Morning Rounds (09.11.12)

Four of the 10 med-tech startups selected to present at NTEC’s MedVentures 2012 are from North Texas. Last year, presenting firms went on to raise a total of about $14 million.

Dallas-based hospital operator Tenet Healthcare Corp. has promoted Daniel Cancelmi to chief financial officer. The former senior vice president replaces Biggs Porter, who left Tenet in late March to join Irving-based global engineering firm Fluor Corp.

Irving-based CHRISTUS Health has launched a free mobile app to provide 24/7 healthcare information, offering everything from first-aid tips to a symptom navigator.

The American Heart Association reports that nearly 5 percent of pregnant women are prescribed drugs to treat high blood pressure, including some that aren’t considered safe for mothers or their babies. Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.10.12)

Just half of all physicians meet federal standards for Electronic Health Record systems. Click to see which doctors are most and least likely to be in compliance.

An increase in cholesterol screenings has led to more diagnosed cases of high cholesterol, from 33.2 percent to 35 percent nationwide. Texas saw a 21.2 percent increase—the second highest increase in diagnoses behind Arizona (22.2 percent).

Fewer than 25 percent of people with hypertension treat it correctly. Out of 66.9 million, 35.8 million do not have their hypertension controlled, 14.1 million are unaware they have hypertension, and 5.7 million were aware of their diagnosis but not receiving treatment, while only 16 million were aware and receiving treatment.

The 2011 National Immunization Survey finds that nationwide vaccination coverage among children aged 19 to 35 months increased or remained stable in the last year and met or exceeded national objectives. Trends in Texas are consistent with national data, with the state experiencing a significant increase in coverage for the HepB birth vaccine since 2010.

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Less than Half of All Physicians Meet Federal Standards for EHRs

The 2011 Physician Workflow Survey indicates that 42 percent of all physicians have Electronic Health Record systems that meet federal standards. Among the most likely physician specialties to meet this requirement were cardiovascular disease specialists (69 percent) and practitioners of internal medicine (50 percent), while ophthalmologists (25 percent) and psychiatrists (19 percent) were least likely.

Fewer than 25 Percent With Hypertension Treat it Correctly

According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 66.9 million Americans suffer from hypertension, a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease that can lead to morbidity or mortality. Of this population, 35.8 million do not have their hypertension controlled, 14.1 million are unaware they have hypertension, and 5.7 million were aware of their diagnosis but not receiving treatment, while only 16 million were aware and receiving pharmacologic treatment. Nearly 90 percent of American adults with hypertension have a healthcare provider and insurance, so it is believed that improved hypertension control across the board will require increased focus… Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.07.12)

Dallas officials will mark the ground-breaking of a six-story, $108 million Charles A. Sammons Trauma and Critical Care Tower at Methodist Dallas Medical Center on Sept. 11. Slated to open in 2014, the 248,000-square-foot facility will be completely dedicated to emergency and trauma care.

Patient spending among those seeking treatment for neck and back problems in the U.S. has nearly doubled since the late 1990s, with the bulk majority of spending in medical specialist care.

The American Heart Association reports that patients are more likely to survive cardiac arrest when longer resuscitation attempts are implemented. Revival rates were 12 percent higher at hospitals with median resuscitation times of 25 minutes, as opposed to hospitals treating for a median of 16 minutes.
The Institute of Medicine has released a report calling for a better healthcare system, in light of recent science and technological advances. An 18-member expert committee released its 382-page report, “Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America.” Here’s a synopsis.

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Spending on Neck and Back Treatment Doubles

According to a report published in the September issue of the Spine orthopedic journal, patient spending among those seeking treatment for neck and back problems in the U.S. nearly doubled since the late 1990s. The biggest driver of the 95 percent increase in spending was for medical specialist care, while spending on primary care doctors and chiropractors remained stable. According to the study’s authors, the current approximate cost of diagnosis and management of lower back pain in the United States is $90 billion per year.

AHA: Survival Rates Improve with Lengthier Resuscitation

More patients survive cardiac arrest when treated in hospitals that perform lengthier resuscitation attempts, according to a new American Heart Association study. Revival rates were 12 percent higher at hospitals with median resuscitation times of 25 minutes, as opposed to hospitals treating for an average of 16 minutes. Physicians are still unsure, though, if these improved rates are due to longer attempts or more standardized procedures. However, the study may help physicians improve guidelines, which currently don’t recommend a specific time for resuscitation efforts.

Morning Rounds (09.06.12)

Parker University will add three degree programs in January as part of a plan to develop 12 new programs through 2017. The programs were chosen in response to high demand among students, an increase in industry salaries, and changes in occupational healthcare trends, the university says.

About 7,000 women in DFW must now find an alternative to Planned Parenthood after the state officially cut its funding because the clinics offer abortions. An appeal of the ruling is under way.

A UT Southwestern medical student was featured on three episodes of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” The contestent didn’t win the big prize, but he certainly didn’t go home empty-handed.

Nearly one in three American adults has high blood pressure. The CDC reports that more than half of those people—36 million—don’t have it under control and recommends team-based approaches to help the problem. Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.05.12)

Nearly every major health insurer recorded declining earnings in the second quarter of 2012, mainly because of something that happened more often than they expected: patients going to see their doctors, according to an American Medical Association report.

A Baylor Health Care System director of epidemiology and his team are executing a large national multicenter study to assess the effectiveness of preventive and management strategies and their impact on long-term survival.

The American Heart Association reports that taking vitamin D supplements to compensate for vitamin D deficiency may not improve cholesterol in short term.

A Texas Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Chief nursing officer has been named one of only 20 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows from across the country for 2012. Full Story

Texas EDs: On the Front Lines of Accountable Care

After more than two decades working in healthcare, I know my way around a hospital, and I’m well versed in our industry’s issues and needs. However, when an accident recently landed me in the emergency room with a fractured wrist, the experience opened my eyes in a very personal way to the challenges in our healthcare system. Don’t get me wrong. I received top-notch care in the emergency department. But after the hospital discharged me with a cast on my wrist, I received no real guidance or help in connecting with a provider for the next steps of my care… Full Story