3 Stories You Need But May Have Missed This Week

mednews-roundup-logo-300x122We know you’re busy, but we don’t want you to miss important healthcare quality and patient safety news. Below is a roundup of stories you may have missed but need to take a look at before calling it a week. (Sign up on the right if you’d like these news alerts delivered to you.)

  1. HL20: Martin Makary, MD — Pushing to Improve Transparency and Quality Standards
    Read why Johns Hopkins surgeon and surgical quality advocate, Dr. Martin Makary, has been chosen this year by HealthLeaders Media as one of 20 healthcare professionals making a significant impact in the industry, and find out who else made the healthcare publication’s Top 20 list.
  2. Hospital Compare Adds Infection, Stroke, Readmissions Data
    Learn all about the new quality measures the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has put in place for stroke; C diff and MRSA infections; blood clot prevention and care; and readmissions. Also, hear what leaders with the American Hospital Association and the Leapfrog Group are saying about the agency’s latest updates to its Hospital Compare website.
  3. MUCking Around for New Quality Measures
    CMS has published its third annual Measures Under Consideration or “MUC” Report listing the 234 protocols federal agencies, medical groups and quality organizations want to see codified for payment and/or reporting purposes. Find out more about the types of measures being recommended as well as which measures some believe are ready for retirement.

“R3 Report” Details New NPSG for Clinical Alarms

IVpump.300The Joint Commission recently released a report explaining its new National Patient Safety Goal aimed at helping clinicians improve the management of equipment with clinical alarm systems in hospitals. The R3 Report provides healthcare workers with insight as to exactly how the new alarm NPSG was developed and how it promotes patient safety.

The types of devices being targeted for improvement in this effort include: cardiac monitors, IV machines, ventilators and other equipment with visual and/or auditory components. The new patient safety goal does not address nurse call systems, computerized provider order entry system alarms or other health IT systems.

The first phase of the alarm NPSG will go into effect on January 1, 2014 and will focus primarily on raising awareness of the potential risks associated with clinical alarms. Phase 2, which will introduce requirements for mitigating risks, will not go into effect until January 1, 2016.

To download The Joint Commission’s R3 Report, click here.

4 Stories You Need But May Have Missed This Week

mednews-roundup-logo-300x122We know you’re busy, but we don’t want you to miss important healthcare quality and patient safety news. Below is a roundup of stories you may have missed but need to take a look at before calling it a week. (Sign up on the right if you’d like these news alerts delivered to you.)

  1. Pharmacists’ Role in Med Reconciliation Reduces Errors, Improves Accuracy
    Learn more about a recent study that shows how pharmacist-led medication reconciliation initiatives can help prevent medication errors for hospitalized patients and reduce readmission rates.
  2. How a Natural History Museum Inspired Innovation at Miami Children’s
    Read how CIO Ed Martinez’s visit to New York City’s Natural History Museum influenced Miami Children’s “the sky is the limit” approach to updating their already popular in-house Fit4KidsCare application. Find out what patient and family needs can be met using the app — from accessing directions to care settings to ordering meals for delivery to patient rooms.
  3. MU Compliance Announcement Sparks Concern, Confusion
    Were you as confused as most people were by the statements released late last week by CMS regarding the fast-approaching Meaningful Use and ICD-10 deadlines? This article, along with a second piece published online by Healthcare IT News, may further your understanding of the agency’s expectations.
  4. [STUDY] Observation Status Yields Loss for Hospitals 
    A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has shown that patients classified with “observation status” actually cost hospitals more than if they were admitted as inpatients. The study, which was conducted at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, was initiated to better define the two hospitalization categories.

 

 

New Report Illustrates How Health IT Benefits Ambulatory Care

ahrq_logoA new report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality illustrates how appropriate use of health information technology including electronic health records, personal health records and health information exchange systems can support and improve the delivery of ambulatory care. The report shows how health IT can enhance decision-support, communication and patient engagement in settings traditionally looked upon as extremely complex.   

