We all enjoy positive reinforcement, don’t we? A recently published abstract in the Annals of Emergency Medicine has just done that for an innovative process Hospital Physicians Partners (HPP) uses to improve patient satisfaction in the Emergency Department.
The study’s objective was to quantitate the reduction in formal complaints by emergency department patients using a real time patient satisfaction survey tool and provider-driven service recovery. This was performed with a third party surveyor using a nine question survey taken in real time. One of the questions specifically asked if the patent he/she had any concerns about their care. After the survey was administered, the surveyor would notify the provider of any concerns.
With an N of 5969, the survey found a 5.6% complaint rate regarding the care these patients received. The surveyor notified the provider only 53.4%% of the time, for reasons not well established in the document. The provider returned to the patients’ room to address the patients concerns 74.2% of the time. 2.9% of these patients filed a complaint with the hospital after patient discharge. Of the 54 instances when the provider failed to return to the room to address the patient concerns, 22.2% OF THESE PATIENTS SUBSEQUENTLY FILED A FORMAL COMPLAINT WITH THE HOSPITAL.
The investigators concluded that they showed an 87% reduction in the number of formal complaints made by patients, demonstrating the value of service recovery before patient discharge. They added that this also served to reduce costs of handling the complaints by $900.00/patient complaint. This study reiterates the well-established precept that service recovery opportunities have a profound effect on patient satisfaction.
Though this study looks at its data from a slightly different perspective than an overall change in patient satisfaction percent, it supports the survey recovery process that HPP offers to our partners. Furthermore, the methodology we use allows us to eliminate the ‘3rd party’ which gives the providers directly caring for the patient the opportunity to review all of the feedback in real time. We can then self-determine which situations would benefit from another visit with the patient. Our method also offers the surveyee the potential perception that feedback can be more candidly provided, as they are in a less judgmental situation while responding to the survey.
Ultimately, this gives the opportunity to have the real issue addressed, leading to building a more favorable relationship between the patient and the provider. This will translate into happier patients, leading to better patient aftercare compliance and subsequently improved patient outcomes. There are some less obvious, but more significant, financial benefits that can come from this success. Namely, the potential for less litigant situations and an increase in the emergency department census generated from the more satisfied community service base.
Reference: Landsburg. J.M. Et.al, Utilizing Real-time Patient Satisfaction data to Perform Service Recovery for Dissatisfied(PATIENTS) Who Present to the Emergency Department., Annals of Emerg. Med Volume 60 No4s, Oct. 2012, P S112
My summary of the 2013 Hospital Physician Partners (HPP) Medical Directors Conference: Nashville Tennessee, April 21-25 2013
Hospital Physician Partners sponsored and produced its annual director’s conference the week of April 21st. The physical setting was a good environment to foster productivity. The conference was graced with a series of lectures and demonstrations focusing on concepts and methods to bring the directors up to date on subjects we can use to meet the demand s of the continuous changes in the business and science of medicine. The academic lectures were state of the art and thought provoking.
As has been customary in the past, the attendees were required to create and perform a self-learning exercise. (see pic below) They again found themselves being placed a bit out of their comfort zone to learn and critique the intricacies of adapting to unique situations.
The ultimate goal of these conferences is to provide our HPP family of doctors and mid-levels with innovative tools to make their jobs more satisfying, rewarding and productive. Once again it is clear this conference was productive based on the feedback. The utility of the information gathered at the program showed in the participant’s motivation and satisfaction. They were inspired by the content and plan to bring these revolutionary ideas and ideals back to the practitioners in the trenches.
It would be hard to walk away from this event without finding yourself better prepared to bring leadership to HPP. Most of the attendees were engaged to the point that the content presented in this conference will generate benefits for all HPP providers throughout the country.
To read more about this year’s conference and HPP’s Medical Director award winners, click here.
Hospital Physician Partners is assuming the management and staffing of eight Emergency Department programs in Mississippi the next 60 days. Thus, we are featuring these contracts over the next few months in a Blog series called “Magic In Mississippi.” In this series, we explore some of the more aesthetic sides of these opportunities. Next up, Crossgates River Oaks Hospital in Brandon: A City of Growth & Stability!
Located in central Mississippi just 14 miles from Jackson, Brandon is in the amazing Pine Region, also referred to as the Black Prairie because of its rich, dark soil, white-tailed deer, and large flocks of turkey. This region has over 200,000 acres of land open for public hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreations in the pines. Geographically, it’s just outside of Jackson in Rankin County, voted the tenth best place to live in America by Progressive Farmer Magazine. Brandon has a total area of 21.3 square miles and a population of 21,705. In the past three years, assessed valuations have increased by 26% and the population has grown from 115,327 to 121,758.
If you love the country and being outdoors, then you’ll discover the beauty of Brandon’s country-side and be able to experience the cities exclusive and unique farm tours including shrimping tours, U-pick farms, catfish farm tours, & Christmas tree farms. Other popular venues to visit include the local fairs, festivals, and farmer’s market. End the night dancing under the stars in a clear night at the many private “Barn Dances.”
One of the reasons you chose Emergency Medicine because you wanted your flexibility and personal freedom and Brandon, Mississippi offers plenty of it for you to enjoy! For more information about the opportunities available at Crossgates River Oaks Hospital, contact Christina Plain at 800-815-8377, ext. 5295.
Picture this surprising but realistic, documented patient care scenario: You have a patient that presents who is currently in a clinical trial for treatment of depression. She has intentionally overdosed on her study medication. After she overdoses, she begins to feel pre-syncopal and calls 911. EMS arrives to find that her blood pressure is 70/40 and has to institute standard ALS protocols including a substantial fluid bolus to normalize her vital signs. A through inpatient hospital evaluation fails to determine any pathophysiological diagnosis. Ultimately it is determined that her pills were placebos.
The positive influences of doctor–patient communication, treatment expectations, and sham treatments (termed the placebo effect), have been demonstrated scientifically for subjective symptoms such as pain and nausea. Many of us have seen the efficacy of a placebo.
As Emergency Medicine Physicians or Hospitalists, patient self-induced illnesses caused by internet medical care recommendations and treatment/medication noncompliance are etiologies that may cause these patients to seek medical evaluations. Then there’s the nocebo effect defined as the induction of a symptom perceived as negative by sham treatment or by the suggestion of negative treatment expectations. A nocebo response is a negative symptom caused by the patient’s own negative expectations or by negative suggestions from clinicians in the absence of any treatment. In fact, information about possible complications and negative expectations on the patient’s part has been found to increase the likelihood of adverse effects.
A recently published study from Germany was designed to determine the impact of nocebo effects on adverse events (AEs) in drug trials for fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). There were a total of 5065 patients in the placebo groups. The pooled estimate of the event dropout rate due to AEs in placebo groups was 9.6 in placebo and 16.3 in true drug groups of FMS trials; and was 5.8 in placebo and 13.2 in true drug groups of DPN trials. The investigators concluded that nocebo effects accounted for substantial numbers of AEs in drug trials of FMS and DPN. They recommended the need for development of strategies to minimize nocebo effects in both clinical trials and clinical practice. With any acute patient complaint presentation, our job is to rule out an emergency medical condition without introducing personal biases, minimizing the chief complaint or attributing the problem to potential nocebo effects.
Care standard requires us to inform patients of the potential complications of our proposed treatments. Concurrently we should make a conscious effort to minimize the likelihood of complications caused by a potential nocebo effect. When we place a patient on a new medication, it has been suggested that we should emphasize the fact that the proposed treatment is usually well tolerated. Another suggestion is to obtain the patient’s permission to incompletely inform them about the treatments’ possible side effects.
Words are one of the most powerful tools we have in our armamentarium. Communication lessons provided during training and with continuing medical education are ways that we can learn to more effectively utilize the spoken word. We need to remember that doctor–patient communications and the patient’s treatment expectations can influence the course of their medical therapy.
1. Häuser, W et.al. Adverse Events Attributable to Nocebo in Randomized Controlled Drug Trials in Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Systematic Review, June 2012 – Volume 28 – Issue 5 l
2. Häuser, W et.al. Review Article Nocebo Phenomena in Medicine Their Relevance in Everyday Clinical Practice; Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2012 June; 109(26): 459–465. Published online 2012 June 29.
As we announced last week, Hospital Physician Partners will be assuming the management and staffing of eight Emergency Department programs in Mississippi the next 90 days. Thus, we will be featuring these contracts over the next few months in a new Blog series called “Magic In Mississippi.” In this series, we will explore some of the more aesthetic sides of these opportunities. First up…Biloxi: The Playground of the South!
Biloxi Regional Medical Center in Biloxi is the first touch of Mississippi Magic we are highlighting. Residents can enjoy the sugar-white sand beaches, great deep-sea, freshwater fishing and various outdoor activities. The city is within minutes from the ocean waters where you can ride a ferry out to Ship Island by the historic Fort Massachusetts, discover dolphins swimming in the ocean, or visit several delicious seafood restaurants overlooking the Crystal clear waters. Choose from landing “the big one” on one of the many fishing charters or sinking a 40-footer at a professional-grade tough southern golf course.
Biloxi is a great city of entertainment and thus its nickname: The Playground of the South. Enjoy the “Grillin on the Green” every March; a family fun event featuring a BBQ competition, arts & crafts vendors, live entertainment, and children’s activities. Mississippi’s Gulf Coast offers weekend’s FILLED with events, parades, festivals, & FUN! And of course, for those who love games of chance, win big at the nationally known Biloxi Hard Rock Hotel & Casino open 24/7 a week.
You chose Emergency Medicine because you wanted your flexibility and personal freedom and Biloxi, Mississippi offers plenty of it for you to soak up! For more information about the opportunities available at Biloxi Regional Medical Center, contact Christina Plain at 800-815-8377, ext. 5295.
As I was writing the news release today announcing that HPP was taking the reigns for eight Health Management Associates Inc. (HMA) contracts in Mississippi over the next 90 days, I got pretty excited. This new portfolio of business triples our Emergency Medicine programs in the state. Then I looked at the growth stats since January 1st and was shocked again to see that since the start of the year, we have begun 22 new Emergency and Hospital Medicine contracts. I was blown away. Although I am the VP of Marketing and know that we have started a number of new contacts recently, it was the first time I looked at everything in aggregate and frankly, I was just blown away.
Why was I blown away? Honestly, it is because while we have earned all this new business, are growing steadily, and dealing with all the pressures that come with such growth; here was my CEO, Jeffrey Schillinger, leading a “huddle” with our management team and asking how WE were doing. Earlier in the day, I spoke to our President and Chief Medical Officer, (and Jeffrey’s twin brother) Dr. David Schillinger, who was fresh off working a 24 hour clinical shift with about 4 hours sleep. He was returning my call from the day before to discuss some minor details about our upcoming Medical Director’s conference. He’s flying all over the country, working crazy hours on shifts, leading our clinical operations team, and oh yeah, helping run a national medical management company. Yet, he took the time to call me back promptly and personally. This is the culture of Hospital Physician Partners.
That’s why I am blown away. We have the opportunity to now save even more lives in Mississippi and help provide quality care for the communities we will be serving throughout the state. It feels awesome knowing that leading the way are two ordinary people, twin brothers no doubt, who care as much about their employees as our physicians do about their patients. Here at HPP, there are no ivory towers or “gates to the C-Suite.” We are a family whose mission is Saving Lives. We are guided by a simple premise: What’s Important to YOU…Is What Matters to US!® and we look forward to proving it to our patients and our new hospital partners in Mississippi.
Patient handoffs serve a critical function. They constitute a major responsibility with patient management while performing our jobs as Hospitalists and Emergency Medicine physicians. A recently published abstract in the Annals of Emergency Medicine evaluated the frequency of errors made during transfer of patient care.
The focus of the study was to describe the prevalence of errors related to communicating abnormal vital sign findings from the ED provider to the receiving physician. Specifically, hypotension and hypoxia were studied since these conditions are independently associated with poor clinical outcomes. Of the 434 patients studied, 58% of the handoffs took place in a critical care unit and 42% in the emergency department. The primary outcomes sought were errors of omission in the communication of an episode of hypotension (defined as systolic blood pressure <90 mm of Hg) or hypoxia (defined as oxygen saturation < 92%). A secondary analysis attempted to identify predictors of handoff errors which included: interruptions for patient care, verbal interruptions of primary communicator, and requests for vital signs by other providers.
The investigators found that nearly 20% of hypotensive episodes occurring in the emergency department were not reported during patient handoffs. They also found that there was a failure to report the history of hypoxic episodes 4.4% of the time. Interestingly, no predictors of handoff variables were found to be significant. Furthermore, the experience of the primary communicator (Residents, P.A.s, Attending physicians) was not determined to be a factor.
Since this aspect of patient care is a National Patient Safety Goal, this study’s findings are magnified by the patient’s need for this information being relayed without errors. The historical, diagnostic, therapeutic and medicolegal relevance of relaying the occurrence of an abnormal or life threatening vital sign finding during the handoff cannot be understated. We have to admit these findings represent a serious deficiency in communicating to the receiving physician salient observations relevant to our patient’s care. This study should remind us to concentrate on attention to important details during patient handoffs.
Reference: Venkatesh, K et al. Effectiveness of Communicating Vital Signs at Emergency Department Handoffs, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 60, Issue 4, Supplement , Pages S49-S50, October 2012
When we as Emergency Medicine specialists and Hospitalists find ourselves working through long stretches of routine care of patients, have you ever heard a newbie say “it’s quiet in here “ or “we need an good trauma”. I have looked at them in abject horror and at the very least wondered ‘what they will be wanting next’? Then the curve ball hits. A legitimate disaster is now on its way to the hospital with 40 hikers being brought to your ED as was the case recently at one of HPP’s contracts, Whitesburg ARH Hospital in Whitesburg, Kentucky.
What does that do to the doctor? There is a myriad of thoughts and feelings coursing through your veins to decide how to best prepare for this challenge. Is it the excitement of the challenge, or just wanting to cut the throat of the person that used the taboo word “Quiet” just before the emergency medical services calls this in trauma? Is it the sense of responsibility or the sense of dread? Then there is fear, logic, and anxiety. You tell yourself to get a grip. And you’re off to the races.
For some of us it is the memory of a lifetime. For others it is Deja vu. And for a few it’s the nightmare of the century. Either way we are there for the duration and can take pride in making a difference in as many of those people’s lives as we possibly can. We will be what we need to be selflessly, for each and every one of those people injured. We’ll be proud of the fact that we will perform better than we ever have because that’s what makes us whole. Now you have had a glimpse of the rest of the story…a view from the heroes.
Every day, we can usually find examples of teamwork and partnership around us. As a matter of fact, as Emergency Medicine practitioners, we see it and live it every day because it is how we get things done and save lives. That said, every once in a while, we see something wonderful that grabs us and demands our attention. Such is the case last week at Whitesburg ARH Hospital in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Last Thursday night, around 11:00pm, the ARH CEO called with a local disaster; 40 college students out for a day hike in the mountains got lost. The search for them was on as the night got colder and wetter. With dropping temperatures and as the hour grew later, the hospital was alerted that there would be an influx of patients, however the arrival time was unknown; but it was clear that more physician staff would be required.
The HPP Physician Services team feverishly began making calls. The hour was late and many were putting children to bed and getting ready themselves for lights out. However, they stepped away from what they were doing to help strangers miles away. In the end, within an hour, assets were marshaled and the HPP staff, in coordination with the Whitesburg nursing staff and administration, were able to find doctors to be on standby and ultimately come in to help the students as soon as they were found.
One hospital nursing staff leader said, “The teamwork involved was wonderful. All of our resources were utilized and implemented with great success. It was breathtaking to see our administration and department managers at the bedside offering comfort measures and advocating for our patients as they communicated our patient’s needs. I want to add thanks to HPP for providing us with the doctors in the ER. They arrived promptly and were awesome.” Of course, most important was the fact that all 40 of the college students were safe and okay.
At HPP, our tagline is “Partnering For Results.” Sometimes, taglines and marketing slogans can be viewed as fluff. However, this is one time where we can all stand a little taller. Everyone teamed together to save lives and partner for results!
Intraosseous infusion (IO) routes are well touted to provide some significant advantages over intravascular (IV) infusion in the proper setting. It is considered as efficient as an IV route and can be inserted quickly, even in the most poorly perfused patients. It represents a non-collapsible infusion route providing access in difficult patients with obesity, burns, or edema. It is reported to have a low complication rate, and considered to be safer and easier than central line placement. In truth it does the job while potentially decreasing morbidity and mortality in the critical pediatric patient and can be accomplished without interrupting CPR.
However, a study abstract published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine reveals a very significant morbidity and mortality consideration for this modality. The study was designed to compare flow rates of blood administered through an IO needle in various extremity sites under high pressure in an adult hypovolemic swine model. The striking finding from this study was that histopathologic lung examination of the study participants revealed fat emboli present in 14/14 (100%) of the tibia study arm, 10/11 (91%) of the humerus study arm, and 8/14 (57%) of the femur study arm group. They concluded that the rate of IO infusion of blood through the swine humerus was greater than the femur and tibia but that fat emboli were detected in the lungs of MOST of the study animals.
We all know that patients with increased mass, age, multiple underlying medical problems, and/or decreased physiologic reserves have worse outcomes than other patients with fat emboli. Paradoxically these are often the people that may need IO access the most.
What practical lessons can Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist specialists take away from this study? A lot of bacon gave its’ all to show us something could be happening in our patients with IO infusions that many of us probably didn’t know about. Considering the mortality rate of fat embolism is 10-20% 2, we have a significant reason for adhering to the indications for this method of infusion instead of defaulting to the IO modality too quickly. Our prehospital crews should also be reminded of this significant morbidity and mortality as a reason to place these lines according to their protocols.
1. Lairet, JR et al. Comparison of Intraosseous Infusion Rates of Blood Under High Pressure in an Adult Hypovolemic Swine Model in Three Different Limb Sites. Annals of EM, Vol. 60 NO48 Oct 2012 page S75
2. Kirkland,L., Fat Embolism, Emedicine.medscape, Sep 8, 2011
Hospital Physician Partners (HPP) announced recently that they have expanded their management agreement with Lovelace Health System to manage an extended portfolio of contracts throughout New Mexico.
HPP, which partners with more than 90 hospitals in over 20 states, currently has the responsibility of managing and recruiting Emergency Medicine clinical providers Lovelace Health System’s Albuquerque campuses: Lovelace Medical Center, Lovelace Women’s Hospital, Lovelace Westside Hospital and Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center. This footprint has now grown to include the Hospital Medicine programs those facilities as well as the Emergency Department at Lovelace Regional Hospital-Roswell.
This expansion of services is an honor says HPP Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Schillinger. “We have enjoyed a strong partnership over the past four years,” said Schillinger. “The expansion into Roswell and addition of the Hospitalist services is a great opportunity to help improve the quality of care for Lovelace patients.” HPP’s clinical leadership team actively practices in New Mexico and has a keen understanding of the market which is key to achieving the goals Lovelace has for attaining quality patient outcomes.
“This partnership will enhance care coordination at our hospitals,” said Dr. John Cruickshank, Chief Medical Officer at Lovelace Health System. “By having the Emergency Department physicians and hospitalists working together as one team we will be able to improve quality, service and efficiency for our patients.”
