American Association for Respiratory Care


AARC Congress 2013 Gazette for Tuesday, November 19

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29th Phil Kittredge Memorial Lecture—Electronic Distractions of the RT and Their Impact on Patient Safety

Peter J Papadakos MD FCCM FAARC

Editor’s Note: Dr. Papadakos presented the Kittredge Lecture yesterday morning. Here’s his recap for those who were unable to attend.

Since first reported by the New York Times in 2011, the concept of “Distracted Doctoring” (the way health professionals are both affected by their own interactions with personal electronic devices (PEDs) and how electronic medical records (EMRs) have changed the relationship we have with patients), there has been a great call to develop a new type of professionalism in health care—Electronic Health Etiquette.  Electronic Health Etiquette is how we relate to our own PEDs at the workplace and how we need to change our behavior in the computer-rich environment when dealing with patients and their families when interacting with the EMR.

We must develop new behaviors to modulate the addiction to our own electronic lives and remain focused on patient safety. The addiction potential has been widely covered in the lay media and has been studied in health workers using the University of Rochester Modified CAGE tool in  several populations of professionals. How can we account for such widespread and overt dereliction of duty? Staff have developed new programming where they become impatient and can’t wait to do later what we can do now, even if such behavior is inappropriate to the clinical environment. Thus, they think they must constantly check for emails, social media, and tweets.

Their other major—and even greater—problem is how we relate to patients with the explosion of electronic medical record technology. We have developed the so-called i-patient, where the health care worker focuses on the computer screen and not the patient at hand. The i-patient may be getting great care; but the living, breathing patient may feel rejection and isolation. As our daily interactions are mostly with computers, we may risk losing the skill or even the desire to communicate face to face.  We may even lose our most important skill as health care providers: the ability to listen to our patients, which permits us to better diagnose and heal. RTs have a special skill to closely listen to the quality of the voice of patients, interpret multiple aspects of the work of breathing, and evaluate the level of obstruction and various other parameters through direct observation. Even with patients on mechanical ventilation, close observation of patient-to-ventilator interaction is much more important than downloaded data on a computer screen.

The profession must be at the forefront to educate providers in Electronic Health Etiquette. This aspect of patient care needs to be included first in the curriculum of RT education and then reinforced by departmental policies. Bedside therapists need to develop skills to integrate technology without losing the human skills that have been at the core of practicing the healing arts. So, I call upon all of you to inflect on your own relationship with the smart phone you carry and the computer screen that stands between you and your patient and again be humans.

See you at the Mandalay Bay in 2014!

The AARC has convened its International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas many times over the years, but next year’s session is going to take the experience up a notch.

In 2014 we’ll be at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Located right on the Las Vegas Strip, this cutting-edge facility includes the fifth largest convention center in the nation, offering 1.7 million gross square feet of meeting space.

But that’s just the start. You’ll also find amenities ranging from the beautiful Mandalay Beach, to an onsite shopping mall, to a full-service casino, and more. The Shark Reef Aquarium will bring you face-to-face with some of the earth’s most fascinating creatures, and you’ll dine in style at restaurants created by world-famous chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Hubert Keller, and Rick Moonen.

It’s all respiratory-friendly too—the resort has installed a state-of-the-art ventilation system designed to address many of the concerns people have with secondhand smoke circulating in other Vegas establishments.

If you’re in Anaheim, come by the Registration area today or tomorrow to register for next year’s meeting, Dec. 9–12 (Tues.–Fri.) and save $100 on your registration fees. If you couldn’t make it to the meeting this year, register online by tonight at midnight and you can save $100, too.

Open Forum to get face lift in 2014

Attendees at this year’s Congress in Anaheim have heard some great Open Forum presentations. Thanks to some exciting new format changes, next year’s Forums in Las Vegas promise to deliver even more:

Editor’s Choice: Authors of this select group of abstracts will prepare a poster for prominent display on the first 2 days of the Congress. On day 3, each author will make a 10-minute slide presentation followed by a 10-minute discussion.

