Thursday, September 26, 2013

Quality hospital care

The following was taken from the Joint Commission on choosing quality care in a hospital.

When you need care in a hospital, and it is not an emergency, you should take time to find out some information to help you choose the best hospital for you or your loved one. Your doctor can recommend some hospitals. Talk with representatives at each hospital. The following questions can help you get the information you need.

Questions about care:
• Ask about the operation or treatment that you need. How often is it performed? What are the risks?
• Will you receive written information about your operation or treatment?
• Will a care plan be created? The plan should cover the services that the patient will receive and how long
treatment will last.
• Who will be responsible for the care plan?
• How are nurses and other health care professionals updated about your care?
• How is your family updated about your care?
• Ask how your pain will be treated. Will you meet your anesthesiologist?
• What are the hospital’s rules for visitors?
• Are family members allowed in the recovery area?
• How do they provide security? How do they protect all patients?
• What is the cost of your operation or treatment?
• Is your operation or treatment covered by your medical insurance?
• Where can you get help finding financial assistance if you need it?
• Is the hospital “accredited?” Accredited means that the hospital follows rules for patient safety and quality. Go to Quality Check® at to find Joint Commission accredited hospitals.
• What are your rights and responsibilities? Ask for a paper copy and an explanation of your rights and
• Is patient information kept confidential? Is there any reason patient information is released?

Questions about staff:
• What is the training and background of the doctor?
• Is the doctor certified by a medical board?
• Are social workers available? What services do they provide?

Questions about emergency care:
• Is there a 24-hour telephone number you can call if you have questions or problems? Will a doctor or
nurse answer the phone? How are emergencies handled after hours?
• Is there an emergency plan? Can care still be provided if there is a power failure or natural disaster? Is
there a plan for moving patients to another hospital if there is an emergency?

Questions about care when leaving the hospital:
• Will a discharge plan be created?
• Will you or your family be given clear instructions about your care after you leave the hospital? For
example, how to change dressings and continue medicines.
• What services are available after you leave the hospital?
• Will your regular doctor be given information about your condition?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Recalled Children's Book

DETAILS: Children’s books titled ‘‘Count my Kisses, 1, 2, 3’’ and ‘‘Red, Green, Blue, I Love You.’’ The board-shaped children’s books have cut out covers that serve as a handle and include an embedded bar in the handle with beads for children to play with. ‘‘Ages 3+’’ is printed on the back covers and the ISBN numbers are also on the back covers near the bar code. Two titles are included. Count my Kisses, 1, 2, 3, ISBN: 978-0-316-13354-8, has five colored cylindrical wooden beads with printed hearts on the rod. I Love You, ISBN: 978-0-316-13353-1, has five colored circular wooden beads on the metal rod. They were sold from June 2013 to August 2013.
WHY: A metal rod holding small beads on the cover of books can detach and release small parts on which children could choke. A detached metal bar can expose a sharp edge posing a laceration hazard.
HOW MANY: About 70,000.
FOR MORE: Call Hachette Book Group at 888-965-5802 or visit or and click on the link in the Recall/Important Safety Notice box on the home page.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Unreliable Hospitals

The Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, say that too many hospitals and health care leaders experience serious safety failures every day.
Because of these failures, millions of Americans are affected each year. According to the article, major changes need to take place in both leadership and safety culture. If changes can successfully be made, hospitals can make progress towards becoming highly reliable.
There are three major things that hospitals can do. According to the Joint Commission:
·         Hospital leadership must commit to the ultimate goal of high reliability or zero patient harm rather than viewing it as unrealistic.
·         Hospitals must create a culture of safety that emphasizes trust, reporting and improvement. This means hospitals must put a stop to the intimidation and blame that drive safety concerns underground and instead emphasize accountability and the early identification of unsafe practices and conditions.
·         Hospitals need new process improvement tools and methods—a combination of Six Sigma, Lean, and change management in order to make far greater progress toward eliminating patient harm. Government regulation is unlikely to drive high reliability, but identifying and eliminating mandates that either do not directly contribute to or distract from quality challenges is necessary. Well-crafted programs that require public reporting of reliable and valid quality measures are also recommended.
Currently, no hospital has been able to achieve high reliability, but changes can be made to improve safety.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Opioid Label Change

According to an article published in MedPage Today, the FDA has ordered a class-wide label change for long-acting opioids. The opioids, such as OxyContin, would be limited to patients with only severe pain.

With this move, the agency hopes it will help the prescription painkiller epidemic. The drugs, which are important pain relieving medications that provide significant benefits when used appropriately, will also include a label clarification about the risks of abuse and death while taking it as well as a boxed warning about the risks of neonatal opioid withdrawals syndrome.

The indication of the drugs will be changed to people who have pain severe enough to require daily and long-term treatment where alternative treatment options are inadequate. Physicians and patients will have to discuss the eligibility of the opioids. Therefore, patients in pain will be assessed by a thoughtful determination of pain instead of by a rating on a pain scale. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nutrition in Schools

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), school districts across the country are making improvements in terms of nutrition and exercise.  
For years, schools have been phasing out junk food like candy and chips. The percentage of school districts that prohibited these types of food in vending machines increased to 43 percent in 2012 from 30 percent in 2006. Also, more than half of school districts have made information available to families on the nutrition and caloric content of foods available to students.

Also, the number of school districts that require elementary schools to teach physical education has increased.