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August Annals Audio is posted!

The August episode of the Annals Audio/Podcast is now available here. Highlights include:

-Color coding pediatric resuscitation syringes: a new (i.e. better) way
-Oral contrast in peds abdominal trauma: worthwhile or worthless?
-Antibiotics only for peds appendicitis: the literature
-Vital signs at handoff — “Forgot to mention: he’s hypotensive…”
-H Pylori testing in the ED
-Tackling smoking in the ED, a RCT: it worked
-QT prolongation in antipsychotic overdose: less common than we thought?

Check it out and email anytime at!

Talk soon,


Fight Bite and Coding

Fight Bite PicLaterality and Specificity Are Needed to Correctly Code Hand Injuries Using ICD-10

By Walter L. Green, MD, FACEP
UTSW, Dallas, Texas

Dr. Smith sees a 23-year-old male with a right hand injury. The patient was at a bar last night and hit another patron in the mouth. He has pain at the right 5th metacarpal phalangeal (MCP) joint and a small laceration. History is otherwise negative. Physical exam reveals a 1 cm laceration over the right 5th MCP, no surrounding redness or discharge, but the joint is tender with passive range of motion. Tetanus is updated and IV antibiotics given. X-ray shows a boxer’s fracture with displacement and no foreign body. Orthopedics is consulted.

Dr. Smith records a diagnosis of “fight bite.” Orthopedics decides to take the patient to the operating room for irrigation of the wound and repair of the open fracture.

The transition to ICD-10 will occur on 10-1-15. ICD-10 requires a higher degree of specificity to correctly code orthopedic and hand injures. In this example, it would be important to document where and how the injury occurred and whether alcohol was a contributing factor. The precise location of the fracture, including which hand, which finger, and which phalange are all needed for accurate coding of the encounter.

In this example, it would be better for the ED physician to diagnose “open, displaced fracture of right 5th metacarpal bone.”

The ED coder would assign the following ICD-10 diagnosis codes:

S62.336B  (Displaced fracture of the neck of fifth metacarpal bone, right hand, initial visit for open fracture)

S61.451A  (Open bite of right hand, initial encounter) to describe the mechanism of injury.

For the Evaluation & Management service, the coder would also assign a CPT code such as 99284.

For additional information on ICD-10 coding for emergency medicine, visit the ACEP Reimbursement page at


ICD-10 What To Do Now

chauvinBy David B. Chauvin, DO, FACEP

With passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 it is official that ICD-10 CM will become a reality October 1st 2015. This is a huge deal for your billing company, hospital, payer contracts and you.

ICD-10 CM is an updated and expanded diagnosis coding system that will replace ICD-9.
At the very least, every clinician working in the ED will need to know how to document in an ICD-10 CM friendly manner. ICD-10 CM requires more specificity and details than ICD-9. Trauma and injuries make up a significant percentage of the new ICD-10 CM codes with laterality (left right upper and lower) now essential elements of the chart.
ICD-10 CM is ultimately tied to hospital and professional reimbursement; hence you also may be at risk for increased denials, charts deemed incomplete and an unhappy hospital CEO.

Here is a list of things you need to do now:

Identify your current systems and work processes that use ICD-9.
Diagnosis ICD coding is not just used for the final diagnoses, but is also used to justify ED testing such as CT scans, EKGs and lab tests. How does your current documentation system assign codes to diagnostics that you ordered? Although ED docs rarely order outpatient testing, be sure that your order form includes ICD-10 codes.

ED Professional Billing
Who is doing your professional billing? How are they going to implement ICD-10 CM? How are they conducting their internal and external validation testing?

Get to know your coder
Coder feedback will be critical. Try to develop a professional rapport with your coding staff such that they feel uninhibited to ask clarifying questions.  Now might be a good time to buy the coding staff a large box of cookies.

ED Nurse documentation
Can you make your nurse triage note and nursing documentation more ICD-10 friendly? Consider prompts for external cause of injury, geographic location of injury and mechanism of injury. Documentation of laterality, left right and upper and lower now needs to be clearly documented.

Physician Productivity
Yes, once again physician productivity may go down. Perhaps your group is on the tipping point for the employment of scribes or extenders. ICD-10 may make such a decision more clear cut.

Internal Audit
Randomly select 10-20 charts and ask your coders to code the charts via ICD-10 CM. This should provide a baseline to allow for individual provider education.

