EDPMA Industry Update
June 25, 2009

Waiting Isn't ER Patients' Top Issue
from USA Today
In what might be a counterintuitive take on crowded emergency rooms, patients say the time spent waiting is not their top concern, according to a customer satisfaction survey last year of 1.4 million patients. Though decreasing the length of the visit would improve overall customer satisfaction, the report says, patients' top priorities are how well they were kept informed about delays, how well the staff cared about them as people and how well their pain was controlled. It also mattered if the waiting room was comfortable. More

Emergency Room Wait Times Up, But So Is Patient Satisfaction
from Med Page Today
The average emergency department patient spent more than four hours there last year, according to a nationwide survey. Although that was an improvement of two minutes from 2007, time spent in the ER -- including waiting and treatment -- is still about half an hour more than it was in 2002, according to the 2009 Emergency Department Pulse Report by Press Ganey, a hospital consulting firm. More

Doctors Say Electronic Data-Sharing Is Saving Lives, Money
from Kaiser Health News
A growing number of regions or states are instituting a health information exchange, enabling electronic patient data to be shared among hospitals and physicians. Nearly all of the hospitals and public clinics participate, which allows their emergency department doctors and other authorized personnel to call up patients' blood tests, imaging scan reports and hospital discharge summaries. The three-year-old exchange is helping doctors make better decisions and avoid wasting money on duplicative tests. Records for about one million people have been collected so far. More

Fewer IT Provisions in House Democrats' Plan for Health Care Reform
from iHealthBeat
A discussion draft of the House Democrats' proposed health care reform bill includes few health IT initiatives, compared with a reform bill under consideration in a Senate committee, Health Data Management reports. More

Drugmakers Offer Millions in Senior Discounts to Help Health Care Reform
from the Los Angeles Times
U.S. drugmakers have agreed to pay out $80 million in discounts to seniors over the next decade in an effort to help pay for President Obama's health care reform plan. The drugmakers' move means that they will extend discounts on prescription drugs to millions of seniors, many of whom pay high out-of-pocket costs for prescription medicines not covered by Medicare. In addition to this, pharmaceutical companies have agreed to pick up other costs related to the President's health care overhaul plan, which he hopes Congress will pass this year. More

Health Data Rights Declaration Gets Push
from The Boston Globe
More than 30 bloggers from the medical, technology, and patient advocacy worlds are rallying to support patients’ right to obtain copies of their computerized health records from their doctors in the electronic format. The Declaration of Health Data Rights - arriving just in time for Independence Day - says that patients should have the right to obtain "a complete copy of their individual health data, without delay, at minimal or no cost," in computerized form, if it exists. More

Plan: Put Health Centers in ERs
from Crain’s Detroit Business
Top executives of Detroit's five major hospital systems are developing a plan to put satellites of federally qualified health centers into their emergency departments and pay the health centers a monthly fee for each patient the centers treat. More

A Urine Test for Appendicitis
from TIME Magazine
Appendicitis afflicts roughly one in 10 people during their lifetime and accounts for more emergency abdominal surgeries than any other ailment. Yet, as emergency room doctors know too well, diagnosing the condition is neither easy nor fast. More