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February 19, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Hospitals join patient safety initiative
    More than 20 hospitals and hospital groups have committed to actions that will increase patient safety, while nine medical-device firms will make patient information more accessible, according to the Patient Safety, Science & Technology Movement. The action plans include goals linked to the prevention of catheter line-associated bloodstream infections, as well as pledges involving education about blood transfusions and proper blood management. (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Research ties income inequality to hospital readmissions
    States with the highest level of income inequality had an additional 40,000 hospital readmissions over three years compared with other states, a study in BMJ found. Researchers found no evidence that greater divides between rich and poor were substantially linked to increased mortality risk. HealthDay News (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • More than half of U.S. patients live in ACO areas
    Fifty-two percent of U.S. patients reside in regions served by accountable care organizations, up from 45% in August, data from an Oliver Wyman analysis show. Researchers also found 28% or more of patients live in areas with at least two ACOs, an increase from 17% in August. (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Practice Management 
  • Gift bans influence prescribing of brand-name drugs, studies find
    Physicians who attended medical schools that restricted industry-provided meals and gifts were less likely to prescribe brand-name drugs than those whose schools did not implement such restrictions, a study in BMJ revealed. Another study published in Medical Care supported the findings, noting lower prescribing of widely promoted, brand-name drugs after gift bans became common. American Medical News (free content) (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  • Using AI models may boost patient outcomes, curb costs
    The use of artificial intelligence algorithms in health care resulted in significantly better patient outcomes at a lower cost, researchers at Indiana University found. "The framework here easily outperforms the current treatment-as-usual, case-rate/fee-for-service models of health care," said researcher Casey C. Bennett. Computerworld (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  • Group issues assessment to gauge hospital safety, quality
    The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has introduced the 2011 ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment for Hospitals meant to help health care facilities evaluate drug practice safety, pinpoint improvement opportunities and compare outcomes with similar hospitals. (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 2 apps nab cash prize from GE hospital quest contest
    GE has already selected two mobile applications to each receive a $5,000 prize in its hospital quest challenge. The Discharge Roadmap app was created to boost communication between providers in communities and care teams in hospitals. Request-a-Porter app was developed to enable hospital staff to use text messaging to oversee transport requests. Developers have two more days to enter, and GE will unveil the winners, including eight receiving grand prizes, next month. (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • Deadline passes with 26 federal exchanges, 7 partnerships
    The health insurance exchange landscape is taking shape, with the deadline for states to commit to their approach passing on Friday. Twenty-six states defaulted to federally run exchanges, while seven opted for federal-state partnerships and 17 states plus the District of Columbia plan to run their own. States with federally run exchanges can still apply to take over management of their exchanges in 2015. The Washington Times (2/16), The Washington Post/WonkBlog (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NCQA gives accreditation to 6 ACOs
    Six accountable care organizations have been accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance since the NCQA started accepting applications in March of last year. The groups with accreditation include Essentia Health, HealthPartners and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • Mortality rates not associated with risk-standard readmission rates in AMI or pneumonia patients
    A study published Feb. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that risk-standardized mortality rates and risk-standardized readmission rates were not found to be associated for acute myocardial infarction or pneumonia patients and were only moderately associated for heart failure patients. Commenting on the study, Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, FACC, Harold H. Hines Jr. professor of medicine and epidemiology and public health at the Yale University School of Medicine, notes "the study dispels concerns that hospitals with good mortality rates will necessarily have high readmission rates. We found that hospitals can excel in both measures – and that these measures seem to reflect very different facets of health care performance, as they are not strongly related to each other. Our goal now is to determine how the best performing hospitals are able to do well on both measures and share those lessons broadly." In addition, in order to encourage participation in cardiovascular rehabilitation, the American College of Cardiology and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation have developed a variety of tools for physicians and their patients to use. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Conference to spotlight innovation in health IT
    Don’t miss the 2013 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition held March 3 to 7 in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. More than 36,000 healthcare industry professionals are expected to attend to discuss health information technology issues and review innovative solutions designed to transform healthcare. Conference education sessions include pre-conference symposia on ICD-10, clinical and business intelligence, health information exchanges, clinical engineering, innovation, meaningful use, nursing informatics, physicians’ IT, and RFID and RTLS in healthcare. The ACC is proud to support this annual event that helps Health IT professionals make the right decisions for their organizations. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Everything that lives, lives not alone, nor for itself."
--William Blake,
British poet and painter

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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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