Resource Help
To help Emergency Physicians prepare for this change to ICD10, ACEP will be providing ICD-10 documentation tips and insights for the busy ED physician. You can find these resources in several locations, including:

ACEP’s monthly magazine, The Official Voice of Emergency Medicine, is planning articles in the months leading up to October 2015. Written by physicians, for physicians, news about ICD-10 will be specific to EM practice.

ACEP Website
ACEP’s home page will include the latest updates, and an ongoing list of resources will be added to the Reimbursement section of the site. Currently, you can find clinical examples, an information paper and an ICD-10-CM manual.

EM Today Newsletter
ACEP partners with Bulletin Health Care to bring the latest health care news each morning from Monday through Friday. Included within EM Today is news and events specific to ACEP. Updates and links to the latest articles on ICD-10 will be included in this newsletter.

Weekend Review
Each Saturday, a roundup of the week is delivered with ACEP partner, Multi-View. Also sprinkled throughout the newsletter are briefs specific to ACEP and emergency medicine. ICD-10 news will be included here.

Social Media
ACEP has an active following on social media. Here are the outlets for information about ICD-10 to be disseminated through ACEP’s membership.

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ACEP 2015 First Quarter Update

Gerardi UpdatedBy Michael J. Gerardi, MD, FAAP, FACEP

First of all, I’d like to thank ACEP members for allowing me to serve as your President since October. It has been a joy to do my part in advancing the specialty and continuing our efforts to improve your lives and the care of our patients. Each quarter, we’re going to offer a report about what we’ve been working on lately and some of the events that shaped emergency medicine. As you will read below, we have done a lot already in 2015, but a lot of important work is still to come over the next few months, particularly with legislation that directly impacts us and with our Clinical Emergency Data Registry. I look forward to visiting with many of you in Washington, D.C. in May.

SGR Repeal, EMTALA Legislation Top Advocacy List in Early 2015
Two major pieces of legislation kicked off the first quarter of 2015, beginning with the EMTALA Services Medical Liability Reform Bill in early February and continuing with an attempt to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate in late March.

On Feb. 10, ACEP leaders joined Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA) at a news conference in Washington, D.C., to announce the introduction of the Health Care Safety Net Enhancement Act of 2015 — to improve emergency care for patients. H.R. 836 will encourage physicians and on-call specialists to continue their lifesaving work and ensure emergency medical care will be available for your constituents when and where it is needed. Specifically, the legislation addresses the growing crisis in access to emergency care by providing emergency and on-call physicians who provide EMTALA-related services with temporary protections under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

The Bill was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. As of today, it has 32 co-sponsors, but we can use your help growing that number. Please click here to learn more, and please contact your Member of Congress and ask for support.

On March 26, the House approved a bill that proposed significant changes to the Medicare system’s reimbursement model. It signals what could repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate Formula. The New York Times called it the “most significant bipartisan policy legislation to pass through that chamber since the Republicans regained a majority in 2011.” If successfully passed, the bill would put an end to the recurring threat of payment cuts to physicians. The measure would also increase premiums for some higher income Medicare beneficiaries and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program for two years.

Unfortunately, the Senate failed to consider the legislation on March 27 before adjourning for two weeks. Senate Democrats wanted a chance to consider several amendments to the House-approved bill, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did not agree to that request, instead stating he would work with Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) during the recess to settle on a pathway forward as soon as the Senate returns on April 13, 2015. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has indicated that it will hold claims through April 14 to give Congress time to act.

We are disappointed the Senate failed to act before leaving town. We remain optimistic that, after fighting this battle for more than 12 years, we will finally rid ourselves of the flawed SGR permanently. We are calling for the Senate to act expeditiously as soon as they return and seize this opportunity to enact real, meaningful change in the Medicare program. Visit the ACEP Grassroots Advocacy Center to send a message to your Senators today.

Supreme Court Rules on Medicaid Rate Challenges
On March 31, 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling on the case of Armstrong vs. Exceptional Child Center. At issue was whether medical providers could sue over low Medicaid rates as a way to enforce federal payment requirements to assure that payments are consistent with efficiency, economy and quality of care sufficient enough to enlist providers so as to maintain adequate provider networks.

