A year after hospitals began discouraging Medicaid patients from making unnecessary emergency room visits, the results are promising. A new state report shows the number of unnecessary visits to ERs in Washington fell by 10 percent last year.
“A 10 percent reduction is almost unprecedented,” said Dr. Nathan Schlicher, an ER physician at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma.
Harborview Medical Center said Wednesday it will not be closing its primary care clinics after all.
Last December, the hospital had announced its intent to relocate those services into the community. But the prospect of shutting down the clinics located at Harborview's main hospital disturbed many staff and patients.
That’s how Dr. Abe Bergman described the announcement by administrators to close some of the clinics at Harborview Medical Center. He said staff members were told that some of the primary care clinics housed at the hospital would close in July.
Editor’s note 2/7/2014: This story has been edited to remove references to VA officials’ incorrect claim that a Seattle VA nurse saw the Infusomat recall at the FDA website in March 2012. While manufacturer B. Braun sent the VA and other customers its recall notice in March, FDA did not post information about the manufacturer’s March 23, 2012, recall letter until August 1. The story has also been edited to attribute to medical records the statement that, the night Eddie Creed died, a doctor asked his sister if she wanted an autopsy to be done. Creed's sister claims the VA never asked her about an autopsy. The content in the edited story differs from the audio in the original broadcast.
When Eddie Creed, a Seattle jazz musician, died at the Veterans Affairs hospital on Beacon Hill last year, his death certificate said throat cancer had killed him.
But a KUOW investigation reveals what his doctors knew: A medical device called an Infusomat, which had been recalled the month before, ended his life. Still, nobody knows why.
Marcie Sillman talks with NARAL Pro-Choice Washington's executive director Rachel Berkson about the group's reaction to new proposed rules for hospital mergers in Washington, including increased public transparency and recommending hospitals post their end-of-life and reproductive health policies online.
Gene White of Des Moines, Wash., has had a litany of health problems in recent years: testicular cancer; cancer in his nervous system; pneumonia; the fungus Aspergillus infecting his lungs. The retired airline pilot says he got great care at Swedish Medical Center and the other Seattle hospitals that helped him survive those life-threatening diseases.
Medical mistakes are a leading cause of death and injury in America. One of the most frequent mishaps in Washington hospitals: patients who fall. A fall in a hospital can lead to serious complications, even death. Medical experts say that kind of fall should never happen.
One Small Step, One Big Fall
Helen Funston lies on her back in a darkened room. She pushes her shoulder down into physical therapist Stella In’s hand until she gasps with pain.
About 30 times a year, a hospital in Washington state leaves a sponge or surgical instrument inside one of its patients. The accident known as a “retained foreign object” is one of the state’s most commonly reported medical mistakes.
Governor Jay Inslee has stepped into the debate over hospital mergers and partnerships. On Tuesday, the governor ordered the State Department of Health to update the rules that govern hospitals when they plan to expand or form affiliations.
Last year the secular Swedish Medical Center stopped performing elective abortions after affiliating with a Catholic health care provider, Providence Health & Services. Now some organizations in Washington state are calling for a moratorium on similar contracts between secular, publicly funded hospitals and religious providers. They fear patients in the state could see a reduction in access to services.
What happens when faith and health care mix? Should the state do anything about it? Ross Reynolds talks with Peter Adler, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for Catholic provider Peacehealth, and Kathleen Turner, head of the ACLU of Washington.
Did you ever have an imaginary friend? Maybe a furry blue monster who hates stop signs or a chattering fairy that hides in your pocket and steals bites of your breakfast cereal? In the past, many people thought imaginary friends were bad and that they indicated some kind of mental anxiety. In the movies, kids confide in imaginary friends when grown-ups fail to pay attention. But now, we know better: kids with imaginary friends are simply creative.
Scroll through the slideshow to see the imaginary friends that a group of elementary children drew up, along with the students' descriptions of the unique traits of each. And if you think pictures of imaginary friends are cool, wait until you hear them on the radio.
Swedish Medical Center trumpets its safety record. Swedish's First Hill and Ballard locations received safety scores of "A" from the nonprofit Leapfrog Group in May. Swedish's Cherry Hill and Edmonds locations received "C" scores. The Leapfrog Group says hospitals pay it up to $12,500 for the right to advertise their safety designations.