HealthLeaders Media QualityLeaders - August 28, 2008 | Work With Me, Doc View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Work With Me, Doc
Maureen Larkin, Senior Editor-Quality
Have you seen the report that says "illiterate" healthcare consumers cost the United States more than $100 billion each year? So I guess it shouldn't surprise me to hear the industry talking about the need to increase the health literacy rate of consumers. But I've got to ask: Why is it my responsibility as a patient to educate myself on something that my doctor already knows? [Read More]
August 28, 2008
Editors Picks

Chemists finding ways to trick killer bacteria
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin are working on compounds that block the chemical conversations behind two of the most common sources of hospital-acquired infections: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA; and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic invader of patients with compromised immune systems. Could the team's findings put an end to hospital acquired infections as we know them? [Read More]

Expert: We may never be rid of hospital superbugs
An Irish microbiologist says a new, stronger strain of C. diff affecting patients in hospitals in Ireland and Britain indicates that it may be impossible to completely eradicate hospital-acquired infections. Hospitals have the potential to eliminate MRSA and C. diff, she says, but eliminating those infections is likely to cause a new bug to emerge. "As long as there is healthcare, there will be HCAIs," she says. [Read More]

Another political blunder for Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvania Legislature recessed on June 30 without reauthorizing the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council's funding, leaving the organization inactive. The Pottsville Republican & Herald opined on the subject this week, calling the organization, nicknamed PHC4, a "valuable public enterprise." The editorial credits the council with quantifying the impact of hospital acquired infections on both healthcare coffers and patient wellbeing. [Read More]

New Jersey residents shielded from hospital dangers
The chief legislative advocate for the New Jersey office of the AARP wrote a guest commentary this week in the Bergen Record, urging state lawmakers to pass legislation to give patients the information they need to choose the right facility for their healthcare needs. Hospital-specific medical error information is still hidden from the public, she says, and that must change to give patients the information they need to choose a facility that will offer them the highest quality care. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Long distance healthcare cuts costs, can improve outcomes
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - August 27, 2008

960 babies in TB scare at Kaiser in San Francisco
San Francisco Chronicle - August 27, 2008

Single rooms becoming the norm in new hospitals
HealthDay/Washington Post - August 27, 2008

Report shows more errors at Indiana’s hospitals
AP/Chicago Tribune - August 27, 2008

The ER's in urgent need of a fix
Boston Globe - August 25, 2008
  From HealthLeaders Magazine  
Help the Uninsured (Without Going Broke)
Sure, your organization offers sophisticated, compassionate care. But the patients of tomorrow will want much more than that. [Read More]  
  Leaders Forum
Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration shows improvement at 250 hospitals
Year-three results for Premier, Inc.'s Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration show improvements in quality for approximately 250 hospitals across the nation. The pay-for-performance (P4P) program, launched in October 2003, is the first national project implemented to determine the effectiveness of P4P programs. (Subscription required) [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]