IMDA eNews 022123

The latest news affecting you and your customers…

from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

Med schools teach patient safety

Clinicians have long debated how to address patient-safety risks in clinical settings. Now some medical schools believe it makes sense to incorporate patient safety into the curricula to better prepare graduates before they enter the workforce, reports Modern Healthcare. The Ohio State University College of Medicine, for instance, has incorporated studies focused on safety, quality and how different healthcare professions and specialties collaborate to improve patient care. Medical students look at increasing the use of sepsis bundle, streamlining diagnostic test ordering, improving patient satisfaction with consent procedures and other projects, all designed to help solve real-world patient safety risks. And while it may take time for medical schools to convince students and faculty that patient safety is worth prioritizing, it’s a start.

AARC names award-winners

The American Association for Respiratory Care has named 29 organizations – including acute-care hospitals and educational programs across the U.S.  – as recipients of the 2023-2024 Apex Recognition Award. Recipients are recognized for their commitment to excellence in professional development, evidence-based care, patient safety, patient satisfaction and quality improvement, as well as their commitment to promoting patient safety by providing access to respiratory therapists to deliver their care. The Apex Recognition Award recognizes organizations across five categories: acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, home medical equipment (HME) companies, educational programs and dedicated transport teams.

AI is tool to diagnose sleep disorders.

A second generation at-home test by Belgium-based Sunrise relies on artificial intelligence (AI) to help diagnose obstructive sleep apnea and sleep-related breathing disorders. The new device, which has received FDA clearance, measures sleep through the bio-signal of mandibular jaw movements (MJM) alongside the traditional signals of airflow and oximetry, bringing a new level of clinical information and ease of use to in-home sleep testing, according to Sunrise.

Long COVID: Good news, bad news

While many lung abnormalities visualized at six months post-COVID appear to decrease over time, two-year follow-up data from patients who had severe COVID reveals that some continue to display lung abnormalities two years after initially acquiring the virus, according to findings published Feb. 14 in Radiology and reported by Health Imaging. Chest CT scans from a cohort of 144 patients hospitalized with COVID between January 15 and March 10, 2020, showed a combination of fibrosis, thickening, honeycombing, cystic changes and dilation of the bronchi, among other imaging features. Of particular concern was the finding of fibrosis, note the co-senior authors of the study. 

A fix for racial bias of pulse oximeters?

Pulse oximeters have proven to be less than reliable for people of color, but a group led by Brown University physicist Kimani Toussaint is trying to make a more equitable device, reports National Public Radio. Traditional pulse oximeters shine two wavelengths of light into the finger. One wavelength is absorbed by oxygenated blood, and the other is absorbed by deoxygenated blood. By looking at the relative absorption, clinicians take the ratio metric measure of how much more one gets absorbed than the other and use that to estimate the amount of oxygen saturated in the patient’s blood. Toussaint is trying a new approach by focusing on the polarization or electric field properties of light, and whether it’s possible to use this to differentiate the deoxy- from oxyhemoglobin, thereby minimizing different responses to melanin.

Anesthesiology: Highest paying job

U.S. News & World Report has named anesthesiology the highest paying job in the United States for 2023, with an average annual salary of $208,000, reports Becker’s ASC Review. It was followed by two other medical professions — oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and obstetrician/gynecologist. Healthcare-related professions are reported to comprise nine of the 10 highest-paying jobs. U.S. News also named anesthesiology the highest paying job in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, with the average salary fluctuating from $208,000 to $267,020.