Little Progress on Eliminating Health Care-Associated Infections and Patient Safety

Health care-associated infections (HAIs) have been identified as a complication that can be avoided with proper care and procedures. To put pressure on hospitals to reduce if not eliminate HAIs, Medicare has included some infections on its list of never events, that is complications that could reasonably have been prevented.

As a never event, Medicare will not pay the extra costs of treatment when acquired in the hospital. Nonetheless, according to the 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR) issued April 13, 2010, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare … Read the rest

Inadequate Patient Discharge Instructions and Intervention Resulting in Rehospitalization: Prevalent, Costly and Sometimes Malpractice

Studies have found that when patients leave the hospital without clear understanding of their diagnoses, medication instructions, or need for primary care follow-up, chances are that they will wind up back in the emergency department, and many will be readmitted. Questions are being asked within the medical community whether the standards of care relating to hospitals discharge instructions and follow-up are in fact inadequate and costly to the system by resulting in unnecessary re-hospitalizations.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 2, 2009) found that Medicare patients discharged from a hospital are frequently readmitted within a … Read the rest