HealthLeaders Media QualityLeaders - July 10, 2008 | Set the Bar High View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Set the Bar High
Maureen Larkin, Senior Editor-Quality
Mistakes happen, even among highly trained medical professionals. But don't sweep the situation under the rug. Instead, the road to mending the damage should be transparent—admit your mistakes, take prompt corrective action, and turn the situation into a learning experience. [Read More]
July 10, 2008
Editor's Picks

Boston hospital tells of surgery on the wrong side
The Boston Globe ran a story Monday telling of the surgical error at BIDMC and the hospital's examination of what went wrong in the OR. In his blog, Paul Levy says that the hospital sent his memo to the local newspapers, but getting press about the incident wasn't his purpose in doing so. It was, he said, to be transparent about what was going on at the medical center, and to show that BIDMC's clinicians are learning from the mistake. [Read More]

Leaders failed to track problem workers
Another story related to my commentary this week talks about how Los Angeles County Hospital administrators transferred the staff members working in the emergency department on the day that Edith Rodriguez died in the emergency room, but have failed to track their performance at other hospitals. [Read More]

Family to sue Brooklyn hospital's psych ward for $25 million in watched death case
Medical and other workers at a Brooklyn, NY, hospital watched as 49-year-old Esmin Elizabeth Green writhed in pain after collapsing in the psychiatric emergency waiting room, yet failed to assist her, resulting in her death on June 19. Green had been waiting for care at Kings County Hospital Center for nearly 24 hours. Her family has since filed a lawsuit and is now pushing for the criminal prosecution of those who did nothing to help her. [Read More]

The fake patient debate
Some healthcare organizations have started using "fake patients" who "mystery shop" the hospital or physician office experience, a tool that many retail stores use to measure how they're serving customers. The use of this tool in healthcare, however, has sparked a debate about whether these "fake patients" take away from doctors' time with real patients, and could prevent a truly sick patient from receiving timely care. [Read More]

Why can't we learn from our mistakes?
It's happened twice before, and each time, we swear it won't happen again. But this week, Christus Spohn Hospital South in Corpus Christi, TX, reported that 17 babies had been given an overdose of the anticoagulant heparin in its neonatal intensive care unit. One of the infants died from the overdose. A similar incident happened at Clarian in Indianapolis in 2006 and at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles last year. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Nursing ratios save money and lives
Boston Globe - July 9, 2008

Three California hospitals lag in pneumonia report
San Diego Union-Tribune - July 2, 2008

18 patients sue Duke over washed instruments
Raleigh News & Observer - July 1, 2008

UW is one of eight worldwide to use checklist
The Seattle Times - June 25, 2008
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Weaning Your Hospital Off of Medicare
How can your hospital maintain its level of service and its margin? It's time to get creative. [Read More]  
Leaders Forum
CEOs poised to lead culture shift to safer patient care
Ken Smithson, M.D., vice president of Clinical Improvement Services for VHA, Inc. and Linda DeWolf, president of the VHA Foundation, discuss the hospital leaders' push for safer patient care, citing a recent national survey that found that about 65% of hospital leaders have faced "a significant patient safety event in the last three years." [Read More]
Audio Feature
S. Lee Miller, MD, the lead author of a study that recently examined recorded medical histories of patients admitted to emergency rooms in rural areas, talks about how inaccuracies in medical records lead to inadequate care for patients. [Listen Now]
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