The opposing view was that such a ruling would result in endless litigation for higher pay and that Congress had not authorized such suits. The court was divided 5 to 4, ruling that providers do not have a federal cause of action to challenge low Medicaid rates. Instead providers with complaints must appeal to the federal government for enforcement.

ACEP has successfully used legal action in various states such as Louisiana, New York and Washington when the Medicaid plan offered unreasonably low payment, limited the number of ED visits for Medicaid patients, or restricted the approved diagnosis list so as to be unreasonable. Going forward, we will have to look to Congress or HHS regulatory staff to enforce Medicaid provisions, making strong relationships with your elected leaders important.

The ACEP Reimbursement Committee is considering whether a “white paper” should be developed to guide ACEP members and stakeholders regarding whether the Armstrong case could be distinguishable for emergency medicine. The issue is whether the “prudent layperson” provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 that apply to Medicaid HMOs and the ACA provisions barring prior authorization provide legal rights and/or remedies to emergency medicine that are unique and different from the legal basis presented by the plaintiffs in the Armstrong case.

American Hospital Association (AHA)
Publication Promotes Value of Emergency Care

In late March, the AHA issued a publication that highlighted emergency care’s value and role in the health care system. The report “explores the standby role and its critical importance to our nation’s health care system. It outlines the pressures hospitals face and frames critical economic and policy questions that must be addressed to ensure future hospital standby capacity can meet the growing health and public safety challenges.”

ACEP and the AHA worked together to issue a joint letter about the report, which was entitled “Always There, Ready to Care.” It was made available to all members. We encouraged ACEP members to share this report with key leaders and policy makers in your community and state and promote through social media. If you haven’t received a copy, click here.

ACEP Responds to Measles Crisis
On the heels of the Ebola crisis last fall, ACEP leaders and staff responded quickly to another epidemic when the United States experienced a record number of measles cases in early 2015.

This virus represents a challenge to Emergency Medicine because it is highly infectious and has been rarely seen in emergency departments in the recent past. ACEP developed a Fact Sheet about this disease for a review of its presentation, clinical course and implications for the ED. Emergency physicians and other health care professionals can visit for more information and for new resources, which will be added as needed.


  • Comment Period on tPA Clinical Policy Closed March 13: Early in 2015, ACEP opened a 60-day comment period on the draft clinical guideline: “Clinical Policy: Use of Intravenous tPA for the Management of Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Emergency Department.” The next step is for the Clinical Policy Committee to review comments and draft a revision as appropriate to submit for ACEP Board approval.
  • Mental Health, Substance Abuse Patient Care Resources Added to ACEP’s Website: In early January, ACEP combined numerous mental health and substance abuse resources at, anchored by the Emergency Medicine Practice Committee’s information paper on “Care of the Psychiatric Patient in the ED: A Review of the Literature.” Included on this new resource page was also information about sobering centers, ACEP Policy Statements, Patient Resources and more. See these resources here.
  • ACEP Releases New Publication, Cardiovascular Emergencies: More than 6 million people present to EDs each year with chest pain and forms of cardiac disease—arrhythmias, infections and cardiovascular complications from other conditions. ACEP’s newest publication, Cardiovascular Emergencies, provides information to help you deliver efficient and cutting-edge care to patients who present with acute cardiovascular conditions. Learn more.
  • EMRA Launches Updated PressorDex App: Newly revised and updated for 2015, PressorDex is a comprehensive therapeutic guide to the myriad of pressors, vasoactive drugs, continuous infusions, and other medications needed to treat the critically ill patient. Written by emergency medicine physicians for emergency medicine physicians, this app gives you concise tools for choosing the right medication and dosing regimen every time, even during the busiest of shifts. Find it and other useful EMRA apps here.