HPP’s growth 12 new additions to its portfolio in the Emergency and Hospital Medicine industries between fourth quarter 2012 and first quarter 2013 with more set to begin in the second and third quarters this year. “HPP’s experience and size provides valuable resources in the form of recruiting physicians, billing and management, to the hospitals, physicians, and communities we serve,” says Schillinger. “My brother, who is an actively practicing ER physician, and I strongly believe success comes from being accessible, in touch, and involved. Our entire company is constantly focused on the one thing that keeps us grounded – We Save Lives.”
About Hospital Physician Partners
Hospital Physician Partners (HPP) is a physician-led, privately held Emergency and Hospital Medicine Management company that partners with hospitals and clinical providers to deliver quality patient care and physician recruitment services. HPP contracts with over 1,200 providers and will treat more than 2 million patients in 2013; maintaining corporate headquarters in Hollywood, Florida with offices in Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida as well as Durham, North Carolina. More information is available at www.hppartners.com.
Occasionally, Hospitalists and Emergency Medicine clinicians have patients who present for care, speaking a language with which they are not fluent enough to obtain an adequate history or safely define their problem. It seems reasonable to find anyone willing to help us with language translation in lieu of locating a professional translator. We might need to think twice before using this easy way out! A recently published study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine sheds some light on the risks of errors of medical interpretation in the management of these patients.
This study’s goal was to compare interpreter errors and the potential consequences involving encounters using professionals, ad-hoc interpreters, or no interpreters. The proportion of errors that may cause potential consequences was significantly lower for professional (12%) versus ad hoc interpreters (22%) versus no interpreters (20%). Additionally, professional interpreters with greater than 100 hours of training committed a significantly lower proportion of errors of possible consequence (2% versus 12%) in every error category.
The investigators concluded that the use of a professional interpreters skills results in a significantly lower likelihood of significant errors than other interpreters. They further stated that requiring at least 100 hours of training for interpreters could have a significant impact on reducing interpreter errors and their consequences in health care while improving care quality and patient safety.
Considering the importance of the history in the clinical evaluation of these patients, this is valuable information we should factor into the equation when working with these patients. This significance would also have an impact on the ever important after care instructions, which may influence their care plan, treatment compliance, and subsequent case liability concerns.
Reference: 1. Flores, G et.al., Errors in Medical Interpretation and Their Potential Clinical Consequences in Pediatric Encounters. Annals of emergency medicine, Vol. 60 Number 5, Nov. 2102 pages 545-553
There have been recent EMTALA cases brought forward with the physicians clinging to the hopes of defending themselves by using the argument, “But I didn’t even know about that patient being here.” How surprised would you be to find a federal inspector arriving in your department or office handing you a bill for $50,000 due immediately accompanied by the threat of cutting off all your institution’s Medicare payments? This could be a real scenario if you are found in violation of the terms of the Federal Emergency Medical Treatment And Labor Act. (EMTALA) It’s possible to violate this law without knowing it, but “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” It is fact that a person engaged in work that is not common for a normal person, is obligated to be familiar with the laws necessary to do that job. If they do not, they cannot complain about subsequent liability. Furthermore, if you feel like complaining about the inconvenience of EMTALA compliance, frankly you’ll find that the Federal Government and the general public just don’t give a darn.
An emergency medical condition is defined as manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in placing the individual’s health (or the health of an unborn child) in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of bodily organs. There have even been EMTALA cases charging that physicians have discharged the patient before adequately treating their pain thereby not satisfying the EMTALA requirement of stabilization. How these cases are treated is still under consideration by the courts.
What does this situation mean for you? If you perceive that the processes in place at your institution may allow the aforementioned scenario (or any other EMTALA violation) to take place, it is incumbent upon you to address these deficiencies immediately. Ultimately, being well-informed about EMTALA law is a mandatory requirement for anyone who treats hospital patients in an emergency situation. We must continually maintain a healthy respect for the laws of the EMTALA. The safest approach is to know the laws well. Additionally we must always do the right thing by placing the health and welfare of the patient as paramount practice goal. Anyone may file a claim. But if we are doing our jobs correctly as emergency physicians and hospitalists (along with good documentation), we can practice with confidence… as long as there are no violations in our practice.
1. Zibulewsky J. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Knowledge of the statute by the medical staff of a large, tertiary-care hospital. Ann Emerg Med (submitted for publication, May 2001).
2. Zibulewsky J.Proc The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA): what it is and what it means for physicians, (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2001 October; 14(4): 339–346.
Much is published in the literature regarding the risks of signing patients over to the admitting physician, especially if they aren’t coming in to evaluate the patient in a timely manner. Subsequently, if the admitting physician is reluctant to see the patient until his hospital bylaw grace period is nearly over, that usually portends more work for the Emergency Medicine physician regarding the admission of the patient.
Speaking of increased work, many of us can relate to a law taken from the Samuel Shem book, “The House of God”. The law states, “Show me a medical student that doesn’t triple my work and i’ll kiss your feet.” An abstract recently published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine has examined an aspect of this law in some detail. Their findings may someday play a roll in the way we function with our jobs as emergency medicine physicians and hospitalists.
The investigators looked for factors associated with and the rate of adverse events caused by medical errors made by emergency physicians while caring for, managing, and admitting their patients. The authors concluded that emergency physician’s adverse events are common for patients hospitalized from the ED. Of the 225 patients included in the study, 130 errors were detected. Of these errors, 34 were categorized as adverse events (defined as medical errors that caused harm to the patient). They noted only two factors that lowered the risk of adverse events in this study: a) the transition of care involving a handoff within the ED, and b) the involvement of a Junior Doctor (resident) in addition to the senior physician. Essentially, instead of tripling their work they found that the residents were improving patient safety. The French investigators went on to say that crosschecking every major decision is mandatory in many other professions and could be beneficial in emergency medicine. Imagine the consequences and permeations of this becoming a Joint Commission standard.
Our post-graduate training programs have reinforced this paradigm for many of us, effectively hardwiring this method into our care plan. This is especially true in the highly litigious specialties. But as for the studies newly recognized value of the “junior doctor,” I guess I better not believe everything I have read in “The House of God” to be the gospel I thought it was. I should probably just stick to Rosens, Tintinalli and Harrisons.
Reference: Goulet, F. et al., Factors Associated with Adverse Events Resulting from Physician Medical Errors in the Emergency Department: Two Doctors Safer than One. Hausfater P/Freoupe Hospitalier Pit`e-Salpentriere, Paris France.
Often our jobs as Hospitalists and Emergency Medicine Physicians are to face the questions patient have regarding their fears of dying from nicotine addiction. I have repeatedly been asked if there are any good things about nicotine. There are approximately 44.5 million adult smokers in the United States. No one will dispute the cardiovascular risks of smoking. While the risk of cancer from smoking is well established, there is no clinical evidence that therapeutic nicotine products create a risk of cancer when used as directed. More than 20 years, over 110 studies involving more than 35,000 participants have shown no increased risk of heart attack, stroke or death among therapeutic nicotine users even in populations with specific health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, lung disease, and existing heart disease.
The American Journal of Pathology in 2003 reported findings that nicotine accelerated wound healing in diabetic mice. Interestingly, these effects are mediated by neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors nAChRs and that nicotine-induced wound healing is mediated, at least in part, by its effects to increase wound angiogenesis. Other studies including a study published in the Annals of Medicine, 2004 also reported nicotine as a potent angiogenic agent. The Journal of Cardiology 2007 concluded intramuscular administration of nicotine for 3 weeks was capable of significantly promoting intramyocardial angiogenesis. Nicotine has also been found to accelerate intimal proliferation and thickening of balloon catheter denuded iliac artery injury.
Current evidence about the therapeutic potential of nicotine is strongest for ulcerative colitis. The Department of Gastroenterology at the, University Hospital of Wales, in the U.K concluded that ulcerative colitis (UC) is predominantly a disease of non-smokers and nicotine is thought to be the agent responsible for this association. Transdermal nicotine was shown to improve disease activity and sigmoidoscopic appearance in active disease patients. Attempts to reduce systemic levels and improve drug tolerance have been let to colonic delivery systems of nicotine (also an ancient treatment for resuscitation of drowning victims!). Preliminary observations with nicotine enemas in UK have been shown to be clinically beneficial.
Tebanicline, developed by Abbott as partial agonist at nAChRs, showed potent analgesic activity against neuropathic pain in human trials. It was designed to be a less toxic analogue of a potent frog-derived compound which is some 200x stronger than morphine as an analgesic. It was dropped from development due to an unacceptable incidence of gastrointestinal side effects. The development of new nAChR agonists continues. Several new nAChR agonists have advanced to Phase II clinical trials demonstrating efficacy in Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cognitive deficits of and schizophrenia. Nicotinic receptors and Parkinson’s disease studies done between 1961 and 2000 demonstrated that there may be nearly a 50% decrease in the incidence of Parkinson’s disease in tobacco users.
Ultimately how one acquires their nicotine has a lot to do with its risk versus benefit. A cigarette contains 9-30 mg of nicotine. Cigars can contain up to 40 mg. Chewing tobacco carries 6-8 mg per gram, gum is 2-4 mg per piece and patches 8.3-114 mg. The fatal dose of nicotine has been estimated to be 0.5-1.0 mg/kg in an adult. The lethal dosage for adult humans according to the CDC is 5 mg/ m3 based on oral toxicity data in humans. It is pretty unlikely that any studies will ever conclude that those intriguing contraband habanos Cuban cigars are going to be “healthy” or a” one a day” staple to the fountain of youth. However they do contain at least one chemical with multiple potential therapeutic indications and perhaps will one day offer benefits beyond the cigar aficionados’ universally purported “relaxing, flavorful, enjoyable” appeal.
As a marketer, I spend a great deal of my day supporting our recruiting team efforts to locate emergency department physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants for Emergency Medicine jobs and Hospitalist jobs nationwide. As such, my team researches communities to provide optimal background for our Recruiters, job postings, and advertising efforts. Hospital Physician Partners provides Emergency Medicine management and Hospitalist Medicine management services in 23 states at more than 80 hospitals. We recently had the opportunity to expand our footprint into Oklahoma thus providing my team with an exciting project and serving as a reminder why I love my job!
Hospital Physician Partners is now providing Emergency Medicine staffing and management services for six hospitals in Oklahoma including five from the INTERGIS system; Blackwell Regional Hospital, Clinton Regional Hospital, Marshall County Medical Center, Mayes County Medical Center, Seminole Medical Center, as well as Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma. Researching these cities and communities has not only been fun as I learn about new parts of the country I probably would not have looked at previously, but it is also educational. Long gone are the history and geography books from my aging and forgetful mind so a little refresh was a good thing. For example, I forgot that Oklahoma was part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase and is one of the nations youngest states. I didn’t know that Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state, is the third largest gas-producing state in the nation, and that forests cover approximately 24 percent of Oklahoma. Now, while all this may do is make me sound more intelligent during the next Trivial Pursuit family challenge, it has driven me to learn on the job which is what we all should be doing anyway isn’t it?
Hospital Physician Partners is now a new partner in the care of patients in the Oklahoma communities we serve. In addition to providing Emergency Medicine jobs in Oklahoma, we will be caring for ten’s of thousands of patients across the state. As an employee of Hospital Physician Partners, I am proud of this. In our day to day jobs, (especially in our industry) it is easy to get lost in the crush of work as we staff, recruit, manage, and most importantly, save lives everyday. However, this new venture into Oklahoma has reminded this marketer that part of the excitement of what we do is also engaging in new communities, developing new recruitment strategies, and expanding our scope of knowledge as purveyors of quality patient care.
For thousands of years, humans have been over eating regardless of the presence of enough food. The definition of “abnormal eating patterns” as “eating disorders” was developed about 20 years ago. I am one of those who has eaten too much and felt like I was going to die for the next few hours, surviving on the principal of living to eat instead of eating to live. According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American consumes about 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day. Dr. Pamela Peeke, a well published author on obesity, has been quoted saying this meal is like a tsunami of fat coming into the body. In fact, studies have shown that there was a 4-7 time increase in heart attack risk of heart attack risk after eating too much at one sitting.
On the other hand, if you’re not one of those individuals with one foot on the banana peel and the other one in the grave, there are some differing opinions on this. Some fitness experts suggest why should we restrict this feast at all? Since a Thanksgiving Day feast happens only 1 day a year, why not just eat as much as you want? If you are healthy enough, one day of feasting out of a full year is NOT going to make or break ones’ fitness routine.
Even if you decide to feast on every holiday that you celebrate throughout the year, this is still only going to be 5 or 6 feasts per year. That calculates out to only about 1 feast every 2 month which they say is certainly nothing that is worth worrying about in terms of a fitness plan. And if you have been fasting prior to this onslaught, occasional overeating may have the benefit to revamping your metabolic rate via the leptin hormone response, which has been suggested to up-regulate your metabolism. This physiologic concept actually originated from studies in the 1950s on obese mice that showed when this subset of mice was treated with injections of leptin, they lost their excess fat and return to normal body weights. So if you’re healthy enough to withstand the stress test at the dinner table, dig in. After all its better to burn out than to fade away. (Neil Young from the song: My My, Hey Hey)
Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP, Assistant clinical professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Ingalls AM, Dickie MM, Snell GD (December 1950). “Obese, a new mutation in the house mouse”. J. Hered. 41 (12): 317–8. PMID 14824537.
We all realize how important a job it is as Emergency Medicine Physicians and Hospitalists to generate an accurate medication list for the care and safety of our patients at their hospital admission. It is vital to prevent medication errors and adverse drug events during the hospital stay and after discharge. Unidentified errors can result in the patient receiving harmful, inaccurate treatment. As such, in todays clinincal environment where more and more ER physicians and Hospitalists travel to work locums-based Emergency Medicine jobs and Hospitalist jobs, the challenge is even greater.
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal attempted to describe the frequency, type and predictors of errors in the patients medication history, and to evaluate the extent to which standard care corrected these errors. They also tried to determine the degree to which standard care identified errors in the medication history when the pharmacists performed a medication reconciliation. In the study, the medication list generated at admission was compared with the patient’s medication list in the hospital medical records. The errors were identified by pharmacists performing medication reconciliations for patients admitted to a Swedish hospital, and generated predictors for those medication errors. Addition, withdrawal of a drug, or changes to the dose or dosage form in the hospital medication list was considered a medication discrepancy. Medication discrepancies for which no clinical reason could be identified were considered medication history errors.
The study population constituted 670 patients. At least one medication history error was identified by pharmacists conducting medication reconciliations for 313 of these patients, (47%)! The most common medication error was an omitted drug, followed by an incorrect dose. Analysis showed that a higher number of prescribed drugs listed at admission, and the patient living in their own home without any care-givers were predictors for medication history errors. The results indicated that the usual care by non-pharmacist patient care staff partly corrected the errors in affected patients by four days after admission. However, a considerable proportion of the errors made in the initial medication history at admission remained undetected by standard hospital operating procedures.
The investigators concluded that medication history errors generated at hospital admission are common. This highlighted the importance of introducing processes for ensuring that the medication lists are accurate and complete as soon as possible to reduce the risk of medication errors. They concluded that clinical pharmacists conducting medication reconciliations have a high potential for correcting errors in medication history. They noted that there is limited potential for predicting which patients are at highest risk of experiencing errors in their medication history. They recommended that systematic medication reconciliations should be conducted in all patients admitted to hospital and noted that older patients being prescribed many drugs could benefit the most from admission medication reconciliations by clinical pharmacists.
As purveyors of Emergency Medicine management and Hospitalist Medicine management, clearly we should educate the staff caring for our patients on the critical nature of this portion of the patient assessment and encourage them to acquire an accurate valuation of the patient’s medication list. Those of us who are writing admit orders as part of our patient management must be vigilant for this error potential and be diligent with our medication orders. At the very least, we can write an order to contact the patient’s personal pharmacy for their medications and dosages.
Lina M Hellström; Åsa Bondesson; Peter Höglund; Tommy Eriksson, Errors in Medication History at Hospital Admission: Prevalence and Predicting Factors., BMC Clinical Pharmacology BMC Clin Pharmacol. 2012 Apr 3;12:9
Occasionally, our job as Hospitalists and Emergency Medicine physicians is to decide who should return to work and who really needs a work note. Sometimes we need to decide if WE are too sick to make it through the shift. I personally have worked shifts while enduring an active GI bleed, an acute pulmonary embolus and a stroke in evolution. That is not saying that I demonstrated or used the common sense God gave a tack. But I’m admittedly on the other end of the extreme and in my defense, most of these weren’t infectious. A recent article by Sue Shellenbarger in the Wall Street Journal brought up a few salient items for us to ponder about calling in sick. Surveys have disclosed that 1 in 7 women and 1 in 5 men have called into work and lied about being sick. With that, the following are the results of a survey listing the most creative excuses for missing work.
- The employee’s toe was stuck in a faucet
- The employee’s dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police investigation.
- The employee got sick from reading too much.
- The employee was suffering from a broken heart
- The employee was upset after watching Hunger Games
- The employee’s bird bit her
- The employee’s hair turned orange while dyeing her hair.
- The employees sobriety tool wouldn’t allow the car to start
- The employee’s dog was having a nervous breakdown
In truth, these statements fail to document the details that may make the difference between credibility and laughability. Maybe they just want to take Halloween off to spend with their kids. Still, we have all have heard patients tell us things that are nearly as outrageous as these statements.
We can easily convince our diehard patients in our ED that they are too sick to work. Some may need some prodding by asking them, to paraphrase an office manager from New York; “You don’t look very good. What kind of flowers do you want at your funeral?” Or perhaps, ‘Would you like me reserve you a horse-drawn U-Haul behind your hearse’? Considering the years’ projected outbreaks of whooping cough, and the concerns for outbreaks of hantavirus and norovirus, we need to be diagnostically vigilant. Not to mention the occasional patient sauntering into the ED or our office with the chief complaint of ‘a cough’, hacking away in our faces with multidrug resistant TB!
We all have an obligation to not gift our own infectious diseases to our susceptible patients. Additionally, our patients and their coworkers count on us to not allow highly contagious people to bring said diseases to the workplace. And in reality, in this day of a cornucopia of information technologies, patients can now work at home or Skype into the meetings from home.
So, let’s just say I made these things up. Maybe they just want to take Halloween off to spend with their kids. What can we take away from these ingenious but inane justifications for skipping work? We must wade through the various presentations and complaints in an attempt to weed out the malingerers. There must be a happy medium where we serve the patient and the communities best interest by using a modicum of common sense, a good physical exam and the applicable testing available to these patients at our health care facilities.
Hospital Physician Partners brought their team earlier this month to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Scientific Assembly in Denver, Colorado with the goal of introducing the quality of our company to those potentially interested in joining the HPP family. Some of Hospital Physician Partners top administrative staff and clinicians were present to offer ACEP participants the benefits and advantages of joining one of the premier ED management organizations in the country. The success of their interactions was evident in the sheer volume of productive leads that were acquired.
The American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP) Scientific Assembly was attended by two of HPP’s physician recruiters who engaged the participants at every opportunity with personable and meaningful dialogue. The interest Scott Bradford and Benny Rossner generated in HPP was remarkable. They offered a nearly unique presentation format from the recruiters at this conference by genially engaging the participants in front of booth, demonstrating the personal touch that HPP offers to its members. The resulting quality of the responses from the participants was readily apparent and well received.
