Healthcare Roundup—Atrium Health raises minimum wage for 7,500 employees

Atrium Health boosts minimum wage for 7,500 employees

Atrium Health announced that it would increase its minimum wage from $11.50 per hour to $12.50 per hour, a change it says will affect 7,500 staffers in the Charlotte, North Carolina, metropolitan area.

Those receiving the raise include employees within Atrium's hospitals and support staff outside of its facilities, such as call center workers and human resources staffers. Employees already making about $12.50 an hour will earn a 2% raise, Atrium said.

Atrium Health was previously known as Carolinas HealthCare System, and announced a rebranding effort in February. (The Charlotte Observer)

Deaths in acute care facilities on the decline as sites of care shift, study finds

A new study of Medicare patients found a decline of deaths in acute care settings between 2000 and 2015.

Researchers studied a cohort of more than 1.3 million Medicare patients and found that death rates in acute care declined from 32.6% in 2000 to 19.8% in 2015. Simultaneously, rates of patients dying at home or in an assisted living facility increased from 30.7% to 40.1%.

The researchers also found that the rate of patients visiting an intensive care unit in the last month of life increased between 2000 and 2009, from 24.3% to 29%, but the rate remained flat through 2015. Patients were also less likely to undergo a care transition in the last few days of their lives by 2015, according to the report. (Journal of the American Medical Association)

IHI's National Steering Committee identifies four focus areas for its work

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement convened some of healthcare's heavy hitters—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Hospital Association and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—for a National Steering Committee on patient safety, and that group has now defined priority areas for its work.

The group has outlined four major focus areas as it crafts its action plan:

  1. Culture and leadership
  2. Patient engagement
  3. Workplace safety
  4. Learning systems

"The initial meeting of the National Steering Committee was energizing, because the members were focused and committed to this work," Tejal Gandhi, M.D., IHI's chief clinical and safety officer, wrote in a blog post. "Challenges ahead include implementing the action plan by encouraging broad collaboration throughout the healthcare system." (IHI blog post)