Patient Safety

Health data interoperability is a patient safety issue

This article is a submission by Tim Blake, Managing Director of Semantic Consulting. He can be found on Twitter (@timblake1978). You can join PPAHS’ ongoing efforts to find and disseminate best practices in patient safety by submitting an article here.

Sharing data in healthcare is hard.  Way harder than it should be.

The lack of willingness on the part of some healthcare providers and health IT vendors to safely and easily share patient health information with patients and other health providers is an unacceptable position in our increasingly digital age. Read More

Hospital Acquired Conditions, Patient Safety

Obstetric Malpractice Shapes The Way Doctors Practice – But It Can Be Prevented

The following is an excerpt of an article co-authored by Angela W. Russell, Partner, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP and Michael Wong, JD, Executive Director of Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS). It first appeared on Healthcare Business Today on July 28, 2017. Read the full article here.

Accidents can happen.

In the case of hospital care, the stakes are high, with errors potentially resulting in serious adverse events or even death. In the field of obstetrics & gynecology, these incidences can have a deeply personal impact, affecting the lives of mother, baby, family, and attending clinicians. It’s not surprising, then, that in the most catastrophic cases, the costs of obstetric malpractice suits can be astronomical. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Hospital Acquired Conditions

Advances in Alarm Management and Surveillance Monitoring

Written by James Welch, CEO Arc Biomedical Consultants (jwelch@arcbiomed.com)

james-welch

Mr. Welch is a Clinical Engineer with 17 yrs experience in hospitals and over 24 yrs as an executive in the medical device industry. His focus has been on applying technologies to improve patient safety through continuous surveillance monitoring. Mr. Welch has ten patents and articles in the field of wireless physiologic monitoring, surveillance systems and alarm management. He regularly contributes to the AAMI Foundation on alarm safety and is a voting member on a number of International Standards committees.

Early detection of physiologic deterioration is essential in improving patient safety in acute care hospital settings.  Patients in non-ICU settings who are recovering from surgery or special procedures are especially vulnerable because of private or semi-private room settings prevents direct observation and nurse to patient ratios are often 1:6. Experts in Rapid Response Systems (RRS) have arrived at a consensus that strengthening early detection through continuous monitoring is essential in improving the effectiveness of RRS but only if such systems do not impose a burden on the clinical staff. The high incidence of nuisance alarms and cost are two of the major barriers preventing broader adoption of continuous monitoring on the general care floor. Read More

Opioid Safety, Patient Safety, Patient Stories

Are Patients Receiving Opioids Safer Today Than 6 Years Ago?

Six years ago on July 27, 2011, I posted the first article on a free WordPress blog for the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety. It was titled “Is it possible to survive 96-minutes without a heart beat?”. Howard Snitzer, a man who suffered a heart attack survived after two volunteer paramedics responded and began a 96-minute CPR marathon. The ordeal involved 20 others, who took turns pumping his chest. This life-saving feat was only possible with the use of capnography readings, which told the volunteer paramedics that Howard was still alive and that they needed to continue their efforts.

Little would I know that that article would lead to an invitation by the University of Notre Dame and the beginnings of a 6-year friendship with the parents of Amanda Abbiehl. Amanda was admitted to hospital for “severe strep throat.” Read More

Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

Remembering Amanda: 7 Years After An Opioid-Related Death

This weekend marked the 7th anniversary of Amanda Abbiehl’s tragic death. Her story continues to remind us of the need for continuous electronic monitoring for all patients receiving opioids.

Amanda was 18-years-old when she was admitted to hospital for a severe case of strep throat. To help her manage the pain, she was placed on a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump. The next morning, she was found unresponsive and died. Though PCA pumps are designed to deliver an exact dosage of opioid – in Amanda’s case, hydromorphone – getting the ‘right’ dosage is not a simple task. Too high a dosage can lead to respiratory depression, sometimes in minutes. Read More

Patient Safety

3 Consumer Resources for Opioid Safety

By Sean Power

Opioids–drugs such as oxycontin, vicodin, percocet, and fentanyl–have recently garnered mainstream attention as more people become dependent and addicted to the painkiller in epidemic proportions. Perhaps it is because 1 in 5 become long-term users of opioids with a 10-day supply; perhaps because sales of prescription opioids in the U.S. nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2014; or, perhaps simply because chronic opioid use often begins with opioid usage for acute (short-term) pain–whatever the reason, the opioid epidemic is front and centre in public health discourse. Read More

Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Practices & Tips, Respiratory Compromise

The Preventable Death of Paul Buisson: 3 Lessons on Preventing Opioid Death

The following is an excerpt of an article first published on The Doctor Weighs In on June 28, 2017. To read the full article, please click here.

In 2005, Paul Buisson, a celebrated Quebec animator and cameraman died as a result of opioid-related respiratory depression. What lessons can we learn more than a decade later? Read More

Opioid Safety, Patient Safety, Practices & Tips, Respiratory Compromise

The Vital Role Nurses Play in Patient Care

Written by Michael Wong, JD, Founder & Executive Director of PPAHS

As founder and executive director PPAHS, when I speak at conferences about the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety support for continuous electronic monitoring of patients receiving opioids, I am often asked two questions:

  • Is PPAHS suggesting or recommending that technology replace nurses?
  • Why has continuous monitoring been so slow to be adopted by hospitals?

Read More

Blood Clots

PPAHS Participates in 1st Annual Anticoagulation Summit

Patient advocates and leading medical societies involved in awareness building and improving patient safety in Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) and venous thromboembolism (VTE) gathered recently for the 1st Annual Anticoagulation Summit, a two-day conference.

Michael Wong, JD, founder and Executive Director of the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS), presented a poster on the OB VTE Safety Recommendations, which were released by PPAHS, in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the National Perinatal Association. The recommendations, compiled by a panel of health experts, give clinicians a step-by-step checklist to help assess all OB patients’ risks for VTE and identify the appropriate prophylaxis regimen to improve health outcomes for maternal patients. Read More

Patient Safety

An Interview With The Creator Of PatientAider: Navigating the World of Hospitals and Healthcare

By Michael Wong, JD (founder and executive director, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Often times, as a patient, the hospital and its staff can be a bewildering and seemingly unfriendly environment; processes, procedures, and even the language spoken can truly be confusing. In a recent NY Times article, “In the Hospital, a Degrading Shift From Person to Patient”, Benedict Carey writes:

Entering the medical system, whether a hospital, a nursing home or a clinic, is often degrading… at many others the small courtesies that help lubricate and dignify civil society are neglected precisely when they are needed most, when people are feeling acutely cut off from others and betrayed by their own bodies.

To help navigate this world of hospitals and healthcare, I recently spoke with Mari Miceli. Mari has worked over 15 years as a registered nurse after graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell with a BS in Nursing and the University of Illinois with a BFA. in Industrial Design. She is also a Regional Network Chair, a volunteer position at the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. Read More