Dallas-Fort Worth Hospitals Share Data for Dramatic Improvements
Thanks to a regional enterprise master patient index, a coalition of 80 North Texas hospitals has reduced readmissions across their diverse facilities by 20 percent. And that’s just the beginning. Now the hospitals are using the data to explore everything from patient leakage to the ozone’s effect on ED admissions.
The hospitals can access the patient index—which was developed by the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation—with a simple click, pulling up dashboards and benchmark reports. The patient index tracks more than 100 quality indicators for members, including healthcare-acquired conditions, readmissions, and other metrics
Putting Physicians in the Lead for Cost Containment
Early on, leaders at Rush University Medical Center of Chicago realized that the most effective way to frame the cost-reduction issue with physicians was to focus on delivering better care to patients. “We recognized that we needed to reframe this as less of a cost-reduction issue and broaden our focus to center on, ‘How can we deliver better care to our patients?’ and then ask ‘Can we do it for less?’” says Raj Behal, MD, Rush’s associate chief medical officer and senior quality and patient safety officer.
Healing from a Distance
A largely rural state, Arkansas ranks among the nation's worst for infant mortality, women's health services, and low birth-weight deliveries. Curtis L. Lowery Jr., MD, started tackling those problems in 2003 when he helped create a telemedicine system called ANGELS that addresses the needs of high-risk pregnant women across Arkansas.
Since its implementation, ANGELS has delivered more than 21,000 telemedicine consults and helped reduce the statewide 60-day infant mortality rate by 0.5 percent. "Technology is revolutionizing healthcare delivery," says Lowery, who is director of the Center for Distance Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Chairing a Committee Toward Success
An alumna of many committees, Kathleen D. Sanford, RN, senior vice president and CNO, Catholic Health Initiatives, shares tips on how to define a committee’s goals and keep a group of busy healthcare professionals engaged. She also shares a sample task force meeting agenda that can help keep meetings focused and aligned with the committee’s overall mission.
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