CMS Will Soon Track Your Failure to Rescue Data—Are You Ready?

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media , March 30, 2010

Other practices that worked include:

  • Rounding hourly
  • Conducting bedside shift reports (RN handoff at the bedside)
  • Addressing medication administration inefficiencies
  • Streamlining documentation
  • Minimizing hunting and gathering activities related to equipment, supplies, and medications
  • Enhancing care coordination communications:
    • Wireless phone technology
    • Whiteboard communications
    • Multidisciplinary rounds

The retuRN to care program has been a success. Gelinas says that 11 hospitals in the VHA Georgia rapid adoption network reported an initial nursing-at-the-bedside rate of only 30%. Since adopting retuRN to care, their rates now stand at more than 60%.

As regulatory monitoring of nursing-sensitive performance measures intensifies, increasing nurse's time at the bedside will be vital for ensuring safe, quality care. The failure to rescue data could be the first of many such measures that quantify the important work of nurses.

"The public reporting of data around what nurses do is catching some hospitals off guard," says Gelinas. "Why are so many not aware that CMS will begin tracking failure to rescue from claims data?"

If you're not being effective and efficient about getting nurses back to the bedside, it's going to show in failure to rescue data. Are you ready for June 1?

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Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at

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