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February 1, 2015

View Archives Issues

  • Quality Professionals in Demand Post-Health Reform

    The demand is high for healthcare professionals in hospitals, health systems, and for third-party payers in towns and businesses big and small.

  • Skills for Success as a Quality Professional

    What does it take to be a good quality professional? Even at the entry level, it's the ability to lead.

  • Less harm done in 2013, says AHRQ

    The data look so good for the headlines: in 2012-2013, hospital-acquired conditions such as urinary tract infections and falls fell by 9%, saving about $8 billion. Stretching back another year, to 2011, the total cost savings reached an estimated $12 billion, with about 1.3 million cases of harm and 50,000 deaths prevented. All this good news came in a December report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

  • The conflict between quality and patient experience

    Imagine you are trying desperately to reduce your fall rate and you have instituted a program with bed alarms for patients who meet certain criteria. You may find yourself really pleased to note a reduction in falls, but at the same time you are noticing your patient satisfaction scores are taking a hit. Patients are talking about the noise of alarms, of feeling infantilized, of their sense of control being taken away. Is there a link? Maybe, according to an editorial in the American Journal of Medical Quality.1

  • Leadership Involvement Improves Quality

    A study looks at quality improvement and patient safety, and how they trickled down to actual quality of care and outcomes.

  • Patient safety on the night shift

    The floors are quiet, patients are asleep, and residents are trying to either catch some shut-eye or catch up on paperwork. The rush of the evening hours in the emergency department has ended. Yet the wee hours of the morning — 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. — are when doctors think the hospital is at its least safe, according to a new study.1

  • Behavioral health and hospital costs

    When you think about it, it’s not the fact that’s surprising, but the extent. In 13 New Jersey hospitals, a third of all hospital costs were associated with behavioral health issues, such as substance abuse or mental illness. Even more alarming, the report by the Rutgers University Center for State Health Policy noted that three-fourths of the highest users of hospital services were afflicted with behavioral health conditions, compared to about a third of those who were not considered high users of services.

  • Hospital Compare may slow price increases

    While previous studies have failed to prove that access to quality information from public reporting sites such as Hospital Compare can be an impetus for hospitals to improve quality of care, a study published in the January issue of Health Affairs indicates it may have an impact on prices.1