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The Dual Faces of Quality
Janice Simmons, Senior Editor
It's been a very busy week in Washington, DC—especially if you cover issues related to quality and healthcare. From the meeting rooms of the American Hospital Association's annual membership meeting to the floor of the U.S. Senate to a federal hearing on meaningful use and health information technology, the word has been there: quality. [Read More]
    
 
April 30, 2009
 
Editor's Picks

WHO warns of swine flu pandemic
After new cases of "swine flu" continued to pop up around the world this week, the World Health Organization warned that the world is probably on the verge of a pandemic. The agency raised the alert level for the second time in three days Wednesday, elevating it to one notch below a full-scale pandemic after concluding that the virus was causing sustained outbreaks in the United States and Mexico. The WHO's alert is intended to prompt nations to activate an emergency response plan, to spur pharmaceutical companies to increase production of antiviral drugs and help speed development of a vaccine, and to prod bankers to help poor countries afford measures to fight the virus, officials said. In the United States, the flu's spread has led hospitals and health departments to roll out emergency plans to prepare for the threat. [Read More]

Hospitals' Program Lowers Potential Medication Errors
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital have found that the use of a better-integrated computer system and process redesign could reduce the number of potential medication errors present in the medication reconciliation process. The study took place during May and June 2006, and focused on using existing technology to compare patients' medication lists to prevent adverse events. [Read More]

Statewide Approach to MRSA Prevention
This article by my colleague Matt Phillion examines a statewide collaborative targeting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as a focus point for infection control at Kentucky hospitals. Initially, the plan was to focus on rural hospitals, using funding through a rural grant, explains Elizabeth Cobb, MPH, vice president of health policy with the Kentucky Hospital Association. As discussions continued, however, the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences was brought into the loop, and funding from emergency preparedness grants came into play. The organizations decided to pool their resources and target MRSA across the state. [Read More]

Minnesota hospital cited for neglecting two patients
Minnesota regulators have cited Regions Hospital in St. Paul for neglect of care in the case of a patient who died last year after suffering brain damage. In a report, investigators from the Minnesota Department of Health said hospital staff members chose to silence the alarm on a device monitoring the patient's oxygen level "rather than make a proper assessment" of the patient's condition. In a statement, representatives from the hospital said "we deeply regret that these incidents occurred. Patient safety is a top priority, and while we disagree with the conclusions in the reports, we have taken additional steps to further enhance patient safety and care." [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Evidence-Based Hospital Design Improves Patient Safety
Tami Swartz, for HealthLeaders Media - April 28, 2009

Hepatitis at Atlantic City hospital probed
Philadelphia Inquirer - April 27, 2008


Putting a Stop to Ventilator Associated Pneumonia
Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media - April 24, 2009
Webcasts/Audio Conferences


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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Jump . . . or Get Pushed
The tough decisions you don't want to make now—but may have to. [Read More]  

Service Line Management
Redefining Cardio
The cardiovascular service line remains a dependable revenue generator for many hospitals. But a shifting market full of new options for patients means organizations must find ways to differentiate themselves. [Read More]

Leaders Forum
EHR Implementations: Success Lies Beyond the Build: With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's HITECH incentives, healthcare organizations are being urged to roll out EHRs and use them in a "meaningful" way. In this feature, HealthLeaders Media contributor Rob Drewniak offers three areas that often get the short shrift during an EHR implementation, but they are as critical to success as the functionality itself. [Read More]
Audio Feature
Physician leaders David Pate, Marigene Hartker, and Joseph Knapp discuss how to enhance quality in the cardiac service line through physician alignment, quality initiatives, and leadership strategies. "Hospital leadership needs to take responsibility for establishing alignment with physicians," says Pate, CEO of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, TX. [Listen Now]

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