Poster Discussions: Authors will prepare a poster to be presented in a session grouped by topics. A brief oral presentation (no slides) will be followed by audience questions and discussion. (Most accepted abstracts will fall into this category.)

Posters: Authors will prepare a poster to be displayed during Exhibit Hall hours on an assigned day; authors will be present between noon and 1 pm on that day to discuss their work.

Submit your 2014 abstracts online by June 1, 2014.

Summer Forum coming up July 15–17

Now that the Congress is nearly behind us, it’s time to start gearing up for our mid-year meeting at the beautiful Marco Island Marriott on Marco Island, FL. Designed especially for managers and educators in the profession, it’s a great place to review the latest trends in the industry, earn CRCEs, and enjoy a great family vacation, too.

So mark your calendars today for July 15–17 (Tues.–Thurs.) and plan to join us for Summer Forum 2014.

Respiratory Care Education Annual call for papers

The AARC will publish Volume 23 of the Respiratory Care Education Annual in the fall of 2014. This refereed journal is committed to providing a forum for research and theory in respiratory care education and is listed in the “Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature.”

The AARC Education Section invites educators to submit papers for consideration. Preference will be given to papers that emphasize original research, applied research, or evaluation of an educational method. Other topics that may be considered include interpretive reviews of literature, educational case studies, and point-of-view essays. Submissions will be reviewed based on originality, significance and contribution, soundness of scholarship (design, instrumentation, data analysis), generalizability to the education community, and overall quality of the paper.

Papers should be approximately 6–10 pages in length and must follow the guidelines in the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals,” 5th edition (1997).

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. For more information, contact Dennis Wissing PhD RRT FAARC, editor, at or (318) 573-9788. Electronic copies of completed manuscripts should be sent to Deadline is Feb. 17, 2014.

Bob Eubanks Generates Big Excitement at First-Ever Closing Ceremony

After four days of the best continuing education in the business, attendees filed into Ballroom D in the Anaheim Convention Center around noon on Tuesday for the first-ever AARC Congress Closing Ceremony, ready to have a few laughs and learn more about communications at the same time.

Legendary game show host Bob Eubanks delivered that and more, as he entertained the audience with anecdotes from his years on “The Newlywed Game” and as a rock concert producer, and then related those experiences to the very serious need for respiratory therapists to step up their own communication skills in the new era of health care reform.

According to Eubanks, the most important skill as an effective communicator is to “take yourself out of the equation” by asking questions of the patient and their family about their likes and dislikes. “Patients will open up and be transparent about their condition if they genuinely feel like you care about them as a person,” he told the audience. The other skill Eubanks spoke of was the importance of making physical contact by shaking the patient’s or family member’s hand or touching their forearm during the interaction.

The hour-and-a-half long event also featured a hilarious game called Workmates where four teams of RT colleagues went head-to-head in a competition to see how well they really knew each other.

Helen Sorenson MA RRT FAARC and Elisha Pueppka MS RRT, Joe Marino RRT and Marie Matuszak RRT, Keith Lamb BS RRT-ACCS and Julie Jackson RRT-ACCS, and Jeff Davis BS RRT and Ted Pessin RRT kept the crowd in stitches as they attempted to guess what their partners were thinking when it came to key aspects of RT communication.

Keith Lamb and Julie Jackson came out on top in the final analysis, going home with a set of BOSE earbuds for their participation, but all four teams did a great job, proving just how important it is to have a good understanding of the people you work with every day.

At the end of the show, Janet Stephens BS RRT was selected as the audience member to come up on stage and compete for $100,000 in the “America’s Greatest Gameshow” competition. We didn’t have a big winner there (boy was she close!) — but everyone in attendance agreed the Closing Ceremony was a winner for AARC Congress 2013, energizing everyone to go home and put the knowledge they learned at the meeting to work for their organizations and their patients.

See you next year in Las Vegas!

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