Designed specifically for critical care physicians, Critical Care SmartBrief is a complimentary twice weekly e-mail newsletter. Compiled from thousands of sources including news sites and blogs, it provides the latest litigation, research and policy news in the critical care community. Visit the archives to access previous issues. Mobile device versions are also available. Read the top stories shared by Critical Care SmartBrief readers.

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 Critical Care SmartBrief

Study: Infectious disease teams may improve sepsis, shock outcomes
A study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found using a designated team of infectious disease specialists may reduce mortality risks for patients with severe sepsis or shock. Researchers reported these teams also may lead to better compliance with the Surviving Sepsis Campaign bundle and appropriate antibiotic use. Healio (free registration) (6/20)

Tele-ICU connects Honolulu specialists with rural Hawaii hospital
The new telemedicine ICU at North Hawaii Community Hospital has two-way video so intensivists at The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu can examine patients at the Waimea facility. Queen's Medical's Dr. Scott Gallacher said while telemedicine is different in that physicians cannot actually touch a patient, they still can see most everything they would if they were in the room with the patient. Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo) (6/18)

Study tests using Viagra to treat asphyxia in preemies
Montreal Gazette (Quebec) (tiered subscription model) (6/17)

Governors urge bipartisan solutions to health care policy challenges
Seven state governors, including three moderate Republicans, co-authored a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stating opposition to the American Health Care Act and asking the Senate to consider bipartisan solutions to challenges seen under the Affordable Care Act. The letter emphasized the importance of stabilizing insurance markets and ensuring that states have flexibility and options to extend affordable coverage to residents, citing Medicaid cuts as a specific area of concern. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (6/16)

GAO suggests ways VA pharmacy system could improve patient safety
A Government Accountability Office report stated that in order to improve patient safety, the Department of Veterans Affairs should update its pharmacy system's outpatient pharmacy application inefficiencies, evaluate the system's interoperability capabilities with the Department of Defense's pharmacy system and establish an inventory management capability. The VA should also implement a plan to standardize data between the two agencies, ensure that the VA's evaluation of EHR alternatives includes level 3 capabilities and establish a plan to send outbound electronic prescriptions to pharmacies outside of the VA network, the report adds. Becker's Hospital Review (6/15)

Younger patients more likely to leave hospital against advice
United Press International (6/19)

N.Y. HIE provides data assistance to Erie County Medical Center
HEALTHeLINK, a health information exchange in western New York, allowed clinicians at the Erie County Medical Center to access important health care data after the hospital shut down its EHR system and other IT systems because of a ransomware attack that affected its operations. Hospital staff were able to view patient records via a web-based portal connection to HEALTHeLINK's database. Health Data Management (6/19)

FDA aims to encourage innovation in digital health technology
The Food and Drug Administration is moving on a variety of fronts, including a new approach to regulation, to accelerate the pace of innovation in digital health in a way that could transform health care delivery in the US, according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. "FDA will help innovators navigate a new, modern regulatory process so that promising, safe and effective developments in digital health can advance more quickly and responsibly, and Americans can reap the full benefits from these innovations," he writes in the FDA's official blog. FDA Voice blog (6/15)

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.
Thomas Fowell Buxton, politician and abolitionist