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Dissecting the dirty instruments issue
in healthcare facilities

Infection Control Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The recent attention to "dirty instruments" is interesting, as this is not a new issue. For years, sterile processing professionals have been dealing with issues surrounding reprocessing of reusable medical devices and surgical instrumentation. One of the major reasons certification programs were developed for sterile processing personnel was to be able to verify competencies for personnel performing the critical functions of cleaning, high-level disinfection and sterilization. More

Demand for temporary doctors rises amid worsening physician shortage
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The worsening doctor shortage means more work for physicians on temporary jobs, but could be trouble ahead for patients looking for a medical professional as more Americans get health benefits under the Affordable Care Act. More

EMR tool cuts CT scans in emergency room patients
Diagnostic Imaging    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Electronic medical records can keep track of radiation exposure and reduce unnecessary CT scans in emergency room patients with abdominal pain, said researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Emergency room physicians often rely on CT scans to determine the cause of abdominal pain, but there are few clear guidelines on which patients should receive such scans. More


May/June Sutureline Issue
AASPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
AASPA's May/June issue of Sutureline, 2012, Volume 32, Number 3 is now available on the AASPA website, in the Members-only section. You will need your email and password to access the Vault where all the AASPA publications, CME presentations, and archives are stored. Enjoy our latest issue of Sutureline and if you are interested in writing a scientific article for publication please contact Linda Kotrba at

 More News

Virtual doctors visits catch on with insurers, employers
Kaiser Health News with USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tired of feeling like the walking dead but worried about the cost of a doctor's visit, Amber Young sat on her bed near tears recently in Woodbury, Minn. That's when she logged onto an Internet site, run by NowClinic online care, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, and "met" with a doctor in Texas. After talking with the physician via instant messaging and then by telephone, Young was diagnosed with an upper respiratory illness and prescribed an antibiotic that her husband picked up at a local pharmacy. More

Health cost study: Facilities outmuscle physicians
LifeHealthPro    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hospitals and outpatient facilities seem to be doing a significantly better job at bargaining for higher rates from employer-sponsored health plans than physicians are this year. Analysts at Milliman Inc., have published data supporting that conclusion in their 2012 Milliman Medical Index report. Hospital costs are up 7.6 percent, and outpatient care costs are up 8.6 percent. Physician costs are up just 5 percent. More

Whooping cough outbreak has public health officials wary
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Public health officials are closely watching a rash of whooping cough cases in Washington state, urging people to protect themselves and infants against the potentially deadly disease. Washington reported 1,284 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, this year, according to federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's more than 10 times the number of reported cases at the same time last year. More

Second guessing Medicare's star rating system
Kaiser Health News and The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the federal government pumps billions of bonus dollars into private Medicare health plans to encourage better care, the quality rating system used to award the bonuses is coming under increasing fire. Critics, including the Government Accountability Office and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, question whether the $8 billion-plus program is mostly rewarding mediocre patient care. More

Doctors restore some hand function to quadriplegic patient
HealthDay via U.S. News and World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the first time, surgeons have restored partial mobility to the hand of a quadriplegic patient. The patient had suffered an injury to the lowest bone in his neck, and it was the specific location of the injury that allowed surgeons to avoid operating on the spine itself. More

Kinect imaging lets surgeons keep their focus
New Scientist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The surgeon enters the operating theater, covered in sterile blue scrubs. Machines beep and hiss. Nurses wait, tools at the ready: scalpel, forceps, bandage, Xbox ... Xbox? Recently, a surgeon at Guy's and St Thomas' hospital in London began trials of a new device that uses an Xbox Kinect camera to sense body position. More

The best LinkedIn groups for hospital professionals
MedCity News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hospitals employ 5.4 million people in the U.S., and plenty more around the world, so it's no shock that there are a lot of LinkedIn groups dedicated to all aspects of hospital work — administration, marketing, sustainability, process improvement and the like. A search of LinkedIn's groups section on the word "hospital" yields 2,175 results, proof that healthcare social media shows no signs of losing steam. More

E-prescriptions' popularity on rise
The Associated Press via Las Vegas Review-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dropping a paper prescription at the drugstore is becoming old-school: More than a third of the nation's prescriptions are now electronic, according to the latest count. The government has been pushing doctors to e-prescribe, in part because it can be safer for patients. This year, holdouts will start to see cuts in their Medicare payments. More

FCC chooses spectrum for wireless medical devices
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The telecommunications regulator announced plans to set aside a chunk of spectrum for connecting wireless medical devices to allow for more convenient and cost-effective health monitoring. The allocation of spectrum for so-called Medical Body Area Networks is part of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's push to free up unused spectrum and will be up for a vote at the FCC's next meeting. More

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