Study: Too much time spent on completing infection reports | Hospitals look to Big Data to improve intensive care outcomes | Experts call for patients to have better access to their own data
June 30, 2015
CV Quality SmartBrief
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Study: Too much time spent on completing infection reports
(OLI SCARFF/Getty Images)
A study to be discussed at the 2015 conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology showed that health care-acquired infection reporting is time-consuming and is hindering providers from effectively protecting patients from HAIs. After analyzing the laboratory test reports at Somerville, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, researchers found that more than five hours daily were spent by infection preventionists to prepare their HAI reports. Researchers suggested that hospitals pay more attention to staff members' adherence to infection prevention practices instead of focusing on completing HAI reports. Healthcare Informatics online (6/26)
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Hospitals look to Big Data to improve intensive care outcomes
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Medicine are among the institutions mining and analyzing large data sets to avoid complications and improve outcomes among intensive care patients. Researchers are combining disparate data sets to find correlations and identify trouble spots as well as solutions. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (6/25)
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Experts call for patients to have better access to their own data
Doctor talking with a patient.
(Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Americans increasingly want access to their own medical data, but even with digitization of records, it has been easier for regulatory offices, researchers and others to gain access to patient data than it's been for the people themselves. Improved access to medical records shows promise for cutting medical errors, improving patient engagement and cutting wasteful spending. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (6/29)
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Learn how automated billing rules, working denials and managing payer contracts can help you keep more of your medical practice revenue. Don't leave up to 30% of your medical practice revenue behind. Read this report.

Practice & Hospital Management
OSHA to launch initiative focused on preventing nurse injuries
Inspectors with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate and fine hospitals that are not acting to prevent injuries related to the lifting of patients, according to Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels. The agency will send memos to regional offices describing the initiative, Michaels said. National Public Radio (6/24)
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E-Health Watch
CMS unveils guide to help providers prepare for ICD-10
The CMS has released a guide designed to help providers prepare for the ICD-10 transition. The Quick Start Guide lays out five steps to readying for the new coding system and notes that while it's not too late, it's essential for practices to start now. Health Data Management (6/25)
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Survey examines how EHR charting affects docs' productivity, workflow
A Physicians' Alliance of America survey found that EHR use interrupts workflow and affects the productivity of clinicians. According to the report, the productivity of 46% of doctors surveyed decreased with EHR use, compared to 26% who reported an increase in their productivity since implementing EHRs. The study also found that 34% of the over 250 clinicians surveyed spend less than half an hour on charting daily, while 9% spend over 120 minutes performing the task. (6/24)
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Spotlight on Innovation
FDA clears temperature modulation device from Chicago-based firm
Chicago-based medtech firm Advanced Cooling Therapy received clearance under the FDA's de novo program to market its Esophageal Cooling Device, a temperature modulation system that cools or warms patients using the esophageal space. The product is designed for use in the ICU, as well as in the emergency, recovery and operating rooms. FDAnews (6/25)
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Costs & Reimbursement
Spending bill in House would end funding for AHRQ
The House Appropriations Committee has approved a draft budget for fiscal 2016 that would terminate funding for HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The proposal would also cut funding for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, while holding funding for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT at $60.4 million. Healthcare Informatics online (6/25)
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HHS to focus on alternative payment models, Medicaid expansion, secretary says
HHS will turn its attention to alternative payment models for the nation's health care system now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act's tax credits, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said. The Obama administration will also work to encourage more states to expand Medicaid eligibility, Burwell said. Reuters (6/26)
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ACC News
The ACC Statin Intolerance App is Now Live
The ACC has recently launched the Statin Intolerance App to guide clinicians through the process of managing and treating patients who report muscle symptoms while on statin therapy. Clinicians can use the app to evaluate possible intolerance to a patient’s current statin prescription, follow steps to manage and treat a patient who reports muscle symptoms on a statin, and compare statin characteristics and drug interactions to inform management of LDL-related risk. Information in the app is derived from ACC/AHA cholesterol guidelines and best practices. Search “ACC Statin Intolerance” on the web or in your app store to download today. Find out more.
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JACC Leadership Page: The Cardiovascular Specialty Board of the ABIM
In a recent Leadership Page in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Mariell Jessup, MD, FACC, discusses the first meeting of the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Cardiovascular Specialty Board, which is “charged with establishing a strong, bidirectional communication between the ABIM and many cardiac societies,” like the ACC. Jessup emphasizes six important points that the board learned and wants to report to the cardiovascular community, including a simplification of the current maintenance of certification requirements. “These are challenging times for our cardiovascular community,” Jessup further notes. “The path of changes that the ABIM has created for Maintenance of Certification is now vitally dependent on internal medicine diplomats’ constructive input into the process. The Cardiovascular Specialty Board, in partnership with the ACC and other cardiac societies, is poised to listen to your views.” Read more.
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Kindness, at least actual, is in our power, but fondness is not."
-- Samuel Johnson,
poet and essayist
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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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