Hospitals Ease ED Crowding With Hall Beds

Patient Bed in HallwayEven though hospitals have been trying for decades to eliminate the practice of temporarily parking patients on stretchers in corridors, a recent study at Stony Brook University Medical Center in Stony Brook, New York, found that no harm was caused by moving emergency patients to upper-floor nursing unit hallways when they were ready for admission. It may not sound like the ideal healthcare setting, but the study’s lead author is urging hospital officials nationwide to consider hallway medicine as a way to ease emergency department crowding.

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Incorporating the Parking Garage Into Disaster Planning

Parked CarsThe cars, minivans and sports-utility vehicles began lining up and slowly moving forward, just as they would at a busy fast food drive-thru. But there weren’t any burgers or fries on the menu. Instead, drivers and passengers were examined by a team of Stanford doctors and nurses, all without getting out of their cars. In what is believed to be the first training exercise in the country, a team of healthcare professionals at Stanford (California) Hospital and Clinics turned the first floor of a parking garage into a drive-through emergency room in hopes of creating a more efficient way to treat a large number of patients during an influenza pandemic or other emergency. The hospital’s medical director for disaster planning believes that drive-through triage can serve as a blueprint for hospitals nationwide and across the globe. During the flu season, emergency departments are bursting at the seams as people with limited health insurance use the emergency department as their primary care physician. According to Dr. Eric Weiss, medical director of disaster planning at Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital: “We have to have a new mechanism to take care of large numbers of patients during a pandemic and I think that this is going to be it.”

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Hospitals Jump on the Biometrics Bandwagon

BayCare Health System, Tampa bay’s largest hospital group, is the first health care system in the state of Florida and the second in the country to use biometric palm scanning technology to register patients. When a patient places her hand on a little black box on the registration desk, a tiny built-in camera beams infrared light into her palm. The camera scans an image of the veins inside the patient’s palm — a signature that is supposed to be as unique as a fingerprint — and a computer records it in digital code.

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USP 797 Impacts Pharmacy Space and Design

BiocabinetThis post has been replaced with a new post Pharmacies are Renovating Space to Comply With USP 800 that addresses the compounding of hazardous drugs as well as the updated USP 797.

USP 797 is a regulation that governs any pharmacy that compounds sterile preparations including centralized and satellite hospital-based pharmacies, outpatient pharmacies, and off-site pharmacies. USP 797 is designed to cut down on infections transmitted to patients through pharmaceutical products and to better protect staff working in pharmacies in the course of their exposure to pharmaceuticals. Issued by U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), USP 797 has been endorsed by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) who expects that organization will be in full compliance by January 2008.

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