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. Embed Patient Experience Advisors Hospital-Wide
    “Respect Me, Hear Me, Work With Me.” These seven words define the patient and family experience at Ontario’s Kingston General Hospital. Learn more about this hospital’s work to transform its culture of “doing to and for” to one of “doing with” patients.  
  2. Dirty Scrubs and Other Disease-Spreading Attire
    What can hospitals do to prevent the spread of infectious bacteria via clinician attire? Access a paper just released by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America offering guidelines for precautions that medical professionals can take while we learn more about the actual level of risk posed to patient safety by clinicians’ clothes and accessories.   
  3. Hospitals Fight Two-Midnight Rule
    Read about the allegations prompting the American Hospital Association to take steps toward legal action to bring down the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ two-midnight rule for hospital admissions.  
  4. AMA Resources for Helping Physicians with ICD-10
    Scan an overview of the American Medical Association’s ICD-10 Action Plan, a free educational resource, offering 12 critical steps for a making a smooth transition to the complex coding system. Request this free tool and more via the links included in this article.  

3 Articles 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. Survey on Patient Safety Culture Improves Event Reporting at St. Jude
    An impact case study, published by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, illustrates how St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN used data obtained through implementation of AHRQ’s Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture to develop quality interventions and facilitate improvement in areas including patient safety event reporting. 
  2. Feds to Release 8 Quality Measures for Psych Unit Care
    Find out which eight measures specific to the nation’s 1,800 hospital inpatient psychiatric units will soon be made available to the public via sources like the CMS Hospital Compare website. The measure set will include data regarding the use of physical restraints and seclusion and is expected to reveal significant variability in care provided to psychiatric patients across the country. 
  3. RAC Appeals Process ‘Broken,’ AHA Says
    In a letter distributed to Congress and to the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the American Hospital Association contends that inappropriate audits as well as excessive Recovery Audit Contractor denials are preventing disbursement of over $1 billion in Medicare claims. Learn why the AHA is asking that all RAC audits be suspended until CMS can work its way through the current backlog of appeals and clean up the deeply flawed process for reversing unfair decisions.     

 

 

Survey on Patient Safety Culture Improves Event Reporting at St. Jude

ahrq-partnersAn impact case study, published by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, illustrates how St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN used data obtained through implementation of AHRQ’s Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture to develop quality interventions and facilitate improvement in areas including patient safety event reporting.  St. Jude has distributed the survey three times since its 2009 adoption of the trusted tool for the purpose of gaining a clearer understanding of its organizational culture.

Response rates, among St. Jude’s approximately 1,000 patient care employees, who were given the opportunity to complete the survey, have ranged from 46 to 54 percent. Results from St. Jude’s initial distribution of the survey caused the hospital to place high priority on improving communication surrounding the occurrence of patient safety events. Simple modifications,  like added summaries within the hospital’s voluntary event reporting system, significantly increased discussion about specific events. Now, more and more, instead of blaming each other when an event occurs, staff members talk to each other about how they can work together to prevent errors and near misses.

Consequently, when the survey was administered in 20011, the number of employees who responded positively regarding communication and feedback surrounding safety events made a significant jump from 59 percent to 76 percent. In addition, survey results also prompted St. Jude to modify its customized electronic event reporting system by adding a text box in which event reporters can provide suggestions for improving care delivery. The hospital also streamlined its reporting tool with the aim of allowing a user to report an event in only 2 minutes or less.

To learn more about how St. Jude has utilized AHRQ’s Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture to improve event reporting and to design other interventions that address issues including transitions of care and second victims, click here.

 

6 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. Disclosure, Apology and Resolution – No Turning Back Now
    While the thought of openly discussing preventable harm with patients remains a daunting topic for most organizations, hospitals leading the movement to cease traditional “deny and defend” policies stand committed and respected in the eyes of their patients.  
  2. U.S. News Hospital Rankings to Double Role of Patient Safety, Cut Back Reputation
    Learn more about how U.S. News & World Reports plans to change its methodology in calculating hospital scores for its annual “Best Hospitals” list and find out why the publication is considering giving special kudos to hospitals that regularly conduct patient safety culture surveys. 
  3. [STUDY] How Physician Note Sharing Can Improve Patient Engagement & Safety
    Widespread adoption of the electronic medical record is making a fully-transparent health record much more palatable — for patients and physicians. Learn what the ongoing OpenNotes initiative is telling us about the benefits of allowing patients to log in to a password-protected portal to read their physician’s notes following a doctor’s visit. 
  4. 12 Things I’d Change on Hospital Compare
    Read through this author’s insightful recommendations made to prompt the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to start thinking hard about revamping its current Hospital Compare website. 
  5. A Letter to Healthcare Providers from a Consumer
    The doctor/patient relationship has a brand new feel, and it feels like today’s patient, or “consumer,” is going to be calling a lot of the shots. This piece provides an eye-opening look inside the more informed patient’s head and shoots straight when it comes to explaining that patients want what they’re paying for. 
  6. The Hospital Room of the Future
    Check out the amazing rendering that accompanies this piece. From an over-bed fixture, which can be programmed to administer light therapy, to innovative floor, wall and equipment surfaces that repel bacteria, the sky is the limit when it comes to redesigning hospital rooms that will be safer for patients and less costly in the long-run for hospitals.   

