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13 Top Healthcare Buzzwords for 2013

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 28, 2012

3. Highly Reliable Organization or HRO
Companies that produce goods and services that have the potential to cause serious harm to large numbers of people and property because of even small mistakes, but somehow rarely if ever do. Airlines, aircraft carriers, nuclear power plants, nuclear disarmament facilities, pharmaceutical companies, large chain restaurants, and healthcare organizations all fit the definition.

To become a highly reliable organization, executives, mid-managers and rank and file workers must all embrace a culture that encourages uniformity and consistency, the blame-free reporting of errors that lead to a safe operation or process each and every time.

4. 'All Cause' Measurement Science
Look for this phrasing to increasingly describe the quality measures that healthcare organizations will be increasingly expected to achieve.  For example, instead of just measuring 30-day readmission rates for the currently reviewed three diseases or conditions, (congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and heart attack), policymakers anticipate hospitals  soon will be scored, and possibly penalized, for their overall readmission rates.

5. 'All-or-Nothing'  Measurement Science
Likewise, in some payment bundles, healthcare organizations now receive partial credit for achieving five out of six specific measures.

But Don Berwick, MD, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, pointed out in a recent interview, that this is where measurement science needs to be, to measure "total system performance, 'all-or-nothing' metrics, where you don't get partial credit if you leave something out, or measures that have to do with patient well-being and comprehensive care.

"It's like buying a car and everything is fine except they left out the right front brake. That's a zero. That car is broken."  Only five in six, you get no points for any of it.

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3 comments on "13 Top Healthcare Buzzwords for 2013"


EPLJ (1/3/2013 at 4:07 PM)
The acronym "ALARA" actually stands for "as low as reasonably achievable" rather than "...as possible" as indicated in the article.

Bob Lowry, PA-C (12/31/2012 at 2:18 PM)
2 comments: Extensivists can also be Physician Assistants. PAs work with physicians as part of the healthcare team. PAs are the classic Physician Extenders. Public Health also means healthcare on a macro level that is STEEEP - Safe, Timely, Efficient, Equitable, Efficient, and Patient Centered. It is important to apply these macro public health concepts and tweak them for individual patients.

Ronald Hirsch, MD (12/28/2012 at 2:42 PM)
The buzzword of the year for me is: retrospectoscope. That describes the review tool that the Medicare MAC and RAC and OIG auditors use to deny payment for an Inpatient stay. The retrospectoscope, when used after discharge, indicates that the patient did well therefore the Inpatient hospitalization was not necessary and the hospital must refund the payment.