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

Portable equipment can spread pathogens in ICU, study says
Shared portable equipment that is contaminated can potentially spread pathogens throughout an ICU, according to a study in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. Researchers said more studies are needed to determine ways to disinfect portable equipment without interfering with ICU workflow. Healio (free registration) (8/15)

Antibiotics raise risks for VLBW infants, researcher says
Nearly all very-low-birth-weight infants get antibiotics within the first two days of life, which adds to problems of antibiotic resistance and can destroy helpful gut bacteria, researcher Gautam Dantas of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis told an NIH workshop. Dantas said antibiotic use in these infants may leave them more susceptible to bacterial infections. Healio (free registration) (8/18)

Synbiotic may reduce sepsis risk in newborns, study finds
National Public Radio (8/16)

Hospice Compare website goes live to the public
The CMS launched its Hospice Compare website this week, including data from almost 4,000 hospice providers and covering seven quality measures on hospice and palliative care that are endorsed by the National Quality Forum. Most hospices scored in the top quality range, however, raising questions about how useful the comparisons will be for consumers. Home Health Care News (8/16)

Parents of hospitalized youths may benefit from coping support
A review in Pediatrics found that coping support interventions significantly reduced parents' anxiety and stress, but not depression, during their children's hospitalizations. Researchers said more studies are needed to determine the benefits of such interventions for youths. Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (8/17)

Transmedics' Organ Care System extends viability of heart for transplant
Transmedics developed a portable perfusion and monitoring console dubbed the Organ Care System, which is capable of pumping blood through a heart being transported for transplant and may allow the organ to remain viable longer as it travels to its intended recipient. The system is being tested by physicians at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. WTVF-TV (Nashville, Tenn.) (8/17)

EHRs help improve coordination of care between health care settings
EHR access helps emergency medical services organizations improve clinical decision-making during high-stakes transitions of care, and allows long-term post-acute care facilities to improve care coordination between providers and prescribers, experts say. Integrating EHR use and adopting health information exchange can also boost care management and collaboration among physicians in specialty care facilities. EHR Intelligence (8/15)

Many providers can open 3 or more EHR records at once, study finds
Becker's Hospital Review (8/15)

There is no waste of any kind in the world that equals the waste from needless, ill-directed and ineffective motions.
Frank Bunker Gilbreth, engineer