September / October Clinical Leader & Infection Control Issue

September / October Clinical Leadership & Infection Control Issue 


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111 patient safety benchmarks | 2018
Benchmarking data is valuable for hospital and health system leaders to measure individual institutions and discover areas of excellence, as well as assess opportunities for improvement. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Hospitals need more reliable practices to prevent retained surgical items, says Dignity Health's SVP of patient safety
Retained surgical items can create numerous financial and reputational consequences for hospitals, not to mention serious health risks for patients. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Is your hospital short on hugs? How ‘cuddler’ programs help NICU patients
Phoenix Children’s Hospital is one of the latest hospitals to boost care for its NICU patients through a “No Baby Unhugged” grant from Huggies — a $10,000 award that supports hugging programs, where hospital volunteers hold newborns whose parents may live far away or are unable to visit due to work, childcare or other obligations. CLICK TO CONTINUE


Viewpoint: Why hospital mergers raise patient safety problems safety problems
Although hospitals and health systems often cite the pursuit of “better patient care” as reason for mergers or acquisitions with one another, research shows partnerships and transactions may put patients at a higher risk for harm in the short term, three authors wrote in an op-ed published by STAT. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Human tracking of hand hygiene compliance inadequate hygiene compliance inadequate
A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control examined direct human audit rates and compared them with automated surveillance rates for hand hygiene compliance. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Florida physician faces $2.5K fine for hemostat left inside patient faces $2.5K fine for hemostat left inside patient
An Ocala, Fla.-based surgeon is facing sanctions from the Florida State Board of Medicine and a $2,500 fine after health officials alleged he left a hemostat inside a patient during a 2016 hernia operation, the Ocala Star-Banner reported. CLICK TO CONTINUE

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends flu shot over FluMist
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children receive the injectable flu vaccine for the upcoming season, instead of the nasal spray vaccine FluMist, according to STAT. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Physician burnout doubles risk of patient safety incidents, study finds
Physician burnout is associated with a higher risk of patient safety incidents, poorer care and lower patient satisfaction, according to a study covered in an American Journal of Managed Care blog post. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Human trafficking crisis drives Delaware hospitals to create victim care guidelines
No universal policy or safety program exists for Delaware hospitals encountering human trafficking victims, prompting hospital leaders from across the state to develop screening guidelines to identify and treat these victims, according to the Delaware News journal. CLICK TO CONTINUE

CoxHealth uses hand scanners to prevent medical errors
Springfield, Mo.-based CoxHealth is putting vein pattern readers in its six hospitals to reduce the risk of giving patients the wrong treatment, Ozarks First reported. CLICK TO CONTINUE

HAIs take an emotional toll on patients, study finds
A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control examined the effects of healthcare-associated infections beyond physical health. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Hospitals need more reliable practices to prevent retained surgical items, says Dignity Health's SVP of patient safety
Retained surgical items can create numerous financial and reputational consequences for hospitals, not to mention serious health risks for patients. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Viewpoint: Why discrimination against female physicians threatens patient safety
After Tokyo Medical University admitted to changing medical school admission test scores to disadvantage female applicants, healthcare leaders should know the potential patient safety threat discrimination against female physicians creates, two authors contend in a Harvard Business Review op-ed. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Most patient family members hesitant to express safety concerns
The majority — 50-70 percent — of family members with a loved one in an intensive care unit said they were hesitant to voice their concerns about common care situations with safety implications, a study published in BMJ Quality and Safety found. CLICK TO CONTINUE

This Maryland hospital wants physicians to discuss gun safety with patients
Hospital officials at Parole, Md.-based Anne Arundel Medical Center view gun violence as a public health crisis and want physicians to hold nonjudgmental talks about gun safety with their patients, according to the Capital Gazette. CLICK TO CONTINUE

New hand hygiene data collection process uses Google
Researchers from University of Louisville (Ky.) School of Public Health and Information Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine and New York City-based Lenox Hill Hospital developed a new hand hygiene data collection process and an automated reporting engine, according to a study published in American Journal of Infection Control. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Nurses less likely than physicians to speak up to colleagues with poor hand hygiene
A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control examined the likelihood of healthcare professionals speaking up about breaches in infection control, such as nonadherence to hand hygiene protocols. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Denver Health aims for quicker public alerts after Ebola scare

Denver Health is examining its response time for alerting the public about deadly infectious disease cases after a patient was admitted to the facility July 29 with a potential Ebola diagnosis, The Denver Post reported. CLICK TO CONTINUE