Ongoing Projects

  • Qualified Clinical Data Registry Work Continues: ACEP announced last year that it would begin work on a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR). This is a very complex project, but it will position emergency medicine to develop quality measures that will resonate with members and, we believe, improve quality. We can develop measures that apply to patients beyond the Medicare population. As Executive Director Dean Wilkerson, JD, MBA, CAE, wrote in the December issue of ACEP Now, “If we have our own QCDR, we can control the playing field and develop measures we believe are appropriate without having to submit them to the National Quality Forum for other groups to approve. Rather than having measures imposed on us, we will drive the measures ourselves.” Quality measure reporting and quality improvements are of increasing importance for physician reimbursement. ACEP’s QCDR will allow our members to avoid cuts to their reimbursement and obtain incentive payments. The initial testing and QCDR approval phase began in February 2015 with the participation of five emergency departments. The pilot phase is expected to begin in May of 2015. Through the aggregation and organization of data on clinical effectiveness, patient safety, care coordination, patient experience, efficiency and system effectiveness, ACEP’s Clinical Emergency Data Registry will provide clinicians with a definitive resource for informing and advancing the highest quality of emergency care. ACEP expects final approval of its Quality Measures and our QCDR later this month. Learn more about CEDR.
  • End of Life/Advance Care Planning: A task force led by Vidor Friedman, MD, FACEP, Mark Rosenberg, DO, MBA, FACEP, FACOEP-D, and Sandy Schneider, MD, FACEP, has been assembled to prepare a white paper within the next few months to make recommendations to the Board on our next steps to promote a national discussion on EOL/AC issues.
  • Psychiatric Emergency Care Initiative: We have already had our first summit of stakeholder organizations and have created COPE  – “Coalition on Psychiatric Emergencies.” ACEP is a leader on the Steering Committee, and subcommittees have been created to: address education of the public and caregivers, study the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment, develop a research agenda, and configure an advocacy approach for true parity of care for psychiatric emergencies. In addition, we are working on a public relations release in the next few weeks announcing our mission and the stakeholders. Sandy Schneider, MD, FACEP, along with Barbara Tomar and Cynthia Singh of our staff are leading this effort.
  • Sepsis Task Force: We have a task force led by Board Member John Rogers, MD, FACEP, Task Force Chair Don Yearly, MD, and Sandy Schneider, MD, FACEP, to review all of the current literature and summarize it for our members to use. We will also have an educational campaign for our members and other organizations highlighting our role in diagnosing and initiating treatment of sepsis to a point that we, Emergency Medicine, will “own sepsis.” We want to simplify sepsis management and also develop quality measures to be used by EP’s.

Coming Up

Join us in Washington, D.C. this May
The Legislative Advocacy Conference and Leadership Summit is coming up May 3-6 in Washington, D.C., and has been revamped for 2015. Don’t worry. The same excellent education will be available, but the schedule has been changed slightly to emphasize the unique opportunities available at this event. Sunday’s Leadership Essentials, presented by EMRA and the Young Physicians Section, is particularly appealing to those just getting started in advocacy and developing leadership skills. Monday is packed with the latest information about policy, payment models, innovation and much more.

Tuesday is Capitol Hill Day, when more than 500 emergency physicians head to the House and Senate office buildings to advocate for pending legislation and the need for reforms to strengthen emergency medicine and improve access to better patient care. Wednesday is a full day of leadership training and includes valuable CME courses. Please don’t miss this conference. I love our annual meeting in the fall, but this conference offers a chance to spend some time with people in a much more intimate setting while doing some excellent and crucial work for our specialty.
I’ll see you in Washington. Click here for more information.

Dr. Steven Stack to Take Over as AMA President
By the time our next quarterly update comes around, Steven Stack, MD, FACEP, will be the AMA’s 170th President. Dr. Stack takes over in June at the AMA annual meeting. He is the first emergency physician to ever hold that position, and when he assumes office, he will be the youngest president in the past century.

Dr. Stack currently practices in Lexington and surrounding central Kentucky. He has served as medical director of multiple emergency departments, including St. Joseph East (Lexington), St. Joseph Mt. Sterling (rural eastern Kentucky) and Baptist Memorial Hospital (Memphis, Tenn.). Born and raised in Cleveland, Dr. Stack graduated magna cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., where he was a Henry Bean Scholar for classical studies. He then returned to Ohio, where he completed his medical school and emergency medicine residency training at the Ohio State University before moving to Memphis to begin his clinical practice.

An expert in health information technology, Dr. Stack speaks on behalf of ACEP and emergency medicine at numerous events and conferences throughout the year and delivered the Rorrie Lecture last year at our annual conference.

We appreciate his efforts and congratulate Dr. Stack for his important new position.

New Headquarters Groundbreaking Set for April 16
I’m excited to announce that we will break ground on a new headquarters on April 16 on a six-acre tract of land near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The new building will be three stories with approximately 57,000 square feet. This building will have all the things we do not have in our current building, including many member amenities, work areas, top-notch A/V capabilities and video conferencing, a small media room for filming and interviews, history recognition throughout the building and celebration of our specialty.

