KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Studies Find Pediatricians Slow To Use Interpreters When Needed; Fewer Surgeries For Doctors In Training

Several outlets look at physician practice issues.

Reuters: Many Pediatricians Still Not Using Interpreters
Close to half of pediatricians do not use a professional interpreter when seeing patients and families with a limited understanding of English, according to a new study. ... Using family members is not recommended because they are more likely to make errors while translating or to withhold sensitive or painful information for emotional reasons, [Lisa DeCamp of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore] told Reuters Health by email (Doyle, 7/10).

Reuters: Less Practice For Surgeons-In-Training After Restrictions
Surgeons-in-training had fewer opportunities to take part in operations after restrictions on their working hours were put in place in July 2011, according to a new analysis. Researchers tracking a group of first-year surgical residents during 2011 and 2012 found the trainee surgeons took part in an average of 26 percent fewer operations than their counterparts in the previous four years (Seaman, 7/10).

Related, earlier coverage from KHN: Some Doctors Question If Shorter Intern Shifts Endanger Patients (Boodman, 7/9).

Meanwhile, Marketplace examines the lack of supplies doctors and hospitals are encountering -

Marketplace: Markets Come Up Short In Drugs For Premature Babies (Audio)
If there is a crucial need, markets will provide. Not always, and not in the case of critical nutrients needed to help premature babies. It turns out, America is facing a bizarre shortage of  medical grade basic nutrients such as phosphorus and zinc. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports neonatal intensive care units are scavenging to keep preemies alive, sometimes taking from adult patients elsewhere in the hospital (Brancaccio, 7/10).

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