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By Ginger - Site Admin on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 9:14 AM
From Politico Pro:

People living in poverty-stricken Appalachia have a lower life expectancy and higher rates of infant mortality than anywhere else in the country, according to a new study in Health Affairs.

Researchers examining life expectancy rates covering 2009 to 2013 found that among both men and women in Appalachia, the average life expectancy was 76.9 compared with 79.3 in the rest of the country. They concluded that the association between poverty and life expectancy was more pronounced in the region than elsewhere in the United States.

The biggest factors contributing to the life expectancy gap were cardiovascular disease, unintentional injuries including drug overdose, and cancer, the study found.

Smoking-related diseases accounted for more than half of the life expectancy...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 9:25 AM
Adverse drug events fell by 67,000 between 2010 and 2013 as the result of the federal “meaningful use” program that offered financial incentives to hospitals for using certified electronic health records (EHRs), according to a new Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) study. Adverse drug events are harms experienced by a patient as a result of exposure to a medication. They affect nearly 5 percent of hospitalized patients and can be deadly. To minimize such harms, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) initiated the meaningful use program in 2010, awarding financial incentives to hospitals and physicians who adopted specific information technology (IT) capabilities, such as computerized prescriber order entry. The new AHRQ study in Journal of the American Informatics Association (JAMIA)...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 8:49 AM
A risk prediction model designed to forecast hospital readmissions based on patients’ electronic health records (EHR) for entire hospital stays was only modestly better than a model based on EHR data for just the day of admission, according to a new AHRQ-funded study. The study on predicting 30-day, all-cause hospital readmissions was based on data from nearly 33,000 hospital stays at six Dallas-Fort Worth hospitals from 2009 to 2010.

The authors stated their model was the first to use comprehensive EHR data from entire hospital stays. That model was shown to be only modestly better at predicting risk of readmission despite including many additional clinically relevant prognostic factors. The authors noted customized models that are disease-specific may be more effective in predicting readmission compared with the common multi-condition, readmission risk prediction model.

The study “Predicting All-Cause Readmissions Using Electronic Health Record Data From the Entire Hospitalization: Model Development...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, March 09, 2016 9:33 AM
From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) - Key skills may be lacking among many nurses who treat patients with urinary catheters, according to a recent AHRQ-funded study. The researchers found that recommended procedures to test for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), a common hospital-associated infection, are not followed in many cases. Collecting specimens for urine culture is a key part of testing for CAUTI, requiring proper procedures for arriving at accurate results and keeping patients safe. Of 394 nurses studied, 76 percent reported receiving education on CAUTI risk reduction within the last 12 months. Almost half of the nurses did not believe that their peers comply with urine sample collection standards. This research indicates the importance of addressing both nursing competencies for obtaining urine cultures and nurses’ knowledge as to when the culture is indicated. The researchers concluded that nurses are not commonly evaluated on the skills of placing and maintaining...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, September 28, 2015 8:51 AM
If nurses continue to enter the workforce at the current rate, the U.S. would have about 4% fewer registered nurses than needed by 2025, according to a study in the October issue of Medical Care. That’s a “remarkable turnaround” compared with the nearly 30% shortage predicted a decade ago, the authors said. “We still project the nation will have a shortage of around 130,000 nurses by 2025, which is by no means a small number, but not the overwhelming shortage that we had once anticipated,” said co-author Peter Buerhaus, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies at...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, May 07, 2014 3:29 PM
On May 7, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an overall nine percent decrease in hospital acquired conditions (HACs) nationally during 2011-2012. HACs are undesirable situations or conditions for patients that arose during a hospital stay.

HHS reported that national reductions in adverse drug events, falls, infections and other forms of hospital-induced harm are estimated to have prevented nearly 15,000 deaths in hospitals, avoided 560,000 patient injuries and saved approximately $4 billion in health spending over the same period.

Kentucky hospitals are cheering today’s announcement because they played an integral role in improving many of the quality indicators on which HHS focused. Since 2012, the Kentucky Hospital Association has led a statewide initiative to reduce preventable readmissions and HACs in Kentucky hospitals. This effort, known as the Kentucky Hospital Engagement Network (K-HEN), was conducted in partnership with the American Hospital Association and...
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