The ultimate goal of HPP presenting ourselves at these conferences is to offer to the attendees the chance to become a part of the HPP family of health care providers and learn about our nationwide opportunities. We introduce them to the prospect of experiencing a more satisfying, rewarding and productive career in Emergency Medicine.
Now I’m sure some of you are saying this is another review dripping with syrupy propaganda. But the interest generated at these conferences will clearly bear fruit which will be realized by HPP facilities throughout the country. And, as a physician myself, I can full appreciate the value of a meaningful conversation with a recruiter versus mindless banter about the weather and how nice the conference is. HPP’s team did a great job and made it fun for attendees who visited their booths
Multiple CME courses presented at Hospital Physician Partners’ On-Line University have touted the virtues of Emergency Medicine Physicians and Hospitalists care of themselves as a key to improving our management of our on-the-job performance. We have all heard the recent earth-shattering statistics about the modern world’s obesity rate. How many times have I eaten too much and felt like I was going to die for the next few hours? More than I care to admit, and I’ll bet I am not alone. I have even done it under conditions where activity is compromised such as in clinical practice. Clearly however, gorging oneself is not unique to humans. So we logically need to study the gorgers in our world to see where that vice fits in the big picture. Here is a new take on the world of those that are firmly braced in the rank of a gothopotamus.
A python can eat a meal equaling 75% of its body mass. When one does this, (with the exception of the brain), all of its organs increase in size 30-100% to take on the meal! With this astounding change, their basic metabolic rate increases 40 times! Interestingly these organs including their hearts will shrink back to normal size within 10 days. Now grant it they may only eat like this once a year but this adaptation is worth studying.
A study published in Science found that Burmese pythons display a marked increase (40%) in heart mass after a large meal. They found that heart growth in pythons is characterized by hypertrophy. Even with this overt lipemia, the python heart does not accumulate triglycerides or fatty acids. Instead, there is robust activation of metabolic pathways including activation of a cardioprotective enzyme. They identified three fatty acids in python plasma that promote physiological heart growth when injected into either pythons or mice.
These findings may lead to development of therapeutic agents that could confer the benefits of a python overeating as a cure for some common heart diseases. Could there be a cure buried in gluttony? The future holds hopes in these findings that an atrophic scarred heart may he rejuvenated or that diseased hypertrophic hearts may be able to regress to a healthy size. In the meanwhile we owe it to our patients to take better care of ourselves. Based on these findings, maybe some of our morbidly obese, hyperlipidemic colleagues and patients really have a glimmer of optimism. After all, on those tough nights in the hospital when we have overeaten to keep going, we may not be merely overfed “snakes in the grass all coiled up and hissing”.
REFRENCE: Cecilia A. Riquelme, C., Leinwand, L et. al., Fatty Acids Identified in the Burmese Python Promote Beneficial Cardiac Growth Science 28 October 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6055 pp. 528-531, DOI: 10.1126/science.1210558
A summary of the 2012 Hospital Physician Partners (HPP) Medical Directors Conference in Dallas Texas, September 9-12
Hospital Physician Partners sponsored and produced its annual director’s conference recently. The conference was graced with a series of lectures and demonstrations focusing on preparing the directors to educate our providers in the field on concepts and methods we can use to meet the demands of the continuous changes in the business and science of medicine. The program also presented tools that we all will find valuable and easy to implement into our practices. Most of these concepts have proven in practice to increase patient, staff, administrative and provider satisfaction while increasing work environment efficiency. There was even a drizzle of LLSA focused academia to round out the curriculum.
The attendees were treated with a captivating presentation from a guest speaker, Colonel Mark Tillman, the former commander of Air Force One who was at the helm on 9/11. He actually outperformed the stellar line up of conference speakers and received a well-deserved, extended standing ovation from the attendees. Colonel Tillman’s clever delivery and entertaining content provided valuable insight to the unique situational challenges he faced while working in his position. He then pointed out concepts that fascinatingly parallel those in the hospital environment. He offered eye opening revelations of shared operational principals that both his and our professions utilize which allow specialists to achieve success in our respective fields.
The attendees were also required to create and perform in a self-learning exercise based on a loosely scripted emergency department setting. They found themselves being placed entirely out of their comfort zone to learn and critique the intricacies of adapting to unique, albeit artificial, clinical situations.
The ultimate goal of these conferences is to provide our HPP family of doctors and mid-levels with innovative tools to make their jobs more satisfying, rewarding, and productive. The result was clearly on the mark. The participants were inspired by the content and showed a lot of motivation to bring these revolutionary ideas and ideals back to the practitioners in the trenches.
Now I’m sure some of you are saying this review is syrupy propaganda. But the content presented in this conference will clearly bear fruit which will be reaped by HPP providers throughout the country. To quote one of the attendees, “After attending the conference, I feel that my passion for emergency medicine and my role as medical director has been renewed. I am excited to take back the information I have learned and share it with my colleagues, so that we may all perform at our highest level.” And so, prepare yourselves to be dazzled even by the little things that will make big differences.
“The hair of the dog”: We all have heard it, said it or done it. Where did it come from? How does it apply to us? The hair of the dog is classically a shot of alcohol sucked down to mitigate a hangover. In reality, the phrase “hair of the dog” was originally related to how people that were bitten by rabid dogs attempted to treat themselves. They did so by killing the animal and applying the hair of the dog to the wound. In the seventeenth century, it was believed that to fry such a hair and place it with rosemary on the bite wound was protection against rabies! Other attempts to treat rabies included eating the hair, or the rabid animal’s liver or heart.
New trends and lore must be validated by the scientific method. Where would we be if medicine stuck with that 17th century unproven medical care plan of sewing rabid dog hair into the wound? Theoretically though, if the rabies virus was licked onto the fur and became inactivated by drying before the patient applied the hair into the wound, one could actually inoculate one’s self with the dead virus and generate an immune response without producing disease. But the variables would be hard to scientifically define and the scientific method would be heavily compromised. Pasteur solved these concerns by killing the virus before inoculation.
Nickerson, Barilla et. Al., biologists from the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute, recently revealed a discovery that Salmonella becomes several times more virulent while living in space! Interestingly this increased infectivity disappears within hours after being brought to normal gravity; (a process thought to be dependent upon gravity’s effect on stress gene expression). This infectious disease discovery madness is brought to us on a daily basis. When faced with these amazing scenarios both 17th century and space shuttle based, it’s no wonder how difficult it is for the clinician to not jump on any bandwagon a drug company sends at us.
One of the most recent trends that have backfired for our patients was the heavily touted use of third generation fluoroquinolones for acute sinusitis. Clinical experience has later revealed the significant increased risk of tendonopathies and retinal detachments incurred by this cavalier, trendy indication. The seventh commandment of emergency medicine: ‘trust no one believe in nothing’ contains a subset of wisdom: Always maintain an element of skepticism about old adages or new trends. The travesty generated by this indiscriminant antibiotic sales pitch really gives Emergency Physicians and Hospitalists a reason, as part of our patient management job, to heed this commandment for our patients’ best interest.
While there is a theory that a hangover is a form of withdrawal, and that another stiff drink will relieve the hangover, the only part of this that is validated scientifically is that additional alcohol can have sedating and anesthetic effects. In support of this, I’ve never met any journeyman alcohol drinker that denied the benefits of “the hair of the dog that bit you” after tying one on the night before. Without question, this practice has been validated for hundreds if not thousands of years. Alas, I still cannot find one scientific publication or rabies research study that references this acclaimed, ‘off label’, best practice point of care use for “the hair of the dog that bit you.”
As Emergency Medicine physicians, we are always asked to make the patient care plan for our patients more efficient. This quandary is consistently handed to us by the hospital and the groups we work for. And if it isn’t these groups that actually have any steak in the care plan, its JACHO or core measures raining on our parade. A study finally offers a potentially real solution to this age old concern. How can we order ancillary diagnostic studies without causing massive increases in length of stay? You asked for it and you got it! A recently published study evaluated the emergency department strategy of eliminating routine use of oral contrast for abdominal and pelvic computed tomography. The investigators sought to determine if this process could reduce ED length of stay without compromising diagnostic accuracy.
The N of the study was 2001: the study group N was 987 with a control N of 1014. The study was structured so that oral contrast was still ordered for patients with history of inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal tract altering surgery or extremely lean body habitus. Patients were typically excluded if they would not have typically received oral contrast regardless of the intervention (i.e. CT for renal stone protocol). The authors note that the study found no statistically significant difference in the rate of return to the ED in the 72 hours after discharge for patients who received CAT (computerized axial tomography) without oral contrast compared to those who had conventional abdominal pelvic CAT scan with contrast. No patient with a CAT scan negative for acute findings required an additional, subsequent scan within 72 hours. The mean time from order to performing CAT was decreased by 66 min. And the most notable finding for throughput times; the mean emergency department length of stay among oral contrast patients decreased by 97 min. They concluded that “eliminating routine oral contrast use for abdominal-pelvic imaging in the emergency department may be successful in decreasing length of stay and time from order to CAT scan without demonstrated compromise in acute patient diagnostics”.
The take home message: (the impact on patient management and our jobs as emergency medicine physicians and hospitalists): Improved patient throughput times, a potential decreased morbidity with oral contrast use in patients, increased patient satisfaction, decreased cost to the patient, and decreased hospital costs. All of these will lead to better patient satisfaction survey scores and the potential for increased revenue for you as a provider.
Reference:eliminating routine oral contrast use for CAT scan in the emergency department: impact on patient throughput and diagnosis. Levinso, B., et al., Energ. Radiol. 2012, DOI:10,1007/s10140-012-1059-7. Itry65
Numerous articles have been recently written on the risk of sleeping pill use, one of which contained potentially earthshattering news. One of the article’s conclusions reads: “Receiving hypnotic prescriptions was associated with greater than threefold increased hazards of death even when prescribed <18 pills/year”.
Considering the estimates that an estimated 6%–10% of US adults took a hypnotic drug for poor sleep in 2010, the potential permutations are enormous. Furthermore, we all know a few physicians we work with that occasionally use hypnotics for shift work. Our patients read and watch the news. When they get wind of this article publishing the alleged lethality of sleeping pills, we need to be prepared to answer for the public concerns of this medical journalistic luridness.
Fortunately there is a clarifying, common sense, logical discussion that brings reason to this mayhem. An article in Emergency Medicine News, 6/2012, takes a realistic view of this on-line published research. This author’s approach to interpreting this study is a method we all should undertake when we encounter these studies that have been produced for ‘shock and awe’ instead of legitimate research-based knowledge dissemination.
Dr Gussow breaks down the article published in the British Medical Journal Open (BMJO) which appears to baselessly purport the incredible risks for anybody even being prescribed a sleeping pill, whether they have taken it or not. You really need to read it just to see how far over the line this paper went when it comes to publishing research conclusions without basing all of them on scientific facts. Dr Gussow states, “Holy moly, if sedatives and hypnotics, taken a dose of 1.5 pills a month, can quadruple one’s risk of death they must be among the most toxic substances known to man. If sleeping pills kill at least four times as many people in the United States as gunshot wounds and automobiles combined, there is an unprecedented and unappreciated ongoing public health catastrophe”; and he is spot on!
We as physicians have an obligation to be current with research in the medical field. Particularly since it affects our patients and ourselves, (depending on where we fit in the subject matter). Our jobs as Hospitalists and Emergency Medicine physicians also require us to make sure the current research presented to the public makes sense and is sensible. To do this we have to be scientifically critical in our interpretations of what is published.
The learning value of this discussion for us is that Dr. Gussow’s article, in combination with the information from the BMJO, brings some utility to this egregious publication. The two articles together total 3 pages. After reading these you will see how the BMJO publishers’ urge to make the news overrode the standard of peer reviewed medical research publications. You can then appreciate his critical analysis of the flawed conclusions presented in the BMJO article. His perspective reveals the unscientifically based deductions that will unfortunately bring the patients in by the hordes asking legitimate questions about their concerns regarding the safety of the hypnotics doctors have prescribed for them. Reading both of these articles will improve your scientific critical thinking while getting you well prepared for the public’s questions.
It will also undoubtedly help everyone sleep better.
- Gussow, Leon MD., Toxicology Rounds: Sensational Claims Aside, Can Sleeping Pills Really Lead to Earlier Death? Emergency Medicine News: June 2012 – Volume 34 – Issue 6 – p 8 Toxicology Rounds
- Kripke, D., Langer, R. Kline, L. Hypnotics’ association with mortality or cancer: a matched cohort study BMJ Open doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2012
Here we-go again. (And you won’t be lucky enough to have your dog WE-GO bring you a beer while you’re reading this either). I know you’re saying “Not another discussion on quality metrics, patient flow, and patient satisfaction”. They’re shoved down your throat every time you turn around. You have to hear about it from hospital administration, your bosses, and the companies you work for. Furthermore, we see these process improvement plans passed to and from hospital administration with variable success. Now you have some new ammunition supported by newly released research to help convince the doubters that direct bedding and bedside triage are a key component in making things work better in your hospital.
A recently published study from the Society for Academic Medicine’s Research Forum presented more direct evidence which supports having these processes in place in your institution. The authors measured the effect of direct bedding, bedside registration and patient pooling on pediatric ED wait times, length of stay, and patient satisfaction. The proof is in the pudding. The study found that the mean time to be seen by the Emergency Department physician decreased by 20%, length of stay for discharge decreased by 15% and the median time until admission decision was lowered by 10%. The real kicker: Press-Ganey satisfaction scores increased by five points. Interestingly, during the study there was even a decrease in attending physician coverage and increase the patient volumes! HPP is a leader in the Emergency Medicine industry in trying to achieve these goals. Our policies support the practice processes of provider in triage, direct bedding for patients when empty beds are available (bypassing triage), and bedside patient registration.
In hospitals where HPP has both Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine programs, there are coordinated efforts to reduce boarding and expedite disposition of patients to in-patient beds and we have even established a discharge staging area to free up beds where the situation permits. HPP offers comprehensive strategies consistent with protocols by current Emergency Medicine industry research and remains committed to enhancing the quality of care in the management of our patients!
Reference: Niel F. Miele, Neelam R. Patel, Rachael D. Grieco, Ernest G. Leva. Direct Bedding, Bedside Registration and Patient Pooling To Improve Pediatric Emergency Department length of stay., SAEM Annual Meeting Research Forum, Abstract #217, May,2012
Hospital Physician Partners manages excellent Emergency Medicine facilities throughout Arkansas and these Arkansas Emergency Medicine jobs are open right now:
- In Forrest City at a newly renovated state-of-the-art facility we have emergency medicine job openings for both physicians and NP/PAs. Forrest City Medical Center is a full-service 118-bed hospital and here flexible scheduling and custom reward bonuses are available. Forrest City is just 45 minutes west of Memphis so all the amenities of a big city are just a short drive away, yet there is also plenty for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy at nearby Village Creek State Park, the state’s largest park.
- At Helena Regional Medical Center there is an immediate opening for a full or part-time Emergency Medicine Physician. This is an excellent facility, offering a full-range of services and the latest in technology. Flexible scheduling is available for 12 and 24-hour shifts plus there is access to full benefits and there are bonus opportunities. Possible relocation assistance is also available. Helena, Arkansas is located on the Mississippi just one-hour southwest of Memphis and is known for its music, culture, history and beautiful scenery.
- In Newport, Arkansas we have another full or part-time Emergency Medicine job opening for a physician at Harris Hospital. You can take advantage of full-benefits, flexible scheduling and competitive compensation at this 133-bed acute care facility. Harris Hospital plays a very important role in the community as it’s the county’s only inpatient and outpatient healthcare services provider. Here’s your chance to enjoy life while making a real difference in the health of your neighbors in this wonderful town located 80 miles northwest of Memphis. It’s home to eighteen-hole golf courses, a state park and museum, two annual festivals and has a host of community cultural activities for the family.
There are nearly 795,000 stroke cases in the U.S yearly and nearly a quarter of are patients under the age of 65. Recent research found that nationwide, hospitalization rates for ischemic strokes increased over 30% among people ages 15 to 44 in the last 10 years. And then THERE IS THE TREND that Americans are becoming fatter, more frequently hypertensive, and more often acquiring diabetes with the consequential atherosclerotic changes they develop at an earlier age. Lastly, data shows an increase in strokes during pregnancy and in the post-partum period.
In adults, minor acute infections are considered a risk factor for stroke. However the issue had not been adequately explored in pediatrics. Now, according to Nancy Hills, PhD, of the U.C. San Francisco reporting at the ASAs International Stroke Conference, acute infection appears to be associated with an increased likelihood of ischemic stroke in children who were at least 29 days old. This retrospective cohort study found an increased risk if the individual had had an outpatient visit for acute infection within the previous 30 days, and especially within two days of the stroke. (N = 126 pediatric ischemic strokes, study population of 2.5 million, 1993- 2007). A prospective study to verify these findings — The Vascular Effects of Infection in Pediatrics (VIPS) trial — will likely to be published within two years.
So what’s bubbling up in the literature that may be good news? Dr. D. Manawadu from the King’s College Hospital in London presented data at the ASA in New Orleans suggesting that it may be safe to give rTPA to people who wake up with stroke symptoms. Almost 25 percent of strokes have their onset during sleep. The investigators used a stroke registry comparing 326 patients treated with rTPA within 4.5 hours of symptoms to 68 “wake-up” stroke patients. In the study, the death rates, risk of ICH and recovery rates after three months were similar in both groups of stroke patients. “Administering rTPA to ‘wake-up’ stroke patients matched for clinical and imaging features as those treated within current guidelines appears feasible and safe.” It could make sense that our technology has finally improved to the point that it can finally begin to tell us something the patient can’t about when they started having problems. Future studies will likely tell us more.
The bottom line still remains, the earlier the treatment is started the better. So, what can we do for these people? Foremost, we have to tell the general population that it is time to take better care of themselves! (maybe not by telling them, “you’re a fat unconditioned slob”, take it from me). We also need to start teaching our patients at all ages about stroke signs and symptoms. They need to be familiar with the following: sudden unilateral numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg; sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech, trouble seeing or walking, a sudden onset-severe headache. And finally, the general public needs to understand TIAs are a warning of imminent stroke.
References: Hills N, et al “Timing of infection and risk of arterial ischemic stroke in children” ASA 2012; Abstract 39.
Source: Feb. 1, 2012, presentation, American Stroke Association meeting, New Orleans, LA
In Mount Vernon and Dayton, Ohio, we have rewarding Emergency Medicine jobs waiting for you at top medical facilities in the Buckeye State:
- Knox Community Hospital is located in Mount Vernon and this modern, well-equipped and professionally staffed facility offers a full range of medical and surgical services. It’s a busy emergency room, seeing 25 to 35 thousand patients a year and you’ll have a chance to apply and deepen your skills while working with a highly qualified and supportive staff. We have Emergency Medicine jobs here for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants take advantage of this excellent professional opportunity in one of Ohio’s most livable communities.
