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February 7, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Study shows infection-control practices perceived as most effective
    A survey of infection-control specialists at 478 U.S. hospitals helped Michigan researchers create a list of the most common infection-control practices based on strength of evidence. The report in the American Journal of Infection Control found alcohol-based hand rub and aseptic urinary catheter insertion were among those perceived as the most effective practices, while routine central catheter changes and nitrofurazone-releasing urinary catheters were among the practices perceived as the least effective. (2/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • More patients reach hospice, but often for short time
    From 2000 to 2009, the percent of Medicare beneficiaries who died in hospice nearly doubled, reaching 42.2%, but 28.4% of those who received hospice services in 2009 did so for less than three days, and transfers from an ICU were common, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. While hospice care for even a day may be beneficial, Brown University researchers wrote, "an important yet unanswered research question is whether this pattern of care is consistent with patient preferences and improved quality of life." Medscape (free registration) (2/5), USA Today (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Majority of docs unaware of Sunshine Act requirements
    A survey by technology firm MMIS showed more than 50% of responding doctors were not aware that the Sunshine Act requires drug and medical device companies to report physician compensation data each year that will be made available to the public, and 63% expressed deep concern about the provision. Researchers also found physicians were less informed about the Sunshine Act, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, than they were a year ago. (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  • HIT use helps federal health centers improve care quality
    A study published in BMC Health Services Research has shown a positive association between the adoption of EHRs and health information exchange and the quality of care provided by federally qualified health centers. "In order for FQHCs to absorb the expected increase in demand and improve quality of care, they must leverage HIT as a tool for improving service delivery and patient outcomes," researchers noted. Healthcare IT News (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  • Report: Telemedicine can boost patient care
    Home monitoring programs show promise in enhancing patient experiences and care, as well as trimming costs and decreasing hospitalizations, according to a report released by the Commonwealth Fund. The report, which focused on the success of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Partners HealthCare and Centura Health in pioneering the use of home medical monitoring platforms and initiatives, also indicated that leveraging personal health information can encourage people to pursue lifestyle changes and have better clinical outcomes. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • CMS seeks feedback on expanded use of clinical quality measures
    CMS is seeking feedback on ways to help doctors easily use clinical quality measures reported as part of other initiatives to help them meet the requirements for EHR meaningful use and the Physician Quality Reporting System. "We are requesting information from medical specialty societies, boards and registries; other third party registry vendors, eligible professionals using registries to report quality measures, and any other party interested in providing information on this request for information," according to the agency. Health Data Management (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA seeks ways to reward quality
    The FDA is considering developing a quality scorecard for drug manufacturers in an effort to prevent quality problems that have contributed to recent drug shortages, according to an article in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics by FDA officials Janet Woodcock and Marta Wosinka. blog (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • ACC survey: Cardiologists practice what they preach on diet, exercise
    A recent ACC survey of more than 650 cardiologists, shows that cardiologists practice what they preach and live heart-healthy lifestyles. Results show that almost eight out of 10 cardiologists report that they exercise at least three to four times a week, and more than 40% report exercising five to seven days a week. The biggest motivators to exercise and eat well were staying fit, remaining healthy as they age, feeling healthy and improving their quality of life. "Each person needs to know their blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar; strive for normal weight; and if they smoke, seek help and find the motivation to stop smoking," said ACC president William Zoghbi, MD, FACC. "A heart healthy lifestyle also helps prevent other diseases such as cancer, diabetes and lung disease. You can triple your benefit by taking care of your heart." Read more about the results. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ACC spotlights heart health through fashion
    Through a public-private partnership, the American College of Cardiology and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute joined together to support women's heart health through The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection 2013 Fashion Show yesterday as part of Fashion Week in New York City. With the support of the fashion industry, The Heart Truth was able to once again spotlight the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness. Prior to the fashion show, the ACC hosted a Women’s Cardiovascular town hall health symposium that featured presentations from the U.S. surgeon general, NHLBI, Million Hearts and others. The particular symposium focused on ways health care providers, patients and consumer groups can work together in an attempt to reduce heart disease among women, as well as to collectively work to advance the fight against heart disease. Learn more about all of ACC’s Heart Month events. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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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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