HealthLeaders Media QualityLeaders - June 3, 2010 | Using HHS Health Data: Got an App for Quality Care? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Using HHS Health Data: Got an App for Quality Care?
Janice Simmons, Senior Editor
The challenge was issued just a mere three months ago by the Department of Health and Human Service and the Institute of Medicine: Find innovative ways to distribute public health data to help improve healthcare across the country. On Wednesday in Washington, DC, that call was met with the introduction of the Community Health Data Initiative—which will use free Web applications, mobile phone applications, social media, video games, and other cutting edge technologies to, as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, "put our public health data to work." [Read More]
June 3, 2010
Editor's Picks

Virtual Colonoscopy Emerges As Turf Battle Between Radiologists, Gastroenterologists
Congress should pass proposed legislation requiring Medicare to pay for "virtual" CT colonography screening because it is just as accurate as colonoscopy, but has lower distension rates, extremely low chance of perforation, and is less expensive and faster, the American College of Radiology says. [Read More]

Race Matching in Heart Transplants Does Not Improve Survival
Academic research has produced conflicting reports on whether heart transplant patients have better survival rates and less frequent organ rejection if the transplanted heart comes from a donor of the same race. But a new study from Johns Hopkins Medicine puts the issue to rest. In a review of 20,185 heart transplant patients who had surgery at 140 hospitals, researchers found that recipients of organs from donors with the same racial background did no better or worse than those who received organs from donors of different races. [Read More]

CDC Says 18% Drop in Central Line Infections Is Just the Beginning
In the first report of its kind, CDC officials said that central line associated bloodstream infections dropped by 18% overall in 17 states that have mandatory reporting laws in the first six months of 2009 compared with the previous three years. These catheter-related infections kill 31,000 hospitalized patients a year. [Read More]

Emergency Docs Say BlueCross BlueShield Is Wrong About Unnecessary ED Visits
A national group of emergency room doctors and its New York chapter blasted an Excellus BlueCross BlueShield report that says in Upstate New York, two out of five non-overnight visits to hospital emergency departments are unnecessary. "There are serious and profound methodological flaws in the Excellus study," said Gerard Brogan, MD, president of the New York American College of Emergency Physicians. [Read More]
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This Week's Headlines

Hospitals Fined More than $1M For Failure to Report Adverse Events
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media – June 3, 2010

While patient stays shorten, readmission rates rise
Wall Street Journal – June 2, 2010

10 dirty hospital secrets – June 2, 2010
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