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May 1, 2008

View Archives Issues

  • Can you force treatment on a patient? New York lawsuit addresses key issues

    The New York State Supreme Court currently is hearing a case that addresses a dilemma many ED managers face every day: When is it permissible to force a patient to receive treatment?
  • ED 'vending machine' sells patient meds 24/7

    When patients are discharged from the ED at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, MN, they never need to worry about how and where to obtain their take-home meds. Since Sept. 19, 2007, they have been able to obtain their prescription meds directly from a "vending machine" located in the department and operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • ED adds 'safety room' in wake of fatal shooting

    On Sept. 29, 2005, the lives of the ED staff at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, PA, were affected dramatically when a man arrested for DUI pulled a gun and shot an ED technician and two police officers one fatally.
  • What does a 'public safety room'look like?

    The public safety room at St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, PA, has several special features to help ensure the safety of staff and patients in the ED, according to Harry Myers, director of safety, security, and parking. Here is his description of those features:
  • Emtala Q & A: 'Selectively taking call' — just what does it mean?

    "If a hospital permits physicians to selectively take call while the hospital's coverage for that particular service is not adequate, the hospital would be in violation of its EMTALA obligation by encouraging disparate treatment."
  • When exactly is a physician 'on call'?

    In the preamble to the new Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) regulations of 2003, some commenters stated that some physicians may choose to come to a hospital to see private patients at times when they are not shown as being on call under the listing the hospital maintains for EMTALA purposes, notes Alan Steinberg, Esq., an attorney with Horty Springer in Pittsburgh.
  • How can 'standard of care' affect a lawsuit?

    If an emergency physician is arrested for assaulting a patient or for inappropriate sexual conduct, there is potential liability exposure for both the hospital where the ED is located and the emergency medicine (EM) group, says Thomas H. Taylor, a health care attorney at LaCrosse, WI-based Johns Flaherty.
  • Hospital might be liable for physician misconduct

    If an emergency physician is arrested for assaulting a patient or for inappropriate sexual conduct, there is potential liability exposure for both the hospital where the ED is located and the emergency medicine (EM) group, says Thomas H. Taylor, a health care attorney at LaCrosse, WI-based Johns Flaherty.
  • ACEP enumerates signs of suicidal behavior

    Any persistent thoughts of or conversations about wanting to die or committing suicide should be taken seriously, advises the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
  • ED Accreditation Update: CMS guidance, SIG response cast doubt about propriety of some standing orders

    The world of emergency medicine was thrown into a state of turmoil on Feb. 10, 2008, when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), issued the following guidance: "If a hospital uses other written protocols or standing orders for drugs or biologicals that have been reviewed and approved by the medical staff, initiation of such protocols or standing orders requires an order from a practitioner responsible for the patient's care."
  • ED Accreditation Update: Sentinel Event Alert: Use metric system for weighing children

    ED managers who treat pediatric patients should always have their staff weigh them in kilograms, since that method is the one used to arrived at dosing guidelines, noted experts speaking at a April 11, 2008, teleconference conducted by The Joint Commission.
  • ED Accreditation Update: TJC cites meds labeling for poor compliance

    Every year The Joint Commission (TJC) identifies those standards and requirements that were most frequently identified as "not compliant" for the previous six-month period. For the most recent reporting period, Jan. 1, 2007, through June 30, 2007, the standard with the lowest compliance rate for hospitals was the National Patient Safety Goal for medication labeling, with a compliance rate of 17%.