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Top 12 Healthcare Buzzwords for 2012

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 3, 2012

3. Change fatigue. People get tired mainly when routines stay the same, day in and day out, right? Not necessarily. We've been hearing healthcare providers talk about a new kind of fatigue, one brought on by too much change too fast.

Now, many commercial health plan and federal healthcare programs are encouraging innovation, requiring that hospitals, clinics, and physician practices test new ways of doing old procedures. There's change in leadership, areas of responsibility, accelerated workload and expectations, and requirements for new skills and training in people who may not be prepared for it or want it.

Some providers have expressed frustration with this "new flavor of the month" attitude. Now managers are trying to find productive ways to make these transitions, so there is enough stability and constancy mixed in to prevent change fatigue.

4. Accountable care skimping. In the Medicare Shared Saving Program's final rule released in October, the word "skimp" comes up four times.

Officials for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services used the word to address a concern that when physicians in accountable care organizations are paid to avoid unnecessary expenses, they may—unconsciously or not—avoid necessary expenses for their patients. Heaven forbid, they may "skimp on care."

Here are a few quotes from the rule:

"Comment: Several commenters expressed concern about unintended
negative consequences related to the quality measures and patients' role in
improving quality of care outcomes. A number of commenters were concerned that ACOs might skimp or delay in providing specialty care, particularly high cost services or those not available within the ACO."

And, "Other commenters expressed concern that specialty care and care for those with disabilities might be negatively affected by the lack of specialty measures or incentives to skimp on necessary care."

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3 comments on "Top 12 Healthcare Buzzwords for 2012"


April Parks (12/30/2011 at 7:52 AM)
This is not a description of Palliative care. I am a PC doc, We take care of all types patients, not just the dying. We do take care of many patients In the ICU, and help support family as their loved one's clinical picture evolves. Sometimes they die, and sometimes they improve and are discharged from the hospital. The purpose of Palliative care is to clarify the patients goals and make sure the medical care they recieve will help meet those goals. If the medical care they are recieving does not match their goals then we help the patient, family members, and other docs sort throug this at issue. We are also experts at symptom management(pain, anxiety Etc).

Ben (12/28/2011 at 3:11 PM)
I like the fact that hospitals are trying to improve the customer service experience...i just think that nurses must stay true and not just " scripted" to get excellent customer service score. We are not car dealers.

Joe Tye (12/27/2011 at 10:53 AM)
A perennial favorite buzzword is "empowerment" - which overlooks the eternal truth that true empowerment is an inside job that requires the hard work of building a positive self-image, confronting negative self-talk, being open to constructive criticism, and learning to control ego and emotion. Those are learnable skills and any hospital or other healthcare organization that wants to optimize patient satisfaction, productivity, and staff morale should help people learn these skills of self-empowerment.