The Quaid Foundation – Chasing Zero

The Quaid Foundation was established in 2007 by Dennis and Kimberly Quaid shortly after their 12 day old twins received an accidental overdose of Heparin.  I placed the link to the Foundation web site under the Patient Safety section of this site's blogroll at that time.  

Several times since 2007 I have considered deleting the link because there were few updates. I wondered whether the Quaids had lost their passion for patient safety.  Even with a well-publicized case behind them, I imagine it is a rather daunting task to take on large, complex, healthcare issues and hope to make a difference.  Not to mention that, happily, the Quaids are busy raising two healthy toddlers, Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace. 

Recently however, things have changed.  The Quaid Foundation has joined forces with TMIT (the Texas Medical Institute of Technology) and has a new web site address: http://www.safetyleaders.org/quaid/.

Quaid_foundation

CNN's Anderson Cooper recently interviewed Mr. Quaid, and The Discovery Channel is airing Chasing Zero, a documentary dealing with preventing medical harm.

Regarding Chasing ZeroThe TMIT/Safety Leaders web site states:

A made-for-TV documentary, 55 minutes long and entitled Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Healthcare Harm, will be shown four times globally beginning April 2010 on the main Discovery Channel. After it has aired, a commercial-free DVD will be produced and distributed for free to all U.S. hospitals by TMIT, and will be sent to the chairmen of the governance boards and their CEOs. A second hour of content composed of digital short stories and concept messages will be added to the DVD.

Watch the trailer.

I'm happy to see that the Quaids have apparently not lost their passion for patient safety after all.

Fort Worth Dallas MSPs Open New Website

The Medical Staff Professionals of Texas have always been quick to make use of available technology. A number of years ago when I worked with the Ohio Association Medical Staff Services Board to create the original OAMSS web site, there was just one NAMSS State Association web site already online – Texas
Continuing that tradition, The Fort Worth Dallas Chapter of the Texas Society for Medical Services Specialists has opened a new web site. Anyone who has ever managed site content knows that keeping information current and on-topic can be an overwhelming task, particularly for a volunteer association. The FWD Chapter accomplishes that effort to some degree by incorporating RSS feeds from several blogs that feature articles for MSPs. 
Even if you don’t live in the Dallas Fort Worth area, take a few minutes to stop by and visit.
 
Fort Worth Dallas MSP

Anesthesia Contract Change Puts Pressure on Credentialing

Leadership of Virginia's Riverside Regional Medical Center has generated controversy with their selection of a new anesthesia group.  As is often the case with a change in provider contract, the pressure is on to get the new physicians through the credentials process quickly and approved by the Board.

Hospital Administrator Patrick Parcells spoke to The Daily Press regarding the credentials verification process.  "Credentialing usually takes one to three months, Parcells said. But Riverside has three people working full time in the medical staff credentialing office to expedite the process."

"They have been working night and day processing these credentials." 

Read the full article from the Daily Press:
http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_doctors_0416apr16,0,6412181.story

Related story:
http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_soma_0416apr16,0,4701284.story

False Claims Suit Alleges Improper Privileging

A word to hospital leaders…

Do you think that medical staff credentialing and privileging is just low-level paper-work? Does your organization provide ongoing education and support, not just for the employees who work in the Medical Staff Services Department, but also for the physicians who sit on your Credentials and Medical Executive Committees, as well as for Board Members who must make the final credentialing and privileging decisions?

When it comes time to make the hard choices, do you back those who must make them?

When the message is uncomfortable, do you listen?

A recent press release from the U.S. Department of Justice clearly shows why those actions are so vital to both the health of your patients, and the health of your organization.

Patient safety is the primary focus of an effective credentialing and privileging program, but the financial health and reputation of the hospital are also at stake, as is clearly shown by a recent U.S. Government press release.

The U. S. Department of Justice joined a False Claims act law suit alleging that a Waycross, Georgia hospital and physician member of the medical staff submitted claims for medically substandard and unnecessary services to Medicare and Medicaid.

The complaint also states that after the physician joined the staff the hospital management allowed him to perform endovascular procedures in the hospital’s Heart Center even though he lacked experience in performing such procedures and did not have privileges to perform them.

The complaint further states that the nurses recognized that the physician was incompetent to perform endovascular procedures and repeatedly raised concerns with hospital management.

Serious allegations, and significant food for thought for all healthcare leaders.

