During the past year, we were reminded of the critical role that supply chain plays in clinical care and overall operations. While our industry has adapted and grown to weather the COVID crisis, now is no time to return to business as usual. The roller coaster ride has slowed, but not stopped; supply chain still faces tremendous challenges such as product shortages, geo-political implications, increased costs, longer delivery times, worker shortages, lack of transparency, and other inventory challenges. Consider the following:
Topics: Supply Chain, Technology Trends, Equipment Planning, Clinical Excellence, Evidence-Based Medicine, Clinical Evidence Assessment, Evidence-based decision making, Value-based care, Best-practice evidence-based medicine
Healthcare administrators, value analysis, and clinical leaders constantly strive for greater performance, better clinical outcomes, and higher physician engagement. But while the need to nurture and achieve these priorities all at once remains strong, there is an underlying struggle on how to accomplish these distinct, yet interdependent goals.
Andrew Furman, MD, MMM, FACEP, Executive Director, Clinical Excellence at ECRI delved into these challenges as a featured speaker at the member-only 2021 Spring Vanguard Meeting of the American Association for Physician Leadership held on Friday, June 11.
Topics: Supporting Physicians, Clinical Excellence, Physician Engagement, Evidence-Based Medicine, Clinical Evidence Assessment, Evidence-based decision making, Value-based care, Best-practice evidence-based medicine
All who have cared for our nation’s older adults through the COVID-19 pandemic have given so much; the toll in lives lost, illness, and financial and economic impacts have been great for those we serve, all aspects of the workforce, and provider organizations alike. But the care-critical work is not over.
As the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery efforts continue worldwide, in our nation, and specifically in the aging services sector it is more important than ever that providers continue efforts to prevent harm to residents, staff, and healthcare partners who care for older adults, and their families and loved ones.
Data from Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Vaccine Needs Assessment Survey, as shared by the Pennsylvania Department of Health on April 1, 2021, indicates the same trends that other U.S. studies also suggest: a statistically significant lag in COVID-19 vaccination acceptance rates in staff and contractors working in the aging services sector compared to the vaccination acceptance rates of the residents they serve and care for.
“On March 16, 2021 the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an order requiring skilled nursing facilities to complete the COVID-19 vaccine needs assessment survey.”
With several vaccines against COVID-19 already available through emergency use authorization (EUA), others potentially on the way, and a nationwide vaccination campaign to administer the vaccine to as many people as quickly possible, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to transition to new phases. And yet with new hope comes new challenges and emerging risks as organizations work to safely care for older adults.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skilled nursing facilities that conducted at least one vaccine clinic during the first month of roll-out administered a first shot to a median of 77.8% of their residents and 37.5% of their staff. As the agency points out, the moderately high coverage among residents is counterbalanced by relatively low coverage among staff.
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line—but when it comes to navigating your hospital’s value analysis process, has it ever been that simple? This is especially true when relying on a manual process to manage complex value analysis decisions, where the sheer volume of information, number of projects and need for collaboration can pull you in several directions at once.
Moving to an automated process can definitely save time; but streamlining information access and providing evidence-based data enables teams to make decisions more quickly. This can increase cost savings as well as the delivery of quality patient care. Here are three reasons to consider making the switch:
Integrated behavioral health and primary care (integration) has been identified as a promising approach to enhancing patient care delivery, safety and quality. Technology tools, including electronic health records (EHRs), telehealth, clinical decision support (CDS), and standards-based interoperability, can enable integration among various disciplines and improve the delivery to more readily addresses patient needs. Reinforcing these opportunities, virtual care and telehealth have dramatically changed care availability and delivery, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patient safety remains, as it should, a priority for developers of and providers who use electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT. For example, ECRI’s Partnership for Health IT Safety has worked with the HIMSS EHR Association on projects on opioids and behavioral health integration. More broadly, providers and developers continue active engagement in the Partnership and other patient safety initiatives.
In September 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a rule that would establish a Medicare coverage pathway to provide Medicare beneficiaries nationwide with faster access to new, innovative medical devices designated as breakthrough by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After the final rule is effective, the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway would begin national Medicare coverage on the date of FDA market authorization and would continue for 4 years. Following is an excerpt of ECRI’s submitted public comment.
Healthcare workers face work-related risks, illnesses, and injuries, and patient safety is directly tied to worker safety. Creating a culture of safety is crucial.
ECRI, and its affiliate, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), proudly joined global leaders in supporting World Patient Safety Day 2020, held September 17. Now in its second year, World Patient Safety Day was founded by the World Health Organization (WHO) to recognize patient safety as a global health priority. At its inception, all 194 WHO Member States endorsed the establishment of the day with the objectives of increasing public awareness and engagement, enhancing global understanding, and spurring global solidarity and action to promote patient safety.
The stakes are high in medicine and healthcare – they pertain to life and death, as the current pandemic has reminded us on an hourly basis. This is especially true when it comes to those who care for our older adults, given their high vulnerability to COVID-19. For many older adults, this illness has proven deadly.
Rightfully, given the potential for harm, aging services providers are held to high standards and expectations. We are taught to focus on what went wrong and fix it; every aspect of quality assurance in our industry is built on a platform that looks for “deficiencies” in care and service delivery, investigates them, and demands correction. Yet that is only part of an effective process that builds communities conducive to providing quality care that promotes health and well-being.