State Fines RN For Fentanyl Abuse, Disciplines Four Others

The Board of Examiners for Nursing this week disciplined five nurses for cases involving alcohol or drug abuse, including one nurse who stole Fentanyl patches from nursing home patients. In a consent order with the board, Ashley Dizney of Southington, a registered nurse and an advanced practice registered nurse, agreed to pay a $1,000 fine and be placed on probation for four years for abusing Fentanyl to excess in January 2017. That month, she stole Fentanyl patches from patients in nursing homes in Torrington and Waterbury while working for Connecticut Mental Health Specialists of Farmington, the order said. From 2015 to 2017, Dizney also used alcohol and multiple controlled substances to excess, the order said. She chose not to contest the allegations against her.

Conversation With Your Doc May Be The Best—And Most Elusive—Medicine

When doctors and patients communicate well, research shows that patients are more likely to follow treatments, recover more quickly and are less likely to be the victims of medical errors. But with an average office visit of just 18 minutes and an increasingly complex variety of diagnostic and therapeutic options, good communication may be modern medicine’s final frontier. In this podcast, sponsored by ConnectiCare, Dr. Juan Estrada, medical director of Sanitas Medical Centers and Lisa Freeman, director of  the Conn. Center for Patient Safety, provide tips on how to communicate with your doctor. A recent patient survey by ConnectiCare found that patients generally rated communication with their doctors highly, but there were concerning gaps.

Six Nursing Homes Fined Following Resident’s Abuse, Care Lapses

The state has fined six nursing homes for various violations that jeopardized patient safety, including one in which a resident was struck by a nurse and others that resulted in residents suffering broken bones. The Nathaniel Witherell in Greenwich was fined $1,940 for two instances, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) said. On March 24, a resident with Parkinson’s disease, dementia and other diagnoses suffered a broken collarbone and broken right hip after falling onto the floor in a bathroom. The resident required supervision for standing and transfers, but a nurse aide left the resident alone for privacy, according to DPH. The resident was treated at local hospital.

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Brings Higher Premiums, Less Time To Apply

Consumers can begin shopping for 2018 health insurance through Access Health CT (AHCT) Wednesday, but will see sizeable price increases and have far less time to enroll than in previous years. Officials at the state’s health insurance exchange are boosting marketing and outreach efforts at a time when many consumers may be confused, said Andrea Ravitz, AHCT’s director of marketing and sales. Despite efforts by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which created AHCT, the legislation and the marketplace still stand. “The constant mixed messages are confusing people,” Ravitz said. “There are certain things that are affecting the federal platform that are not affecting Connecticut at all.

State Disciplines Three Nurses, One Former Nurse

The Board of Examiners for Nursing disciplined three nurses and one former nurse last week for cases involving drug use, theft, deceit and mental illness. After a hearing last Wednesday, the board voted to revoke the registered nurse license of Ryan Buynicki of Agawam, Massachusetts, who, records show, stole Dilaudid in 2015 while working at Osborn Correctional Center in Somers. Buynicki also stole controlled substances from five patients in the prison infirmary in 2015 and falsified controlled substance records, according to the statement of charges against him by the state Department of Public Health. The board also found that his use of controlled substances was affecting his ability to practice a nurse, the statement said. The board issued a cease and desist order against Lisa Piatak of Shelton to stop practicing nursing without a license.

Why Women—More Than Men—Can’t Sleep

Millions of Americans will have a hard time falling or staying asleep tonight, and research says most of them will be women. “Insomnia is definitely more common in females, and it seems to begin fairly early on,” said Dr. Meir Kryger, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine who studies sleep. Sleep problems can appear in women as early as their teens or 20s, he said. Various research shows women are more likely than men to experience the sleep disorder. Women are about 1.5 times more likely to have insomnia, said Kryger, who has written several books on the topic, including “The Mystery of Sleep,” which was published in March.

State Disciplines Nine Nurses

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing disciplined nine nurses this week, including taking action against seven nurses who abused drugs or alcohol. The board revoked the license of Christine Tracy, a licensed practical nurse, for abusing heroin in 2014. The board’s memorandum of decision said that Tracy of Ansonia was arrested in 2014 after driving on the wrong side of the road and striking two other cars. After being hospitalized, she was found in possession of seven bags of heroin. She was arrested and placed on probation for three years in 2016 after pleading guilty to possession of narcotics and failure to appear in court, the memo said.

Hands Off Birth Control

In 1776, Abigail Adams asked her husband to “remember the ladies.”

Oh, if only Melania were so moved. Donald Trump could use the reminder. From the moment he announced his improbable campaign, Trump has played to his most conservative supporters by promising to severely restrict abortion rights, as well as limit access to affordable birth control. The battle has settled onto two fronts, including defunding Planned Parenthood, and—since a “repeal and replace effort” fell short—removing from the Affordable Care Act the mandate that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives to their eligible workers. On the first front, Connecticut has vowed to fund Planned Parenthood, should the federal government pull away.

Eight Nursing Homes Fined Following Lapses In Care

State health officials cited and fined eight nursing homes for various violations that resulted in lapses in care. The Reservoir in West Hartford was fined $2,360 after staff failed to give a resident’s spouse proper written notice that the resident was being transferred to another facility. The resident was moved on July 12 and the resident’s spouse opposed the move because it was far from the spouse’s home. The move came a week after the resident had left the facility despite being identified as an elopement risk and wearing a WanderGuard sensor, the Department of Public Health (DPH) citation said. Police found the resident in a wooded area about 50 feet behind the facility.

Drowning Can Be Averted, But State Water Safety Funds Have Shrunk

Trying to walk out to Charles Island at Silver Sands State Park in Milford this summer, George Swaby drowned after he and a friend were swept up in a fast current off a sandbar. Beachgoers watched as a boater rescued his friend that Friday, July 21. The body of Swaby, 28, was not found for two days. Compounding the tragedy was that it happened in sight of the beach, although outside the swimming area. “It was our goal to guard that beach from Thursday through Sunday,” said Dennis Schain, spokesman for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.