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March 2020
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Joint Commission: R3 Report details changes for total joint certification program

Editor's Note The Joint commission on January 29 announced a new R3 report detailing changes to the Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement program. Effective July 1, there will be 11 new and 11 revised elements of performance (EPs) that will be applicable to all accredited ambulatory…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 3, 2020
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Medicare may overpay for postop care

Editor's Note Medicare may be overpaying surgeons for postoperative care they provide to patients, according to a new Rand Corporation analysis in the January 23 New England Journal of Medicine. The authors of the analysis suggest that federal officials should incorporate ways to more objectively measure the amount of postoperative…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 23, 2020
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AHRQ Safety Program for ISCR to include emergency general surgery in 2020

Editor's Note In this article, the American College of Surgeons and the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, which launched the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery (ISCR) in 2016, announce that they are expanding the scope…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 21, 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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