HealthLeaders Media NursingLeaders - April 27, 2010 | Do We Still Need Nurses Week?
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Do We Still Need Nurses Week?
Rebecca Hendren, Editor
Each year, in hospitals across the nation, Nurses Week is marked by the parade of suits from the C-Suite bringing lunch or snacks to the units, the traditional exchange of trinkets, and mandatory maudlin accounts of the angelic nature of nursing. Is it just me, or is anyone else uncomfortable about the tradition and hoopla? Why do we need Nurses Week? Few other healthcare professions receive such singular attention. [Read More]
April 27, 2010
Editor's Picks

CMS Actuary: Reform Law Would Push Spending Up By 1%
National health spending would increase by $311 billion, up by about 1%, from 2010 through 2019 under the new healthcare reform legislation, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Chief Actuary Rick Foster. This amount—greater than the CMS actuary's amount projected last December—reflects the greater use of healthcare services by those being newly covered, lower prices paid to providers for those being covered by Medicaid, and lower payments for Medicare beneficiaries, Foster said. [Read More]
2010's 1Q Hospital Mass Layoffs Keep Pace with 2009's Record Levels
There were 12 mass layoffs impacting 50 or more jobs at the nation's nongovernment hospitals in March, resulting in 798 initial claims for unemployment insurance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced. March's mass layoffs, combined with 11 mass layoffs in February and 13 in January, are just one mass layoff event off the record pace set in the first quarter of 2009, a year that ended with 152 mass layoffs affecting more than 13,000 hospital jobs. [Read More]
CBO: U.S. Should Collect $4 Billion A Year in Penalties from Those Who Don't Buy Health Coverage
About 4 million people are expected to pay a penalty for not buying health insurance in 2016, an amount estimated at about $4.2 billion to $4.3 billion per year over the 2017 to 2019 period when provisions of the new healthcare reform law kick in. But two-thirds of that penalty amount will be paid by people whose adjusted gross income is more than 400% of the federal poverty level. [Read More]
Hospital Mortality Is Not the Way to Judge Quality
HealthLeaders Media Senior Editor Cheryl Clark writes that to truly evaluate quality, hospitals would do better to look at avoidable events such as bloodstream infections, which kill 31,000 people a year in the U.S., rather than at mortality rates. That's because all too often, patients arrive at the hospital too sick to be saved by the time they are admitted, said Peter Pronovost, MD, professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. [Read More]
Time to Tell Your Leadership Team's Story
The deadline is approaching to enter the seventh annual Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare Awards—a program that celebrates stories of great healthcare leadership in hospitals, health plans, and medical group practices. There are five categories: large hospitals and health systems (500 or more licensed beds); community and mid-sized hospitals (100 to 499 licensed beds), small hospitals (fewer than 100 licensed beds); health plans (state, regional, and national), and medical group practices (physician-owned, single- or multi-specialty groups employing 25 or more physicians). [Read More]

NurseLeaders Forum

Making Nurse Research Part of What We Do
Suzanne M. Burns, RN, MSN, ACNP, CCRN, FAAN, FCCM, FAANP, professor of nursing and director of the Research Program at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, discusses how to strengthen an evidence-based practice culture by helping nurses conduct research. [Read More]

Business Rx

Integration of Mental and Physical Treatment Leads to Improved Patient Outcomes
Roughly 5% of the patient population is complex. Those complex patients typically have a chronic physical issue (e.g., diabetes, renal disease, cancer) and a behavioral health issue (e.g., schizophrenia, depression, anxiety). Hospitals primarily treat patients solely for their physical ailments, ignoring underlying mental health problems. With no incentive for reimbursement, facilities often address a patient's mental health only as an afterthought. However, an untreated mental condition can prevent patients from properly managing physical health, thus causing the patient to be readmitted to the hospital. Addressing the needs of this small, expensive segment of the population could help curb healthcare spending. [Read More]

Nursing Headlines

States warn of 'Obamacare' scams
New York Times - April 26, 2010

Temple Hospital labor talks continue
Philadelphia Inquirer - April 26, 2010

Healthcare providers experiment with lump-sum pricing
Los Angeles Times - April 26, 2010

Validity of hospital rankings
Los Angeles Times - April 26, 2010

Audio Conferences/Webcasts

May 18: Shared Governance in Nursing: Case Studies in Collaborative Decision-Making
June 17: Horizontal Hostility in Nursing: Proven Organizational Strategies for Effective Communication and Collaboration
October 8: Nursing Orientation: Tools and Evidence-Based Best Practices to Engage New Hires
November 4: Nursing Accountability: Promote Personal Commitments with Proven Cutting-Edge Strategies
December 8: Nurse Retention and Workforce Planning: Meaningful Recognition Strategies for Building a Healthy Work Environment
On Demand: Nursing-Sensitive Quality Indicators: Engage Nurses in Quality Improvement and Improve Patient Outcomes

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Audio Feature
Boost Patient Satisfaction Via Patient Flow: Denice Soyring Higman, RN, president and founder of Soyring Consulting in St. Petersburg, FL, discusses how hospitals can dramatically boost patient satisfaction scores with simple patient flow changes and by using clinical data to improve efficiency and productivity in the ER. [Listen Now]
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