Sept. 19 - 23, 2011

Podcast 130: If you’re a clinician concerned about health costs, wash your hands — don’t just wring them
Journal Watch
Health Affairs has a study in which a few simple, but rigorously followed patient-care procedures in a pediatric ICU dropped infection rates, mortality, lengths of hospital stay, and total costs.

The Wall Street Journal This Weekend
The Wall Street Journal
Dr. Meltzer-Brody is interviewed on “Wall Street Journal Radio This Weekend.” The four-minute interview takes place 26 minutes into the program. Dr. Meltzer-Brody describes the new facility and provides information about post-partum depression.

One in 20 patients will contract a serious hospital infection
USA Today
In the September issue of the journal Health Affairs, for example, University of North Carolina researchers describe changes in the North Carolina Children's Hospital pediatric intensive care unit. Simply attaching hand sanitizer dispensers to the walls outside patients' rooms and implementing a few low-cost preventive measures shortened hospital stays more than two days on average, reduced hospitalization costs by more than $12,000 per case and cut death rates by 2.3 percent.

Roses and Raspberries
Chapel Hill News
Roses to UNC Hospitals, for opening a pioneering psychiatric unit dedicated to treating pre- and post-partum depression. The unit, the first of its kind in the nation, offers women suffering from severe post-partum depression an environment in which they can receive the therapy and treatment essential to recovery.

Heart of Carolina Perspectives
ABC 11
Daniel Kaufer is interviewed to promote an upcoming Alzheimer's walk.

Responding Before a Call Is Needed
The New York Times
...But for all of what might seem like straightforward logic — that preventive care is better than emergency care — a single knotty problem remains. Under federal rules, emergency medical providers get reimbursed only if they transport a person. What that means is that cutting down on 911 calls, even in the name of better care, can have a built-in conflict of interest for emergency responders themselves. “All these programs are run by people who believe in them — but they don’t get paid for it,” said Dr. Greg Mears, an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We haven’t solved that yet.”

The new global killers
The Associated Press
..."The timing is difficult with the economy the way it is, but it should not prevent us from setting goals," said Dr. Sidney Smith, who heads the World Heart Federation, an umbrella group of more than 200 organizations focused on heart disease. "Many of the things we're proposing cost very little" and some, such as smoking cessation, even save money, said Smith, a cardiologist at UNC Chapel Hill.

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