An American Hospital Association report found 70,000 fewer unplanned hospital readmissions from 2011 to 2015, along with a 21% reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2015. Data showed a 40% decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections from 2009 to 2014, and a 77% reduction in early elective deliveries.
A study published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery found 11.4% of heart surgery patients who were discharged on weekdays were readmitted within 30 days, compared with 10.9% of those who were discharged on weekends and holidays. Readmission predictors included surgical site infections, use of beta blockers before surgery and tobacco use, but not day of discharge.
Preterm infants had a 1.6 times increased likelihood of being readmitted to a hospital for injuries commonly linked to maltreatment within the first year of life, compared with those born at term, researchers reported in the Annals of Epidemiology. The findings also showed 1.8 times higher odds of readmissions among those with prolonged NICU stays, compared with infants not treated in a NICU.
Hospitals in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., are responding to an ongoing shortage of critical care medications, including pain drugs, by assigning pharmacy staff to monitor supplies and search for new sources. "There are 198 different outages or shortages of product and most of them are what you think of as inexpensive, easily available generic products," said Jason Varin at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.
The number of metastatic lung cancer patients admitted to a hospital ICU during a terminal admission increased from 13.3% in 1998 to 27.9% in 2014, even though palliative care encounters also increased from 8.7% to 53%, researchers reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice. "Aggressive medical care at the end of life for patients with cancer has not demonstrated a survival benefit and is associated with worse quality of life for patients," researchers wrote.
Although most hospitals are using an EHR system, interoperability is still an obstacle, with nearly 75% of hospitals using more than 10 disparate outpatient vendors, and only 2% of hospitals using a single vendor at all affiliated practices, according to HIMSS Analytics' State of the Market 2018 report. Researchers also found that 45.3% of hospitals are still learning about blockchain and have not implemented any related programs within their organizations, while 65% reported currently using cloud or cloud services, and 50% of respondents provide telehealth services.
An initiative dubbed DRIVE -- Digital, Research, Informatics and Virtual Environments -- is focused on improving medical treatments for children using technology. Part of the project uses virtual reality to immerse children in a dinosaur-themed environment to keep them occupied as they're being treated.
The CMS released a proposed rule to require pharmaceutical firms to disclose the list prices of prescription drugs in direct-to-consumer television advertisements. CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the proposal, which would apply to all prescription drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid except drugs with list prices of less than $35 per month, would give patients the information they need to make informed decisions.
The White House's plan to pay doctors $14 for short telemedicine "check-in" calls under Medicare has met resistance from some physicians who argue they already perform that service free. One concern is that patients would avoid the service because it involves cost-sharing fees.
Earlier this year, the ACC launched its overarching accreditation program, HeartCARE Center: National Distinction of Excellence for hospitals and health systems that demonstrate excellence in cardiovascular care through participation in multiple ACC Accreditation Services and/or NCDR programs. CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital - Tyler in Texas was recognized as the first HeartCARE Center in July. Since then, a total of seven facilities have achieved the designation, and several more hospitals will join their ranks soon. Learn how the HeartCARE Center designation can help hospitals and health systems underscore their commitment to ongoing quality improvement and achieve the best possible outcomes for cardiovascular patients in a webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. ET. Representatives from CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital - Tyler will share their perspectives and provide insights into how other hospitals and health systems can benefit. Register now. Learn more about the HeartCARE Center designation at CVQuality.ACC.org/HeartCARECenter.
Inappropriate dosing of direct oral anticoagulants is not uncommon in treating patients with atrial fibrillation. A new infographic, created by the College, provides guidance for clinicians to appropriately dose DOACs. The infographic advises clinicians who are prescribing DOACs for AFib patients to adjust doses based on FDA prescribing guides. It also provides tips on how to prevent potential errors and educate patients. Download the infographic on ACC.org. View more ACC infographics at ACC.org/Infographics.
One of the best ways of avoiding necessary and even urgent tasks is to seem to be busily employed on things that are already done.
John Kenneth Galbraith, economist
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