Must Reads, Patient Safety

Top 5 Patient Safety Posts of 2020

As we bid farewell – or, perhaps good riddance to 2020 – here are our top patient safety posts for 2020.

2020 was definitely a COVID-19 year! 4 out of 5 of our posts for 2020 were about COVID-19, and one of these COVID posts was submitted to us by a doctor from Alaska.

#1 Patient Safety Post in 2020 – Free Patient-to-Nurse Chat Line

On April 23, 2020, PPAHS launched a free virtual clinic and website, Virtual Patient Care, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, to meet the pressing needs of patients with atrial fibrillation (Afib), who are at the highest level of risk from stroke, and to help Afib patients cope with the difficulties imposed by COVID-19. 

“Under current COVID-19 conditions, patients face the burdens of social distancing and increased difficulty in reaching clinicians busy with emergencies. Telehealth has proven essential in addressing patients’ pressing health needs and ensuring good patient-to-clinician dialogue,” said Michael Wong, JD, Founder and Executive Director of the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety. 

The goal of Virtual Patient Care, conceived of and managed by the PPAHS in response to the COVID-19 crisis, is to foster an adherence rate greater than the reported 50% for patients at the highest ranges of stroke risk. The free telehealth service is supported by an unrestricted grant from the BMS-Pfizer Alliance, as well as the efforts, involvement, and/or resources of the American Heart Association, the Anticoagulation Forum, Heart Rhythm Society, StopAfib.org, Mended Hearts, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.

To read the post, please click here

#2 Patient Safety Post in 2020 – How Chiropractors Can Ensure Patient’s Safety Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

As chiropractic clinics start to open back up, many patients might feel a bit hesitant to make an appointment. How will the clinic protect them? What steps are chiropractors using to keep things safe? 

In this guest post, Dr. Brent Wells, DC discusses what chiropractic clinics and patients should do as clinics begin to open up after COVID-19. 

#3 Patient Safety Post in 2020 – 3 Myths about Wearing Masks

Many inaccuracies and false statements about COVID-19 have circulated on social media, but perhaps amongst all of these inaccuracies and false statements, none has been more damaging to health and safety than about wearing masks. In this post, we discuss 3 myths about wearing masks.

#4 Patient Safety Post in 2020 – Black Lives Matter, Healthcare Inequalities, and the Need for Systemic Change

As 2020 comes to an end, there have been 81,475,053 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,798,050 deaths, according to the WHO. In the United States, there have been 19,346,790 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 335,789 deaths.

While these WHO statistics are mind-numbing, what they don’t show is that the COVID pandemic has disproportionately affected some American communities more than others.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci (as reported by CNBC), state-level data demonstrate that black people are disproportionately dying from COVID-19:

  • In Michigan, black people makeup 14% of the state’s population, but account for 41% of coronavirus deaths, according to data released by Michigan’s government. 
  • In Illinois, black people makeup 14% of the population, but account for 32.5% of coronavirus deaths, according to the state’s Department of Public Health.
  • In Louisiana, where black people make up about 33% of the population, Gov. John Bel Edwards said in early April they account for more than 70% of the state’s coronavirus deaths, with the majority of these fatalities taking place in New Orleans.
  • In New York City, black and Latino people are twice as likely to die from the virus than their white peers, according to data by the local government.

We must act NOW to:

  • Actively be anti-racist.
  • Recognize that racism tears at the fabric of our society and therefore is a societal issue that has a profound impact on ALL communities and aspects of life.
  • Identify and call out racism, whether that it exists in ourselves, our neighbors, or in our leaders.
  • Listen and amplify black voices, like the Association of Black Cardiologists and the National Black Nurses Association.

To read the post, please click here.

To read the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety position statement, “Black Lives Matter, Healthcare Inequalities, and the Need for Systemic Change,” please click here.

#5 Patient Safety Post in 2020 – Survey Finds Clinicians Want Safer Ways to Test Lung Function

To help better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected medical practices and patient safety, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety conducted a survey about whether clinicians are performing lung function tests during COVID-19 and what improvements to such testing they would like to have.

To read the blog post, please click here.

To read our report about the survey results, please click here.

