Hospitals saw a big drop in health care-associated infections from 2011 to 2015, driven by significant declines in skin and soft tissue infections and urinary tract infections, according to research presented at IDWeek. However, rates for conditions such as pneumonia and Clostridium difficile infection did not change significantly, researchers said.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said US hospitals and pharmacies might encounter drug shortages in the next two to three weeks because most Puerto Rico pharmaceutical plants are operating at partial capacity due to problems with the power supply and poor access to materials after Hurricane Maria. Gottlieb said it's unclear when drugmakers will be able to return to full manufacturing capacity, and he asked drugmakers to be more transparent about the problems they are facing.
A coalition of national groups supports changes in the law that requires a three-day inpatient hospital stay to qualify for nursing home coverage under Medicare. The group contends hospital stays are much shorter now than they were when the law was written, making it obsolete and a barrier to accessing skilled nursing care.
Learn In Demand Skills in Health Care GW's clinical research, health care quality and regulatory affairs programs prepare you to become a leader, able to meet the evolving nature of health care. Learn More
Although physicians recognize the challenge posed by high costs, many believe their perspective has been left out of measures taken to advance value-based care, a recent survey found. Although doctors express concerns about the complexity of value-based models, those who are engaged in decision-making express more satisfaction with their professional environment and more interest in leading change. "Health care organizations can generate greater support for value-based care by working closely with their physicians to shape these models and addressing doctors' concerns about implementation and outcomes," write Tim van Biesen and Josh Weisbrod.
Health care organizations need to implement a "more strategic, business-oriented and architectural approach to cyberrisk management and move away from the tactical, technical, spot-welding approach" because not doing so puts patient safety at risk, said Clearwater Compliance CEO Bob Chaput. He recommended using the National Institute of Standards and Technology's operational principles and stressed the important role board members and C-suite executives have in developing a cybersecurity plan.
An opinion article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine proposed applying six novel metrics to measure clinician use of EHRs, which researchers believe "will identify the burdens of inefficient practice so administrators and clinicians can work together to improve professional fulfillment." The proposed metrics include the ratio of staff-entered to physician-entered EHR tasks; amount of time spent logged in to the EHR during non-work hours; the EHR's regulatory effect on the practice; and rates of visits in which the EHR tasks compete for the attention of the physician.
Nanoparticles known as quantum dots have been engineered to release a chemical that weakens bacteria's defenses against antibiotics, according to findings published online in Science Advances. The dots are made of cadmium telluride and, when hit with a particular green light, their electrons jump onto oxygen molecules, creating a superoxide that messes with bacteria's inner chemistry.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma expressed support for value-based care, sending "an important signal that the federal government will remain a meaningful partner to the providers and payers working to implement value-based models in commercial markets," write David Lansky and Jeff Micklos of the Health Care Transformation Task Force. As the health care system continues to evolve, policymakers must not only voice their support but also collaborate on what "value" should mean, Lansky and Micklos write.
A study by the World Obesity Federation showed that the cost of treating obesity would reach $1.2 trillion annually by 2025 across the world, with the US poised to surpass all other nations in terms of health care costs. The US health care system spent $325 billion per year in 2014 to treat cancers associated with obesity and other obesity-related illnesses and is projected to spend $4.2 trillion between this year and 2025, researchers found.
Pamela B. Morris, MD, FACC, has been selected as the next vice chair of ACC's Annual Scientific Session. Morris will serve as vice chair for ACC.19 and ACC.20, and will transition to chair for ACC. 21 and ACC.22. "Dr. Morris is an outstanding choice for this crucial leadership role in the annual scientific session," said ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC. "She has been active throughout her membership in the ACC and is passionate about educating herself and other clinicians through her work on the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Council, the ACC roundtables and on the Annual Scientific Session Program Committee. Her vast experience and leadership will ensure that the ACC Annual Scientific Session continues to be the premier cardiology meeting." Read more on ACC.org.
The ACC launched the new Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI, which leverages evidence-based best practices to improve the care and outcomes of myocardial infarction patients and reduce readmissions. Registration is open to all ACTION Registry participants. Join Ty Gluckman, MD, FACC, for a special webinar on Oct. 18 at noon ET to learn how your hospital can participate in this free, national program and improve AMI care. Register on ACC.org. Participants in ACC's CathPCI Registry and ICD Registry can take advantage of the ACTION Registry as part of an extended free trial offer through Dec. 31. See first-hand how the ACTION Registry and Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI can complement existing registry efforts. Learn more.
Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.
Amelia Earhart, aviator
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 ACC.org 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.