Hospitalist Union Picket, Alarm Fatigue & SHM Collaborations Make Hospital Medicine News

SHM & Hospital Medicine in the News: May 26 – June 9, 2016
This issue of SHM & Hospital Medicine in the News features:

  • The first picket organized by the first hospitalist union in the US, formed in late 2014 in Eugene, OR
  • A national story in Forbes focused on alarm fatigue and potential remedies
  • Credit to SHM for its assistance in an AHRQ project recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine that significantly reduced UTIs in hospitals
  • A press release lauding hospitalists at the University of Kentucky Medical Center for their quality improvement efforts, due largely in part to efforts from SHM past president Dr. Mark Williams
  • An alternative approach to medical education, which delves further into public policy to prepare future providers for the healthcare climate they will face when they begin to practice
  • A USA Today feature on new strategies to improve children’s sleep while in the hospital, including commentary from Dr. Jennifer Jewell, SHM member and pediatric hospitalist

Sacred Heart Hospital Physicians to Stage Picket Outside Hospital Later This Month
Doctors at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend say they were the first group of U.S. hospitalists to organize by forming a labor union in late 2014. Now, after more than a year of negotiations with hospital owner PeaceHealth and still no contract, the hospital doctors are staging another first: an informational picket. PeaceHealth, a health care system based in Vancouver, Wash., respects the doctors’ right to picket, however, “we’re very disappointed,” said Debra Miller, PeaceHealth vice president of labor and caregiver relations. The hospitalists union said in a statement that members will picket to draw attention to patient care and safety at RiverBend.

June 9, 2016
The Register-Guard
Click here for the full story. 

Rethinking the Urgency of Hospital Alarms
The irritating noises coming from patient rooms in hospitals—constant beeping, chronic coughing and those damn alarms. Wouldn’t it be nice if these overly obnoxious tones sounded only for an actual emergency? “Medical alarms currently sound because a parameter has gone outside a bound set on a piece of equipment, or because a technical problem has been detected (low battery power or a lead has failed, for instance),” Ilene Busch-Vishniac, an independent acoustical consultant, said during an interview with this contributor. “But the real intent of an audible alarm should be to signal an urgent situation and in this sense, current medical alarms fail.”

May 27, 2016
Forbes
Click here for the full story. 

AHRQ Program Reduces Urinary Tract Infections in Hospitals
A national project called the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has significantly helped reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections in hospitals, according to a study published in the June 2New England Journal of Medicine. The national project team collaborated with a number of organizations, including the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the Emergency Nurses Association, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Society of Hospital Medicine, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. 

June 1, 2016
PR Newswire
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UK Hospitalists Help Enhance Quality of Care for Patients
Managing and providing a continuum of care for patients with complex health care needs at a large academic medical center like UK HealthCare can be very complex when providers from multiple specialties and subspecialties are needed for tests, treatment and patient education. Dr. Mark V. Williams, chief in the Division of Hospital Medicine at UK, established the first hospitalist program for a public hospital in 1998, and built two of the largest academic hospitalist programs in the U.S. at Emory University (1998-2007) and Northwestern University (2007-2013).

June 7, 2016
UKNow (University of Kentucky News)
Click here for the full story. 

This Med School Teachers Health Policy along with the Pills
Medical students cram a lot of basic science and medicine into their first two years of training. But most learn next to nothing about the intricacies of the health care system they will soon enter. That’s something the medical school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is trying to remedy. “Clinicians today have to graduate being great providers of individual care,” says Dr. Lawrence Deyton, the senior associate dean who’s spearheading the new curriculum. “But they also have to recognize and be able to act on the fact that their patients, when they leave the clinic or leave the hospital, are going home [and] living in situations where there are all kinds of factors that promote and perpetuate chronic disease.”

June 9, 2016
NPR
Click here for the full story. 

Lights Out: Some Children’s Hospitals Take Steps to Ensure a Good Night’s Sleep
Children’s hospitals are now adopting some of the strategies used to foster better sleep at hospitals serving adults. For example, some are enforcing quiet hours after dark, clustering things like overnight blood draws and medication doses to minimize interruptions, and bringing in tools like white noise machines to promote a soothing environment. Activities such as bathing children are shifted to daylight hours. Also, playtime is promoted in the afternoon to help maintain a sense of normalcy and contrast nighttime rest. The hope is that children will sleep better and heal faster.

May 28, 2016
USA Today
Click here for the full story.

Brett Radler

Brett Radler is the Marketing Communications Manager at the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) and has been with the organization since May 2015. He is responsible for managing SHM’s blog, The Hospital Leader. In addition, Brett develops content for SHM’s monthly newsmagazine, The Hospitalist, develops and refines SHM-branded content for multiple communications channels and oversees SHM's online communities.

Brett holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and also serves as on-air talent at a New Jersey radio station in his spare time.

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