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State highlights: Va. Lt. Gov.'s politics and pediatrics juggle; Md. hospital error reporting; ruling on Fla. 'Docs V. Glocks' law

State highlights: Va. Lt. Gov.'s politics and pediatrics juggle; Md. hospital error reporting; ruling on Fla. 'Docs V. Glocks' law

A selection of health policy news from Virginia, Maryland, Florida, New York, Wisconsin, Washington state, New Jersey and Kansas. [More]
Experts urge Senate panel to increase hospital safety measures

Experts urge Senate panel to increase hospital safety measures

Consumer advocates and medical specialists tell the committee that patients are not much safer today than they were 15 years ago when a landmark study on medical errors spurred calls for reform. [More]
First Edition: July 18, 2014

First Edition: July 18, 2014

Today's headlines include reports from the marketplace, including UnitedHealthcare's move toward the health law's insurance marketplaces and the latest on the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into insider trading related to a health policy change. [More]
Study: Minimally invasive aortic repair procedure safer for patients

Study: Minimally invasive aortic repair procedure safer for patients

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have documented the safety benefits of aortic stent grafts inserted during minimally invasive surgery to repair abdominal aortic aneurysms - weaknesses in the body's largest artery that can rupture, causing potentially lethal internal bleeding. [More]
State highlights: Ore. mediation for medical errors; Mich. home-help aides

State highlights: Ore. mediation for medical errors; Mich. home-help aides

A mediation program spearheaded by Gov. John Kitzhaber went into effect Tuesday, giving patients and their families an option besides suing when medical errors happen. But questions remain over how the mediation program will develop, including whether hospitals, doctors and other providers will take advantage of the program, or candidly discuss errors if they do. The result of a compromise between trial lawyers and the Oregon Medical Association approved in SB 483 last year, the Early Discussion and Resolution program is intended to cut down on lawsuits and boost the reporting of medical errors to help improve health care practices (Budnick, 7/1). [More]

Hacking of health records is 'matter of time,' say experts

Specialists in cybercrime say the health industry "is flirting with disaster" as so much patient data goes digital, Politico reports. Also, speakers at a health care conference explore the difficulties of cutting waste and medical errors. [More]
First Edition: July 2, 2014

First Edition: July 2, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including reports about a new audit's findings that the health law's online insurance marketplaces did not adequately screen applicants seeking subsidies. [More]
Study calls for improvements in physicians' inconsistent record of ordering lab tests

Study calls for improvements in physicians' inconsistent record of ordering lab tests

Why does one physician in a walk-in practice order laboratory monitoring tests for patients more often than a colleague working down the hallway? [More]

Medical errors most likely to occur among patients with limited proficiency in English

Despite widespread public and professional attention devoted to medical errors and ways to prevent them, few efforts have focused on addressing a leading cause of errors -- communication problems involving patients with limited proficiency in English. [More]
New technology needed to avoid improper placement of feeding tubes in pediatric patients

New technology needed to avoid improper placement of feeding tubes in pediatric patients

Universal guidelines and improvements in technology are needed to reduce injuries and deaths from improper placement of nasogastric feeding tubes in pediatric patients, according to a comprehensive review of published literature. [More]

GHX partners with PTC to help medical-surgical manufacturers

GHX today announced it has partnered with PTC (Nasdaq: PTC) to offer a solution to help medical-surgical manufacturers meet both commercial and regulatory compliance needs, including the submission requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new Unique Device Identification (UDI) rule. [More]
Virginia Mason receives "A" for patient safety in Hospital Safety Score program

Virginia Mason receives "A" for patient safety in Hospital Safety Score program

Virginia Mason is again rated as one of the safest hospitals in the U.S by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to drive improvements in safety, quality and affordability. [More]
First Edition: April 28, 2014

First Edition: April 28, 2014

Today's headlines include a number of stories examining the impact of the health law in various states. [More]
Global operating room equipment market estimated to grow at 3.76% CAGR by 2016

Global operating room equipment market estimated to grow at 3.76% CAGR by 2016

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Operating Room Equipment Market Report" report to their offering. [More]

ACP calls for testing innovative liability reforms to break through political impasse

The American College of Physicians today released a policy paper on the medical liability crisis, which continues to have a profound effect on the medical system. "Medical Liability Reform-Innovative Solutions for a New Health Care System" provides an update of the medical liability landscape, state-based activity on medical liability reform, and summarizes traditional and newer reform proposals and their ability to affect system efficiency and encourage patient safety. [More]
Researchers describe benefits of establishing Center for Professional and Peer Support at BWH

Researchers describe benefits of establishing Center for Professional and Peer Support at BWH

There is a growing recognition that in health care institutions where professionalism is not embraced and expectations of acceptable behaviors are not clear and enforced, an increase in medical errors and adverse events and a deterioration in safe working conditions can occur. [More]
Viewpoints: The lesson from Florida's special election; hospital deaths; costs of treating hep C

Viewpoints: The lesson from Florida's special election; hospital deaths; costs of treating hep C

But in recent months, the political landscape has grown bleaker [for Democrats] .... The question, of course, is why so many Republicans turned out [in the Florida special election last week] and why so few Democrats did. The answer among strategists on both sides was: Obamacare. But not in the sense that the healthcare law is so unpopular that Democrats are doomed; in fact, as more people sign up for health coverage, polls suggest that Obamacare is a little less toxic now than it was last fall. Instead, the problem is that a high-decibel debate over Obamacare has the effect of prompting conservatives to come out and vote, but not liberals (Doyle McManus, 3/16). [More]
Highlights: Mental health problems in Va.; Kan. autism coverage mandate; device-makers' new disclosures

Highlights: Mental health problems in Va.; Kan. autism coverage mandate; device-makers' new disclosures

After the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, Virginia lawmakers injected tens of millions of dollars into the state's mental-health system, including local mental-health agencies that are the first stop for people in crisis. [More]
Computerized safety checklist shows threefold drop in rates of serious type of hospital-acquired infection

Computerized safety checklist shows threefold drop in rates of serious type of hospital-acquired infection

A computerized safety checklist that automatically pulls information from patients' electronic medical records was associated with a threefold drop in rates of one serious type of hospital-acquired infection, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. [More]
Informed consent is not required for certain health research, say bioethics experts

Informed consent is not required for certain health research, say bioethics experts

Under the right conditions, full informed consent is not ethically required for some types of health research, according to leading bioethics experts. [More]