Quality & Patient Safety

Patient Safety Monitor Journal, July 2017

Patient Safety Monitor, July 1, 2017

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Patient Safety Monitor.

Editor's Note: Click the PDF button above for a full edition of the June 2017 edition of Patient Safety Monitor Journal

How to get readmission rates under control

To say readmissions are a big deal in medicine is a massive understatement. The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) was enacted in 2010 specifically to take on this problem and has imposed nearly $1 billion in penalties. An estimated $17 billion in Medicare spending is spent annually on avoidable hospital readmissions. By the end of 2017, it’s expected that more than half of hospitals will be fined for high 30-day readmission rates, according to CMS projections.

There’s been much discussion over how much control physicians actually have on readmission rates. Some studies have even found that readmissions sometimes improve outcomes. However, the fact remains that facilities are paying millions in readmission fines and penalties, which hospitals and clinics could be using for promoting patient safety and quality improvement projects. Here are some methods to make sure patients who leave the hospital don’t wind up right back in the lobby.   

Burned out or under the influence? What to do about impaired medical staff

By the time the general public hears about an impaired clinician, whether it’s a nurse, technician, or physician, it’s usually after something bad has already happened. The infamous case of a New Hampshire technician who stole painkiller syringes and exposed thousands of patients to hepatitis C is just one example. The following is an edited Q&A with Judy Kees, a regional coach leader at Studer Group with human resource executive experience at several health systems. PSMJ spoke with Kees on how to deal with an impaired employee, how to identify the problem before harm is done, and what your obligations are afterwards.

CDC updates SSI guideline for the first time in 18 years

In May 2017, the CDC released its new guideline for surgical site infection (SSI) prevention, the first such update since the turn of the century.
"There is increasing demand for evidence-based interventions for the prevention of SSI,” wrote lead author Sandra Berríos-Torres, MD, in the guideline. “The last version of the CDC Guideline for Prevention of Surgical Site Infection was published in 1999. While the guideline was evidence informed, most recommendations were based on expert opinion, in the era before evidence-based guideline methods.”

Three keys to preventing workplace violence

This spring, Ann Scott Blouin, RN, PhD, FACHE, executive vice president of The Joint Commission, wrote a blog post detailing the need for a practical approach to healthcare’s endemic workplace violence (WPV) problem.

 In 2013, more than 70% of the 23,000 significant injuries resulting from workplace assault happened in healthcare and social service settings. In 2014, a survey found that 76% of nurses have experienced verbal or physical abuse from patients and visitors. And in 2015, data published by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety discovered a 4% rise in hospital assaults, from 7.8 assaults per 100 beds in 2014 to 8.1 the following year.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Patient Safety Monitor.

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