Most ER providers in the U.S. work for staffing companies that have contracts with hospitals. Those staffing companies are losing revenue as hospitals postpone elective procedures and non-coronavirus patients avoid emergency rooms. Health insurers are processing claims more slowly as they adapt to a remote workforce.
[A memo from Alteon Health, a major hospital staffing company] announced that the company would be reducing hours for clinicians, cutting pay for administrative employees by 20%, and suspending 401(k) matches, bonuses and paid time off. Holtzclaw indicated that the measures were temporary but didn’t know how long they would last.
From The Boston Globe:
Emergency room doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have been told some of their accrued pay is being held back. More than 1,100 Atrius Health physicians and staffers are facing reduced paychecks or unpaid furloughs, while pay raises for medical staff at South Shore Health, set for April, are being delayed.
From Twitter, which is what lead me down this wormhole in the first place:
Good thing we paid billions in bailouts to airlines and other corporations. Granted, the coronavirus stimulus bill did provide $100 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers, but it seems that none of that is trickling down to the people on the front lines keeping us alive. Read the rest
Danish company UVD Robots developed autonomous mobile robots outfitted with powerful ultraviolet lights that destroy microbes. The robots roam hospitals pausing at pre-determine points to fire up their disinfecting beams. According to UVD, they've shipped hundreds of robots to China in recent weeks as they rush to meet the demand from more than 2,000 medical facilities in that country alone. From Evan Ackerman's story in IEEE Spectrum:
Read the rest
...Each robot is a mobile array of powerful short wavelength ultraviolet-C (UVC) lights that emit enough energy to literally shred the DNA or RNA of any microorganisms that have the misfortune of being exposed to them....
It takes between 10 and 15 minutes to disinfect a typical room, with the robot spending 1 or 2 minutes in five or six different positions around the room to maximize the number of surfaces that it disinfects. The robot’s UV array emits 20 joules per square meter per second (at 1 meter distance) of 254-nanometer light, which will utterly wreck 99.99 percent of germs in just a few minutes without the robot having to do anything more complicated than just sit there. The process is more consistent than a human cleaning since the robot follows the same path each time, and its autonomy means that human staff can be freed up to do more interesting tasks, like interacting with patients....
Hundreds of these robots are at work in more than 40 countries, and they’ve recently completed hospital trials in Florida. Over the next few weeks, they’ll be tested at other medical facilities around the United States, and Nielsen points out that they could be useful in schools, cruise ships, or any other relatively structured spaces.
As the novel coronavirus in China was picking up speed in January, its epicenter in Wuhan needed more beds, fast. So they built a hospital with almost 800 beds (two per room) in a mere ten days. Now ready to admit patients (even though, according to this video, some showers still need to be installed and glue is still drying), here is a quick peek inside.
And for the actual build, here's am amazing time lapse video of the construction. Read the rest
Where there's a will... It took just 8 days for China to build a large new hospital in Wuhan specifically to care for coronavirus patients. Another one is under construction. From The Guardian:
Construction work started on the Huoshenshan hospital on 23 January and finished eight days later, a day short of breaking their own record time set in 2003... The new hospital has 1,000 beds and is expected to begin admitting patients from Monday
And here is a tour of the interior! Read the rest
Memphis University Hospital is a tax-exempt nonprofit whose CEO, Dr. Michael Ugwueke, took home $1.6m last year; the hospital itself makes an operating surplus of $80m/year -- and it also sues the shit out of its patients, running its own in-house collection agency and filing more garnishment claims than any other hospital in the state.
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Denver Health Medical Center suspended five nurses who apparently opened a body bag to admire a dead man's genitals.
"Multiple staff members viewed the victim while he was incapacitated, including after he was deceased," according to a Denver Police report.
Four of the nurses have returned to work after their three week suspension while a fifth is no longer employed by the hospital for reasons unrelated to the penis-gazing incident.
(CBS News) Read the rest
The Miele PG 8528 is a "washer-disinfector" intended for hospitals and other locations with potentially dangerous pathogens on their dirty dishes; it's networked and smart. And dumb. Read the rest
A patient at Tokyo Medical University Hospital was undergoing laser surgery on her uterus when she farted, apparently starting a fire that badly burnt her.
"When the patient's intestinal gas leaked into the space of the operation (room), it ignited with the irradiation of the laser, and the burning spread, eventually reaching the surgical drape and causing the fire," according to a report from the hospital.
(The Straits Times) Read the rest
Nathan Yau created an interactive visualization of Consumer Product Safety Commission data on emergency room visits spurred by product-related injuries. At the top are floor and stair injuries followed by various sports and bed injuries.
"Why People Visit the Emergency Room" (FlowingData) Read the rest
Brian Eno designed a chill-out room at the private new Montefiore Hospital in Brighton and Hove, UK. It's meant to be a spot for patients to "think, take stock or simply relax." Ortopaedic surgeon Robin Turner orchestrated the collaboration apparently after he saw his mother-in-law finally relax while checking out an Eno installation at a local festival. From The Guardian:
Turner said they intended to examine any physiological changes to people in the Eno room – pulse, blood pressure, anxiety and so on – and there was anecdotal evidence this week when a cancer patient came out and began telling Eno, not recognising him, how wonderful it was. "He wanted a copy of that room at home," said Turner. "The scientist in me says that's not very scientific but the human in me says that makes it all worthwhile."
"Surgeon prescribes Brian Eno to patients"
(above: Brian Eno, 1974, Wikimedia Commons)
Read the rest