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Tracking the spread of infections in hospitals

Researchers are looking at a new method of finding out how infections are spread inside hospitals. If the spread of these dangerous pathogens can be traced, it may be possible to eliminate one of the primary dangers at many medical facilities. A team from the University of California San Francisco is using electronic health records (EHRs) see how infections go from one patient to the next.

No defense for VA actions regarding negligent doctors

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs runs the largest health care system in the country. It employs more health care workers than any other organization. It is, therefore, in a powerful position to set and maintain standards of care. A recent investigation uncovered disturbing practices that demonstrate a careless disregard for the outcomes of patients in and out of the VA system.

Is nursing home care declining?

A recent report from the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General paints a bleak picture of nursing home care. From 2011 to 2015, the percentage of residents filing a complaint rose sharply. This rate increase included an increase in reports of problems that endangered the lives of residents. These serious incidents became more common even as the total number of nursing home residents dropped slightly.

When the medical field fails breast cancer victims

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink ribbons, merchandise, breast cancer-themed run/walks and advertising campaigns will be easy to spot for the next four weeks. Breast cancer awareness is a positive thing and the campaigns help further that cause. They do little to help the women who do everything right, only to have their doctors drop the ball in identifying and treating breast cancer.

Verdict goes against baby powder manufacturer

Johnson & Johnson is currently facing thousands of claims tied to its talc-based products. While Johnson's baby powder is not the only talc-based product on the market, it is one of the most common. When studies began to link genital talc use to instances of ovarian cancer in women, Johnson & Johnson denied the connection. The company continues to refuse to warn their customers about the danger, even as the lawsuits against it pile up.

How Do Bad Professionals Keep Their Licenses?

A professional license is a sign to the public that the person holding the license is competent in his or her field. Members of the public have the right to expect that licenses will be withheld from incompetent people or withdrawn from professionals who show themselves to be unqualified or untrustworthy. Unfortunately, the reality of licensing and license oversight does not necessarily justify much faith.

Unnecessary surgery and medical malpractice

What does an average patient think when their doctor recommends surgery? They likely think that extensive research has proven that surgery is beneficial for patients in their position. They assume that evidence has been gathered and rigorous scientific analysis has been conducted. After all, surgery, even minor surgery, carries serious risks. Would doctors really recommend a risky procedure without proof that it is effective?

How to separate the good hospitals from the bad

The process of choosing a hospital when seeking medical care can be haphazard. Many choose the nearest hospital. They may assume all hospitals are created equal, or they may just not know how to tell a good facility from a bad one. There has been an increase in the information prospective patients can find when it comes to hospital quality. More information is not better information, however, if it does not help you choose the best hospital to treat your condition.

Medical malpractice and tort reform

Health care costs are a serious concern for many Americans. The price of a serious injury or illness is bankruptcy and financial ruin for all too many families in Iowa and across the country. The fear caused by runaway health care costs has led to the rise of a particular proposed remedy known as tort reform.

Are hospitals taking cybersecurity seriously?

Like credit card companies or retail stores, hospitals owe it to their customers to protect financial information to protect against identity theft and fraud. Unlike those institutions, hospitals may be in possession of data so sensitive it can make the difference between life and death.

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