Best read of the week


The Three-Legged Stool: Why Safety, Quality, and Equity Depend on Each Other

Journal of Healthcare Management: MLH President and CEO Jack Lynch writes, “We at MLH are always learning from others, and three approaches in particular have been critical to our pledge to achieve equity: 1) A focus on the STEEEP principles established by the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) to deliver care that is safe, timely, efficient, effective, equitable, and patient centered; 2) Robust cultural competence education for health care teams; 3) An organizational culture that rewards those who speak up for safety.”


Additional news media reports on MLH physicians and the health care industry, excerpted from MLH’s daily Morning News Report:


Main Line Health News

JFCS Helping Heroes program: Adults with disabilities wish community’s helping heroes a sweet New Year

Main Line Media News:  On Monday, Sept. 18, Helping Heroes made honey cake for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and gave them to the heroes of the community — firemen/women, policemen/women and the staff at Lankenau hospital.


All hands needed on deck to turn the tide against the opioid crisis

City&State Pennsylvania: HHS Secretary Tom Price and Kellyanne Conway write, “Our most recent stop was outside Philadelphia, at Mirmont Treatment Center, one of the state’s largest substance abuse treatment facilities. We were there to meet with the center’s employees, community members, faith leaders, and first responders who have been inspired, sometimes by tragedies or addictions close to home, to engage on this crisis.”


Flu Season Concerns for This Year

NBC10: Doctors say that this year could be one of the worst in a long time for the Flu virus. Dr. David Targan of Lankenau Medical Center said, “Australia just had a flu season epidemic that was much worse than in prior years.”


2017 Women on the Move

Main Line Today:  BMH President Andrea Gilbert is spearheading a $253 million expansion of Bryn Mawr Hospital. It’s a bold move, as the hospital faces stiff competition from other healthcare systems. But as Gilbert explains, she’s used to working at the deep end of her comfort zone.


‘A-fib’ heart problem more common than thought, Main Line doctor finds

Philadelphia Inquirer: Main Line Health cardiologist Peter R. Kowey and his coauthors monitored 385 older patients who were at risk of A-fib due to diabetes, high blood pressure, and other telltale indicators but who had not been diagnosed with the rhythm disorder.


Main Line Banter: Family Practice always has been Dr. Lawlor’s passion

Suburban Life: Senior physician in Devon Family Practice is Dr. Robert J. Lawlor who, after graduating from Jefferson, began a residency at Bryn Mawr Hospital and enrolled in its new family medicine program.


Who is making money, & who isn’t, on ambulatory surgery in Pennsylvania?

Philadelphia Business Journal: Riddle Surgical Center in Media, with $7,500,000, posted the highest net income in southeastern Pennsylvania in fiscal 2016. (Subscription required; contact MLH campus Medical Library for full text.)


Local Doctors React to Louis-Dreyfus Breast Cancer Announcement

NBC10:  [Lankenau oncologist] Dr. Marisa Weiss emphasizes that “no one gets a free pass, including someone like Julia.”



Regional Health Care News

Hospital Hit With $3.2M Verdict in Montco Over Vein Implant Death

Legal Intelligencer: The family of a man who died after a vein implant designed to stop blood clots migrated to his heart and caused fatal cardiac arrest has won a $3.2 million verdict against Mercy Suburban Hospital.


Jefferson awarded $30M contract to develop Ebola vaccine

Philadelphia Business Journal: The National Institutes of Health has awarded a five-year contract worth up to $30 million to Thomas Jefferson University to prepare and test a vaccine formulation designed to protect against the Ebola, Sudan, Marburg and Lassa fever viruses.



Patient Care News…

CTE breakthrough: Biomarker may indicate disease in living patients

Fox News: The researchers also noted that recent studies have shown CCL11 and related molecules play a role in neuroinflammation, as well as neurodegeneration. They were then able to differentiate between patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, CTE and ALS based on the levels of CCL11.



Quality and Safety News…

CVS unveils sweeping initiative to curb opioid misuse

Advisory Board: Beginning in February, it will limit opioid prescriptions for patients in acute pain who have not previously been prescribed opioids to seven days. Currently, many patients with acute pain who fill their prescriptions at CVS receive prescriptions for 20 days or more, according to Troyen Brennan, CMO at CVS.


FDA warns on mixing opioid addiction treatments, other meds

Associated Press: The FDA recommends that doctors develop detailed treatment plans, warn patients on addiction treatments about the dangers of taking multiple drugs that depress brain activity, try tapering them of those other drugs, and monitor them with blood and urine testing.


What does it mean for a hospital to be ready for disaster?

Healthcare Dive: In less than two months, providers will be required to adhere to a new CMS rule titled “Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers.” Its purpose is to establish national emergency preparedness requirements and ensure “coordination with federal, state, tribal, regional and local emergency preparedness systems.” It requires all 17 provider and supplier types that receive CMS reimbursement to develop an emergency plan based on an “all-hazards” risk assessment.


Officials Give Tips On How To Prevent Spread Of Infectious Diseases Associated With Organized Sports

CBS3: A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics offers new guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases among student athletes and how to treat them appropriately.


Care Transitions Know-How Not Just for Clinicians

HealthLeaders Media: The relationship between transitions of care and medical errors is so clear that leadership teams should be aware of what’s required to protect patient safety.


Sexually transmitted diseases rise to record high, CDC reports

Tribune-Review: The majority of new diagnoses — 1.6 million — were chlamydia infections. There were 470,000 gonorrhea cases and almost 28,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis — the most infectious stages of the disease.


Older Siblings a Risk Factor for Serious Flu Infections in Infants

New York Times: Maternal smoking, maternal age under 30, and being born in the autumn flu season were also associated with hospital admissions of infants, but only birth in the flu season increased the risk more strongly than having an older sibling.



Health Care Business News…

Survey: 71% of clinicians report some BYOD use allowed at their hospital

Healthcare Dive: Physicians use BYOD the most (62%), followed by IT staff (54%), nurse practitioners (53%) administrators (49%) and nurses (43%). There was also some use among housekeeping and transport staff.


Warding Off Decline, Hospitals Invest in Outpatient Clinics

Wall Street Journal: Giant U.S. hospital operators, including Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dignity Health and HCA Healthcare Inc., are investing heavily in surgery centers, emergency rooms and urgent care clinics located outside hospitals, chasing after patients who increasingly want cheaper and more convenient care. (Subscription required; contact MLH campus Medical Library for full text.)


CMS seeks ‘new direction’ for innovation center

Healthcare Dive: CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the CMS wants to “shift away from a fee-for-service system that reimburses only on volume and move toward a system that holds providers accountable for outcomes and allows them to innovate.”


Best health care system in the world? A tournament among eight countries

Philadelphia Business Journal: The New York Times selected eight countries, representing a range of health care systems, and established a bracket by randomly assigning seeds. The countries: Canada, Britain, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, France, Australia and the U.S.


Out-of-pocket healthcare costs straining Americans’ finances

Healthcare Dive: Employers and payers have increasingly moved more costs to individuals through out-of-pocket costs and high-deductible health plans, which now make up about one-third of employer-based health plans.


ACO roundup: CMS postpones October overall star ratings update

Advisory Board: CMS said the review comes amid “public feedback” on the system. According to Politico Pro, hospital groups have expressed concerns that the system is flawed and produces misleading rankings.


Hurricane Maria halts crucial drug manufacturing in Puerto Rico, may spur shortages

USA Today: Many, if not all, of the nearly 50 pharmaceutical plants on the island are effectively idled. Power isn’t likely to be restored to the island for three to six months.



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