 

Blood Clots, Must Reads, Patient Safety

3 Studies About the COVID Pandemic Everyone Needs to Know

Because the COVID pandemic has presented us with unprecedented circumstances (probably only matched in current times by the 1918 Flu Pandemic, which occurred before most of our lives), our understanding of COVID is continually evolving and improving based on new research and data. Learning from new research and applying that knowledge to our lives and how we care for patients is essential

For this week, here are 3 studies that everyone needs to know about during this COVID pandemic:

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Must Reads, Patient Safety

Nursing, Racism, and COVID

Nurses Face Twin Threats of Racism and COVID

If COVID did not pose a big enough threat, CNN interviewed a dozen Black nurses across the UK’s healthcare sector – they had varying degrees of experience (from students to practicing nurses with decades of experience) and worked in different roles and settings (from hospitals to care homes.

CNN found that these nurses “have experienced racism in the workplace — and that it has gotten worse amid the coronavirus outbreak.”

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Must Reads, Physician-Patient Relationship

The Power of Conversation to Affect Patient Outcomes

Can a simple conversation between a patient and a clinician improve that patient’s health outcomes?

Medicine is so predicated on science – which consists of physical interventions, like taking medications and undergoing surgery – that the impact of “just” words may be overlooked.

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Must Reads, Opioid Safety

We Need to Rethink How We Use Opioids and Manage Pain

Financial responsibility for the opioid crisis is finally being meted out – Purdue Pharma is in the midst of settling thousands of opioid lawsuits and Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $572 million for its opioid-related actions. These two pharmaceutical giants are likely just the tip of the defendant iceberg, with more lawsuits still to be filed and decided.

However, as much as some may wish to demonize opioids and their use, it should not be forgotten that opioids and their use are here to stay. Opioids are necessary for many medical procedures – could major surgery be done without opioids? As well, opioids are a necessity for many patients to manage their pain and for their chronic conditions.

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Must Reads

Corporate Profits Should Never Be More Important Than Patient Health

This week, the articles that we have been reading at the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) scream the same topic – Corporate Profits Should Never Be More Important Than Patient Health – and yet pharmaceuticals and health insurers act as though profits are more important to them than patient health.

Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $572 Million

Recently, Johnson & Johnson, a company that “believe(s) good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress,” was ordered to pay $572 million by Judge Thad Balkman of Cleveland County District Court in Oklahoma. Reported The New York Times about the judgment:

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Must Reads

3 Ideas to Improve Patient Care

This week, the articles that we have been reading at the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) discuss interesting ideas to improve patient care:

Use Artificial Intelligence to Manage Opioid Use

As the opioid crisis continues on, this article by Cami Rosso, “Using AI to Manage Opioid Use in Hospital ICUs” raises an interesting possibility – the use of artificial intelligence to manage opioid use:

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Must Reads

Rethinking Pain Management: 4 Options to Consider

Editor’s note: As the opioid epidemic rages on, we need to rethink how pain is managed. Guidelines aimed at reducing the number of opioids prescribed has had an unintended consequence.

As the opioid epidemic rages on, we need to rethink how pain is managed. Guidelines aimed at reducing the number of opioids prescribed has had an unintended consequence. In the article, “Good News: Opioid Prescribing Fell. The Bad? Pain Patients Suffer, Doctors Say,” the NY Times reports:

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Must Reads

Raising Smoking Age to 100 – Should Education or Legislation Be Used to Better Healthcare?

Editor’s note: In this editorial from the desk of PPAHS’s Executive Director, the proposed Hawaii bill to raise the legal age to buy cigarettes to 100 years raises the question – “To Educate or Legislate Better Healthcare?”

Hawaii State Representative Richard Creagan recently proposed a state bill that would have raised the legal age to buy cigarettes in the State of Hawaii to 100 years:

The new bill, HB 1509, suggests that the smoking age should go up to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, and 60 in 2023 – until finally, in 2024, people would need to be 100 years old to buy cigarettes.

Although the bill was “shelved” for the 2019 legislative period in a unanimous vote, the efforts by Dr. Creagan raise the question – “To Educate or Legislate Better Healthcare?”

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Must Reads

3 New Clinical Guidelines To Take Note of

Editor’s note: In this week’s must reads, we look at 3 new clinical guidelines and consider their impact on patient care.

Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation

The newly released “Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation” is a game changer for the use of anticoagulants. In a report by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society, in Collaboration With the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, newer anticoagulants, known as non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs), are recommended over the traditional warfarin to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation (AFib).

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