HealthLeaders Media QualityLeaders - August 7, 2008 | A Reasonable Challenge View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
A Reasonable Challenge
Maureen Larkin, Senior Editor-Quality
Since the release of CMS' final list of no-pay events last week, there's been a lot of debate about whether the conditions CMS names are preventable in every case, or if the federal agency is asking the impossible. But the discussion shouldn't be about whether the agency is asking healthcare organizations to reinvent the wheel. It should be about the patients who can be better served with these regulations.
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August 7, 2008
Editor's Picks

Tougher inspections on the way?
Blogger Maggie Mahar says that part of a Medicare bill passed recently will improve the likelihood that hospital inspections will tell us what's really going on at a facility. The legislation took away the Joint Commission's unique authority over hospital inspections, meaning that CMS or any other federal agency can resume responsibility for the inspections. Mahar says this is a good thing and points to a few examples where even though the Joint Commission passed a facility with flying colors, there were underlying problems that eventually led to patient harm. [Read More]

Hand washing: Time well spent
In a guest commentary from the medical director of Medicare's quality improvement organization in Tennessee, the physician says that it's common to see doctors and nurses running from room to room at a hospital without washing their hands. To solve this problem, he says, we need a carrot-and-stick approach. The carrot, of course, is an incentive for clinicians to remember to wash their hands. And the stick, well, hospitals need to find a way to make sure that their hand-washing policies are followed. [Read More]

Hospitals disclosing errors, saying 'I'm sorry'
Reporters used to consider it a scoop when they found out a local hospital had committed an error that resulted in patient harm, but lately, that information isn't coming from top secret sources. Instead, it's becoming more common for hospitals to reach out to the media when an error has occurred, admitting the error and publicly apologizing to the victim and his or her family. [Read More]

Nanosilver to the rescue?
There has been a rush of products on the market lately claiming to be made of nanosilver—particles of metal that product developers claim will help kill bacteria. We know the benefits of using silver in a hospital setting, but will these nanoparticles also be beneficial to infection control? [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Mistakes to cost Illinois hospitals
Chicago Tribune - August 7, 2008

Average ER waiting time nears one hour
AP/Yahoo News - August 6, 2008

CMS releases 2009 IPPS final rule
HCPro, Inc. - August 1, 2008

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  Leaders Forum
National Patient Safety goals focus on infection control
Preventing hospital-associated infections, such as MDROs, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and surgical site infections, are a major focus of The Joint Commission's 2009 National Patient Safety Goals. [Read More]
Audio Feature
Kirsten Engel, MD, talks about why patients often misunderstand discharge instructions and what clinicians can do to make sure that patients take proper care of themselves after their hospital stay. [Listen Now]