Posts Tagged ‘general hospital’

Death of Patient Lynne Spalding at SF General: Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi “Insists an Independent Review is Necessary” – Press Release

Friday, October 11th, 2013

I’m not up to speed on this issue.

If I were to be in a situation involving a missing family member, would I be well-advised to hire a PR flack? IDK..

And does Mayor Ed Lee typically say that SFGov is to blame for a death at such and early stage? No he doesn’t.

Here’s the press release, just issued. (Sorry, no OCR.)

Press Release

Harsh: Physician of Slain BART Passenger Charles Hill Criticizes BART Police – She Will Attend OpBART III Protest

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Jessica Lum of Mission Local has the deets on Rupa Marya, MD, who will be there at Civic Center for OpBART III – Tokyo Drift on Monday, August 29th, 2011.

Here’s here “Dear San Francisco” letter, below.

“Dear San Francisco,

I am one of your local physicians and have taken care of many different kinds of people during the past 9 years of my appointment as an internist at UCSF, where I have worked at SF General Hospital as well as at the VA and the UCSF campuses. San Francisco is a surprisingly small town, and when you spend enough time in the health care industry, you come to recognize many of the city’s residents. You hold their stories and watch over them, in the hospital when they are ill and in the chance occurrences of running into them on the streets, in the market or painting the town red. It is an honor and great privilege to take care of the people of this city that I love so dearly.

Last month, I learned that one of my former patients Charles Hill was shot and killed by BART police. Per the police, he was armed with a bottle and a knife and had menacing behavior. Per eye witnesses, he was altered and appeared to be intoxicated but did not represent a lethal danger. I remember Charles vividly, having taken care of him several times in the revolving door which is the health care system for the people who do not fit neatly into society. Charles was a member of the invisible class of people in SF–mentally ill, homeless and not reliably connected to the help he needed. While I had seen him agitated before and while I can’t speak to all of his behavior, I never would have described him as threatening in such a way as to warrant the use of deadly force. We often have to deal with agitated sometimes even violent patients in the hospital. Through teamwork, tools and training, we have not had to fatally wound our patients in order to subdue them. I understand the police are there to protect us and react to the situation around them, but I wonder why the officer who shot Charles did not aim for the leg if he felt the need to use a gun, instead of his vital organs. I wonder if he possessed other training methods to subdue an agitated man with a knife or bottle.

I feel this situation quite deeply. It is hard to watch our civil servants (police) brutally handle a person and their body when i spend my time and energy as a civil servant (physician) honoring the dignity of that person, regardless of their race or social class, their beliefs or their affiliations. I know it is not my job–nor the police’s job—to mete out justice or judgment of a person’s worthiness. It is also hard because Charles has no voice, no one to speak for him now that he is gone. It would be easy to let this slide and move on with our busy lives, as we all struggle to make ends meet in this expensive city during a recession. I believe this situation shows us how powerless we all feel to some degree.

I feel outraged and am trying to find the best ways to express it–through creative outpouring, through conversations. I would like to lend my voice to the growing protest of the BART police’s excessive use of violent force and know that weekly protests are being organized on Mondays until demands are met for BART to fully investigate the shooting of Charles Hill, disarm its police force and train them properly, as well as bringing the officer who shot him to justice. The media is portraying the annoyance of the protests to commuters more than the unbelievable horror that an innocent man was shot dead by the force that is meant to protect us. I don’t want to upset commuters or be a nuisance. I would like to be part of educating and not letting this slip under the proverbial rug, in honor of Charles Hill and in order to help prevent something like this from ever happening again.

I will be present at the peaceful demonstrations on Mondays in front of the BART Civic Center station, not to prevent commuters from getting home, but to educate a population that may need to pause and think about the value a human life has and the kind of San Francisco we want to live and work in.

Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.

Respectfully,

Rupa Marya, MD”

Oh Hell Yes: UCSF Allows Emergency Room Check-In Online – Wait Just 15 Minutes with InQuickER Service at Parnassus

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The average wait for an emergency room visit at UCSF‘s Parnassus Heights campus is 4.5 hours for people with mild medical emergencies? Wow.

Wouldn’t it be nicer to pay $5 to check-in online and then wait at home rather than in the ER?

That’s what UCSF thinks.