How Johns Hopkins Hospital preps for infectious disease threats, bioterrorism
Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Hospital practices infectious disease training exercises every few months to ensure staff members are prepared to treat patients with highly contagious diseases, according to The Baltimore Sun. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Hospital staff racks up infection control errors in pathogen transmission study
A study of 325 patient rooms found hospital staff frequently failed to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of infections. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Viewpoint: Mainstream media reports on disease outbreaks lack crucial information
Health organizations are obligated to contribute accurate and timely information to the general public, but the bulk of this information comes from social media and does not help people make informed health decisions, wrote Yotam Ophir, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communication in Philadelphia, in an op-ed for Science Alert. CLICK TO CONTINUE


Physicians give patients 11 seconds to explain reasons for visit before interrupting
On average, patients have 11 seconds to explain the reasons for their visit before physicians interrupt, according to a recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Why this Iowa hospital uses essential oils in its ER
To help patients fight symptoms of nausea and vomiting in the emergency room, nurses at CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs in Iowa are testing an alternative to traditional medicine: inhaled essential oils. CLICK TO CONTINUE

5 consumer thoughts on healthcare providers’ patient engagement
Healthcare consumers are forcing health-related startups and providers to rethink and emphasize the user experience, according to a Black Book survey. CLICK TO CONTINUE

End-of-life discussions with nonmedical workers boost patient satisfaction, study finds
Advanced cancer patients who regularly talked about their care goals with a trained nonclinical worker were more likely to report higher satisfaction levels and discuss their preferences with physicians, Stanford (Calif.) University School of Medicine researchers report in JAMA Oncology. CLICK TO CONTINUE

How a nurse-led initiative helps New York hospital patients sleep better
After receiving concerns about how noise negatively affected patient sleep and staff stress levels, nurses from Manhasset, N.Y.-based North Shore University Hospital created an initiative to reduce noise levels in the hospital’s neurosurgical intensive care unit — and small changes led to lower noise levels, a study published in Critical Care Nurse found. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Is your hospital short on hugs? How ‘cuddler’ programs help NICU patients
Phoenix Children’s Hospital is one of the latest hospitals to boost care for its NICU patients through a “No Baby Unhugged” grant from Huggies — a $10,000 award that supports hugging programs, where hospital volunteers hold newborns whose parents may live far away or are unable to visit due to work, childcare or other obligations. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Patient surveys do not measure full range of healthcare experiences, research shows
The surveys patients take after medical appointments may not give useful information to providers, signaling a need for revised tools to measure patient experience, research published in Psychological Assessment found. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Physicians and patients differ on concept of good communication
Physicians, patients and peer clinical reviewers gave significantly different ratings for physicians' communication skills, signaling physicians may not fully know what patients consider to be good communication, a study published in Annals of Family Medicine found. CLICK TO CONTINUE

New Jersey physician advocates for providers to give patients 40 seconds of undivided attention
Stephen Trzeciak, MD, a critical care physician at Camden, N.J.-based Cooper University Health Care, gave a TedxPenn talk about what he believes is the most pressing problem we face today as a society: a compassion crisis in healthcare. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Physicians shortchanging patients in cancer-screening discussions, study finds
Despite national guidelines advising physicians to talk to high-risk patients about the benefits and harms of lung cancer screening, those discussions may not be occurring properly, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Geisinger, Merck roll out patient communication tools
Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger and drugmaker Merck unveiled two new tools for patients and caregivers Aug. 15. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Boston Children's adds AI health assistant to website
Boston Children's Hospital entered into a partnership with Buoy Health, the health technology startup confirmed Aug. 8. CLICK TO CONTINUE

How MetroHealth helps trauma patients by partnering with churches
Cleveland-based MetroHealth Medical Center is teaming up with local churches to provide care for trauma patients after discharge in an effort to learn more about these patients' backgrounds and where they go after the hospital, News 5 Cleveland reported. CLICK TO CONTINUE

14 things cancer patients want during a hospital stay
For patients hospitalized with cancer, attention to timing and quality communication from clinicians is key to giving them a better experience. CLICK TO CONTINUE

UCSF, Dignity Health partner to create patient engagement platform
Dignity Health and UC San Francisco Health, both based in San Francisco, plan to merge their digital engagement platforms to improve the patient experience, the health systems announced in August. CLICK TO CONTINUE

40% of patients couldn't remember whether their physicians wore a white coat
A study published in the American Journal of Perinatology examined whether a physician not wearing a white coat during postpartum rounds affected patient-physician communication scores. CLICK TO CONTINUE

