Questions hospitals must consider before joining an ACO

Organizations must consider four questions when they work with a health insurer to implement an accountable care organization, writes Daniel Finke, CEO of accountable care solutions from Aetna, in a piece for Healthcare IT News.

3 ways to cut unnecessary readmissions of heart patients

Given the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) financial penalties for hospitals with above-average readmission rates, many organizations seek ways to prevent 30-day readmissions of patients who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or what's commonly known as angioplasty. Here are three suggestions.

Robust EHRs, inpatient physical rehab and staff levels minimize 'weekend effect'

With studies showing that patients admitted to hospitals over the weekend are more likely to die and have serious complications, Loyola University Health System researchers have come up with strategies for reducing the so-called "weekend effect."

Hospitals' commitment to social media grows

Hospitals in Ohio are spending more money and resources on social media but also say they don't have the staff and time needed to use social media effectively.

3 concerns to address when hiring doctors to work for your hospital

More and more physicians are trading the autonomy of private practice for the security of working in hospital-employed medical groups. Here are three of the challenges hospitals face. 


Health center for low-income families brightens hospital visits

At the Venice Family Clinic in California, galaxies, forests and ocean motifs in treatment rooms, baskets of toys and more reflect a nationwide shift in the way clinics deliver healthcare.

VA settles with more whistleblowers as investigators promise better training

The Office of Special Counsel, which handles allegations of retaliation against federal employees, has announced that three Department of Veterans Affairs whistleblowers would be reinstated to their jobs with clean records and financial settlements..

How Henry Ford Health System, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital improved healthcare disparities

The American Hospital Association recognized two hospital systems for making significant strides in reducing healthcare disparities in their communities and improving diversity in their leadership ranks.

Maryland hospital launches domestic violence program to reduce patient risk

Staff at Westminster, Maryland's Carroll Hospital will begin screening possible domestic violence victims to reduce their risk of being injured or killed by their partners, according to the Carroll County Times.

American College of Surgeons clinical database drives improvements in surgical quality

The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) provides more accurate data for driving improvements in surgical quality than two other sources of administrative data, according to two new studies.

As outpatient care gains steam, one Texas hospital adopts a short-stay model

To address an increased demand for outpatient services and a surplus of inpatient beds, one Texas hospital plans to create a short-stay center--and it's a move that other other hospitals across the country may want to consider.

Joint Commission announces care-integration certification

The Joint Commission has announced a new certification for integrated care, which assesses how well healthcare providers incorporate care transitions, hand-offs and information sharing during patients' transitions between hospital and outpatient care environments

Five-star hospitals double in quarterly Hospital Compare update

The number of hospitals earning perfect scores on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' five-star scale doubled in a new round of ratings.

Want better surgeons? Poll their coworkers

Hospitals can improve patient outcomes, teamwork and surgeons' compliance with care quality standards using a performance assessment common among Fortune 500 companies, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Reducing hospital readmissions through telemedicine partnerships with skilled nursing facilities

Guest post by Raymond Hino, president and CEO of the Sonoma West Medical Center in California. Telemedicine systems, including remote presence technology, have evolved over the years from stationary...

Most 2012 Minnesota ED visits were unnecessary

More than 1 million emergency department visits in Minnesota during 2012 may have been preventable, according to a report from the state Department of Health.

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs: Deadlier than previously thought

A new study presents some troubling findings when it comes to the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs in hospitals across the country. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria, once thought to be less "fit" than other strains, in fact survive better and cause more deadly infections, according to the findings. 

Straight healthcare providers unconsciously biased against LGBT patients

Whether or not they realize it, heterosexual healthcare providers are biased against LGBT patients, a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health found, but how those biases affect care is unclear.


3 steps to optimize physician referrals

As healthcare organizations struggle to remain competitive, they often overlook one potential opportunity: courting physician referrals, Medical Marketing & Media reports. 

Florida hospital's response to sewage spill inadequate, threatened public safety

Venice Regional Bayfront Health's response to a large sewage spill in the post-surgical orthopedic wing of the facility was inadequate, according to a report from the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration.