November 2016 Issue of Becker's Infection Control and Clinical Quality

November 2016 Issue of Becker's Infection Control and Clinical Quality



On the Cover


Infection Control in the US: 2016 Year in Review
2016 has been yet another busy year for infection control and hospital quality professionals, as new hospital rankings were released, the threat of superbugs continued to grow and new infection risks associated with medical devices were uncovered. Click here to continue >>


Meridian Health Launches Quality Reporting Website in Name of Transparency, Improvement
Several organizations offer hospital rankings and publish publicly reported hospital quality data, and it can be confusing for patients to know what information is helpful and where to find it. Click here to continue >>


Readmissions Past 7 Days May Be Out of Hospitals' Control
Most hospital readmissions beyond seven days are attributable to factors beyond a hospital's control, findings from a study published in Health Affairs suggest. Click here to continue >>


Nurses and Hospital Medication Management — Improving Patient Care and Outcomes
Medication errors are an all-too-common problem in the U.S. In fact, they affect nearly 5 percent of the nation’s hospitalized patients, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Click here to continue >>


Community Health Workers Can Help Reduce Hospital Readmissions
Bringing in community health workers to help chronically ill patients access care after a hospitalization can dramatically reduce readmission rates, according to new data from Towson-based University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center and Maxim Healthcare Services, a provider of home health, staffing and population health services. Click here to continue >>

Safety-Net Hospitals See Decline in Readmissions Despite Policy Challenges
From 2013 to 2016, combined 30-day readmissions for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia patients saw sharper declines in safety-net hospitals than other hospitals, according to a study published in Health AffairsClick here to continue >>

Addressing 30-Day Readmissions of PCI Patients May Not Improve Mortality Rates
While 30-day readmission rates for percutaneous coronary interventions have been considered as a potential quality measure, there is a lack of correlation between 30-day PCI readmission and mortality risk at the hospital level, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart AssociationClick here to continue >>

To Lower Readmissions, Invest in These 6 Occupational Therapy Interventions
Increased investment in occupational therapy was the only category identified by researchers where additional hospital spending displayed a strong association with a reduction in readmission rates, according to a study published in Medical Care Research and ReviewClick here to continue >>

Every State But 1 Lowered Hospital Readmissions Since 2010, CMS Data Show
Between 2010 and 2015, national readmission rates fell 8 percent, thanks in part to the implementation of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program and other CMS-led quality improvement initiatives, according to a September blog post by two CMS officials. Click here to continue >>

Should Readmission Rates Be Used to Measure Hospital Quality? Study Casts Doubt
Hospitals with higher readmission rates are actually more likely to have lower mortality scores for patients treated for heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and stroke, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospital MedicineClick here to continue >>


Through the Eyes of the Patient: Looking Beyond HCAHPS to Improve Patient Experience
Despite the fact that consumerization is on the rise in healthcare and patients are becoming more selective when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider, a large chunk of hospital executives haven’t reevaluated their organization’s approach to the patient experience, according to Debbie Landers. Click here to continue >>

Beyond Surveys: 3 Strategies to Enhance Patient Experience Measurement
The metrics of patient experience are continuing to evolve as healthcare systems and the federal government work to accurately measure the experience, satisfaction and engagement of patients. Click here to continue >>

Hospitals With High Patient Experience Star Ratings Don’t Have Better Outcomes, New Analysis Finds
CMS started awarding five-star ratings to hospitals based solely on HCAHPS scores in April of last year, and one year later, a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine claimed the patient satisfaction-based ratings are associated with patient outcomes. Click here to continue >>


Hospital Beds’ Antibiotic History Can Put Future Patients at Risk for C. diff
When a patient in a hospital bed receives antibiotics, it puts the beds’ next occupant at an increased risk of a Clostridium difficile infection, according to a study published in JAMA Internal MedicineClick here to continue >>

Many Superbug Deaths in US Go Uncounted: 4 Things to Know
As the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs continues to rise in the United States, many deaths caused by these infections are not being tracked, which may be inhibiting efforts to combat the rise of these deadly and costly infections, according to an investigative report from Reuters. Click here to continue >>

Community Hospital Antibiotic Use on Par With Larger Hospitals, Despite Seeing Less Complex Patients
Rates of antibiotic use in small community hospitals are similar to those of large community hospitals and academic medical centers, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious DiseasesClick here to continue >>

Physicians Prescribe Wrong Antibiotics Half of the Time
Patients treated for ear infections, sore throats and sinus infections are prescribed the incorrect antibiotic nearly 50 percent of the time, according a research letter published in JAMA Internal MedicineClick here to continue >>

