Latest News 

  • February 22, 2019 4:19 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)
    The new ACEP MOC Center is the "easy button" for MOC! It's a One-Stop-Shop to keep it all together and on track for all things MOC. See what you have to do to stay certified AND what resources ACEP has to help you do it. 

    ABEM has made (at least) three big changes in the way they present MOC information to diplomates – 1) they launched a new website, 2) they changed the names and order of the MOC components, and 3) they changed the language they use to describe them (no more "Part" anything). ABEM also announced an alternative to the ConCert Exam, which they'll pilot in 2020 and launch in 2021. 
  • February 22, 2019 4:16 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    The new ACEP policy statement, Unscheduled Procedural Sedation: A Multidisciplinary Consensus Practice Guideline, was approved by the Board in September 2018 and has been endorsed by several other organizations. Read the policy here

  • February 22, 2019 4:12 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    ACEP has a number of web-based tools for you to use at the bedside.  From sepsis, to acute pain to agitation in the elderly – we’ve got you covered!   

    • ADEPT - Confusion and Agitation in the Elderly ED Patient 
    • ICAR2E - A tool for managing suicidal patients in the ED 
    • DART - A tool to guide the early recognition and treatment of sepsis and septic shock
    • MAP - Managing Acute Pain in the ED
    • BEAM - Bariatric Examination, Assessment, and Management in the Emergency Department. For the patient with potential complications after bariatric surgery
  • February 18, 2019 8:37 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Jeffrey Pothof, MD, FACEP

    Wisconsin emergency physicians, welcome to the February edition of the WACEP newsletter.  I hope all of you are as eager is I am to attend the WACEP Spring Symposium and 27th annual Emergency Medicine Research Forum.  We have secured a great venue in the Harley-Davidson museum and have some top-notch programming ready to go.  I hope to see all of you there April 3rd and 4th.  If you haven’t already registered, sign up today.

    A handful of years ago I had an opportunity to hear Maureen Bisognano, then president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), deliver a keynote address at the Institute’s national forum in Orlando.  It was simple enough.  Instead of asking your patient “what’s the matter?”, we were challenged to ask our patients “what matters to you?”  This seemingly small change in words, can lead to a much deeper understanding of the patient and will improve the care you deliver.  I’ve used this approach in the ED and anecdotally can say it’s been effective in illuminating why a patients come to my ED, and allows me to better meet their needs.  Each patient brings to the ED a different set of life circumstances, they have their own fears and they have their own logic for seeking us out. 

    By asking “what matters to you?” I discovered that the 35yo sitting in front of me worried sick about an episode of seemingly benign chest pain wasn’t the anxious hypochondriac I was suspecting, but instead was the child of a parent who passed away from sudden cardiac death at the same age.  What mattered to my patient was knowing that the same thing wasn’t happening to him.  The conversation we had around his fear was more impactful to him than the negative troponin or perfect ECG I was banking on.

    By asking “what matters to you?” I witnessed one of my patients tear up and disclose the long history of intimate partner abuse she was suffering from.  I wouldn’t have figure that out by asking what was the matter with her abdominal pain.  Instead of ordering a CT scan, we conversed on how no one deserves to be treated that way, and I was able to share resources to try and make an inflection point in her life.

    Many of you have similar stories where an encounter took an unexpected turn, and you experienced one of those moments where you connected more deeply with a patient.  A time when you made a difference not through anything you learned in medical school or residency, but because you took the time to listen and understand the human condition.

    I challenge all of you on your next shift, or perhaps on all your shifts, to ask your patients not only what brought them in today, but what matters to them today.  I’d love to hear how this impacts your practice so if you are willing, share your stories with me

  • February 15, 2019 9:46 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Looking for a deeper dive in Buprenorphine training? Here are some complimentary educational offerings:

    • Between February and August, a series of ten complimentary buprenorphine X-Waiver courses are being made available to all eligible prescribers in Wisconsin. The training, presented by the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine (WISAM) in partnership with Wisconsin DHS, is designed to increase treatment capacity for opioid use disorders in Wisconsin. Learn more and sign up for a course.
    • "Buprenorphine 101 Demystifying Medication Assisted Treatment in Wisconsin" is an ED-focused webinar available on demand. View webinar
    • "Developing an ED Initiated Buprenorphine Program" is an ED-focused webinar available on demand. View webinar

  • February 08, 2019 9:35 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Beginning in 2019, the Wisconsin EMS Board has adopted a quarterly meeting schedule. State EMS meetings are open meetings and WACEP members are welcome to attend as members of the general public and/or at the Physician Advisory Committee.

