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States get help digitizing med records

Vice President Joe Biden announced Thursday that about $1.2 billion in federal stimulus funding will be used to help states and health care institutions adopt electronic medical record keeping.

Delaware, viewed nationally as a leader in the move to digitized health records, will be eligible for millions of dollars through grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The exact amount has yet to be set.

Biden made the health-records announcement at a Chicago hospital during an appearance with Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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posted in: Delaware, news
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Medicare proposal would hit hospitals

The U.S. Senate has drafted a policy to withhold 20 percent of a hospital’s reimbursement for several still-unspecified procedures when Medicare patients are readmitted within 30 days for a condition related to their initial hospitalization.
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The Senate Finance Committee’s policy is seen as a major step in overhauling Medicare, the federal health program that insures nearly 45 million people who are over 65 or disabled.

The policy aims to reduce readmissions for such things as infections a patient acquired while hospitalized or a patient being discharged without proper medical instructions. Such readmissions amount to a major expense for Medicare.

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posted in: Delaware, news
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Wilmington Nurses Appear in New Ad Calling for Health Care Reform

Two area nurses are appearing with nurses from around the country in a new television ad urging Congress to support health care reform that will make health care more affordable and accessible to all Americans. Curtis Cornish and Clara Hollis, both of Wilmington, are psychiatric nurses at the Delaware Psychiatric Center. The ad was launched by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and began airing Sunday. It features the nurses looking directly into the camera and talking about their firsthand experiences with patients who could not afford health care or were forced to battle with their insurance companies to cover critical treatments.

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posted in: Delaware, news
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Hospital comparison site updated

In the same way drivers can compare cars using various Web sites, patients now have a new tool to guide them in picking which hospital they’re best off at.

The latest unveiling in the federal government’s Hospital Compare Web site—http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov—shows updated 30-day death rates for people who show up with either a heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia. The Web site also is debuting new data on the 30-day readmission rates for patients originally admitted to hospitals for either of the three conditions.

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posted in: Delaware, news
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Christiana Care Health System

Christiana Care Health System in Delaware views patient engagement as a core strategy to improve patient outcomes and hospital performance. Christiana Care began using an interactive software system in 2006 as a principal means for engaging patients in their care process. From the outset, the goal in utilizing this technology has been to foster a more patient-centered care experience. The result for Christiana Care has been improvements in quality, safety and the service experience for its patients as well as improvements in nurse workflow efficiency.

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posted in: Delaware, news
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Delaware Valley Family Health Center

DOVER—The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee balked Monday at an administration proposal to close Emily P. Bissell Hospital and Gov. Bacon Health Center, a move that would have saved the state $1 million next year.

Patients from the two state-run nursing homes would have been moved to the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna, which would have undergone a hurried renovation to accommodate them.

Similar proposals have surfaced and been roundly rejected by legislators since the 1990s—and Monday was no exception.

Although no formal vote was taken, the legislators made it clear they were having no part of it, and they told budget officials to look elsewhere in the Department of Health and Social Services for cost savings.

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posted in: Delaware, news
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The Birth Center Holistic Women’s Healthcare LLC will be holding a 10 year anniversary

The Birth Center, Holistic Women’s Healthcare LLC has offered women the option of a safe, relaxing, empowering birth for the past 10 years. They invite you to celebrate with them May 31st in Arden, DE.

For the last 10 years, owners and Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) Dorinda Dove and Kathleen McCarthy have made it their mission to provide families with the option of giving birth outside of the hospital. The midwives at The Birth Center have offered families the comfort and choice of birthing on their own terms in a soothing and safe environment.

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posted in: Delaware, news
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Demand up, supply down for nurses

Leaders at Beebe School of Nursing know the problems with their building, but to replace the current, 1960s-era structure, Beebe needs about $5 million. So instead of moving forward, the school’s expansion plans are standing still as the organization works to raise the funds.

“We’ve just not been able to raise the money and, with economic conditions the way they are, our investment income is down, philanthropy is harder. People are holding on to their money,” said Wallace Hudson, vice president for corporate affairs at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes. “These are tough times—and yet there is still demand for nurses.”

That’s the conundrum facing Beebe and other Delaware nursing schools. There is no shortage of demand. Although hospital officials say hiring has slowed somewhat because of the recession, health-care professions still generally are a stable, well-paying and flexible option for recent high school graduates and older workers seeking new careers.

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Bayhealth nurses earn DAISY awards for outstanding care

Registered nurses at Bayhealth Medical Center were recently honored with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Dennis Dittoe, RN, and Nicola Knaupe, BSN, RN, received the first DAISY Awards in special ceremonies at Milford Memorial and Kent General hospitals.

Presented in collaboration with The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), the award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the extraordinary efforts nurses perform every day. The awards are presented quarterly to a nurse from Kent General Hospital and a nurse from Milford Memorial Hospital. Each honoree receives a certificate commending him or her as an extraordinary nurse and a sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

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posted in: Delaware, news
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Health alliance aims to improve Delaware care

NEWARK—A stronger network of home-grown doctors, nurses, physical therapists and pharmacists is at the heart of a new alliance that has charged itself with changing Delaware’s health care system for the future.
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The Delaware Health Sciences Alliance will work to educate health care students in Delaware and to keep them in the state after graduation to treat patients, conduct medical research and spur economic investment.

Creating new educational and research centers is a primary goal announced Tuesday by the alliance’s founding partners—the University of Delaware, Thomas Jefferson University, Christiana Care Health System and the Nemours Foundation.

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