March 1st, 2019
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A push to regionalize the care and treatment of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) gains steam. Investigators documented improved time to treatment results and a significant decline in mortality among patients treated at sites adopting a regionalized approach. The data come from the Regional Systems Accelerator-2 project in which key stakeholders in 12 regions pledged to work together to improve STEMI care.
Thanks in part to a little-noticed policy shift by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, there is fresh evidence that telemedicine can offer rural hospitals a cost-effective solution to the serious challenges they face in trying to recruit and retain physicians to cover their EDs. Further, while efforts to build effective telemedicine networks in the emergency medicine arena have struggled, one network based in Sioux Falls, SD, is in expansion mode, with 185 hospitals in 13 states already hooked up to the network’s hub.
While there is no simple solution to ED crowding caused by a backup of patients with behavioral health concerns, a new study offers intriguing results on what could be part of the answer for at least some hospitals.
Community hospitals work with fewer resources than large, academic medical centers. However, these facilities can create effective treatment programs for patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). In fact, experts state that when patients with OUD present to the ED, or are admitted as inpatients, there is a powerful opportunity to place them on the road to recovery. Still, clinicians in these settings need to engage with their leaders to set up a positive path.