Tag Archives: quality of care

Conference among many efforts to reduce diagnostic errors

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Matthew Hadley via Flickr

Every nine minutes, someone in a U.S. hospital dies due to a medical diagnosis that was wrong or delayed. This jarring fact is front and center on the home page of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). Reducing this number to zero is why some 400 physicians, nurses, patients, health institutions, nonprofits, and policymakers gathered in New Orleans this week for the 11th annual Diagnostic Error in Medicine Annual International Conference. Continue reading

The ACA and patient satisfaction: Does it improve care?

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org. Follow her on Facebook.

Alexandra Robbins

Alexandra Robbins

The ACA made many changes to Medicare. One of them involves linking part of hospital pay to patient satisfaction.

In an Atlantic magazine essay adapted from her new book, “The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles With the Heroes of the Hospital,” Alexandra Robbins argues that hospitals are missing the point: the way hospitals are defining, measuring and achieving patient “satisfaction” is not advancing the quality of care.

Robbins overstates that the amount of Medicare payments tied to patient satisfaction and understates the role of outcomes (more on Medicare’s Hospital Value-Based Purchasing later). But her essay is provocative and worth thinking about for those of you who cover the hospital industry or your local hospitals, and how they are changing under the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading

Report reveals the challenges behind covering patient safety

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Michael L. Millenson

Patient safety is a critically important topic for health care journalists. Yet collecting the data needed to report on it thoroughly can be frustratingly difficult.

For a new report, former journalist Michael L. Millenson (@MLMillenson), explains the challenges he and his colleagues encountered collecting the data they needed to produce a nonpartisan report, “The Politics of Patient Harm: Medical Error and the Safest Congressional Districts.” The first analysis of patient safety by congressional district, the report ranks each district as good, fair or poor on patient safety. Continue reading

Journalists share tips for weighing hospital rankings #ahcj13

Jane Lerner

About Jane Lerner

Jane Lerner is a staff writer at The (Rockland) Journal News. She is attending Health Journalism 2013 on an AHCJ-New York Health Journalism Fellowship, which is supported by the New York State Health Foundation.

Photo by Pia ChristensenMarshall Allen, standing, was joined by his ProPublica colleague for a workshop about hospital rankings.

Can every hospital really be better than every other hospital at everything?

Hospital public relations folks and the people who produce rankings, such as Leapfrog and HealthGrades, would like us to think that’s the case.

But, as journalists, we need to take a critical look at the ever-increasing number of hospital rankings that land in our inboxes, said Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce, both of ProPublica.

The pair outlined tips we can use to decipher information during a workshop, “Making sense of hospital ratings: A guide for reporters,” at Health Journalism 2013 in Boston. Continue reading

24,000 Memphis patients rated their doctors

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The Healthy Memphis Common Table is an effort to help patients and providers take charge of improving the city’s health. It includes the results of about 24,000 patient ratings of 430 local primary care doctors, all conducted by the nonprofit Consumers’ Checkbook.

Manoj Jain, M.D., M.P.H., (bio) is on the table’s advisory committee and he, as part of its mission to publicize the effort, wrote a three-part series in the The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal on the results and potential of the survey. The first installment is the one with the broadest appeal, as it discusses survey results and consequences.

In the second installment, Jain profiles a highly rated doctor and includes his own musings on what makes a physician great. Jain then wraps up the series with anonymous profiles of two poorly rated doctors and further musings on how their ratings might be improved. Interestingly, Jain’s suggestions almost always focus on non-clinical factors such as office staff quality and communication skills.

Nursing blog marks anniversary of landmark report

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

In a two-week series of posts, the INQRI blog – the blog of the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative – is recognizing the 10th anniversary of “To Err is Human,” the groundbreaking report that found that as many as 98,000 people die each year from medical errors in hospitals.

A nurse vaccinates a child in this CDC photo.

A nurse vaccinates a child in this CDC photo.

The latest post, written by Barbara Olson of Florence dot com, looks at the building blocks of better health care. She says that ten years of studying how to make health care reliable has revealed that “things like speaking clearly, repeating words to be certain they have been understood; taking turns; using “inside” voices; and getting plenty of rest matter when individuals rely on complex processes to deliver intended outcomes. (Even “time-outs” have made a comeback!)”

Earlier posts include a Q&A with Paul Levy, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston; one that warns that we may not have made much progress in the area of patient safety; and a post about a nurse researcher who has found that a positive work environment helps nurses catch errors before they harm patients.