Health Leaders Media: What hospitals learned from the Boston Marathon Bombing

From Health Leaders Media

A year after the two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring scores, the city is making final preparations for the 2014 marathon on Monday, April 21. 

First responders and healthcare workers in particular have learned a number of lessons from the events of April 15, 2013. For example, since the bombing, Boston hospitals have changed the way they receive unidentified trauma patients in the emergency department. Members of the city’s police force are now equipped with military-quality tourniquets.

More lessons, perhaps further-reaching, will come as researchers begin to analyze data on the injuries, surgeries, and outcomes for each of the more than 240 people injured.

Dr King’s Marathon from Tinker Ready on Vimeo.

Your tax dollars at work: How much Medicare pays your doctor

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 10.37.18 AMFor the first time — with a little legal prodding– Medicare has released information on how much it pays individual doctors.

The New York Times already has a searchable database. Check it out.

A tiny fraction of the 880,000 doctors and other health care providers who take Medicare accounted for nearly a quarter of the roughly $77 billion paid out to them under the federal program, receiving millions of dollars each in some cases in a single year, according to the most detailed data ever released in Medicare’s nearly 50-year history.

More here:

Bloomberg:Medicare Millionaires Totaling Almost 4,000 Seen in Data

LA Times

 

Hospital closures: “Survival of the fattest”

No. Grove St. Today. Note street sign.

MGH

Some say the health care system could stand to shrink a bit. Here, Alan Sager of BU uses the sudden closure of North Adams Regional Hospital to argue that the wrong hospitals are closing.  Hidden on the Globe letters page:

Over half of the Massachusetts hospitals open when John F. Kennedy was elected president have now closed. Not one that closed was a major teaching hospital. Heavy reliance on teaching hospitals helps explain our state’s extraordinarily high hospital costs. The pattern of closings may be partly responsible for that reliance.

Some might suppose that a functioning free market protects needed and well-run hospitals while closing unneeded and inefficient ones. Sadly, that pattern seldom prevails. Low-cost, efficient hospitals are not likelier to survive. But hospitals in wealthier places, with more patients insured by higher-paying insurers, rarely close. Some call this survival of the fattest.

More good work from the Globe health desk here:

 Are cardiologists refusing to follow new cholesterol recommendations?

Good morning Denver: Health writers meeting this weekend #AHCJ14

ahcj-logo-topNot much of a Boston presence at the Association of Health Care Journalists meeting this weekend, but we take note anyway.

Even if you are not a writer, the meeting offers much clear-eyed insight into the health care system. And these days, tools we use to probe quality and costs are available to anyone who knows how to sort a spread sheet. Still, journalists and consumers alike need to know how to surf the ongoing tsunami of health care data.

So, follow #ahcj14 on Twitter for tips and the occasional link.

Storify: The Boston skinny on fat

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Kendall Square: Worker’s Paradise!

 

Or East Cambridge as The People’s Republic of Pharma

A mural outside the Biogen Idec construction site.

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#Google #Glasses in the hospital: A “mixture of intrigue and skepticism. #HIT #EMR

google glasses

Giuseppe Costantino photo

When it comes to health information technology — a term that encompasses everything from medical records to monitors — John Halamka – the chief information officer at  of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center — is the man. Here he reports on wearable computing in the hospital.

Here’s what we’ve learned thus far:
 
halamkaPatients have been intrigued by Google Glass, but no one has expressed a concern about them. Boston is home to many techies and a few patients asked detailed questions about the technology. The bright orange pair of Glass we have been testing is as subtle as a neon hunter’s vest, so it was hard to miss.
 
Staff members have definitely noticed them and responded with a mixture of intrigue and skepticism. Those who tried them on briefly did seem impressed. More from Halamka on his own blog Life as a Healthcare CIO.
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