Members of Rhoads 5 SICU, winners of the Gold Beacon Award Nurses make up the single largest segment of the health-care work force, providing 95 percent of direct care to hospitalized patients. So it’s not surprising that the higher the quality of a hospital’s nursing staff, the better the patient...
Penn Medicine has set a goal to eliminate preventable readmissions within seven days after patients are discharged from the hospital at its three hospitals by July 1, 2014. Since the kick-off of this effort in 2011, a number of initiatives have successfully reduced these readmissions but a key component in...
Nathan Francis Mossell, MD, the first black student in Penn’s School of Medicine, received his medical degree in 1882. On his first day, he later wrote, he was “accompanied by a storm of protest” as his fellow incoming students sounded their displeasure. “I was not perturbed in the least,” wrote...
UCHCFrom providing screenings for high blood pressure in West Philadelphia barber shops to arming women who are recovering from addiction with the skills to build new lives with their children, Penn Medicine’s employees reach far beyond our campus community to help, care for, and inspire people to improve their health. Each year since 2007, Penn Medicine has highlighted the work of its faculty, staff and students in Philadelphia and its neighboring communities in Simply Because. Last year’s book is full of the faces and stories of everyone who comes together to be part of these programs.
Sepsis researcher David Gaieski, MD, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine and clinical director in Penn’s Center for Resuscitation Science, spoke this week with several news outlets about the issues raised by the case of the 12-year-old New York City boy who died of sepsis after his infection apparently went undetected at his doctor and an emergency room. ABCNews.com explored the reasons why these infections can be so difficult to identify when they’re easiest to treat:
“We need new and better ways to treat our patients, not just ‘me, too’ medications. We need new and daring approaches. Our patients deserve it!”
This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new prescription weight loss drug – the first in more than a decade. Advocates of the drug, which trials showed helped users lose an average of about five percent of their body weight, say it provides an important new weight loss option for the 35 percent of Americans classified as obese. But the medication, which will be sold under the name Belviq, is not without risks. Some studies showed that it causes heart valve problems, an issue that echoes the reasons why the weight-loss drug combination known as Fen-Phen was pulled from the market in 1997. A Penn medical toxicologist and emergency physician, Jeanmarie Perrone, played a role behind the headlines about the drug’s approval, as a member of an FDA advisory committee tasked with reviewing the data about the drug and making recommendations to the agency about whether or not it should be approved.
Drugs used in hospitals are meant to save lives – to battle infections, kill cancer cells, control pain, steady uneven heart beats, and prevent blood clots from forming when patients are unable to get out of bed and move around. But despite these healing powers, medication errors are common, and the consequences can be severe. According to the Food and Drug Administration, medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people each year in the United States. And countless so-called "near-misses" with incorrect dosing or drug mix-ups go unreported. In response, the federal government and hospitals across the nation have made cutting medication errors a cornerstone of patient safety initiatives. Baligh Yehia, MD, MSHP, MPP, an Infectious Diseases fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, recently published a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases examining the prevalence of antiretroviral medication errors among hospital patients infected with HIV. Medication errors are a risk during hospitalizations of all kinds, but HIV patients are especially vulnerable.
Pet cpr 1In a unique partnership between veterinary experts and physician-scientists who study and treat cardiac arrest in humans in Penn Medicine’s Center for Resuscitation Science, the same research that is saving patients who suffer cardiac arrests will now be put to use saving the lives of beloved pets. The Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation (RECOVER), announced this month, provides the first evidence-based guidelines on how to best treat cardiopulmonary arrest in dogs and cats.
As doctors and medical researchers discover more effective cancer drugs that extend survival and increasingly, turn certain cancers into chronic conditions rather than certain deaths, cancer survivorship care is becoming an increasing focus for patients and doctors in specialties of all kinds.
Over 350 people/teams participated in Penn Medicine's MyHeartMap Challenge, hunting down more than 1,500 AEDs, in about 800 unique buildings around the city of Philadelphia. AEDs were most commonly located in office buildings, gyms and recreation centers, and schools. Each one of the AEDs found represents fresh chances to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest, which claims the lives of more than 300,000 Americans each year.
To hospital patients in America, it may seem obvious that their care team – doctors, nurses, technicians, social workers and many other staff – works together to ensure they’re getting proper treatment and monitoring during their stay. But this relationship – often referred to as “interprofessionalism” – has not always been so obvious. Efforts are now under way across the nation to encourage it to flourish in all levels of medical education and hospital care and to foster it in a way that most benefits patients.
Lifeline: Penn Medicine Mental Health Experts Work to Expand Suicide Prevention Strategies in the Emergency Department
Approximately 12 million Americans are seen in U.S. emergency departments each year for mental health-related symptoms. Of those patients, around 650,000 are evaluated for suicide attempts. For many of these people, it’s a frightening stop on the long and painful road of suffering that results from depression, anxiety, and substance...
The Choosing Wisely initiative, announced last week by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, aims to spark conversation among both doctors and their patients about the types of tests and treatments that are likely to be unnecessary, and perhaps even harmful. More tests, the group explains, does not always mean better care – and overuse of these diagnostics is a huge contributor to the United States’ surging medical costs. The issue of overtesting is a special challenge for emergency physicians. Most of the time, patients are unknown to them, and sometimes, unconscious or otherwise too sick to explain their symptoms or medical history. That often means starting from scratch with determining what might be wrong, and making calls to their previous physicians doesn’t always yield answers, especially during off hours.