Antibiotic Resistance Detected in Cluster of Gonorrhea Infections
Researchers with the Hawaii Department of Health identified a cluster of Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections that displayed a decreased susceptibility to the double-antibiotic combination used to eliminate the infection after other drugs have failed, according to a presentation given Sept. 21 at the CDC’s 2016 STD Prevention Conference.  Click here to continue >>

Poultry Meat Can Spread MRSA to Humans, Study Shows
People can contract methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains from poultry even without direct exposure to livestock, according to research published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and covered by NewswiseClick here to continue >>

Los Angeles County Now Requires Hospitals to Report CRE Infections
Los Angeles County will require hospitals to report patients infected with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, a deadly superbug with the potential to kill nearly half the individuals that contract the bacteria, according to the Los Angeles TimesClick here to continue >>

UN Makes Historic Move on Antibiotic Resistance: 5 Things to Know
All 193 United Nation member states agreed in a declaration Sept. 21 to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, according to The GuardianClick here to continue >>


Are Hospital Sinks Doing More Harm Than Good?
Hand hygiene is undeniably an essential element in any hospital infection control and prevention program. Click here to continue >>

Successfully Choosing New Hand Hygiene Products: 4 Key Points
Hospitals consider changing hand hygiene products for a variety of reasons, including the opportunity to upgrade the quality of soap or sanitizer while saving money or finding a product compatible with new electronic dispensers. Click here to continue >>

Specific Type of Heater-Cooler Linked to Life-Threatening Infections, CDC Warns: 9 Things to Know
The CDC issued a warning in October that one type of heater-cooler device — used in about 60 percent of bypass procedures in the U.S. each year — could be spreading a serious bacterial infection and urged hospitals to take immediate action. Click here to continue >>

Should Patients Fear Friday Surgeries?
Though previous studies suggested patients may be more likely to die if they had surgery on Friday as opposed to Monday, a Canadian study published in CMAJ in October could assuage some of those fears. Click here to continue >>

Ambulances Could Be Bacterial Infection Source
Emergency medical service vehicles may harbor microorganisms that can cause infections, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control. Click here to continue >>

Nurses’ Scrubs Likely Aid Spread of Germs to Patients, Study Finds
Nurses’ clothing — especially sleeves and pockets — can play a role in the transmission of bacteria in hospitals, according to research presented at IDWeek 2016. Click here to continue >>

How Much Hand Sanitizer is Enough?
Most international standards for hand sanitizer used in healthcare settings do not take hand size into account when recommending how much hand sanitizer to use, but a study in the American Journal of Infection Control says that shouldn’t be the case. Click here to continue >>

Study: Risk of Patient Identification Errors ‘Ever-Present’
Failing to associate the right patient with the appropriate action, referred to as wrong-patient errors, is a prevalent occurrence with potentially fatal consequences, according to a report from the ECRI Institute, a nonprofit research group that studies patient safety. Click here to continue >>

Audits and Feedback or Incentives: Which Will Boost Hand Hygiene Compliance More?
When it comes to boosting hand hygiene compliance rates, incentives are a quick fix, but auditing and providing feedback results in sustained high compliance levels, according to a study in the American Journal of Infection Control. Click here to continue >>


Leapfrog Releases Fall Hospital Safety Grades: 5 Things to Know
The Leapfrog Group released its fall 2016 Hospital Safety Grades Oct. 31, assigning A through F letter grades to 2,633 hospitals in the U.S. Click here to continue >>

Where Are the 20 Leapfrog F Hospitals?
Out of the 2,633 hospitals that received a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade this fall, 20 received a failing grade, up from the 15 that earned an F in the spring. Click here to continue >>

CMS Updates Overall Star Ratings: What’s Changed?
CMS’ Hospital Compare released an update of its Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating program on Oct. 19, the first time the agency has updated the program’s data since it launched in July. Click here to continue >>

Hospital Quality Measures Need Work: Mass General Experts Weigh In
Measuring the quality of hospitals is an imperfect, messy science some have likened to “sausage making” — meaning there is definitely room for improvement. Click here to continue >>

Dr. Peter Pronovost: ‘Patients Deserve Quality Measures That Are More Science, Less Sausage-Making’
Too often, hospital ratings and rankings reflect how well a hospital codes rather than how a hospital provides care, according to Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, who argues against using patient safety indicators to rate hospitals in a post for U.S. News & World ReportClick here to continue >>

Consumer Hospital Rankings May Draw on False Data, Study Finds
Bala Hota, MD, an associate professor at Rush University School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues have identified incongruities in U.S. News & World Report’s patient safety ratings among high-transfer and high-volume hospitals, according to a study published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient SafetyClick here to continue >>

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