EU doctors need tougher tests to protect patient safety
Regulatory health bodies across Europe should be allowed to test the language skills and competencies of European doctors to protect patient safety, a House of Lords committee is saying.
They believe current laws that allow doctors to practice anywhere in the EU subject patients to an “unacceptable risk” because competency checks are not thorough enough.
In a scathing report, peers have also claimed pharmacists at the high-street chain of chemists, Boots, receive more training than European doctors working for the NHS in the UK.
However, the committee warned that even if changes were made to the laws in the near future, they might not take affect for another six years.
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“It is absolutely unacceptable that current EU rules put patients in the UK and elsewhere at risk,” said Baroness Young of Hornsey, the chair of the House of Lords Social Policies and Consumer Protection EU Sub-Committee.
“From regulating bodies being forced to accredit candidates who may not meet UK standards to the fact that there is no way for prospective employers to check an applicant's disciplinary history thoroughly, the EU is failing our patients.
She added: “We recognise that mobility within the EU can bring significant benefits, but we have to make sure that this is not at the expense of patients' health, care and confidence.
“Employing doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and dentists from outside the UK can help to provide patients with the best possible treatment but may also expose them to unacceptable risks.”
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Schneider Electric's intelligent patient room: need to know
Schneider Electric has launched a virtual showcase that features its new "intelligent patient room". What is it exactly?
Who: Schneider Electric is a multinational that develops energy and automation solutions for many different industries - including hospitality, education, defence, and healthcare. Founded in 1836, today it is a Fortune 500 company, and it currently provides technology to 40% of hospitals around the world, among them Penn Medicine, one of the top hospitals in the US where Schneider's EcoStruxure for Healthcare is deployed, an IoT solution.
What: Schneider has launched its Innovation Experience Live Healthcare Lab, an immersive experience that takes visitors through a demonstration of a hospital, including the doctor’s office, the operating room, and the intelligent patient room.
The room features a digital patient footwall - a touchscreen that creates a single reference point for patients, families and healthcare providers, by incorporating care information, entertainment and environmental controls all in one place. A separate digital patient door display has important information for healthcare staff.
All Schneider's equipment is low-voltage, and integrated so that the patient room, clinical needs and IT are all seamlessly connected, what Schneider calls a digital “system of systems.”
Why: Mike Sanders, Customer Projects & Services in Healthcare Innovation at Schneider Electric, explains: “The hospital of the future will need to put the patient experience at the forefront, using innovative and connected systems to provide superior in-hospital care experiences.”
“With the shift to remote work and business brought forth by the pandemic, we knew that we needed to invest in a new virtual experience that showcases our vision for a truly integrated healthcare experience. We believe our intelligent patient room is the solution that our healthcare partners and customers have been looking for, and we’re excited to offer a way for them to experience it no matter where they are in the world.”
Where: The virtual experience was modelled after the new innovations installed at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, the first real-world installation of Schneider Electric’s fully integrated intelligent patient room technology. It is currently being hosted at the company’s St. Louis Innovation Hub and Innovation Executive Briefing Center (IEBC) facility.