Related links:

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/April/10-civ-332.html

http://www.fiercehealthfinance.com/story/poor-physician-credentialing-leads-hospital-false-claims-billing-charges/2010-04-07

http://www.namss.org

Joint Commission Podcast Regarding MS.01.01.01 – Medical Staff Bylaws

Robert Wise, M.D., Vice President, The Joint Commission, summarizes the final (after much discussion and revision) Medical Staff Bylaws standard Ms.01.01.01 in a podcast available from the Joint Commission web site.  A pre-publication version of the standard is also available.

http://www.jointcommission.org/Standards/Pre-PublicationStandards/

How To Tell Your Boss You’re Overworked

Does just walking into your office in the morning cause anxiety?  

Paperwork Despite your best efforts, are you greeted by stacks of paper, an over-flowing in-box, dozens of unread emails, a blinking phone message light, and reminder sticky-notes plastered everywhere?  Did you carry work home last night in an over-stuffed briefcase, or respond to emails and phone calls on your ever-present Blackberry?   

Do you feel overwhelmed by constantly increasing job demands?  

If so you’re not alone; there are some very capable, hard-working people facing that challenge right along with you.  

First, let’s talk about what not to do.  

DO NOT  

1.  Blame your supervisor for not rescuing you.  

  • Decide that you really shouldn’t have to explain the obvious to your boss, he knows you need help and just doesn’t care.
  • Complain at every opportunity about having too much to do, and wonder why you are apparently the only person in the place who cares at all about doing a good job.

2.  Keep quiet and take on every new task you’re given  

  • Believe that if you say yes to every project someone will eventually realize you’re over-burdened and offer to help.
  • Refuse to admit that you can’t get everything done and accept that you’ll just have to work harder and longer to keep your job.

3.  Hide what’s not getting done in the hope that no one will figure it out.  

  • I once took over a position where my predecessor had left suddenly without giving notice. On my first day I had to call Maintenance to open the locked desk drawers. You guessed it – piles of unfinished work had been carefully locked away. Not a pleasant way to start a new job, or finish an old one for that matter.
  • A colleague once told me that after an employee left her company, Maintenance discovered unfinished work hidden in the ceiling tiles above his desk.  At least he gets points for creative hiding.

Now let’s give some thought to strategies that may actually help.  

DO

1.  Communicate with your supervisor – frequently and respectfully  

  • Even if you have great rapport with your boss, it’s best not to bring up the subject of being overworked and overwhelmed out of the blue.  Respectful discussions need to occur on a regularly scheduled basis regarding priorities, goals, job performance and workload. 
  • Develop a brief reporting tool to share with your supervisor that shows your progress on current assignments, pending work, etc.  If a goal isn’t being met, offer a brief explanation as to why.

2.  Learn to negotiate  

  • Sometimes the best answer isn’t yes or no.
  • Explain how a new request impacts current assignments and suggest strategies for prioritizing your most import goals. 
  • Be prepared to offer suggestions as to what tasks might be eliminated or transferred.
  • Make it a point to bring up, not just problems, but potential solutions as well.

3.  Consider ways that you may be sabotaging your own success    

  • Are you a perfectionist, working and reworking even low-level tasks until they meet a perfect standard?   If so, think return on investment.  Some projects may justify that level of scrutiny, but for those that don’t you’re simply wasting your time, and we’ve already decided that you don’t have enough of that to squander.
  • Are you a socializer?  I’m a believer in the power of networking and connections, but it’s another area where return on investment must be considered. Can you limit the time you spend visiting with co-workers?
  • Do you spend so much time and energy on crisis-management that you never have time to organize and plan?  Break that cycle or you’re doomed to the life of a “headless chicken.”

 4.  Understand that sometimes, it is what it is  

  • As an employee you have certain expectations; your supervisor and organization also have expectations.  You may find yourself in a situation where the two simply don’t mesh. Only you can decide whether it’s one you can (mostly) happily live with every day.
  • As long as you hold the job and accept the pay check, do your best work; but don’t be afraid to look around and see what other opportunities are available. 
  • If you do decide to move on, don’t jump right back into the same situation.  Look for an organization culture that aligns with your own.  We spend way too much time at work to do it in an environment that makes us miserable.

    

Related reading:  

http://www.cio.com.au/article/204793/
how_talk_your_boss_about_being_overworked
  

http://careerplanning.about.com/od/workrelated/a/overwork.htm