mednews-logo.300We know you’re busy, but we don’t want you to miss important healthcare quality and patient safety news. Here’s 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. Reviving House Calls by Doctors
    “If physicians could make more money, control their schedules better and spend a satisfying amount of time with patients, more might choose that life.” Could house calls actually give primary care the boost it needs? The New York Times
  2. ECRI: Patient identification errors common, potentially fatal
    A new report published by ECRI Institute validates the idea that any member of a patient’s care team could make an identification error.  Fierce Healthcare
  3. No one knows how many patients are dying from superbug infections in California hospitals
    The Los Angeles Times looks into why patient medical billing records may provide a more accurate understanding of cause of death than patient death certificates and why during an epidemic of lethal superbugs such infections remain unreported. Los Angeles Times
  4. Survey: Digital Divide Between Patients, Physicians Continues
    Review findings from a recent survey conducted by Medscape which reveals that while technology use is certainly more prevalent these days, attitudes and comfort levels among patients and doctors are conflicting. Compromise may be key to reaping full benefits offered by patient portals, EHRs and healthcare apps. Medscape
  5. Opioid crisis in rural areas may be tackled through telemedicine
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14,838 Americans died from overdose of prescription painkillers in 2014. With thousands more addicted and lacking access to specialized mental health care, physicians are turning to telemedicine for help. The Washington Post
  6. Clinical Alarm Safety Improvements are a Team Effort
    Meeting The Joint Commission’s call for improvements in the area of clinical alarm safety is going to call for cooperation on the part of device manufacturers, hospital leadership, nurses and quality and patient safety managers. HealthLeaders Media
  7. AMA: Doctors want digital health tools for billing, diagnostics, patient safety
    In an American Medical Association survey, a majority of physicians expressed a desire for tech tools that will specifically help to improve efficiency, patient safety and diagnostic capability. Other tools perceived to offer potential were those that could help reduce burnout and improve patient medication adherence. Healthcare IT News
  8. STEMI Initiative Cuts Response Time by 72%
    Access initial research findings from a University of North Carolina quality improvement program that utilizes fist-responder triage techniques to empower non-physician clinicians to efficiently activate response teams when inpatient ST elevation myocardial infarction is suspected. HealthLeaders Media 
  9. Saint Elizabeth takes a practical approach to falls prevention
    Read about the steps one Canadian healthcare organization has taken to build a system-wide “culture of falls prevention” that has yielded remarkable results. Canadian Patient Safety Institute
  10. Health Literacy’s Impact of Patient Safety
    October is Health Literacy Month. All indicators point to an extremely low level of proficiency when it comes to understanding basic health information among English-speaking adults in the United States. Consider the effects that the National Patient Safety Foundation suggests increased patient engagement and comprehension could have on outcomes. National Patient Safety Foundation
  11. Thinking Outside the Hospital: A Call to Action for Outpatient Safety
    Adapted from an article, which originally appeared in a publication of the Arkansas Hospital Association, this piece provides a reflection on the very real but typically unstudied occurrence of preventable patient harm that happens outside of hospitals. The Armstrong Institute