January 31, 2012 Hospitals see a huge drop in drug mistakes when doctors use a computer to write prescriptions, instead of pen and paper. Software can correct miscalculations, warn of allergic reactions and eliminate doctors' notoriously poor handwriting. But few hospitals have adopted the technology so far.
You might qualify for special benefits at the local hospital.
January 24, 2012 To attract and keep new patients, hospitals are offering a range of special benefits, including free or low-cost health screenings and educational sessions on diet and exercise. There's also free valet parking for a lucky few.
January 6, 2012 More hospitals are watching and waiting instead of operating on some patients with gunshot or stab wounds, a new study finds. Exploratory surgery, long the norm in such cases, may be safely skipped some of the time.
January 5, 2012 A proposed federal rule would set uniform standards for how health insurance companies are to pay electronic claims for health care services. It would encourage the use of electronic, rather than paper, claims.
In the U.S., hospitalized heart attack patients go home sooner than in other countries. They are more likely to return to the hospital within a month of being discharged.
January 4, 2012 In the U.S., hospitalized heart attack patients go home sooner than in other countries. They are also more likely to return to the hospital within a month of being discharged.
A hospital stay may be the right time to quit smoking.
January 3, 2012 Most hospitals make little effort to screen patients for tobacco use or to help smokers kick the habit permanently. That's a missed opportunity. Starting this month, though, hospitals can choose to adopt tobacco-cessation measures to help them comply with accreditation standards.
Charla Nash received a full-face transplant after she was mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009.
December 29, 2011 Surgeons make full-face transplants a reality for people with severely disfigured faces. Three such operations were performed successfully in Boston this year, a turning point in the field.
December 27, 2011 Hospitals may be the only places in America that aren't crazy for iPads. Security issues and incompatibility with hospital systems are two big reasons why tablet computers haven't caught on. But some doctors and patients say they're great for explaining complex medical issues.
December 20, 2011 Hospitals that treat many poor people face challenges in managing their care. The problem is compounded by the fact that the same hospitals often have fewer resources at their disposal.
Unlike the medical examiner's office in New Mexico, which routinely autopsies sudden or violent deaths, most U.S. hospitals perform postmortem examinations only rarely.
John W. Poole/NPR
December 15, 2011 Hospitals have financial incentives to avoid autopsies. And a decline in the number of postmortem examinations performed means lost opportunities for improving medical care and distortions in health care statistics.
December 9, 2011 A ferocious fire at the largest hospital in Hartford, Conn., killed 16 people 50 years ago. The results of an investigation into the blaze led stricter fire codes and construction standards for hospitals across the country.
Shirley Holden, 78, has been coming to Hood Memorial Hospital since 1971. She says if the hospital were to close, she'd mostly stay home. "I would not be going ... anywhere else unless I went on a stretcher."
Jenny Gold/for NPR
December 8, 2011 Efforts to cut federal spending are targeting a program that gives higher Medicare reimbursements to small hospitals in rural areas. Some observers say the program has gotten so big, it's propping up hospitals that are neither critical to a community nor isolated.
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November 23, 2011 Plumbers and emergency room doctors have plenty of business come Thanksgiving. An ER doctor has some useful tips for steering clear of her and her colleagues over the holiday.
While some ERs in California thrive, others are feeling financial pressure.
November 16, 2011 When a California hospital closes its emergency room, many residents may feel the effect. And according to a new report, hospitals whose patients tend to be black or on Medicaid are more likely to shut down their ERs than others.
Quite a few hospitals are getting in on the acupuncture act.
November 15, 2011 A survey finds 42 percent of hospitals offer at least one type of complementary or alternative medicine treatment. Those hospitals that offer the options cite patient demand as the top reason. Clinical effectiveness is the No. 2 reason.
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