Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA): Improving Care Through Information

With the stated goals of increasing awareness and public accountability for health care quality, thirteen organizations have joined forces to collaboratively form the HQA – Hospital Quality Alliance. Among the affiliates: The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the American Nurses Association.

If you would like to compare the performance of hospitals in your area in the ten measures and three treatment areas currently being monitored by CMS – Heart Attack (AMI) Care, Heart Failure Care, and Pneumonia Care, click the following link:

NAMSS Announces Education Course Revision Project

As a result of the recent Job Task Analysis Workshops, the Certification Board of NAMSS has completely revised both the CPMSM and CPCS certification exams. Rather than testing on specific facts, i.e., dates, legal cases, acronyms, etc., the tests were rewritten to test on the practical application of knowledge and critical thinking skills.

The results of the JTA and certification examination changes have brought about a fundamental shift in the framework and approach to education… more

National Conference Speakers – What Should They Know About Their Audience?

A few years ago I attended what I thought was going to be a course on public speaking and presentation skills. The room was filled with Managers, Directors, and those aspiring to those positions, eager to pick up useful presentation and communication tips.

The presenter, unfortunately, thought that her audience was comprised of support staff for Managers, Directors, etc. Her entire presentation was centered on how to make your boss look good when he or she makes a presentation. About half way through the morning she began to understand the composition of her audience, but was unable at that point to change her focus. So there we sat, being solemnly reminded about how important it is to spell check documents before giving them to the boss.

That situation could have been avoided if the presenter had done her homework, or if the sponsoring organization had made sure that the needs and expectations of the audience were explained in advance.

Hopefully, many of the readers of this Blog are planning to attend the NAMSS Conference in Phoenix in September 2005. If you’ve attended NAMSS, or any national education conference in the past, you know that some presentations are wonderful, dynamic, and on-target, and others, well let’s just say others are less wonderful, dynamic, and on-target.

If you personally knew someone who was going to be a NAMSS conference speaker, what would you tell him or her about the organization? How would you explain the needs and interests of members? What would you personally hope to come away with?

So, let’s think “big thoughts.” Finish this sentence and send it to me at I’ll post any really good responses I get. (Blog contributors, feel free to post your responses directly.)

Dear NAMSS Presenter:

While you are preparing your presentation for the upcoming NAMSS conference, I would like you to know…

Credentialing Vendor Representatives – HcPro Tackles the Question

Do you need to credential manufacturer representatives in your facility? If you define credentialing as a process involving reasonable due diligence prior to granting permission to a person to interact with patients and physicians in the facility, the answer is yes.

Manufacturer representatives should not be permitted to have access to patient care information unless permitted by hospital policy and the access is within HIPAA guidelines.

The January 2005 issue of HcPro’s publication Credentialing Resource Center will contain a Clinical Privilege White Paper "Healthcare industry representatives in the operating room."

100,000 Lives Campaign

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the American Medical Association have joined forces in the 100,000 Lives Campaign. The campaign hopes to save 100,000 lives by June 2006 by preventing common in-hospital system errors. The goal is to enlist 1,500 to 2,000 hospitals that will reduce unintended deaths by implementing programs for in-hospital patient care, such as:

Deployment of Rapid Response Teams
Assurance of optimal care for patients with acute myocardial infarction
Prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia
Prevention of surgical site infections
Prevention of adverse drug events
Prevention of central line infections

There is no charge to participate.

More information:

Consumer Reports Launches Best Buy Drugs Website

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs web site opened this month with three free, downloadable drug class reports: Cholesterol/Statins, Arthritus and Pain NSAIDS, and Heartburn/PPIs.

The site’s stated purpose is to provide reports and information to guide consumers and doctors in making more cost-effective prescription drug choices.

A new report is planned approximately every month over the next two years.

Job Stress Anyone?

Are you dealing with an overwhelming sense of having too much work and too little time? Are you working more hours but just getting further behind? If so, you’re at risk for exhaustion, job dissatisfaction and burn-out, poor quality work, and neglecting other important areas of your life.

The web site Mind Tools, Essential Skills for an Excellent Career has posted a Job Stress Analysis Tool that asks thought-provoking questions, and gives some great tips on working more intelligently and with greater personal and professional balance.