Lack of communication can derail population health initiatives | Survey finds informatics nurses are key to quality care, IT | Study examines inpatient surveillance of venous thromboembolism

April 16, 2015
CV Quality SmartBrief
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Lack of communication can derail population health initiatives
Hospital administrators implementing population health strategies tend to have more confidence than providers in care coordination through electronic health records systems, an online poll found. And though administrators and staff may be aware of the organization's population health strategy, many front-line providers are not, the poll found. One problem, physicians say, is a leadership deficit among their ranks and a recognition among administrators that clinical staff must buy in to population health initiatives. HealthLeaders Media (4/9)
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Survey finds informatics nurses are key to quality care, IT
Researchers surveyed more than 500 clinical analysts, executives and informatics nurses and found that 60% believe informatics nurses have an important role in providing quality care. Eighty-five percent of respondents said these nurses make valuable contributions to implementation of EHRs and other health IT tools. The findings were presented at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference. EHR Intelligence (4/14)
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Study examines inpatient surveillance of venous thromboembolism
A retrospective study in the journal JAMA Surgery found that inpatient surveillance for venous thromboembolism did not reduce the risk of blood clots after hospital discharge. Researchers also found that the rate of inpatient venous thromboembolism was higher among inpatients under surveillance. Healio (free registration)/HemOnc Today (4/15)
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Practice & Hospital ManagementAdvertisement
Survey: 62% of hospitalists would not order mammography
A study of four hospitalist groups found 62% of physicians surveyed did not believe hospitalists should be involved in screening patients for breast cancer, Johns Hopkins researchers reported in the Journal of Hospital Medicine. Data showed one-third would order a mammogram for a hospitalized woman who was overdue for a screening. The main concern among physicians was a lack of follow-up after screening. News (4/13)
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Making the Most of Meaningful Use: Why Choosing the Right EHR Matters
Healthcare professionals understand how EHRs can increase patient engagement and the quality of care. What's not clear is how to choose the right EHR vendor or how to transition to a new EHR smoothly and within government guidelines. This guide provides an overview of Meaningful Use, highlights the requirements for 2015, and provides tips for selecting the right EHR to avoid penalties and position your practice for continued success in the future. Read now.

E-Health Watch
Physicians report better ability to use EHRs but fewer quality improvements
Survey data from about 600 U.S. physicians showed 79% felt that they have improved their ability to use their EHR system between 2012 and 2014. The Accenture survey, reported at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society annual meeting, showed fewer physicians said EHRs had improved their treatment decisions or decreased medical errors, compared with results from 2012. Medscape (free registration) (4/14)
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What You Can Learn From Some of 2014's Top Innovators
Ready to get inspired for 2015? The experiences of these 6 innovative leaders can help you chart a smarter, more successful way forward with your business. Read the featured article.

Spotlight on Innovation
How mobile health can help cut medical costs, expand access
Medical professionals should consider mobile health and telehealth as critical weapons in efforts to reduce costs, improve patient satisfaction and provide broader access to quality care. These are the common themes being touted this week at a health care conference where a survey of 330 organizations showed nearly 50% have installed a strategy focusing on mHealth or telehealth as a means of engaging with patients. (4/14)
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Costs & Reimbursement
Medicare "doc fix" bill passes Congress
Congress approved a bill Tuesday that would prevent a 21% cut in payments to Medicare physicians. The 92-8 vote in the Senate came hours before the cut was supposed to be implemented. The bill, which is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama, also extends the Children's Health Insurance Program for two years. Reuters (4/14), USA Today (4/14), CNN (4/14)
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Report: ACA program cut Medicare spending 1.2%
The Affordable Care Act's Pioneer program, which seeks efficiencies by managing care for patients with chronic diseases, saved 1.2% on Medicare spending in its first year, according to a paper published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Bloomberg (4/15)
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Research analyzes Medicare per-episode cost variations
A research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine said hospital factors were behind much of the per-episode variation in Medicare spending on hospital and post-acute care, but geography was also an important component. The report from researchers at RAND Corp. analyzed Medicare fee-for-service claims in 2008 and compared hospital and regional differences for hospital and post-acute care for 10 conditions. Medscape (free registration) (4/14)
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ACC News
In Historic Vote, Senate Approves SGR Repeal Legislation
The Senate overwhelmingly passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which permanently repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), establishes a framework for rewarding clinicians for value over volume, streamlines quality reporting programs into one system, and reauthorizes funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program. The bill does not require participation in maintenance of certification (MOC), nor does it establish the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Board of Internal Medicine or any specific entity to administer MOC. The president has indicated he will sign MACRA immediately, successfully avoiding any interruption in Medicare claims payments. “The Senate has accomplished a major feat by passing legislation that ends a cycle of delays and patches in the law, which has created uncertainty for Medicare patients and clinicians for more than a decade,” said ACC President Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC. Read more on
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Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson,
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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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