Facing shortages of critical equipment, medical workers must make life-or-death decisions about who receives care. WSJ’s Joe Palazzolo reports from an emergency room that’s running short on ventilators, and Chris Weaver explains the plans hospitals are putting in place to decide who gets them.
Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at NYU’s School of Medicine, talks about how hospitals think about these difficult choices.
From a Becker’s Hospital Review release (02/19/2020):
Amazon’s virtual medical clinic that offers in-person follow-ups is now available to Amazon employees in Seattle.
Five things to know:
1. The virtual medical service, called Amazon Care, went live via the company’s employee benefits portal on Feb. 18. It is available to Amazon employees who work at the company’s headquarters and their dependents.
2. Amazon Care offers employees virtual medical consultations with physicians and nurse practitioners. Patients can use the app to schedule a follow-up visit in their home or office.
3. Medications prescribed via Amazon Care can be delivered to a patient’s home.
4. “Amazon Care eliminates travel and wait time, connecting employees and their family members to a physician or nurse practitioner through live chat or video, with the option for in-person follow up services from a registered nurse ranging from immunizations to instant strep throat detection,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC.
5. Amazon first shared information about Amazon Care in September, noting that it planned to pilot the service in Seattle.
We’ve come a long way since the first heartbeat was heard. This American Heart Month, we take a look at the history of cardiac care — and celebrate the leading-edge innovations that make a better future possible.
This week on Prognosis, we look at one startup that’s trying to redesign care for some of the most vulnerable patients, taking into account the complex realities of their lives. The company is trying to improve care for people and communities the medical system often fails – and it believes that fixing those failures will not only make people healthier, it will also save money.
In America, poverty is linked to shorter lifespans. The wealthiest 1% of Americans live more than a decade longer than the poorest 1%, and the longevity gap has expanded in recent years. The medical community is increasingly examining the role that poverty and difficult social circumstances play in illness. Some people are asking whether the health care system could do more to address the things that influence people’s health beyond their medical care.
Among asymptomatic patients with very severe aortic stenosis, the incidence of the composite of operative mortality or death from cardiovascular causes during the follow-up period was significantly lower among those who underwent early aortic-valve replacement surgery than among those who received conservative care.
From a STAT online article:
The specialty of emergency medicine is firmly grounded in social justice and providing access to expert care to everyone who comes in. That means treating anyone, with any condition, at any time. And yet, embedded into emergency department operations is a system that might be perceived as unjust: the concept of triage. The emergency queue isn’t “first come, first served.” It’s nonlinear by design, since triage prioritizes the severity of illness. The severely ill or injured receive immediate attention. Everyone else, to various degrees, must wait.
There are situations when waiting feels immoral to me, not merely inconvenient. Being an emergency doctor means shouldering burdens for perceived injustices that we have little, if any, control over. Most of the beds were locked up with patients boarding in the ED, which means they are waiting for an inpatient bed to become available in the hospital.
Hospitals have high expectations regarding how quickly patients are seen in the emergency department, and my colleagues and I share that goal. But there’s less urgency when it comes to discharging patients from the hospital, which would unclog the backup in the emergency department — and its waiting room.
To read more: https://www.statnews.com/2019/11/25/waiting-feels-immoral-fairness-emergency-department-empathy/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=507f0804a2-First_Opinion&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-507f0804a2-150443417