We have outgrown our space and comparison studies of other professional societies underscored what we expected – our outstanding staff is working under less than desirable conditions, especially as we grow in membership and management responsibilities (SEMPA, EMRA, CORD, EMF).  A new building is also symbolic or our coming of age as a recognized and MAJOR specialty. We need advances in our headquarters for our staff and volunteers to serve our members and our patients.

This new building’s location is also nestled between two major hotels, allowing us to offer better service to our chapters and groups that use the national office for meetings and training, such as the Emergency Medicine Basic Research Skills (EMBRS) courses and the Emergency Medicine Foundation grant projects. The Texas chapter also uses our building for meetings, and this will assist in their efforts. There are other educational meetings ACEP may hold in this new building.

We have been in our current building for more than 30 years, and it has served us well. Our specialty is much different now, and this new headquarters is necessary for future growth.

Thanks for allowing me to update you on recent projects and offer a little about what’s coming around the corner. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Dr. Michael Gerardi
ACEP President




Critical Care and Social Media Come Together in Chicago this June at “smacc”

Web Banner 425x255ACEP has asked the organizers of the Social Media and Critical Care Conference to contribute a piece to The Central Line, explaining the event and how it can help emergency medicine.

By Nell Harrison
Scott Weingart labeled smacc the “Best conference ever” but is it really worthy of all the hype?

In the past two decades we have seen the Information, Technology and Communication revolution. In 2015 we can access the internet almost anywhere on our smart phones and tablets to connect with each other.  The way we communicate and share information is changing. Social media platforms like “YouTube” and “Twitter” enhance the dissemination of learning material but more importantly they provide the opportunity for a two conversation between the teacher and student. We should ask ourselves then how can this new era of communication facilitate learning, particularly at critical care and emergency medicine conferences?

Smacc (Social media and Critical Care) so named because it is powered by a collaboration of FOAM (Free Open Access Meducation) websites from around the world, is truly different. It is a high power critical care conference but more importantly it is inspirational, informative and innovative. The collective experience gained growing these websites has guided the program formation.

There is energy at smacc that not only augments the learning atmosphere but it recharges our commitment to critical care. In the words of one delegate from #smaccGOLD 2014: “This was the first conference where I not only learnt plenty, but I came away proud to be a professional in critical care. I feel excited about taking all this back to work!”

Here are 10 reasons you should consider smacc Chicago in June 23-26 2015.
1: Speakers – The speakers are hand picked from both the FOAM world and the conventional conference circuit because they are inspirational leaders in their fields.
2: Topics – The sessions are delicately pieced together to cover issues from hard core medical science and research to education and end of life care, but more critically they embrace controversy.
3: Format – The style has an informal open feel that encourages a two-way conversation, which is further enhanced by the integration of social media into the sessions.
4: Community – smacc brings together all the critical care community together from Pre-Hospital/Emergency/Critical Care and Anaesthesia.
5: Excitement – The energy at smacc powers a vibrant atmosphere
6: Networking – All breaks and lunches are catered free to provide a relaxed atmosphere for delegates to come together
7: Social – All social functions are included in the registration to bring all delegates together as part of one critical care community
8: Workshops – Over 30 pre-conference workshops cater for every need from communication and debriefing to Airway and Ultrasound
9: Post-conference – All sessions at smacc are podcast and released FREE in a serial fashion over 6 months post conference as part of FOAM
10: Not for Profit – smacc is administered by a charitable trust and no individual benefits financially

The theme for smacc Chicago is smaccFEST, because it is more than a conference, it is a festival. Smacc is a celebration of medical science, knowledge, education, ideas, community and innovation united by a love of practicing critical care. There are already over 1,300 delegates and many pre-conference workshops have sold out. Get more information here.


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Use of Intravenous tPA Draft Clinical Guideline Open for Comment Until March 13, 2015

The Clinical Policies Committee of ACEP has completed a draft clinical guideline: “Clinical Policy: Use of Intravenous tPA for the Management of Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Emergency Department.” Since the 2012 clinical policy on IV tPA, there have been changes to the clinical policies development process, the grading forms used to rate published research have continued to evolve, and some newer research articles have been published.

The draft is now open for comments until March 13, 2015.

