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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Study examines modes of death in pediatric hospital
Researchers found that withdrawal of life-sustaining technologies was the most prevalent mode of pediatric inpatient death in a large children's hospital, with the neonatal ICU being the most common setting for deaths. The findings in Pediatrics, based on data from the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania, showed most deaths outside an ICU were preceded by a palliative care consultation, and the consultations were more likely for patients who were older or who had a malignancy. 2 Minute Medicine (9/19)

Standardized feeding aids weight gain in VLBW infants
Researchers at Children's National Health System found adhering to standardized feeding practices for very low birth weight babies helped to increase weight gain. The study, to be presented at the Virginia Neonatal Nutrition Association conference, noted the feeding strategies included ensuring adequate calorie, protein and micronutrient intake and maximizing use of the mother's breast milk. U.S. News & World Report (9/20)

Study analyzes kidney function recovery in children with ESKD
Healio (free registration) (9/20)

Study: Readmission risks higher in for-profit hospitals
The risk of readmission was higher for patients treated at for-profit hospitals than nonprofit or public hospitals, researchers reported in PLOS ONE. The study, which analyzed data from the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program from 2012 to 2015, included cases of heart attack, heart failure, coronary artery bypass surgery, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and total hip or knee replacement surgery. Healthcare Finance (9/19)

Quality of care shows improvement at some VA hospitals
A Department of Veterans Affairs survey has found that the quality of care at five VA hospitals has improved over the last year enough that they can be removed from a list of high-risk facilities. More than 146 VA facilities were evaluated, with 103 showing service quality improvements and seven showing declines. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/18)

Experts worry about infectious diseases after Hurricane Florence
Medscape (free registration) (9/21)

Expert: EHR interoperability problems hurt value-based care transition
Problems with EHR interoperability, such as the lack of a single patient identifier and of competition within the EHR market, hamper the health care industry's efforts to move to value-based care, said Dr. Nishant Anand, chief transformation officer and population health services CMO at Adventist Health, during a House subcommittee hearing last week. Anand recommended that the ONC establish an open API standard for EHR systems, ensure providers can use API and other industry standards to connect third-party applications to their EHR systems and require certified EHR vendors to divulge material limitations. EHR Intelligence (9/17)

Hospital execs: Telemedicine can improve Pa. health care
Telemedicine could improve patient care and help with physician shortages in Pennsylvania, hospital executives said in testimony before the state's House Professional Licensure Committee. The committee is considering legislation that would require insurance companies to provide telemedicine coverage in some cases. Lehigh Valley Business (Bethlehem, Pa.) (9/14)

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Salman Rushdie, writer