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January 2012 See the full issue

Surgery is front and center in new Medicare value-based purchasing

This year, the quality movement takes a big step with the start of Medicare’s value-based purchasing (VBP) program. Beginning October 1, 2012, part of your hospital’s Medicare payments will be based on your hospital’s performance on a set of quality measures, usually referred to as the core measures and HCAHPS…

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By: OR Manager
January 31, 2012
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Blood management: Reducing blood use reduces risks and lowers costs

It’s common for physicians to order 2 units of blood. But with growing awareness of the hazards of transfusions, hospitals are adopting stricter measures to manage their blood supplies, including developing guidelines for transfusions and making sure physicians are compliant. Over the past 5 years, research has shown that transfusions…

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By: OR Manager
January 30, 2012
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January 2012 Editorial

For the first time, starting this month, hospitals will need to report surgical site infection (SSI) rates for 2 procedures, colon surgery and abdominal hysterectomy, to get their full Medicare payment update in 2014. The list of procedures is likely to expand. It’s easy to think of infection rates as…

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By: OR Manager
January 29, 2012
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Study: Uptick in younger RNs boosts workforce

A new study brings welcome news of a surprising uptick of young people entering nursing, suggesting the RN workforce will grow faster than anticipated over the next 20 years. A second study finds new RNs stick close to home for nursing school and jobs, raising questions about how to improve…

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By: OR Manager
January 28, 2012
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Data for benchmarking your OR’s performance

Hospitals are facing stiff economic winds. They are challenged by shrinking reimbursement from Medicare and Medicare, even as more patients will be covered by these publicly funded programs. Perioperative managers and directors are under pressure to make the most of their department’s resources. You’re being asked to measure every aspect…

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By: OR Manager
January 27, 2012
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‘Operation Zero’ targets surgical site infections

A surgical site infection (SSI) prevention “bundle” is helping OR teams at Maine Medical Center (MMC) in Portland to further a strategic goal of preventing SSIs. Known as Operation Zero, or “Op-Z,” the initiative is led by the chief of surgery, Brad Cushing, MD, with inspiration from a family whose…

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By: OR Manager
January 26, 2012
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Hospitals losing on physician preference items

An analysis by Premier of data from 323 of its member hospitals shows they are losing $1.82 billion annually for 12 orthopedic and cardiac case categories because of Medicare reimbursement shortfalls. Lack of evidence-based outcomes data and the rising cost of physician preference items (PPIs) are also cited as reasons…

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By: OR Manager
January 25, 2012
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Taking control of implant processing practices

Are you following recommended practices when processing implants? Both the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and the Association of Perioperative Nurses (AORN) state that a load containing an implant should be quarantined until the results of the biological indicator (BI) testing are available. The rationale is to…

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By: OR Manager
January 24, 2012
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Providing safe care for obese patients in the ASC

Patients are getting heavier, and outpatients are no exception. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies nearly one-third of Americans as obese. Meanwhile, the number of procedures deemed suitable for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) is increasing. That is not a problem if patients are properly screened, experts agree,…

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By: OR Manager
January 23, 2012
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What's expected for use of safe surgery checklist?

Starting now, in January 2012, ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) and hospital outpatient departments need to be using a safe surgery checklist and keep using it through all of the calendar year. That’s one quality measure in Medicare’s new ASC quality reporting program set forth in the 2012 outpatient payment rule…

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By: OR Manager
January 22, 2012
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