HealthLeaders Media QualityLeaders - April 2, 2009 | World Autism Awareness Day Challenges Patient-Centered Care Ideals View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
World Autism Awareness Day Challenges Patient-Centered
Care Ideals
Rick Johnson, Senior Online Editor
Today is World Autism Awareness Day, and it reminds me that even those progressive healthcare organizations that have taken strides toward establishing a culture of patient-centered care might not have an environment that provides a quality interaction for their autistic patients. Just a little training in communicating effectively with autistic patients would go a long way toward giving them a real patient-centered care interaction. [Read More]
    
 
April 2, 2009
 
Editor's Picks

Massachusetts hospital ratings complicate care of sickest
Public reporting of hospital death rates may be pushing Massachusetts cardiac specialists to treat some very sick heart patients less aggressively. The trend has sparked a debate among health officials and doctors over whether patients are being spared unnecessary and costly end-of-life treatment or denied procedures that might save their lives. Cardiologists said in a letter to state officials earlier this year that they have stopped performing such procedures on some patients, such as those with very little chance of survival. State health officials agree with the conservative approach, saying that performing procedures on patients with little hope of recovery wastes money and exposes them to unnecessary care and pain. The debate over how to treat these patients follows recent reports that Massachusetts General Hospital and Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, MA, have had higher-than-average death rates in heart patients. [Read More]

Asperger's stress hormone 'link'
A recent study has found that different levels of the stress hormone cortisol may cause children with Asperger's Syndrome to dislike change to their routine. Officials say the hormone is believed to make the brain more alert and better able to cope with changes in the children's environment. And while researchers say that children with Asperger's, an autistic condition, do not experience the morning "surge" of cortisol that others do, the levels of the hormone still decreased during the day as normal. [Read More]

University of Chicago Medical Center found in violation of ER services law
The University of Chicago Medical Center has violated federal law by not providing a medical screening exam to a 78-year-old man who died February 3 in its emergency room, according to federal health officials. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services say the man's death led to violations of the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. If not corrected to the agency's satisfaction, these violations could lead to a loss of federal funding from the Medicare health insurance program. While The Joint Commission is investigating the incident, hospital officials say that its own investigation found that proper policies and procedures have already been in place, but that staff members may not have followed them. As a result, hospital officials said they have taken disciplinary action. [Read More]

China reports hepatitis infections from hospital
At least 64 people have been infected with hepatitis C after receiving transfusions of tainted blood at a county hospital in southern China between 2001 and 2003. The infections have been traced to a single donor who had been selling blood to the facility from 1998 to 2002, according to officials at Pingtang County People's Hospital. They also say that the blood had been improperly screened. The incidents have led to the arrest of the hospital's former chief on suspicion of illegally collecting and using the blood. Last year, the Health Ministry uncovered hundreds of cases of illegally sold blood, shutting down nearly 5,000 blood banks. [Read More]

Are You Part of a Top Leadership Team?
HealthLeaders Media is gearing up for its fifth year of the Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare program that recognizes the best in senior leadership teamwork at hospitals, health plans, and medical group practices. This year's winners will be honored during HealthLeaders Media '09: The Hospital of the Future Now, an event planned for October 15-16 at The Palmer House in Chicago. If you and your organization have an outstanding teamwork story to share, go to the Top Leadership Teams site to learn more about the six categories, download an entry form, and submit your entry. The deadline to submit is April 30.
This Week's Headlines


For Geisinger Health System, less is more
Washington Post - March 31, 2009


Kaiser's vital signs defy ailing economy
Los Angeles Times - April 1, 2009
Webcasts/Audio Conferences



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From HealthLeaders Magazine
SOS: Public Hospitals
On the brink even during good economic times, many public hospitals are operating in technical insolvency amid a painful recession. [Read More]  

Service Line Management
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A changing female demographic has created new opportunities for hospitals to grow the women's health service line into much more than just labor and delivery. [Read More]

Leaders Forum
Four Strategies for Promoting Physician-Hospital Alignment
Hugo J. Finarelli, Jr., PhD, author of The Hospital Executive's Guide to Physician Staffing, offers four strategies for promoting hospital-physician alignment, and as a result, improving recruitment and quality efforts. [Read More]
Audio Feature
CEO Survey: Cheryl Herbert, president of Dublin Methodist Hospital in central Ohio, offers insights on the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2009, discussing CEOs' view of the quality of their organizations' information technology and how the federal stimulus package may affect healthcare IT. [Listen Now]


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