AHA names next AONE CEO, AHA nursing executive
The American Hospital Association has named Maureen Swick CEO of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and AHA senior vice president of nursing effective in July, when Pamela Thompson will retire from those positions. Swick has been senior vice president and chief nurse executive at Inova in Falls Church, VA, for the past six years and previously held a variety of nursing leadership and management roles at hospitals and health systems across the Northeast. She is currently president of AONE’s board and has also served as a board member of the AHA.
AHA accepting applications for Health Care Transformation Fellowship
Hospital and health system leaders are invited to apply through June 1 for the AHA’s Health Care System Transformation Fellowship. The nine-month program is designed to give senior health care leaders knowledge, tools and connections to transform their organizations for success in a rapidly evolving health care environment, as well as ongoing opportunities for learning and involvement. Curriculum topics include innovative care delivery models, financial models for the volume-to-value transition and population health management. For more information, please click here.
CDC launches new hand hygiene campaign
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched “Clean Hands Count,” a campaign promoting adherence to the agency’s hand hygiene guidelines to prevent healthcare-associated infections. The campaign offers posters, factsheets and brochures that aim to raise health care provider awareness, dispel myths and empower patients to advocate for clean hands. For more information and resources, please click here.
NIH research program to target health disparities in surgical outcomes
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, part of the National Institutes of Health, has announced an initiative that will fund research on disparities in surgical care and outcomes for disadvantaged populations. The program will collaborate with NIH and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and build on efforts by the American College of Surgeons and its national research agenda to address surgical disparities. “Racial and ethnic minority and low-income population groups are often times disproportionately affected by access, availability and affordability to the most advanced health care services,” said NIMHD Director Eliseo Pérez-Stable, M.D. “We need to better understand the integral role of optimal access to safe surgical care and medical management, which has not been well studied in health services or health disparities research.”
Study: 30% of outpatient prescriptions for antibiotics may be inappropriate
An estimated 30% of the 154 million antibiotics prescribed in doctors’ offices and emergency departments in 2010-2011 may have been inappropriate, according to a study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Therefore, a 15% reduction in overall antibiotic use would be necessary to meet the White House National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria goal of reducing inappropriate antibiotic use in the outpatient setting by 50% by 2020,” the authors conclude. Most of the inappropriate prescriptions were for respiratory conditions caused by viruses, which do not respond to antibiotics. A new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts profiles 10 antibiotic stewardship programs in inpatient settings, which provide examples to hospitals seeking to establish or improve their antibiotic stewardship efforts. “Though ASPs differ in their details, these case studies reveal themes that are critical to any successful program implementation,” the authors note, including the presence of an influential champion and shared responsibility among staff for monitoring the program and implementing new interventions. The case studies include results, where available, and discuss issues such as sustainability and “lessons learned.” Antibiotic stewardship programs are designed to minimize inappropriate or unnecessary antibiotic use and slow the spread of resistance. The American Hospital Association’s Physician Leadership Forum offers an antibiotic stewardship toolkit to help hospitals and health systems enhance their antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Study: Hospitalizations for opioid abuse, related infections up sharply over decade
Hospitalizations for opioid abuse/dependence increased 72% between 2002 and 2012 to an estimated 520,275 per year, while hospitalizations for opioid-associated infections rose 91% to 6,535, according to a study published in Health Affairs. Intravenous administration of opioids and heroin can cause serious infections, such as endocarditis and septic arthritis, increasing hospitalization costs. “These findings have important implications for the hospitals and government agencies that disproportionately shoulder these costs and for clinicians, researchers and policymakers interested in estimating the potential impact of targeted public health interventions at the national level,” the authors said.
Strickland to be inducted into International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame
Florida International University Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences Dean and Nursing Consortium of South Florida Director Ora Strickland, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been chosen as one of 19 nurse researchers worldwide who will be inducted into the 2016 International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame this summer in Cape Town, South Africa. The International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame was created in 2010 by Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) to recognize nurse researchers who have achieved significant, sustained and widespread national or international achievements in research that positively shape the nursing profession and benefit the people it serves. Dr. Strickland’s work in rigorous nursing research and focus on measuring the outcomes of nursing interventions includes 20 years as founding editor and senior editor of the Journal of Nursing Measurement, the first measurement journal in the nursing profession. She has contributed more than 100 measurement and research articles to professional journals. She also wrote or contributed to 22 books, earning her nine American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards. Dr. Strickland also conceptualized, initiated and directed the Nursing Outcomes Measurement Project funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Nursing, Research Division. Congratulations to Dr. Strickland on this well deserved honor!
Study looks at medical errors
A study published this week in BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal, estimates that more Americans may die from medical errors than from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Extrapolating from four previous studies based on data from 2000 to 2008, researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine estimated that more than 251,000 hospitalized patients died from preventable adverse events in 2013. They say that would make medical errors the third most common cause of death in the U.S., after cancer and heart disease, acknowledging that “assumptions made in extrapolating data to the broader U.S. population may limit the accuracy of our figure.” Most recently, the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that through the hard work of hospitals, physicians and others, hospital-acquired conditions declined by 17%, saving 87,000 lives between 2010 and 2014.
Study: Antibiotics use to prevent pediatric surgical infections varies substantially
Appropriate use of antibiotics to prevent surgical site infections varies substantially across children’s hospitals, according to a study reported in JAMA Pediatrics. Based on a review of administrative data from 31 freestanding children’s hospitals between 2010 and 2013, appropriate use of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis varied by hospital from 47.3% to 84.4%. When antibiotic prophylaxis was indicated for a procedure based on guidelines or consensus statements, the median rate of appropriate use was 93.8%; when antibiotic prophylaxis was not recommended, the median rate of appropriate use was 52%. The authors said the lack of pediatric-specific guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis use may be the most likely reason for the variation. They cited an urgent need for additional research to document the procedure-specific risk of surgical site infection among pediatric patients and establish strategies to improve antibiotic prophylaxis use for children.
CDC reports on trends in racial and ethnic health disparities
Racial and ethnic differences in life expectancy, infant mortality, female cigarette smoking, flu vaccinations for seniors, and health insurance coverage narrowed between 1999 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest annual report on the nation’s health, which features a special section on health disparities. Racial and ethnic differences in the number of low-risk births delivered by cesarean section, flu vaccinations for adults under age 65, and unmet dental care needs widened over the period. “Results indicate that trends in health were generally positive for the overall population and several graphs illustrate success in narrowing gaps in health by racial and ethnic group,” the report notes.
CDC, OSHA issue guidance for protecting workers from Zika exposure
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued guidance for protecting outdoor workers, health care and laboratory workers, mosquito control workers and business travelers against occupational exposure to Zika virus. According to the guidance, employers and workers in health care settings and laboratories “should follow good infection control and biosafety practices (including universal precautions) as appropriate,” to prevent or minimize the risk of Zika virus transmission. Standard precautions include hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment to avoid direct contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials, including laboratory specimens/samples. Laboratories should ensure that their facilities and practices meet the appropriate Biosafety Level for the type of work being conducted, the guidance states. It notes applicable CDC guidance and OSHA requirements. CDC continues to recommend that health care workers use standard precautions during patient care, regardless of suspected or confirmed Zika infection status, the guidance notes. As of this week, U.S. states have reported 388 travel-associated cases of Zika virus. For more information, please click here.