RSSArchive for April, 2012

New award for hospital infection prevention champions

Have you heard about the new award sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, recognizing leaders in HAI prevention?

The Partnership for Prevention Award identifies sustained imporvement in preventing HAIs based on he National Action Plan to Prevent Infections.

Applications will be accepted through August 1, 2012, and the award will be prevented on October 15.

To apply for the award, click here.

AAAHC climbs into the hospital accreditation ring

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) announced this week a new hospital accreditation program.

The program will be offered through the Accreditation Association for Hospital/Health Systems (AAHHS) and operate separately from the ambulatory accreditation body under an overaching organization, the Accreditation Association.

“The movement to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and other recent trends have led to more health systems reabsorbing primary care physicians and free-standing ambulatory care settings back into the hospital,” says John Burke, PhD, AAAHC’s president and CEO, in an official press release. “With our experience as the leader in ambulatory care accreditation, we saw an opportunity to improve patient care by offering a program that addresses both outpatient and inpatient hospital care and the ambulatory care offered by small hospital systems.”

To read more on AAAHC’s announcement, click here.

Come check out our conference poster session

This year’s AHAP conference to be held May 10-11, 2012 in Orlando, FL features its first ever educational poster session, and we’d like to share the roster with you:

  • “Surveying the secret world of Surgical Services:  How to navigate a mock survey of surgical services in your facility” – Sandy Biga, RN, Alegent Health Midlands Hospital, Omaha, NE
  •  “The use of data mining with alerts to improve nurse documentation” – Sheila Belcher, BSN, RN, CSHA, Pikeville Medical Center, Pikeville, KY
  •  “One year, three surveys: Continuous readiness at Mayo Clinic” – Melanie Ryan, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  •  “Optimal practitioner on-boarding process” – Shelly G. Albrechtsen, Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, Patchogue, NY
  • “Patient safety: Striving towards zero defects” – Jayme Gardner, RN, BSN, East Alabama Medical Center, Opelika, AL 
  •  “The path to regulatory readiness”- Pat Caruso, RN, BSN, CNML, Bristol Hospital, Bristol, CT
  • “Developing a low-cost solution to a high risk problem: Transforming the process of care to reduce central line associated blood stream infections” – John Finnerty, RN, BSHA, CSHA, Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow, NY
  •  “Using a single checklist/signature sheet at initial and reappointment” – Mary Johnson, CPCS, CPMSM, and Pearl Forsyth, Saint Luke’s East Hospital, St. Louis
  •  “Fire rated wall penetration and Joint Commission Life Safety Code® compliance” – Kevin Jones, University of Utah Health Care, Salt Lake City
  • “Involving the executive team in survey readiness” – Lynda Bailey, RN, BSN, University of Utah Health Care, Salt Lake City
  • “The Onion Efffect” – Megan Lough, Scripps Centralized Credentialing, San Diego
  • “Regulatory Readiness: Tools for a successful CMS survey” – Candy Bright, RN, BSN, Village Hospital, Greer, SC

    Don't miss this one-of-a-kind educational event!

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to gain knowledge and share best practices, so if you still haven’t registered, make sure to sign up this week to receive $100 off the conference price (just use source code ET106724at checkout).

Visit our conference webpage for more information.

Interesting news for rural hospitals

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved this week a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill including legislation to assist rural hospitals with construction and improvement projects.

The spending bill now includes an exemption that allows over 1,300 rural hospitals to access the Federal Housing Authorities’ Section 242 mortgage insurance program.

CDC reports drop in HAI rates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced good news for healthcare-associated infections:

the agency reported a 32% reduction in central line-associated blood stream infections (CLASBI) rates among hospitals reporting CLABSI data to its National Healthcare Safety Network in 2010.

In addition, these hospitals reported 6% fewer catheter-associated urinary tract infections and 8% fewer surgical site infections compared to rates reported in 2010.

To read more on this report, click here.

27 organizations named ACOs by CMS

For those of you following the affordable care organization process:

CMS this week named 27 organizations as the first accountable care organizations, participating in the organization’s voluntary Medicare Shared Savings Program. Five of these organizations will be participating in the program’s Advance Payment ACO Model.

The program is intended to promote accountability for the care of Medicare FFS beneficiaries; require coordinated care for all services provided under Medicare FFS; and encourage investment in infrastructure and redesigned care processes.

More information on this announcement can be found online at cms.gove/sharedsavingsprogram.

CMS temporarily suspends outpatient quality measure

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has suspended outpatient quality measure OP-19, which is used to assess the percentage of ED patients who receive a transition record on discharge from the ED.

CMS has stated that the suspension of this measure is due to concerns with the measure specifications. The suspension is retroactive back to January 2012.

CMS has said it will not make use of data submitted for this outpatient measure until all existing concerns have been resolved.

Job posting

Hello, AHAP members. Every so often we are asked to post a job listing to our members at member hospitals or other organizations we are associated with. We’re always willing to share potential opportunities for our members. If you or one of your associates ever wants to share a job posting with the association, contact me at and I will be happy to help. Please find below the latest post.

Associate Performance Improvement Manager

Temple University Hospital seeks an Associate Performance Improvement Manager to assists in the administration of a comprehensive performance improvement program for all hospital and clinical departments. He or she will actively round on assigned units on a daily basis performing the following functions:

• Acting as a “quality extender” to educate unit staff on performance improvement initiatives

and posting performance improvement data

• Partnering with nursing staff on the unit to proactively avoid core measures fall-outs by auditing charts in real time

• Building relationships with nursing and ancillary staff on assigned units and being viewed as a resource for quality improvement

• Providing education and consultation in real time related to quality improvement and regulatory issues.

Additional responsibilities include: maintaining documentation and records of the performance improvement program and preparing appropriate reports; assisting clinical and hospital departments and department performance improvement committees in the design, implementation and follow up of performance improvement initiatives; facilitating the implementation of methods to evaluate quality of care and formulate recommendations for improvement strategies; and analyzing potential quality liability cases referred by multiple data sources, and identifying opportunities for improved clinical outcomes.

Qualified candidates will be a licensed registered nurse with five years experience in an acute care hospital. A degree in a health care related discipline or equivalent experience and a minimum of three years experience in performance improvement are required, as is proficiency in use of PC and word processing applications. Experience with PC applications such as databases, spreadsheets, flow charting and statistical analysis is preferred, as is certification in quality management.

For more information or to apply, please contact Rebecca Garrett at 215-707-8807 or

Organization identifies 45 potentially overused tests and procedures

A combination of nine physician specialty societies have joined forces under the Choosing Wisely Campaign to identify 45 tests or procedures that may be overused or unnecessary for certain patients. These organizations are encouraging physicians and patients to carefully consider the necessity of these tests or procedures prior to availing of them.

The ABIM Foundation, an affiliate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, initiated the campaign. Each society has listed “five things physicians and patients should question” on the campaign’s website. An additional eight societies will add their own lists to the site in the fall.

For more information on the Choosing Wisely campaign, visit the initiative’s website.

Joint Commission launches HAI portal

The Joint Commission has unveiled a web portal dedicated to healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and the organization’s efforts and education toward preventing HAIs.

The portal, which can be found here, gathers a vast array of information under the areas of HAI Topics, Infection Control and Prevention, and HAI Information by Setting.

Do you plan on using The Joint Commission’s HAI portal? Have you had any recent successes with HAI prevention?