HealthLeaders Media HR - August 3, 2009 | Zero Tolerance for ED Assaults
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Zero Tolerance for ED Assaults
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media

Other than cops, prison guards, bounty hunters, soldiers, pro wrestlers, and emergency nurses, there aren't many occupations where the expectation of violence and abuse comes with the job. A disturbing online survey released last week of 3,465 emergency nurses found that more than half of them say they've been "spit on," "hit," "pushed or shoved," "scratched," and "kicked" while on the job. What's even more disturbing, the nurses say, is the culture of acceptance for violent behavior in the ED that exists nowhere else in the hospital, or in decent society. [Read More]
  August 3, 2009

Editor's Picks
Feds: Hospital's patients' records sold in scheme
Here's a disturbing story out of Miami that should make the hairs on your HIPAA stand up! The Miami Herald reports that Ruben E. Rodriguez was charged with buying confidential patient records from a Jackson Memorial Hospital employee over the past two years, and selling them to a lawyer suspected of soliciting the patients to file personal-injury claims. Rodriguez allegedly paid a JMH ultrasound technician $1,000 a month for the hospital records of hundreds of patients treated for slip-and-fall accidents, car-crash injuries, gunshot wounds, and stabbings, federal authorities said. Rodriguez then brokered the patients' names, addresses, telephone numbers, and medical diagnoses to the lawyer, according to an indictment. The lawyer, not identified in court papers, used the information "to improperly solicit JMH patients with hopes of representing them in future legal proceedings." Later, the lawyer paid Rodriguez a percentage of the legal settlements won from the patients' personal-injury claims. Even trial lawyers say they're disgusted by the scheme! "Whatever the low-water mark would be, this is it," South Florida personal-injury attorney Stuart Grossman said. "I don't know what would be worse, other than staging an accident." [Read More]
Nursing home industry frets over minimum wage hike
The federal minimum wage, which Congress set at $6.55 an hour two years ago, jumped to $7.25 an hour on July 24. The 70-cent increase is the third such rise in as many years thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act amendment of 2007, which brought the minimum wage up to $5.85 that year. The annual increases have coincided with the recession, sparking debate as to whether or not a higher minimum wage serves to benefit troubled times through rejuvenated consumer spending, or in fact further propels the downward spiral as a result of greater job loss numbers. Looking on with anxiety is the nursing home industry. Although the national average wage for nursing aides is $11.84 an hour, according to the May 2008 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, approximately 10% of nursing aides earn less than $8.34 and hour, which is only $1.09 higher than the new minimum wage amount. There is some concern that the mandated wage hike could impact entry level hiring. [Read More]
More Nurses Seek Help for Substance Abuse
Peer Assistance Services, a Denver, CO-based nonprofit organization that provides rehabilitation services for healthcare professionals, says it's seen an increase in nursing clients this year—a majority of whom needed help for alcohol and drug abuse. The growing number of nurses seeking treatment for substance abuse doesn't necessarily reflect a growing problem, says program director Rebecca Heck. Instead, she believes that nurses are growing more comfortable with the idea of getting help for their substance abuse problems. [Read More]
Hospitals strategies retain experienced nurses
If you want to retain nurses, let them help you design and fulfill your hospital's mission. A recent report, "Wisdom at Work: Retaining Experienced Nurses" by the Lewin Group and commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looked at successful nurse retention programs in Arizona, California, and West Virginia. What did they have in common? Nurse involvement! In each case, these hospitals listened to their nurses concerns and acted on them. Whether it's involving nurses in the design of a new patient wing, helping them continue their nursing education, or offering flexible working hours, these are smart proactive steps to help alleviate the coming nursing shortage. What is your hospital doing? Let us know how it's working. [Read More]
Executives on the Move
TOLEDO, OH: Oostra promoted to CEO at ProMedica
The ProMedica Health System board has named Randy Oostra, current president and COO, as the new CEO. He replaces Alan W. Brass, who announced his retirement last November. PHS operates 71 corporations, 283 facilities, and 10 hospitals in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Oostra was named president and COO in 2006. He joined PHS in 1997. [Read More]

DALLAS: Tenet picks Keel to lead North Fulton Hospital
Tenet Healthcare Corp. has named Deborah C. Keel CEO for North Fulton Hospital, a 202-bed hospital located in Roswell, GA, effective Sept. 1. Keel most recently served as CEO for Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, a 400-bed hospital located in Fountain Valley, CA. Before joining Fountain Valley, Keel served as vice president of operations for Tenet's California Region. She also served as chief executive officer at Kenner Regional Medical Center in Kenner, LA. [Read More]

WINSTON-SALEM, NC: Wake Forest/Baptist MC gets new CMO
Thomas E. Sibert, MD, has been selected as the new president for Wake Forest University Physicians and CMO for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, a new position created as part of the reorganization that began two years ago. Sibert will begin work Sept. 1. He will report directly to John D. McConnell, MD, CEO of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Sibert replaces Raymond C. Roy, MD, who stepped down earlier this month as interim WFUP president. Sibert is returning to North Carolina from the University of California-Los Angeles, where he has served as associate vice chancellor and president of the Faculty Practice Group since 2004. [Read More]

DEERFIELD BEACH, FL: New director for Neurological Institute
Broward Health North Broward Medical Center has appointed Cheryl Tombo Director of its Neurological Institute. Tombo will oversee the operations of the Memory Disorder Center, Dizziness and Balance Center, Sleep Disorder Center, Neurodiagnostic Lab, Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center, and Joint Replacement Center. Tombo, a Certified Neuroscience RN, has spent the past 30 years working and teaching in the areas of neurological and neurosurgical nursing. [Read More]

GASTONIA, NC: Rutledge named new CEO at CaroMonth Health
Valinda Rutledge of Greenville, SC, has been named president and CEO of CaroMont Health. She replaces Wayne F. Shovelin, who in February announced his plans to retire. The transition is anticipated in early fall. Since 2003, Rutledge has been CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, a two-hospital system based in Greenville, and part of the Bon Secours Health System in Marriottsville, MD. She has held that position since 2003. Before that, she was president of St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, administrator of Brandon Regional Medical Center in Brandon, FL, and vice president-operations for St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. [Read More]

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Audio Feature

Physicians and System Success: David Maizel, MD, vice president and executive medical director with Sentara Medical Group in Norfolk, VA, spoke to Senior Editor Philip Betbeze recently on the role of physician retention and recruitment for a system's success. He mixed some novel ideas with a real focus on execution. [Listen Now]
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