This Is What Happens When People Are Stripped Of Their Ability To Read, Write And Count

September 26, 2016

Most of us all take the ability to read and write and work with numbers for granted, after all, that’s what school is for in our formative years, to give us a solid, grounded education in the basic forms of non verbal communication and problem solving. In fact, in any developed country we all take it for granted.

But have you ever wondered how you would function if suddenly all of these abilities were suddenly taken away from you? No big deal, right. Life would go on, i could still work and complete most of my work duties, couldn’t i? Well actually the answer is NO. Not even close. In fact the reality of this is pretty scary.

In the thought provoking video ­above ‘Could you forget everything you ever learned?‘, members of society from all walks of life including doctors, students, parole officers and teachers are hypnotized into temporary illiteracy, and then asked to perform basic tasks such as reciting the alphabet, telling the time or writing their name.

The fascinating social experiment shows how even a temporary loss of literacy turns their worlds upside down. Everyday tasks become impossible to execute – and even dangerous. In the video, a doctor is seen unable to read a medicine bottle and a playwright cannot read the script she’d penned herself.

The hypnotized volunteers are experiencing something like this temporarily, but the stark truth is that this passing experience could be a permanent reality for millions of refugee children who are not receiving basic education. Without providing an education for children fleeing conflict and instability, they won’t have just lost their homes, they’ll have lost their future.

The film ends by posing a question to the viewer: Where would you be now without an education?

CLICK HERE to watch this fascinating hypnosis video (2 minutes 20 seconds)

How Mercy created a $54M virtual hospital in St. Louis

September 23, 2016

In October 2015, Mercy Hospital St. Louis opened a $54 million, four-story hospital — and it doesn’t have any beds, according to CNN Money.

Mercy’s Virtual Care Center doesn’t hold patients, but is, instead home to 330 staffers designated to provide care to patients via telemedicine.

Mercy’s goal when building the hospital was to cut down on readmissions, the costs of which can drastically increase over time, according to the article.

And the initiative is working. Since launching last fall, the Virtual Care Center has led to a more than 33 percent decrease in Mercy’s emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

But it isn’t all easy. Mercy’s telemedicine “navigators” have to help patients understand that virtual healthcare can be just as effective as a visit to the hospital.

“You have to break that whole clinic kind of thinking with nursing: ‘Oh my gosh, he needs to go to the ER,'” said Dan Milner, a Mercy navigator. “[There’s] an antiquated idea of how people think healthcare should be.”

CLICK HERE to read the original story.

Ascension’s expansion efforts pay off as operating surplus swells to $753M

September 22, 2016

St. Louis-based Ascension reported $21.9 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2015, up 6.6 percent from revenue of $20.5 billion in the year prior, according to financial documents filed with bondholders.

The financial boost was partially attributable to an increase in patient volume due to Ascension’s expansion efforts in the past year. During the year ended June 30, 2016, Ascension acquired Glendale, Wis.-based Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and added hospitals in Michigan and Tennessee as well.

Including these recently acquired facilities, the nonprofit system said inpatient admissions and inpatient surgeries increased 3.2 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, as compared to the year prior. Ascension also said emergency room visits increased 3.7 percent year over year.

After accounting for a year-over-year increase in expenses of 6.1 percent, Ascension ended FY 2015 with an operating surplus of $753.2 million, up from $696.5 million in the year prior.

CLICK HERE to read the  original story

What is the cost of replacing striking Allina nurses?

September 21, 2016
Striking nurses at Minneapolis-based Allina Health are paid substantially less than the 1,500 nurses recruited to fill in for them, reports Pioneer Press.

Allina nurses, represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association, began their second strike of the summer on Labor Day at five Minnesota hospitals — Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis, United Hospital in St. Paul, Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and Unity Hospital in Fridley. As workers began the open-ended strike, Allina brought in 1,500 replacement nurses.

Huffmaster and HealthSource Global Staffing, two primary staffing agencies, offered the replacements $70.50 to $75 per hour to work at Allina’s hospitals, according to the article, which cites the agencies’ websites. Additionally, the agencies cover the replacement nurses’ accommodations and travel expenses.

The striking nurses, however, are paid between $31.27 and $48.15 an hour, with an average full-time Allina nurse salary of $87,298 a year, before bonuses or overtime, Allina has said, according to Pioneer Press.

Allina could not verify to the publication the exact amount the replacement nurses are being paid, and representatives from the staffing agencies did not respond to the publication’s requests for comment.