- Grandview Medical Center and Southview Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio are part of the Kettering Health Network and are Dayton’s only osteopathic hospitals. We have immediate Emergency Medicine job openings for physicians at both of these great facilities. Grandview is a top Emergency Medicine teaching facility and has a busy emergency department, seeing 25 to 35 thousand patients a year. Southview is Grandview’s sister hospital and this 12-bed ED sees between 15 and 25 thousand patients a year. Both opportunities at Grandview and Southview give qualified physicians a chance to work in a region that’s ranked #3 nationally for hospital quality. Dayton’s strong industry base and low cost of living also make it a great place to live and work.
As with of our all of our Emergency Medicine jobs and Hospitalist jobs that we have available across the country, these Ohio Emergency Medicine jobs come with full benefits and there are possible bonus opportunities.
Included in multiple CME courses presented on line at Hospital Physician Partners On-Line University have been the virtues of Emergency Medicine Physicians and Hospitalists taking care of themselves off the job as a key to improving our management of our on-the-job performance. Scientists from the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging have recently attempted to study whether changes in muscles prompted by exercise affect the brain’s cognitive functions. They investigated the effects of endurance factors, (a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ agonist and AICAR, an activator of AMP-activated protein kinase) on memory and neurogenesis. The premise for their research was based on the finding that lab animals and people have been found to perform better on tests of cognition after several weeks of exercise. Furthermore studies have shown that endurance exercises increase the number of neurons in portions of the brain devoted to memory and learning.
Their published results showed that muscle endurance enhancing compounds improved spatial memory in sedentary mice. The behavioral enhancement may be due at least in part to increased dentate gyrus neurogenesis. In other words, the experimental animals’ brains contained far more new neurons in brain areas central to learning and memory than the brains of the control mice. These findings may lead to development of therapeutic agents that confer the benefits of exercise in conditions where activity is compromised such as in clinical practice. (Especially ones with challenging EMRs!)
In the meanwhile we owe it to our patients to take better care of ourselves. Based on these findings, exercise may make our brains better able to deal with the complex situations that pop up in many clinical cases. Maybe some of our muscle-headed colleagues really have something going after all. At the very least, science has proven that regular exercise will help prevent us from literally blowing a gasket…take it from me.
REFRENCE: Kobilo, T., Chunyan Yuan, C., van Praag, H., Endurance Factors Improve Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Spatial Memory in Mice., Journal Learn Mem., 2011 February; 18.
What has more become more of an influence on our jobs as Emergency Medicine physicians or Hospitalists than the issue of ED wait time quality metrics? A recently published blog in Health Leaders Media expounds the on two ED wait time quality metrics and the potential consequences for these published parameters which are now posted on the Hospital Compare website. The first metric is the median time between when patients enter the Emergency Department door until they leave the ED for an inpatient bed (ranging in minutes from 52 – 387). The second metric is the median time between the moment an Emergency Department doctor decides to admit patients to an inpatient bed and the time the patients actually leave the Emergency Department for that bed (ranging from 0 – 170 minutes).
Hospital Physician Partners (HPP) is very proactive, working toward leading the Emergency Medicine industry in achieving these goals by implementing the following process improvement scenarios:
1. Provider in triage; (Mid-Level Provider in triage to screen patients and make quick dispositions on simple cases while beginning workups for patients to be brought to the back for further evaluation and treatment).
2. Direct bedding for patients when empty beds are available (bypassing triage).
3. Bedside patient registration.
4. Encouraging the hospital to move to Point of Service lab testing (bedside tests available include: urine; pregnancy test; BMP;CBC; ABG; Troponin).
5. Instituting a virtual scribe program for ED’s with an Electronic Medical Record.
6. Providing specific education targeted for efficient practice methods offered on the Hospital Physicians University Continuing Medical Education and in their Provider Manual under the section: “Moving Patients in the ED”.
7. In hospitals where HPP have both ED and hospitalist programs, there are coordinated efforts to reduce boarding and expedite disposition of patients to in-patient beds.
8. We have even established a discharge staging area to free up beds where the situation permits.
The world of transparency for the efficiency of medicine is running straight into the practice of Emergency Medicine for all to see. HPP offers a comprehensive program to enhancing professional skills in the management of our patients!
With a combination of competitive compensation, an enjoyable lifestyle and excellent facilities, these exciting Emergency Medicine jobs in Arizona are great opportunities for qualified physicians:
- In Mesa, Arizona, just 20 minutes east of Phoenix, there is an opening for an Emergency Medicine Physician at a fairly active emergency department. Mountain Vista Medical center has 30 ED beds and the department sees between 25-35 thousand patients each year. Mesa is known for its focus on the arts and offers something for the entire family, including playgrounds, picnicking, local sports action, world-class resorts and plenty of fine dining. It all adds up to a great place to both make your home and further your professional career.
- At St. Luke’s Medical Center in Phoenix proper we have an immediate opening for a qualified physician. Volume at St. Luke’s is relatively light, between 15-25 thousand patients annually, but its Phoenix location will give you plenty of opportunity to utilize and expand your skills. Phoenix is also one of the most exciting cities in the West to live in, with world-class resorts, fine dining, exhilarating adventure, trendy shopping, modern nightlife and enriching culture. The area’s natural beauty offers rugged mountain ranges, Saguaro cacti that tower over relaxing hiking trails and spectacular, breathtaking sunsets.
- In Tempe, Arizona we have an emergency medicine job opening with excellent pay at a state-of-the-art facility. Tempe’s St. Luke’s Hospital has 19 ED beds and is a fairly active emergency department at 25-35 thousand patients annually. Nestled in southern Arizona with Phoenix to the west, Mesa to the east and Scottsdale to the north, Mesa is close to everything that this area of Arizona has to offer. With history, culture, shopping, dining, nightlife and more, Tempe has something for everyone.
Often our jobs as Hospitalists and Emergency Medicine physicians are to create and manage a medical record that is meaningful. With that in mind, the following are sentences extracted from patient records exactly as typed by medical secretaries in the N.H.S. (National Health Service – Greater Glasgow). The N.H.S. is the largest health board in the United Kingdom, providing healthcare to over 1.2 million people and employing more than 40,000 staff members.
1. The patient has no previous history of suicide.
2. Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital.
3. Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.
4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
6. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.
7. Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.
8. Healthy appearing decrepit 69- year old male, mentally alert, but forgetful.
9. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
10. She is numb from her toes down.
11. While in A&E, she was examined, X-rated and sent home.
12. The skin was moist and dry.
13. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
14. Patient was alert and unresponsive.
15. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.
16. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce.
17. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
18. Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.
19. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
20. Skin: somewhat pale, but present.
21. Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.
22. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
23. When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.
24. The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.
25. Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.
26. Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Smith, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.
27. The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stock broker instead.
So, let’s just presume I made this whole thing up. Still we have all likely read things in others medical records that are nearly as outrageous as these statements. It is ideal, within the functionality of a medical record to “paint a picture of your patient in time.” This allows for an accurate, reliable and complete record that can be referred to and translated by any professional needing to make good decisions about the patient they are evaluating using the information within the records provided. What can we take away from these invaluable misquotations?
These statements are not particularly defensible in a court of law, and they fail to document the details that may make the difference between credibility and laughability. Undeniably, “Dictated but not read” can be a recipe for a medical record disaster that may find its way to a viral internet publication!
Hospitalist medicine is one of the fastest-growing disciplines across America today and North Carolina is no exception. Hospital Physician Partners has rewarding Hospitalist jobs throughout the state for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. We also have Medical Directorship opportunities available in North Carolina and across the United States. Here’s a sample of the exciting jobs that are open right now:
- Brevard, North Carolina is located in the western Blue Ridge Mountains and is just 30 miles southwest of Asheville and all the entertainment, dining and cultural activities that Western North Carolina destination has to offer. Here in the heart of Transylvania County against the breathtaking backdrop of the Pisgah National Forest is Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield. This 94-bed facility has openings for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. It delivers a full range of services, including: cardiology, ICU/CCU, anesthesiology, OB/GYN, home health, radiology, speech/language therapy, respiratory therapy, laboratory, wound care/ostomy and podiatry.
- Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield is located on the Coastal Plain in Smithfield, NC and the 199-bed facility also has openings for physicians and NP/PAs. This affordable community is just 30 miles east of the Research Triangle city of Raleigh. With behavioral health, urgent care, surgical services and a cancer center, the Center plays an important role in the well-being of this friendly community.
- In Louisburg, North Carolina At Franklin Regional Medical Center we have Hospitalist jobs for a full or part-time physician. Here’s your chance to work for a state-of-the art medical system that delivers comprehensive services such as cardiac care, ultrasound, radiology, laboratory, critical care, plastic surgery, imaging, OB/GYN, nephrology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, urology and pediatric. Louisburg is located in the upper Piedmont plateau of North Carolina just 30 miles northeast of Raleigh and 45 miles northeast of Durham, so it offers close proximity to the resources and great quality of life of the Research Triangle.
Remember, we also have Medical Directorship opportunities at great facilities across the country. If you’re interested in Directorships, email us at Recruiting9@hppartners.com or call us at (800) 815-8377. Click here to view the complete list of North Carolina Hospitalist jobs or view all of our Hospitalist and Emergency Medicine jobs.
A recently published study evaluated the utility of sidestream quantitative end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) measurement as a triage tool to rule out serious illness in the emergency medicine triage process. NOW STAY WITH ME AS THIS IS ACTUALLY INTERESTING AND REALLY PERTINENT TO YOUR PRACTICE!
This adequately controlled and designed study collected ETCO2 samples from every other patient presenting to an ED that had been assigned triage acuity levels of 2 through 4. Using 30 control subjects and 320 study subjects they collected data and subsequently correlated vital signs, discharge diagnostic criteria (i.e. respiratory, metabolic etc.) ETCO2, and patient disposition data. The highlights of this study’s findings included the results that one in two subjects with normal vital signs and abnormal ETCO2 were admitted. One in 6 (10 with adjusted data) subjects with normal vital signs and normal ETCO2 were ultimately admitted. Lastly, ETCO2 readings outside the accepted range correlated with the need for patient admission. They concluded that ETCO2 may be a sensitive indicator of illness or injury and is predictive of the need for admission. Additionally, “Routine measurement of ETCO2 may contribute predictive information about severity of the disease process that may be missed by current standard vital signs.”
Let’s consider how this can fit into the Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist’s management of our patients. We are the providers ordering the measurement and interpreting its results. Certainly this gives us first hand insight on the potential severity of illness of the patient we will be caring for. Furthermore it can give us the awareness that there may be a need for more aggressive, attentive or individualized patient care. Clearly the discovery of an abnormal level in the patients’ evaluation produces an obligation to relay the significance of this data to the admitting MD for these patients.
The take home message: Here is scientific evidence of another potentially valuable use for ETCO2 in our diagnostic armamentarium. Make sure you are the most knowledgeable and accurate resource for both obtaining and interpreting this critical physiologic data point as you are often the resource that can save the patient’s life or at the very least are responsible for improving the efficiency of their evaluation and their overall quality of care.
Reference: Sidestream Quantitative End-Tidal Carbon Dioxide Measurement as a Triage Tool in Emergency Medicine, D. Williams, T. Morrissey, D. Caro, R. Wears, C. Kalynych : Annals of Emergency Medicine – ANN EMERG MED , vol. 58, no. 4, pp. S212-S213, 2011
Hospital Physician Partners has three immediate openings in West Virginia for qualified physicians seeking a rewarding job in Emergency Medicine. All of the jobs come with full benefits and also may have bonus opportunities. The openings are in these areas of the state:
- In Beckley there is an exciting opportunity at the Beckley ARH Hospital. The 26-bed emergency department treats 22,000 people annually and this full-time position requires that you work 144 hours per month. The Beckley market area includes over 200,000 people and offers beautiful state and national parks, great dining and shopping.
- Over in Oak Hill there is an immediate opening for an Emergency Medicine Physician at the Plateau Medical Center. Services available to ER patients include, but are not limited to, Respiratory Therapists, Laboratory and Diagnostic Imaging. Oak Hill is a growing city with a small-town feel and is home to some of the best-know attractions in West Virginia, including the New River Gorge Bridge.
- At the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Ronceverte, West Virginia, there is an opportunity for an Emergency Medicine Physician at a facility that offers an extensive array of medical, surgical and outpatient services. ER patient volume is between 15 and 25 thousand annually, providing an essential service to this historic city situated on the gently flowing Greenbrier River.
Throughout the Tar Heel State, in some of the best places to live in North Carolina, we have Emergency Medicine jobs available for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants:
- In Brevard, North Carolina, near the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, we have an opening for an Emergency Medicine Physician at a state-of-the-art emergency department. Transylvania Community Hospital has 10 ED beds and 94 hospital beds and sees between 15-25 thousand patients a year in its ED. Brevard is just 30 miles southwest of Asheville, NC and within a couple of hours of Charlotte so you’ll have the best of all worlds – breathtaking scenery, outdoor activities and plenty of entertainment nearby.
- At the Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield in Smithfield, NC we have great emergency medicine job opportunities for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. This is a fast-paced, professional environment with an annual emergency department volume of more than 50 thousand and the career rewards are many. Smithfield offers you comfortable and affordable accommodations, outstanding “Southern-style” restaurants, five area heritage museums, annual festivals and the largest selection of outlet stores in the state at Carolina Premium Outlets.
- In Washington, North Carolina we have an excellent emergency medicine job opening for a physician at a recently renovated facility with great mid-level support – and that means a rewarding job with less stress for you. Beaufort County Hospital has 149 beds and delivers a full range of services while its Eastern Carolina location offers affordable living, culture and a wide range of activities.
- Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, as its name implies, is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. This facility has emergency medicine jobs available for qualified physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Spruce Pine is just an hour’s drive from Asheville and has plenty to offer close to home, including craft studios and galleries, the renowned Penland School of Crafts and the Museum of North Carolina Minerals.
- We have even more opportunities in great North Carolina communities such as Linville, Louisburg, Thomasville and Wilson, so be sure to check out all of the Emergency Medicine jobs available in North Carolina.
All of our North Carolina Emergency Medicine jobs come with full benefits and many have bonus opportunities. Click here to see the complete list of North Carolina Emergency Medicine jobs or browse our entire list of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine jobs.
The National Hockey League postseason playoffs have started. Even pro ice hockey offers us some published scientific research we can chew on. A recently published study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine expounded on the results of 1,300 consecutive fights to determine if there is a different rate of metacarpal fractures when punches are thrown by 2 professional hockey players on ice compared to a control sample of similar patients who traded punches on land. (Now stay with me on this as we do see both groups of patients in our practices and this article will get more interesting.) How did they faire? The injury rate was 1.12% (17 injuries) and only 5 of the 17 were metacarpal injuries for an injury rate of 0. 33%, while the land fighting metacarpal injury rate was a whopping 81%!!! Combatants in the NHL group landed 11.5 punches per fight compared to only 3.5 in the land cohort.
Additionally, the concussion rate was 0.39% for on ice fighting compared with the nearly 4.5% relative closed head injury risk per game from checking (aka ‘hitting’; defined as a number of defensive techniques used to separate the player from the puck).
Yet the rash of head injuries plaguing the sports world and the community is large and of importance to both of our professions. Since a head injury happens every 15 seconds and a patient dies of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every 12 minutes we have a lot to learn from this venue for our patients.
So what has ice hockey research proposed? A group of scientists (Dr. Fisher, senior scientist in human physiology at Toronto General Research Institute, Univ. of Toronto; Dr. Smith, Univ. of West Virginia, Dr. Bailes brain injury expert for NFLPA, whose findings have been accepted for publication in the medical journal “Neurosurgery”), are working to develop a collar that would ‘increase’ blood flow to the head and keep the brain movement to a minimum. This collar slightly restricts venous return from the brain which would effectively give the brain an increased volume allowing less room to “slosh around” The pressure being applied by this collar is no more than a “tight collared shirt”. When they fitted rats with these collars and inflicted a “standard TBI” to the rats, the ones wearing collars had an overall brain injury reduction of 82.7% compared to the non-collared TBI rats!
In speaking with contemporary respected neurosurgeons at a regional trauma center in Southern California, the primary concern was the consequences due to the established alterations in the normal circulatory balance and its localized effects on intravascular pressures and venous/capillary/blood brain barrier permeability with these collars in place at the time of the TBI. In particular they have concerns over the short and long term sequelae related to the potential pathophysiology induced by said collars on significant TBIs. This is especially concerning to these surgeons since TBIs are not standardized.
So sit back and enjoy the Stanley Cup Playoffs in high definition (the only way to watch ice hockey unless you’re there in person) while personally gathering the real time study data the players continue to develop for you during the games. Perhaps even ice hockey can teach medicine a couple of things these days.
Results of 1,300 Consecutive NHL Fights: Fists of Fury with Minimal Injuries
Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page S330
K. Pasternac, D. Weiner, D.P. Milzman
First, let me say congratulations to the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) for a great 2012 national conference. SHM is a professional medical society representing more than 10,000 of the 30,000 practicing hospitalists in the United States. They recently held thier annual national conference April 1-4 in San Diego, California. If you have been to or participated as a vendor in these types of conferences, you know it’s sort of a cross between speed dating, a county fair, lunch at Charlie Palmers (a power broker place to meet in Washington DC), the lecture hall, and the hallways of your hospital. In otherwords, there is alot of meetin’, greetin’, sellin’, and learnin’ going on. As an exhibitor and sponsor, Hospital Physician partners’ primary goal at the conference was to meet and network with Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants either currently or soon to be seeking Hospitalist Jobs. In short to recruit new team members for our programs across the country and introduce the HPP brand to practitioners in the industry.
I can only speak for our company, but hats off to SHM for setting up the conference so we could accomplish our goal. This was by far the most successful conference we have attended with SHM. The weather was amazing. (It is San Diego afterall!) The exhibit hours were pretty good. The conference hall was navigable and easy to access and the SHM staff was easy to work with. Most importantly, we met alot of quality Hospital Medicine Physicians. Admittedly, we had a great location. (Booth 201 right up front)
I won’t spill our secrets, less our competitors read this (haha), but we actually had doctors hanging out in our booth. There was a general interest not only in our services, but also in talking about the industry. This is something I have noticed about Hospitalists, especially at Hospital Medicine conferences such as this, they are much more willing to engage exhibitors than many other clinical professions. Perhaps it’s the natural tendency towards bedside manner, patience, friendliness, and subsequent gentle touch. Or maybe we just had really cool giveaways. Either way, the attendees at this years Hospital Medicine 2012 were considerate, engaged, enthusiastic, and interested.
Again, thank you to SHM and all of the Hospitalist Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistant and administrators who visited us. We look forward to Hospital Medicine 2013 in National Harbor, MD. Guaranteed, Hospital Physician Partners will bring our swag (promo items), our great team, our energy, and our unique brand of approachability; and hopefully we’ll attain even greater success than we had this year.
As an Emergency Medicine physician, you probably know that of the nonfatal, unintentional, non – fire-related carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning cases treated in emergency departments, most are caused by furnaces. The remainders are followed by motor vehicles, stoves, gas lines, water heaters, and generators. Males represent an overwhelming 74% of unintentional non – fire-related deaths. Interestingly, intentional fatalities seem to show that race-specific rates for all racial groups are 87% lower than for whites. Fatality rates increase with age and are highest in the population greater than 65. Nonfatal exposures are more common in older teens and young adults (15-34) and are most common in young children (0-4). Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease tolerate CO intoxication poorly and it is harder for them to tolerate treatment. Neonates and fetuses are more vulnerable to CO toxicity because of the leftward shift of the dissociation curve of fetal hemoglobin, a lower baseline PaO2, and levels of HbCO at equilibration that are 10-15 higher than maternal levels.
