Pennsylvania NEWS

The Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) has hosted the Delaware Valley Patient Safety and Quality Award for over a decade.

Consumer Alert on Tobacco Cessation Coverage:  Tips to Help Smokers Quit

The Authority’s 2014 Annual Report also highlights decreases in falls and wrong-site surgeries and increases in education efforts.

Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital, a 257-bed complex in West Chester, Pennsylvania, part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, was one of 10 hospitals involved in AHRQ's 2011 rollout of the Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) toolkit. Initially implemented in one unit, the program is now used hospital-wide with a notable positive impact on the patient experience.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society recently updated its diabetes care recommendations and mellitus flow sheet.

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority issued its tenth Annual Report highlighting a 45 percent reduction in events with significant harm since 2005.

A report on the physician workforce from the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission recommends six strategies to address projected future physician shortages, while also suggesting patient-centered medical homes and telemedicine care delivery models could help.

Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health's website to download free patient and family resources to help you learn more about and combat healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released a report about the quality of health care in the United States; and disparities in care by different socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups.

The Joint State Government Commission released an initial report about the ongoing study of public health problems posed by diabetes in Pennsylvania. The report provides estimates on the number of individuals with diabetes and the state department or agency serving these individuals.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule for Stage 3 meaningful use—the next step in the implementation of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs.

During the same time, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced its proposed 2015 Edition certification criteria for health information technology (IT) products.

An analysis of pressure ulcers reported through the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System from 2007 through 2013 suggests the need for improvement in identification of pressure ulcers present on admission; accurate staging; and prevention of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, in particular stage III, suspected deep-tissue injury, and unstageable pressure ulcers.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revised its Five Star Quality Rating System for nursing homes to give families more precise and meaningful information about quality when they consider facilities for themselves or a loved one.

Although secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in the United States dropped by half between 1999 to 2000 and 2011 to 2012, one in four nonsmokers -- 58 million people -- are still exposed to SHS, according to a recent Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network will be hosting the National Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention webinar on Wednesday, February 25 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. CT. Register now

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, nearly 3 in 4 Pennsylvanians over the age of 60 have heart disease.

Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data indicate this season's influenza vaccine offers reduced protection, lessening a person’s risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by 23 percent among people of all ages. The reduced protection offered by flu vaccine this season makes the appropriate use of influenza antiviral (or "anti-flu") medications more important than usual.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is hosting a webinar on January 29 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. ET about how practice facilitators can support patient engagement.

Speakers include:
• Lyndee Knox, Ph.D., CEO, LA Net Community Health Resource Network, Los Angeles
• Cindy Brach, M.P.P., Senior Health Policy Researcher, AHRQ
• Adrienne Deswert, R.N., B.S.N., R.N. Care Manager, Annville Family Medicine, Annville, Pennsylvania

Progress Being Made in Infection Control in U.S. Hospitals; Continued Improvements Needed

CDC report, released Jan. 14, 2015, provides first snapshot of state efforts to prevent MRSA and deadly diarrheal infections

The Pennsylvania Department of Health monitors flu activity throughout the year, but ramps up surveillance activities in the fall and winter. The official influenza surveillance season starts with the 40th week of the year (typically around the beginning of October) and ends on the 20th week of the following year (in May). For the 2014/15 season, the influenza surveillance season began on September 28, 2014 and will run through May 23, 2015.

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