Health IT-related alert from Joint Commission

The Joint Commission analyzed 3,375 sentinel events between Jan. 1, 2010 and June 30, 2013 that resulted in either permanent patient harm or death. Of those sentinel events, 120 resulted from health IT-related contributing factors, which the Joint Commission identifies as socio-technical dimensions. The alert shows these risks can be averted through strong organizational leadership that emphasizes a culture of safety and continuous process improvement," said Mark R. Chassin, MD, president and CEO of The Joint Commission. "When all people within a healthcare organization focus on identifying potential hazards as part of their daily work, then patient safety wins."

Source: Becker's Health IT & CIO Review


We extend congratulations to our client, Elliott Buckner, of Cantor, Stoneburner, Ford, Grana & Buckner who recently settled an inmate lawsuit for $2.7M. Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported on the settlement which is excerpted below. The wife of a former inmate received $2.7 million from the settlement of a lawsuit against the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center in Winchester.

Boren filed the lawsuit in February 2013 on behalf of her husband, Rockie Harold Watts. The lawsuit alleged that jail staff failed to provide Watts with adequate and timely medical care for a seizure. As a result, Watts suffered severe brain damage and now requires 24-hour care, the lawsuit claimed.The lawsuit also named as defendants the Northwestern Regional Jail Authority and eight jail employees.


Pressure Ulcer Stats

National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) came out last month with a statement in support of a specific method to measure pressure ulcer (PrU) incidence. The reasoning for this change was explained by the NPUAP statement: "Pressure ulcer incidence density is a computation based on the number of inpatients who develop a new pressure ulcer(s) divided by 1000 patient days. Using the larger denominator of patient days allows fair comparisons between institutions of all sizes. Incidence is a commonly reported measure; however it is computed by counting the number of patients with newly acquired pressure ulcers and dividing that number by the number of patients examined for pressure ulcers over a given period of time. Smaller facilities can appear to have a higher percentage of patients with ulcers because there are fewer patients in the denominator."


Source: NPUAP Press Release 11 Mar 2014

Longer Nurse Tenure Leads to Higher Quality

"Longer nurse tenures are associated with shorter patient length of stay and better quality of care, according to a study published in the American Economics Journal: Applied Economics. The study also found paying staff nurses to work overtime rather than hiring temporary staffing was associated with lower costs and shorter LOS.

Researchers concluded the study's findings should inform healthcare executives of the importance of retaining nursing staff and should inform their policy-making decisions concerning nursing staff."