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Journal focuses on surgical QI, measurement
The Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS) devoted its June 2007 issue to a quality measurement program called the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP). ACS NSQIP tracks the outcomes of various surgical procedures and provides data to help hospitals improve patient safety and quality of surgical care.
A number of the 20 articles show how ACS NSQIP has helped reduce complications among surgical patients and enabled surgeons to better assess a patient's risks before he or she has an operation. For example:
Currently, ACS NSQIP is used in 155 private hospitals. ACS NSQIP also includes reporting for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Surgical Care Improvement Program.
AONE taps 68 hospitals to improve patient care
The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) has selected 68 hospitals to participate in a two-year project to improve patient care. The project will disseminate tools to help hospitals redesign care delivery processes based on lessons learned from Transforming Care at the Bedside, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative. For more information, visit the AONE web site at www.aone.org.
Working conditions for ICU nurses linked to infections
Hospitals that have better working conditions for nurses are safer for elderly intensive care unit (ICU) patients, according to a recent report by Columbia University School of Nursing researchers who measured rates of hospital-associated infections. A review of outcomes data for more than 15,000 patients in 51 U.S. hospital ICUs showed that those with high nurse staffing levels (the average was 17 registered nurse hours per patient day) had a lower incidence of infections. Higher levels of overtime hours were associated with increased rates of infection and skin ulcers. On average, nurses worked overtime 5.6% of the time. These findings, reported in the June issue of Medical Care support the notion that a systematic approach aimed at improving nurse working conditions will improve patient safety.