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February 2020
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Virtual physical therapy rehab vs traditional care after TKA

Editor's Note A virtual system for in-home physical therapy (PT) provided similar patient outcomes after total knee arthroplasty (TKA), with lower costs than traditional in-person PT, finds this study. A total of 306 TKA patients were randomly assigned to have traditional PT, either at home or at clinic visits, or…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 16, 2020
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Study challenges concerns about HRRP

Editor's Note This study from the division of cardiology at Dallas’ University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, challenges concerns about Medicare’s Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP)--ie, that it leaves patients more vulnerable and increases postdischarge mortality rates. Analyzing inpatient and outpatient…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 16, 2020
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Trends in robotic surgery for common procedures

Editor's Note This study finds that robotic surgery increased dramatically from 2012 to 2018 and has diffused widely across a broad range of common procedures. This trend was associated with a decrease in the use of open and laparoscopic minimally invasive procedures. In this analysis of 169,404 patients in 73…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 13, 2020
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Hospital employment up in December

Editor's Note Employment in US hospitals was up 8,800 jobs in December to a seasonally adjusted 5,297,100, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on January 10. That’s up 102,000 more employees than a year ago. Overall, healthcare employment has increased 398,800 in the past year. The overall unemployment rate remains…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 13, 2020
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Nuts and bolts of new technology acquisition--Part 1

Surgeons often are eager to acquire the newest technology, particularly right after attending a conference with a vendor-packed exhibit hall. How can OR leaders weigh surgeon demands with organizational cost constraints to ensure they meet patient needs while being fiscally responsible? The first step is to acknowledge the complexity of…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
January 13, 2020
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Recycling program evolves to sustain gains in waste reduction

Approximately 5.9 million tons of waste annually comes from the healthcare industry, and one-third of that waste comes directly from the OR. Each year, an increasing number of disposable products are used in the OR. To address this dilemma, an OR recycling performance improvement committee was formed at Massachusetts General…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
January 13, 2020
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Editorial

Nonprofit hospitals and health systems got a vote of confidence in December 2019 when Moody’s Investors Service revised its 2020 outlook from negative to stable. The report projected an increase in operating cash flows by 2% to 3%. Moody’s says increased reimbursements and higher patient volumes will boost revenue. But…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
January 13, 2020
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Mastering predictive modeling to improve patient care

The Best in OR Business Award is presented annually at the OR Business Management Conference to recognize an outstanding leader who has saved on costs, increased OR utilization, improved patient safety, or otherwise streamlined the surgical services department. The 2020 award will be presented to Vikram Tiwari, PhD, associate professor…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
January 13, 2020
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Develop standard work for successful ERAS implementation

At Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System in Richmond, implementation of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) incorporates principles of Lean thinking, a management methodology that emphasizes “…maximize[ing] customer value while minimizing waste. Simply, lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources,” according to the Lean Enterprise Institute.1 Several…

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By: OR Manager
January 13, 2020
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Can your hospital survive the growing dominance of ASCs?

Of the approximately 57 million surgical procedures performed annually in the US, it is estimated that hospital inpatient procedures (overnight admissions) account for less than 20% of cases. Many procedures once performed in hospital outpatient surgery departments (HOPDs) have moved to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) over the past 15 years,…

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By: Thomas A. Blasco, MD, MS
January 13, 2020
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