Check it:

“UCSF patients with minor medical needs seeking treatment in the Emergency Department now can make an appointment to be seen – waiting at home rather in the hospital – via a new online check-in service called InQuickER.

UCSF Medical Center
UCSF Medical Center is now offering patients with mild medical emergencies a chance to reserve a time to be seen in the Emergency Department using a new online system.

UCSF Medical Center’s Emergency Department (ED) at Parnassus Heights is now offering InQuickER designed for patients with non-threatening minor medical needs.

UCSF patients can register online for a $4.99 fee and pick an open slot for an emergency room visit. The fee will be refunded if they’re not seen within 15 minutes.

In April, UCSF did a trial run with the online service, which 22 people used. UCSF Medical Center launched the system a few weeks ago.

“One thing we encountered during the trial was that a lot of patients were using it inappropriately,” said Jennifer Dearman, the Emergency Department’s patient care manager. “The online registration is screened by ED nurses and we have had to advise some patients to come directly to the ED. This service is for a fast-track kind of patient.”

“For example, a cancer patient on chemotherapy with a fever can have complicated issues and should be seen in the regular ED, so InQuickER is not appropriate for that person.”

Waiting at Home vs. Hospital

About 105 patients a day visit the emergency room at UCSF Medical Center on the Parnassus campus, Dearman said, and the average time between arrival and departure, for those not admitted to the hospital, is four-and-a-half hours.

That’s in keeping with the average wait in 2009 for ER patients throughout California: four hours and 34 minutes –  27 minutes longer than the U.S. average, according to a 2010 report by health care consulting firm Press Ganey.

Dearman said patient satisfaction was the main reason UCSF Medical Center adopted InQuickER. “It also helps us control the flow,” she said. “The general population doesn’t think the emergency room ever has slow times. But it does.”

UCSF is one of 55 health care facilities in 13 states partnering with InQuickER, said spokesman Chris Song. The service, based in Nashville, began in 2006 after its founder, Tyler Kiley, had to go to an emergency room and spent hours witnessing stasis and frustration.

“He just thought there had to be a better way,” Song said. “With our service, you still have to wait but you get to do it somewhere else. Like on your couch instead of being surrounded by other sick people.”

Song said InQuickerER provides patients with convenience, comfort and some level of control. And it allows emergency department staff to know who’s coming and what symptoms they have, so that they can better prepare.

“It can help reduce the burden of peak times and spread it out,” Song said. “It creates more efficiency and a better environment in the waiting room.”

So far, more than 10,000 people have used the service; 95 percent have been seen within the 15-minute window. In a triage situation, of course, even people who have registered will have to wait. When there are delays, users are notified through text messages and emails with updated projections on treatment times.

The service is available online at https://ucsfmedicalcenter.inquicker.com/. It is growing rapidly, Song said, which is not surprising: A study led by San Francisco General Hospital emergency physician Renee Hsia, MD, MSc, found that the number of hospital-based emergency departments in the United States is declining, despite an increase in the number of patients seeking emergency care.

The study by Hsia, an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the UCSF School of Medicine, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in May. It reported that 27 percent of urban and suburban emergency rooms have closed in the last two decades.”

Hurray!

Potero Hill NIMBYs Kill SFGH Medical Helipad Without Firing a Shot

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Heather Smith of Mission Local has the update (renderporn included) on the massive San Francisco General Hospital project.

Looks like you can just forget about a helipad for now:

First, rumors need to be dispelled: ‘I just want to settle one thing right now,” says Jeff Critchfield, Chief of Staff. “Will this project include a helipad? There is no plan for a helipad. I’ve heard it mentioned a few times this evening. There was a prior application for a permit. It expired. There is no plan for a helipad.”

“Another hand goes up. ‘Does No helipad mean “No applying for a helipad permit in the future?”

The helipad is not part of project,” says SFGH CEO Susan Currin.

So, there you have it.

The NIMBYs’ goal of trying to kill accident victims has been attained, and there are no signs of any changes on the horizon.  

Here’s their Plan B – giant soldiers with General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye missiles:

Make no mistake, these NIMBYs are trying to kill you. Maybe they’ll succeed, when your luck runs out…

Take your pick StopHelipad.org or StopHelipad.com - there are plenty of lies in both.

