8 Stories You Need: How Great IT Impacts Human Touch, Bedside Shift Change, Treat Patients Like People

mednews-logo.300We know you’re busy, but we don’t want you to miss important healthcare quality and patient safety news. Here’s 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. Perspective: One patient’s satisfied experience with hospital IT
    Read this author’s account of his recent trip to a state-of-the-art emergency department. Learn how remarkable Health IT impacted engagement and efficiency while simultaneously intensifying the “human touch” felt along the way.
  2. Evaluation of Perioperative Medication Errors and Adverse Drug Events
    Access a new study from Massachusetts General Hospital and published in the journal, Anesthesiology, which found that a medication error or adverse drug event occurred in more than half of surgical procedures.
  3. The Most Crucial Half-Hour at a Hospital: The Shift Change
    While some nursing units have been reluctant to adopt bedside reporting practices, conducting shift-change conferences in the presence of the patient and family is becoming a key safety strategy in many facilities.
  4. Safety still shaky at most hospitals, says Leapfrog
    Hospital safety scores, just released by The Leapfrog Group, show improvement in eight key safety measures but reveal decline in other areas including critical measures such as foreign objects left in after surgery.
  5. Bad data vs. no data: Defending ProPublica
    Dr. Ashish Jha takes a stand for transparency and makes a run at dousing the firestorm surrounding ProPublica‘s release of Surgeon Scorecard data. According to Jha, while there may be problems with the organization’s methodology, the reported results still hold value for patients and physicians.
  6. A hospital worker has the most satisfying job in the world — You’d be surprised which one
    When staff truly understand and are committed to an organization’s mission, great reward often comes from “unofficial” duties. And in these cases, the employee wins; the patient and family wins, and the organization as whole wins.
  7. What is Reliability?
    Watch this seven-minute video, the first in a new series produced by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, describing the steps a team should take to create a reliable process or system.
  8. 10 most common patient complaints, grievances with hospitals
    Here’s a revealing list of the things that bother patients most. Compiled by Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Peter Pronovost, MD,  and the hospital’s patient relations director, Jan Hill, the list was published in U.S. News & World Report and points to tangible ways hospitals can treat patients more like people.


AAHQ Leaders Visit Governor’s Office as Group Preps for Fall Conference


Gov. Asa Hutchinson presents a proclamation naming October 18 – 24, Healthcare Quality Week, to AAHQ board members, Lynnette Jack, Sandy Grinder and Connie Taylor.

Representatives of the Arkansas Association for Healthcare Quality (AAHQ) recently had the opportunity to visit with Gov. Asa Hutchinson to talk about AAHQ’s role in educating and promoting healthcare quality in Arkansas as well as the Governor’s new Healthy Active Arkansas initiative. During their visit, Gov. Hutchinson presented Connie Taylor (President), Sandy Grinder (Past President) and Lynnette Jack with a proclamation officially declaring October 18 – 24 as Healthcare Quality Week in Arkansas.

As healthcare organizations nationwide are celebrating National Healthcare Quality Week 2015, AAHQ is gearing up for its upcoming annual meeting and educational conference set for Friday, November 13 in Little Rock. The agenda for the conference, themed Transitions of Care: Engaging Patients and Families, will incorporate opportunities for networking in between presentations by healthcare quality professionals including the following:

Cheri Lattimer, BSN RN
CEO, Consulting Management Innovators
Little Rock, Ark. 

Melissa Thomason, BS
Patient & Family Advisor, Vidant Health 
Eastern North Carolina

Dayna Jornsay-Hester, M.Ed.
Organizational Development Consultant, PFCC Innovation Center 
Pittsburgh, Pa. 

For more details and to register for AAHQ’s 2015 Fall Educational Conference before the November 1 deadline, click here.





5 Stories You Need: Sepsis Tipsheets; Med Error TED Talk, ICD-10 Challenges

mednews-logo.300We know you’re busy, but we don’t want you to miss important healthcare quality and patient safety news. Here’s 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. Free Tipsheets Afford Quick Reference for Sepsis Protocols
    Download, print and post this set of straightforward tipsheets aimed at helping staff in any hospital setting understand the defining criteria and suggested treatment protocols for severe sepsis and septic shock.
  2. It’s time for health care to stand up to medical errors. Will we?
    Just weeks after the Institute of Medicine released its third Health Care Quality Initiatives report, “Improving Diagnosis in Health Care.” a physician shares her family’s story of medical error. Access Dr. Carol Gunn’s recent TEDx Talk here.
  3. Chuck Lauer: The Patient Experience Revolution has arrived
    “Taking a moment to treat patients with empathy is not time wasted.” Consider the aspects that, according to Lauer, differentiate patient “experience” from “satisfaction” and why clinical quality and service quality actually are clearly intertwined.
  4. ICD-10: Post-Implementation Challenges
    While the healthcare industry’s transition to ICD-10 seems to have gone about as smoothly as anyone could have imagined, experts caution against overconfidence. Learn how issues like EHR/EMR performance glitches, a possible increase in denials and the need for ongoing training could initially impact productivity.
  5. FDA Warning Details Safe Use of Cranial Perforators
    The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a safety communication warning regarding the safe use of cranial perforators with automatic clutch mechanisms.


Free Tipsheets Afford Quick Reference for Sepsis Protocols


American Data Network (ADN) has developed a set of straightforward tipsheets aimed at helping clinicians understand the defining criteria and suggested treatment protocols for Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock. These handy tipsheets can be downloaded, printed, laminated and posted for quick reference by hospital staff.

According to an article published by Emergency Physicians Monthly, United States hospitals reported 1 million sepsis cases in 2011. Such hospitalizations generated costs totaling $20.3 billion, making sepsis the most expensive condition treated nationwide that year.

As of October 1, hospitals participating in the CMS Inpatient Quality Reporting Program are now collecting data on a new core measure related to severe sepsis and septic shock. Because the Severe Sepsis/Septic Shock Early Management Bundle or SEP-1 has the potential to save lives and decrease hospital length-of-stay, ADN created a set of tools that hospitals can use to help standardize sepsis protocols successfully facility wide.

To download these valuable free resources, made available by ADN for use in your facility, click on each tipsheet title: Severe Sepsis Tipsheet  and Septic Shock Tipsheet.


TJC Issues Sentinel Event Alert on Patient Falls

fallrisk.300The Joint Commission has issued a new Sentinel Event Alert directed at patient falls. While similar alerts released by the agency have typically focused on falls in inpatient settings, this alert encompasses falls that happen in all types of healthcare facilities.

TJC’s Sentinel Event Alert #55 points out that “any patient of any age or physical ability can be at risk for a fall.” TJC’s Sentinel Event database includes 465 reported falls with injury since 2009 with approximately 63 percent of those resulting in death. Analysis of the falls with injury in the TJC database points to the following as common contributing factors:

  • Inadequate assessment
  • Communication failure
  • Lack of adherence to protocols and safety practices
  • Inadequate staff orientation, supervision, staffing levels, or skill mix
  • Deficiencies in the physical environment
  • Lack of leadership

To learn more and to read TJC’s recommendations for preventing falls and fall-related injuries, click here.