HealthLeaders Media QualityLeaders - September 11, 2008 | Maintain Your Focus View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Maintain Your Focus
Maureen Larkin, Senior Editor-Quality
When you're in charge of a hospital that is working to improve its quality and patient safety, you need to be focused. At all times, quality care must be an integral part of what's happening at your hospital, and it must be woven into your organization's mission, vision, and values. Just ask Les Donahue, CEO of Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville. [Read More]
Sept. 11, 2008
Editor's Picks

Experts: Bigger rewards, stronger penalties will help improve quality
Paying healthcare providers more and enforcing minimum quality standards would go a long way to improving the quality of America's healthcare system, witnesses told the Senate Finance Committee this week. But this brought up a number of questions for me. Why don't we already enforce these "minimum" standards. Shouldn't all clinicians have the goal of providing the highest quality care possible? Will paying physicians more money really make a difference? [Read More]

Traveling for care—in the U.S.
According to the Wall Street Journal, some employers are encouraging their workers to travel within the United States to obtain higher quality healthcare than that offered locally. Employers are taking advantage of the disparities in cost and quality of care in different parts of the country. [Read More]

Commentary: The pitfalls of linking doctors' pay to performance
In this opinion piece for the New York Times, Sandeep Jauhar, MD, says that on the surface pay for performance seems like a good idea, but the initiative may be having untoward consequences. Under P4P, there is pressure to treat even when the diagnosis isn't firm, so, for example, more and more antibiotics are being used in emergency rooms despite all-too-evident dangers like antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic-associated infections, Jauhar says. [Read More]

What would you like to see changed in Medicare's PQRI?
If you participated in the 2007 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), the American Medical Association is looking for your feedback on the system. The AMA says the results of this confidential survey will allow the AMA and other medical specialty and state organizations to advocate for future changes to PQRI. [Read More]

Shopping for healthcare off to a shaky start
The Dallas Morning News says consumers looking for healthcare cost and quality information online will find a mixed bag. While some insurers are offering this information online, it is often not a true reflection of the information consumers will find when they seek care. As consumer-directed healthcare looks like more of a reality for the near future, what can the industry do to make sure that the information it offers is exactly what patients need to make the right decisions? [Read More]

CDC campaign targets MRSA infections
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a national campaign to teach parents how to protect kids from skin infections caused by MRSA. The National MRSA Education Initiative highlights specific measures parents can take to protect themselves and their families from MRSA skin infections. The campaign will include Web sites, fact sheets, brochures, posters, radio and print public service announcements, mom blogging sites, Web banners, and mainstream media interviews. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Few hospitals meet colon cancer care standard
AP/Yahoo! News - September 10, 2008

New online tool lets Seattle-area consumers check up on healthcare
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - September 10, 2008

Beth Israel optimistic about compliance review
Boston Globe - September 8, 2008

Colon cancer patients not getting follow-up care
AP/Yahoo! News - September 8, 2008

New e-resources support growing patient empowerment
Sg2 (subscription required) - September 3, 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
Intensive, expensive, and in some cases, controversial
The Joint Commission has announced its 2009 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG), and they include "extensive and fairly prescriptive" requirements for IC departments that place a sizable burden on ICPs, particularly those without enough staff members or resources. [Read More]
Audio Feature
David Palmer, president and CEO of ClearCount Medical Solutions, talks about using technology to prevent medical errors in the operating room. [Listen Now]
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