The Tragedy of Undelivered Lab Results and Delayed Diagnosis

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When lab, imaging, or other test results are not followed up, the outcome can be tragic. According to The Joint Commission, diagnostic error impacts one in every 20 adult patients in outpatient settings and may be the most frequent medical error plaguing the practice of medicine in this country.  Johns Hopkins Medicine defines diagnostic error … Continued

Breathe Deep—the Danger of Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia

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Hospital-acquired pneumonia is a common and often deadly healthcare-associated infection (HAI). Hospitals are a critical aspect of community and national infrastructure.  Providing care to the ill and injured, hospitals are of vital importance throughout our lives.  But what happens when a hospital stay, by itself, proves deadly or injurious? By nature, healthcare facilities are home … Continued

What is Maternal Sepsis?

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Sepsis is an often-dangerous immune response that can lead to severe outcomes or death.  Paired with pregnancy, it can endanger mom and baby. Sometimes called blood poisoning, sepsis is not a disease but an attack by the human immune system upon itself.  The condition can be triggered by any type of infection and is sometimes … Continued

Overmedication in Nursing Facilities—Error or Intent?

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Media reports reveal a disturbing practice at nursing facilities who use “chemical straitjackets” to maintain patients who may have no need for the powerful medications given to them. A recent investigation by The New York Times suggests a startling number of nursing facilities across the country are using questionable diagnosis of psychotic disorders in order … Continued

Errors in the ED—Dangers in Critical Care Settings

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Diagnostic errors made in the Emergency Department (ED) can lead to dangerous escalation of a disease, injury, or death. Emergency medicine is a specialized form of medical care that requires relative speed, thoughtful diagnosis, and appropriate testing in order to move a patient into an appropriate treatment setting or outcome.  For the most seriously ill … Continued

New Guidelines for treating C. diff in Hospital Settings

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New treatment guidelines may reduce and deter the sometime serious impacts of infection with Clostridoides difficile (C. diff). A bacterium that causes inflammation of the colon (colitis) and severe diarrhea, C. diff can be serious at any age.  It more often impacts patients on antibiotic treatment, those who are immune compromised, individuals who have had … Continued

OB Patients at Risk for Wrong Patient Orders

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A recent study suggests new moms and their babies may be at higher risk for receiving medical care intended for another patient. Electronic health records provide efficiencies, but also have challenges—especially in busy surgical settings like an emergency department or obstetric unit.  New research published in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that erroneous medical orders are … Continued

Distraction during Surgical Counts Contributes to Retained Surgical Objects

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A recent study points to distraction as a contributing factor behind unintended retention of foreign objects (URFOs). Consider this – a patient undergoes surgery which is uneventful and helpful.  One year later, increasing pain sends the patient back to their healthcare provider.  Ultimately, imaging studies reveal a surgical sponge entombed within the pelvis of the … Continued

Reducing Pregnancy Complications with Home Health Nurses

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To reduce rates of maternal and infant mortality, New Jersey is initiating voluntary wellness checks for families with newborn children. Despite its wealth, the US health system ranks last in the industrialized world for its attention to maternal and infant death. Overall, approximately 18 women die per 100,000 pregnancies. In some areas of the US … Continued

US Ranks Last in Health Care in Recent Survey of Higher Income Countries (Again)

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Among 10 equivalent developed countries, a recent survey again rated the United States health system last when measured across different domains of healthcare service. The COVID pandemic revealed gaps and strengths in healthcare systems around the world with regard to infection control, treatment, and public health resilience. The Commonwealth Fund is a foundation that supports … Continued