 

[STUDY] How Physician Note Sharing Improves Patient Engagement & Safety

OpenNotes.logoAlthough the idea of empowering patients by granting them access to their own medical record is at least 40 years old, the concept has been slow to catch on, and until recent years, much of the medical record has remained inaccessible without legal action. Today, widespread adoption of the electronic medical record is making a fully-transparent health record much more palatable — for patients and physicians. According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients who log in to a password-protected portal to read their physicians’ notes following a doctor’s visit have a better understanding of their health situation and feel more ownership in their health plan. 

In 2010, more than 100 primary care physicians affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa. and Harborville Medical Center in Seattle volunteered to allow some of their patients read notes from their clinic visits via a secure online portal. Thus, the OpenNotes initiative, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was born. Although nearly 20,000 participants represented a minority of the doctors’ patients, findings from the trial were telling. 

First, it should be noted that 4 out 5 patients took advantage of their doctor’s offer and actually did log in and read the visit notes made available to them. Those who did use the portal reported that they felt more engaged in their care, and more than two-thirds reported more consistency in taking prescribed medication. After the first year, 99 percent of patients wanted access to their physicians’ notes to continue, and 85 percent said such access would impact their choice of care facility in the future.

The majority of doctors said they did not make adjustments in their tone or approach to delivering sensitive information when recording their notes; however, some did admit to modifying the way they addressed certain conditions including: cancer, mental health, substance abuse and obesity. In general, physicians were surprised at how unfazed patients were by reading unedited notations. Authors of the NEJM article, “The Road Toward Fully Transparent Medical Records,” anticipate that open notes will become a standard of care and healthcare systems eventually will expand the practice to include: inpatient hospital services, recuperative and rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, home care and other settings. While researchers agree that such an expansion would be an extremely complex task for acute care hospitals, they are convinced that the benefits to patients would be astounding. Allowing patients and families opportunities to address questionable statements, identify significant clinical mistakes or point out lapses in follow-up would greatly improve patient safety.

Not only have the three original OpenNotes participants now opted to open their notes broadly across their organizations, but  the study’s findings have prompted high profile institutions including M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic and the Veterans Health Administration to follow suit. To learn more about the impact of healthcare’s move toward open medical notes, watch the video below.

OpenNotes: The Evidence is In

5 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. Top 10 Technologies Healthcare Leaders (Should) Want
    Download the ECRI Institute’s guide to its “must think carefully about” list of the 10 technologies hospital C-Suite leaders need to be particularly attuned to in 2014. Consider the impact researchers are predicting certain medical devices, environmental designs and big data could have on care delivery this year.
  2. How EHR Design Can Affect Patient Safety
    Michael Chen, MD, a physician and software coder, shares his growing concern that practicing physicians need much more input into EHR design. Chen says that unless these systems are built to think more like physicians do, patient safety will be significantly compromised. Chen details a system flaw brought to his attention when a patient was endangered because an EHR automatically removed asthma medication prescribed “as needed” from her active medications list. 
  3. Fresh Take on Hospital Discharges Cuts Readmissions
    Learn how Detroit Medical Center’s elimination of the word “discharge” and subsequent adoption of a new “shared responsibilities” mentality helped transform their patients’ goodbye experience into a well-defined and supportive transitioning process.  
  4. Top Healthcare Quality Issues for 2014, Part 1
    Top Healthcare Quality Issues for 2014, Part 2
     
    Healthcare-acquired Infections and readmissions top HealthLeaders Media’s list of healthcare quality issues that will take center stage in 2014. 
  5. The Moral Imperative To Disclose Medical Error: Doing the Right Thing
    Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit healthcare system, shares details of its journey toward the establishment of a just culture that includes full disclosure. They offer insight that nonsecular and secular organizations, alike, should find valuable .  

 

IHI Announces Agenda for 2014 Summit on Improving Patient Care

IHIThe Institute for Healthcare Improvement will host its 15th Annual  International Summit on Improving Patient Care in the Office Practice and the Community, March 9 – 11, in Washington, D.C.  The theme for this year’s gathering is “Riding the Waves in a Sea of Change.”

More than 60 sessions delivered by over 200 experts will introduce cutting-edge improvements for office practices, outpatient settings and communities. IHI anticipates helping hundreds of physicians, nurses, administrators, patient safety and quality improvement leaders as well as patients and patient advocates  explore new ways to create a culture of continuous improvement, engage patients and communities in redesigning care, and chart a bold new course for the future.

Click here to enroll to attend the summit by Friday, January 31 and receive a discount on your registration fee.

To learn more about the 15th Annual International Summit on Improving Patient Care in the Office Practice and the Community click here.