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

Researchers work to extend organ viability for transplantation
A team of researchers from University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Johns Hopkins University are working on developing a technique that would extend the survival of organs for transplantation by preserving them longer so that transplant experts can match organs to recipients better. The project, which is funded by a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Army Medical Research and Material Command, will focus on a sensor array to monitor the nutrient-infused solution organs are stored in to extend the organs' viability to maybe 72 hours or longer. The Baltimore Sun (10/12)

Calif. hospitals prepare for more burn victims
The California wildfires have caused numerous burn injuries, and hospitals including the University of California at Davis Medical Center are preparing for more patients with fire-related injuries. UC Davis' burn unit is a member of the Western Regional Burn Disaster Consortium, which can provide access to additional care and beds. KRON-TV (San Francisco) (10/14)

S.C. ICU staff sends meal to Las Vegas ICU colleagues
WBTW-TV (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) (10/16)

Senators continue talks on ACA fixes amid market turmoil
Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., are said to be putting the finishing touches on legislation to overhaul -- but not repeal -- the Affordable Care Act, while Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., also intends to introduce a bill to change the ACA. President Donald Trump issued an executive order last week halting federal cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, creating further unrest in the individual plan market. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/15)

EHR-related malpractice suits rise, study finds
Malpractice suits related to EHR use rose from two in 2007 to 2010 to 161 in 2011 to December 2016, according to a study released by The Doctors Company. Researchers found that there were more EHR-related malpractice claim events in patient rooms than in hospital clinics/doctors' offices, emergency rooms, ambulatory/day/surgery centers, or labor and delivery rooms, as well as an 8% increase in system factors and a 6% decrease in user factors that contributed to these claims. HIT Consultant (10/17)

N.J. hospital uses robot to disinfect ICU, operating rooms
Hunterdon Medical Center in New Jersey in July began using a Xenex robot to disinfect areas after all ICU discharges and in operating rooms. The hospital said it didn't have any hospital-acquired cases of C. difficile infection in July and September in those areas. NJ Advance Media (Morristown, N.J.) (10/13)

AMA, partners to develop integrated platform for big data analytics
The Integrated Health Model Initiative is an integrated platform for clinical informatics and big data analytics being developed by the American Medical Association and its partners, including the American Medical Informatics Association, IBM and Cerner, and is designed to offer a collaborative approach for better population health management and chronic disease care. The platform, which will use existing data standards and will be developed and launched next year, will help the health care system in the collection, exchange and organization of patient-centered data. Health IT Analytics (10/16)

Apps are the future of DNA sequencing, experts predict
Nature (free content) (10/11)

The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves.
Logan Pearsall Smith, writer