    Dr. Aurora Lybeck, WACEP Board member, regularly attends the meetings and encourages additional WACEP participation. Dr. Riccardo Colella, current Wisconsin State Medical Director, and Dr. Steven Zils, chair of the EMS Physician Advisory Committee, are both WACEP members. 

    The EMS Board and Committees will meet in 2019 as follows:

    • March 5/6
    • June 4/5
    • September 3/4
    • December 3/4

    The committees of the Board will meet on the first day (Tuesday) and the full Board will meet on the second day (Wednesday). Links to the Agendas and meeting minutes will be posted when available.

  • February 08, 2019 9:18 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Julie Doniere, MD
    WACEP Board of Directors

    I know… another article about opiates.  Bear with me, I am writing this because I am anxious to start some conversations about treatment of opiate abuse.  Specifically, I am eager to hear about what is happening in the ED’s across Wisconsin.  

    In my practice, I feel like the biggest challenge is finding treatment for those patients that are seeking help with their opiate abuse.  Current practice is often symptomatic treatment, a referral list, and a “good luck!” We see people at their most vulnerable. We are either taking care of them after overdose, identifying their abuse disorder by looking at old charts, or being there when they realize they have a problem and present themselves to the ED. 

    There are some caveats to opiate treatment. Opioid addiction does not respond to the same treatments as alcoholism.  Abstinence therapies do not typically work.  These patients have a desperate need to avoid withdrawal. 

    This is where buprenorphine can be helpful.  While incorporating bup into my treatment in the ED, I have encountered multiple misconceptions about the drug:

    Myth #1: You can’t administer Buprenorphine in the ED without an X-Waiver. 
    Any ED physician or midlevel provider can use buprenorphine in the ED to treat opiate withdrawal.  The patient can return to the ED for 3 days In a row to get buprenorphine. 

    Myth #2: Buprenorphine is a scary drug and will throw my patient into withdrawal.
    Well, kind of busted.  Buprenorphine will cause withdrawal symptoms.  It should be given only to that subset of patients who are already in withdrawal; the COWS scale can measure this, I use MDcalc.  When a patient has a COWS scale of 8 or greater, buprenorphine can be given.

    Myth #3: Every opiate addicted patient in the county will be inundating my ED for buprenorphine.
    ED’s that have initiated buprenorphine have seen a decline on drug seeking behavior. 

    Myth #4: We are trading one addiction for another.
    The goal of medical assisted treatment is to trade addiction for dependency.  Abstinence from opiates is the goal.  While buprenorphine is an opiate agonist, it works primarily to control withdrawal symptoms so that individuals have more control over their cravings and avoid the risky use of opiates. 

    By no means is this article meant as a fully informative review of buprenorphine in the ED.  I am not smart enough for that!  If you are interested in a deeper dive into the role of buprenorphine in the ED, please view one of these two webinars:

    • Developing an ED Initiated Buprenorphine Program (View
    • Buprenorphine 101 - Demystifying Medication Assisted Treatment in Wisconsin (View)

    The following information about ED dosing concepts is thanks to Dr. Donald Stader, an ED doc in Colorado:

  • January 21, 2019 10:42 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    In a news feature aired last summer on WEAU Channel 13 in Eau Claire,  new WACEP Board member Nate Blankenheim, MD  was interviewed in an exclusive look inside the new Marshfield Medical Center Eau Claire Emergency Department. Doctor Blankenheim talked with the reporter about the new facility and tried to teach him how to put on a cast. Watch video.

  • January 18, 2019 8:09 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    January 17, WMS Medigram

    The State of Wisconsin Medical Examining Board modified the Opioid Prescribing Guideline at its monthly meeting in Madison on Wednesday. Expressing a desire to be less proscriptive in the “Discontinuing Opioid Therapy” section of the guideline, the Board has removed specific clinical suggestions for situations when opioid therapy leads to evidence of addiction risk or is proving ineffective.