It’s your choice as to which selfish group’s website has the greater number of false statements.

Oh well.

“They’re trying to kill me,” Yossarian told him calmly.

“No one’s trying to kill you,” Clevinger cried.

“Then why are they stopping the helipad?” Yossarian asked.

“They’re stopping the helipad for everyone,” Clevinger answered. “They’re trying to kill everybody.”

“What difference does that make?”

Senator Leland Yee Introduces SB 220, A Bill Requiring Coverage for Tobacco Cessation

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Senator Leland Yee is today proposing a law that would require health insurance policies to include coverage for tobacco cessation services. He made the announcement today at San Francisco General Hospital along with all these people:

Supervisor Eric Mar
Dr. Mitch Katz, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Serena Chen, American Lung Association
John Hanley, San Francisco Firefighters
Dr. Dexter Louie, California Medical Association
Gail Maderis, BayBio
Dr. Steve Fugaro, San Francisco Medical Society
Karen Licavoli-Farnkopf, Breathe California

District 2 Supervisor Eric Mar talked about his parents, who both “smoked like crazy.”

Click to expand 

All the deets:

Bill Introduced to Require Insurance Companies Cover Tobacco Cessation. Senator Yee and Supervisor Mar team-up to sponsor legislation to fight cancer
 
SAN FRANCISCO – According the US Surgeon General, tobacco use is the single greatest cause of disease and premature death in America today and is responsible for more than 435,000 deaths annually, including nearly 40,000 in California alone. 

In an effort to fight this epidemic, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) today teamed-up with San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar, the American Lung Association, doctors, and firefighters to introduce legislation that would mandate health insurance policies include coverage for tobacco cessation services such as patches, nasal sprays, inhalers, gum, prescription medications, and counseling.

“The societal costs of tobacco-related death and disease approach $96 billion annually in medical expenses and $97 billion in lost productivity nationwide,” said Yee.  “More then 70 percent of all current smokers, however, have expressed a desire to stop smoking.  By ensuring that health plans cover the cost of quitting, more Californians will be able to kick this bad habit, medical costs will be reduced, and most importantly, lives will be saved.”

In 2006, as part of its universal healthcare program, Massachusetts began covering most expenses for smoking cessation counseling and prescription drugs for Medicaid recipients. The result has been an astonishing drop in the population of poor people who smoke — from 38% to 28%. There is also evidence of a parallel reduction in hospitalization for heart attacks and treatments for asthma.

“Smoking disproportionately impacts those in economically disadvantaged communities,” said Mar, who is sponsoring a resolution in support of Yee’s bill.  “Requiring health care providers to include coverage for smokers who would like to quit smoking creates a healthier California and protects the public’s health.”

About 20 percent of adult Americans currently smoke, and 4,000 children and adolescents smoke their first cigarette each day.  According to the California Department of Public Health, the adult smoking rate in California is 14 percent and there are approximately 3.8 million current adult smokers in California.

“It’s time to make it easier for the nearly four million Californians who smoke, to quit,” said Jane Warner, President and CEO of the American Lung Association in California.  “Because, right now, we’re failing these people as highlighted by the ‘D’ grade earned in Cessation Coverage by the state in the American Lung Association’s recent State of Tobacco Control Report.”

“SB 220 takes another important step in the long journey of providing Californians the support and incentives they need to quit using tobacco products,” said Brennan Cassidy, M.D., president of the California Medical Association, which represents 35,000 physicians across the state. “Requiring health plans to cover smoking cessation treatment is a no-brainer. We know that when a person quits smoking it saves the health care system immensely by significantly reducing the chances of heart disease, lung cancer and other life-threatening diseases that require intensive, expensive treatment.”

“Smoking cessation is more cost-effective than other common and insurance-covered disease prevention interventions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol treatment and routine cancer screenings,” said Yee.  “Consumers need and deserve this treatment option.”

With SB 220, California would become the 8th state to mandate coverage for tobacco cessation services.  In addition to the American Lung Association, Yee’s bill is supported by the California Medical Association, California Psychological Association, San Francisco Firefighters Local 798, San Francisco Medical Society, National Council of Asian & Pacific Islander Physicians, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.

