HealthLeaders Media QualityLeaders - December 11, 2008 | In Praise of Specificity View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
In Praise of Specificity
Jay Moore, managing editor, HealthLeaders Media
From transparency to infection control to pretty much any quality topic you can imagine, the keys to success inevitably include broad concepts like better communication, leadership buy-in, and cultural change. Which is fine—as long as there's some substance behind the generalities. Will some of the ideas floated at this week's IHI National Forum provide that substance? [Read More]
Dec. 11, 2008
Editor's Picks

Medical residents should sleep after 16 hours, experts urge
I wrote a column on the topic of medical residents' work hours a couple of months ago, and this story offers more evidence of the growing concern that pushing residents to the brink of both physical and mental exhaustion increases the chance of errors. The Institute of Medicine has recommended that medical and surgical residents work no more than 16 hours straight without taking a five-hour sleep break; additionally, the IOM says, they should get one day off per week and at least two back-to-back days off per month. [Read More]

City pushes cooling therapy for cardiac arrest
Many emergency medical workers and patients believe that it's more important to receive care for life-threatening conditions as quickly as possible than it is to receive that care at a certain hospital. But officials in a growing number of cities think otherwise. Beginning Jan. 1, New York joins a short list of cities that require ambulances to take many cardiac arrest patients to hospitals that use "therapeutic hypothermia," a cooling therapy believed to increase survival rates and decrease brain damage risks, even if other emergency rooms are closer. The new treatment promises vastly improved outcomes, but the therapy is expensive, labor-intensive, and not financially feasible for many community hospitals. I tend to be leery of the word "requirement" in this type of situation, but I recognize the clinical upside potential is considerable. [Read More]

Death on roof prompts hospital probes
This story pretty much speaks for itself—I'll just say that it's definitely the stuff of nightmares for hospital leaders and patients alike. At the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Montefiore, an 89-year-old woman afflicted with dementia died after somehow wandering out of her room and making her way to the roof wearing only her hospital gown and slippers in sub-freezing weather. A maintenance worker found her body the next morning. [Read More]

This Week's Headlines
County faulted in death at King-Harbor
Los Angeles Times - December 4, 2008

Hospitals raise perk ante to draw, treat patients
Associated Press/Yahoo News - December 4, 2008

Connecticut hospital put on probation
Hartford Courant - December 5, 2008

Anaheim General Hospital loses accreditation
Los Angeles Times - December 8, 2008

Hospitals face a new epidemic: Bedsores
New York Times - December 9, 2008
Webcasts/Audio Conferences

From HealthLeaders Magazine
What's Your Brand?
That's what your patients want to know. But hospitals are discovering the same old differentiators aren't good enough anymore. Is YOUR organization ready to deliver on its brand promise? [Read More]   HealthLeaders November 2008

Leaders Forum
Quality: It's All About the Bike
We've got it all wrong as to what constitutes "healthcare quality," says contributor Morley Robbins. Robbins says our mistake is in thinking that quality is a unicycle—a singularly focused discipline that measures and seeks to improve the caliber of our clinical and technical processes, thus assuring superior patient outcomes. And while these clinically oriented processes and investments are centrally important to improved patient care delivery, this singular focus compromises the real depth of what determines "quality"—particularly as it relates to patients, their families, and caregivers. [Read More]
Audio Feature
Tracey Moorhead, president and CEO of DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance, discusses the opportunities for population health improvement and DM companies in a medical home and the changes they may need to make. [Listen Now]
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