Perspectives on the Acute Care Continuum

The Acute Care Continuum is the integration of urgent, emergent, inpatient and post-discharge care of patients with acute medical conditions.

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​A man in traditional African clothing presents to the emergency department (ED) with flulike symptoms and is immediately isolated from triage for suspected Ebola virus disease (EVD). A physician and two nurses don PPE and enter the isolation room while a tech acts as safety monitor. The hospital’s incident command system is activated, and the infectious disease (ID) physician on call contacts the CDC.
 
Two hours later, the CDC finally clears the patient. As it turns out, the man is from Cameroon (several countries away from the epidemic) and therefore not an Ebola risk.
10/23/2014 1:54:46 PM | 1 comments
By Prentice Tom, MD, and Gregg Miller, MD
 
​Many of you reading this blog will take a lead role in your hospital’s Ebola preparedness planning. Currently it seems unlikely that your facility will encounter a patient with a true Ebola virus infection, but it’s certainly possible that you will care for patients who are concerned they might have the disease. In fact, several of our CEP America emergency departments (EDs) have already seen patients concerned they’ve contracted Ebola.  In these cases, having a solid plan in place can alleviate the fears of patients and staff and maintain public faith in the hospital.
 
To this end, CEP America is currently working closely with our hospital partners. With over one hundred sites, we have access to a wide variety of existing protocols as well as up-to-the-minute feedback from medical directors and nurse managers.
 
The conversation will likely continue for a while, but so far four areas of consensus seem to be emerging.
10/20/2014 5:24:15 PM | 0 comments
​Some say consumers have lost trust in our healthcare system. However, a recent antitrust ruling in Idaho may hold the key to regaining some of that confidence — and curbing the unintended consequences of reform.

Challenging Conventional Wisdom

In preparation for healthcare reform and the shift toward value-based reimbursement, hospitals have been scrambling to buy physician groups.
 
Their oft-stated rationale: employing physicians equates to physician integration, which will promote better quality, greater efficiency and less error and waste. Ultimately, this arrangement means better care and lower costs for consumers. It will also allow hospitals to benefit from new value-based reimbursement schemes.
 
Sounds logical, right? Well, Idaho's Federal District Court isn't quite buying it.
10/16/2014 5:56:48 PM | 2 comments
The Affordable Care Act created an influx of newly insured patients against the backdrop of an existing physician shortage. To meet demand and contain costs, many providers are expanding their PA/NP programs — as well as the scope of practice for those professionals.
 
An example from my own practice: At the Rancho Springs Medical Center Emergency Department (ED) in Murrieta, CA, we recently replaced a physician shift with a PA/NP shift. CEP America felt that increasing the number of PA/NPs on the team would allow it to deliver the same high-quality care while achieving cost savings for our group, hospital and patients. It's exciting that our physicians have placed such trust in us, and we hope that trust will continue to grow as we work together in this challenging setting.
 
10/14/2014 3:54:12 PM | 1 comments

As health professionals, we treasure our stethoscope as an integral and personal device that enables us to access clinical information about our patients. In fact, many of us spend multiple hours selecting the one that is just right for ourselves and our patients' assessment needs.

However, a new study has shed light on a discomfiting reality regarding this treasured device — and may have big implications for the fight against hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).

10/9/2014 5:32:37 AM | 0 comments
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