mednewsWe know you’re busy, but we don’t want you to miss important healthcare quality and patient safety news. Below is a roundup of stories you may have missed but need to take a look at before calling it a week. (Sign up on the right if you’d like these news alerts delivered to you.)

  1. CMS Clarifies MU2 Hardship Exceptions
    Hospitals have until April 1, 2014 to apply for a meaningful use hardship exception. Access details regarding eligibility, which in most cases will be tied to EHR vendor issues and delays, as well as an updated application just released by CMS.
  2. GAO Urges Comprehensive Strategy for EHRs
    Read the report released this week by the U.S. Government Accountability Office urging the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a comprehensive strategy to make certain that electronic health records are collecting reliable data for clinical quality measures.
  3. The Value of Key Performance Indicators for Healthcare Providers
    Even if the tee ball league says it’s “not keeping score,” someone’s keeping score. In fact, everybody involved is probably keeping score – the kids, the coaches, the parents and the umpires. The same thing happens in healthcare. Patients, families, clinicians, administrators and payers are all keeping score. So it’s important for providers to maintain accurate performance records because these measurements can help reinforce an organization’s mission, reduce errors and improve outcomes.
  4. IHI Offers “Getting Started Kit” for Always Events
    According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Always Events are “aspects of the patient experience that are so important to patients and families that health care providers must perform them consistently for every patient, every time.” Download IHI’s new Always Events® “Getting Started Kit” designed to help providers better understand what constitutes an Always Event, determine best practices and implement initiatives designed to institute these practices.
  5. Lost in Clinical Translation
    A little empathy goes a long way when it comes to communication with patients, and the simplest of gestures, like sitting down with patients during rounds, can relay the vital message, “I have time for you.”
  6. Focusing on the Patient, Not the Condition: What Hospitals Need to Know About Avoiding Medicare Readmission Penalties
    Could the day be coming when hospitals are no longer reimbursed for readmissions? As CMS prepares to increase readmission penalties and expand conditions included in its readmission reduction program in 2015, some industry leaders are definitely starting to think so. Meanwhile, facilities like Chicago’s Swedish Covenant Hospital are transforming their discharge process into a care transition process that places high priority on social risk assessment and the conditions to which patients are returning when they leave the hospital.