By: James Pitt  Jul. 26, 2018
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common and often preventable condition in which a blood clot forms, breaks loose, and lodges elsewhere. A June 26, 2018 study in Journal of the American Heart Association by Secemsky et. al analyzed CMS data on all-cause readmissions after VTE discharges from 2010-2014. From 2010-2014, 17.5% of patients discharged alive after acute VTE were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days. Secemsky et. al attribute a total $10 billion in annual US healthcare costs to VTE, and report that these 30-day readmissions account for “a nationally weighted annual cost totaling $1.44 billion.”Read more
By: James Pitt  Jul. 23, 2018
Fluid balance is a measure of whether a patient has excess, or insufficient, fluid relative to electrolytes. Fluid balance affects mortality in sepsis; early fluid administration saves lives, but later positive fluid balance is associated with higher mortality. According to the nonprofit Sepsis Alliance, sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals. However, it is challenging to assess how solutions to fluid imbalance will improve patient outcomes.Read more
By: James Pitt  Jul. 20, 2018
Pressure ulcers are wounds that develop due to reduced blood flow, typically in patients who lie in the same position for long periods. Elderly and critically ill patients are at particular risk. A study based on 2006-2007 Medicare data found that patients with pressure ulcers are more likely to die in-hospital (odds ratio 2.81); have more than double the average length of stay; and are more likely to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge (odds ratio 1.33).Read more
By: James Pitt  Jul. 19, 2018
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are two of the most common lung disorders in the United States. Differential diagnosis can be a challenge. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians guidelines on distinguishing asthma from COPD, asthma generally has earlier onset, more variable symptoms, and normal chest X-ray. Many options for diagnosis and treatment are available, including recently developed digital health tools.Read more
By: James Pitt  Jul. 12, 2018
Fluid overload is a common complication in severely ill patients. In a 2015 retrospective study of 63,000 patients, fluid imbalance increased average length of stay from 8 to 11.5 days. This included increasing average ICU length of stay from 3.6 to 6.2 days.Read more
By: James Pitt  Jul. 09, 2018
Hospitals and physicians often struggle with how to evaluate the economic & quality benefits of WCDs. Hospitals & physicians face a number of challenges including:
What should be the appropriate measure that measures the quality & economic benefits of WCDs?
How does one get the data to measure the benefit?
Can we even get the right resources & teams to analyze the data?
By: James Pitt  Jul. 09, 2018
A Dexur analysis examined hospital-level data on intensive care unit stays among Medicare-eligible inpatients with COPD in South Carolina. Dexur has previously reported on how COPD complications raise hypertension readmission rates in South Carolina.Read more
By: James Pitt  Jul. 06, 2018
Heart failure can be classified by ejection fraction. In heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF, aka LVEF), the left ventricle pumps out an unusually low fraction of the blood that enters it. HFrEF has been a focus of research efforts, because most studies find it is associated with higher mortality than heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).Read more