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Hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission which offer services for labor and delivery will have three new documentation elements of performance (EPs) beginning on July 1.

Clinicians who participated in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) established by Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) can now submit their 2017 performance data through an online system—and not to multiple websites as with past CMS programs.

The Joint Commission has adopted a stricter standard on hand hygiene for all its accreditation programs as of Jan. 1, warning healthcare organizations if surveyors observe one worker failing to wash their hands in the process of direct patient care, it will be cited as a deficiency.

An extra year of experience for a physician can make an impact on patient mortality in a hospital, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine that found 30-day and hospital mortality rates were higher for hospitalists in the first year of practice than their second.

New data has been added to the CMS Physician Compare website, allowing the public to see star ratings based on Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) scores and practice information for patient satisfaction scores.


Recent Headlines

State Hospital Engagement Network saves $446 million and 46,112 patients from harm

Reductions in falls, infections, adverse drug events, and other patient harm at hospitals participating in the Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network (PA-HEN) are collectively making a big impact on both health care spending and patient outcomes in the state says the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

Joint Commission counted 887 sentinel events in 2013

Among the 887 sentinel events the Joint Commission recorded last year, the top three were delays in treatment that resulted in death or permanent disability; wrong-site, wrong-patient or wrong-procedure mistakes; and unintended retention of a foreign object after a procedure.

Three out of four medical directors now say their duties are tied to patient-satisfaction and care-quality metrics

According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Medical Directorship Compensation Survey, last year, more than 75 percent of the 1,621 medical directors that participated in the survey said their duties were specifically tied to patient-satisfaction and quality-of-care numbers. In addition, more than 35 percent reported that their duties were tied to patient safety metrics.

Lean, Six Sigma techniques reduce incidence and severity of hospital patient falls

Falls in the inpatient setting prolong hospital stays, increase costs and can be fatal, but a Joint Commission program applying elements of Lean, Six Sigma and change management to healthcare process improvement reduced falls 35 percent when it was implemented by seven healthcare systems.

8 ways policy makers could reduce diagnosis errors

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is taking on the problem of diagnosis errors in healthcare and has issued eight recommendations for how these types of medical errors could be reduced through policy and healthcare system changes.

Community factors key to readmission rates, study finds

A new study appearing in Health Services Research lends support to the argument of hospital operators that patients’ odds of being readmitted within 30 days of an inpatient stay may have more to do with the type of community the patient is released into than the quality of the care provided by the hospital.

AHA moves to organize leaders in healthcare quality

The American Hospital Association is aiming to be one of the key groups that will fill the need for healthcare improvement professionals from different organizations to collaborate and share best practices.

PQRS and eRx participation rose substantially in 2012

Participation in the government’s Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) incentive payment program went up 36 percent from the previous year in 2012, and participation in the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program went up 22 percent.

Leapfrog and Castlight to create better hospital ratings system for patients

In a move that may, depending on your perspective, either improve current hospital rating systems or create greater confusion, the Leapfrog Group, the leading non-profit hospital quality surveyor, and Castlight Health, a leading provider of cloud-based software for healthcare data, are partnering on a “consumer-friendly” analysis of nationwide hospital performance.

NQF proposes risk adjustment for hospitals treating more poor patients

In a set of eight draft recommendations, the National Quality Foundation (NQF) addresses the concern that reimbursement models tied to outcome measures may unfairly penalize health systems serving greater numbers of poor patients.