Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Protecting patients from medical apology programs

Protecting patients from medical apology programs

by  in the 20 November edition of KevidMD.com

To deal with the aftermath of medical errors, an increasing number of providers are encouraging injured patients to participate in “medical apology programs.” The idea, proponents say, is for patients to meet with facility representatives to learn what happened and why.  It gives the patient a chance to ask questions and it gives providers a chance to apologize, and as appropriate, offer compensation.  These programs are promoted as humanitarian, and, at least in terms of providing an emotional outlet for patients, they are.

 

The evidence also suggests that they are about something else: money.  Every aspect of how they operate – from who risk managers involve, to what those involved are told to say – suggests a key goal is to dissuade patients from seeking compensation by creating an emotional connection with them. …

November 21, 2011 Posted by | health care | , , , , | Leave a comment

(Obama Administration) Partnerships for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs

From the HealthCare.gov Web page

Doctors, nurses and other health care providers in America work incredibly hard every day to deliver the best care possible to their patients.  Unfortunately, an alarming number of patients are harmed by medical mistakes in the health care system and far too many die prematurely as a result.

The Obama Administration has launched the Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs, a new public-private partnership that will help improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans.  The Partnership for Patients brings together leaders of major hospitals, employers, health plans, physicians, nurses, and patient advocates along with State and Federal governments in a shared effort to make hospital care safer, more reliable, and less costly.  The Partnership will help save 60,000 lives by stopping millions of preventable injuries and complications in patient care over the next three years and has the potential to save up to $35 billion, including up to $10 billion for Medicare.  Over the next ten years, it could reduce costs to Medicare by about $50 billion and result in billions more in Medicaid savings.  Already, more than 500 hospitals, as well as physicians and nurses groups, consumer groups, and employers, have pledged their commitment to the new initiative.

The two goals of this new partnership are:

  • Keep patients from getting injured or sicker. By the end of 2013, preventable hospital-acquired conditions would decrease by 40% compared to 2010.  Achieving this goal would mean approximately 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients, with more than 60,000 lives saved over the next three years.
  • Help patients heal without complication. By the end of 2013, preventable complications during a transition from one care setting to another would be decreased so that all hospital readmissions would be reduced by 20% compared to 2010.  Achieving this goal would mean more than 1.6 million patients will recover from illness without suffering a preventable complication requiring re-hospitalization within 30 days of discharge….

…To see which organizations have already joined the Partnership, visitpartnershippledge.HealthCare.gov. …

…For more information about the Partnership for Patients, visitwww.HealthCare.gov/center/programs/partnership.  For more information about the Community-based Care Transitions Program funding opportunity visit: www.cms.gov/DemoProjectsEvalRpts/MD/itemdetail.asp?itemID=CMS1239313.

April 15, 2011 Posted by | Health News Items, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Emory Healthcare’s unique training shows signific knowledge of quality principles

From the 11 April 2011 EurekaNewsAlert

ATLANTA – The effectiveness of a unique two-pronged educational program has shown significant improvements in knowledge of quality principles by leaders as well as the successful design and launch of QI (quality improvement) projects by frontline staff, according to results outlined in an article in the April 2011 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (http://www.jcrinc.com/The-Joint-Commission-Journal-on-Quality-and-Patient-Safety/Current-Issue/).

[For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here]

Lessons learned from the program results, which originated at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, should be useful to health care organizations as they weigh alternative strategies to promote QI activities and a culture of quality across their organizations, according to authors led by Dr. Kimberly Rask, MD, Ph.D, an associate professor in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. The projects that were implemented as part of the practical methods course are being systematically evaluated for sustainability and longer-term impact on patient outcomes.

“This initiative shows the feasibility of implementing a broad-based in-house QI training program for multidisciplinary staff across an integrated health system. Initial assessment shows knowledge improvements and successful QI project implementations, with many projects active up to one year following the courses,” says Dr. Rask.

“The opportunity to improve quality and patient safety in health care settings has been well documented,” Rask adds. “Health care organizations use a variety of strategies to promote quality improvement activities, but there is little evidence to date about the most effective strategies. Studies have shown that clinically focused training in QI techniques can improve patient safety and reduce inefficiency.”

The project spanned five Emory hospitals and a multispecialty physician practice. One two-day program, ‘Leadership for Healthcare Improvement,’ was offered to leadership, and a four-month program, ‘Practical Methods for Healthcare Improvement,’ was offered to frontline staff and middle managers.

Participants in the leadership program completed self-assessments of QI competencies and pre- and post-course QI knowledge tests. Semi-structured interviews with selected participants in the practical methods program were performed to assess QI project sustainability and short-term outcomes. More than 600 employees completed one of the training programs in 2008 and 2009. Leadership course participants significantly improved knowledge in all content areas, and self-assessments revealed high comfort levels with QI principles following the training. All practical methods participants were able to initiate and implement QI projects.

Participants described significant challenges with team functionality, but a majority of the QI projects made progress toward achieving their aim statement goals. A review of completed projects shows that a significant number were sustained up to one year after program completion. Quality leaders continue to modify the program based on learner feedback and institutional goals.

 

 

April 12, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , | Leave a comment

Reluctance to Speak up Encourages Medical Errors

Reluctance to Speak up Encourages Medical Errors

From the March 22 2011 Health Day news item by Robert Preidt

HealthDay news imageTUESDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) — Nurses often don’t speak up about incompetent colleagues or when they see fellow health-care workers making mistakes that could harm patients, new research finds.

In recent years, many hospitals have taken steps to reduce medical errors through measures such as checklists, patient handoff protocols, computerized order entry systems and automated medication-dispensing systems.

But the study***, which included 6,500 nurses and nurse managers across the United States, found that too often, nurses don’t alert their colleagues when they see a safety measure being violated…..

 

*** An executive summary of the study may be found here

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March 24, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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