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February 12, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Group releases recommendations for better post-discharge care
    The American Medical Association has released five patient safety principles for transitioning patients from inpatient to outpatient care. "[P]atients leaving the hospital too often return to ambulatory care settings that are not well connected to the hospital team and this can result in inefficient, confusing and sometimes unsafe conditions," the report's authors wrote. Evaluating patient health, setting goals, supporting self-management and managing medications were among the responsibilities outlined in the report. HealthLeaders Media (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Incorporating health literacy may bolster patient engagement
    A commentary in Health Affairs suggests hospitals that make health literacy a priority may improve patient engagement. Researchers outlined a model that incorporates the six structural aspects of the Care Model with 20 strategies from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit. (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Practice Management 
  • Low cost, high satisfaction seen with online consults
    A study in Health Affairs found online consultation for routine health issues showed similar efficacy to that of standard care while leading to lower costs and high patient satisfaction. Online medical consultations also showed episode resolution rates comparable to those of convenience clinics, researchers said. InformationWeek (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Early adopters make up more than half of private practices
    Data from a WhiteSpace Health Care study showed 55% of private practice managers and doctors say their practices follow an "early adopter" approach to operating decisions. Researchers also found 23% of respondents perceived their practices as "innovators," while 19% felt they were "late adopters" and 3% reported being "laggard" practices. (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  • Patient engagement gets $25M boost from EMR developer
    EClinicalWorks, a developer of EMRs, is putting $25 million into efforts to promote patient engagement, including the development of a mobile patient application known as Healow. The app is meant to help patients connect with health records and providers while managing prescription use and refills, accessing test results, and more. The firm also announced findings from a physician survey: 93% of respondents said mobile apps can help improve health outcomes, and 89% reported they were likely to encourage patients to use such tools. (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  • Developer unveils telemedicine tool for iPad
    The ControlStation App for iPad was recently unveiled by InTouch Health. The application, which works as an interface physicians can use to hold telehealth consultations with patients, can be linked to any InTouch devices, such as the RP-VITA. (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • Spending on health care rose 4.3% in 2012
    Research by Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending found that health care spending in 2012 went up to 4.3%. "While slightly above the flat three-year experience of 3.9%, our data demonstrates continued historically low health care spending growth," Altarum's Charles Roehrig said. Health care prices rose the least since 1998, inching up 1.7% from December 2011 to December 2012. (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Poll: Health exchanges are favored by 55% of the public
    Fifty-five percent of U.S. adults see the creation of state-based health insurance exchanges as a top priority for state leaders, according to a survey by the Harvard School of Public Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The public is not divided on the issue because "people like the idea," Kaiser Family Foundation president and CEO Drew Altman said. United Press International (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  ACC News 
  • Partners in Innovation: Medstar and Million Hearts partnership merges EHRs and ABCS
    A feature in the latest issue of the ACC’s Cardiology magazine highlights an innovative health IT partnership between MedStar Health and Million Hearts. Under the partnership, MedStar has integrated what Million Hearts calls the ABCS – appropriate aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation – into its electronic health record system in order to track and improve patient care in these three areas. According to Peter Basch, MD, medical director of Ambulatory Electronic Health Record and Health IT Policy for Medstar, the partnership grew out of the desire to take EHR use to the next level and prepare for Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the federal government’s “Meaningful Use” EHR incentive program, while at the same time continuing Medstar’s ongoing commitment to improving quality.” Read the full article. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Revamped committee to guide ACC prevention efforts
    Cardiovascular disease prevention is central to the mission of the ACC, and as such the College recently revamped its Prevention Committee to better serve as the voice and as a resource for preventive cardiovascular specialist members and be the “access point” for collaborations with other societies and government entities around prevention efforts, such as Million Hearts. ACC Prevention Committee chair Vera Bittner, MD, MSPH, FACC, expands on these and other goals in a recent ACC in Touch Blog post. She also writes about the need for help and input from a wide cross-section of ACC physician and nonphysician members, including those who are still in training, in order for the committee to be successful. Read the complete post. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--John Steinbeck,
American author

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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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