CO toxicity impairs oxygen delivery and utilization at the cellular level. It therefore has the most profound impact on the organs with the highest oxygen requirement. Toxicity is caused primarily from cellular hypoxia due to impairment of oxidative phosphorylation and electron transport. CO reversibly binds hemoglobin which effectively causes a relative anemia. It binds hemoglobin 230-270 times more strongly than oxygen. A room with a CO level of 100 ppm can cause a HbCO of 16% at which is enough to produce clinical symptoms. The binding of CO to hemoglobin causes an increased binding affinity of oxygen molecules on the other 3 hemoglobin oxygen-binding sites. This causes a leftward shift in the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve further lowering the availability of oxygen to the issues. CO binds to cardiac myoglobin with an even greater affinity than to hemoglobin resulting in myocardial depression and worsening hypotension. Studies have shown that CO may cause inflammatory changes in the brain. Following severe intoxication, patients do display central nervous system (CNS) pathology, including white matter demyelination. This leads to edema and focal areas of necrosis.
Symptoms typically begin with headaches at levels around 10%. Levels of 50-70% may result in seizure, coma, and death. Misdiagnosis is common. Because of how vague and varied the complaints are, symptoms often are attributed to a viral illness. Therefore, asking about possible exposures is important. This is even more important in the winter months. Another clue can be recognizing when more than one patient in a house presents with the same complaints. Remember, severity of symptoms may not correlate well with HbCO levels. The most common symptom is usually headache (37%) followed by dizziness (18%) and nausea (17%).
Physical examination is not very helpful because there is no one defining feature pointing to the diagnosis. Inhalation injury or burns should always make one consider the possibility of CO exposure. Vital signs would be consistent with a nonspecific acidosis and metabolic derangement; tachycardia, hypertension or hypotension, hyperthermia, and tachypnea. The classic skin sign of cherry red is rare because pallor is actually more common. The chest x-ray may be negative or show non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema. The most common abnormality on an electrocardiogram is sinus tachycardia. Arrhythmias may be secondary to hypoxia, ischemia, or infarction. Patients may have memory problems including retrograde and anterograde amnesia and may even confabulate. They demonstrate emotional lability, impaired judgment, and decreased cognitive ability. Stupor, coma, gait disturbance, movement disorders, and rigidity may be present. Long-term exposures or severe acute exposures can lead to long-term neuropsychiatric problems. Some individuals even develop delayed neuropsychiatric symptoms several days to weeks later. Patients with preexisting heart disease can experience increased exertional angina with HbCO levels of just 5-10%. At high HbCO levels, even young healthy patients develop myocardial depression. Nontraumatic rhabdomyolysis can result from severe CO toxicity and can lead to acute renal failure. Lactic acidosis, hypokalemia, and hyperglycemia may be seen with severe intoxication. Methemoglobinemia should be considered in the differential diagnosis of cyanosis with low oxygen saturation but normal PaO2. Chronic exposures may present with a loss of dentition, gradual-onset neuropsychiatric symptoms, or recent problems with cognitive ability. Two thirds of all acutely exposed patients eventually recover completely.
HbCO absorbs light almost identically to that of oxyhemoglobin. Although a linear drop in oxyhemoglobin occurs as HbCO level rises, pulse oximetry will not reflect it. Pulse oximetry gap, (the difference between the saturation as measured by pulse oximetry and one measured directly), is equal to the HbCO level. Pulse CO-oximetry units are available which can screen for CO toxicity at the bedside. Patients need immediate and continuous 100% oxygen therapy until the patient is asymptomatic and HbCO levels are below 10%. In patients with cardiovascular or pulmonary compromise, lower thresholds of 2% are recommended. One can calculate an estimate of the necessary therapy duration by using the initial level and half-life of 30-90 minutes at 100% oxygen FIO2. In uncomplicated intoxications, measuring venous HbCO levels and oxygen therapy are sufficient. HbCO analysis requires direct spectrophotometric measurement in specific blood gas analyzers. Bedside emergency department pulse CO-oximetry requires a special unit and is not a component of routine pulse oximetry. Elevated levels are significant; however, low levels do not rule out exposure, especially if the patient already has received 100% oxygen or if significant time has elapsed since exposure. Individuals who chronically smoke may have mildly elevated CO levels as high as 10%. Presence of fetal hemoglobin, as high as 30% at 3 months, may be read as an elevation of HbCO level to 7%. When interpreting an arterial blood gas, PaO2 levels should remain normal. Oxygen saturation is accurate only if directly measured, not if calculated from PaO2, common in many blood gas analyzers. One can estimate PCO2 levels by subtracting the carboxyhemoglobin (HbCO) level from the calculated saturation. PCO2 level may be normal or slightly decreased.
CO is eliminated through the lungs. The half-life of CO at room air temperature is 3-4 hours. One hundred percent inspired oxygen reduces the half-life to 30-90 minutes. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) for the treatment of CO poisoning is controversial. There is a true, increased rate of elimination of HbCO. Certain studies demonstrate large reductions in delayed neurologic sequelae, cerebral edema and pathologic central nervous system (CNS) changes. But with all those positive findings, systematic reviews have not revealed a clear benefit of HBO, so no clear guidelines for its use have been determined. Furthermore universal treatment criteria do not exist. The most common selection criteria for use of HBO (regardless of HbCO level) include coma, transient loss of consciousness, ischemic ECG changes, focal neurologic deficits, and abnormal neuropsychiatric testing. HBO at 3 atm raises the amount of oxygen dissolved in the serum to 6.8% which can maintain cerebral metabolism. This reduces the elimination half-life to 15-23 minutes. Treatment regimens are usually provided at FIO2 of 100% at 2.4-3 atmospheres for 90-120 minutes Hyperbaric oxygen at 2.5 atm with 100% oxygen reduces it to 15-23 minutes. Hyperbaric therapy should be considered immediately for patients with levels above 40% or cardiovascular or neurologic impairment. Additionally, persistent impairment after 4 hours of oxygen therapy necessitates transfer to a hyperbaric center. Pregnant patients with carboxyhemoglobin levels above 15% should be considered for hyperbaric treatment.
Since sudden death has occurred in patients with severe arteriosclerotic disease at HbCO levels of only 20%, all patients require continuous monitoring. Serial neurologic examinations, including funduscopy, CT scans, and, possibly, MRI, are important in detecting the development of cerebral edema which require intracranial pressure and invasive blood pressure monitoring to guide therapy. Head elevation, mannitol, and moderate hyperventilation to 28-30 mm Hg PCO2 are indicated in the initial absence of ICP monitoring. Acidosis should improve with oxygen therapy. Patients with HbCO levels of 30-40% or above 25% with associated symptoms will usually be admitted.
We have Emergency Medicine jobs available for doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in four great Mississippi communities — Bay St. Louis, Booneville, Columbus and Oxford:
- Hancock Medical Center is a new state-of-the art facility located in Bay St. Louis, a beach community on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. This beautiful, quaint, beach town has both a fantastic cost of living and a solid economic base, with employers that include: NASA, 2 casinos, 2 plastic plants, Calgon Carbon and Dupont Chemical. Doctors and nurse practitioners and can enjoy rewarding emergency medicine jobs while working with a great team and a highly educated and insured patient population.
- In the Northeast corner of Mississippi in the town of Booneville we have an opening for an Emergency Medicine Physician. Booneville is just 100 miles southeast of Memphis and is near the Bay Springs Lock and Dam area where there is plenty of swimming, boating and fishing to enjoy. With breathtaking beauty along the Natchez Trace Parkway and exciting history throughout nearby Tishomingo State Park, Booneville offers area residents plenty of things to do year-round.
- Oxford is the home of the University of Mississippi and here we an opportunity for an Emergency Medicine Physician at beautiful facility — Baptist Memorial Hospital – that is situated just off the Ole Miss campus. Oxford has plenty of activities for the entire family, from Ole Miss football games on campus to fun city festivals downtown.
- For physicians and nurse practitioners we have Emergency Medicine jobs available at Baptist Memorial Hospital in the vibrant town of Columbus. Columbus is located 120 miles west of Birmingham, AL and was named one of Mississippi’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations. It’s a vibrant town that preserves the past and promotes the future with historic homes, a great Southern atmosphere and community events.
Full benefits are available and many of these Emergency Medicine jobs come with bonus opportunities. Click here to browse Hospital Physician Partners’ entire list of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine jobs.
Located just 60 miles west of the First Golf Course in the US, Beckley is the largest city in southern West Virginia and its market services more than 200,000 people. Beautiful state and national parks offer plenty of skiing, hiking, fishing, and camping; with all that, Beckley also offers great dining, shopping and the lowest crime rate in the country. Did we mention the climate? Enjoy near perfect temperatures of high 70s in the summer & high 30s & 40s in the winter. Not too hot and not too cold! It’s easy to see why the city Beckley is a great place to live and work! Learn more about Beckley here
Beckley ARH is a 173 bed Acute Care Hospital & Level IV Trauma Center with 26 ED beds – 10 of which are for patients pending admission. It plays a critical role in the health of the local community and you’ll be working with a great staff. Services here include: AIDS complex, CT scan, Alcohol/Chemical Dependency – Inpatient Home Health, ICU, Lithotripsy, MRI, PET, Nuclear Medicine, Pediatrics, Ultrasound, and Inpatient Wound Care.
For our Emergency Medicine Job the Beckley ARH Hospital ED will be treating 22,000 patients annually. You would have the benefit of certified mid-level coverage from noon to midnight daily. The combination of access to full group Health & Benefits working at a distinguished 173-bed facility and the chance to live in a friendly community make this an opportunity you won’t want to miss.
For our Hospitalist Medicine Job you can work a 7 on and 7 off schedule and have a variety of services at your fingertips including AIDS complex, CT scan, Alcohol/Chemical Dependency-Inpatient Home Health, ICU, Lithotripsy, MRI, PET, Nuclear Medicine, Pediatrics, Ultrasound and Inpatient Would Care. Enjoy living in this affordable community, working with a top-notch staff and our attractive benefits
These Emergency Medicine & Hospitalist jobs in Beckley, WV are exceptional opportunities that won’t last long! Apply Now or contact a recruiter firstname.lastname@example.org . To see all of our Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist jobs throughout the United States, click here.
A recently published study evaluated the ability of CT to detect clinically significant injuries missed on chest X-Rays in blunt trauma patients1. In this study they found chest CT detected significant intra-thoracic injury in 13.6% of cases not seen on plain CXR. Forty percent of these injuries required chest injury management changes! After crunching the numbers they found that 5.5% of all cases where chest CT was performed led to chest injury management changes not seen on CXR.
They concluded that “although chest CT frequently detects injuries missed on CXR in blunt trauma patients, it rarely changes patient management. Given this low yield and the concerns for radiation cost and ED crowding they are developing a clinical decision instrument for selective chest CT in blunt trauma.” We all acknowledge that trauma medicine is inherently high-risk (especially for the patient). Furthermore, none of us want to hear THAT QUESTION: “Remember that patient you saw the other night?” Let’s consider the potential consequences if one was to take away from this study that since the CT findings rarely lead to management we should consider not performing that CT. Which one of us would like to be a member of the 40% patient group which would not receive management changes to a significant intra-thoracic chest injury if our doctor decided to take the conclusion prematurely to heart?
The take home message: Within all of the fine emergency medicine peer reviewed literature, one must still beware of new trends and old traditions. We have to place studies like these into perspective. It is our responsibility to practice in a method which has been shown to be best for the patient until a new clinical decision instrument becomes the standard of care. Otherwise we could find ourselves in a TICU from a car accident, wondering if we were unfortunate enough to be one of those 5.5% of all cases that the trauma service was no longer looking for due to a new protocol that hasn’t met the test of time.
Reference: Does Chest CT Detect Clinically Significant Injuries Missed on Chest X-Rays in Blunt Trauma Patients? — B. Kea, San Francisco General Hospital; University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. Scientific Assembly 2011 Conference, 10/15-10/18. ACEP
Hospital Physician Partners has a great Hospitalist job opportunity in Michigan that you’ll want to check out in Three Rivers — offering a compensation package worth up to $285,000 with bonuses and benefits.
Three Rivers Health, a 60-bed community hospital, has an immediate need for a Hospitalist Physician who is board-certified in Internal Medicine. This excellent facility offers a full range of services, including allergy & immunology, anesthesiology, cardiology, gastroenterology, family practice/GP, infectious disease, neurology, internal medicine, oncology, pediatrics, orthopedics, radiology, urology and OB. You’ll have a chance to have a real impact on the health of the community and work with a great support staff.
Best of all, you can take advantage of Hospital Physician Partners’ “Base Pay Plus” monthly bonus payouts. With this incentive program you get predictable income and bonuses paid within 30 days, putting cash in your pocket quickly and consistently.
While performing our jobs as Hospitalists and Emergency Medicine physicians, we are often required to estimate a patient’s weight to order medications for critical situations such as during management of a resuscitation or a time-critical case. I have always felt confident in my own and my colleagues’ ability to look at that patient and come efficiently close to the actual weight.
Perhaps this confidence is unfounded. An abstract published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine: Accuracy of Body Weight Estimates in Acute Emergency Department Stroke Patients, compared actual versus estimated weight determinations performed by the EDMDs and Neurologists caring for these patients. While 90% of the estimates were within +/- 0.20 mg/kg, the study concluded that 10% of patients enrolled in the study had the potential to receive a clinically relevant overdose or under-dose of TPA. Furthermore, the patients had an equal potential to be overdosed versus under-dosed. The authors went on to say that based on this initial analysis, they recommended all patients have their weight measured by scale prior to receiving that weight sensitive medication. Of note, the total patient sample number was low (N = 61).
The study raises a valid point for the physician ordering medications with narrow therapeutic indices. Obviously, the Hospitalist or EDMD needs to generate these orders accurately while maintaining care standards. Maybe “the eyes are bigger than the stomach” idiom applies to ordering for these patients too!
1. RAIO C et al., Accuracy of Body Weight Estimates Acute Emergency Department Stroke Patients. North Shore-LIJ, Manhasset, New York
A few weeks ago, I read a blog post which raised a discussion about hand washing in the ED. It was prompted by an article published in EP Monthly in which the author discussed concerns on regulations related to how much hand washing should be required of an Emergency Medicine Physician or Hospitalist as part of their job.
It has been stated by experts in the field of microbiology and immunology that 80% percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted by direct and indirect contact; direct meaning such as kissing and indirect meaning such as shaking someone’s hand. On the other hand (pardon the pun), many studies have found that only a small portion of bacteria on donor hands is recovered on the recipient’s hands. With this information to consider, we need to take a close look at the other side of the coin. A 2011 study from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine titled, Evaluation of Patient Hygiene Practices During Emergency Department Visits, sheds light on the hands we shake in the ED.
The conclusion was that patient-reported hand washing following potential contact with their bodily fluids after vomiting, urinating or defecating during their ED visit was low. This included only 13% after defecating at bedside and 62% after defecating in the ED restroom. With that in mind, one can see the landmines faced trying to treat people with respect, warmth, and decency through a warm handshake while practicing favorable customer service practices.
That friendly handshake truly has the potential to provide a gift that keeps on giving to you, everyone, or everything you touch until you decontaminate your appendage! This study’s findings certainly support the recommendations from the CDC regarding hand washing following each patient contact even if it is no more than a hello thank you or goodbye. If this knowledge doesn’t propagate self-motivation for the practice of frequent hand washing after casual friendly handshake, nothing will.
Luz J Cydulka et al/ Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland OH: MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH
Over the past week, we have once again been reminded of the terryifying power tornados possess. The tornadoes in West Virginia and the shock of the level of destruction throughout the midwestern and southeastern parts of the Unites States has still not worn off for many. For those in the affected town, cities, and communities, the wounds are still so raw, it may be months before the trauma fades and some sense of normalcy resumes. In times like this however, resiliency finds its way into the voices, hearts, minds and bodies of the survivors and our citizenry. People can do extraordinary things in extraordinary times. Communities rise, people plant thier feet firmly in the foundation of service, and healing begins.
(Photo: Scott Olson/AFP)
One of the affected communities was West Liberty, Kentucky, home to Morgan County ARH Hospital, a long-time HPP client. While damage is still being assessed, the destruction is extensive. As a company, we are assisting in providing additional clinical support. At times like this, we appreciate the desire for our partners to provide support and assistance to those in need. Should you desire to help, there are two links available to you which are safe and secure:
The Hospital Physician Partners family sends our deepest thoughts and prayers to all who have been affected by the recent tornadoes.
Hospital Physician Partners has great Emergency Medicine jobs available for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants at emergency departments we manage throughout the Sunshine State. These opportunities in communities like Sebring, Milton and Lake Wales combine easy access to Florida’s attractions with affordability and a great lifestyle:
- In the historic community of Sebring, world-renowned for its Formula One racing, we have Emergency Medicine job openings for both physicians and NP/PAs. This full-service, 126-bed facility plays a critical role in the health of the local community and you’ll be working with a great staff. Sebring’s central location gives you easy access to Orlando, fun water activities on hundreds of lakes and all that Florida has to offer.
- Also in Central Florida, physicians and nurse practitioners can take advantage of exciting Emergency Medicine job opportunities at Lake Wales Medical Center. Lake Wales is rich in Florida culture and history with unique architecture, diverse accommodations, charming shops and restaurants along with outdoor and recreational attractions. The chance to live in this friendly community and work at this excellent 160-bed facility is an opportunity you won’t want to miss.
- In the town of Milton on Florida’s Panhandle we have Emergency Medicine jobs for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Twenty minutes from Pensacola, the Milton/Pace area has the nearby Gulf beaches to the south and beautiful countryside for fishing, hunting camping, canoeing and hiking. Also, access to great dining and shopping is only a short drive away. Enjoy living in this affordable community and working with a top-notch staff.
If you’re looking for Emergency Medicine Jobs in Kentucky, we have immediate opening for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants at emergency departments that we manage across the Bluegrass State:
- At Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville, Kentucky we have emergency medicine jobs available for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Hopkinsville is located at the Kentucky-Tennessee border just 45 minutes from Nashville and maintains its small-town charm while proactively pursuing initiatives to ensure a skilled workforce, attractive opportunities for business, residential and tourism growth and a safe, clean community that everyone is proud to call home. Here you’ll have a chance to join an expert team of caring medical professionals at a first-class facility.
- In Hazard, Kentucky, we have Emergency Medicine jobs for both physicians and nurse practitioners. At Hazard ARH Medical Center we have an excellent opportunity for an Emergency Medicine Physician. ARH Medical center is a 308-bed, acute-care and psychiatric hospital and enjoys a reputation of excellence as a patient-oriented, rural health facility. Also in Hazard, Kentucky, we have emergency medicine job openings for nurse practitioners and physician assistants at ARH Hospital. This facility has a 13-bed emergency department with an annual volume of approximately 26,000 patients. Here’s an excellent opportunity for new graduates looking to pursue an Emergency Medicine career as candidates will be considered without any prior emergency medicine experience!
