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 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
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
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
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.