111 patient safety benchmarks | 2018
Benchmarking data is valuable for hospital and health system leaders to measure individual institutions and discover areas of excellence, as well as assess opportunities for improvement. CLICK TO CONTINUE


Only ‘most intensive’ stewardship programs effectively lower total antibiotic use
A study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases assessed the effectiveness of implementing antibiotic stewardship programs in Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare’s 15 small hospitals. CLICK TO CONTINUE 

3-pronged intervention improves intraoperative antibiotic redosing compliance
A study published in American Journal of Infection Control examined the efficacy of a quality improvement project aimed at improving compliance with national guidelines that recommend intraoperative redosing of prophylactic antibiotics. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Bacteria growing more resistant to hospital disinfectants
Although alcohol-based disinfectants are a critical component of hospital infection control, a multidrug-resistant bacterium is becoming more tolerant to alcohols in hospital disinfectants, a study published in Science Translational Medicine found. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Big pharma backs off superbug: Why 5 drugmakers bailed on antibiotic research
Several major pharmaceutical companies recently shut down their antibiotic and antiviral research projects, backing away from the growing threat of superbugs, which may kill more than 10 million people a year by 2050. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Researchers develop ‘smart antibiotics’ to combat C. diff
Researchers at State College-based Pennsylvania State University and Tucson-based University of Arizona are developing smart antibiotics, which can target genes belonging to Clostridium difficile bacteria, according to a study published in The Journal of Antibiotics. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Urgent care centers may be overprescribing antibiotics
Patients with respiratory illnesses and colds may be more likely to get antibiotics when they visit an urgent care clinic — an unnecessary prescribing practice that could increase patients’ risk of antibiotic-resistant infections, a study published in JAMA InternalmMedicine found. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Penicillin allergy indicates higher risk of developing MRSA, C. diff
A study published in The BMJ examined the link between a penicillin allergy and the development of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile. CLICK TO CONTINUE

UK researchers launch free database of ‘forgotten’ antibiotics
A team of researchers based in the United Kingdom created a free, searchable database that can be used to find previously discontinued antibiotic agents, or ‘forgotten’ antibiotics. CLICK TO CONTINUE

IDSA names 25 hospitals Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence

The Infectious Diseases Society of America designated 25 U.S. healthcare organizations as Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Paper towels spread less bacteria than air hand dryers in hospital bathrooms, study finds
A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection found bacterial contamination was lower in washrooms where paper towels were used for hand drying than in washrooms where jet air dryers were used. CLICK TO CONTINUE

5 common drug-resistant pathogens cost US about $2.9B

A study published in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control examined the economic cost of antimicrobial resistance per antibiotic consumed. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Antibiotic resistance levels in this bacteria are 'alarming,' researchers say
Rearchers found an increase of antibiotic resistance in Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which cause gastric cancer and other gastro-related infections, according to a study published in Gastroenterology Journal. CLICK TO CONTINUE

How many FTEs are required for successful antibiotic stewardship programs?
Apaper published in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control reviewed legislative requirements and human resource requirements for antibiotic stewardship programs. CLICK TO CONTINUE

How 'predatory bacteria' can help fight antibiotic resistance
Researchers are exploring how germ-eating microbes can be used to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to NPR. CLICK TO CONTINUE


CMS drops proposal to reduce public reporting of hospital infections, safety issues 

CMS will publicly disclose hospital errors, injuries and infections it proposed removing from one of its public reporting programs, the agency said in a new rule published Aug. 2. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Joint Commission will require hospitals to report percentage of newborns with unexpected complications
Beginning Jan. 1, the Joint Commission will require hospitals to identify the percentage of infants with unexpected newborn complications among full-term newborns who do not have pre-existing conditions. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Hospital Compare spotlights hospitals’ sepsis performance
CMS on July 25 added hospitals’ sepsis performance data to its Hospital Compare website. CLICK TO CONTINUE

New York’s sepsis treatment mandate linked to lower in-hospital mortality
When hospital staff completes a series of clinical sepsis treatments and tests within an hour of its detection, hospitalized pediatric patients’ chances of survival significantly rise, a study published in JAMA found. CLICK TO CONTINUE

