Minnesota nurses to strike as they demand better work conditions

Thousands of Minnesota nurses are planning to strike later this month because they say their employers have ignored demands for a new union contract.

The strike will begin at 7 a.m. September 12 and end at 7 a.m. September 15, Mary Turner, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, said during a press conference Thursday. About 15,000 nurses plan to stop working in what is believed to be the largest private-sector nurses strike in U.S. history. read more


Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital plans move forward

Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital is set to be built on the city’s BioMedical Campus.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said government approval had been given to find a construction company to build it.

The trust said the hospital would “combine cutting-edge NHS clinical space with three new research institutes”. read more


TikTok parent ByteDance acquires private hospital chain

TikTok parent-company ByteDance’s healthcare unit in China, Xiaohe Health, has acquired a high-end healthcare organization called Amcare Healthcare.

Bloomberg said the deal is worth $1.5 billion.

Amcare Healthcare was founded in Beijing in 2006 and it offers medical services like maternity care, women’s health and pediatrics. It also operates Amcare Women’s & Children’s Hospital, which is the main brand of Amcare Healthcare in China. read more


Report details problems at UNC hospital that put patients in ‘immediate jeopardy’

A 53-page report detailing the results of a two-week inspection of UNC Medical Center shows why federal regulators in late June threatened to cancel the hospital’s Medicare contract if the facility failed to fix major problems that put patients at risk.

Much of the report, obtained by The News & Observer through a Freedom of Information Act Request this week, centers on the case of 29-year-old Troy Simoncelli. Not named in the report, he took his life about an hour after he was discharged from the emergency room in April — over the objections of his family. read more


Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia Is Killing Patients. Yet There Is a Simple Way to Stop It.

Four years ago, when Karen Giuliano went to a Boston hospital for hip replacement surgery, she was given a pale-pink bucket of toiletries issued to patients in many hospitals. Inside were tissues, bar soap, deodorant, toothpaste, and, without a doubt, the worst toothbrush she’d ever seen.

“I couldn’t believe it. I got a toothbrush with no bristles,” she said. “It must have not gone through the bristle machine. It was just a stick.”

To most patients, a useless hospital toothbrush would be a mild inconvenience. But to Giuliano, a nursing professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, it was a reminder of a pervasive “blind spot” in U.S. hospitals: the stunning consequences of unbrushed teeth. read more

hospital gown

Disposable Hospital Gowns Could Expose Health Workers to Infection

Disposable gowns designed to deflect the splatter of bodily fluids, used in thousands of U.S. hospitals, have underperformed in recent and ongoing laboratory tests and may fall short of safety standards, leaving health care workers with a greater risk of infection than advertised.

A peer-reviewed academic study, published to little notice amid the coronavirus pandemic, found that isolation gowns commonly worn in medical units or intensive care units ripped too easily and allowed about four to 14 times the expected amount of liquid to seep through when sprayed or splashed. read more


Weed users nearly 25% more likely to need emergency care and hospitalization

Using recreational marijuana is associated with a higher risk of emergency room care and being hospitalized for any reason, a new study has found.

“Cannabis use is not as benign and safe as some might think,” said study author Nicholas Vozoris, assistant professor and clinician investigator in the division of respirology at the department of medicine at the University of Toronto.

“Our study demonstrates that the use of this substance is associated with serious negative outcomes, specifically, ED (emergency department) visits and hospitalizations,” Vozoris said in an email. read more


Thousands of medical residents are unionizing. Here’s what that means for doctors, hospitals, and the patients they serve

Kaley Kinnamon, MD, still remembers the many challenges of being a new doctor when COVID-19 was raging through her hospital. “We were expected to do much more,” says Kinnamon, now a second-year neurology resident at the University of Vermont Medical (UVM) Center in Burlington. “We were having to take on a lot more patients — and a lot sicker patients.”

And though Kinnamon appreciated that the hospital was also battling tremendous challenges, she was disappointed that it failed to offer residents such supports as additional compensation and help with childcare.

“A lot that was happening during COVID made me want to advocate more vocally for what residents need. I saw unionizing as a powerful way to do that,” she says.

Many of her colleagues at UVM shared that sentiment, and on April 14, they voted to launch a residents union there.

These trainees joined a growing number of medical residents — sometimes known as house staff — who have unionized across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. read more

The Untamed Rise Of Hospital Monopolies

Last month, Michigan’s two largest hospital systems, Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health, announced they wanted to become one. The $12.9 billion “megamerger” would create a health industrial complex spanning 22 hospitals, 305 outpatient facilities, and an insurance company. It would employ 64,000 people, making it the largest employer in Michigan. Local newspapers had expected the merger to “sail through” government approval. But now they’re not so sure.

Read more…


Healthcare Ransomware Outages: Scripps, Ireland HSE, and NZ Hospitals

Healthcare remains a key target for ransomware hacking groups, as seen in recent research data and multiple hospital system outages. Scripps Health is continuing recovery efforts two weeks after an attack, while Ireland’s health system and multiple New Zealand hospitals are currently operating under EHR downtime procedures.

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