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Morning Read: New game uses Tetris skills to improve sepsis treatment

Stanford University Medical Center physicians, researchers and education technology experts have created a game to help doctors learn how to make quick treatment decisions for sepsis patients. The game starts with images of two patients and their vital signs. Along the bottom of the screen are diagnostic tests and treatment options. A Septris patient can […]

Stanford University Medical Center physicians, researchers and education technology experts have created a game to help doctors learn how to make quick treatment decisions for sepsis patients.

The game starts with images of two patients and their vital signs. Along the bottom of the screen are diagnostic tests and treatment options. A Septris patient can die in less than two minutes so doctors have to work fast. Septris runs on ipads, Apple and Android phones as well as several desktop browsers. Visit the Stanford web site to see if you can make treatment decisions fast enough to save the patient.

Doctors may need the stress relief of video game to cope with the latest “doc fix” from Congress. Legislators are getting ready to apply another bandaid on the issue of fees paid to doctors who treat Medicare patients. A 27% cut in these fees will go into effect March 1 if the deal doesn’t go through this week. Under this plan, lawmakers will delay any long-term decision by another 10 months.

Physician associations were unhappy  (subscription required) with Congress’ failure to find a permanent solution to Medicare’s sustainable growth-rate formula.

The deal would extend certain Medicare programs-ambulance add-on payments and outpatient hospital hold-harmless payments-but phase out two Medicare programs-Section 508 hospitals and special pathology payments.

At HIMSS, Aventura will show off new feature that auto-updates patient records. The provider of context awareness software for hospitals  hopes that this new update to existing software will save time and improve care. Aventura describes the change this way: a physician or nurse entering Mary Smith’s room will immediately be presented with Mary Smith’s medical record simply upon tapping a card and entering a pin.

Based in Denver and founded in 2008, Aventura serves some 30 hospitals in 10 states. Aventura will demonstrate the patient record auto-population feature at HIMSS booth 8300.

Aventura might get some federal health IT dollars based on a proposed budget from the Vetran’s Affairs. The VA  plans to spend a large chunk of its IT budget on health care, specifically on joint patient records projects with the VA and the Department of Defense.
About $2 billion of the Veteran’s Affairs’ $3.3 billion IT budget would go to healthcare systems, according to an article in Nextgov.

A Seattle company is planning an IPO to continue its work developing micro-catheter technology to treat breast cancer. Atossa Genetics  says this device can deliver high concentrations of drugs into milk ducts to great pre-cancerous lesions. The researchers hope this will make the treatment more effective as well as limiting a woman’s overall exposure to the drugs. Atossa also plans to use the $6 million to support its FDA-approved test that uses nipple aspirate fluid  to detect changes in breast tissue years before mammograms can.

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