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Read U.S.News and World Report's Article Best Hospitals

New Advice for Vaccines to Stave Off Pneumonia (9/1/14)
People age 65 and older should get two separate vaccines to protect against pneumonia and other infections starting this fall, a change of decades-old advice, according to new health guidelines.  More...

How a team of doctors at one hospital boosted hand washing, cut infections and created a culture of safety (7/21/14)
Dr. Gerald Hickson launched the innovative program at Vanderbilt University Hospital after seeing wife’s post-operation care  More...

Patients remain in danger from preventable errors (7/18/14)
Expert testifies that patients no safer than they were 15 years ago  More...

Hospital elevator buttons carry more bacteria than toilet surfaces (7/8/14)
Hospital elevators are home to more bacteria than toilet surfaces--making the high-traffic area a breeding ground for potentially dangerous infections.  More...

Consider copper surfaces (4/24/14)
Copper surfaces on bed rails, tables, IV poles and nurse call buttons could reduce infections by as much as 60 percent, as seen in a study from researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina and published last year in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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5 ways to reduce hospital-acquired infections (4/24/14)
Although the rates of infection dropped over the past few years, pneumonia, surgical site infections, gastrointestinal infections and Clostridium difficile still plague hospitals, killing about 75,000 people in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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Email intervention drives down superbug rates (4/28/14)
Weekly emails from the medical director of infection control to hospital leaders helped a 1,500-bed Florida hospital halt the spread of a superbug, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.


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ICU infections plunge 60% with copper surfaces (5/1/14)
Copper surfaces in intensive care unit hospital rooms reduced healthcare-acquired infections by more than half, according to a study published in the May issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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1 in 3 Patients with Bloodstream Infections Given Inappropriate Therapy (3/20/14)
Growing drug resistance, a high prevalence of S. aureus bacteria and ineffective antibiotics prescribed to 1 in 3 patients are among the challenges facing community hospitals in treating patients with serious bloodstream infections, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.  More...

Joint Commission names top performing hospitals (10/31/13)
The number of "top performer" Joint Commission-accredited hospitals increased 77 percent from last year to 1,099 organizations, according to the accreditor.


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Hospitals don't follow best hand-hygiene practices to reduce HAIs (10/24/13)
Although the majority of healthcare professionals surveyed say they are committed to reducing hospital-associated infections (HAI), only 30 percent are following the World Health Organization's (WHO) hand-hygiene guidelines, according to a DebMed survey announcement.  More...

Hospital-acquired infections rack up $9.8B a year (9/3/13)
Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) cost $9.8 billion per year, with surgical site infections alone accounting for one-third of those costs, followed closely by ventilator-associated pneumonia at 31.6 percent, according to research published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.  More...

CDC Sounds Alarm on Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (9/16/13)
MONDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- More than 2 million people come down with infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year in the United States, leading to at least 23,000 deaths, according to a report released Monday by federal health officials.  More...

“Good” Patients and “Difficult” Patients — Rethinking Our Definitions (9/11/13)
Four weeks after his quadruple bypass and valve repair, 3 weeks after the bladder infection, pharyngeal trauma, heart failure, nightly agitated confusion, and pacemaker and feeding-tube insertions, and 2 weeks after his return home, I was helping my 75-year-old father off the toilet when his blood pressure dropped out from under him. As did his legs.  More...

Patient education may be key to reducing hospital-acquired infections (8/27/13)
Despite a nation-wide effort to increase adherence to hand-washing, hospitals continue to be a breeding ground for dangerous, preventable infections.  More...

Doctors are worst hand-hygiene offenders (8/27/13)
In the war to prevent hospital-acquired infections, nurses are better about washing their hands than doctors, a new study found.  More...

New Tack in Preventing Hospital Infections (6/10/13)
Germ-Killing Soap-Ointment Treatment for all ICU Patients Shown to Be More Effective Than Isolating Some After Screening  More...

With Money at Risk, Hospitals Push Staff to Wash Hands (05/28/13)
At North Shore University Hospital on Long Island, motion sensors, like those used for burglar alarms, go off every time someone enters an intensive care room. The sensor triggers a video camera, which transmits its images halfway around the world to India, where workers are checking to see if doctors and nurses are performing a critical procedure: washing their hands.   More...

