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 may want 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. Did Hospital Engagement Networks Actually Improve Care?
    Patient safety experts, Drs. Peter Pronovost and Ashish Jha are fearful that “weak study design and methods, combined with a lack of transparency and rigor in evaluation” make it hard to determine the true impact of the work of the hospital engagement networks (HENs) established by CMS in 2011.
  2. Brief Huddle, Checklists Improve Patient Safety at South Florida Healthcare System
    Surgeons at Florida’s Memorial Healthcare System worried that mandatory protocols including briefings, debriefings, checklists, structured handoffs and communication scripts would add time to procedures, but they actually had the opposite effect. Find out how new protocols not only prevented errors but influenced cultural change across the system.
  3. mHealth Tackles Readmissions
    “Do you own a smartphone or a tablet?” If that question isn’t already at the top of every physician’s list of queries for patients, it probably should be. While managing mHealth strategies certainly comes with its challenges, some hospitals are discovering the many benefits of using consumer-ready technologies like cell phones, Internet and digital cameras to communicate with patients and assist them in self-managing their conditions.
  4. Medicare Star Ratings Allow Nursing Homes to Game the System
    The familiar adage, “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” may be as applicable when it comes to choosing nursing homes as it is to making friends. In examining Medicare’s 5-Star rating system for nursing homes, The New York Times discovered that these ratings are based primarily on self-reported, unverified data that excludes information on state-issued fines as well as consumer complaints including lawsuits.