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January 15, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Study: Medication errors often aren't reported to ICU patients
    ICU patients and their families often are not told about medication errors, Johns Hopkins University researchers reported in Critical Care Medicine. Researchers said 98% of medication errors do not cause harm, but of those that do, 4% occurred in the ICU, compared with 2% in other hospital units. Reuters (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.C. STEMI program improves care for heart attack patients
    A North Carolina program that encourages ambulances to deliver patients with a ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction directly to hospitals that perform stent procedures has improved patient care, according to a study in Circulation. Study data showed 46% of patients taken to a stent-ready hospital had surgery within 90 minutes of being seen by paramedics, compared with less than 22% of those taken to a hospital that was not equipped to do the procedures. Reuters (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NQF endorses 14 quality standards on infectious diseases
    Fourteen standards intended to enhance the quality of care for infectious diseases have been approved by the National Quality Forum board of directors. The standards pertain to appropriate therapies for upper respiratory infections and tuberculosis screening and sexually transmitted disease testing among patients with HIV/AIDS. Healthcare IT News (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Practice Management 
  • New ACOs joining Medicare Shared Savings initiative
    The CMS confirmed the participation of 106 newly formed accountable care organizations in the agency's Medicare Shared Savings program. The formation of the groups has expanded the number of ACOs in the country to more than 250. Fifteen of the 106 groups are part of the Advanced Payment Model program and will receive funds from Medicare to boost their information platforms and staff. Health Data Management (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  • Study: EHR cost, care benefits fail to meet expectations
    Data from a new RAND analysis showed electronic health record adoption has not generated the health care savings that were expected. Meanwhile, success has been mixed, at best, in boosting care and efficiency, even though such benefits are "unquestionably there for the taking," said researcher Dr. Arthur L. Kellermann. Planning and standardization would address some of the issues, an industry expert said, and researchers said slow EHR adoption has limited savings. The study was published in Health Affairs. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 11 organizational strategies for dealing with data breaches
    A recent Ponemon Institute report says 94% of surveyed health groups experienced data breaches, highlighting the need for organizations to take measures to better safeguard patient data and lessen breach impact. This article offers 11 ways to do so, including adopting bring your own device protocols that integrate technical safeguards and workflow processes, controlling the cloud and conducting targeted risk assessments. Government Health IT online (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  • FDA OKs telepresence robot from InTouch Health
    InTouch Health has been cleared by the FDA to market the RP-VITA robot, which the company developed in collaboration with iRobot. The technology, which combines iRobot's mobility and autonomous navigation tool with InTouch Health's telemedicine system, is designed to provide doctors with remote access to acute care patients. (Boston) (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • HHS publishes Affordable Care Act regulations
    HHS released a 474-page document on Monday with proposed regulations regarding Medicaid expansion, state health insurance exchanges and other pieces of the Affordable Care Act. The draft covers the development of systems for helping people find out whether they are eligible for Medicaid or tax credits for health insurance, and for dealing with denials of Medicaid claims. The administration is seeking feedback on the draft. (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pilot effort to transform HIT practices set to begin this month
    The CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is piloting a "medical neighborhood" program that will involve up to 15 provider groups and health systems in 15 states, helping them transform their practices using health IT to improve outcomes, lower costs and coordinate care with other providers in the community. The initiative aims to lessen the cost of health care by $49.5 million and boost the experience of patients by 25% within three years among the participating organizations. Government Health IT online (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • Study shows ticagrelor enhances adenosine-induced coronary blood flow velocity
    A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on Jan. 9 concluded that ticagrelor enhances adenosine-induced coronary blood flow velocity and the sensation of dyspnea in healthy male subjects through an adenosine-medicated mechanism. As previous studies have shown ticagrelor significantly and dose dependently augmented adenosine-meditated coronary blood flow increases in a dog model, the study authors note that their study showed "that ticagrelor augments adenosine-induced physiological responses in human subjects" for the first time. They add that further clinical studies are warranted to determine if this "adenosine-mediated secondary mode of action of ticagrelor may provide a plausible mechanistic explanation for the cardioprotective effects." Read more about the study. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ACC.13 offers something for everyone
    In a recent ACCinTouch Blog post, as well as in this month’s President’s Page published in JACC, ACC President William A. Zoghbi, MD, FACC, highlights a number of activities that will be offered at ACC.13. In particular, Zoghbi discusses the 16 learning pathways that will be available with topics ranging from interventional, imaging and prevention, to heart failure, congenital disease and all the topics in between. He also encourages attendees to download and use the ACC.13 eMeeting Planner App and Online Planner in order to more easily explore sessions, presentations and speakers. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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American theatrical producer, director and playwright

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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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