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September 1, 2011

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  • Improve patients' colonoscopy prep, or increase risk of missed polyps

    Good prep for a colonoscopy could be the difference of life and death for a patient. Five percent of colon cancers can develop in patients who have had a colonoscopy because the procedure is not perfect. However, on-third of those cancers are due to poor prep.
  • Good bowel habits boost colonoscopy prep

    To make sure patients are able to accomplish good bowel prep before a colonoscopy, find out if they have regular bowel movements, advises Annette Bisanz, RN, BSN, MPH, clinical nurse specialist for bowel and symptom management at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.
  • Spanish pain brochure explains symptoms

    In response to an increasing demand for Spanish-language resources to educate Hispanic Americans about all aspects of chronic pain, the Baltimore, MD-based American Pain Foundation has produced a free brochure available in Spanish and English titled "Explain Your Pain."
  • Good database keeps inventory on track

    Written materials are a mainstay of patient education. As a result of their value, the inventory can become quite large, which requires the need for a good tracking system.
  • Make written materials easily accessible

    Making written handouts readily available to clinicians interacting with patients is an important element of patient education.
  • For current materials, establish regular review

    On any given day, there are 1,000 titles on the revision list for written educational materials, and it is the job of the patient education department to keep up with it, says Diane Moyer, BSN, MS, RN, associate director of patient education at The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus.
  • Do staff speak up about patient dangers?

    A new nurse was called into the OR for a lengthy case. At the end of the case, the nurse turned to break down the back table and noticed the indicator strip in the instrument pan had not changed.
  • Managers: Don't fail to train staff

    While "incompentence" showed up as a primary patient safety issue in the recent study "The Silent Treatment: Why Safety Tools and Checklists Aren't Enough to Save Lives," this problem is not specific to any one setting, says Jan Davidson, MSN, RN, perioperative education specialist at the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). AORN sponsored the study, along with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) and VitalSmarts, a corporate training company in Provo, UT.
  • Issue with safety? R-E-S-P-E-C-T missing

    Is a respectful attitude missing among your staff? It has to come from the top down, says Stephen Trosty, JD, MHA, CPHRM, ARM, president of Risk Management Consulting Corp., in Haslett, MI.
  • Low health literacy linked to added risks

    Low health literacy in older Americans is linked to poorer health status and a higher risk of death, according to a new evidence review by researchers at RTI International -- University of North Carolina (RTI-UNC) Evidence-based Practice Center.
  • Language barriers can increase med error risk

    Language barriers slow down access to healthcare, can compromise the quality of care, and might increase the risk of harmful medical events among patients with limited English proficiency (LEP), according to data and research studies released recently by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority in Harrisburg.
  • Online safety resource available for clinicians

    The Office of Healthcare Quality in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released "Partnering to Heal: Teaming Up Against Healthcare-Associated Infections," an interactive learning tool for clinicians, health professional students, and family caregivers.
  • Patients urged to consider care options

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has announced a new multimedia ad campaign, "Explore Your Treatment Options," to encourage patients to become more informed about their options before choosing a treatment for a health condition or illness.