ECRI Institute Releases Annual List of Top Patient Safety Concerns
Information management in electronic health records topped ECRI Institute's 2017 Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations. The patient safety concerns listed in the report are based on event data, concerns raised by healthcare provider organizations and expert opinions. Other top concerns listed in the 2017 report include unrecognized patient deterioration, implementation and use of clinical decision support, test result reporting and follow-up, antimicrobial stewardship, patient identification, and opioid administration and monitoring. "The 10 patient safety concerns listed in our report are very real," says Catherine Pusey, RN, associate director, ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization. "They are causing harm—often serious harm—to real people."
"ECRI Institute Names Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2017"
ECRI Institute, March 13, 2017
10 Best Cities for Healthcare Workers
Apartment search website ABODO ranked Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., the best city in the country for individuals working in the healthcare field. The Cost and Opportunity report was based on healthcare job density and median salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as monthly apartment rent price data gathered by ABODO. The Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. area was ranked No. 1 due to its high job density (99.4 of every 1,000 jobs are in healthcare), which balances out its relatively high median rent. Other metropolitan areas that ABODO ranked high for healthcare workers include Toledo, Ohio; Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Mich.; Cleveland; Lubbock, Texas; Birmingham, Ala.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Philadelphia; Lexington-Fayette, Ky.; and Tucson, Ariz. San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif., ranked lowest due to its high median rent ($3,499) and low healthcare job concentration (35.9 per 1,000).
"Cost & Opportunity: Health Care Jobs"
ABODO, Feb. 14, 2017
Adverse Events Related to Drugs Skyrocket Between 2004 and 2015
The number of drug side-effect reports filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration nearly quintupled, from roughly 206,000 in 2004 to nearly 1.2 million in 2015, according to an analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today. Additionally, preliminary numbers for the last year indicate 2016 may tie for an all-time high in drug side-effect reports. Incidents were most commonly linked to drugs for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, a type of cancer and diabetes. Of the 10 drugs with the most adverse events reported, seven carry "black box" warnings—the FDA's most severe side-effect alert. Experts suggest the drastic increase is likely the result of both a growing number of drug-related incidents and more vigilant reporting efforts.
Fauber, J., and Wynn, M
“Analysis: Reports of drug side effects increase fivefold in 12 years"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 17, 2017
US Health System Performance Improves Overall, Report Finds
The number of Americans with health insurance and who benefitted from higher quality and safer care increased between 2013 and 2015, according to Aiming Higher: Results from the Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on State Health System Performance, 2017 Edition. Additionally, the percentage of low-income adults who reported foregoing care due to its cost dropped roughly 5.5 points in states that expanded Medicaid and 2.3 points in nonexpansion states. Overall, states that expanded Medicaid—Arkansas, California, Kentucky and Washington—saw more drastic improvements than nonexpansion states. The scorecard also revealed several areas of healthcare where the country is still lagging. For instance, the rate of premature deaths before age 75 that could have been prevented by timely access to effective healthcare increased slightly in 30 states and the District of Columbia, and disparities in care for people with low incomes and ethnic minorities were still very much present.
Hayes, S., McCarthy, D., and Radley, D.
Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on State Health System Performance
The Commonwealth Fund, March 16, 2017
GAO Report: Patients Aren't Viewing Health Data Electronically
The Department of Health and Human Services has spent more than $35 billion on initiatives to improve health information technology and enhance patient access to electronic health information, yet few patients take advantage of the resource, according to a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office Report. The GAO report is based on an analysis of CMS Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program data and interviews with HHS officials, providers, patients and HIT product developers. Ultimately, the GAO discovered that 88 percent of providers participating in the 2015 Medicare EHR Program offered electronic access to health information, but only 15 percent of patients opted to view their records electronically. Based on the findings, the GAO recommends HHS "develop performance measures to assess outcomes of key efforts related to patients' electronic access to longitudinal health information," and "use the information from these measures to help achieve program goals."
HHS Should Assess the Effectiveness of Its Efforts to Enhance Patient Access to and Use of Electronic Health Information
United States Government Accountability Office Report to Congressional Requesters, March 2017