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March 1, 2014

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  • Half a million dollar verdict raises concerns about surgical infections

    After a patient developed a bacterial infection following arthroscopic knee surgery and sued, a California surgery center was found guilty of negligence and ordered to pay more than half a million dollars to the patient. Three other patients became infected with bacteria, but the center couldn't track which instruments were used on which patients.
  • Scope outbreak raises troubling questions

    An upper endoscopy procedure performed on some half million patients annually in the United States might pose risk for transmission of the emerging New Delhi variety of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), even if current cleaning and high level disinfection protocols are followed.
  • Reprocessing machine cultures negative

    As a result of an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into a recent outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL, changed endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) endoscope reprocessing from automated high-level disinfection to gas sterilization in September 2013.
  • Is a bad decision better than no decision?

    Making decisions, while done daily, and often hourly, is difficult for many professionals. While not everyone endorses the following statement, I firmly adhere to it personally and professionally: "A bad decision is better than no decision." My rationale is that you learn from making decisions, good and bad.
  • New recs might make white coats obsolete

    In a move to reduce healthcare-associated infections, certain attire for healthcare professionals, including the traditional white coat, could become a thing of the past.
  • 11 ways to reduce rates of falls with injuries

    Eight-three hospitals in the Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) Falls Reduction and Prevention Collaboration were given two tools to evaluate their falls prevention programs. Those tools, provided by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, were a self-assessment survey and a process measures audit.
  • Surgeons decrease joint replacement rates, costs

    An integrated system assisted providers at five orthopedic clinics in integrating video-based decision aids to support shared decision-making (SDM) into the care of potential candidates for joint replacement surgery. Group Health Cooperative, a Seattle-based system that provides care and coverage to more than 600,000, distributed decision aids to a portion of eligible patients, mostly the best surgical candidates. It was associated with significant reductions in surgery rates and overall healthcare costs among all potential joint replacement candidates.
  • 47% more surgeries are now on time

    Implementing a system to ensure the surgical team uses the most effective practices resulted in significant improvements in operating room (OR) performance, suggests research being presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists' (ASA) Practice Management 2014 meeting.
  • MedPAC finalizes ASC, hospital pay recs

    The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has adopted a final recommendation to freeze payments for ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) under Medicare prospective payment systems (PPSs) for 2015, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA).
  • MIS rates triple for pancreatic disease

    Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a three-fold increase in the use of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) nationally for patients with pancreatic disease. Although adaptation of MIS for this difficult-to-reach gland is recent, the growing trend points to improved patient outcomes, such as reduced bleeding and infections.