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March 2019
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FDA Pre-Cert Pilot Program to promote more efficient review of digital health innovations

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 7 issued a statement from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, on the agency’s new actions under the Digital Health Pre-Certification (Pre-Cert) Pilot Program to promote a more efficient framework for the review of safe and effective digital health innovations. Because digital…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 8, 2019
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CMS underpaid hospitals by $76.8 billion in 2017

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) underpaid hospitals by $76.8 billion in 2017, according to data from the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey of Hospitals. Medicare underpayments totaled $53.9 billion, and Medicaid underpayments were $22.9 billion. Hospitals also provided $38.4 billion in uncompensated care, the January…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 7, 2019
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Medicare’s bundled payments for joint replacements show moderate savings

Editor's Note In the first 2 years of Medicare’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program, there was a modest reduction in spending per procedure without an increase in complication rates, this study finds. Comparing costs associated with 280,161 joint replacement procedures in 803 hospitals required to participate in the…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 3, 2019
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Joint Commission to begin publicly reporting C-section rates

Editor's Note The Joint Commission announced on December 19 that, effective July 1, 2020, it will begin publicly reporting hospitals with consistently high C-section rates on"Quality Check," using hospital data reported during CY 2018 and 2019. The Joint Commission began requiring accredited hospitals to collect and submit data on the…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 3, 2019
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Joint Commission launches webpage covering four high-risk areas

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on December 19 launched a webpage that covers four high-risk areas that surveyors evaluate. The “4-1-1 on Survey Enhancements” interactive page provides resources for: Sterile medication compounding Suicide prevention High-level disinfection and sterilization Hemodialysis. The Joint Commission enhanced its evaluation of these high risk areas…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 2, 2019
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FDA: Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can increase risk of aortic ruptures

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 20 announced that fluoroquinolone antibiotics can increase the occurrence of ruptures or tears in the aorta. The FDA recommends that healthcare professionals: Avoid prescribing fluoroquinolone antibiotics to patients who have or are at risk for having an aortic aneurysm, and…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 2, 2019
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Joint Commission surveys now seek evidence of performance

In the past few months, the Joint Commission has implemented a new process for accreditation surveys and changed the wording and interpretation of some standards, particularly infection control. At the 2018 OR Manager Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in September, John R. Rosing, MHA, FACHE, executive vice president and principal of…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
December 13, 2018
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Policy compliance essential for overlapping surgery safety

Flipping rooms, or running two ORs back to back, is common in many perioperative services departments. Certain rules of thumb can help ensure efficiency and good outcomes, but sometimes those rules either don’t exist or are unclear. Does your facility have guidelines for overlapping surgery, and do your surgical teams…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
December 13, 2018
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SHEA issues new guidance on infection control in anesthesiology

Editor's Note The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) on December 11 published a new expert guidance on “Infection prevention in the operating room anesthesia work area.” Key recommendations of the guidance to improve infection prevention include: Increased hand hygiene performed, at a minimum, before aseptic tasks, after removing…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 12, 2018
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FDA issues statement on updated rates of duodenoscope contamination

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 10 issued a statement on an updated safety communication about rates of duodenoscope contamination obtained from preliminary postmarket data. Interim results from sampling studies from device manufacturers−Olympus, Fujifilm, and Pentax− indicate higher-than-expected contamination rates after reprocessing. Up to 3% of…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 11, 2018
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