The healthcare industry’s shift toward a value-based care reimbursement model has prompted healthcare providers to turn their attention toward improving patient safety and preventing “never” events, such as wrong-site surgery, that should never happen in the field of medical treatment. The definition of never events has expanded to include things such as falls, missed care or hospital-acquired infections.
Topics: Patient Safety
Every year, between 700,000 and 1 million patients in the United States accidentally fall in a hospital, according to research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). A bad fall can result in a fracture, laceration, internal bleeding and even death. But research indicates that one-third of falls in the hospital can be prevented.
Staying in the hospital can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for many people. In addition to battling anxiety about medical conditions, tests and procedures, many patients may also be perplexed by the frequent noise, annoyed by beeps and alarms from bedside machines, and simply feel uncomfortable being away from the comforts of home. Research indicates that checking on patients at regular intervals—otherwise known as hourly rounding—helps address basic patient needs, as well as enhance patient safety and the patient experience, says a September 2014 study in the Journal of Nursing Administration.
As the healthcare industry continues to shift toward value-based care, providers are working to improve communication between doctors, nurses and other clinicians. The renewed emphasis is because poor communication leads to poor patient outcomes and decreased patient safety. According to a 2015 study from The Joint Commission, lack of communication was identified as the root cause of 21 percent of sentinel events, or those events resulting in death or serious injury to a patient.
HCAHPS scores have been a hot topic in healthcare ever since CMS started awarding five-star ratings to hospitals based solely on HCAHPS scores in spring 2015. However, a new study from Quantros is shaking up the assumption that higher HCAHPS scores correlate with better patient outcomes. Interestingly, the Quantros study directly contradicts a study by Harvard researchers that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine publication just last year. That study found a positive correlation between patient satisfaction-based ratings and patient outcomes. So why the divide?
NPR recently published a fascinating article about the origins of big data and its evolution in healthcare. The story begins with an introduction to John Graunt, a 17th-century British statistician. Graunt’s creation of death records, compiled into tables that included disease, age, gender, location and time, were groundbreaking at the time. This was the birth of modern demography, epidemiology and the concept of big data.
Last week, March 13-19, was Patient Safety Awareness Week, an initiative of the National Patient Safety Foundation. Patient safety is a vitally important healthcare issue, and can include measures ranging from hand washing to complex technological solutions.
Topics: Patient Safety
A transparent work environment can increase employee trust, productivity and engagement. This type of environment encourages open communication and keeps all employees in the loop about the purpose and goals of the organization. Healthcare workers are tasked with an important job – ensuring the health and safety of others. Transparency can make a world of difference.
Topics: Patient Safety
The term I’d like to define for you today is “closed loop care.” It’s not that this term hasn’t been used in the healthcare industry, but I feel it’s important to solidify and standardize its meaning so that anyone providing patient care (particularly in a hospital setting) can effectively monitor, deliver, measure and improve in this area. In order to understand what closed loop care is, it’s important to first imagine what an open care loop looks like. It’s the typical course of care at most facilities today.
Your nursing staff forms the frontline in patient care and satisfaction. Ask any patient in a hospital, they'll tell you that the level of personal care they receive from the nursing staff makes the difference between a great experience and a terrible one.
When it comes to patient outcomes, it's the nurse who runs front and center in responding to the patient's daily needs and treatment plan. For hospital management, the success of your nursing staff represents the health of the organization's financial stability and professional reputation.
It's imperative to not only make sure your healthcare team is accountable, but that they're well taken care of in terms of employment satisfaction and appreciation. This allows caregivers to devote more of their energy to what matters most: Your patients and their improved outcomes.