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Top 10 HealthLeaders Clinical Care Stories of 2019

Analysis  |  By Christopher Cheney  
   December 23, 2019

Selection criteria for the Top 10 list include whether a story resonated with the HealthLeaders audience.

At HealthLeaders, the top clinical care stories of 2019 covered a range of topics, including patient safety, sepsis detection, maternal mortality, and hospital staffing.

The selection criteria for the following Top 10 list featured whether a story resonated with the HealthLeaders audience and stories that focused on 2019 pressing concerns in clinical care. Click on the links below to see the full text of the stories. 

  1. Maternal mortality: The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documented a steady increase in U.S. pregnancy-related deaths from 1987 to 2014. The Team Birth Project is designed to decrease maternal mortality through two primary methods: improving communication between the mother, the family, and the clinical care team; and a pair of decision-making tools.
  2. Sepsis detection: A computer-based decision support tool for sepsis at HCA Healthcare hospitals can detect the deadly infection about 18 hours earlier than the best clinicians.
  3. Hospital discharge: Cleveland Clinic has developed a hospital discharge checklist to improve the handoff of patients to postacute care providers. The discharge checklist features two elements: a medication reconciliation document and a discharge summary.
  4. Patient safety: The Leapfrog Group is pushing for widespread adoption of the nonprofit group's expanded Never Event Policy for hospitals. A "never event" is defined as egregious medical errors such as surgery on the wrong patient. Leapfrog's Never Event Policy is intended to hold hospitals accountable and promote high reliability in clinical care.
  5. Millennial healthcare workers: IU Health has developed a four-part strategy to retain millennials at the Indianapolis-based health system—adopting a new dress code, providing opportunities for career advancement, reforming hiring and training practices, and enhancing tuition reimbursement for continuing education.
  6. Behavioral health: New York-based nonprofit FAIR Health research has documented a spike in the behavioral health needs of children and young adults, including increased prevalence of anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorders. The medical director of Pediatric Mental Health Services at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas shares her facility's holistic approach to caring for children and adolescents with mental health disorders.
  7. Rural hospital staffing: An article published in July by the New England Journal of Medicine predicted a worsening shortage of physicians in rural areas of the country—mainly due to an aging workforce. A survey report published by Alpharetta, Georgia–based Jackson Physician Search features four strategies to boost physician recruitment in rural areas such as including family members in recruitment efforts.
  8. Vision-impaired patients: Research published in April by JAMA estimated excess costs in the care of vision-impaired hospitalized patients at more than $500 million annually. Experts from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Miami Health System's Bascom Palmer Eye Institute share three best practices for the care of vision-impaired patients.
  9. Home health: A executive from CommonSpirit Health shares how the Chicago-based health system is using home health capabilities to help acute care providers manage patient outcomes after hospital discharge.
  10. Telepsychiatry: The medical director at AbleTo, a provider of telepsychiatry services, discusses the best practices for providing behavioral health services through telemedicine.

Christopher Cheney is the CMO editor at HealthLeaders.


Some top stories were based on new research findings such as a study on the aging rural physician workforce.

Other top stories focused on pressing concerns in clinical care such as sepsis detection and maternal mortality.

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