Quality and Patient Safety Update, August 16, 2011

In this issue: 
This issue includes information on TAP story boards, SCHA-DHEC Influenza Teleconference and SC Mission 2011:Midlands, in addition to AHA, IHI and other national news highlights.

Top Story

Call for 2011 TAP Story Boards

Share your hospital’s story with a featured storyboard at the 2011 TAP Conference, held on September 15-17, 2011, at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa. In the past, South Carolina hospitals have highlighted their quality and patient safety initiatives with storyboards at the TAP Conference. Storyboards have proven to be a fantastic opportunity to highlight the hard work our hospitals have done to improve health care across South Carolina. Find out how you can submit your hospitals story!

South Carolina News

SCHA-DHEC Influenza Teleconference

SCHA and DHEC will be hosting a teleconference on Wednesday, 31 August 2011 at 10 AM addressing the upcoming influenza season. This teleconference will address topics such as the preparation for this flu season, vaccination policies for healthcare workers, critical care triage, and lessons learned by a facility that instituted mandatory vaccination of HCWs. The call in information is as follows: Call-in 1-888-289-4573  Participant Code: 1952452

SC Mission 2011:Midlands Serves More Than 2,000

At the end of SC Mission 2011: Midlands, more than 2,000 patients received free medical, eye and dental care services at the Carolina Coliseum.

Barbara, 62, of Columbia, arrived around 11 a.m. to ensure she would be the first in line. Before the doors opened at 6 a.m., she had been joined by hundreds of others all looking for a chance to see a doctor to deal with some of their most chronic health needs.

During the two-day event, patients received multiple services to address their most critical health needs. On Friday alone, the on-site pharmacy filled about 800 prescription medications while two local labs cut the lenses that would allow 300 prescription eyeglasses to be distributed. Read More.

AHA News

CDC Reports on Flu Vaccination for Health Care Workers

An estimated 71% of hospital workers report being vaccinated against the flu in the 2010-11 flu season, according to a survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average vaccination rate for all health care settings was 63.5%, with the highest rates reported by physicians, hospital workers and workers age 60 and older. Self-reported vaccination coverage among those whose workplace required that they be vaccinated was 98.1%, compared with 58.3% among those not subject to a requirement. Coverage also was higher among workers offered vaccination onsite (66.1%). To protect the lives and welfare of patients and hospital employees, the AHA Board of Trustees recently approved a policy supporting mandatory patient safety policies that require either flu vaccination or wearing a mask in the presence of patients across health care settings during flu season. CDC continues to recommend an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older as the first and best way to protect against influenza. The agency estimates between 166 million and 173 million doses of flu vaccine will be produced for the U.S. market this season. Manufacturers have begun shipping some vaccine and ample supplies are expected to be available in September and October.

CMS: Four Medical Groups to Share Medicare Pilot Savings

Four medical groups will split $29.4 million for achieving quality and savings targets in the fifth year of the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration Program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced. Six groups did not qualify for shared savings in the fifth year of the demonstration, which seeks to better coordinate care across settings to improve the quality of care and reduce Medicare costs. Seven groups achieved all 32 performance benchmarks in the fifth year, up from two groups in the first year. All 10 participants achieved benchmark performance on heart failure, coronary artery and preventive care measures. Over the five years, participants also increased their quality scores an average of 11 percentage points on diabetes measures, 12.4 percentage points on heart failure measures, 6 percentage points on coronary artery disease measures, 9.2 percentage points on cancer screening measures, and 3.8 percentage points on hypertension measures. Medicare has paid a total of $110 million in incentives to seven participants in the demonstration. All 10 practices will continue to participate in the PGP Transition Demonstration, a two-year supplement to the original demonstration that began in January. For more information, visit www.cms.gov.

Guide Shares Quality Improvement Lessons from Allied Associations

A new guide from the AHA's Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence initiative summarizes lessons learned from allied hospital associations that submitted applications for the inaugural Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award for Allied Association Leadership. The guide explores evidence-based performance improvement initiatives launched by the associations and the common elements in their successful implementation among hospitals and health systems. The award was presented last month to the Iowa Hospital Association and Washington State Hospital Association. This guide includes multiple references to our collaborative improvement efforts in South Carolina.

HQA Updates Hospital Compare data

The Hospital Quality Alliance updated the Hospital Compare website with the latest hospital inpatient and outpatient quality data, including the yearly update of 30-day readmission and mortality rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia inpatients. Also new is the inclusion of readmission and mortality data for Department of Veterans Affairs' medical centers. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the national mortality and readmission rates for heart attack were slightly lower this year, while the rates for heart failure and pneumonia were slightly higher. In addition, most inpatient experience of care measures have improved since hospitals began reporting on them two years ago, the agency said. HQA, whose members include AHA, is a national public-private collaboration of hospital groups, consumer representatives, physician and nursing organizations, employers and payers, oversight organizations and government agencies dedicated to encouraging hospitals to voluntarily collect and make public quality of care information. Also, CMS added a Quality Care Finder tool to Medicare.gov, which links to Hospital Compare and other Medicare quality reporting websites.

Commission Launches Breastfeeding Education Campaign for Mothers

The Joint Commission released a brochure and poster that health care providers can use to help educate pregnant women about breastfeeding, beginning in the hospital. The brochure provides breastfeeding tips and encourages mothers to rely on a support team of family members, friends, lactation consultants, nurses and doctors to reach their breastfeeding goals. Hospital staff play a vital role in supporting breastfeeding in the first few hours of a baby’s life, helping the mothers get started in a practice that provides long-term benefits for their children. The materials are part of the commission’s Speak Up program, which urges patients to take an active role in their health care.


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday, August 1, issued its hospital inpatient and long-term care hospital prospective payment system (PPS) final rule for fiscal year (FY) 2012.

The final rule does not implement the 3.15 percent proposed cut for changes in documentation and coding initially proposed by CMS. Instead, it implements a cut of 2.0 percent. This represents $1.2 billion more in payments to hospitals in FY 2012 compared to the proposed rule. The proposed rule called for an average decrease of 0.55 percent in hospitals’ FY 2012 operating payments compared to FY 2011, but the final rule increases average payments by 1.1 percent. This amounts to a $1.2 billion increase in operating payments compared to FY 2011. Read More (AHA login required)

Hospital Compare Data Updates Released August 5

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will update information on care provided in hospitals on the publicly available Hospital Compare website. The site will include data updates on hospital readmission and mortality rates for patients with heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia in addition to clinical information about patients who go to the emergency department because of chest pain or other heart attack symptoms; have outpatient surgery; and receive outpatient imaging services.

IHI News

IHI Web&ACTION programs combine intensive expert-led, web-based learning sessions followed by Action Periods during which participants apply their knowledge in real-time practice through detailed assignments.

Upcoming Web&ACTIONs for Office Practices:

Improving Access: Dramatically Reduce Waits and Delays for Care – Begins October 6, 2011

This program will help you to implement a system for open access in your office practice. Expert faculty will provide you with the necessary tools and guidance to understand the relationship between supply and demand, work down your backlog, optimize your care team, and develop contingency plans that will help you begin your path to world-class patient access.

Upcoming Web&ACTIONs for Hospitals:

Identifying and Removing Waste – Begins October 12, 2011

This program will introduce you to the Hospital Inpatient Waste Identification Tool, which can be used to identify high yield opportunities for waste reduction in your hospital. You will also learn how to work with members of your front-line, finance, and leadership teams, to set organizational priorities based upon the financial and political realities of your organization.

Building Capacity and Capability – Begins November 9, 2011

Learn to implement or improve your system for building internal capacity and capability. Over the course of three web-based sessions, expert faculty will explain these concepts and how they lead to improved performance, as well as help you assess your current state and begin to build a system that will lead to sustainable results

Leading Quality Improvement: Essentials for Managers

As the link between senior leadership and the front lines, middle managers serve a vital role in converting strategic goals into action. Turning high-level goals into results requires a strong foundation in improvement, yet unfortunately, few opportunities exist for managers to formally acquire the skills necessary to accomplish this.

