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:
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.”
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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?”
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).
Articles the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) has been reading this past week provide three interesting updates to the opioid epidemic.
Opioid Overdoses Costing U.S. Hospitals an Estimated $11 Billion Annually