SHEA issues guidance on health care personnel attire   01/27/2014
The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America recently issued voluntary guidelines for health care personnel attire in non-operating room settings. "Studies have demonstrated [that] the clothing of health care personnel may have a role in transmission of pathogens, [but] the role of clothing in passing infectious pathogens to patients has not yet been well established," said Gonzalo Bearman, M.D., a lead author of the study and member of SHEA's Guidelines Committee. "This document is an effort to analyze the available data, issue reasonable recommendations, define expert consensus, and describe the need for future studies to close the gaps in knowledge on infection prevention as it relates to HCP attire." The guidance was published online in the February issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. “Institutions considering these optional measures should introduce them with a well-organized communication and education effort directed at both HCP and patients,” the authors said.
HHS to host webinar Thursday on health IT safety guides   01/27/2014
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology will host a Jan. 30 webinar on nine new guides intended to help health care providers and others assess and optimize the safety and safe use of electronic health records. Released earlier this month, the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guides include self-assessment checklists and other tools and address the following topics: high priority practices; organizational responsibilities; patient identification; computerized physician order entry; test results review and follow-up; clinician communication; contingency planning; system interfaces; and system configuration. To register for the webinar, from 3-4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, click here. The guides are available at and on the AHA’s Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence website.
Minnesota HEN reports $58 million in savings from quality improvement   01/27/2014
The Minnesota Hospital Association’s Hospital Engagement Network has reduced preventable hospital readmissions by 16%, saving an estimated $40 million in health care costs, according to its latest annual report. Among other quality and patient safety improvements, the 113 participating hospitals have reduced early elective deliveries (which can increase complications) by 87%; pressure ulcers by 83%; central line-associated blood stream infections by 28%; falls by 27%; and catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 23% – together saving another $18 million. The HEN is part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Partnership for Patients initiative. “Our hospitals have made tremendous strides toward the Partnership’s goals, but even more there is a greater emphasis on reducing all causes of harm, not just individual conditions,” said MHA President and CEO Lawrence Massa.
AHA psych section names 2014 leaders   01/27/2014
James Eyler, CEO of Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health in Macon, GA, is 2014 chair of the AHA's Constituency Section Council for Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Services. Eyler also is a board member for HCA’s Coliseum Health System, president of the Georgia Behavioral Health Coalition, and on the Georgia Hospital Association’s Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Council, among other roles. Stuart Buttlaire, regional director of inpatient psychiatry and continuing care for Northern Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA, is the section’s chair-elect and will become chair in 2015. For more on the section's governing council, see the AHA news release.
Webcast replay on enrollment highlights best practices for hospitals   01/27/2014
A replay is now available of last week’s Department of Health and Human Services’ webcast with AHA on successful strategies for hospitals and health systems enrolling uninsured and underinsured patients in health coverage through health insurance marketplaces. Hosted by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock, the webcast featured hospital leaders and case examples from Tucson (AZ) Medical Center and Ascension Health’s St. John Providence Health System in Warren, MI. To access the replay, as well as AHA and other enrollment resources, go to