Patient Safety, Hospital Innovation and JHM Research in the News

By  |  February 8, 2016 | 

Media Monitoring Report: January 21 – February 4, 2016

Hospital medicine surfaced in a variety of medical and regional news outlets over the past two weeks, ranging from alarm management and hospital communication to creating a culture of innovation in the hospital and coverage of Journal of Hospital Medicine research.

Medscape and Stat News focused on two important issues impacting hospital medicine: alarm fatigue and communication failures. Per Medscape, hospitals now must develop and implement specific policies and procedures for alarm management as part of the second phase of a Joint Commission initiative on alarm safety. Stat News highlighted the importance of effective communication among hospital staff after recent research revealed that nearly 2,000 patient deaths could have been avoided over the last five years had communication been better.

Other media highlights include tips from Hospitals & Health Network for creating an innovative culture in the hospital, regional news coverage of an SHM member’s recent appointment to a South Carolina hospital advisory council, the announcement of a new hospitalist group in Oregon and Journal of Hospital Medicine research in a press release and medical news outlet.

Also of note in social media is a mention of SHM on Twitter from Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC, who reaches a network of over 90,000 followers. Representatives from SHM joined a team of sepsis experts who met with Dr. Frieden to raise awareness about protecting patients from sepsis.


Media Highlights: January 21 – February 4, 2016

Smarter Alarm Management Fights Alarm Fatigue
The lack of hospital-wide clinical alarm management policies and procedures, and the dangers inherent to alarm mismanagement, achieved prominence in 2013 with the release of the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals on clinical alarm safety. This initiative mandates that hospitals must identify and prioritize alarms based on internal considerations by January 1, 2016. In phase 2, which also begins in January, “hospitals will be expected to develop and implement specific components of policies and procedures. Education of those in the organization about alarm system management will also be required.”

January 28, 2016


Communication failures led to 1,744 deaths in five years, US malpractice study finds
Hospitals and doctors’ offices nationwide might have avoided nearly 2,000 patient deaths — and $1.7 billion in malpractice costs — if medical staff and patients communicated better, a report released Monday has found. Communication failures were a factor in 30 percent of the malpractice cases examined by CRICO Strategies, a research and analysis offshoot of the company that insures Harvard-affiliated hospitals. The cases — including 1,744 deaths — involve some horror stories that no family, and no medical professional, wants to experience.

February 1, 2016
Stat News


A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a Culture of Disruptive Innovation at Your Hospital
Hospitals and health systems are clinging tenaciously to the belief that their economic survival depends on their embracing continuous quality improvement and Lean methods. After all, in a time of ratcheted-down reimbursement, the need for a little belt-tightening and quality improvement seems obvious.
However, as authors Tyson Browning and Nada Sanders remind us in their book Can Innovation Be Lean?, “Lean practices were pioneered in repetitive production systems characterized by relative stability and certainty.” Though hospitals strive for minimization in variation to create repetitive production systems, there are few things more diverse than a patient’s presentation of illness, just as there are few things less stable or certain than health care.

January 28, 2016
Hospitals & Health Networks


RMC hospitalist named to SCHA Quality Advisory Council
Brian W. Kendall, MD, Regional Medical Center chief quality and safety officer, has been named to the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Quality Advisory Council. “We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Kendall to the Quality Advisory Council,” said Lorri Gibbons, RN, MSHL, CPHQ, vice president for quality improvement and patient safety at SCHA. “His passion, knowledge and experience as a caregiver and hospitalist will be great assets as the council continues its work to ensure safe, reliable and high quality healthcare for every South Carolina patient.”

February 2, 2016
The Times and Democrat


New staff come to Lower Umpqua Hospital
Health care in Reedsport is stepping up to a new level in 2016. Medical care for patients admitted to Lower Umpqua Hospital will now be directed by a new breed of specialists, termed Hospitalists. Hospital Medicine is the newest and fastest growing subspecialty in the United States. The term ‘Hospitalist’ was coined by Dr. Robert Wachter in a New England Journal of Medicine article in 1996. Hospitalists are physicians who are dedicated to the practice of medicine solely in the hospital, directing the medical care of acutely ill hospitalized patients.

February 1, 2016
The Umpqua Post


Tool Decreases Superfluous Lab Testing, Cuts Health Care Costs
Anyone who’s spent a night in a hospital knows the drill: In comes a phlebotomist, first thing in the morning, for lab tests. Physicians have long recognized that lab testing isn’t necessary for all hospitalized patients on a daily basis. Regardless, such tests are often conducted because of routine. A new paper, authored by University of Utah hospitalists and published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine outlines how the 500-bed academic medical center used a tool developed at University of Utah Health Care, Value Driven Outcomes (VDO), to reduce superfluous lab testing, which is expensive, doesn’t improve health outcomes and can harm patients.

February 4, 2016


Weight-based Insulin in Hyperkalemia Results in Less Hypoglycemia
Weight-based insulin dosing is associated with less hypoglycemia than standard dosing for patients with acute hyperkalemia weighing less than 95 kg, according to a study published online in the Journal of Hospital Medicine. The researchers observed a reduction in hypoglycemic events from 27.3% in the 10-U group to 12.1% in the weight-based group (P = 0.05). There was a reduction in the number of affected patients, with 19.7 and 10.6%, respectively, in the 10-U and weight-based groups (P = 0.22). Similar potassium-lowering effects were seen between the groups. The risk of hypoglycemia was increased for female patients and for those with baseline glucose values

January 21, 2016
Renal & Urology News


Twitter Mention of SHM from CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden
February 4, 2016


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About the Author: Brett Radler

Brett Radler
Brett Radler is the Marketing Communications Manager at the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) and has been with the organization since May 2015. He is responsible for managing SHM’s blog, The Hospital Leader. In addition, Brett develops content for SHM’s monthly newsmagazine, The Hospitalist, develops and refines SHM-branded content for multiple communications channels and oversees SHM's online communities. Brett holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and also serves as on-air talent at a New Jersey radio station in his spare time.


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