Healthcare Roundup—Emory Healthcare and Kaiser Permanente join forces in Atlanta

Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente and Emory Healthcare, the clinical arm of Emory University, announced a new collaboration. (Ted Eytan/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Emory and Kaiser team up

Emory Healthcare, the clinical arm of Emory University, and Kaiser Permanente announced a new healthcare collaboration to develop a new care model in metro Atlanta.

Emory University Hospital Midtown and Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital will become the primary hospitals for Kaiser Permanente physicians and members. Officials said both Kaiser and Emory will maintain some existing relationships with affiliated hospitals and health plans to avoid interrupting service for patients. (Release

Study finds abortions in U.S. are largely safe for women

Abortions in the U.S. rarely lead to major medical incidents for women, according to a new study published in BMC Medicine.

Looking at data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and Brown University found the rate of major incidents seen in emergency departments is 0.11%, or about 108 per 100,000 abortions. In comparison, published emergency department rates for medical events like pregnancy were 1.4 %, and 1% for wisdom tooth removal.

Emergency room visits for abortion-related reasons comprised only 0.01% of all visits to emergency departments, representing a rate of about 1 in every 10,000 visits.

“Nothing about that practice suggests any need for increased or particular regulation of abortion, especially given all the data demonstrating its safety,” said Alyson McGregor, M.D., the director for the Division of Sex and Gender in Emergency Medicine at Brown and co-author of the study. (LA Times article

Is that patient room clean? You sure?

A Pennsylvania hospital discovered a component of the room harboring infections many healthcare systems may overlook: the dry-erase markers and erasers used for communication with patients.

In research presented at the National Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology this week, researchers found the dry-erase boards were included in a 175-item cleaning checklist for the environmental services team at Summit Health in Pennsylvania. But the list did not include the markers or erasers. In inspections of 55 cleaned and prepared rooms, none of the markers and only two erasers passed a test which indicates the presence of biological residues.

“Environmental cleaning is essential to preventing the spread of infection,” said APIC President Janet Haas, Ph.D. “This study emphasizes the importance of not only using a checklist as a reminder of what needs to be cleaned but also making sure the list includes all frequently touched items.”

For the record, Summit Health has since added the items to their checklist. (Release

Hospital CEO turnover steady

Hospital CEO turnover was 18% last year for the fourth straight year in a row, according to a report from the American College of Healthcare Executives.

It is lower than 20% reported in 2013, but is among the highest rate of turnover in the last 20 years, officials reported.

"Hospitals and health systems continue to evolve and reorganize to meet the demands of the new healthcare environment at the same time many CEOs are reaching retirement age, all of which may be contributing to CEO turnover,” said Deborah Bowen, the ACHE’s president and CEO, in a statement.

“More than ever, C-suite succession planning and more intentional focus on the professional development of new leaders is vital to organizational success." (Release)