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March 2019
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CDC provides first estimates of flu season

Editor's Note New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that so far, during the 2018-2019 season, between 6 and 7 million people have been sick with the flu. Up to half have sought medical care, and between 69,000 and 84,000 have been hospitalized. These estimates…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 17, 2019
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Joint Commission: New blog post examines steps for developing a reporting culture

Editor's Note A new blog post featured in the Joint Commission’s "High Reliability Healthcare" examines four essential steps for developing a reporting culture and why they are important. The steps are: Establish trust: Leaders should help create personal responsibility by establishing clear performance expectations for employees in an environment where…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 17, 2019
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Researchers pinpoint factor that predicts unplanned readmissions

Editor's Note The widely used “LACE index,” which assesses a patient’s risk of hospital readmission, has a “blindspot” because it fails to consider whether patients are on Medicaid, West Virginia University researchers say. LACE stands for length of stay, acuity, comorbidity, and emergency department. To assess the predictive value of…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 17, 2019
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FDA: Sun Pharmaceutical recalls four lots of Vecuronium Bromide

Editor's Note The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on January 8 announced the recall by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc (Cranbury, New Jersey) of three lots of Vecuronium Bromide for Injection, 10 mg (lyophilized powder) (Lots: JKS0443A, JKS0444A, JKS0477A), and one lot of Vecuronium Bromide for Injection, 20 mg (lyophilized powder)…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 16, 2019
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Joint Commission seeks comments on new antimicrobial stewardship requirements

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on January 9 announced that it is seeking feedback on its newly proposed requirements for antimicrobial stewardship at Medication Management (MM) standard MM.09.01.03. The requirements apply to ambulatory healthcare organizations and office-based surgery practices. The proposed requirements align with current recommendations from scientific and professional…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 14, 2019
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Follow pain management standards to ensure survey success

Postoperative pain management has always been a major focus of patient care. However, the opioid crisis is increasing the challenges healthcare leaders face because of the call for a national change in modalities of pain management. Regulatory bodies, specifically, are executing control to confront the opioid epidemic head on, making…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
January 14, 2019
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2019 Medicare final payment rule brings big wins for ASCs

The holiday spirit got off to a good start at ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) across the country with the November 2, 2018, announcement of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2019 Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System and Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program Final Rule. Several significant changes ASCs had…

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By: Janet M. Boivin, BSN, BSJ, RN
January 14, 2019
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Reduced readmissions credited to HRRP overstated

Editor's Note Medicare’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), which penalizes readmissions for several targeted conditions, has been credited with lowering readmission rates; however, these reductions now appear to be overstated, this study finds. A concurrent change in electronic transaction standards that increased diagnostic coding allowed hospitals to document a larger…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 10, 2019
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FDA: Class I recall of Medtronic’s Synergy, Stealth Station S7 Cranial Software

Editor's Note The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on January 8 identified the recall of Medtronic’s Synergy Cranial Software and Stealth Station S7 Cranial Software as Class I, the most serious. The Software is used with the Stealth Station Surgical Navigation System to provide detailed 3D images of a patient’s…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 10, 2019
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Joint Commission: New R3 Report goes in-depth on pain assessment, management standards

Editor's Note The Joint Commission announced on January 9 the publication of a new R3 Report to help organizations better understand the new and revised pain assessment and management standards that will be effective July 1, 2019. The R3 Report, which is for behavioral healthcare organizations, nursing care centers, and…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 10, 2019
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