HealthLeaders Media QualityLeaders - February 28, 2008 | Readers Write
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Readers Write
Maureen Larkin, Senior Editor-Quality
A little more than a month ago, I used this space to talk about President George W. Bush's State of the Union address. That column prompted a lot of feedback from readers who wanted to share their thoughts about not only electronic health records, but ways to improve America's healthcare system. Turns out, there are many different opinions on this subject. [Read More]
Feb. 28, 2008
Editors Picks

Checklist study is cleared
About a month ago, I wrote about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shutting down a study at Michigan hospitals that used checklists to prevent errors in the intensive care unit. At the time, HHS's Office for Human Research Protections said the study violated federal ethics requirements. Last week, however, the acting director of the agency said that his agency should not have inhibited the activity and encouraged the hospitals to continue using checklists to improve patient safety. [Read More]

Is pay-for-performance a good thing?
Some hospitals report lower infection rates and higher incidents of life-saving procedures for heart attack victims, but a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that care evaluations and bonus payments varied greatly, meaning that for some hospitals, the cost of participating in pay-for-performance programs is more than the actual payments it receives from the government. [Read More]

Is this the end for OR broadcasts?
Live surgery broadcasts have been used as a teaching tool for more than 20 years, but some hospitals are no longer using them, citing concerns for patient safety if a surgeon is distracted by cameras and a live audience. [Read More]

Lessen the stress of a hospital stay
When you're preparing for a hospital stay, don't forget to pack your favorite items from home. This includes a friend or family member to serve as your patient advocate--someone who can help you make medical decisions and watch out for potential errors in your care. The article also suggests patients bring with them a bottle of hand sanitizer gel, with a note that says, "Protect me from germs . clean your hands!" [Read More]

Irish agency's hand washing ads draw fire
Ireland's Health Service Executive--comparable to our Department of Health and Human Services--is being criticized for an advertising campaign it launched recently, which encourages patients to ask their caregivers if they have washed their hands. The HSE acknowledges that it may be difficult for patients to question caregivers, but says hand-washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections. [Read More]

HealthGrades names 50 top hospitals
HealthGrades has released its annual report of America's 50 Best Hospitals. The ratings agency says these 50 hospitals have demonstrated superior clinical quality for the most consecutive years. Is your hospital on this list? [Read More]

This Weeks Headlines

Bad medicine
Forbes Magazine - March 2008

New York City to help doctors track patients' records electronically
The New York Times - February 26, 2008

Network lets Tennessee doctors share patient info
The Tennessean - February 25, 2008

California lags in reporting of hospitals' drug-resistant infection rates
Los Angeles Times - February 24, 2008

WWU student dies of sudden MRSA pneumonia
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - February 22, 2008

Aurora finds savings in health quality project
The Business Journal of Milwaukee - February 22, 2008

Patient--and family--centered care improves Florida ICUs - February 25, 2008

RI lawmakers propose tracking system
The Boston Globe - February 25, 2008

Virginia's largest insurer will stop paying for surgical errors
The Roanoke Times - February 26, 2008

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Love Thy Vendor?
Providers and IT suppliers dont get along, right? You can build a partnership of trust with your vendor--and actually get what you pay for. Heres how. [Read More]  
Leaders Forum
Advocate for the dollars you need to fight infection rates
These days, many infection control programs have been forced to shift their focus from spores and microorganisms to dollars and cents, and in addition to battling infections, you may find yourself battling budget constraints amid the ongoing need for resources and staff. Thankfully, you don't have to be a certified public accountant or a Wall Street day trader to determine your needs. Just like your daily IC tasks, everything starts with a plan (this is a pay-per-view article). [Read More]
Audio Feature
John Frenzel, MD, MS, associate professor in the department of anesthesiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, talks about how best practices in the aviation field have been used at MD Anderson to improve quality of care.
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