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Another incentive to do the wrong thing

I found this in my Twitter stream this morning (and I apologize for the language, which is not mine, not that we aren’t all adults here anyway):

 

What’s apparently going on here is that Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, part of the not-for-profit LifeBridge Health organization, is that nurses are being given a financial incentive, albeit a small one, to make sure that as many patients as possible are discharged by noon each day. Each unit “must be at 20% discharges by noon,” according to this sign, which looks legit, though I can’t say I have been able to verify its authenticity. The sign says nothing about medical necessity. Let’s just keep those beds turning over so we can admit new patients and make more money.

Someone please tell me this is a hoax or that the tweeter has taken things out of context. Our healthcare institutions couldn’t possibly be that misguided, could they? Who am I kidding? Of course they could.

August 27, 2013 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

A nurse speaks out against bad EMR software

Every Thursday, the Chicago Tribune’s “Play” section runs a little feature called “Love/Hate.” The paper picks three or four things that readers love and three or four things that readers hate. This week, EMRs entered the picture. This appeared in the “I hate …” category:

… being a slave to computer programs to document my care as a nurse. It’s so ridiculously time-consuming.

— Sheila Young, Orland Park

That must be one terrible EMR—or perhaps a hodgepodge of disconnected legacy systems—if Young not only considers herself a slave to the computer programs, but feels compelled to share her disdain for the technology with a light-hearted feature section of the local newspaper. That’s quite a statement against the quality of the system design?

On further inspection, it could be a function of not wanting to change old habits. According to Illinois state records, the only Sheila Young from Orland Park who’s a registered nurse (indeed, the only Sheila Young in the whole state with an active RN license) was first licensed in 1967. That means she’s been in nursing practice for at least 44 years. Old habits die hard.

Ms. Young, if you happen to read this, please contact me. I’d love to get the whole story.

May 27, 2011 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

AHIC Successor now National eHealth Collaborative—sans nurses

The group once known informally as AHIC 2.0 and later AHIC Successor finally has a name of its own: the National eHealth Collaborative. This completes the privatization of the American Health Information Community (AHIC), a public-private advisory board to the secretary of Health & Human Services.

Leadership positions for 2009 remain as announced a month ago:

Other board members include:

The panel also includes three federal liaisons, National HIT Coordinator Robert Kolodner, M.D., and representatives of the HHS and VA secretaries. Obviously, the latter two will change on Jan. 20.

That seems like a pretty impressive roster, but remember the controversy about the Google Health Advisory Council a year and a half ago? The Internet giant came under fire for not including any nurses, medical librarians and even radiologists. While it’s nice to see a behavioral health specialist on the National eHealth Collaborative, there are no nurses or medical librarians anywhere to be found here, either. I didn’t bother to look up the specialties of the many doctors on this panel, but isn’t it incongruous to overlook nurses and librarians?

For what it’s worth, several board members were to meet today with the Obama transition team. Perhaps someone has an inkling of who might be appointed to head CMS or the Veterans Health Administration? That’s what I’m waiting for.

UPDATE, Jan 11: I’ve just been informed that nurses are in fact on this board. I’m told that Laura Adams is a nurse, though her bio does not seem to reflect that. Also, Linda Fischetti, who I know is an RN, is the non-voting liaison to NeHC from the VA. Still, it does seem like nursing might be a little under-represented, given the field’s overall importance in healthcare.

January 9, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.