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The ‘Hospital of Tomorrow’

WASHINGTON—I’ve just finished 2 1/2 days of helping US News and World Report cover its inaugural Hospital of Tomorrow conference. My assignment was to sit in on four of the breakout sessions, take notes, then write up a summary as quickly as possible, ostensibly for the benefit of attendees who had to pick from four options during each time slot and might have missed something they were interested in. Of course, it’s posted on a public site, so you didn’t have to be there to read the stories.

Here’s what I cranked out from Tuesday and Wednesday:

Session 202: A Close-Up Look at EHRs — ‘Taking a Close Look at Electronic Health Records”

Session 303: The Future of Academic Medical Centers — “Academic Medical Centers ‘Must Become More Nimble'”

Session 305: Preventing and Coping With Infections — “How Hospitals Can Better Prevent and Cope With Infections”

Session 401: Provider and Patient Engagement — “Hospitals Grapple With Patient Engagement”

The one on infection control was particularly interesting, in large part due to the panel, which included HCA Chief Medical Officer and former head of the Veterans Health Administration Jonathan Perlin, M.D., Johns Hopkins quality guru Peter Pronovost, M.D., and Denise Murphy, R.N., vice president for quality and patient safety at Main Line Health in suburban Philadelphia.

The session on patient engagement was kind of a follow-on to my first US News feature in September.

If you want to read more about the whole conference, including US News’ live blog, visit usnews.com/hospitaloftomorrow

November 7, 2013 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Poor healthcare quality hits home

My dad, who already was dealing with a serious health issue, was hospitalized a week ago with what turned out was a urinary-tract infection. That cleared with antibiotics in a couple of days, but then he developed a fever, so he could not be released. While we were waiting for that to subside, he developed a hospital-acquired infection, namely pneumonia. He’s still in the hospital and the hospital is still able to bill Medicare for all these extra days — plus the physical therapy he will get in a rehab center that the hospital owns once he’s discharged because being in bed for a week is a serious setback to his original condition.

If anyone thinks the U.S. has the “best healthcare in the world” and that good insurance will get you good care, think again. Please pass this link around and share your own stories in the comments section so we can help spread the truth about quality deficiencies and perverse financial incentives.

April 22, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Information overload

SAN FRANCISCO—Talk about irony: I’ve got tons and tons of great information to report, and very little time in which to do so. I’m currently at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco, fresh off the Medical Group Management Association annual meeting down the coast in San Diego. I’ll be at the Collaborative Communications Summit in Los Angeles early next week.

Aside from all the frequent-flier miles, I’ve collected much news from vendors, organizations, and others in health IT. At some point, I’ll actually get around to reporting the news. In the meantime, you can check out the story I wrote this week in Digital HealthCare & Productivity about MGMA’s desire for health plans to develop a standardized, machine-readable insurance card for all patients.

I also wanted to draw your attention to yet another celebrity medical error. According to the Boston Herald, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had to have three follow-up procedures to contain an infection in the knee he recently had reconstructive surgery on. He’s currently on IV antibiotics to contain the infection.

Although the story doesn’t say so, my immediate thought is that Brady contracted the infection from something that wasn’t fully cleaned in the operating room at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles during the Oct. 6 surgery. In other words, Brady likely is the victim of yet another hospital-acquired infection.

Also, the counter in the bottom right of this page recently passed 40,000 visits since September 2004. There have been more than 52,200 page views. Traffic has accelerated since a slow start, and is now at about 1,000 visits and 1,300 page views a month. Thanks for reading.

October 23, 2008 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.