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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Society of Nephrology to Launch Kidney Innovation Accelerator Print E-mail
Written by   
Tuesday, 01 May 2018 00:00

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is pleased to announce a partnership with the  American Society of Nephrology to launch the Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX), KidneyX will engage a community of researchers, innovators, and investors to enable and accelerate the commercialization of therapies to benefit people with and at risk for kidney diseases through a series of prize competitions and coordination among federal agencies and the private sector.

More than 40 million Americans live with kidney diseases and 703,243 experience kidney failure. With an aging population and rising prevalence of diabetes and hypertension, more Americans need dialysis than ever before. Patients with chronic kidney disease continue to have limited treatment options and are particularly vulnerable in natural disasters when local dialysis centers are damaged or closed for more than a few days.

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Physician Beats Burnout and Restores Quality of Life-with Scribes Print E-mail
Written by The Doctors Company   
Friday, 27 April 2018 15:04

Hans Haydon, MD, an internal medicine physician with Austin Regional Clinic, was distressed that time-consuming EHR documentation was driving down his clinic's patient numbers to levels that covered overhead but barely covered salaries. More importantly, it was driving up work hours and stress-part of the growing nationwide crisis of physician burnout.

"I'm no stranger to computer systems, as my father was an electrical engineer with IBM who helped develop the personal computer," he said. "But I never expected them to intrude directly into patient examination rooms ... I was considering early retirement because my quality of life as a physician had deteriorated."

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Last Updated on Friday, 27 April 2018 15:12
How to Cope with Alert Fatigue Print E-mail
Written by Kang Hsu, MD | MEDITECH Blog   
Friday, 20 April 2018 16:43

As caregivers, we all fall victim to "alert fatigue," when the sheer number of alerts a clinician receives causes them to unknowingly miss important safety warnings. Ironically, all these alerts that are meant to improve patient safety can cause workers to become desensitized and potentially miss important warnings; from incessant smartphone buzzing, to tablet chimes or the blinking red indicators of your EHR.

Not everything is so dire, and we need to triage out the truly critical from the other serious notifications. In my opinion, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) hits some great points in their very concise patient safety primer on the subject.

First, we need to increase alert specificity by getting rid of clinically inconsequential alerts. We should then conform alerts to individual patients and patient profiles. And finally, place all alerts on a tier system, according to severity. This could mean a color coded system, making higher-level alerts interruptive, or personalizing the warnings to the clinical user.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 April 2018 16:53
Brilinta or Clopidogrel, Maximum Benefit or Social Responsibility? Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 09 April 2018 11:40

An April 7 A Country Doctor Writes blog post illustrates the dilemma faced by American healthcare providers in this examination of the costs and benefits associated with two different prescription medicines used to prevent cardiovascular events.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>
California Takes On Health Giant Over High Costs Print E-mail
Written by Chad Terhune and Ana B. Ibarra | KHN   
Tuesday, 03 April 2018 17:24

California's attorney general sued Sutter Health, accusing the hospital giant of illegally quashing competition and for years overcharging consumers and employers. The lawsuit marked a bold move by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra against the dominant health care system in Northern California as concerns mount nationally about consolidation among hospitals, insurers and other industry middlemen. The antitrust suit, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court, asks the court to prevent Sutter from engaging in anticompetitive practices and "overcharges." It said Sutter employs a variety of improper tactics, such as gag clauses on prices, "punitively high" out-of-network charges and "all-or-nothing" contract terms that require all of its facilities to be included in insurance networks.

Sutter, which owns 24 hospitals, reported net income of $893 million last year on $12.4 billion in revenue. The company's nonprofit health system also has 35 surgery centers, 32 urgent-care clinics and more than 5,000 physicians in its network.

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Last Updated on Friday, 04 May 2018 17:06
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