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The Quality Quandary: When Less Is More and More Is Less
Janice Simmons, Senior Editor
When you think about it, quality in healthcare is all about improvement. It means improving the daily lives of patients, improving the technology to deliver care, improving communications between providers and patients, and improving chances for survival. But should this improvement cost more—or less? As two new studies out this week show, what you pay for up front may lead to results you may not expect—depending on what you are treating. [Read More]
February 25, 2010
Editor's Picks

Hospital Leaders Give Strategies to Remove ED Bottlenecks
Appointing emergency room "czars" to manage hospital beds, placing patients in recliners if they don't need an ED bed, and contracting with whole physician groups to take responsibility for ED calls are three strategies that can help hospitals remove bottlenecks that waste acute care resources. Creative thinkers in emergency medicine described these and many other ideas during the first HealthLeaders Media Rounds Tuesday at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, CA. [Read More]

CMS: Physician Quality Reporting Initiative is Getting Easier
Facing criticism about Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials acknowledged that the PQRI is "difficult and time consuming." Medicare officials say they are working to make the PQRI easier to use. The CMS responded to a Medical Group Management Association survey of physicians that showed widespread frustration about reporting and feedback requirements, and an "unreasonable lag time" to receive PQRI results. [Read More]

Sepsis, Pneumonia Caused by HAIs Killed 48,000 Patients in One Year, Study Says
In one of the largest national studies to date, two common conditions—sepsis and pneumonia—caused hospital acquired infections (HAIs) that killed an estimated 48,000 people and cost the healthcare system $8.1 billion in one year, according to researchers. The researchers looked at HAIs that are often preventable, such as a serious bloodstream infection that could occur during surgery. [Read More]

Disease Education Program Leads to More Revenue for Hospital
Hospitals look for ways to improve patient education all the time, and once in a while this education pays dividends on multiple levels. Such as the case of Parrish Medical Center in Boca Raton, FL: Parrish Medical Center found that a significant portion of the hospital's patient population had peripheral arterial disease and an education program led to downstream revenue of nearly $500,000 through repeat visits for follow up care and unrelated tests. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
New Joint Commission Standard Defines Medical Interpreters
Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media – February 24, 2010

Hospitals Shouldn't Get Stingy with Disinfectants, Says Study
Evan Sweeney, for HealthLeaders Media – February 23, 2010

New Survey Terminology Cropping up in Joint Commission Visits
Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media – February 25, 2010

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Beyond Meaningful Use
Technology can help achieve better outcomes and cost savings, but only by incorporating decision-support tools and a coordinated approach to delivering care. [Read More]  

Service Line Management
Imaging After the Recession
After freezing capital spending during the recession, hospitals are investing in imaging again. But reimbursement cuts and reform have changed the focus of the service line. [Read More]

Leaders Forum
Quality Challenges from Within: Many healthcare quality leaders see themselves as being proactive?taking steps quickly to save time, money, and patients' lives. Sometimes, though, they bump up against institutional or cultural roadblocks. In some cases, leadership support is lacking, and in some cases, the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2010 shows, what is lacking is courage. [Read More]
Audio Feature
Rulon Stacey, PhD, president and CEO of the Poudre Valley Health System based in Fort Collins, CO, responds to findings from the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2010 and talks about the quality perspective, planning ahead for financial downtimes, and system integration. [Listen Now]
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