- Over in Middlesboro, Kentucky, at Middlesboro ARH Hospital we have an immediate job opening for an Emergency Medicine Physician. This 96-bed facility offers an aeromedical heliport, case management, CT scan, home health, ICU, laser surgery, MRI, labor & delivery and outpatient services, plus pediatrics and ultrasound. Middlesboro is located in southeastern Kentucky, just a short drive from Knoxville and its shopping, dining and big city events, while at the same time has breathtaking views of the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park and Pine Mountain State Park.
We also have Kentucky Emergency Medicine jobs in Fulton, Hyden, McDowell, South Williamson, West Liberty and Whiteburg. In addition, we have Emergency Medicine jobs and Hospitalist jobs available across the United States. Click here to view.
As if our jobs as Hospitalists or in the field of Emergency Medicine couldn’t get any more interesting…on 12/29 the USA Today published an article that is beckoning us to welcome the informed public. Advertised as “may be the difference between life and death when it comes to medical emergencies”! It goes on to tell the reader that stroke victims who get the proper treatment “within 60 minutes could reduce or even prevent lasting damage”. So now there’s an app to help you locate the emergency medical center closest to you anywhere in the world. The Emergency Medical Center Locator is a free i-Phone app that uses GPS in your phone to offer the user a list of names and addresses of the closest medical centers. The app contains addresses for hospitals in 101 countries including Europe and South America.
Interestingly only medical centers certified by the American College of Cardiology and American College of Surgeons are included. The app offers recommendations for facilities with the best patient outcomes in the fields of trauma, stroke, eye, pediatric, cardiac and burns. The writer touted the app as “vital when emergency rooms are equal distances in order to allow you to choose the center that specializes in treating your particular health problem”.
How many times have you been at work and begin having an acute vertebral artery dissection with a brainstem TIA and a cerebellar stroke and decided to dive into your i-phone to determine which hospital has the best invasive neuro-radiologist on staff to stent your artery? In point of fact, who knows, maybe the general public will all have this app and we will never have to worry about EMTALA or transfer a high acuity patient again.
I dare you to find me more than a handful of Hospitalists or Emergency Medicine Physicians that haven’t, on occasion, had coffee on the job or somewhere related to working a shift. Caffeinism manifests as anxiety, agitation, restlessness, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, palpitation and a fast heart rate. Because caffeine can have addictive potential, its withdrawal can produce headaches, irritability, lethargy and occasional nausea. Heartburn and reflux are commonly accepted side effects (even I’ll attest to that). Old studies showed high consumption of unfiltered coffee was associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels and that two or more cups of coffee a day could increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific, fairly common genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body.
But have no fear as a study in Fudan University in Shanghai found that one extra cup of coffee a day correlated with a 3% reduced risk of a broad list of cancers. It turns out that steaming cup of java is the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet according to a study by researchers at the University of Scranton, PA. Coffee came out on top, on the combined basis of both antioxidants per serving size and frequency of consumption (interestingly, of all the foods and beverages studied, dates actually have the most antioxidants of all based solely on serving size).
Furthermore, for the male sex, the Harvard School of Public Health relayed results of the 20-year look at nearly 48,000 men which showed that those who drank 6 or more cups of coffee daily were 18% less likely to get prostate cancer than non-drinkers and 60% less likely to die from it. Drinking even one to 3 cups daily lowered the risk of dying by 29%. The good news is that caffeine was not the secret ingredient. Men drinking decaf benefited equally as those drinking caffeinated coffee.
So in addition to the reported reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (Australian research) and the slowing of cognitive decline, males may have found a therapeutic reason to Joe before, during, and after work. Who knows, maybe this profession will show the male cadre the management keys to longevity as opposed to the doctors aging before their time.
Hospital Physician Partners has immediate Hospitalist Job openings at three emergency departments that we manage in Kentucky:
- In Flemingsburg, Kentucky at Fleming County Hospital there is an excellent Hospitalist job opportunity for a physician Board Certified or Board Eligible in IM or FP. This facility was established in 1962 and a new replacement facility opened in 2008. The new hospital features many private rooms, expanded operating rooms, a larger Emergency Department, new state-of- the-art MRI equipment and many other improvements. The friendly town of Flemingsburg is located in northeast Kentucky in the heart of Fleming County, just two hours from Cincinnati. A city that’s full of heritage, it’s surrounded by historic buildings, beautiful rolling farmland, lovely old wooden covered bridges and antique shops. There are plenty of outdoor activities as well, including golf, fishing, camping, swimming, tennis, hiking, hunting and boating.
- At Appalachian Regional Medical Center in Hazard, Kentucky, we have Hospitalist jobs for both physicians and nurse practitioners. This center is a 308-bed, acute-care and psychiatric hospital and enjoys a reputation of excellence as a patient-oriented, rural health facility. You’ll enjoy working with a great team and living among the beautiful mountains of Hazard on the North Fork of the Kentucky River. Hazard has everything from great fishing, hunting and camping to a wonderful heritage, strong education system and low cost-of-living.
- In Middlesboro, Kentucky, at Middlesboro ARH Hospital we have an opening for a Hospitalist Physician. This 96-bed facility has services that include aeromedical heliport, case management, CT scan, home health, ICU, laser surgery, MRI, labor & delivery, outpatient services, pediatrics and ultrasound. Middlesboro is located in southeastern Kentucky, just a short drive from Knoxville, and is a great place to call home. The city offers beautiful views of both the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park and Pine Mountain State Park.
All of the Hospitalist jobs we have available in Kentucky come with full benefits and there are possible bonus opportunities. We also have Emergency Medicine jobs and Hospitalist jobs available across the United States. Click here to view.
Often our jobs as Hospitalists and Emergency Medicine Physicians involve having to face patient questions stemming from their fears of contracting and dying from west Nile virus, the bird flu or the swine flu. We know they are all victims of the press telling them how deadly these illnesses are to the public because they are constantly bombarded with sensationalism in the mass media effectively designed to induce frenzy and hysteria.
To put these diseases into perspective for these people, tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world’s deadliest diseases. It is estimated that one-third of the world’s population are infected with TB (according to the CDC). In 2010, nearly 9 million people around the world became sick with TB. There were around 1.4 million TB-related deaths worldwide. Malaria i s another deadly disease, causing about 250 million cases of fever and approximately one million deaths annually.
Attempt to allay the fears of the relatively rare, inconsequential, over-hyped diseases by bringing these ideas into the forefront of knowledge for these patients. Of the 690 West Nile Virus cases reported in the US in 2011, there were ONLY 43 deaths. The “deadly” strain of bird flu known as H5N1 has infected 565 people worldwide since 2003. Of these, only 331 have died. Official figures show there were about 562 deaths linked to the H1N1 virus during the most recent “season” , compared with 474 deaths in the global outbreak of 2009.
Something of encouragement to us all was recently reported regarding the global management of malaria. In October of 2011, GlaxoSmithKline announced that, as noted in a large trial which will run until 2014, its new malaria vaccine has cut infection rates in half. Its effectiveness appears to be due to the combining of the hepatitis B vaccine with the malaria vaccine which appears to boost the immune response to the malarial particles in the vaccine by 50%.
Hospital Physician Partners has rewarding Emergency Medicine Jobs at two excellent emergency departments that we manage in Ohio:
- In Dayton, Ohio, we have Emergency Medicine job openings for physicians at Southview Medical Center plus Grandview Hospital and Medical Center. Grandview is the more active of the two rooms, seeing 25 to 35 thousand patients a year. The Emergency Medicine job opening at Southview can be either full or part-time and this 12-bed ED sees between 15 and 25 thousand patients a year. Dayton is home to several Fortune 500 companies and encourages innovation, with more patents per capita than any other city in the nation. Its own international airport and a lower than average cost of living are among a long list of benefits that make Dayton a great place to live and work.
- At Knox Community Hospital in Mount Vernon, we have Emergency Medicine jobs for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. This modern, well-equipped facility has an active emergency room, seeing 25 to 35 thousand patients a year. It offers a full range of medical, surgical and rehabilitation services and has state-of-the-art laboratory and radiology equipment. Just 44 miles from Columbus, the city of Mount Vernon is considered to be one of Ohio’s most livable communities with a low cost of living, affordable housing, a pleasant climate, light traffic and low crime rate.
These Ohio Emergency Medicines jobs come with full benefits and there are possible bonus opportunities. Click here to view the Emergency Medicine jobs and Hospitalist jobs that we have available across the country.
Hospital Physician Partners has immediate job openings for Emergency Medicine Physicians in the cities of Atmore and Russellville in Alabama. The two facilities, Atmore Community Hospital and Russellville Hospital, have relatively low ED volume, seeing less than 15 thousand patients a year. Still, both of these excellent facilities play a central role in the health of their communities and both communities are great places to live and work.
Atmore is located in the southwest corner of Alabama between the metropolitan areas and beautiful beaches of Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida. With its great location, host of activities and beautiful scenery, Atmore is comfortable and affordable living at its best.
Russellville is within easy reach of Huntsville, Birmingham and Nashville. With a small town atmosphere, a fine educational system and a low crime rate, it’s a great place to call home. Russellville also has some of the cleanest recreational waters in Alabama and award-winning lakes for bass fishing.
As with all of our Emergency Medicine jobs, these opportunities in Alabama come with full benefits and there may be bonus opportunities. You can also browse our entire list of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist jobs to view great job opportunities in other parts of the country.
When it comes to Emergency Medicine jobs, exciting opportunities abound in the Peach State. Hospital Physician Partners has seven immediate Emergency Medicine Job openings for physicians at great locations throughout Georgia, including:
- Just one hour north of Atlanta in the scenic mountain village of Dahlonega, we have an emergency medicine job opening at Chestatee Regional Hospital. This modern facility plays an important role in the health of a community that’s rich in history and a great place to live and work.
- Thirty minutes southwest of Macon in the small community of Fort Valley, Georgia, there is a full or part-time EM job opening at Peach Regional Medical Center. This excellent facility has a more active emergency room, seeing 15 to 25 thousand patients a year.
- Hartwell is in northeastern Georgia, just a few miles from the South Carolina border. Here we have a great emergency medicine job available at Hart County Hospital.
- In what Travel Holiday magazine called the “#1 Small Town in America”, we have an excellent EM job opportunity at Morgan Memorial Hospital. The six-bed emergency department sees about five thousand patients annually.
- In the heart of the Georgia Piedmont is the historic town of Monticello. Here we have an excellent opportunity for an Emergency Medicine Physician at Jasper Memorial Hospital.
- At another Northeastern Georgia location, this time at Cobb Memorial Hospital in Royston, we have an immediate EM job opening. Known as the Home of the Georgia Peach, Ty Cobb, it is home to the Ty Cobb Museum honoring the legendary baseball Hall of Famer and is only 100 miles from the excitement of Atlanta.
- Just 70 miles south of Atlanta lies the small southern town of Warm Springs, Georgia, where we have another great emergency medicine job opening. You can enjoy life in this warm town that has mix of hospitality and heritage. Warm Springs was home to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
All of these Emergency Medicines jobs in Georgia come with full benefits and there are bonus opportunities. We also invite you to browse Emergency Medicine jobs and Hospitalist jobs that we have available across the United States.
Hospital Physician Partners has immediate Emergency Medicine Job openings at three emergency departments that we manage in Michigan:
- In Dowagiac, Michigan, there is an excellent emergency medicine job opportunity for a physician Board Certified in EM or IM and FP with significant Emergency Medicine experience. The facility, Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital, has 11 ED beds and the hospital has delivered comprehensive, personal healthcare for over 85 years and consistently scores high in customer-service rankings. Nestled in the rolling hills of southwestern Michigan, Dowagiac carries the feel of a rural community with close proximity to major metropolitan areas like South Bend, Indiana, and Chicago.
- At Sturgis Hospital in Sturgis, Michigan we have another great Emergency Medicine job opportunity for a physician. This emergency department is a little more active and sees 15 to 25 thousand patients a year. Located just one hour from South Bend, Indiana, Sturgis is a great Midwest location with a diverse economic base; a wonderful assortment of people; one of Michigan’s finest school systems; several international businesses; excellent healthcare and beautiful, affordable homes.
- In Three Rivers, Michigan we have emergency medicine jobs for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. In this moderately active ED physicians work 12 hours shifts and NPs/PAs work eight hours shifts. Here’s a chance to apply your skills at a great facility and live in a wonderful community. Three Rivers is located approximately 20 miles South of Kalamazoo where the Portage and Rocky Rivers flow into the St. Joseph River. It’s surrounded by many lakes and the local economy is a diversified mix of service, tourism and industry.
All of the Emergency Medicines jobs we have available in Michigan come with full benefits and there are possible bonus opportunities. We also have Emergency Medicine jobs and Hospitalist jobs available across the United States. Click here to view.
Hospital Physician Partners has an immediate job opening for a full or part-time Emergency Medicine Physician at Lock Haven Hospital in Pennsylvania. This ER has relatively low volume (less than 15 thousand patients annually) and 10 beds. Since Lock Haven is Clinton County’s only city, this is your chance to have a real impact on the health of a community at a great facility.
Close to 37,000 people live in Clinton County. A friendly and natural environment, Clinton County has five Pennsylvania state parks and parts of five state forests cross into the county. With mountains as far as your eyes can see and the crystal-clear waters of the West Branch Susquehanna River beckoning for a boating ride, Lock Haven is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast and a great place to live and work.
As with all of our openings, this Emergency Medicine job in Pennsylvania comes with full benefits and there may be bonus opportunities. You can also browse our entire list of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine jobs to view great job opportunities in other parts of the country.
When it comes to rewarding Emergency Medicine jobs in the Show-Me State, Hospital Physician Partners delivers the goods. Check out three great Emergency Medicine Job opportunities now available in Missouri:
- At St. Alexius Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, we have Emergency Medicine job openings for both physicians and nurse practitioners. The physician positions can be either full or part-time and the full or part-time nurse practitioner positions give you the chance to work independently and enjoy a high rate of pay. Not much more needs to be said about the great city of St. Louis — the Gateway to the West offers jazz, blues, archeology, culture and history plus is home to the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
- In southeastern Missouri is the small, historic community of Dexter. At Missouri Southern Healthcare in Dexter we have an excellent opportunity for an Emergency Medicine Physician. In this five-bed ED you can make a difference in this low-volume room while earning up to $200k per year! With St. Louis and Springfield just a few hours away, Dexter is a great place to live and work, with a warm small-town community; outdoor activities like fishing, water skiing, hunting and boating; plus museums like the Heritage Museum and the Stars and Stripes Museum.
Many of the Missouri Emergency Medicine jobs have bonus opportunities and all of the jobs we have available come with full benefits. To see the complete list of Missouri Emergency Medicine jobs click here, or browse our entire list of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine jobs.
Hospital Physician Partners manages Emergency Departments at great facilities throughout Arkansas and the Untied States. Here are a few of the excellent Emergency Medicine Job opportunities that we currently have available in Arkansas:
- In Helena, Arkansas, just one-hour southwest of Memphis, there is an immediate opening for a full or part-time Emergency Medicine Physician. There is flexible scheduling for 12 and 24-hour shifts and although ED volume at Helena Regional Medical Center is relatively low, this excellent facility delivers a full-range of services through the latest in technology. There is access to full benefits and there are also bonus opportunities and possible relocation assistance. In addition to Helena’s proximity to the culture and attractions of Memphis, the town that Mark Twain once called the “prettiest situation on the Mississippi River” is home to plenty of culture and attractions of its own, including the famous Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival.
- Another town in Arkansas with easy access to Memphis is Forrest City, just 45 minutes to the west. Here we also have a full or part-time job opening for an Emergency Medicine Physician. Flexible scheduling and custom reward bonuses are available in this full-service facility that has 118 beds. Forrest City is home to the famous singer and minister Rev. Al Green and to John W. Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox. Forrest City is a great place to live and work.
- We have another full or part-time Emergency Medicine job opening for a physician at Harris Hospital in Newport, Arkansas. This 133-bed acute care facility is the county’s only inpatient and outpatient healthcare services provider and has a strong focus on customer service and quality patient care. Full benefits and custom reward bonuses are also available here.
Hospitalist medicine continues to be a fast-growing and rewarding discipline. Hospital Physician Partners has Hospitalist jobs at these excellent facilities throughout North Carolina:
- Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield is a 199-bed facility located on the Coastal Plain in Smithfield, NC and has openings for physicians and physician assistants. This hospital has behavioral health, urgent care and surgical services plus a cancer center. The facility plays an important role in the well-being of this friendly community and the town is known as a great place to live and work.
- At Franklin Regional Medical Center in Louisburg, North Carolina there is an opening for a physician at this 85-bed facility. Services include: cardiac care, ultrasound, radiology, laboratory, critical care, plastic surgery, comprehensive imaging, OB/GYN, nephrology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, urology and pediatric. Louisburg is located in the upper Piedmont plateau of North Carolina just 30 miles northeast of Raleigh and 45 miles northeast of Durham, so it offers close proximity to the resources and great quality of life of the Research Triangle.
- Transylvania Community Hospital in Brevard, North Carolina has an opening for a part-time physician. This hospital has 94 beds and delivers a full range of services, including: cardiology, ICU/CCU, anesthesiology, OB/GYN, home health, radiology, speech/language therapy, respiratory therapy, laboratory, wound care/ostomy and podiatry. The facility is located in the heart of Transylvania County in the western Blue Ridge Mountains, just 30 miles southwest of Asheville, and is near the beautiful Pisgah National Forest.
From Texarkana to San Antonio, over in Houston to Odessa, there are excellent Emergency Medicine jobs available for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants:
- Wadley Regional Medical Center (WRMC) has been servicing the city of Texarkana and surrounding communities for 100 years and today has grown into a modern facility with cutting-edge technology and 370 beds. Rewarding jobs are available for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in this active emergency department that treats 35 to 50 thousand patients annually.
- Down in San Antonio there is an exciting emergency medicine job opportunity a physician looking to make a difference in a fast-paced urban environment. The emergency department at Southwest General Hospital sees 35 to 50 thousand patients annually and this state-of-the-art facility has 28 beds in its ED. The most visited state in Texas, San Antonio is also a great place to live, home to many historic sites, attractions, the San Antonio River Walk and major league sports with the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA.
- Over in Houston at St. Joseph Medical Center there are Emergency Medicine Job openings for both physicians and nurse practitioners, The Center is staffed by over 650 board-certified physicians and more than 1,800 medical professionals. The hospital facility covers eight city blocks and is conveniently located on the edge of Houston’s downtown. Houston is the fourth largest city in America and offers a rich, diverse culture, world-class museums, plenty of entertainment options and is home to more than 40 universities and colleges.
Many of the Texas Emergency Medicine jobs have bonus opportunities and all the jobs we have available come with full benefits. To see the complete list of Texas Emergency Medicine jobs click here, or browse our entire list of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine jobs.