To view the draft policy and comment form, Click Below:
Clinical Policy Comment Form – Intravenous-tPA

For questions, please contact Rhonda Whitson at

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Free Book Chapter on Infectious Diseases Available to ACEP Members

As relieved as we are that the Ebola outbreak appears to be limited and less of a daily concern in our emergency departments, we do still remain on alert for the outbreak of other infectious diseases. It’s been very gratifying to see several ACEP members who are subject matter experts in infectious disease step up and help us create the resources we’ve posted on for the entire emergency medicine community. Among those experts are Kristi Koenig and Carl Schultz from the University of California at Irvine. They’re working on a new edition of their book on disaster medicine and realized that the chapter on emerging infectious diseases would be very useful to us all right now. As they said,

“The emergency health care system must be prepared for an evolving public health event of international significance such as this. Emergency physicians are on the front lines and should be knowledgeable, up-to-date, and ready to effectively manage infectious disease threats. It doesn’t matter whether such threats arise from Ebola virus disease, Enterovirus D-68, MERS-CoV, SARS, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, or the next big event, as yet unnamed. We should be leaders in our hospitals, EMS systems, and communities, advocating for protection of the public health, our patients, and colleagues.”

Kristi and Carl have donated a preliminary electronic draft of that chapter to the College – to all of you, really – as a resource to help you and your team prepare to screen for and treat the wide range of infectious diseases any of us could see any day of the week.

Just follow this link to download the chapter now.

Best wishes to you all, and be well. We hope to see you next week in Chicago for ACEP14.


Alex M. Rosenau, DO, CEP, FACEP
ACEP President

Micahael J. Gerardi, MD, FAAP, FACEP
ACEP President-Elect

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ACEP President: College Offering Several Ebola Information Initiatives to Health Care Professionals

Dr. Alex M. Rosenau

Dr. Alex M. Rosenau

With so much information and speculation being circulated about Ebola presentations in the United States, I want you – our members – to know what your College is doing on this issue.

The landscape about treatment and containment of this infectious disease is changing minute by minute. ACEP has been working in many ways to filter the information and provide you with a trusted source of updates. We also have many initiatives planned for next week, next month and beyond as we continue to help you in these challenging times and be a supportive advocate for our specialty and our patients. Advocating for your safety and making sure you have everything you need are our most important goals.

Here are some of the things we are doing:

Expert Panel

  • Immediately convene a panel of 8 emergency care infectious disease experts.
  • Review materials pertinent to emergency care for dissemination to members.
  • Respond to questions posted by members via an easily accessible form on the resource page.
  • Develop repository of best practices for managing the patient with suspected and confirmed Ebola and work with CDC, WHO, and other federal, state and local agencies to develop protocols that can be implemented in hospitals with limited resources. Update the content regularly.

Resources on ACEP Website

  • Consolidation of pertinent resources, including those from the Expert Panel, on with frequent updates.
  • Continue to promote availability of resources through social media, e-newsletters and other communication vehicles.

Advocacy Agenda

Identify short and long-term legislative initiatives designed to assist our members and other health care providers to enhance their disaster preparedness:

  • Advocate for regionalization protocols
  • Enactment of trauma systems/emergency regionalization legislation
  • Funding of a national grid of bio-containment hospital annexes,
  • Increase funding for disaster preparedness
  • Increase supplies of PPEs
  • Additional resources for training and retention of first responders
  • Good Samaritan liability protection for first responders in a national emergency

Communications with Members

  • EM Today curates the media daily for a round-up of the most pertinent articles and editorials.
  • Immediate dissemination of important information through social media, e-newsletters and stand-alone messages.
  • Section listservs include the latest updates and guidelines from CDC to some of the most impacted sections – Air Medical Transport, Disaster Medicine, EMS-Prehospital Care, and Tactical Emergency Medicine.
  • EMS Committee review of CDC guidelines to consider operational ‘suggestions’ on meeting the requirements or model practices.

Communication with the Public and the News Media

  • Linking reporters with ACEP experts in infectious disease and disaster preparedness. ACEP is managing 10 to 20 calls a day from reporters on this issue. (a round-up of ACEP spokesperson in the news can be found at
  • Coordinated editorial about Ebola response for ACEP President Dr. Alex Rosenau published in USA Today.
  • Developed talking points for use by ACEP spokespersons to conduct press interviews.
  • Using responses from ACEP infectious disease and preparedness experts to craft public messages.

