Surgical safety checklists improve outcomes, study finds | Hospital sees benefits when officials admit mistakes to patients | Studies link smoking bans to lower CVD hospital admissions
February 4, 2016
CV Quality SmartBrief
Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

First FocusAdvertisement
Surgical safety checklists improve outcomes, study finds
(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A study published in JAMA Surgery showed surgical safety checklists can reduce post-procedure mortality, readmission rates and average length of stay for patients. The study, which compared metrics before and after a checklist was implemented, suggests the intervention can reduce medical costs, researchers said. HealthDay News (2/3)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Hospital sees benefits when officials admit mistakes to patients
Stanford Hospital's Process for Early Assessment, Resolution and Learning program, also known as Pearl, helps the medical center avoid costly legal action, explain errors and apologize to patients in the event of medical accidents. Stanford has seen a 50% decrease in lawsuit frequency and a 40% reduction in indemnity costs in paid cases under the program. Officials also waive the affected patient's medical bill, provide financial compensation and talk through the event with patients, prioritizing transparency and emotional support. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (2/1)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Studies link smoking bans to lower CVD hospital admissions
An analysis of observational studies from 21 countries found programs that prohibit smoking at worksites and in public places to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke appear to have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease, according to a report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016. Researchers said the studies linked national smoking bans to fewer hospital admissions for heart attacks and acute coronary syndrome, and several studies found nonsmokers may incur the biggest health benefits. MedPage Today (free registration) (2/3)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Get Clinical Updates from Duke Medicine
Confirm your complimentary access to Clinical Practice Today, an online publication from Duke Medicine and Med-IQ. This biweekly news series contains practice management-related articles and tips, compelling case studies, and interactive image quizzes created specifically for cardiologists. Click here for access.
Practice & Hospital ManagementAdvertisement
Study: Longer hours for surgical residents may not be harmful
Surgical residents whose work shifts exceeded guidelines said the extra hours did not hurt their health and improved training quality and patient safety, researchers told the Academic Surgical Congress. The study, to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found residents working longer hours were less likely to leave in the middle of surgery, miss an operation or leave a patient at a critical time, compared with those who heeded work restrictions. HealthDay News (2/2)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Obesity medicine: A growing specialty
The American Board of Obesity Medicine certified 419 first-time diplomats and recertified 10 physicians as obesity medicine specialists last week, a total that is a new high for the board established in 2011. Nearly 1,600 US and Canadian physicians are now certified in obesity medicine. The specialty's physicians come from various backgrounds, including internal and family medicine, pediatrics, endocrinology and others. Forbes (2/1)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Other News
What's at the heart of a cryptogenic stroke?
Diagnosing the cause of a cryptogenic stroke can be challenging. Exploring all options gives you the best chance to find a cause and reduce the risk of another stroke for your patients. A guide for Healthcare Professionals, Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment of Cryptogenic Strokes, is now available! To learn more, visit
E-Health WatchAdvertisement
Hospital offers tablets to inpatients to boost their health resources, EHR access
Inpatients at West Chester Hospital in Ohio are now able to use Samsung tablet computers at the facility, as part of its My UC Health Bedside initiative, to easily access their health records. The tablets will also provide access to educational resources on topics related to patients' conditions and allow them to submit questions to members of their care teams. American City Business Journals/Cincinnati (2/1)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Review finds support for text reminders about taking meds
An analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine of data from 16 studies found that text reminders from providers were associated with increased rates of medication adherence among patients with chronic conditions. Researchers cautioned that the findings were based on self-reporting and that the studies they reviewed lasted only a few months and not years. Health News (2/2)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Population health starts outside of hospitals.
Social, environmental, and behavioral factors determine about 60% of a person's health status. To address these social factors, healthcare programs must integrate a community's non-medical data with clinical insights to yield positive results.

Spotlight on InnovationAdvertisement
Automating empathy a growing trend in US hospitals
Automating empathy through the use of messaging technology offers a cheaper and easier way for providers to keep in touch with their patients before and after undergoing clinical procedures. Among the companies involved in the trend is HealthLoop, which has developed a messaging technology that is capable of enhancing care satisfaction levels and cutting readmission rates by encouraging patients to adhere to their treatment plans. HealthLoop's technology, designed to allow physicians to transmit daily mails with information tailored to the present conditions of their patients, is currently being tested at the Cleveland Clinic and other facilities across the US. Kaiser Health News (2/2)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
What's keeping you from having the weight conversation?
While time and resources have been obstacles to the weight management conversation, today, physicians have tools to help make the conversation easier. Watch leading obesity specialist, Dr. Rao, and learn why now is the ideal time to take a proactive approach to your patients' health.

Costs & ReimbursementAdvertisement
CMS proposes rules on health data exchange
The CMS has proposed allowing some quality improvement organizations and specific "qualified entities" to share and sell Medicare and private-sector medical claims data and analyses to employers, health care providers and others for use in improving care. The rule would allow organizations to publicly report physician performance on quality and cost metrics, said John Toussaint, CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (1/29)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Data Security and HIPAA Compliance in Mid-sized Healthcare Organizations
The 21st century is facing an uphill battle for better data security, and the healthcare industry is at the front lines. Healthcare providers deal with tremendous amounts of sensitive, legally protected data labeled protected health information (PHI), which requires certain security measures as defined by HIPAA. Learn how to ensure that all PHI is handled, transferred and stored properly.

ACC News
Join the ACC in Celebrating American Heart Month
Each February, American Heart Month provides an important opportunity to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death around the world. This year, the ACC is using Heart Month to provide cardiovascular professionals and the patients they serve with tools and resources to make informed-care decisions. Learn more about these resources throughout the month with a series of posts on the ACC in Touch Blog. Make sure to also join the conversation on ACC’s Facebook and Twitter pages using hashtag #HeartMonth. Rounding out the month, ACC’s CardioSmart will host a twitter chat to discuss shared-decision making tools, as well as ways to engage patients in their cardiovascular care. Stay tuned to @CardioSmart on Twitter for more information.
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Registration Now Open For CardioSmart’s Find Your Heart a Home Webinar
Want to find out more about ACC's public reporting program – Find Your Heart a Home? Registration is now open for CardioSmart’s Find Your Heart a Home webinar on Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. Greg Dehmer, MD, MACC, and Michael Simanowith, MD, will offer more details about ACC’s public reporting program, including how to use the program and its benefits. Encourage patients to register for free to learn how to find the best hospitals in their area for their cardiovascular condition.
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
The thing that makes you say, 'I want to do something' -- that is the beginning of talent."
-- Stella Adler,
actress and teacher
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
This news roundup is provided as a timely update to ACC members and partners interested in quality health care topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of the health care professionals who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in ACC Quality First SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American College of Cardiology. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the ACC and its policies, positions, or relationships. For clarification on ACC positions and policies, we refer you to
External Resources are not a part of the website. ACC is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the ACC. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by ACC of the sponsors or advertisers of the site or the information presented on the site.
Subscriber Tools
Please contact one of our specialists for advertising opportunities, editorial inquiries, job placements, or any other questions.
Advertising:  Wynn Hansen
  P: 202.470.1149
Editor:  Kathryn Doherty

Download the SmartBrief App  iTunes / Android
iTunes  Android
Mailing Address:
SmartBrief, Inc.®, 555 11th ST NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004
© 1999-2016 SmartBrief, Inc.®
Privacy policy |  Legal Information