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ClinOps I.M.P.A.C.T. Posts - April 17, 2017

Keeping Leaders Informed of Operational Trends and Practices and Contributing to Value-Based Healthcare.

I.M.P.A.C.T. = Infrastructure . Member Experience . People & Performance . Affordability . Community . Transformation & Safety





Trends and Practices in Telemedicine, videoconferencing, IoT, the millennial patient, the platinum rule, partnerships with post-acute providers, expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists and nurses, engaging the frontline, the 'how' to transformation, CAHPS cancer care survey, outcome-based contracting for pharmaceuticals, hospital wasted supplies and cost, YMCA diabetes program, CMS community health model, Uber over ambulances?, and more...




IoT threatens patient safety, but regs could stifle innovation: “The rise of connected devices in healthcare and the Internet of Things (IoT) might help improve patient care by making data-sharing easier, but it could also put patients in danger.” Click Here


Access to therapy via videoconferencing a major advance in OCD treatment: “Patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder are benefiting from the increasingly widespread availability of therapy through videoconferencing and other computer–based programs, according to a review led by a University of Florida researcher and published in JAMA journal.” Click Here


 [Technology - white paper] Southwest Medical's Winning Strategy for Telehealth: “In 2014, Southwest Medical Associates, one of Nevada’s largest multi-specialty medical groups, launched its telehealth service, SMA NowClinic.  In this case study, we reveal how Southwest Medical enrolled more than 30,000 patients and conducted more than 20,000 telehealth visits with SMA NowClinic.” Click Here



Member Experience and Engagement


Serving the Millennial Patient: “Health care organizations need to work with millennials to create personalized care, Sita Ananth says. As the millennial generation enters the workforce and becomes increasingly responsible for buying and accessing health care, organizations are gearing up for a new “regime.” What will this generation — which grew up with technology and the internet at its fingertips — demand and need from a system with mature institutions and complex structures? I have personal experience with this question (as a mother of a 27-year-old working professional) and have watched for responses with great interest.” Click Here


Use social connections to boost patient, team engagement: “Social connections between patients and their peers and between patients and providers can improve engagement. Peer support and coaching programs can lead to better care management for patients with chronic conditions, for example, said David A. Asch, M.D., executive director of Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, and Michele E. Heisler, M.D., professor of internal medicine and health behavior at the University of Michigan.” Click Here


Hospital Impact: Let’s commit to the 'Platinum Rule': “The only way to truly know how our patients and their families want to be treated is to establish relationships and trust with them. In your organization, how often have you made decisions for your patients and their families based on how you would want to be treated (also known as the Golden Rule)? And how often have these decisions been contrary to how your patients and their families truly wanted to be treated?” Click Here


4 tips to handle unhappy patients: Listening with empathy can help solve patient complaints. Click Here



People and Leadership Insights


[Partnerships] 3 Best Practices for Partnering with Post-Acute Providers for Better Care - Hospitals need to do their homework to form strong partnerships: “A collaborative relationship between a hospital and a post–acute care provider requires a greater level of trust, cooperation and mutual accountability than has been typical. So, what best practices can you rely on to help you establish these relationships most efficiently?.” Click Here


Expanding pharmacists’ scope of practice cuts readmissions: “The healthcare industry could tackle the physician shortage by expanding pharmacists' scope of practice, according to a new study. At least four states—California, Montana, New Mexico and North Carolina—have created an “advanced practice of pharmacy” designation, and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said during his confirmation hearings that he would consider expanding the role of pharmacists in patient care.” Click Here


Need a Hospitalist? Call a Nurse - Even physicians learn to love a program that could provide a lifeline for hospitals struggling to find doctors: “Hospitalist programs, common in medium-sized and large hospitals for years, have been too costly for many smaller and rural hospitals to adopt. But a new model using nurse practitioners opens the door for small and critical access hospitals, in some cases with dramatic results for patient outcomes and patient satisfaction, as well as for physician retention rates. They could even be a key to the survival of some of America’s most challenged hospitals.” Click Here


To boost care quality, engage frontline staff: “A young woman from housekeeping nodding and smiling shared, ‘I love my patients. I love cleaning their rooms because I know in doing so, I keep them safe. I love hearing my patients’ stories. And I love when they remember me’ - This housekeeper truly understood her organization’s mission and was living her (and their) values. She was engaging, she was connecting and she was impacting.” Click Here


What Star Employees Want: “The 5 things - the ability to do what they do best, greater work-life balance and better personal well-being, greater stability and job security, a significant increase in income, and the opportunity to work for a company with a great brand or reputation.” Click Here




