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March 21, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Report: Toxic work culture affects patient quality, safety
    A toxic environment for health care workers, including increasing injury rates and problems with verbal and physical abuse from colleagues, is holding back efforts to improve patient care and safety, according to a report from the National Patient Safety Foundation's Lucian Leape Institute. Dr. Alan Rosenstein, medical director of Physician Wellness Services, commented that health care organizations can improve the work culture by focusing on reducing heavy workloads and time-constrained care. American Medical News (free content) (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • QUEST hospitals show significant improvements in quality
    Hospitals that joined Premiere's QUEST program attained a 10% lower mortality rate compared with the national average and have saved up to $9.1 billion since 2008, according to a company release. QUEST hospitals also showed higher patient experience scores and lower readmission rates and average discharge costs. (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  E-Health Watch 
  • Formal clinical IT programs face uncertainty, report says
    A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute revealed 55% of health care professionals didn't know when their organizations would have a formal clinical informatics program. Researchers also found 13% of respondents said their groups would need more than two years to implement such a program, while 10% said it would take one to two years. (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CMS announces MU targets for hospitals, physician practices for 2013
    CMS said at the HIMSS13 conference that it anticipates 80% of qualified hospitals and 50% of qualified physician practices will become meaningful users this year. Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said 2013 would be "busy," with a focus on education. "We're going to spend a lot more time with physicians -- helping physicians learn, and helping physicians work with their current vendors to make things a little easier for them," Tavenner said. Family Practice News (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  • Study: Telemedicine bolsters patients' access to stroke care
    A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine indicated that telestroke initiatives show promise in boosting patients' access to specialists who could provide them with expert care. Researchers also found that the geographical coverage of stroke care in Oregon was enhanced by the programs by about 40%. (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ONC unveils website for small, critical access hospitals
    A new website created by the ONC aims to help small hospitals in rural areas, as well as critical access hospitals, implement health IT and bring the ONC closer to its goal of having 1,000 of these facilities attesting to meaningful use of EHRs by the end of next year. Information featured on the site includes federal HIT funding opportunities and resources from private groups and the government. Health Data Management (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • Lawmakers push for RAC program changes
    Reps. Sam Graves, R-Mo., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., reintroduced the Medicare Audit Improvement Act of 2013 meant to reform the Recovery Audit Contractor program and reduce administrative burdens among smaller, rural facilities in particular. The American Hospital Association lauded the bill, stating that it will provide auditors with better guidance and improve transparency. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Some states decline to enforce ACA insurer rules
    Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming are among the states that will not enforce Affordable Care Act regulations regarding insurers, such as requiring insurers to accept all applicants and forbidding them from charging more based on gender. HHS has few state resources and little experience enforcing health insurance rules, experts say. Kaiser Health News/Capsules blog (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • ACC testifies in front of FDA advisory panel regarding MitraClip System
    An FDA advisory panel of experts convened yesterday to examine Abbott Vascular Inc.’s pre-market approval application for the MitraClip® System and its use in patients who are considered too high risk for open mitral valve surgery. Representing the ACC and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons in front of the advisory panel, John Carroll, MD, FACC, and Fred Edwards, MD, FACC, underscored the importance of appropriate patient selection and heart team collaboration in treating this inoperable patient population and addressed the role registries — specifically the STS-ACC TVT Registry™ — play in post-market surveillance. Ahead of the meeting, the ACC and STS submitted joint comments that provided valuable guidance for the panel to take into account during their decision making. Get full coverage of the hearing. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Greater focus on heart failure comorbidities needed to reduce hospitalizations
    A study published March 18 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology looked at the association between heart failure and hospitalization in the U.S. and suggests that the current strategies to reduce hospitalization related to heart failure should be reconsidered and redesigned. The ACC’s Hospital to Home initiative aims to reduce cardiovascular-related hospital readmissions and improve the transition from inpatient to outpatient status for individuals hospitalized with cardiovascular disease. H2H challenges practitioners to better understand and tackle readmission problems by trying specific tools and improvement strategies through the H2H Challenge Projects. H2H also offers toolkits, webinars, and surveys to capture and share experiences with others. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Greek philosopher

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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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