Consumer Reports Disses UCSF Medical Center Over High Central Catheter Infection Rate

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

All right, Consumer Reports has a few notes about San Francisco hospitals in another Missive from Yonkers this AM. Actually, the people at CR sound a little hacked off, and for a couple of reasons.

Item One: They’re using a hospital’s ICU Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infection Rate as a yardstick of performance. Why? Why not. Here’s how CR feels:

“The procedures needed to eliminate ICU infections are simple, low-tech, and inexpensive, requiring a change of mindset and culture. All ICUs should be able to dramatically reduce if not eliminate these infections.”

O.K., so who has a central line infection rate of zero, who’s perfect?

Saint Luke’s Hospital

Saint Francis Memorial Hospital

Saint Mary’s Medical Center

After all those Saints go marching in, which San Francisco hospitals are doing less-than-perfect but better than average?

California Pacific Medical Center-Pacific Campus

Kaiser Foundation Hospital- San Francisco

But who’s left, who in the 415 is “on the other end of the spectrum” with a reported infection rate that’s 80 percent worse than the national average when compared with similar ICUs?

UCSF Medical Center

Ouch.

Take a look for yourself on this almost-legible chart. Goran nasai, Gentle Reader - click to expand:

Do you buy all that? Well, for one, Steven E.F. Brown does, over at the San Francisco Business Times.

But what’s this - how about a little feedback from a California-licensed physician? Comes now Dr. Steven Suydam, who took a look at CR’s press release today and reacted thusly:

“Central line infections occur in every hospital, but some institutions, especially public academic institutions are simply more forthright about reporting them, and are more likely to have candid effective quality assurance programs in place, than private, for-profit institutions. In addition, hospitals have the latitude to classify a bloodstream infection as coming from an alternate source, if one is available, thereby avoiding the dreaded “CLABI” label. The alternative explanation, that UCSF physicians place central lines under less sterile conditions than private hospitals and maintain such lines with less care is simply nonsense.” 

O.K. then. But as always, You Make The Call. It certainly would be interesting to hear about what UCSF thinks of all this. Moving on… 

Widening our purview to the whole bay area gets us this:

“In the larger Bay Area, where Consumer Reports Health rated 29 hospitals, Consumer Reports found extreme variation between hospitals, even hospitals run by the same health care system.  For example, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in Hayward, Santa Rosa, Vallejo, and South San Francisco reported zero central line infections, while Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Jose had an infection rate that was 14 percent worse than the national average and the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco reported a rate that’s 40 percent better than average.”

Item Two: CR doesn’t like getting blown off when it goes nosing around for data. So it has lots of criticism for the way California as a state is handling reporting of statistics. The California Department of Health should have data for us by January 1, 2011, but CR isn’t optimistic about this deadline getting met.

Anyway, who’s on the Naughty List (CR’s Health Ratings Center’s Director is Dr. Santa, srlsy) with naught to report?

San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center

O.K. then.

What’s it all mean? No se, mi amigo/a. One thing for certain though, this news release means that Consumer Reports Health wants your money. Sign up for a free 30-day trial that you’ll soon forget about until you get your credit card statement in two or three months – I don’t care what you do with your money. (Frankly, I object to the whole Consumer Reports-is-my-Bible mentality that certain people have. IMO, CR is just another data point in the constellation of information out there.)

Anyway, read the whole thing for yourself, after the jump.

Stay healthy.  (more…)

San Franciscans “Trauma”-tized – Low and Slow Choppers Film NBC Pilot

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Saigon. I can’t believe I’m still in Saigon. That’s what San Franciscans thought to themselves today during the filming of NBC pilot and possible E.R. replacement Trauma. Why? Because it was just like the movie Apocalypse Now today what with all the thumping helicopters flying over Union Square and SoMA.

What’s this massive twirly-popper with room for 15? It’s a UH-1N Iroquois Twin Huey, just like in ‘Nam. Seen above Market Street today. Click to expand:

What’s this -”Angel Rescue”? Right, like San Francsico NIMBYs would ever allow a helipad for our quasi-Level One trauma center, or allow aptly-named, life-saving Life Flights within the City limits. Get real, Hollywood. Sure, some people are condemned to die, but Potrero Hill property values uber alles, right?

Good-bye Bell 212 #N911VR. Have a nice trip back to Fresno.

Helipad now!

Hell, helipad yesterday!