Doctors are dropping the ball during hospital to nursing home transfers, survey shows

Doctors are dropping the ball during hospital to nursing home transfers, survey shows


Poor communication between physicians is the No. 1 issue hurting patient transitions between hospitals and nursing homes, according to a recent survey of long-term care professionals.

For many docs, ambivalence about taking gifts starts early

For many docs, ambivalence about taking gifts starts early


The stereotypical law student's first day is summed up as follows: Students think they are entering the field for the public good while their neighbors are in it for a hefty paycheck. A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine indicates that medical students have a similar experience and found that while students and residents felt confident they could accept gifts from the pharmaceutical industry and remain unbiased, they couldn't say the same of their peers.

Time for a fire UNDER these caregivers

Time for a fire UNDER these caregivers


When I embarked upon the working world, it was no surprise to discover that a fair amount of newspaper reporters smoked like chimneys. It was, however, a shock to later work on the grounds of a hospital campus and see laudable healthcare professionals — people who were saving lives! — light up.

When physician observations cause pain

When physician observations cause pain


A panel of doctors was asked for its opinions about a proposal for a new wing at the nearby referring hospital. It was tough to get a straight answer.

Poll: Nursing tops the list of most trusted professions

Nurses continue to dominate in people's perceptions of the most trustworthy profession, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Pharmacists and doctors and nurses — oh my!

Pharmacists and doctors and nurses — oh my!


As I was thinking about packing for a recent convention — and those who know me know a lot went into wondering about how many pairs of shoes I could get into my suitcase — I started thinking about the healthcare conventions I go to. Specifically, I reflected on just how different the Q&A sessions are.

Transitions of Care III — Scarier than a horror movie: Medication errors

Transitions of Care III — Scarier than a horror movie: Medication errors


We've been talking for a while about transitioning of our residents to and from the facility and some of the problems associated with it. But let's talk now about just one huge problem, that big elephant in the room: medication reconciliation. This stuff is scary.

IOM report sparks discussion over role of advanced-practice nurses

A new report urging policies that promote more independence for advanced-practice nurses (APNs) has instigated disagreements between nursing organizations and physician groups.

Many doctors unknowingly prescribe drugs 'off-label,' study finds

A large number of physicians don't know when they are prescribing drugs, including antipsychotics, "off-label," according to a recent report.

Telemedicine found effective at treating nursing home residents with Parkinson's

Telemedicine improves both motor function and quality of life in nursing home residents with Parkinson's, according to a newly released report.

Study: Special stockings don't help stroke patients

It is common for doctors to provide special stockings to stroke patients to prevent blood cuts. But a new study finds that they not only fail to reduce the chances of a clot, but they cause problems such as skin ulcers and blisters.

Study: Only about half of terminal patients discuss hospice with physicians

While discussing end-of-life issues with doctors has been shown to benefit patients and families, approximately half of terminally ill patients refrain from these discussions, according to a new study.

Stimulus money could bolster e-prescribing practices, report finds

As many as three out of four doctors may be using e-prescribing technology within five years, according to a recently released report.

Wal-Mart to sell low-cost electronic health record systems to docs

Known for its low-cost food, clothing and appliances, Wal-Mart soon will be offering reasonably priced electronic health record systems.

Ferrini named 'Medical Director of the Year'

Rebecca Ferrini, the full-time medical director at Edgemoor Hospital in Santee, CA, was honored Friday as the 2009 Medical Director of the Year by the profession's main association.

Docs ignoring majority of medication safety alerts, study shows

Physicians are overriding a vast majority of safety alerts about potentially bad drug interactions, a new three-state study finds. Doctors, probably more annoyed than enlightened, instead are relying on their own judgment rather than that of commercial services, researchers said in last week's edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Doctor with ties to nursing home controversy a victim in car bombing

Dr. Trent P. Pierce, a former nursing home medical director involved in legal controversy, was the victim of a car bombing at his West Memphis, AR, home late last week. The 54-year-old chairman of the state medical board remained in critical condition as of press time. Authorities said they had no suspects in the attack.

SNF rates should remain unchanged in 2010, MedPAC says

SNF rates should remain unchanged in 2010, MedPAC says

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) last week recommended a freeze on reimbursements for skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation centers for fiscal year 2010.

Medicare, Medicaid short physicians, hospitals nearly $90 billion annually

Medicare and Medicaid underpay physicians and hospitals by roughly $88.8 billion every year, which means privately insured patients are picking up the tab, according to a new study.

Study: 1 in 5 nurses use electronic health records, quality linked to usage

A total of 20% of nurses--or 1 in 5--use electronic health records. Facilities where use of EHR by nurses is prevalent are more likely to report nursing excellence and improved quality of care, according to a recent study.

Nursing homes lead healthcare field in use of electronic health records

A new report shows that, when it comes to adopting electronic health records, nursing homes around the country are leading the charge in healthcare.

Washington approves assisted-suicide law

Voters in the state of Washington this week approved a ballot-initiative that legalizes medically assisted suicide. It is now the second state in the union, along with neighboring Oregon, to approve such a measure.

Research: End-of-life discussions improve quality of life for families, patients

Discussions about end-of-life issues between patients, doctors and families improve the quality of life for the terminally ill. They also have "cascading benefits" for both patients and their loved ones, according to new research.

Patients' wishes may be overlooked in end-of-life decisions

Families and physicians are often left to make end-of-life decisions for patients, and these choices are more complicated than many realize, according to a new study.

Despite warnings, antipsychotics for elderly on the rise

Physicians have not sufficiently heeded warnings about prescribing antipsychotic drugs for seniors with dementia, Canadian researchers suggest.

Fall-prevention awareness can cut ER visits, save money, state finds

Fall-prevention education can help reduce the number of emergency-department visits and healthcare costs in Connecticut, a state-funded report found.

Most Americans favor overhaul of healthcare system

Roughly 82% of Americans believe in significantly changing the U.S. healthcare system, citing experiences with disorganized doctors, expensive insurance and unnecessary treatments as reasons for change, according to a new survey.

Seniors don't raise many surgical concerns with doctors, study finds

Seniors don't raise many surgical concerns with doctors, study finds

Whether or not to undergo a surgical procedure can be a tough call, and most patients come armed with many concerns to talk through with their doctors. But a recent study finds that seniors just aren't asking many of those questions.

Genes cause aging? New research suggests so

While no one knows for certain what causes us to age, prevailing wisdom suggests it's a buildup of stresses and the cumulative effects of disease. The surprising results of a recent study, however, say otherwise.

HHS program to pay healthcare professionals who e-prescribe

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced a new incentive program to help spur the advancement of electronic prescribing practices.