The Sorry State of Primary Health Care in the US

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A new brief from The Commonwealth Fund explores the American disconnect from primary medical care.  The metrics place the US near the bottom of the 11 high-income countries surveyed. The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation founded by Anna Harkness in 1918.  Ms. Harkness was a philanthropist deeply interested in healthcare improvement. She and her … Continued

Physicians May Miss Appendix Cancer in Some Patients

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Treatment options offered to patients with appendicitis should include discussion of appendiceal cancer. On the right side of the body, as the colon descends downward, rests the appendix, a so-called vestigial organ at about four inches in length.  Appendicitis occurs when a blockage forms within the appendix, possibly caused by viral or bacterial infection.  The … Continued

Industry Concern: Nurse Convicted for Medication Error

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A Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse made a devastating medication error that resulted in the death of a 74-year-old woman, Ms. Charlene Murphey.  The nurse, RaDonda Vaught, was convicted of two felonies, for which she will soon be sentenced. When using the electronic medication cabinet to obtain a sedative for a patient, Ms. Vaught withdrew … Continued

Pandemic Pushed Faster Implementation of Hospital Best Practices

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Medical process improvement takes years to accomplish.  A new study reveals the pandemic overcame that entrenched model in some facilities, driving healthcare providers to better serve their patients. A new study in JAMA Network Open explored how quickly process changes occurred in healthcare facilities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Prior research on the … Continued

Treatment of Heart Failure: New Guidelines Published

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New guidelines offer important recommendations to physicians working with patients who suffer from heart disease. In early April, updated clinical practice guidelines (CPG) addressing heart failure were published by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.  The 2022 guidelines replace practice recommendations made in 2013 and 2017. Heart disease and heart failure … Continued

Treating Chronic Hypertension Prior to Pregnancy Reduces Adverse Outcomes

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Recent research supports obstetric efforts to treat hypertension before or during the early stages of pregnancy to reduce health impacts on mom and baby. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the term used to describe the force of blood as it moves through your arteries and vascular system.  Blood pressure that is too high damages … Continued

Virtual Rooming May increase Success of Telehealth

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Better utilization of medical staff during virtual visits could boost patient outcomes. Telehealth is here to stay.  The pandemic created a grueling testing ground for patients seeking medical care that did not further compromise their health.  Patients ill with COVID and other ailments had difficulty obtaining treatment or experienced long waits for care. Medical providers … Continued

Court Upholds $300 Million J&J Judgment for Pelvic Mesh Injury

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Following a court challenge, a California Court of Appeals upheld a $300 million judgment against Johnson and Johnson while reducing the award by $42 million. More than a decade ago, women seeking help for urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse (POP) were often guided to a surgical solution involving the placement of mesh. With age … Continued

How Poor Handoff Leads to Medical Error

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The process for transferring a patient from one provider to another can cause serious injury if information falls through the cracks. “Handoff” is the term used when a patient is being transitioned for care by another provider, team, or service.  As medical care becomes increasingly specialized, more providers may be caring for a patient.  With … Continued