Fundamental patient care questions all hospital leaders should ask (5/22/13)
Hospital administrators across the country should ask themselves six important questions to uncover and tackle systematic problems within their organizations that may lead to inadequate patient care, according to a HealthAffairs blog post  More...

Patient outcomes unaffected by nighttime ICU docs (5/22/13)
Although a third of the nation's academic hospitals use intensivist staffing at night to help improve outcomes, nighttime intensivists don't benefit patients and may unnecessarily increase costs, according to a study published online yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine.  More...

Study: Hospitals 'Profit Handsomely' From Surgical Errors (5/20/13)
Hospitals nearly triple their profits when they make surgical errors, compared to how much they make when patients don’t suffer harm, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  More...

CMS provides in-depth guidance on discharge planning (5/20/13)
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service has revised its guidance on discharge planning, offering hospitals in-depth guidelines to help promote better patient care outcomes and reduce readmissions.  More...

Primary care physicians rely more on ER docs to evaluate their patients (5/20/13)
Hospital admissions from the emergency room increased by 17 percent over seven years, in part because primary care physicians often rely on the emergency physicians to evaluate and hospitalize their most complex and sickest patients, according to a new report from the RAND Corporation.  More...

NYC hospital removes wrong kidney from patient (5/10/13)
A surgeon at renowned hospital Mount Sinai Medical Center has been relieved from his clinical and administrative duties after removing the wrong kidney from a patient suffering from kidney disease.

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Obamacare Reality: Doctor Shortage on the Way (4/17/13)
With 30 million new people expected to enter the health-care system in 2014 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, experts say a looming doctor shortage isn’t a chance—it’s a fact.


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Hospitals Profit From Surgical Errors, Study Finds (4/16/13)
Hospitals make money from their own mistakes because insurers pay them for the longer stays and extra care that patients need to treat surgical complications that could have been prevented, a new study finds.   More...

Texting can shorten ER-to-treatment time for stroke victims (3/21/13)
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst are touting success in the case of a robot that delivered speech and physical therapy to a 72-year-old male stroke patient.  More...

Stroke patient makes gains in speech, physical therapy with robot (3/21/13)
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst are touting success in the case of a robot that delivered speech and physical therapy to a 72-year-old male stroke patient.  More...

Survey: Nurse understaffing, fatigue threatens patient safety (3/21/13)
Fatigue leaves a majority of nurses concerned about their ability to perform safely, with two-thirds of nurses reporting they had nearly made a mistake at work because of fatigue and more than a quarter saying they had made a fatigue-related error, according to a survey commissioned by Kronos Incorporated.  More...

Monitoring, cleaning tech has little impact on quashing superbug spread (3/11/13)
Most facilities have stepped up monitoring to stop the spread of the intestinal superbug Clostridium difficile, though those efforts so far are producing only incremental improvements, according to a survey of infection preventionists who are members of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.  More...

Antibiotic Resistance A Catastrophic Threat (3/11/13)
Britain's Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies has taken out her first annual report in which she has asked to take antibiotic resistance quite seriously  More...

How hospitals are using predictive analytics to improve care quality (2/26/13)
Rush University Medical Center counts on predictive analytics for a number of quality and efficiency improvement efforts--from reducing readmissions to treating patients at risk for stroke and cardiac arrest quickly and efficiently to reducing wait times, diversions and boarding in the emergency department.  More...

Hospitals underuse technology to prevent retained surgical items (3/11/13)
Many hospitals have yet to embrace technologies that would reduce the risk of leaving surgical items in patients,   More...

Patients believe it is their doctor’s job to help them stay healthy, not just treat their illness (11/29/12)
Fierce Healthcare
While the expectation is that doctors be supportive of their patients in sickness and
in health, in reality, many doctors are locked into an outdated model of treating
patients. In fact, 70 percent of respondents say their provider has never checked
on them outside of their being ill as a means to help them stay healthy.  More...

Surgical site infections drop 32% with hospital teamwork (11/29/12)
Fierce Healthcare
Collaboration among seven major hospitals successfully reduced surgical site infections after colorectal surgery by 32 percent over two and half years, according to data released yesterday by The Joint Commission's Center for Transforming Healthcare.  More...

How safe is your hospital? (8/12/12)
Our new Ratings find that some are riskier than others.
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Is fixed-price care a win for hospitals, employers, patients? (11/19/12)
Fierce HealthCare
Negotiating fixed surgical rates with employers has been gaining popularity among major health systems, but the new payment model could pose threats to some patients who travel longer distances for a deal, the Los Angeles Times reported.  More...

A Cure That Can Be Worse Than the Illness (9/11/12)
The New York Times
Antibiotics are important drugs, often restoring health and even saving lives. But like all drugs, they can have unwanted and serious side effects, some of which may not become apparent until many thousands of patients have been treated.   More...

Large hospitals lag on ICU infection control (10/24/12)
FierceHealthcare
When it comes to infection control in the intensive care unit, bigger is not always better, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Infection Control. Researchers at Columbia University School of Nursing found that ICUs in hospitals with more than 500 beds are half as likely as those in smaller hospitals to have adopted at least one prevention policy for catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI).  More...

Individual hand-hygiene feedback doubles compliance (10/24/12)
FierceHealthcare
Giving healthcare professionals individual feedback on hand hygiene made them twice as likely to wash their hands or use soap, according to a study in PLOS ONE.  More...

Magnet hospitals have fewer surgical deaths (10/23/12)
FierceHealthcare
Although high nursing standards have long been associated with better patient care, a new study in the journal Medical Care finds that hospitals with "Magnet" status have fewer surgical patient mortalities.  More...

Fierce Q&A: NYU Langone VP on why a hospital is not a hotel (10/23/12)
FierceHealthcare
As the industry moves toward patient-centered care, more hospitals are embracing a "patient-first" mentality with better patient engagement and shared decision making.  More...

Meningitis scare could worsen drug shortage (10/23/12)
FierceHealthcare
U.S. health regulators warn that shuttering pharmacies related to the growing meningitis outbreak may worsen drug shortages for some hospitals and providers, Reuters reported. The industry already is witnessing one of the worst drug shortages in American history.  More...

Why are more young Americans having strokes? (10/11/12)
THE WEEK
One in five stroke victims in the U.S. is now under 55 — and, though their chances for recovery are higher, some are forced into care facilities
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Surgery mortality rates underestimated (9/21/12)
Fierce Healthcare
New research shows twice as many people die after surgery in U.K. hospitals as previously thought, causing medical experts to worry the surgery death rate is higher in the U.S. as well, ABC News reported.  More...

How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us (9/21/12)
The Wall Street Journal
Medical errors kill enough people to fill four jumbo jets a week. A surgeon with five simple ways to make health care safer.  More...

Hospital leaders, clinicians misjudge care quality (9/6/12)
FierceHealthcare
Amid calls to improve care, a new study suggests physicians and nurses may give themselves higher marks than they deserve for care quality for hospital patients prior to a serious complication, Reuters Health reported.  More...

Hospital-acquired infections rarely reported (9/5/12)
FierceHealthcare
Medicare's penalty of hospital-acquired infections has done little to actually change payments, due to inaccurate reporting, according to a statewide analysis by the University of Michigan.

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Better patient satisfaction comes from hospital staff (9/5/12)
FierceHealthcare
The biggest key to patient satisfaction isn't a fancy hospital lobby or high-tech equipment; it's the staff, according to a survey released yesterday by J.D. Power and Associates.
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28% of ICU patients have missed diagnosis (8/28/12)
HealthLeaders Media
More than one in four ICU patients had at least one missed diagnosis at death, according to a Johns Hopkins study of acute care patients. That means as many as 40,500 adult ICU patients in the country may die with misdiagnosis every year, the study states.  More...

Hospitals report only 1% of patient harm events (7/20/12)
Fierce Healthcare
Although about 60 percent of patient harm events occurred at hospitals in states with reporting systems, only 12 percent of the events met state requirements for reporting, according to new report from the Office of the Inspector General released today that looked at Medicare beneficiaries discharged in October 2008.  More...

Physical Inactivity May Be as Deadly as Smoking (7/17/12)
WebMD Health News
Failure to Get Recommended Amounts of Activity Is Tied to Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Cancer  More...

