4 Common Characteristics of Successful Clinical Improvement

For more than a decade at Vizient, we have been studying top performers in cost, quality and outcomes. My colleagues and I spend a lot of time talking with hospital executives and ambulatory care professionals across the country about the strategies, tactics and behaviors that help them truly accomplish the goals they want to achieve. And perhaps more importantly, the factors that differentiate top performers. Surprisingly, factors such as the number of staff, if state-of-the-art technologies... More

5 Ways to Reduce Unwanted Variations in Clinical Processes

Unwanted variability in clinical processes is a pervasive, intractable problem in virtually every hospital and is adversely affecting outcomes, patient satisfaction, operational efficiency, performance measures and costs. Consider these studies that have shown: More

Breaking the Opioid Prescribing Cycle through Stewardship

In 2015, 90 people died each day from an opioid overdose. If you subtract deaths attributed to heroin and synthetic opioids, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl, the number drops to 42 deaths per day. That is still 42 deaths daily from drugs that were prescribed by a licensed health care professional. How did we get here? More

Save Lives from Sepsis

Sepsis is the most common, costly and deadly diagnosis in U.S. hospitals, with one sepsis patient being diagnosed every 20 seconds. More people die from sepsis than from prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined. Yet only a little more than half of American adults have even heard of sepsis. So what is it exactly? Sepsis is a body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection. Severe sepsis is diagnosed when a patient has an infection plus additional signs of... More

Digging into Episode of Care Data to Improve Patient Care

It’s no secret that doctors love data. We love it because it informs which devices we use, our treatment methodologies and how we can improve patient outcomes. And, while the move to value-based care has been a challenge for physicians, I believe the data that is being generated as a result offers an incredible opportunity to advance the quality of care as well as lower costs. A great example of this is the information captured in episodes of care. More

My Conversation with a Physician about the Opioid Epidemic

Consider this statistic: In 2015, the amount of opioids prescribed was enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks. Say it aloud and your brain will have a hard time accepting what your mouth is telling it. The amount of opioids prescribed was enough for every single American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks. More

Change Compliance Mentality from “Game Over” to “Game On”

“Game over.” It’s the angst clinicians feel as they realize it’s only a matter of time before they see the accreditation surveyors coming through the door. Adding to the angst is the fact that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), as the consumer advocate, is pushing for a more straightforward review by the accreditation organizations, such as CMS’ “see it-cite it” methodology. Instead of accepting 90% as an acceptable opportunity for... More

Addressing the Problem of Nurse Bullying

Last December, nursing was ranked as the most trusted profession for the 15th consecutive year. This isn’t surprising because nurses provide consistent support and comfort in a patient’s most vulnerable moments. They also go beyond providing physical healing to promote social, emotional, intellectual, occupational and spiritual wellness for the people in their care. It seems natural to assume that nurses would provide this same support to one another. Unfortunately, this is not... More

Hitting the Halfway Mark for MACRA: What Clinicians Can Do to Avoid a Penalty

We are now at the halfway point of 2017, which is the first performance measurement year for MACRA. Have you selected what performance metrics you will report and what method of reporting you will use? If you haven’t done anything up to this point related to MACRA compliance, do you know what to do in the second half of 2017 to avoid a payment penalty in 2019?  More

The Blueprint to Establishing Your Nurse Wellness Program

As someone on the front line of patient care, I know one thing to be absolutely true: left unchecked, the stress nurses face on a daily basis in providing care for others can severely impair their mental and physical well-being. More