predictive modeling algorithm unstructured data like pictures and notes from a physician or nurse that make up the majority of an electronic health record.


Could MACRA Be Key to Fixing Healthcare?

HealthLeaders Media: MACRA may provide a roadmap and policy vehicle to address questions of quality, cost, and accessibility in the U.S. health care delivery system.


Hospitals hope Trump’s pause of a Medicare reimbursement cut will become permanent

Modern Healthcare: The Trump Administration has placed a one-year moratorium on the “25% rule.”


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