Business of Medicine

7 Years After Joplin Tornado, Mercy Builds Hospitals With Disaster In Mind

Jun 19, 2018
SARAH FENTEM | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

A visitor to the new wing of the Mercy hospital in Festus can likely tell immediately where the old building ends and the new part begins. The atrium still smells of fresh paint, and instead of dark, winding hallways, windows let in natural light.

Builders designed it to be prettier and more user-friendly. But Mercy Hospital Jefferson is safer, too.

Making its new hospitals safer has become a top priority for St. Louis-based based Mercy health system after one of the most destructive tornadoes in recent memory hit St. John’s Hospital in Joplin in 2011.

On a rare rainy night in Albuquerque, two dozen students are learning the proper way to care for older people. Teacher Liliana Reyes is reviewing the systems of the body — circulatory, respiratory and so on — to prepare them for an upcoming exam.

These students are seeking to join a workforce of about 3 million people who help older adults remain in their homes. They assist these clients with things like bathing, dressing, and taking medication on time.

Charlie Kaijo / For Kaiser Health News

Laura Cameron, then three months pregnant, tripped and fell in a parking lot and landed in the emergency room last May — her blood pressure was low and she was scared and in pain. She was flat on her back and plugged into a saline drip when a hospital employee approached her gurney to discuss how she would pay her hospital bill.

Nationwide IV Bag Shortage Hits Midwestern Hospitals

Jan 23, 2018
Master Sgt. Val Gemp / US Air Force

It’s been five months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and wiped out houses, roads and the power grid, as well as factories that make prescription drugs and medical devices.

Updated at 12:39 p.m. ET

Health care workers who want to refuse to treat patients because of religious or moral beliefs will have a new defender in the Trump administration.

The top civil rights official at the Department of Health and Human Services is creating the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom to protect doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to take part in procedures like abortion or treat certain people because of moral or religious objections.

calvinnivlac / Flickr

The Senate Health and Provider Services Committee on Wednesday threw its support behind a bill that would require Indiana physicians to check the state prescription database — called INSPECT— before prescribing powerful drugs, including opioids. 


Miles Bryan / WBEZ

Over the past few months, medical professionals on Chicago’s South Side have been trying a new tactic to bring down the area’s infant mortality rate: find women of childbearing age and ask them about everything.

Really, everything.

You might not suspect that the success of the emerging field of precision medicine depends heavily on the couriers who push carts down hospital halls.

But samples taken during surgery may end up in poor shape by the time they get to the pathology lab — and that has serious implications for patients as well as for scientists who want to use that material to develop personalized tests and treatments that are safer and more effective.

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