Preventing Patient Harm

Weighing the Need for Surgical Volume Thresholds

Weighing the Need for Surgical Volume Thresholds

Posted by  | Preventing Patient Harm

In May, three academic medical systems turned up the heat on a long-simmering debate about the link between surgical volumes and quality of care. Leaders from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the University of Michigan Health System and the Johns Hopkins Health System declared that their surgeons would need to meet annual volume thresholds for 10 high-risk(...)

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The Surgeon Scorecard and the Need for Measurement Standards

The Surgeon Scorecard and the Need for Measurement Standards

Posted by  | Measurement of Safety and Quality, Preventing Patient Harm

Most of us would agree that there aren't enough valid and meaningful health care quality measures to guide patients' choices of hospitals and physicians. While the federal government has steadily expanded the number of publicly available measures on its Hospital Compare website, it still falls short of what many patients, payers and providers would like.(...)

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Blood Clots Show Limits of Quality Care Penalties

Blood Clots Show Limits of Quality Care Penalties

Posted by  | Measurement of Safety and Quality, Preventing Patient Harm

In the world of medicine, blood clots during hospitalization have become synonymous with imperfect care. As many as 600,000 patients per year experience a blood clot, and more than 100,000 die as a result, accounting for between 5 and 10 percent of hospital deaths. Regulatory agencies have taken clots as signals that safety and quality(...)

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Supporting ‘Second Victims’ with Emotional First Aid

Supporting ‘Second Victims’ with Emotional First Aid

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

She was a newly minted Johns Hopkins Hospital pediatric nurse — let's call her Mary — but she was already unsure if she had chosen the right career path. She had inserted an intravenous line into a young patient's arm, and there had been an infiltrate, a pooling of IV fluid under the child's skin that indicated(...)

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Blood Clots: The Least-Appreciated Complication of Hospital Care?

Blood Clots: The Least-Appreciated Complication of Hospital Care?

Posted by  | Patient-Centered Care, Preventing Patient Harm

If you were undergoing a surgical procedure, would you ever think to refuse the antibiotics your physician had ordered to prevent an infection? For most hospitalized patients, that would be unfathomable. And yet, when it comes to another common complication with a far greater death toll than surgical-site infections, both patients and health care professionals(...)

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Patient Safety and Quality Champions Grow into Leaders

Patient Safety and Quality Champions Grow into Leaders

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

For years, physician assistant Stephanie Figueroa has worked with our Emergency Department and the sickle cell care team to improve the treatment of patients with this disease who arrive with acute pain crisis. When beds were unavailable in the busy adult ED, these patients might spend hours in excruciating pain before our staff were able(...)

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