Educational Opportunities

  • New course on Ebola infection and emergency department response added to ACEP14 — “Ebola: Hemorrhagic Fever and the U.S. Experience” will be presented Tuesday, October 28, during ACEP14, the world’s largest meeting of emergency physicians.
  • ACEP14 Ebola Courses – Three presentations from ACEP14, October 27-30, will be captured live and presented as free courses in ACEP eCME, the College’s online and mobile education platform to members and other EM colleagues. Each of the three courses will have a pretest, an audio and slide presentation of the lecture as it was delivered live in Chicago, and a post-test. Each of the courses also is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.™The courses are:
    • Inside the Hot Zone: Highly Infectious Pathogens in the ED / David C. Pigott, MD, RDMS, FACEP, will identify those pathogens—including Ebola and anthrax—that are most likely to be encountered in the ED as well as those that present the greatest risk for health care providers and other personnel. This case-based review will include a discussion of appropriate barrier precautions, including personal protective equipment, as well as departmental and hospital-based infectious disease transmission precautions.
    • Ebola: Hemorrhagic Fever and the U.S. Experience / David C. Pigott, MD, RDMS, FACEP; and Alexander P. Isakov, MD, FACEP will discuss the risk factors for exposure to the Ebola virus, the clinical features associated with, and considerations for, evaluation and management of patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD). They will highlight the most recent recommendations for infection control and prevention applicable for healthcare workers in both the out-of-hospital (EMS) and emergency department setting. Participants will be provided a framework that permits the delivery of optimal care to this special patient population while minimizing risk to members of the healthcare team.
    • Infections From Abroad: Unwanted Souvenirs / Ever heard about “airport malaria?” Should you be worried about that “funny rash” on the Ugandan businessman? What medical advice do you give your sister who is planning a trip to Vietnam? Swaminatha Mahadevan, MD, FACEP, will identify infectious hotspots around the world and highlight “must-know facts” about travelers and visitors from these areas. In addition, find out what precautions travelers should consider as they plan their next great adventure abroad.
  • “Emerging Infectious Diseases: Concepts in Preparing for and Responding to the Next Microbial Threat” – Two of the nation’s experts in disaster medicine, Kristi Koenig, MD, FACEP, and Carl Schultz, MD, FACEP, along with Cambridge University Press, have donated the “rough cut” of this chapter from the second edition of their book, Koenig and Schultz’s Disaster Medicine: Comprehensive Principles and Practice to help emergency physicians care for patients with a wide variety of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. It will be posted on the ACEP Ebola Resources page ( by Oct. 24, 2014. The chapter covers many diseases and a variety of issues such as resource allocation, preparedness training exercises, personnel, communications, and much more.
  • “Innovations in Patient Safety Presented by ACEP, Urgent Matters, and the Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Foundation” is a 5-hour conference scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 26, in Chicago. It will be captured live, and the portions addressing error prevention in the care of infectious diseases such as Ebola will be made available as another free educational resource.
  • “ACEP Advanced EMS Practitioners’ Forum and Workshop” is another education event scheduled for Oct. 26, in conjunction with ACEP14. It, too, will be recorded so that information related to prehospital response and precautions in infectious disease can be disseminated to a larger audience. There will be three presentations on Ebola and the Dallas experience.
  • “Fighting Ebola by Design” is a 10-minute EDTalk in the innovatED space presented by HKS/MI2. These companies were involved in Project ER One, which was federally funded to develop design features for ED’s to address terrorism, disaster and epidemics of emerging diseases. Innovative design features developed for ER One will be presented, as well as how one can mitigate the risk of infection transfer. Key features of design and new technology will be discussed. This talk will be videotaped and made available to the public as soon as possible after the conference.

Survey Members

  • Ebola response survey being developed for dissemination through our Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Network (EMPRN) to gather data on preparedness for Ebola, EV-D68 and other infectious diseases. Members will be asked about their need for  education/resources/assistance from ACEP and/or government sources to effectively respond to an Ebola case in their hospital.
  • Surveyed the Disaster Medicine Section, EMS Committee and Section and ACEP infectious disease experts about response needs and preparedness

Work with Other Organizations

  • Meet with high-level officials at the CDC.
  • Convene a meeting(s) with the American Hospital Association, Emergency Nurses Association, National Association of EMS Physicians, Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association, and other key stakeholders for information/resource sharing.
  • Work with additional federal agencies, such as National Institutes of Health, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Emergency Care Coordination Center, Department of Homeland Security, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to develop resources for infectious disease response.
  • Share information with top officers of the American Medical Association and other groups.