The ‘how’ of transformation: In the consumer sector and in many other industries, transformation programs often fail. Creating a “performance infrastructure” can help ensure that yours won’t. Click Here


CMS releases quality data showing racial, ethnic, and gender differences in Medicare Advantage health care during National Minority Health Month: “In recognition of National Minority Health Month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) released a pair of reports detailing the quality of care received by people enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA). One report compares quality of care for women and men while the other report looks at racial and ethnic differences in health care experiences and clinical care, among women and men. Each April, in recognition of National Minority Health Month, CMS plans to make additional reports available online on the CMS OMH website.” Click Here


CAHPS Cancer Care Survey: “The CAHPS® Cancer Care Survey assesses the experiences of adult patients with cancer treatment provided in outpatient and inpatient settings, including:

  • Independent community oncology practices

  • Cancer centers at community hospitals

  • Cancer centers at academic medical centers (including those designated as comprehensive cancer centers by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)).” Click Here


Affordability and Value


Overcoming Challenges of Outcomes-Based Contracting For Pharmaceuticals - Early Lessons From The Genentech–Priority Health Pilot: “In recent decades, treatment advances have helped people with cancer live longer and better lives. Scientific investments have led to breakthroughs not previously imaginable, such as the development of immunotherapies and precision medicines. However, treating people with serious diseases such as cancer is expensive. Health care decision makers are challenging pharmaceutical manufacturers to demonstrate the value of their medicines, not just in terms of clinical efficacy but also in terms of economic and quality-of-life outcomes. As a result, there is growing interest in outcomes-based (or performance-based) contracting, which is intended to align pricing with a medicine’s observable clinical benefit.” Click Here


Innovation Health steps up efforts to help patients choose between ER, urgent care: “Often urgent care centers or retail clinics are a better option for many acute, non-life-threatening conditions, according to Budhrani. And more than just patient satisfaction is on the line—if Americans turned to those alternative sites instead of the ED for non-emergency care, it could save $4.4 billion annually, he noted, citing a past study from Health Affairs.” Click Here


Hospitals’ wasted supplies may contribute to growing costs - Hospitals that reduce their overhead costs on wasted supplies could help drive down overall healthcare costs: “Healthcare costs in the U.S. continue to skyrocket, but one overlooked area for savings is the millions of dollars in medical supplies and equipment that go to waste.” Click Here


To save on drug costs, Blue Shield of California seeks to steer members to 'preferred' pharmacies: “Blue Shield California has proposed a change in the benefits of commercial plans next year that would require consumers to pay more for drugs at pharmacies outside an established network.” Click Here





32 healthcare organizations to pilot test new CMS community health model: “Yale New Haven Hospital and Hackensack University are among the 32 organizations that will test a new Medicare and Medicaid model beginning in May that aims to bridge the gap between clinical and community providers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid  Services announced Thursday it selected 32 participants that will serve as local hubs that link clinical and community services and address such social needs as housing instability, food insecurity, utility needs, interpersonal violence and transportation.” Click Here


YMCA Diabetes Management Program Saves $1100 per Patient a Year: “The YMCA's diabetes management program significantly cut costs and reduced hospital utilization while helping patients lose an average of almost ten pounds.” Click Here


Transformation and Safety


 For a trip to the ER, some are opting for Uber over an ambulance: “Millions of Americans take an ambulance trip every year; others get rides from willing friends or, tempting fate, drive themselves. But in recent years a new trend has arisen: Instead of an ambulance, some sick people are hailing an emergency Uber. But emergency Uber and Lyft rides come with significant risks — to drivers, to patients, and potentially to the companies themselves.”

Click Here


 [APM] Understanding the Quality Payment Program’s Advanced APM Track: “By participating in an Advanced APM, eligible clinicians can earn the maximum incentive payments offered under the Quality Payment Program.” Click Here


[Safety] WHO launches global effort to halve medication-related errors in 5 years: “WHO launched a global initiative to reduce severe, avoidable medication–associated harm in all countries by 50% over the next 5 years. The Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety aims to address the weaknesses in health systems that lead to medication errors and the severe harm that results. It lays out ways to improve the way medicines are prescribed, distributed and consumed, and increase awareness among patients about the risks associated with the improper use of medication.” Click Here


[Pharmacists and readmissions] Pharmacists with greater role curtail repeat hospital visits, study finds: “Amid state and federal discussions to address doctor shortages, a USC–led study is part of a growing body of research indicating that an expansion of pharmacists’ roles is a potential solution.” Click Here


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