The Pulse

The Pulse is written by Kristin Gourlay, an award winning health care reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Full archive of The Pulse can be found here.

Genre: 

Pages

Health Care
1:29 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Flu in Rhode Island: How bad is it?

If you've got the flu, it's bad. Awfully bad. But is this season any worse than unusual? Are hospitals really being overwhelmed by "skyrocketing" cases in an unprecedented outbreak?

Read more
The Pulse
3:33 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

85 years later, penicillin still vital for Rhode Islanders

85 years ago, Alexander Fleming discovered some mold growing in one of his petri dishes. In his lab at Oxford, Fleming noticed a substance the mold produced inhibited the growth of some species of bacteria. But the substance was difficult to work with, and the discovery lingered untapped for many years.

Read more
The Pulse
4:20 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Mental health records missing from RI’s gun background check data

Buying a gun from a dealer – say, a sporting goods store – triggers a federal background check. If you’re a convicted felon, you would fail the background check. So, too, if you’ve been involuntarily committed to an institution or otherwise ruled mentally ill. But the federal database against which background checks are run is only as good as the data. And Rhode Island is one of only four states that haven’t submitted any mental health records at all, according to a recent report out from a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Read more
Health Care
2:59 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

More public health research into gun violence?

We’re all still reeling from the Newtown, CT tragedy. Reeling…and trying to make sense of what happened and why. And that’s where health care professionals and scientists are often able to help. We’ve got some of the best right here in Rhode Island, who would probably love to be able to answer questions like: Could we get better at predicting who is likely to commit a crime with a gun? Does having access to a gun in the house make you more likely to commit a crime with a gun?

But here’s the thing. We don’t really know. And it’s not exactly their fault.

Read more
The Pulse
10:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Interview: RI Hospital ER chief: “There has to be a better way.”

This week, I’ve been covering Rhode Island’s efforts to change the way we deal with substance abusers who frequent the emergency room (part 1, part 2). I talked to emergency dispatchers, firefighters, addiction treatment specialists, public officials, and more.

Read more
The Pulse
10:55 am
Thu December 13, 2012

RI submits health insurance exchange “blueprint”

The Ocean State has sent the federal government – ahead of schedule – what it’s calling a “blueprint” for the state’s health benefits exchange. The blueprint is a collection of draft documents, the exchange’s creators say, that reflect the state’s best thinking to-date on how the exchange should work. Its submission is a key milestone for states developing their own exchanges.

Read more
Healthcare
2:40 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Sen. Whitehouse: spare Medicare, reform the system

Credit RIPR File

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) published an op-ed on Politico Tuesday urging President Obama not to agree to any Medicare cuts in the fiscal cliff negotiations. The reason: reforming the health care system, including the way we deliver and pay for health care, will add up to all the savings we need.

Whitehouse writes:

Read more
The Pulse
11:01 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Update: Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange

Perhaps you’ve been wondering where things stand with Rhode Island’s efforts to build its own online health insurance marketplace?

Wonder no more! I joined our All Things Considered host Dave Fallon in the studio yesterday to give an update on the exchange. That’s because I got the chance to catch up with Christy Ferguson, who heads the group that’s planning and developing the exchange, and wanted to share what I learned.

Read more
The Pulse
11:04 am
Mon November 19, 2012

By 2025, 25% more primary care docs needed

A new study in the Annals of Family Medicine projects the country will need about 52,000 more primary care doctors by 2025. The study’s authors calculated that we currently have about 206,000.They based their projections on the number of patients primary care docs currently see in office visits per year, and how many might be expected based on how much our population is set to grow, how much more an aging population will need primary care, and how many people will have access to a primary care doctor for the first time as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Read more
The Pulse
11:07 am
Tue November 13, 2012

RI has highest antibiotic use in New England

And that matters to you because….?  Well, because if the bacterial infection you’re suffering from has evolved a resistance to available antibiotics, it will be harder to treat. There’s some new data about the spread of resistance, and new attention on it today.

Read more

Pages