Hospital Emergency Department Testing Drones To Deliver Bad News.

Newport, Connecticut -  Trendy Hospital in Newport Connecticut is the first medical center in the United States to implement a drone program for delivering bad news in the emergency department.

Frank Gilmore, Chief Technical Drone Operator at Trendy Hospital, says "Our beta testing results are through the roof."

Drone is slang for an unmanned aerial vehicle.  Their use has rapidly expanded into many facets of everyday life.  At Trendy Hospital, drone use is currently limited to the delivery of bad news.  "We don't want our patients associating bad news with any single physician.  The risk of bad patient satisfactions scores is just too great," said Dick Janick, Chief Survey Operator at Trendy Hospital.

The drone shift has rapidly escalated into the most popular shift for Emergency Medicine physicians at Trendy. "I hate my job, except for the drone shift.  I'll show up an hour early just to hang out with Denny [the Drone]," says Dr Lisa Bleckman, a cynical  physician with 22 years experience.

In addition, Dr Bleckman said, "Denny told five patients in one day they weren't getting any Dilaudid.  He got yelled at and swung at and nearly crashed.  So I taught him to drop f-bombs as a way to defend himself."

A recent ruling by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) allows drones to practice medicine without a license, as long as a board certified physician, licensed by the newly formed Federal Aviation Medicare Services (FAMS), is operating them.  The fee starts at $1,000 a year for the smallest drones, rising rapidly to $12,000 a year for drones with IV starting capabilities in ED patients who say they want a PICC line to draw blood because they don't have any veins.

Ben Fledman, CEO of National Hospital Compliance (NHC) , worries about the risk of drone compliance in the hospital.  "We recently formed a wholly owned subsidiary of NHC called DroneMD to help hospitals navigate the rapidly expanding hospital drone market.  For example, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants have not been given drone license privileges.  Do you know the penalties if they get caught using them?  DroneMD knows."

Trendy Hospital plans to roll out drone use to hospital wards in the next year to assist hospitalists with being in two places at once.




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