CDC: Hospital-acquired infection rates declining | Study looks at early data from readmission prevention program | Population health program reduces hospitalization rate in Maine
January 15, 2015
CV Quality SmartBrief
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First Focus
CDC: Hospital-acquired infection rates declining
U.S. hospitals have made progress in reducing certain types of hospital-acquired infections but more work is needed to protect patients, according to a CDC report. Central line-associated bloodstream infections fell 46% between 2008 and 2013 and surgical-site infections were down 19% in the same period. MRSA infections fell 8% between 2011 and 2013 and C. difficile infections fell 10% during that time. Reuters (1/14), HealthDay News (1/14)
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Study looks at early data from readmission prevention program
Four of 48 Community-based Care Transition Program participants whose early results were analyzed significantly reduced hospital readmissions in comparison with a control group, a preliminary evaluation by HHS contractor Econometrica found. However, experts note that the short period of time analyzed -- a few months in some cases -- is inadequate to draw conclusions. Seventy-two agencies now participate in the program, which involves paying community agencies to work with hospitals to prevent elderly patients from being readmitted to hospitals. Kaiser Health News (1/14)
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Population health program reduces hospitalization rate in Maine
A community disease prevention program started in 1974 in Franklin County, Maine, has reduced hospitalizations and the mortality rate, according to an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The initiative initially addressed high blood pressure and was progressively expanded to include cholesterol and diabetes management and tobacco cessation. The program includes screening, monitoring, counseling and physician referrals. Modern Healthcare (free registration) (1/13), Kennebec Journal (Maine) (1/14)
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Practice & Hospital ManagementAdvertisement
More pediatrics practices coordinate with mental health clinicians
More pediatric practices are engaging in integrated care with mental health professionals, allowing them to ease patient transition by way of a "warm handoff" instead of a referral. Experts say the set-up could improve early intervention, diagnosis and treatment. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (1/12)
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Medical residents get plenty of job offers, survey shows
A Merritt Hawkins survey of 1,208 new physicians showed more than 60% had 50 or more job offers while they were medical residents, and 46% received more than 100. The data showed 7% of physicians said they would consider a job in an area with fewer than 50,000 people, while 47% wanted to practice in an urban area with a population of 500,000 or more. HealthLeaders Media (1/12)
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How Physicians Can Use Technology To Bring A Mega Group To Life
In an increasingly complex business environment, U.S. Physicians are banding together into mega groups that gain leverage with payers without sacrificing independence. Innovative technology platforms are playing a major role in making it happen. One leading mega-group shares its story in this whitepaper.

E-Health Watch
Medical group asks for changes to EHR documentation
The American College of Physicians called for electronic health record documentation to be redesigned to better incorporate how physicians think and work. The ACP report, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, also called for possible changes to evaluation and management coding guidelines. Medscape (free registration) (1/12)
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Eligible hospitals show high stage 2 attestation rates
Elisabeth Myers from the CMS' Office of E-Health Standards and Services reported that 77% of 2,115 eligible hospitals have attested to stage 2 meaningful use as of Tuesday. Among other findings, 65% of stage 2-qualified hospitals used 2014-certified EHR technology to attest to stage 1, while 23% used 2011-certified EHR platforms. Healthcare Informatics online (1/13)
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Get Creative: 10 Ways to Think Outside the Box
No matter your business, smart solutions come from out-of-the-box thinking. We all know creativity is king, but are you doing all you can to inspire and encourage creativity in your staff? Read the article and learn 10 ways to inspire creativity at your office.

Spotlight on InnovationAdvertisement
Portable device allows discharge of patient awaiting heart transplant
The Freedom Driver has allowed a patient with an artificial heart to be discharged from the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center while he waits for a heart transplant. The 13-pound device, which was approved by the FDA in June, powers the patient's temporary artificial heart. Gizmag (1/12)
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How SDN Makes Campus Networks Better
When should agencies adopt SDN? IDC reports that SDN provides immediate benefits for government campus networks, including modernized IT infrastructures that are more agile, cost-effective, and collaborative.
Read this new IDC paper to learn more.

Costs & Reimbursement
Cutting unnecessary administrative costs could save $375B
Reducing billing- and insurance-related costs by simplifying corresponding processes and financial data management may help the medical industry reap annual savings of up to $375 billion, according to a study in BMC Health Services Research. However, the maximum savings are dependent on the U.S. switching to a single-payer system. Health IT Analytics (1/14)
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ACC News
Your New Online Professional Home is Here!
The ACC's new website,, is now live, offering the enhanced features and design requested by ACC members. Optimized to work on mobile devices, the new provides faster, more complete access to the College's scientific and educational content and practice management tools in the office or on the go. The new site also offers members multiple ways to personalize their online experience, with customized content recommendations, topic-specific e-mail news digests, educational tracking and a personal online library. To experience the new website and take the online tour, visit Check out the Quick Start Guide for help getting started. Use your former CardioSource credentials to log in or create a free account.
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PINNACLE Registry Wraps Up Successful Year of Research
In a recent ACC in Touch Blog, William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, executive vice president of Science, Education & Quality for the ACC, highlights a research project recently presented during the 66th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India. The study analyzed data from the PINNACLE Registry's India database, which now includes more than 100,000 patient records collected from Indian hospital outpatient clinics. "Not only does this study inform us on guideline-recommended medication use among patients in India, but it also marks the first time data from ACC's outpatient registry in India have been presented at a conference outside of the U.S.," writes Oetgen. In addition, Oetgen summarizes the other notable research that arose from the PINNACLE Registry in 2014. Read more on the ACC in Touch Blog.
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You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."
-- Mahatma Gandhi,
Indian independence movement leader
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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
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