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Use Medical Checklists as Tools, Not Cure-Alls, for Patient Safety Problems
Janice Simmons, Senior Editor
Recent events have put the simple medical checklist in the spotlight. But in the midst of these activities come words of caution?brought to you by the team from Johns Hopkins University that helped put the checklist in the medical spotlight: Checklists can be useful and helpful, but they are not a panacea to all patient safety problems. [Read More]
February 18, 2010
Editor's Picks

Hospitals Focus on Training Staff Members, Engaging Patients About Safety Issues
The National Patient Safety Foundation has sponsored Patient Safety Awareness Week since 2002 as a means of making caregivers, other hospital staff, and community members more aware of patient safety issues. This year, the event is being observed from March 7 to 13, and facilities across the country are using the opportunity to educate and involve their staff and patients. [Read More]

Medical Practice Leaders Frustrated About Medicare's PQRI Data Requirements
Medical Group Management Association leaders say they are increasingly frustrated by what it terms the "unnecessarily arduous process" for reporting data to Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative. Once the reports are filed, there is an "unreasonable lag time" for results, the group says. [Read More]

Joint Commission Postpones Field Review of Revised Medication Reconciliation
The Joint Commission will wait to release National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) 08.01.01 to the field so its advisory and board committees can review the draft. In years past, the Joint Commission had targeted this as part of its effort to prevent medication errors—which continue to be one of the most frequent causes of preventable errors in hospitals. However, since the standard's inception in 2005, hospitals have struggled to find the right combination of processes to meet the requirements of this goal. [Read More]

Study Shows Need for Improved Hospital Selection for Minorities
Minority patients in New York were less likely than whites to have surgeries at hospitals with a large number of procedures, according to a study published in the Archives of Surgery. The study focused on 134,000 people who had 20 different types of surgery between 2001 and 2004 in hospitals in New York City, as well as nearby Nassau and Westchester counties. The study involved mostly whites, and fewer numbers of blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Report cited by Obama on hospitals is criticized
New York Times – February 18, 2010

Language and Cultural Barriers Hurting Patient Care, Say Physicians
Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media – February 15, 2010

Results unproven, robotic surgery wins converts
New York Times – February 15, 2010
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