Weekly Must Reads in Patient Safety (Oct 24, 2014)

It’s National Healthcare Quality Week and National Respiratory Care Week!

However, according to Pascal metrics, there is no reason to celebrate. Studies show that a third of patients are harmed in U.S. hospitals and the consequent financial burden of this harm may run to over $100 billion annually.

John LaChance died of opioid-induced respiratory depression. His story is retold by his wife, Patricia LaChance, in this poignant plea for better patient assessment and use of continuous electronic monitoring.

So, in keeping with the theme of quality and more particularly the need for better quality in respiratory care, here are this week’s reads on how to improve the quality of healthcare.

Quality Improves When Doctors and Nurses Work Together

Thank you @Nursiverse for pointing out this article by @paulinechen on research that nurses and doctors working together in the obstetrics and gynecology unit of a hospital “resulted in a significant decrease in the number of adverse patient outcomes, like traumatic birth injuries, admissions to the intensive care unit and death”.

Interesting! But, isn’t that the same thing that parents teach their elementary children – play nice in the sand box?

Actions Produce Results

Want to be a leader? Act like one. The leaders that act are generally most admired than those that just lip service to principles.

Hats off to @TGandhi_NPSF for tweeting about this study about the affects of rounds, culture, and caregiver burnout. If leaders want to change culture and behavior, they need to be involved.

Don’t Get Caught Up in Crying Wolf

Great tweet @ECRI_Institute on this article that compares alarm fatigue with “crying wolf” – except for patients, the “wolf” could be an adverse event or death.

Strict Malpractice Laws Do Not Reduce Health Care Costs

Thanks @Paduda for pointing out this study.

According a RAND Corporation study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, laws that make it harder to sue physicians for malpractice do not reduce hospital emergency department care costs.

To Improve Quality, Data is Needed

To make changes that improve quality, data is needed. According to a recent survey, patient safety leaders lack detailed, real-time harm data.

Unfortunately, efforts to prevent the flow of data have been undertaken at CMS.

Revision notice: An earlier draft mistakenly included a link to apple.com. It has been replaced by the appropriate link. Our apologies.

Leave a Comment, if You Care About Patient Safety