Safety/Quality

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February 2019
Home Safety/Quality

Effect of referring high-risk patients to local high-quality hospitals

Editor's Note In this study, complication rates and Medicare payments were significantly lower for high-risk surgical patients treated at local high-quality hospitals. Analyzing elderly Medicare patients having any of four elective inpatient surgical procedures between 2012 and 2014, researchers found that one-fourth of high-risk patients had surgery at a low-quality…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 23, 2019
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Medtronic recalls nearly 157,000 dual-chamber pacemakers

Editor's Note Medtronic published an urgent recall on January 7 for a subset of its dual-chamber pacemakers because some may temporarily lose their ability to pace the heart. The recall affects 156,957 devices distributed worldwide between March 10, 2017, and January 7, 2019, under the brand names Adapta, Versa, and…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 23, 2019
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Automated text messages improve joint replacement outcomes

Editor's Note An automated text messaging system increased patient engagement with home-based exercise and promoted faster recovery after knee and hip replacements, this study finds. In this analysis of 159 patients (83 controls, 76 intervention) having total knee or hip replacement surgery, those receiving timely texts showed improvement in the…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 22, 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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Association of postop delirium with long-term cognitive function

Editor's Note In this study, postoperative delirium had a negative association with 30- and 90-day cognition in all participating patients. However, patients with preoperative cognitive impairment had an improvement in cognition at 30 and 90 days after surgery, but this increase was attenuated if the patient experienced postoperative delirium. This…

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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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Predicting ICU readmission of surgical patients

Editor's Note ICU readmission risk for surgical patients can be predicted using a simple, clinical nomogram based on seven demographic and physiologic variables, this study finds. Of 3,109 patients admitted to the ICU by general surgery, transplant, trauma, and vascular surgery services, there were 141 (5%) unplanned readmissions within 72…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 16, 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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Surgical intern education decreases postop opioid prescribing

Editor's Note Education of surgical interns on postoperative analgesia was effective in preparing them for judicious opioid prescribing, this study finds. An education session on postoperative analgesia prescribing was presented to 31 incoming surgical interns by surgical residents. Before the education session was started, few interns felt comfortable prescribing opioids…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 14, 2019
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