Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America
America’s healthcare system has become too complex and costly to continue business as usual, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. Inefficiencies, an overwhelming amount of data, and other economic and quality barriers hinder progress in improving health and threaten the nation’s economic stability and global competitiveness, the report says.
AHRQ Patient Safety Project Reduces Bloodstream Infections by 40 Percent
A unique nationwide patient safety project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reduced the rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in intensive care units by 40 percent, according to the agency’s preliminary findings of the largest national effort to combat CLABSIs to date.
EMPSF 2nd Annual Patient Safety Summit
On March 22 and 23, 2012, the Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Foundation (EMPSF) held its 2nd Annual Patient Safety Summit: From Insights to Outcomes: Getting Results! The meeting brought together key stakeholders and thought leaders from across the emergency care continuum. Among the distinguished panel of speakers were the presidents of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Emergency Nurses Association, National Patient Safety Foundation, and the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management.
Pharmaceutical Waste: Is Your Facility at Risk?
Every year United States hospitals and nursing homes generate more than 84,000 tons of hazardous pharmaceutical waste (Sumpter, 2005). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires businesses, including healthcare facilities, to safely manage their hazardous wastes from the moment they are generated to when they are appropriately disposed (RCRA, 1976). States and municipalities also can regulate hazardous waste disposal.
American College of Surgeons
Accounting for Patient Risks: A Prerequisite to Quality Improvement
Taking into account the health risks posed by the condition of each individual patient is not just critical to improving quality—it is a prerequisite. To fairly measure a hospital’s performance, any assessment must consider the health risks posed by the condition of each individual patient, as well as the hospital’s case mix, given that some hospitals may take on more complex surgical cases than others.
Shakespeare Was on Target: Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be
The phrase, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” originated from Shakespeare’s famous play, Hamlet (1603), during which Lord Polonius gives this advice to his son who is heading back to school. Because our world is different today, you may believe this advice is outdated and irrelevant. But when it comes to medication safety, Shakespeare’s advice is timeless; medications should never be borrowed from or lent to others.
Home Infusion Therapy: Safety, Efficacy, and Cost-Savings
Home infusion is a clinically appropriate treatment option for patients with a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, ranging from bacterial infections to more complex conditions such as late-stage heart failure, bleeding disorders, nutrition support, and immune deficiencies. Home infusion affords patients independence and better quality of life because it is provided in the comfort of the patient’s home at a time that best fits his or her needs. In addition, home infusion can provide improved safety, better outcomes, and cost-effectiveness.
The Case for Standards-Based Performance Assessment
Diagnostic radiology is a vital component of the healthcare system and is utilized in the diagnosis and management of nearly every hospital patient. Radiology services cost $175 billion annually in the United States, representing 7.5% of total healthcare expenditures. Given the size of the annual spend, there can be little argument that aggressive utilization management is warranted to control front-end costs; however, evaluating the quality of service is equally important since radiology errors can lead to significant downstream costs.
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Health IT & Quality
Super-organism Focused Care
About 10 trillion cells make up the human body. The joining of eggs and sperm at the time of fertilization brings together 23,000 genes. In a healthy gut alone, more than 100 trillion bacteria thrive. Scientists estimate that the microbiome—the term used to describe all the bacteria and other organisms that live on and within us—collectively represent more than three million genes.