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Music therapy in the ED: Helping children deal with painful procedures
By Dorothy L. Tengler
Imagine how scary it is for young children to process the activities in a busy emergency department, especially in view of the critical injuries crashing through the ED doors, not to mention the child's own injuries. Parents sit with them in this environment, providing — if they can — some semblance of comfort and reassurance. That said, what would help these traumatized youngsters deal with whatever uncomfortable or downright painful procedures they might be facing in an emergency setting? A recent Canadian study suggests music may help distract children who need to undergo painful procedures in the ED.
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Symposium by the Sea 2013 was a huge success! Thank you all for attending. Click here to complete the conference evaluation and claim your CME credit!

Is your hospital struggling to reduce CAUTI rates? . . . Free resources are available to link your Emergency Department (ED) to reduce catheter utilization and decrease overall CAUTI rates

Emergency Department Improvement Intervention

The On the CUSP: Stop CAUTI national faculty have developed an intervention and resources to address the particular needs of emergency departments (EDs) and to link EDs to this national CAUTI reduction initiative. EDs have unique challenges in preventing CAUTI. Numerous studies have shown that a majority of indwelling urinary catheters are placed in the ED. Workflow and staffing challenges can result in urinary catheter placement, even when they are not indicated, and the link between misuse of urinary catheters and CAUTI is well documented. The ED Improvement Intervention provides crucial support to EDs in improving catheter appropriateness and proper insertion techniques in reducing CAUTI. The intervention expands an ED's capacity to:
  • Adhere to institutional guidelines (HICPAC preferred)
  • Ensure physician and nurse engagement
  • Observe proper insertion technique
The ED Intervention Fact Sheet (.doc) provides details about the goal of the intervention, resources available and the participation requirements. The final deadline for the ED Improvement Intervention registration is August 31, 2013. There is still plenty of time for interested ED units in the FHA HEN hospitals to join the initiative! All EDs nationwide are eligible to participate, even those in hospitals or states not currently enrolled in the Stop CAUTI project.

EDs interesting in participating should:
  1. Provide contact information of the key contact person who would like to receive registration details (send name, title, hospital, phone and email address to Luanne MacNeill,, by August 15).

  2. Listen to the ED Onboarding Webinar - Recording and Slide Show


Florida says premiums will rise under Obamacare
The Hill
Regulators in Florida said premiums in the state will rise by 30-40 percent under Obamacare. The preliminary figures were included in a presentation by the state's insurance department, and no details or specific rates are available yet.
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Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future
American Medical News
Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment.
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Trial finds more support for universal HIV screening in emergency departments
Science Codex
Screening everyone for HIV in the emergency department may be superior to testing only those with apparent risk, when trying to identify patients with undiagnosed HIV infection, according to new results by researchers at the University of Cincinnati. Though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and national research organizations have recommended universal HIV screening, lead author Michael Lyons, MD, says there is still disagreement among physicians on how to implement screening in the nation's already busy emergency departments.
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Flagler County student helps make hospital ER lobby more child friendly
The Daytona Beach News-Journal
Savannah Umpenhour, a sophomore at Flagler Palm Coast High School, remembers coming to the emergency department at Florida Hospital Flagler when she was a child for her grandfather's care and being a little scared. "I was about 7-years-old when I came here with my family," said Umpenhour in a news release from the hospital. "I remember being really scared and it was difficult to relax." So Umpenhour decided to develop a plan to make the hospital's ER lobby more child-friendly as part of her Community Problem Solving program as a ninth-grader.
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Medicare doubles readmission penalties, changes observation status rules
Family Practice News
Beginning in October, Medicare will double the penalties for preventable hospital readmissions and change the rules for determining when to admit patients or place them in observation status. Under the fiscal year 2014 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule, Medicare is raising the maximum penalties for preventable, unplanned hospital readmissions from 1 percent of base operating payments to 2 percent, starting in October 2013. Details of the payment hike, which is mandated by the Affordable Care Act, were announced Aug. 2 and will be published Aug. 19 in the Federal Register.
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Hard candy sends most children to the emergency room for choking
CBS News
VideoBrief A new study reveals that four common foods make up more than half of children's non-fatal emergency room visits due to choking. The study published in Pediatrics on July 29 showed that between 2001 and 2009, about 12,435 children ages 14 and under on average went to the emergency room for choking on food each year. That number averages out to about 34 children a day.
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White House touts slow increase in healthcare costs
USA Today
Personal healthcare costs rose in the 12 months ending in May at the slowest rate in the last 50 years, as spending on hospital and nursing home services declined, the White House announced. Personal consumption spending rose 1.1 percent, Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said. Hospital readmissions rates dropped from an average of 19 percent to 17.9 percent for Medicare patients since the passage of the 2010 healthcare law, said Krueger.
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Insect sting allergies on the rise, more visits to the emergency room
Medical Daily
Summer is a time for outdoor activities, including days at the beach, camping trips and barbecuing, but it's also a time for insect populations to grow. For these reasons, it's especially important to be wary of insect stings, even if you haven't had an allergic reaction before. A study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, says that half of fatal reactions happen to people who have never been stung before, and that venom immunotherapy is the best way to prevent severe reactions.
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