HealthLeaders Media IT - December 14, 2010 | Quality Improvement: Join the Club
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Quality Improvement: Join the Club
Gienna Shaw, Senior Editor

Improving quality in healthcare can't be done by wagging fingers and issuing edicts. I like the idea of quality improvement as a big tent, with lots of different people underneath it using lots of different methods and technologies to make healthcare better. [Read More]
December 14, 2010
Editor's Picks
Make Your HIT Staff Part of the Healing Mission
There's been considerable angst that HIT specialists would be hard to find and expensive to keep—but for some hospitals the expected shortage failed to materialize. Deborah Gash, vice president and CIO at Saint Luke's Health System, says the recession may have played some role in the Lee's Summit, MO-based provider's 98% to 99% retention rate for its 128 HIT staff. On rare occasions when there is an opening, she is "inundated with resumes." But Gash says Saint Luke's does not rely on bad economic times as a retention strategy. Instead, the 11-hosptial, not-for-profit system has worked hard at employee satisfaction, with retention that is based on competitive compensation, a challenging work environment, and a sense that HIT staff is part of a historic transformation in healthcare delivery in the electronic era and a vital player in the health system's healing mission.
[Read More]

Data-Driven Diabetes Care Gets Smarter
Technology for treating and managing diabetes is progressing rapidly these days. Just a sample of some high-tech advancements: iPhone applications for monitoring glucose readings, implantable RFID chip sensors, and even a "robotic pancreas" that could regulate blood glucose levels. But while the cutting-edge developments may make headlines, they are not yet enough to make a serious dent in the $174 billion that diabetes costs the country each year. Diabetes management is challenging for hospitals and health systems because it is a complicated chronic disease that requires a great deal of ongoing provider coordination and cooperation. Better and smarter tools may help at the margins, but the real key to tackling diabetes is making care more coordinated and patient-centered. [Read More]

Telemedicine in ICUs May Trim Critical Care Costs
Tele-ICU technology could save 350 additional lives and more than $122 million annually if broadly and effectively implemented across Massachusetts, according to a study from the New England Healthcare Institute and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. "Critical Care, Critical Choices: The Case for Tele-ICUs in Intensive Care" analyzed data collected from a demonstration project at UMass Memorial Medical Center and two community hospitals in Massachusetts. NEHI and MTC studied tele-ICU technology because of its potential to address the supply-and-demand problem plaguing critical care. It comes down to the "collision of two strong trends," according to the report. [Read More]

CPOEs Can Decrease Mortality Rates, Research Shows
For the first time, researchers have shown that a significant decrease in hospital-wide mortality rates can be associated with implementing a CPOE system that enables physicians and other medical staff to order medications, tests, and other treatments electronically. If configured properly, the systems can also provide decision support at the point of care. The study was conducted by researchers at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (LPCH) and Stanford University. [Read More]

Webcast: Service Line Strategies Workshop: Back and Spine Care
Successful spine and back care service lines require a foundation rooted in market knowledge, organizational commitment, and physician alignment, as well as the fluidity to adapt to ever-changing conditions, including reimbursement changes, technological advances, and a growing patient preference for non-surgical options. Join HealthLeaders Media on December 14 for this 90-minute Webcast and Q&A, and discover ways to position your back/spine service line for success. [Read More]

Breakthroughs Report: Future Healthcare and Collaboration
Explore strategies to accelerate the drive toward more cost-efficient and quality healthcare. In this new HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs report, leading hospital systems—Virtua, Crouse Hospital, Heartland Health, and The Chester County Hospital—share insights and lessons learned. [Read More]

Intelligence Report: Hospital Mergers & Acquisitions
Brand-new research shows that 64% of healthcare leaders expect an increase in M&A activity between acute care hospitals and both diagnostic imaging and ambulatory surgery centers. As the transaction tide continues to rise, the newest HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Report, Hospital Mergers & Acquisitions: Opportunities and Challenges, reveals key insights to help keep you afloat. [Read More]

Sponsored Headlines
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Tech Headlines
Big health information exchange, big challenges
InformationWeek, December 13, 2010

Online medical records system planned for N.Y.
Democrat and Chronicle, December 13, 2010

Supercomputing may revolutionize colonoscopies
HCPwire, December 10, 2010

David Blumenthal: Committed HIT Advocate
HealthLeaders Media, December 2, 2010

Doctors take first-ever MRI images of live birth
San Francisco Chronicle, December 9, 2010

Surgeons using iPads in operating rooms
CNET Reviews, December 9, 2010

July 15: A Better Way Than Pay For Call Coverage
July 22: Marketing to Physicians: Increase Sales Success Through Measurement and Tracking

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Medical Device Makers: Stop Griping and Embrace Healthcare Reform: During the national healthcare reform debate, many in the medical device industry strenuously objected to contributing their "fair share" to reform through a new tax on their devices. While other healthcare stakeholders accepted the notion of shared sacrifice and agreed to give up collective hundreds of billions of dollars, device companies warned that a new tax would force them to pass on the additional cost to hospitals and patients. And the protests haven't stopped. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Building Blocks of the Patient Experience
The healthcare system is on the cusp of accepting the positive influence of patient experience on quality, says Steve Ronstrom, president and CEO of Hospital Sisters Health System Division and CEO of Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, WI. In a recent interview, the lead advisor for the HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Report, Patient Experience: Help Wanted, explains how basics such as infrastructure and technology combined with the people skills of empathy and caring can improve outcomes.
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