Repeatedly we hear from administration that our customer service scores are not what they want them to be. Sure, there is nothing wrong in making the emergency department experience as pleasant as possible for our patients and their visitors. But the ED has one experience more shocking than other areas of the hospital and certainly more than the average person is accustomed to. We see dead people. Most people would run out of the room screaming if they found themselves in a room with a dead person. Not us. We continue to talk about movies, family or whatever else has our fancy at the time. Some of us continue eating lunch shortly after a code. By and large we are standing by death. This is not normal — but it is absolutely necessary. Building mental silos, as it were, helps us cope with bad outcomes. We create a wall between the patients and us. We, on one side, separate ourselves emotionally from the patients on the other side. We need that wall to make it through the day. Who could possibly go on with their work after witnessing the death of a child in the emergency department without that wall?
But perhaps the wall is too high. Perhaps once in a while we need to look over the wall to see who is there. It is important for us to remember that there are in fact people over the wall, and they are not all dead. We need to lower that wall whenever we can to allow us to associate with our patients as living people who are experiencing a difficult time — that is why they are in the emergency room. These are the patients filling out those patient surveys. It is often not our sickest patients (when admitted that have their complaints validated) who complete these surveys. It is those not-so-sick patients; the urgent and not-so-urgent patients that complete surveys. These are the ones who “pay” for the construction of the wall. They pay with the emotional detachment of the staff from their needs. They sense our “compassion fatigue”.
It is time to reconstruct the wall at a lower height. We in Emergency Medicine cannot make it go away but we can make it so we see those people on the other side that are not dead.
Hospital patients in the U.S. acquire nearly 2 million infections each year (approximately one in 20 patients) according to the Center for Disease Control. Hand hygiene has been established as one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infections. A recent satirical article was published in EP Monthly in which the author developed a valid point about how much hand washing would be required of an Emergency Medicine Physician during a shift. The author based his calculations on the requirements he apparently summarized from JCHAO recommendations.* The author calculated that if an emergency physician sees an average of 2.5 patients per hour, (assuming a conservative average of touching each patient twice) he/she would be required to perform hand hygiene about 10 times an hour (about once every 6 minutes) and about 100 times in a 10 hour shift.
(Here’s a link to the actual CDC guidelines and indications for hand washing and hand antisepsis in the health care setting for you to reference at your convenience. The CDC’s recommendations are valid and sensible but the list itself is onerous.)
A key factor in successfully running an emergency department is time management. Assuming the author is correct in his calculations, he raises a valid point for the physician working shifts in an emergency department. The Emergency Medicine Physician is obliged to comply with an immense set of requirements from regulators while performing his or her professional obligations and maintaining care standards. These responsibilities fill up the shift and add to the time-management challenge in the emergency room. The skill of “Managing the ED” and its nuances will be spotlighted as one of our CME lectures available to you soon from the HPP University website.
*Reference: R. Bukata, MD, In my opinion Death by Regulation: Enough is Enough, EP Monthly, 10/7/11.
From the Blue Ridge Mountains through the Piedmont area to the Coast Plain, Emergency Medicine jobs are available at excellent facilities in attractive locations throughout North Carolina. Here is just a sample of the opportunities in emergency departments that we staff across the Tar Heel State:
- Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Spruce Pine, North Carolina is Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. This facility serves a diverse population of residents in Mitchell, Yancey, Southwest Avery and Northern McDowell counties and is looking for qualified physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who enjoy combining modern medicine and advanced technology with compassionate, patient-centered care. Spruce Pine is an enjoyable and affordable place to live, is known for its downtown festivals and is just an hour’s drive from the famous Western North Carolina destination of Asheville.
- Over in North Carolina’s Piedmont area there is an Emergency Medicine job opening for a physician certified in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine or Family Practice. This 149-bed hospital offers a full range of services and sees and average of 25 to 35 thousand patients in the emergency department each year. Thomasville is centrally located between the mountains to the west and the coast to the east and is just one hour north of Charlotte and 30 minutes from Winston-Salem.
- On the Coastal Plain in Smithfield, NC is Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield. This is an active facility with an emergency department annual volume of more than 50 thousand so you’ll have a chance to put your skills to good use in an exciting, rewarding and challenging environment. The Center has Emergency Medicine job openings for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, so here’s your chance to secure a position in a great place to live and work.
The North Carolina Emergency Medicine jobs that are available right now come with full benefits and many have bonus opportunities. Click here to see the complete list of North Carolina Emergency Medicine jobs or browse our entire list of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine jobs.
Dr. Frank Paul|0 Comments
A recently published study expounded on the patterns and predictors of short-term death (within seven days) after emergency department (ED) discharge*. In this study they found that 50 in 100,000 patients in the United States die within 7 days of discharge from an emergency department.
We all acknowledge that the emergency department is an inherently high-risk setting and furthermore would say that a death after discharge from the ED is unsettling. None of us with a soul enjoy one of those gut-wrenching, “Do you remember that patient you saw the other night?” questions that lead to that conclusion.
The study’s’ findings pointed to increasing age, male sex and other serious pre-existing comorbidities as those risks associated with increased death rate after discharge from the ED. Interestingly, more than 25% of patients who died within 7 days of ED discharge had at least one chronic or serious condition, such as a previous myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, pulmonary disease, renal disease, or diabetes with complications. The top 5 primary discharge diagnoses predictive of a 7-day death after discharge included noninfectious lung disease (pleurisy, pneumothorax, pneumonitis), renal disease, ischemic heart disease, neoplasm and blood dyscrasias (the majority represented by anemia & sickle cell disease).
How many of these fatal discharges might be prevented by following ? Many of them I postulate! Practicing with these premises during the management of these high risk patients supports a high care standard. Inherently we all periodically look introspectively at our job and how we manage patient disposition. The Emergency Medicine Physician’s care repertoires would benefit from a periodic reflective practice renaissance using these valuable conventions.
If you are unfamiliar with, or have further interest in reviewing The Ten Commandments of Emergency Medicine, they will be included within our website lecture curriculum in the very near future. So stay tuned.
*Reference: Patterns and predictors of short-term death after emergency department discharge. Gabayan GZ, Derose SF, Asch SM, Yiu S, Lancaster EM, Poon KT, Hoffman JR, Sun BC: Ann Emerg Med. 2011 Dec;58(6):551-558.
Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, Mississippi was recently recognized for thier Emergency Department process enhancements and improvement to Patient Satisfaction scores. Effective Emergency Medicine management is directly related to patient satisfaction and satisfaction is reliant on efficiency and the speed to which a patient is seen. The turn-a-round was the subject of a story in the December 2011 edition of The Columbus and The Golden Triangle Dispatch. Details and the full article can be viewed here.
If you’re looking not just for any Hospitalist job but are looking to make a real difference in Hospitalist Medicine and the health of a community, consider Wuesthoff Medical Center in Rockledge, Florida.
This award-winning acute care hospital is recognized in Florida for clinical excellence and is a key factor in the health and well being of residents throughout Brevard County. It has a full range of services, including a Heart Center, a Women’s Health program and a program for palliative care. Located on Florida’s Space Coast, the hospital is close to the surf, sand and entertainment of nearby Cocoa Beach and all the attractions of Orlando are within easy reach.
Wuesthoff Medical Center in Florida has rewarding Hospitalist jobs for both physicians and nurse practitioners. Full benefits are available and there are bonus opportunities. To see all of the Hospitalist jobs and Emergency Medicine jobs that Hospital Physician Partners has in Florida and throughout the United States, click here.
The issue of narcotic medication in Emergency Medicine always elicits emotional debate on both sides of the issue. Of course there are actually more than two sides, and there is a clearly gray zone that also deserves some discussion. There are those who dispense medication and are labeled “The Candy Man” by the nursing staff; there are those doctors who refuse to give any narcotic pain medicine to patients despite the nature of the disease/injury. Somewhere in between are those Emergency Medicine physicians who understand that they need to treat acute pain. The pain issue has become so contentious that we are forced and pulled toward different directions by different agencies. JACHO has decided that our pain management is so poor that it is now a monitored performance of the emergency department. Indeed pain levels have to be measured upon entrance to the department and then upon exit. On the other side we have other agencies telling us that we need to control the amount of narcotics we are prescribing to patients.
The concern on the conservative side is that we are contributing to the drug dependency problem. To clarify, these patients that are in fact abusing drugs had those drugs issued before they came in. I don’t believe we have ever created a drug addict in the emergency department; nor by withholding pain medication have we cured a drug addict. The philosophy in this category is that we are simply “feeding the animals.” This references the fact that if we give pain medicine to these patients, they will simply keep coming back.
Our role is not social; it is medical. And while some argue it is both, we are in Emergency Medicine to establish the presence of and stabilize or treat any emergency medical condition. However, one of the basic rules of medicine is to relive pain and suffering. There is no way to identify who does or does not have real pain. There is no object of measure, that is, a pain-o-meter. I always wonder how the staff knows when a patient is not in pain. Does the triage nurse have a pain-o-meter? We should not be influenced by the opinions of others; we have to do our own independent evaluation of the patient and reach our own conclusions. Indeed, how many times has a nurse made a comment when you prescribe pain medicine as if you were taking it from his/her private stash? We need to look at these patients and take them at face value and accept the fact that they really are in pain and need pain medication. I would rather treat several patients who may in fact “dupe” me out of narcotics, rather than withhold pain medication from a person in real pain.
Now, I am not naïve. I know there are patients who return to the emergency department every week for pain treatment. For patients with chronic pain, it is important that the department as a whole develop a consensus policy that is uniform amongst the providers. You may choose not to use narcotics on these patients or perhaps to administer a single injection and no prescriptions. Whatever the policy, it should be approved by the group and practiced by the providers so the staff sees a consistency in the management of these patients.
This is a great time to be practicing Hospitalist Medicine in Florida, as jobs are available from the northern part of the peninsular to the Keys. Here are a few examples of the opportunities that Hospital Physician Partners has for physicians and nurse practitioners:
- In the renowned destination of Key West there are opportunities for both physicians and nurse practitioners at the Lower Keys Medical Center. Created in 1971, this facility serves the citizens of the Florida Keys living below the Seven Mile Bridge and is the area’s sole hospital care provider. Tropical breezes, historical sites, attractions, entertainment and an idyllic lifestyle make Key West a great place to live and work.
- At Memorial Hospital in Tampa, Florida, there is a job opening for a physician looking for the challenges and rewards of a Hospitalist Medicine practice. This facility has served the residents of south Tampa and the surrounding community for over 30 years and recent renovations plus the addition of state-of-the-art technology have kept the hospital modernized to provide the highest quality medical care. The Tampa Bay area is known for its breathtaking beaches and year-round temperate climate and is home to many attractions, including the Lowry Park Zoo, the Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens and Adventure Islands.
- Physicians and nurse practitioners can take advantage of exciting hospitalist opportunities at the Wuesthoff Medical Center in Rockledge, Florida. This 291-bed acute care hospital has received numerous awards for its commitment to providing quality patient care and is recognized for clinical excellence. Rockledge is located on Florida’s Space Coast and is within easy reach of the attractions of Orlando plus the ocean recreation and entertainment of nearby Cocoa Beach.
Are you familiar with the book of Deuteronomy in the bible? This is the chapter describing lineage: “so and so begat so and so, who begat … and on and on”. Many ED physicians practice Emergency Medicine the same way. One test is ordered. When the test results are back, this prompts them to order another test and then perhaps a third test in the sequence. In Emergency Medicine management, time and real estate are two of our most precious and limited resources. We need to focus on efficiency and creating empty beds. If we do not empty beds out, we can’t move patients out of the waiting room into beds and we become gridlocked. There are many processes to study and indeed, many programs to utilize (eg: Lean Processes in the ED), but none will substitute for efficient patient management once the patient reaches the provider.
Order the test or tests that will help you reach a decision point in your care. Perhaps it is sometimes criticized as a “shotgun” approach, but it is not. The decision of which test to order is not random. It is based on your clinical evaluation of the patient and it helps guide you toward focusing your attention on the right test.
Hospital Physician Partners has three immediate openings in West Virginia for qualified physicians seeking a rewarding job in Emergency Medicine. All of the jobs come with full benefits and also may have bonus opportunities. The openings are in these areas of the state:
- In Beckley there is an exciting opportunity at the Beckley ARH Hospital. The 26-bed emergency department treats 22,000 people annually and this full-time position requires that you work 144 hours per month. The Beckley market area includes over 200,000 people and offers beautiful state and national parks, great dining and shopping.
- Over in Oak Hill there is an immediate opening for an Emergency Medicine Physician at the Plateau Medical Center. Services available to ER patients include, but are not limited to, Respiratory Therapists, Laboratory and Diagnostic Imaging. Oak Hill is a growing city with a small-town feel and is home to some of the best-know attractions in West Virginia, including the New River Gorge Bridge.
- At the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Ronceverte, West Virginia, there is an opportunity an Emergency Medicine Physician at a facility that offers an extensive array of medical, surgical and outpatient services. ER patient volume is between 15 and 25 thousand annually, providing an essential service to this historic city situated on the gently flowing Greenbrier River.
All across the Bluegrass State, in places like Fulton, Hazard, Hopkinsville and McDowell, there are excellent opportunities for doctors and nurse practitioners that are looking for a job in Emergency Medicine.
Hospital Physician Partners staffs emergency rooms in Kentucky at facilities that play a key role in the health and well-being of their communities and are places where you can make a real difference. The communities offer affordable living with beautiful scenic vistas often within an easy drive of the amenities of nearby urban areas. Here are just a few examples:
- In Hopkinsville at the Jennie Stuart Medical Center, we have openings for both physicians and nurse practitioners. Hopkinsville is located along I-24 on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, with scenic vistas, friendly faces and forward-looking community leaders who are attracting skilled workers and sensible development to this vibrant town.
- Located in western Kentucky, Fulton is a small, friendly community where area residents enjoy various water-related recreational activities, museums, resorts, marinas and parks, plus there are seven universities and colleges within 90 miles of downtown. It’s the perfect place for a physician looking for an Emergency Medicine opportunity in a community that has the amenities of a larger city with the charm of a small town.
- Both physicians and nurse practitioners will find the Emergency Medicine jobs available at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center to be rewarding opportunities in a town rich with heritage, a strong education system and low cost of living. Hazard is known as a great place to live and work.
The Kentucky Emergency Medicine jobs we have available come with full benefits and many have bonus opportunities. Click here to see the complete list of Kentucky Emergency Medicine jobs or browse our entire list of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist jobs.
For doctors and nurse practitioners, from Bay St. Louis to Booneville, there are exciting Emergency Medicine jobs available in Mississippi.
Hospital Physician Partners has rewarding Emergency Medicine opportunities at excellent facilities located in communities that are great places to live. Some of the Emergency Medicine jobs that we have available include:
- Openings for physicians and nurse practitioners at Hancock Medical Center located in Bay St. Louis, a new state-of the art facility situated in a beach community on the Gulf Coast.
- An opportunity for an Emergency Medicine Physician at Baptist Memorial Hospital, just off the Ole Miss campus in Oxford, Mississippi. Here you’ll work with a close-nit staff to deliver service offerings that provide the best care for the facility’s ER patients.
- For physicians and nurse practitioners, challenging and rewarding Emergency Medicine positions are available in the vibrant town of Columbus at Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden-Triangle. This high-volume ER offers a full range of services delivered by a deep and capable staff in a fast-paced environment.
Full benefits are available and many of the positions come with bonus opportunities. Click here to see other Emergency Medicine jobs in Mississippi that we have available or browse our entire list of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine jobs.
Hospital Physician Partners (HPP) recently raised over $2700 for the “American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. HPP participated in the “Out of the Darkness” community walk which is AFSP’s effort to raise money for research and education programs to prevent suicide and save lives. The monies raised also help increase national awareness about depression and suicide, assist in advocacy for mental health issues, and assist survivors of suicide loss.
HPP raised the most money in the shortest amount of time and is still continuing to raise funds as part of the Out of the Darkness initiative. It is estimated that in the United States, a person dies by suicide every 15 minutes, claiming more than 34,000 lives each year. Click here to learn more about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. To see photos of the HPP Team at the Out of the Darkness walk, visit our Facebook page.
Hospital Physician Partners recently added two new Emergency Medicine physicians to their clinical leadership team. Dr. Jennifer Host and Dr. Lance Wilson are now part of a 12-member clinical leadership team responsible for the management of over 130 hospital-based medical practices nationwide. The move comes in response to continued growth in Hospital Physician Partners Emergency Medicine management business line.
Dr. Wilson has been an Emergency Medicine Physician in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 2001 and was voted “Top Doc” in Emergency Medicine in Albuquerque by his medical peers this past spring. Dr. Wilson initially joined Hospital Physician Partners in 2008 as Medical Director of the Lovelace Medical Center in New Mexico. His recent promotion to Vice President of Medical Affairs includes clinical management of four Albuquerque emergency departments managed and staffed by Hospital Physician Partners providers.
Dr. Host joined Hospital Physician Partners as a hospital Medical Director in Georgia in 2007 after returning from Afghanistan having served in the U.S. Army. A practicing board certified Emergency Medicine physician since 2000, Dr. Host attended medical school at Rutgers Medical School and completed her residency at St. Lukes Roosevelt Medical Center in New York. Dr. Host now serves as Vice President of Medical Affairs with primary responsibility for Georgia where Hospital Physician Partners maintains nine Emergency Medicine management contracts.
Dear Partnering Provider and HPP Employee,
On behalf of the entire Hospital Physician Partners family, I wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for your dedication and continued commitment to outstanding patient care. The holidays are a perfect time to reflect on our Value Statement: What’s Important to YOU…Is What Matters to US!® We appreciate you for the time and energy you invest every day and are proud to work with you.
Chief Executive Officer
Over 1000 Emergency Medicine physicians, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants visited Hospital Physician Partners’ (HPP) booth and other related HPP activities this past week at the American College of Emergency Medicine Physicians (ACEP) annual conference in San Franciso, California. What was most striking about this years conference was the level of engagement by Emergency Medicine providers. There was a greater interest than ever in new Emergency Medicine jobs and career opportunities. More physicians were willing to talk and share thier interests, needs and ideas. Obviously for companies such as Hospital Physician Partners, this is refreshing. ACEP provides a great platform for open dialog between Emergency Medicine practitioners and Medical Management companies.
After speaking throughout the conference with Emergency Medicine physicians from all over the country, some themes began to develop which definitely represented a departure from some previous conference “booth talk.” Compensation was of course still of paramount interest as was location. However, we also fielded many more inquiries about benefits, support and culture. Physicians, NPs and PAs alike were asking questions about core values, types of leadership models and team culture. They wanted to know whether or not our leaderships was clinical or corporate. Assuredly, HPP’s leadership is clinical with Dr. David Schillinger serving both as President and Chief Medical Officer for Hospital Physician Partners while actively working clinical shifts nationwide.
There was also a great level of interest in accessing benefits as an independent contractor. Benefits have always been a “gap challenge” for Emergency Medicine independent contractors. Add to that a challenged economy, declining property values and high unemployment levels in some states, and even for the current and potentially affluent, personal financial security takes on a higher priority. Hospital Physician Partners, through an external benefits provider, thankfully offers its Emergency Medicine providers access to quality, affordable Group Health benefits, access to 401K, IRA and SEP funding, as well as tax, financial and estate planning.