AHRQ’s report, Findings and Lessons from the AHRQ Ambulatory Safety and Quality Program, documents the research of more than 50 projects that explored the use of  health IT applications. The report is organized around the following 10 key aspects of ambulatory care that exemplify areas where implementation of  health IT can improve quality, facilitate quality measurement, support delivery of care to people with complex needs and enhance patient-centered care:

1. Developing and Testing Quality Measures
2. Capturing and Integrating Data to Support Quality Measurement and Improvement
3. Providing Clinicians with Patient-Specific Information, Clinical Knowledge and Decision Support
4. Providing Clinician and Patient Access to Medical Information
5. Improving Shared Decision-Making and Patient/Clinician Communication
6. Managing Medications
7. Supporting Patient Self-Management
8. Integrating Patient Information Across Transitions in Care
9. Coordinating Care
10. Improving Outcomes for Vulnerable Populations

 To download AHRQ’s report, Findings and Lessons from the AHRQ Ambulatory Safety and Quality Program, click here.

[VIDEO] Clinicians Attest to Impact of CUSP Toolkit

CUSPlogo.230A new video released by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality features clinicians’ explanations of how their institutions have utilized the agency’s Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) toolkit to eliminate healthcare-associated infections.

AHRQ’s CUSP toolkit, which was created for clinicians by clinicians, helps doctors, nurses and other clinicians work together to successfully identify and solve issues that threaten the safety of patients. The customizable toolkit focuses on best practices with consideration of the science of safety, improved safety culture and an increased emphasis on teamwork.

The CUSP toolkit is available for free on the AHRQ website. To learn more about CUSP, click here to watch AHRQ’s three-minute video overview of the program.

 

[STUDY] Observation Status Yields Loss for Hospitals

stethoscope.300A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has shown that patients classified with “observation status” actually cost hospitals more than if they were admitted as inpatients. The study, which was conducted at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, was initiated to better define the two hospitalization categories.

Researchers examined 43,853 stays, between July 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011, and discovered that the 4,578 stays assigned observation status yielded an average loss of $331 per patient. On the other hand, inpatient care generated a profit of $2,163 per patient.

The study also pointed to significant differences in the definition that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gives for observation care and the reality of what that care actually looks like in an academic medical center. CMS defines observation status as a “well-defined set of specific, clinically appropriate services,” usually lasting less than 24 hours, and that in “only rare and exceptional cases” should last more than 48 hours. In contrast, the study revealed that the length of stay for patients receiving observation care averaged 33.3 hours and the patients received treatment for 1,141 different diagnosis.

To read the abstract from the study, “Hospitalized but Not Admitted: Characteristics of Patients with ‘Observation Status’ at an Academic Medical Center,” click here.

3 Stories You Need But May Have Missed This Week

mednews-roundup-logo-300x122We know you’re busy, but we don’t want you to miss important healthcare quality and patient safety news. Below is a roundup of stories you may have missed but need to take a look at before calling it a week. (Sign up on the right if you’d like these news alerts delivered to you.)

  1. Why You Should Involve Patients in Nursing Handoffs
    According to a study done earlier this year by the American Nurses Association, 43 percent of nurses believe the majority of their hospitals’ patient safety programs are ineffective — except for one. Learn why nurses and patients agree that actively engaging patients during handoffs is essential to patient safety.
  2. How CPOE Will Make Healthcare Smarter
    Consider the possibilities now that computerized physician order entry is mainstream, and CPOE developers are turning their energies toward the design of simpler and more intuitive decision support- systems.
  3. Engaging Physicians to Prepare for ICD-10: Best Practices from Baptist Health
    Find out what steps Baptist Health South Florida took to implement its clinical documentation improvement program, cleverly tagged “CDI Miami,” and how the program’s success translated into $14 million in additional reimbursements awarded to the system this year.