How a Lean-based QI program increased discharges by noon
A study published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety examined the effectiveness of a Lean Six Sigma-based quality improvement program on timing of patient discharge. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Study: Outpatient follow-up visits linked to fewer hospital readmissions
With mixed conclusions regarding the direct effect of outpatient follow-up care and readmission rates, researchers at Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care conducted a study to establish the link between outpatient follow-up care and hospital readmissions, according to a study published in PLOS One. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Healthgrades honors hospitals for women’s care quality
Healthgrades — an online resource for information on hospitals and physicians — announced the recipients of the 2018 Women’s Care Awards. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Viewpoint: Quality measures fail to determine a physician’s value
Although insurers and governments have tried to measure physicians’ caliber using various metrics, what constitutes a success in medicine — and who’s responsible for it — is often unclear, a physician wrote in The Washington Post. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Majority of physicians worried MIPS could harm patient care, study finds
Although most physicians caring for Medicare patients are unaware how Medicare evaluates and pays them, the majority of the physicians who do know these standards are concerned this approach could negatively affect patient care, a study published
in Health Affairs found. CLICK TO CONTINUE

US News' Best Hospitals 2018-19 Honor Roll
U.S. News & World Report released its Best Hospitals rankings for 2018-19 on Aug. 14. CLICK TO CONTINUE

CMS' overall star ratings updates, delays: A timeline
CMS launched its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings program in 2016, spurring a complicated web of updates and delays in response to scrutiny over the accuracy of the rating system's data and calculations. CLICK TO CONTINUE

7-part score could help determine heart attack readmissions, study finds
When physicians track seven factors of heart attack patients after they are first admitted to the hospital, they can help identify those with the highest risk for 30-day readmission, researchers from Dallas-based UT Southwestern Medical Center found. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Risk of complications increases 29% when physicians don't follow EHR alerts, study suggests
Providers who adhere to clinical decision support alerts embedded in EHRs report better clinical outcomes for their patients than those who don't, according to a study published in the American Journal of Managed Care. CLICK TO CONTINUE

8 ways hospitals are cutting readmissions
As hospitals work to reduce readmissions, healthcare experts are looking at why patients return to the hospital and strategizing ways to keep discharged patients from becoming inpatients again, according to U.S. News & World Report. CLICK TO CONTINUE


72K Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, CDC estimates
Fatal drug overdoses killed more Americans than HIV, car crashes or guns in 2017, claiming 72,000 lives, according to a preliminary estimation from the CDC. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Oregon Medicaid proposal would cut opioid coverage for chronic pain patients
Oregon officials are weighing a proposal that would eliminate coverage for opioids prescribed to chronic pain patients in the state's Medicaid program, according to STAT. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Dr. Toby Cosgrove: Opioid epidemic has 'peaked'
Toby Cosgrove, MD, former president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, discussed America's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic during an Aug. 13 episode of CNBC's program the "Squawk Box," saying he believes the crisis has "peaked." CLICK TO CONTINUE

EMS naloxone use jumps 75% in 4 years, CDC says
Emergency medical services' use of naloxone has increased significantly amid the ongoing opioid epidemic, according to research published Aug. 10 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. CLICK TO CONTINUE  

Physicians prescribe fewer opioids after county medical examiner notifies them of patients' fatal overdose
To overcome the disconnect between clinicians prescribing opioids and patients dying from opioid overdoses, researchers at Los Angeles-based University of Southern California aim to make the opioid epidemic more personal for physicians, according to a
study published Aug. 10 in Science. CLICK TO CONTINUE

CMS targets children affected by opioid epidemic in new care model
CMS created a new payment and service delivery model to improve care quality for children under age 21 affected by the opioid epidemic, the agency announced Aug 23. CLICK TO CONTINUE

What hospitals can learn from California EDs treating addiction on demand
Oakland, Calif.-based Highland Hospital is among a small number of U.S. emergency departments that give patients withdrawal medicine, an effort to change a healthcare system that often fails to give on-demand addiction treatment, The New York Times reported. CLICK TO CONTINUE

FDA to change how it evaluates addiction drugs
The FDA on Aug. 6 shared a new draft guidance to promote the creation and more widespread use of medication-assisted therapies to treat opioid use disorder, according to STAT. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Meet the West Virginia lawyer overseeing 400+ opioid lawsuits against drugmakers, distributors 

Paul Farrell, an attorney from Huntington, W.Va., is leading one of the largest lawsuits in modern U.S. history, representing more than half of the 800 suits cities and counties nationwide have filed against drug manufacturers and distributors, according to Bloomberg. CLICK TO CONTINUE

Johns Hopkins creates opioid guidelines for 20 common surgeries
A panel of healthcare providers and patients from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine developed the country's first set of opioid prescription guidelines for 20 common surgeries. CLICK TO CONTINUE

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