But David Kanihan, vice president of marketing and communications at Allina, said in an email to Becker’s Hospital Review that caring for patients is Allina’s top priority. “When the union walked off the job, we still had the responsibility to continue providing care. And that is what we’ve done. Striking was the union’s choice — not ours.”

Union spokesman Rick Fuentes told Pioneer Press Wednesday, “The nurses (are) angry at Allina’s use of its resources to replace them rather than invest in them.”

A key issue in the dispute between Allina and its 4,800 union nurses has been the nurses’ health insurance. Allina wanted to eliminate the nurses’ four union-backed health plans, which include high premiums but low or no deductibles, and move the nurses to its corporate plans, reports the Star Tribune. Allina has estimated that eliminating the nurses’ four union-backed health plans would save the health system $10 million per year.

The latest strike is the second since an initial seven-day strike in June. The June strike cost Allina $20.4 million.

CLICK HERE to read the original story.

Epic buys Mayo Clinic data center in $46 million sale-leaseback, report says

September 20, 2016

Epic will buy the Mayo Clinic’s data center for $46 million in a sale-leaseback deal for the 62,000-square-foot facility. That means the EHR giant will lease it back to Mayo for four years, with an option to continue doing so in perpetuity, as first reported by Finance and Commerce.

The move comes almost a year after Mayo first announced it would replace its existing electronic health record system with one from Epic. In that deal, Mayo enlisted Epic for EHR and revenue cycle technology, eyeing a partnership that would last several decades.

In an interview with Healthcare IT News in February 2015, Mayo Clinic CIO Cris Ross said that, while the provider hoped to go live in 2017, the project will likely stretch beyond that.

The commitment to Epic longstanding, he added, and would include more than IT infrastructure.

“We believe this is an important foundation to what we do. It’s a part of our strategy – but only part – from a technology standpoint,” Ross said at the time. “Mayo will continue to be innovative and differentiate itself in the market in a way to better serve patients. Part of that will come directly out of the EHR, and some of it won’t.”

Twitter: @mikemiliardHITN

AAMI: Free Young Professional Webinar Series

September 19, 2016
By: AAMI Published: September 8 2016

AAMI’s free “brown bag” style webinar series for students and young professionals seeks to spark conversations about the issues facing those who are just starting out in the field. While these sessions are designed for emerging healthcare technology professionals, all AAMI members are welcome to attend and ask questions.
And when you attend, make sure you stay until the very end, as AAMI’s Next Gen Task Force will be giving away special professional and personal development prizes.
Upcoming sessions and topics are listed below. This list will be updated as more information becomes available.
As a reminder, every webinar will be free and open to both AAMI members and nonmembers.
Sept. 21, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: What Clinical Engineering Can Do for You
This session will focus on how clinical engineers affect patient care and why students should pursue a career in healthcare technology.  It will be presented by Professor Frank Painter and four recent graduates of the University of Connecticut’s clinical engineering master’s program.

Transitioning from the Military to Civilian HTM
Working at the VA, presented by Danielle McGeary, director of clinical engineering for the VA Boston Healthcare System.
Women in Engineering, presented by Inhel Rekik, a clinical engineer at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Taking on Projects and Speaking at Conferences to Advance Your Career, presented by Angela Spillane, a consultant with Mainspring Healthcare Solutions, an Accruent Company.
New Year, New Goals
The AAMI Scholarship Program

Healthcare Providers Scramble To Meet New Disaster Readiness Rule

September 16, 2016

An estimated 72,315 American health care providers and suppliers — from hospitals and nursing homes to dialysis facilities and care homes for those with intellectual disabilities — will have a little over a year to meet federal disaster preparedness requirements completed this week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The new rule is aimed at preventing the severe breakdown in patient care that followed disasters including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, while also strengthening the ability to provide services during other types of emergencies, such as pandemics and terrorist attacks. The rule is unusual in that it has provisions for 17 different provider types, among them those that patients rely on to live at home, like outpatient surgery sites, physical therapy offices and home health agencies.

The rule “will make it more likely that facilities will be able to stay open and able to care for patients, and if they need to close or stop work temporarily, get back up and able to care for patients quickly,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services. “The need for patient care doesn’t stop because streets are flooded or trees are down. In fact disasters often increase the need for health care services.”

While the vast majority of organizations have had to adhere to at least some emergency preparedness requirements for accreditation, others were not subject to any, including hundreds of residential psychiatric facilities, nearly 200 community mental health centers, dozens of organ procurement organizations and nearly 4,000 outpatient hospices, which treat patients with limited life expectancies.