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Can EMRs Lead to a Failure to Communicate?
Janice Simmons, Senior Editor
The application of electronic medical records for inpatient and outpatient use holds a lot of promise. With taps on a keyboard, data on a patient's allergies, prescription use, previous hospitalizations, or clinical tests are instantly available. But could surrounding oneself with this data build a barrier toward effective real-time, face-to-face communications between patients and providers and between providers? [Read More]
April 29, 2010
Editor's Picks

To Reduce Spending, American College of Physicians Will Advise Doctors What's Too Costly and Useless
This summer, the American College of Physicians, which represents 130,000 internists, will publish of a series of papers that will tell America's doctors what they should and should not order regarding diagnostic tests and therapies, a guideline that strives to lower cost while it eliminates unnecessary care. [Read More]

If the U.S. Lacks Doctors, Can Nurses, Optometrists, and Pharmacists Take Their Place?
If the Association of American Medical Colleges' prediction comes true that the nation's physician shortage will grow from about 25,000 today to about 150,000 in 15 years, who will treat the millions more people who will have health coverage for the first time under health reform? Some of this care is almost certain to come from non-physician providers expanding their education and scope of practice, a push that's either a battle or a gentle nudge in every state and many medical professions nationwide. [Read More]

Leading Medical Groups Adopt New Ethics Code
The days of free pens with drug company names or golf outings on a medical vendor's dime might finally be over with the release of The Council of Medical Specialty Societies' new code addressing interactions with companies. The CMSS ethics code, which was developed by a task force consisting of leaders from the 32 member societies, is designed to limit the influence that drug and device makers could have over patient care. [Read More]

Health Insurers Will Implement New Rescission Standards in May
Health insurers, feeling pressure from Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services, said late Wednesday that they will accelerate by almost five months implementation of the provision of the healthcare reform law that stops the practice of rescission. [Read More]

Diagnostic Imaging Uses 57% of the Cost of Cancer Care
The cost of treating cancer has been going up, but the cost of imaging to diagnose and stage those with the disease is skyrocketing, according to a report. [Read More]

Time to Tell Your Leadership Team's Story
The April 30 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). Winners will be announced nationally and profiled in an issue of HealthLeaders magazine. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Doctors raise questions about St. Vincent's plan
New York Times – April 28, 2010

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

Cancer field conundrum: Comparative effectiveness research
Wall Street Journal Health Blog – April 23, 2010
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Leaders Forum
Joint Commission to Release Communication, Language Standards to Encourage Health Equity: The Joint Commission will be releasing new standards for hospitals surrounding language, culture, and communication in the January 2011 hospital manual. The standards, announced in the January 2010 Perspectives on The Joint Commission, will be accompanied by a Web-based, downloadable guide, which will be released in late May. [Read More]
Audio Feature
If a hospital is to become patient-centric, the CEO has to have patient experience at the top of his or her list of concerns, says Gary Adamson, chief executive officer of Starizon Studio. The CEO is the only person in the organization who can span across all the department silos and drive a well-thought out, orchestrated patient experience, he says. [Listen Now]
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