Drug known as 'spice' sparks rise in ER visits, poison-control calls

The use of a drug called spice--a synthetic substance that mimics the effects of marijuana--has sparked a troubling rise in visits to emergency departments and calls to poison control, the New York Times reports.

How Main Line Health cut sepsis mortality rates by 55%

A Philadelphia hospital system's successes can serve as a blueprint for hospitals that aim to reduce the threat of sepsis, Hospitals & Health Networks reports.

Workplace violence is on the rise and nursing staff are in particular danger

In a report that puts hard numbers behind a danger many health workers have long spoken out against, the Occupational Health Safety Network found that injuries associated with workplace violence increased overall from 2012 to 2014 and "nearly doubled for nurse assistants and nurses."

Advance directives and end-of-life care: The conversation no one wants to have

My husband and I recently attended a funeral that was devoid of anything personal or unique about the deceased's life: Who she was, how her life mattered and how those who loved her will miss...

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy calls for 'prevention-based society'

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., called for improving public health by creating a "prevention-based society" in an interview with the Washington Post.

Antibiotic shortages ratchet up superbugs' threat to patient safety

As controversy continues to swirl around superbug outbreaks in U.S. hospitals, a new study sounds the alarm that shortages of key antibiotics could make drug-resistant bacteria an even bigger threat to patients.

How house calls can cut down on hospital readmissions

The healthcare industry abounds with new ideas to reduce unplanned hospital readmissions and emergency department visits, but a New Jersey hospital has turned to a seemingly old-fashioned medical strategy--the house call.

Changes on the way for Children's Hospital Colorado after investigation

Following a state investigation, UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central gave up a waiver allowing it to treat seriously ill or injured adult patients at its pediatric emergency room, and will take control of its inpatient pediatric hospital from Children's Hospital Colorado in June, The Gazette reported.

Olympus waited to alert U.S. hospitals of scopes' superbug risk

Olympus Corp. warned hospitals in Europe about the risk of patient infections associated with a certain type of gastrointestinal scope two years before the devices were linked to a deadly superbug outbreak in California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Number of ACOs on the rise, but growing at slower pace

Even as numerous providers drop out of Medicare's Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, the overall number of ACOs increased in 2014 at a slightly slower pace than the previous year, according to an analysis from consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

Hospital-acquired conditions more likely for patients admitted on weekends

A new study that found patients are more likely to experience hospital-acquired conditions on the weekend raises important questions about what causes HACs as well as highlights how much work still needs to be done to cut down on these adverse events, according to an accompanying opinion piece.

4 strategies to measure the effect of team-based education

To measure interprofessional education's impact on healthcare outcomes and delivery, educators, healthcare leaders and policymakers must embrace four strategies, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

LGBT-competent doctors few and far between

U.S. academic faculty practices lack lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-competent physicians, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

4 ways healthcare leaders can improve communication

Effective communication is no easy feat, but it's more important than ever for healthcare leaders to clearly chart a way forward for their organizations as there is so much uncertainty and resistance in the industry, according to Hospital & Health Networks Daily.

Federal court denies St. Luke's bid to rehear antitrust case

The U .S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Tuesday denied a petition to rehear the anti-trust case involving an Idaho health system's purchase of the state's largest independent physician practice.

How retail clinics can bridge healthcare gaps

Retail clinics could play a vital role in addressing sociodemographic aspects of healthcare, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

How do hospital CEOs define population health?

Population health management is a concept embraced by the healthcare industry, but because there is no real uniform definition of the term, George Washington University's online Executive Master of Health Administration program decided to ask healthcare leaders their opinions on what it really means.

OIG to hospitals: Involve boards to strengthen compliance

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General has released jointly developed guidance to help healthcare providers' boards address compliance issues.

CMS proposes modest increase in hospital payments next year

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid proposed a new formula last week that would modestly increase payments to hospitals from Medicare in 2016.

Doctor defends CMS' star rankings of hospital patient satisfaction scores

Though some industry groups have criticized the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' recent rollout of a five-star scale to rank hospitals on patient experience, Ashish Jha, M.D., thinks the move is a sensible one that makes quality ratings far more consumer friendly, according to a post on the Health Care Blog.