    The section’s first two subsections have been shortened, while the third section remains the same:

    Discontinuing Opioid Therapy
    a. If lack of efficacy of opioid therapy is determined, safe discontinuation of opioid therapy should be performed.
    b. If evidence of increased risk develops, safe discontinuation of opioid therapy should be considered.
    c. If evidence emerges that indicates that the opioids put a patient at the risk of imminent danger (overdose, addiction, etc.), or that they are being diverted, opioids should be immediately discontinued and the patient should be treated for withdrawal, if needed. Exceptions to abrupt opioid discontinuation include patients with unstable angina and pregnant patients. These patients should be weaned from the opioid medications in a gradual manner with close follow-up.

    The Board also added a new general provision near the top of the overall guideline:

    2. It is best practice for a practitioner to consider guidelines within their specialty when prescribing opioids.

    The remaining guideline provisions were renumbered to reflect this addition. The new guideline became effective upon Wednesday’s vote approving the changes.

    In other action, the MEB elected its leaders for 2019. They are the same as in 2018, with Ken Simons, MD, reelected chair, Tim Westlake, MD, as vice chair and Mary Jo Capodice, DO, as secretary.

  • January 16, 2019 12:47 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Jeffrey Pothof, MD, FACEP
    WACEP President

    Dear WACEP members,

    Thank you for everything you do day in and day out to ensure our communities, our families, and our patients in Wisconsin and beyond have access to great emergency care.  I’m humbled to be your president and commit to working hard to ensure you are supported in your professional practice and that we, collectively, advocate for high quality emergency medical care.

    I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to all of you.  My hope is that during the next year I’ll be able to meet many of you in person through our mutual involvement in the things that matter most to us as emergency physicians.  I grew up in Randolph, a small town in rural Wisconsin.  I attended Edgewood College and subsequently the UW School of Medicine and Public Health for my doctorate degree.  I completed residency at the University of Michigan.  While in Ann Arbor I finished a medical education scholars program in healthcare administration and served as chief resident during my fourth year of residency.

    I came back to Madison after residency as faculty at the University of Wisconsin.  I had developed a strong passion in health system operations as well as patient safety and quality while in residency that spilled over into my early professional career.  I held various leadership roles over the last decade including Service Chief of Emergency Medicine for the William S. Middleton VA Hospital, Clinical Service Chief for the UW Division of Emergency Medicine, Vice Chair of Quality and Operation for the UW Department of Emergency Medicine, and most recently a health system role now serving as Chief Quality Officer for UW Health.   I continue to work shifts both at our University Hospital emergency department and at the smaller emergency department at our American Center campus.  I’ve been a flight physician with UW Med Flight for the last 8 years and still enjoy it as much today as I did back then.

    My interest in organized medicine began early in my career.  I joined ACEP’s Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Section in 2012.  I served the section in many roles culminating as chair of the section in 2015.  I was also a member of the Quality and Performance Committee from 2013-2017.  More recently my interests have shifted from the national level to the local level.  In 2016 I began serving as a board member for WACEP and have enjoyed working on issues that impact the physicians and patients in my own back yard and being able to represent our interests at the annual ACEP council meeting.

    I want to encourage all of you no matter what your background to attend our Spring Symposium.  Registration is currently open and can be found here.  There has been tremendous effort expended by our team to provide a very valuable experience for those in attendance.  I really think all of us no matter our practice environment will take something away from this year’s conference.

    I’ll have more updates as we move through the year, but WACEP has its hands in many pots.  We are committed to being good partners in the fight against the opioid crisis.  We are devoted to improving both the patient and provider experience when it comes to navigating our mental health system.  We are eager to develop initiatives to assist providers in finding meaning in their work, and we continue to advocate for fair Medicaid reimbursement for the care you deliver.   My hope for this year is that we become closer as physicians who provide emergency care without any additional qualifiers.  Whether in democratic groups, national group practices, small rural practices, or large academic practices there is more that holds us together than pulls us apart.

    I’m excited to embark on this journey with you and look forward to WACEP’s accomplishments in 2019.