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Archive for the ‘Patient Safety’ Category

Patient Safety Awareness Week 2017

Monday, March 13th, 2017

“A closeup…” by Penn State is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

patient

This week is Patient Safety Awareness Week hosted by the National Patient Safety Foundation! And while this week awareness is particularly high, the National Patient Safety Foundation encourages all healthcare professionals to treat every day like Patient Safety Day.

Patient safety is a public health issue according to the National Patient Safety Foundation’s United for Patient Safety campaign–1 in 10 patients will develop a health care acquired condition during hospitalization, and 44,000 to 98,000 patients per year will die due to a medical error.

National Patient Safety Week is the start of a yearlong effort highlighting important patient safety issues through information dissemination, discussions and events. One initiative during this week is for healthcare professionals to wear a patient gown in order to step into the role of a patient. You can also tune in tomorrow at 2 p.m. PST for a complimentary webcast of “The Voice of the Patient and the Public.”

SCR’s Brian Leaf wrote a post on the importance of patient safety and questions to ask a doctor; read it here.

To find out more about Patient Safety Awareness Week, please visit United for Patient Safety’s website.

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Being a Part of Your Own Healthcare: Questions to Know

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Oncology Doctor Consults with Patient by National Cancer Institute is licensed under CC0.

doctor with patient

Recently, I taught a class on how to help older adults find health information. One of the issues that came up during the class was patient safety, which has been a trending topic for us this past year.

Unlike the patient-doctor relationship of the past, patients today are encouraged to be active partners in the healthcare team in order to, in part, reduce the errors that occur in routine processes. According to Sir Liam Donaldson, named by the World Health Organization as the Envoy for Patient Safety, these errors occur in 10% of hospital admissions and sometimes lead to fatal outcomes.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “develops the knowledge, tools, and data needed to improve the health care system and help Americans, health care professionals, and policymakers make informed health decisions” as stated on their profile.

One of these tools is a set of questions that patients can ask their doctors. They also have additional information on what one might ask pre- and post-appointment, along with a guide on building your own set of questions. The basic set includes:

  1. What is the test for?
  2. How many times have you done this procedure?
  3. When will I get the results?
  4. Why do I need this treatment?
  5. Are there any alternatives?
  6. What are the possible complications?
  7. Which hospital is best for my needs?
  8. How do you spell the name of that drug?
  9. Are there any side effects?
  10. Will this medicine interact with medicines that I’m already taking?

One of the participants in the course suggested an additional question to ask the doctor that resonated with the other professionals in the class:

“What happens if I do nothing?”

Asking the right questions is an important part of taking care of one’s health. Find more on AHRQ’s Questions to Ask Your Doctor.

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New Research Shows Breast Cancer Precursor Treatment Causes Women to Live Longer

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

“Breast Cancer Awareness” by ~Pawsitive~Candie_N is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

pink ballonsDuctal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer and is non-life-threatening. However, DCIS can actually be a precursor to worse breast cancer later on. It can increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer; patients are at a higher risk of developing a new breast cancer than a patient who has never had any breast cancer before.

The study, conducted in the Netherland on more than 10,000 women for an average of 10 years, found that those who were treated for DCIS had a 10 percent less chance of dying from any cause than the general population. That may sound confusing—if you were treated for DCIS, you are 10 percent more likely to live a longer life than someone who never had DCIS, and therefore never received treatment for DCIS.

Specifically, researchers found that women who were treated were much less likely to die from digestive, respiratory, and circulatory diseases, and other types of cancer. This study is particularly important because DCIS treatment includes radiotherapy, which can cause damage to nearby organs

More and more people are becoming aware they have DCIS because it is something that shows up in breast cancer screenings—so more women are able to get treated if they have this form of cancer.

For more information on the study, please visit “Women treated for precursor of breast cancer can expect to live as long as other women.”

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Locating the preferred imaging modality

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

National Guideline Clearinghouse Logo

Extensive radiologic tools exist to aid clinicians in the diagnostic process. The AHRQ National Guideline Clearinghouse allows clinicians to search the American College of Radiology ACR Appropriateness Criteria® to locate suggested criteria for ordering radiologic exams.

Guidelines provide the suggested radiologic procedure that may be ordered for each presenting condition with a rating scale to denote the applicability for each exam. For each procedure the rating scale indicates the level of appropriateness of the exam. The guidelines also contain the relative radiation level for each type of exam.

Additionally, a summary of the literature is provided for the clinical condition in question.  Examples of conditions described in the database include: osteonecrosis of the hip, assessment of fetal well-being, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Nearly 200 American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are indexed by the AHRQ website to provide guidance in the ordering of radiologic exams.

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–Written by Lisa Smith, Executive Director, NN/LM SCR

 

Hospital Quality Data Available

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

“Photo” by SilasCamargo is licensed under CC0.

Hospital Beds

The Joint Commission has released its 2016 annual report on America’s hospitals. The report contains data contributed by more than 3,300 hospitals nationwide. Extensive changes were made to the metrics collected in past years. Several measures previously included were dropped from the data collection process because hospital performance was consistently high and considered to no longer represent a useful quality metric. The new process now gives organizations a choice in determining which measures to report. Additionally, eCQM (electronic clinical quality measures) are now reported.

Examples of the national performance summary data presented include measures of rates of tobacco screening, influenza immunization, stroke education, percent of stroke patients discharged on statin medications and more.

While the annual report synthesizes data collected from hospitals nationwide, granular data reflecting the quality and safety results for individual hospitals may be found on The Joint Commission Quality Check website.

See Annual Report – Improving America’s Hospitals to learn more about the data collection process and view the results of the report.

Citation: America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety – The Joint Commission’s Annual Report 2016

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Written by Lisa Smith, NN/LM SCR