To meet this need, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is pleased to offer Leading Quality Improvement: Essentials for Managers, a virtual professional development program. Over the course of nine months, expert faculty will teach participants the requisite improvement skills to meet their organizations’ goals of demonstrably better outcomes, safer care, and reduced costs.

This program begins October 6, 2011. For more information, or to enroll, please visit the IHI website.

Transforming Care at the Bedside on a Medical/Surgical Care Unit

Medical/surgical units are where the majority of the nation's inpatient care is delivered. They are also where an estimated 35 to 40 percent of unexpected hospital deaths occur and where nursing turnover rates are highest. Overburdened with non-clinical demands and systems inefficiencies and failures, patient care suffers and disillusioned nurses often leave their jobs.

Hospitals across the country are transforming the care delivered in their institutions’ medical/surgical units through a unique initiative called Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB). Launched in 2003, TCAB is a national program initially developed and led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Improving the work environment for front-line staff and strengthening the link between effective nursing care and better clinical outcomes are essential elements of TCAB.

Learn how to apply this innovative evidence-based approach at your institution by joining IHI for the new seminar Transforming Care at the Bedside on a Medical/Surgical Unit on November 14-16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. This program is ideal for nurses and any care team member on a medical/surgical unit, including clinical assistants, pharmacists, hospitalists, social workers, and physical therapists.

To learn more, and to enroll, please visit the IHI website.

Other National News

The Joint Commission Releases a New Speak Up Video on Reducing the Risk of Falls

The Joint Commission animated Speak Up series, Speak Up: Reduce the Risk of Falling, explains the importance of taking extra precautions to reduce the risk of falling by talking to your doctor if medication makes you feel lightheaded or confused, having your eyes examined to see if you need new glasses or contacts, speaking up when you need getting up especially while in the hospital, and exercising to improve strength and stability. Read More.

Calendar of Events

September 15 – 16, 2011

17th Annual Diabetes Fall Symposium will be held at the North Charleston Convention Center. Diabetes teams are encouraged to participate and submit a poster on the work they have accomplished. Poster abstracts are due by August 26. For more information contact Julie Benke-Bennett or (843) 876-0998.

September 15 – 17, 2011

TAP Conference is an annual joint meeting with the SC Medical Association. Hospitals bring leadership teams of board members, physicians and senior leaders to network and look into the future of health care for South Carolina Hospitals. It will be held at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa in Hilton Head, SC. Contact Lucy Marcum for more information.

October 12, 2011

Final On the Cusp: Stop BSI Meeting Celebration will be held at the SCHA Conference Center. This meeting marks the end of a two year collaboration to stop blood stream infections in South Carolina hospitals. For more information contact Kimberly Hubbard.

October 12, 2011

Summit on Care of the Seriously Ill, sponsored the SC Healthcare Ethics Network, SC Medical Association, SCHA and SC Coalition for the Care of the Seriously Ill, will be held at SCHA. For more information contact Karen Reeves.

November 29, 2011

5th Annual SC Heart Care Alliance Forum will be held at the SCHA Conference Center, 1000 Center Point Rd, Columbia, SC, 29210. Registration has not yet opened. For more information contact Kimberly Hubbard.

December 4-7, 2011

IHI’s 23rd Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare will be held in Orlando, FL. To register for the National Forum, please click here.

April 24-26, 2012

5th Annual South Carolina Patient Safety Symposium will be held at the Columbia Marriott in Columbia, SC. Save the date for one of South Carolina’s top health care conferences.


Please contact The SCHA Quality and Patient Safety Team if you have questions regarding this newsletter (803.744.3523) or to schedule a Site Visit with our team, please complete the form, located under Tools and Resources.

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