Behind One Hospital's Fight Against Deadly Infection (6/4/2012)
The Wall Street Journal
Marita Nash, environmental services director at Hunterdon Medical Center here, uses a swab to swipe a bedside tray table in a freshly cleaned patient room. She then dips the swab into a hand-held device that can detect bacterial contamination in less than a minute.  More...

CT scans in childhood increase cancer risk: study (6/6/2012)
JewishWorldReview.com
Children exposed to multiple CT scans could be up to three times likelier to contract cancer of the blood, brain or bone marrow later in life, according to research published Thursday.  More...

Reputable hospitals score poorly on patient safety (6/6/2012)
Fierce Healthcare
Hospitals are getting new safety report cards from the Leapfrog Group, which gave more than 2,600 facilities an A, B, C, D or F for how well they keep patients safe from infections, injuries and errors. But despite outstanding reputations for quality, some of the most renowned hospitals scored poorly for patient safety, according to a Leapfrog statement released today.  More...

Hospitals evade audits, penalties with observation status (6/5/2012)
Fierce Healthcare
Observation stays at hospitals jumped 25 percent in three years, raising concerns about the growing use of observation status. Patient advocates have criticized hospitals' calling patients outpatients instead of inpatients and therefore exposing them to higher out-of-pocket costs.  More...

Popular Antibiotic May Raise Risk of Sudden Death (5/16/12)
By DENISE GRADY, New York Times
A new study finds that a widely used antibiotic, azithromycin, may increase the likelihood of sudden death in adults, especially those who have heart disease or are at high risk for it.   More...

THE NEW OLD AGE; Keep an Ailing Relative at Home, Almost (5/15/12)
By SUSAN SELIGER
When her father became ill just before Christmas last year, Dr. Socorrito Baez-Page faced an increasingly common conundrum. Her aging parents wanted to stay in their town house, but her mother couldn't handle the caregiving alone.   More...

Half of EDs overcrowded, leaders report (5/10/12)
Fierce Healthcare

Almost half (46 percent) of healthcare leaders say their emergency department (ED) is overcrowded--and 51 percent of those worry it will jeopardize patient safety, according to a HealthLeaders Media report released yesterday.
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More Evidence That ED Crowding Harms Patients (5/10/2012)
Journal Watch

Boarded patients experience medication delays, longer hospital stays, and higher mortality but are less likely than nonboarded patients to experience delays in some tests.
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New Push to Treat the Other Diabetes (5/9/2012)
WSJ Health & Wellness
By LAURA LANDRO
With Rise in Type 1 In Adults and Kids, Researchers Aim To Detect, Control Early  More...

To avoid 'difficult' label, patients take passive role in care decisions (5/8/2012)
Fierce Healthcare
In a step backwards for shared decision-making, many patients surrender their authority to physicians because they fear being labeled "difficult," concludes a study from the Palo Alto (Calif.) Medical Foundation Research Institute.  More...

Hospitals lose millions from cancelled surgeries (5/7/12)
FierceHealthcare
Patient no-shows and cancellations on the day of surgery are costing hospitals millions of dollars each year, Anesthesiology News reported.  More...

3 reimbursement changes for hospital performance (5/2/2012)
Fierce Healthcare
Hospitals are bracing themselves for some significant reimbursement changes under health reform that could hit their pocketbooks. The American Hospital Association (AHA) outlined top issues in its 2012 advocacy papers, including how hospitals will be measured for performance this year and beyond.  More...

Handoff program cuts medical errors by 40% (4/30/2012)
A handoff process called I-PASS, developed by Boston Children's Hospital, can reduce medical errors by as much as 40 percent, according to physicians at the Pediatric FierceHealthcare
Academic Societies annual meeting in Boston. Ten pediatric training programs in North America are testing the model.  More...

Heart devices linked to higher mortality, infection (4/26/12)
Fierce Healthcare

Despite life-saving goals, devices such as implantable pacemakers or defibrillators are actually a source of deadly infections, according a study published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  More...

ID thefts plague hospitals (4/17/12)
FierceHealthcare
According to a February study, 91 percent of small healthcare organizations suffered at least one data breach, with 24 percent of them likely resulting in medical identity theft. That list already is growing as about 100 North Shore

University Hospital patients had their identities compromised, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System announced Thursday.  More...

