Reducing readmissions is top of mind for many hospitals today, yet efforts have been met with varying degrees of success. Hospitals and physicians in some communities, like Camden, N.J., have taken a comprehensive approach, involving social workers, nurse practitioners and primary care doctors—as well as hospitalists—in efforts to ensure that repeat visitors get access to preventive care. The initiative appears to be working: Hospital admissions of “super utilizers” in Camden have dropped nearly 40% in the last few years. See how it was done in that city, and what other communities are doing along the same lines.
Until recently, a hospitalist interested in quality of care or patient safety research had to cobble together an education by way of webinars and conference sessions. No longer. As our story illustrates, universities across the U.S. are offering master's degrees in medical quality for those who want to be on the leading edge of this growing field within hospital medicine.
Speaking of quality, our Success Story shows how 16 affiliated hospitals managed to cut urinary tract infection rates by going to the source: catheter use. Ching-Sheng Brian Lin reminds us how important it is to keep a patient's wishes in mind while delivering the safest, highest-quality care possible. And U.S. doctors in Haiti are turning their eyes toward quality issues on a larger scale, as well, now that health care post-earthquake has moved from triage to more long-term, systemic concerns. Read about their work.
Has your hospital had success in reducing admissions, or in improving a quality measure? Tell us about it.
Editor, ACP Hospitalist