iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

How do we stop the waste

According to a recent survey of emergency department physicians, 97% said at least some of the advanced diagnostic imaging studies they personally order are medically unnecessary. Source: “Emergency Physician Perceptions of Medically Unnecessary Advanced Diagnostic Imaging,” Academic Medicine, abstract only, March 23, 2015,

April 2, 2015 | Categories: healthcare,quality | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

Patrick Conway on lower hospital ED use

Patrick Conway will be one of the Novembe 2015 Cracking the Code on Health Care speakers in Rochester, NY

CMS official links lower hospital, ED use to support for primary care
A 2% decrease in hospital admissions and emergency department visits can be linked to increased CMS support for primary care, the agency’s chief medical officer, Patrick Conway, told the National Quality Forum’s annual conference. He highlighted several population health and coordinated care projects, initiated by hospitals and physician practices, that have reduced costs and improved quality of care. HealthLeaders Media

Calling all stakeholders – working together to reduce readmissions

Readmissions become bigger issue for primary care physicians CMS penalties on hospitals with high readmission rates have put pressure on primary care physicians to help keep patients from needing additional inpatient stays. Physicians are using post-discharge care management programs and forming accountable care organizations that focus on performance-based care. Medscape (free registration)

AHRQ Report Features Hospitals’ Use of ‘Lean’ Process Redesign

A new AHRQ-funded report shows how hospitals used an organizational redesign approach known as “Lean” to enhance the quality and efficiency of various health care processes. The report, “Improving Care Delivery Through Lean: Implementation Case Studies,” includes six in-depth case studies that explain how Lean principles were applied in 13 distinct implementation projects. The implementation projects included improving patient flow during hospital care, electronic prescribing of medicines, reducing the cost of hip and knee replacement surgery and preventing urinary tract infection. For each case study, researchers assessed how Lean was implemented. They identified success factors and implementation challenges that affected achievement of outcomes, such as improvement in quality, efficiency, costs and employee satisfaction. Among the organizational factors shaping project success and the progress of the overall Lean initiative were executive and project leadership; the organization’s existing improvement structure; information technology support; project planning and scheduling. The practical information from this analysis can help other hospitals and health systems apply Lean principles to their own efforts.

Finding waste and potential harm in usual practice

Study finds head CT for dizziness, syncope often unnecessary A study in the American Journal of Roentgenology found 7.1% of emergency department patients who had head CT scans due to dizziness showed acutely abnormal findings, as did 6.4% of those who presented with syncope or near syncope. Researchers said the results suggest imaging may be overused in such cases, exposing patients to radiation and additional cost with no benefit. Patients who may benefit from CT are those older than 60 or who have a focal neurologic deficit or a recent history of head trauma, they said. Medscape (free registration)

February 4, 2015 | Categories: healthcare,hospitals,quality | Tags: , , , , | Comments (0)

Infections: When We Do What We Know How To Do

According to a recent CDC report on healthcare-associated infections, on a national level there has been:

  • central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) decreased 46% between 2008 and 2013
  • surgical site infections (SSI) related to 10 select procedures decreased 19% between 2008 and 2013
  • catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) increased 6% since 2009
  • MRSA bloodstream infections decreased 8% between 2011 and 2013

Source: “Progress Being Made in Infection Control in U.S. Hospitals; Continued Improvements Needed,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Press Release, January 14, 2015,

Listening to the patient about their chronic pain

An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health concluded that individualized, patient-centered care is needed to treat and monitor the estimated 100 million Americans living with chronic pain. “Persons living with chronic pain have often been grouped into a single category, and treatment approaches have been generalized with little evidence to support this practice,” said Dr. David B. Reuben, panel chair and professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Chronic pain spans a multitude of conditions, presents in different ways, and requires an individualized, multifaceted approach.”

Updated National Quality Strategy Stakeholder Toolkit Features New Content and Graphics

Organizations can now use an updated National Quality Strategy (NQS) Stakeholder Toolkit to show alignment with and support of the NQS. The updated toolkit includes new graphics, Web content and social media content that can help organizations advance the mission of the NQS. The National Quality Strategy helps align public- and private-sector stakeholders across the country to achieve better health and health care for all Americans. It is led by AHRQ on behalf of HHS.

January 7, 2015 | Categories: healthcare,quality | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

Right Measures; Right Incentives; Right Results

A report released on Tuesday by HHS shows “an estimated 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and approximately $12 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013.  This progress toward a safer health care system occurred during a period of concerted attention by hospitals throughout the country to reduce adverse events. The efforts were due in part to provisions of the Affordable Care Act such as Medicare payment incentives to improve the quality of care and the HHS Partnership for Patients initiative.  Preliminary estimates show that in total, hospital patients experienced 1.3 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013.  This translates to a 17 percent decline in hospital-acquired conditions over the three-year period.”

Hospital Acquired Conditions – Concerted, Coordinated Efforts Across Health Care Stakeholders Make a Difference

HHS: Hospital-acquired conditions, inpatient mortality are down The incidence of hospital-acquired conditions fell 17% from 2010 to 2013, while inpatient deaths dropped by close to 35,000 in 2013, according to an HHS report. The reduction was attributed in part to health IT tools designed to improve quality. Healthcare Informatics online

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