Sayonara, stupid stuff

If asked, we’re guessing most workers could identify tasks that are stupid in their day-to-day. Concerned that it could be a factor in nurse burnout, Dr. Melinda Ashton introduced a program called “Getting Rid of Stupid Stuff” aimed at streamlining documentation tasks so that healthcare professionals can spend more time interacting with patients. That could mean more time listening to patients, which could cut down on diagnostic errors. Nurses and doctors submitted their pain points in using their EHRs and Dr. Ashton found, “We had really good nurses who have been doing repetitive tasks for ten years who never mentioned them before.” Sometimes you just need an invite to complain about your IT problems, although that never stops my coworkers. Props to Dr. Ashton for calling it “stupid stuff” instead of “administrative simplification.”

Advertising fever

The smart device privacy debate is readily apparent in Kinsa’s smart thermometers, which can connect to an app to track you or your child’s illness. Now this is all above-board, but this flu season Kinsa is being paid by Clorox to use that data. Got a lot of smart thermometers heading into the fever range in one zip code? You better bet that Clorox will be increasing its advertising in that area. Hospitals and pharmacies can also use that data to tell when it’s time to stock up on flu-related products. But how far does that go? Will your Alexa start to recommend adding cough drops to your cart if it detects a sore throat like this patent says they will?? Sorry, this InsightCity story ended up just being a bunch of questions.

Generally mad with generics

Seven organizations representing about 500 U.S. hospitals are joining up to make their own generics. Sick of high prices and drug shortages, the group is forming a non-profit, FDA-approved manufacturer by the name of Civica Rx. It’ll be headed up by former Amgen chief quality officer Martin Van Trieste, and its initial goal is to manufacture 14 generics for hospital patients. The exact generics Civica will focus on haven’t been named yet, but they’ll either produce them themselves, or outsource the work. You know what they say, if you want something done right, delegate it yourself.

So long sepsis?

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in American hospitals, claiming over 700 patients per day. So wouldn’t it be nice if there were something care providers could do about it? Two large-scale studies are trying to figure that out with a cure that’s so (relatively) simple and cheap, some are calling it snake oil. Dr. Paul Marik began treating his sepsis patients with a cocktail of Vitamin B1, Vitamin C, and corticosteroids, and observed remarkable sepsis reversals in many of the patients he treated with the mix. The implications of this proposed treatment are more dramatic than the most dramatic panda ever. So the two studies are trying to get funds and patients recruited ASAP to see if the science really stands up to scrutiny.