Hospital-acquired infections quadruple ICU deaths (4/16/12)
MEDSCAPE MEDICAL NEWS.
An analysis of a U.S. hospital database found that in-hospital mortality is four times higher in patients with a hospital-acquired infection (HAI) than in those without, reported Medscape Medical News. Moreover, the length of stay in the ICU doubled for infected patients, up from a mean of 8.1 days to 15.8 days.  More...

Higher-spending hospitals see better emergency outcomes (4/4/12)
Despite calls to rein in escalating healthcare spending, new research from Vanderbilt University Medical Center may have hospitals shelling out more dollars on emergency care, according to a study released as a working paper through the National Bureau of Economic Research.  More...

Infection rates fall 60% with children's hospital collaboration (4/9/12)
MIDDLETOWN JOURNAL.
Children's hospitals across Ohio are finding that collaboration has improved care quality. After teaming up in 2009, the eight participating hospitals saw surgical site infections drop 60 percent and adverse drug reactions fall 34.5 percent

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State mandates review of stent necessity (4/12/12)
MED PAGE TODAY.
Following notorious cases of overstenting, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation that mandates independent review of coronary stent placement and whether it is medically necessary, MedPage Today reported.  More...

Hospitals scramble on the front lines of drug shortages (4/10/12)
THE WASHINGTON POST.
The situation was urgent. The operating room and many key units at MedStar Washington Hospital Center were running low on a critical anesthetic. Suppliers were out of the most commonly used dosages. The only remedy was for pharmacy staffers to dilute a higher concentration with saline solution to produce the needed strength.  More...

Arsenic in your juice How much is too much? Federal limits don’t exist. (1/2/2012)
Arsenic has long been recognized as a poison and a contaminant in drinking water, but now concerns are growing about arsenic in foods, especially in fruit juices that are a mainstay for children.

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New ‘solution’ kills hospital superbugs (1/2/2012)
Every patient, nurse, doctor and visitor to a hospital knows the drill: hands get a splash of antibacterial fluid found at every bedside, entrance and exit. Keeping hands clean can prevent some infections, but superbugs -- those sometimes deadly bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics -- can outwit the best hygiene practices.  More...

Is This the End of Popping Vitamins? (12/28/2011)
A succession of large-scale human studies, including two published earlier this month in leading medical journals, suggests that multivitamins and many other dietary supplements often don't have health benefits—and in some cases may even cause harm.   More...

At the Clinic, Care ... and Infection (12/28/2011)
As hospitals get better at keeping serious infections from spreading to patients, a new source of worry is emerging: outpatient clinics, where reports of dangerous transmissions of bacteria and viruses have been on the rise.

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Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause symptoms that mimic aging. (12/7/11)
Ilsa Katz was 85 when her daughter, Vivian Atkins, first noticed that her mother was becoming increasingly confused.

“She couldn’t remember names, where she’d been or what she’d done that day,” Ms. Atkins recalled in an interview. “Initially, I was not too worried. I thought it was part of normal aging. But over time, the confusion and memory problems became more severe and more frequent.”   More...

Falling through the cracks (12/5/2011)
Voluntary organizations supply patients with advice on medications and cutting through red tape.  More...

Sib's Chickenpox Vaccine May Protect Infants, Too (11/29/2011)
The varicella vaccination program in the United States may be indirectly benefiting infants too young to get the vaccine directly, according to the results of a prospective study.  More...

Study: Xarelto Cuts Heart Attack Mortality (11/14/11)
ORLANDO -- Adding the oral anticoagulant rivaroxaban (Xarelto) to standard therapy after a myocardial infarction or unstable angina significantly reduced the risk of death, researchers reported here  More...

Sugar-Sweetened Drinks May Pose Heart Risks to Women, Study Suggests (11/14/11)
Drinking two or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day may boost a woman's risk for developing heart disease and diabetes -- even if this habit isn't causing her to pack on extra pounds, a new study says.  More...

H1N1 Death Rate Higher in Kids With MRSA (11/8/2011)
Children critically ill with the pandemic H1N1 flu were at increased risk of death if they had a pre-existing neurologic condition or immune suppression, researchers reported.

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