Cooley Dickinson Hospital downsizes potential partners; Daily challenges cause some patients to miss appointments;

> Although doctors wear latex gloves during patient interactions to avoid spreading germs, glove use actually may impede hand hygiene, according to a new study to be published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. That's because healthcare workers who wear latex gloves are much less likely to wash their hands before and after treating patients. Press release

> U.S. House of Representatives last week urged the congressional supercommittee to protect rural hospitals from cuts or policy changes. "While these proposals will result in savings, we urge you to carefully consider the potentially devastating consequences of such cuts on access to care for patients and economic development in rural communities," 68 House members wrote to the committee. Letter (.pdf)

> Thanks to daily challenges, many lupus patients are unable to keep scheduled physician appointments, according to a study presented yesterday at the 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Chicago. The top two reasons for missing an appointment: late or unreliable transportation and insufficient childcare. Press release

> Nurses are obligated to disclose an error when one occurs; however, the majority of registered nurses said error disclosure is difficult in the nursing home setting, concludes a study published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Nursing Care Quality. According to the authors, the findings stress the need for improved communication policies and patient safety culture in nursing homes. Study abstract

> As healthcare mergers and acquisitions continue to increase, hospitals are getting picky when choosing their partners. For instance, Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass., has decided to eliminate Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanguard Health Systems from its selection, reports The Republican. The hospital now will choose between Baystate Health System in Springfield, Mass., and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Article

And Finally... Man kicking himself for losing winning lotto ticket. Article