Regionalization will be a key discussion point in all conversations.


Alex M. Rosenau, DO, CPE, FACEP



October audio/podcast available!

Click here to get the shiny new October issue of the audio/podcast for Annals of EM.

-Patient satisfaction: is it a marker of quality care? NOPE
-Pediatric appendicitis: can EPs accurately use bedside sono?
-Navigating online EM resources: 5 tips
-Steroids for bronchiolitis: yes or no

Enjoy the ACEP 2014 SA in Chicago, find us and say ‘hello’. Also, email any time.


ps We forgot to post it on Central Line, but Sept is up as well — download and listen, it’s a good one.

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ACEP Meets with U.S. News and Doximity About Residency Program Survey

Hans R. House, MD, FACEP, Mark Mitchell, DO, FACOEP,  Jordan Celeste, MD, and Jeffrey N. Love, MD, MSC, represented ACEP at a meeting this week with U.S. News & World Report and Doximity about  their recent residency program survey.

Hans R. House, MD, FACEP, Mark Mitchell, DO, FACOEP, Jordan Celeste, MD, and Jeffrey N. Love, MD, MSC, represented ACEP at a meeting this week with U.S. News & World Report and Doximity about their recent residency program survey.

Emergency physicians from top organizations representing emergency medicine traveled to Washington, DC, this week to meet with Ben Harder, managing editor and director of health care analysis at US News & World Report and Dr. Nate Gross, co-founder of Doximity, an online social networking service for U.S. physicians that conducts surveys for US News.

The purpose of these meetings was to convey the concerns of nine emergency medicine organizations about the results of a Doximity survey, which was promoted by US News & World Report, identifying the nation’s top emergency medicine residency programs.

Prior to the meeting, emergency physicians from the nine organizations held a conference call and developed a joint letter to US News and Doximity challenging the sampling method and the implications of providing misleading information to medical students and the public.

Four physicians represented the group at these meetings:

  • Hans R. House, MD, FACEP, ACEP  board member
  • Jeffrey N. Love, MD, MSC, president, Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors
  • Jordan Celeste, MD, president, Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association
  • Mark Mitchell, DO, FACOEP, president, American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians

During the meetings, the physicians conveyed that the results:

  • Are misleading to medical students because they are not based on objective criteria.
  • Are not useful to medical students because residency choices are made for many reasons, including geography, which are not factors in the Doximity survey.
  • Are not an accurate portrayal of residency programs because they are based solely upon opinions expressed by physicians who have no first-hand knowledge of any residency training programs other than the ones they attended.
  • Do not reflect the unique nature of emergency medicine.
  • Send a dangerous public health message to patients having medical emergencies.

The physicians conveyed there is potential value in a secure data service for communicating HIPAA-compliant messages among emergency physicians.  Also, a resource that provides detailed information on residency programs and their alumni could help medical students in making decisions about their applications to specialty training.  However, the collective organizations that represent all of emergency medicine could not support the data as long as the rankings were included.  Both US News and Doximity agreed there were significant limitations of the data and discussed the challenges of developing objective measures for emergency medicine, because it is a unique medical specialty.  Both also agreed that these data would not be promoted to the general public.

The editor at US News described the new organiza

tion’s publications that rank hospitals and medical specialties as “consumer decision support,” which are intended to help members of the general public make decisions about where to seek care for complex medical problems.  Emergency medicine has never been included in these rankings in the past, and there are no plans to begin doing so.  The editor conveyed that US News recognizes that, in a medical emergency, the best place to get care is the nearest emergency department.

The physicians asked to provide a companion piece to the US News article about the results.  The editor agreed to review and publish, if acceptable.  The co-founder of Doximity offered to discuss these issues with leaders in his organization and suggested further discussion at ACEP 14 in Chicago.

The following organizations are participating in this effort:

  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • American Academy of Emergency Medicine
  • American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association
  • American Board of Emergency Medicine
  • American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians
  • Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine
  • Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors
  • Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association
  • Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

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