Journal of Point of Care Testing
SAVE THE DATES
CMS gives 213
hospitals 'five stars' for patient experience. See
how yours fared...
CMS on April 25 updated its Hospital Compare website
with new Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare
Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) summary star ratings.
CMS' summary star rating scores hospitals on a
one-to-five-star scale based on the 11 publicly
reported measures in HCAHPS survey, which assesses
patient experiences. The agency started assigning
hospitals patient experience star ratings based
solely on HCAHPS scores in April 2015. The latest
update is based on HCAHPS survey data collected
between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.
4 ways patient experience may be costing you
The patient experience summary star ratings are
distinct from CMS' overall quality star ratings,
which are scheduled to be updated in July. Overall
star ratings are based on 62 quality measures from
seven categories: effectiveness of care, efficient
use of imaging, mortality, patient experience,
readmissions, safety, and timeliness of care.
A map of the country’s hospitals and
their rankings is available on the Advisory Board’s
Web site (registration is required to view the map).
Read more >
Considerations for Implementing
New POC Testing
Gledhill, BS, Robert L. Schmidt, MD, PhD, MBA,
Brenda VanCleve, MT(ASCP), Sandra K. White, MS,
Medical Laboratory Management, Clinical Leadership &
Point-of-care testing (POCT) can deliver significant
benefits to both patients and providers, and due to
this, POCT has experienced rapid growth in recent
years. While the end result of POCT can be quite
positive, proper implementation and management can
present challenges and requires vigilant oversight
to ensure success. Regardless of whether the
organization is new to POCT or has a fully
functioning POCT department, implementing a new POC
test requires careful planning. Test implementation
can raise unique issues that may be unfamiliar to
laboratory and hospital staff. These include
consideration of federal and state regulations,
relationships with regulatory and accreditation
bodies, POC test management and technical
performance, and overall fit with the organization.
Taking an administrative viewpoint, laboratory
directors must focus on test justification and
dispersion when considering a new POCT. Before
approving an application to implement POCT, it is
key that laboratory leadership consider the
Necessity and Benefit
Requests for new POC tests typically originate from
clinicians who desire more expedited results.
Ideally, a rapid result enables physicians to
provide a diagnosis or prescribe a treatment at the
time of the patient encounter. This can reduce the
time to therapy, increase adherence, and reduce the
potential for errors in handling specimens. However,
managers should exercise caution before instituting
new POCT, as the benefits are highly dependent on
the context in which the test will be implemented.
Read more >
American College of Physicians
Recommends Less Restrictive HbA1c
The Sample: May 2018, Clinical
In a controversial new clinical
guideline, the American College of
Physicians (ACP) recommends less
restrictive HbA1c targets for
glycemic control in most patients
with type 2 diabetes; between 7% and
8% rather than 6.5% or 7% as
recommended by other groups (Ann
Intern Med 2018;
ACP based this advice on evidence
about the benefits and harms of
lower HbA1c targets from clinical
trials considered by the other
groups in setting their HbA1c
targets. “ACP’s analysis of the
evidence behind existing guidelines
found that treatment with drugs to
targets of seven percent or less
compared to targets of about eight
percent did not reduce deaths or
microvascular complications such as
heart attack or stroke but did
result in substantial harms,” said
Jack Ende, MD, president of ACP.
Read more >
Views on Volume,
Critical Care, ACOs
CAP Today, April
limitations on devices used in critical care,
consolidation, and population health is what CAP
TODAY asked about when it spoke in March with the
makers of three bedside glucose testing systems.
more aware than ever of the limitations that are in
the package inserts from the glucose manufacturers,”
says Corrine Fantz, PhD, director of medical and
scientific affairs for point-of-care testing, Roche
Diagnostics. But she and Kevin Peacock, clinical
marketing manager, HemoCue America, say there is
features responses to the following questions posed
by CAP Today senior editor Amy Carpenter Aquino.
How has the
decline in reimbursement coupled with a retreat
from tight glycemic control affected test volume
for patients at the bedside?
How are your
customers adapting to the limitations on glucose
devices for critical care applications?
system consolidation—including established
system clinics, ERs, and acquired physician
practices—affected POC glucose testing for
ambulatory patient testing?
glucose testing and the management of patients
with diabetes fit into the concern laboratories
have now for population health and accountable
For the complete article, click here.
Glucose systems are profiled here.
Thinking Beyond The Instrument
Laboratories are using IQCP to bring
preanalytic and postanalytic factors
into focus and improve patient care
Nearly 5 years ago, the U.S. Centers
for Medicaid and Medicare Services
(CMS) introduced a new option for
laboratory quality control (QC)
called the Individualized Quality
Control Plan (IQCP). Laboratories
could create an IQCP as an
alternative to performing two levels
of external QC per day of patient
testing (default QC), as long as
their risk assessment supported a
longer QC interval and it complied
with manufacturers’ instructions.
The catch? Equivalent quality
control (EQC), an option that had
been available since 2004, was being
eliminated. EQC allowed labs to run
external QC on a weekly or monthly
basis for tests with built-in QC
features, as long as the schedule
met minimum manufacturers’
Under the new rules, which took
effect in January 2016 after a
2-year educational period, labs
needed to write an IQCP for every
test that had been operating with
EQC or perform default QC.
Laboratory managers, particularly
those in charge of point-of-care
testing (POCT, were faced with the
daunting task of conducting risk
assessments and writing IQCPs for
dozens or even hundreds of tests.
Read more >
IBM Watson Health Announces 100 Top Hospitals
Formerly the Truven Health Analytics 100 Top
Hospitals, 2018 Study Finds Top U.S. Hospitals
Improve Outcomes at Lower Cost and Higher Profit
Margins than Peers
IBM Watson Health™ today published its 100 Top
Hospitals® annual study identifying top–performing
hospitals in the U.S. based on overall
organizational performance. Formerly known as the
Truven Health Analytics® 100 Top Hospitals, this
study spotlights the best–performing hospitals in
the U.S. based on a balanced scorecard of publicly
available clinical, operational, and patient
satisfaction metrics and data. It has been conducted
annually since 1993.
Overall, the Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals® study
found that the top-performing hospitals in the
country achieved better risk-adjusted outcomes while
maintaining both a lower average cost per
beneficiary and higher profit margin than
non-winning peer group hospitals.
Did your hospital make the list?
Click here for more
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Last updated: 05/24/2018
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