ACEP 2012 was truly a successful conference. It gave our team a chance to meet with great Emergency Medicine practitioners and people. It offered a wealth of classroom education for our providers and industry and it helped connect Hospital Physician Partners with our key stakeholders who help keep our communities safe, healthy and alive. This is best summed up in our key message to both internal and external stakeholders, What’s Important To You…Is What Matters To Us!®
Many things happen during our residencies – like learning medicine. Today, we also have a tremendous number of internet and computer resources available that were simply not available 25 years ago (computers were really not around 25 years ago; a concept I’m sure is strange to many residents today). The first thing you probably notice after residency is that all of your credit cards change color turning to gold. Many credit card companies will seek you out providing you with gold or platinum credit cards simply because as soon as you complete your residency, you move to a whole new financial bracket. I would caution you in accepting too many credit cards, as you will not be the first nor the last to find yourself in financial trouble within the first two years of graduating residency despite increasing your income tenfold.
Perhaps the most daunting issue leaving residency is learning about insurance. Indeed, while you are a resident and employed, you are covered by the hospital’s policy. Once leaving your residency, you are responsible for finding your own life insurance, health insurance and disability insurance, as well as for your family. I’m not going to try to explain the difference in the various insurance policies, because I’m not 100% sure I understand them myself. In fact, I’m not sure they can even be understood. Insurance issues are very complex. I would suggest getting a financial planner very early on to help you with insurance options. I would avoid using an insurance agent as your financial planner because his/her opinion will be skewed toward insurance based saving methodologies. Find an independent financial planner who can assist you, but has little financial gain other than his fees. This will afford you the opportunity to get objective advice in an area where truly sharks abound and danger is immediately present.
Often debated for the last twenty years, when considering a job in Emergency Medicine, is the status of whether to work as an employee or an independent contractor. For those of you not old enough to remember, this debate often goes back to numerous IRS issues resulting in many companies changing the status of their physician providers over the years. The question is what works best for the physician?
Each has its benefits and detractors. Certainly from an employee’s perspective, you have the opportunity to buy benefits (health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance and disability insurance) that are consistent with the company’s policies at group rates significantly cheaper than individual rates. In addition, 401K may or may not be provided. Lastly, taxes are automatically deducted from the payroll limiting your exposure if you are not paying your quarterly taxes on time.
With all that said the advantage of working as an independent contractor in Emergency Medicine is independence. This allows you the ability to determine where and when you will work. Your schedule is self-determined.
In addition, you are entitled to have a self-directed retirement plan (Keogh, IRA, Roth IRA, etc.) which allows you to defer greater amounts of income into your retirement years thus decreasing the tax burden at the current time.
It is often argued that benefits must be purchased on an individual basis making it much more expensive. HPP has recently developed a plan whereby group benefit rates are available to independent contractors. This levels the playing field quite a bit and will make the independent status much more attractive. Indeed, individual health insurance policies for a family can exceed $5,000-$10,000 per year, especially for those with pre-existing illnesses. Life insurance cost can likewise become very costly on independent plans. Having the opportunity for group rates for independent contractors working in Emergency Medicine is truly a game changer.
The Emergency Department is often accused of over ordering tests and shot gunning our approach to patient care (most over utilization involves radiographic procedures on hours the radiologist is not in house!). This is the only thing we have to offer to critically ill patients. Emergency Medicine is one of those specialties where we shoot from the hip when we have patients critically ill with minimal knowledge of what is going on. I suspect we will always take criticism from our medical peers over this issue.
There are some instances when we can in fact focus our treatment plan. Recently we have seen a marked increase in the use of ultrasounds in Emergency Medicine. Using ultrasounds for a quick look at a gallbladder will obviate the need for multiple tests to make a diagnosis of colelithiasis/acute cholecystitis in the Emergency Department. The same is true for ectopic pregnancies and even DVT’s. These are often processes that take tremendous amount of time when we are waiting for staff to perform these procedures on off hours. Indeed, in the majority of hospitals, the technicians have to be called in. A more steady approach to the patient’s care is either calling in these individuals early or a direct ultrasound by the provider. This will have a huge impact on the efficiency of the Emergency Department as well as provide us an opportunity to aim and then fire.
Outside of such focused issues, the Ready-Fire-Aim approach to Emergency Medicine will always exist. We are not afforded the luxury of multiple tests and time to determine what is wrong with all of our patients. Many times acting in a vacuum is better than not acting at all.
Stunned and in awe, I saw a news report with parts of the Hudson River Drive under water. These are parts of New York where I have walked, sat on benches and spent time in my younger years. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that parts of New York would be hit by a hurricane such that flooding would become a real risk. I remember fondly the snow blizzard of 1969 in NY which turned NT into a playground for children. I’m sure now, as I re-read accounts of the storm, it was a disaster for adults. Here I am many years later realizing and recognizing the destruction that lies with such terrible natural events. New York with all its “bad rap” and aggressiveness, is a city of diverse people who have one thing in common: they are New Yorkers. As such, they (we) come together and feel, truly feel, pain in situations like this, and always rise to the occasion. Thankfully, in this particular instance the flooding receded quickly causing only modest structural damage.
You can imagine the degree and cost of damage that would occur from a hurricane flooding the southern end of Manhattan (Battery Park) into the lower streets (the former World Trade Center, Wall Street, etc.) The destruction, the loss of lives (for those who did not heed evacuation warnings), and the immobility of the New York market would have been devastating worldwide. I think we all have to recognize and be thankful (whether you like New York or not) that we were bypassed in this instance. That is not to say that the destruction that fell upon Vermont and other neighboring states was not significant or devastating. Indeed it was, and we likewise wish them well and a speedy recovery to some normal resemblance of their lives.
A career in Emergency Medicine can be financially rewarding and professionally fulfilling, but this specialty may not be for everyone. Here are some things to think about if you’re considering an Emergency Medicine job.
Lots of activity
Many Emergency Medicine opportunities are with departments that have a heavy volume of patients. The work can be challenging and exhilarating but also filled with pressure. If you’re the type of person that enjoys the adrenaline rush of a fast-paced environment, an emergency medicine job could be a good fit for you. If you desire to “get to know” your patients and care for them in the long-term, an Emergency Medicine job is definitely not the right choice.
Lots of variety
The typical emergency room sees a wide range of cases every day, from minor to critical medical issues. Working in Emergency Medicine means you’ll be confronting different situations throughout each and every shift, so the ability to apply a wide range of skills and the willingness to learn and expand your knowledge are key factors. Emergency Medicine jobs require fast-thinking, quick clinical analysis and diverse multi-tasking.
An Emergency Medicine job can be flexible in many ways. You can often choose the amount of hours you want to work. You have extraordinary mobility – an Emergency Medicine physician can go to almost any area of the country and find a job with the compensation, activity level and lifestyle considerations that he or she is looking for. There are also a number of ways to work in Emergency Medicine: as a salaried employee, a partner in a group of emergency physicians or as an independent contractor.
The other side of the flexibility equation is that healthcare professionals who work in Emergency Medicine often have to work nights, weekends and other off hours, as well as having to work long shifts at times. Still, an Emergency Medicine job offers the kind of options and flexibility that few other specialties can match.
Emergency Medicine associations are a great place to learn more about the specialty so you can decide if this career path is right for you. Here are a few:
- American College of Emergency Physicians – The oldest and largest professional organization in Emergency Medicine.
- Emergency Medicine Residents Association – An organization for emergency medicine residents.
- American Academy of Emergency Medicine – An organization similar to ACEP, it has lots of good information on Emergency Medicine practice issues.
You can also check out are Career Tips section for more information and browse the Emergency Medicine jobs that we have available here. For the latest jobs and information on Emergency Medicine, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Hospitalist jobs is one of the fastest growing segments in the healthcare employment category. While a career in Hospitalist Medicine can be both challenging and rewarding, whether it’s a good fit for you depends on your objectives and career preferences. Here as some of the things to think about when considering a career in Hospitalist Medicine.
Awareness of the specialty has grown significantly over the last 10 years and demand for hospitalist physicians is high. Due to this, Hospitalists can receive excellent compensation and bonuses.
Hospitalists work in a shift-based block schedule, with the typical shift being 10-12 hours long. Although the longer shifts can be challenging, if a Hospitalist physician manages his or her schedule well, a Hospitalist can have ample time off, sometimes weeks or months at a time.
Many hospitalists jobs are in mid-to-large sized facilities, but hospitalist programs are now being established in an increasing number of smaller community hospitals. A Hospitalist sees patients as they are admitted to the hospital and because of this they are at the center of the care that the hospital delivers. Physicians will see a wide variety of patients and draw upon the full range of their skills. Still, because of the demands of seeing a large number of patients day in and day out, the routine can seem repetitive at times. Some physicians also find the work to be more impersonal than office-based practice.
Another advantage of working for a hospital in Hospitalist medicine is that it frees the practitioner from the demands and financial risk of managing his or her own practice, while still offering considerable flexibility and financial rewards.
A hospitalist career can be rewarding in and of itself, and many hospitalists enjoy the lucrative compensation and flexible schedule for many years. Hospitalists that want to take on additional leadership responsibilities can move toward a role of director of a Hospitalist group. Directors or group managers help coordinate the schedule of the group to ensure consistent hospital coverage, manage any other professional issues and address quality control in the group. Hospitalist that take on director or group manager positions can enjoy a significant stipend to their salary.
The Bottom Line
If you’re an Internist or Family Physician looking for the rewards, flexibility and challenges that Hospitalist Medicine can bring, or if you’re a Resident Physician looking to forge a solid and lucrative career path, a hospitalist job could be right for you. Click here to see the Hospitalist jobs that Hospital Physician Partners has available and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest Hospitalist jobs and career news.
Many Emergency Medicine jobs are available to practitioners today as independent contractors. Working as an Emergency Medicine provider contracted to practice Emergency Medicine for the hospital has many advantages and they are outlined in one of our earlier blog posts. One concern though that many practitioners have about working this way with a hospital is securing benefits. Fortunately today, through an entity called a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), independent contractors can be offered health insurance, dental, disability and other benefits as if they were part of a group of employees.
A PEO is essentially an organization that hires providers as employer of record for insurance and tax purposes. Through a strategic alliance with an external benefits provider, Hospital Physician Partners is able to deliver comprehensive benefits to Emergency Medicine practitioners working as independent contractors. Only Hospital Physician Partners offers these kinds of benefits to independent contractors working in Emergency Medicine as Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. Some of the benefits include:
- Group health insurance, life insurance, dental and vision
- Long and short-term disability insurance
- Workers compensation.
Retirement and Financial Planning
Through our strategic alliance with our PEO provider, we also offer a full range of retirement, investment and financial planning services to help you make the most of what you earn as an independent contractor and secure your future. You’ll have access to 401ks, IRAs plus Employee and Defined Benefit pension plans. You can also take advantage of asset protection, business, tax and estate planning services that will help you maximize your earnings as a 1099 independent contractor while managing your tax liability.
If you’re considering a job in Emergency Medicine as an independent contractor we strongly recommend that you investigate what Hospital Physician Partners has to offer. You can learn more about the benefits of working with Hospital Physician Partners here and you can see the Emergency Medicine jobs we have available here.
If you’re looking for a Hospitalist job, you have more tools available than ever before. From specialized job boards and national job search sites to opportunities that can be found through associations and tradeshows, there are many places today to find great hospitalist job openings. Here are just a few examples:
- Hospitalist job boards – There are many job boards on the Web that either specialize in or dedicate a large portion of their site to Hospitalist jobs. These would include hospitalistjobs.com, practicelink.com, hospitalistworking.com, hospitaljobsonline.com, physemp.com, careermd.com and many more.
- Associations and publications – Organizations such as the Society of Hospitalist Medicine offer career information, education as well as Hospitalist job listings. Publications like Today’s Hospitalist have job listings, career advice and other helpful resources in their online editions.
- National job listings – Sites like Monster, CareerBuilder and TheLadders all have listings of Hospitalist jobs at various levels and locations.
- Social networking – LinkedIn, Facebook and now Google+ are great places to network, gain exposure and get the inside track on jobs. You’ll also find that employers, recruiters and organizations have a presence there as well. Additionally, Twitter is fast becoming a place where you can get the latest word on job opportunities in real time.
- Trade shows – Hospital-related trade shows and conferences have had increasing participation from prospective employers and recruiters. You’ll find that the majority of booths at these events will give you a chance to scope out Hospitalist job opportunities at different locations across the country. Check out our News and Events Page to find the latest events for both Hospitalist and Emergency Medicine.
The employment outlook for Hospitalist Medicine continues to be favorable. Using the resources outlined above will help you take advantage of the available opportunities and target your search to find the Hospitalist job that’s right for you. To stay connected with the jobs that Hospital Physician Partners has available, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
One of the options to consider when looking for an Emergency Medicine job is to work as an independent contractor. That is, you don’t work for the hospital itself, but as an independent Emergency Medicine provider contracted to practice Emergency Medicine for the hospital. Independent contracting has many advantages, including:
- You can take advantage of a wide range of Emergency Medicine job opportunities instead of being locked into one position or location for a long period of time.
- You have the opportunity to increase your compensation more quickly.
- You can broaden your experience by working in a number of different environments with varying levels of acuity and patient volumes.
- There are multiple tax, investment and retirement advantages to being an independent contractor Emergency Medicine clinician.
- You have the possibility of turning many of your expenses—including moving, traveling, education, memberships, publications and supplies—into tax advantages.
- You can build your schedule so that you can pursue other ways to further your medical career and professional development while still working in Emergency Medicine.
Working as an independent contractor in Emergency Medicine does present challenges as well. Because you are in business for yourself, you must decide your “business structure.” Will you set up a corporation? If so, what type is best for you? You must consider budgeting, tax preparation and financial management, insurance, retirement and benefits selection, etc. Despite these “challenges,” they are easily navigable and manageable if you plan ahead, do your research and seek the proper professional guidance. Independent contractor Emergency Medicine practitioners can reap many financial and professional rewards, it just takes initiative, strategy and follow-through; which is already in your wheel-house because they are the very same skills which got you through medical school and your Emergency Medicine residency.
Hospital Physician Partners has many independent contracting Emergency Medicine jobs across the nation in a variety of attractive locations. AND, we provide all of our independent Emergency Medicine clinicians with access to full group benefits and health insurance along with a bevy of financial planning services and support. We invite you to learn more. We also invite you to browse our independent contracting Emergency Medicine opportunities.
Many factors are contributing to the rapid growth of Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medicine jobs for physicians and other healthcare professionals. The continued urbanization of the country, improvements in emergency medicine and changes in the use of emergency room facilities have all contributed to this trend.
One significant factor has been the decline in the number of primary care physicians. The American College of Physicians estimates that only one-third of physicians in the U.S. practice primary care and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated in 2009 that more than 16,000 primary care physicians are needed to meet the current needs of the US population. The gap is expected to grow and when coupled with the current health insurance environment it has caused more of the population to turn to emergency rooms for a wider range of care.
All of this has led to a robust Emergency Medicine job market that is expected to last for quite some time. The shortage of board-certified Emergency Medicine Physicians is expected to last through 2030 and in a recent survey there were over 30% more positions than the number of Emergency Medicine residents graduating annually. Demand for nurses and other mid-level practitioners also continues to grow.
Hospital Physician Partners has great Emergency Medicine job opportunities across the United States. You can check out the Emergency Medicine jobs that we have available here and follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for the latest in Emergency Medicine job trends.
The ACEP 2011 Scientific Assembly — held this year in San Francisco from October 15 to October 18 — is a must for anyone who’s involved with or interested in the practice of Emergency Medicine.
Who should attend this year’s American College of Emergency Physicians event? Everyone from Emergency Physicians, Emergency Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Emergency Department Medical Directors and Hospital Administrators can benefit. Residents and medical students can learn more about the practice of Emergency Medicine and explore Emergency Medicine job opportunities.
The Scientific Assembly provides more than 300 outstanding educational courses, interactive workshops and hands-on skills labs with an emphasis on the latest advancements in the practice of Emergency Medicine. Other courses offer current updates on practice issues and trends and many qualify as continuing medical education.
It’s not too soon to start planning for the ACEP 2011 Scientific Assembly. Hospital Physician Partners is going to be there. You can visit us in the “HPP Café”, booth 902. Our interactive Café will include chef-prepared meals and quick meal prep tips for the Emergency Medicine practitioner on the go. We’ll also have fast-track seminars in the booth on financially maximizing your Emergency Medicine independent contractor status as well as presentations for 4th year Emergency Medicine Residents. Share this information with your colleagues and use this space to let us know if you’re going to be there. During the event, share your impressions with us and other Emergency Medicine practitioners through our Facebook page or by following us on Twitter.
The growth of the number of physicians that can be categorized as Hospitalists — doctors who practice almost exclusively in hospitals — has been one of the most striking developments in medicine over the last two decades. And this trend shows no signs of slowing.
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston produced the first quantitative analysis of the increase in the number of Hospitalists in a 2009 study. Using Medicare data, they calculated that the percentage of internal medicine physicians practicing as Hospitalists jumped from 5.9 percent in 1995 to 19 percent in 2006. The trend has continued as some estimates say that there are over 30,000 working in Hospitalist Medicine today.
Just as it was difficult to imagine a hospital without an emergency department or an intensive care unit, it is now almost as difficult to imagine a hospital without a Hospitalist Medicine program. This is why interest in the field is at an all-time high, not just among internists, but with residents and mid-level practitioners as well.
We recently had the chance to interview one of our Emergency Medicine Medical Directors about his experience during the April 27 tornado which struck in Alabama. Dr. Doug Alexander was working his regular shift that day when his whole world was turned upside down along with his staff, the hospital and the entire surrounding communities. To hear him tell the story of that day is to climb inside a violent world that seems almost unimaginable for the average person.
This quiet rural hospital was shell-shocked by the aftermath of an absolutely vicious F5 tornado. Russellville Hospital’s emergency department was instantly turned into a battle zone with patients arriving in large numbers simultaneously, many with critical, life threatening injuries. Children were seated on floors, in chairs, in beds and on countertops, many in shock. There were people missing and families lost with no knowledge where loved ones, personal belongings or pets were. And yet, Dr. Alexander and his fellow emergency department physicians and nurses all stayed calm and somehow made it through the ordeal. Such is the life of an Emergency Medicine physician. In reflection, on this holiday of independence, it is only right to salute the heroes who do what they do eveyday and yet, ask for no pomp and circumstance.
Dr. Alexander received a “Partners In Excellence” award from us for his efforts that day. Yet, he has repeatedly shone the spotlight away from himself and onto his staff and peers. Humble, proud and still trying to fully comprehend the impact Apri 27 has had on his life, Dr. Alexander along with every other member of the Russellville Hospital staff is to be saluted, thanked, admired and Appreciated for what they did and how they performed. That’s a celebration worth having accompanied by fireworks and awe!
We are proud to launch our revised website here at Hospital Physician Partners. After spending over two years reviewing data and gathering feedback from Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine Providers and hospital executives, we have renavigated and reinvigorated the site to make it more efficient and resourceful for you to use. Notebly, we have streamlined the way Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants can search for jobs. We have also added an entirely new Resources section which will continue to evolve and grow.
There is much more on the horizon and we hope you will become a regular visitor. Please keep checking back with us as new content fills our pages and the HPP Blog takes on new life as a valuable resource for Hospital Physician Partners’ clinical providers and hospital executives.