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November 13, 2012
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  Critical Care Update 
  • Study: Readmission rates not affected by quality care guidelines
    Quality care procedures appear to have "little impact on the risk of readmission," according to a new study. Baystate Medical Center academic hospitalist Dr. Michaela S. Stefan studied 2007 data from hospitals across the country and found even hospitals with high quality scores did not have "meaningfully" lower readmission rates. Other factors, such as patients not following discharge instructions, accounted for some readmissions. Reuters (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mich. hospitals report gains in quality of care measures
    Michigan hospitals worked to prevent hospital-associated infections, reduced the number of patients who left emergency departments without being seen and lowered rates of elective early births, according to a quality report by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. Hospitals also reported NICU admissions were reduced by more than 43%. Crain's Detroit Business (free registration) (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Gambro is the largest supporter in evidence-based CRRT therapy. CRRT stabilizes hemodynamically unstable patients. When applied early and consistently, it may help critically ill patients recover renal function. Watch videos and discussions from the primary investigators at

  Medicine in the News 
  • Study: Corticosteroid use in CAP may lengthen hospital stays
    Hospital stays for patients with community-acquired pneumonia may be longer if they are given corticosteroids. A study at a hospital in Spain, however, showed corticosteroids had no significant effect on mortality or clinical stability. "Only a very well performed, randomized clinical [trial] focusing on very severe patients will definitively clarify if corticosteroids have some utility in CAP despite the possible collateral effects and help draw recommendations and protocols to guide clinical practice," the researchers said. Medscape (free registration) (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Aerosolized antibiotics have advantages, drawbacks for ICU pneumonia
    Using aerosolized antibiotics with ventilator-associated pneumonia patients can help avoid systemic antimicrobial exposure, but there remain drawbacks. In this interview, Michael E. Klepser from Ferris State University College of Pharmacy, in Big Rapids, Mich., says there is a risk for bacteremia in patients. "There's also considerable variation in the ability of different nebulizers to deliver a drug to the patient. As a result, each nebulizer–antibiotic combination may need to be evaluated to determine the stability and delivery characteristics," Klepser said. Medscape (free registration) (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Sponsored Poll 
  • Do you support the trend toward an increased use of telemedicine, including tele-ICUs?
    Check out the results of this poll in next month's Critical Care SmartBrief Best Of 2012 report.
Yes, I think it improves access to care.
No, I think it can compromise care quality.
Maybe, it depends on how it plays out.
I don't know.

  Trends and Technology 
  • Hospitals turn to palm scanning for patient safety
    Many hospitals are implementing palm scanning and other procedures to ensure patient safety and proper identity. Privacy advocates say the collection of biometric data could be an identity theft nightmare, but administrators say the data are safely encrypted. Also, patients are not required to be photographed or scanned. "It's a patient safety initiative," said Kathryn McClellan, a vice president at New York University Langone Medical Center. "We felt like the value to the patient was huge." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
For the happiest life, rigorously plan your days, leave your nights open to chance."
--Mignon McLaughlin,
American author and journalist

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