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Top 10 Healthcare Quality Issues for 2011

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 3, 2011

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, change for patients with end stage renal disease is in the wings in the form of bundled payments and tighter scrutiny.

3. Central Line Infections
The battle against central line infections rages on for healthcare leaders in 2011. Will safer infection control practices (such as minimal catheter use and checklists) make a difference in quality of care?

Mandatory reporting now in place in 17 states was said to be the reason for an 18% decline in central line-associated bloodstream infections during the first six months of 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a May news conference, Peter Pronovost, MD, medical director of the Center for Innovations in Quality Patient Care at Johns Hopkins University called central line infections "the polio campaign for the 21st century."  He said the CDC's efforts mark a turning point for healthcare transparency and accountability."

And while CDC would not release hospital specific CLABSI rates, they said those numbers are coming soon in future reports.

4. Patient Involvment in Care
Donald Berwick, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator, predicts that putting the patient first will become a theme for medicine in 2011 along with transparency.

In the new year, Medicare will be reimbursing hospitals in part on a formula based on patient satisfaction, which is anathema under the old school way of thinking about things.

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3 comments on "Top 10 Healthcare Quality Issues for 2011"


Anne Jarrett MS, RPh (2/7/2012 at 4:55 PM)
I would like to add a comment on the subject of dialysis and the expense related to it. I am a pharmacist who established a pharmacy at a transplant center to help patients obtain their medications, and I have a unique perspective. The meds transplant patients take are very expensive, even after Medicare pays 80%. After transplant,Medicare covers these patients for 3 years only. I saw patients who could not afford their meds, did not take them, and often had to be readmitted numerous times to receive I.V. drugs. Drug manufacturers have ever changing pt. assist. programs,rendering a sig. amt. of pts. ineligible. Result:Patients were re-transplanted only to start the cycle again. All of which was paid for by Medicare,including being,back on dialysis while waiting for another kidney. What's wrong with this picture?

Helen Erickson (1/7/2011 at 9:34 PM)
This approach has been around for many years, has been demonstrated to be effective, but requires a mind set about the worth of the person's self-care knowledge. The attached video provides information about the use of this approach at The Univer of TX Health Science Center, San Antonio http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhYeeVghhQU

Bogey (1/4/2011 at 9:00 AM)
Interesting that none of the concerns from the provider perspective is about lowering the cost of care, the single largest driver of high insurance prices and medicine today. And one wonders when providers will "get it," that it is the rising cost of care and the lack of MARKET forces (not government regulation) to drive down cost that propels us toward the iceberg, as providers rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.