TeleTracking Blog: Conversations about optimizing hospital operations
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TeleTracking Offering Protects Against 2-Midnight Rule

2-Midnight RuleRecent buzz suggests that the 2-Midnight Rule may be replaced with a “kinder, gentler” short-stay payment model. But long-time Medicare watchers say, “don’t bet on it.” Even though the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is asking for input on a short stay payment structure, there’s no guarantee that the controversial rule will go away anytime soon…if ever.

The 2-Midnight Rule is intended to reduce the admission of Medicare patients who could be treated on an outpatient basis. The rule aims to limit the growth in extended observation stays at hospitals, which have skyrocketed in recent years.

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Categories: Author: Nanne Finis, Future of Healthcare, Patient Flow

“First Do No Harm” TeleTracking RTLS and the HAC Program

HAC ProgramThe Advisory Board reports that over 15 percent of America’s hospitals may face penalties for patient harm under the latest provision of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect October 2014.

Under the new provisions of the Hospital Acquired Condition (HAC) program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will rate 10 patient injuries including blood stream infections, patient falls, bed sores, urinary tract infections, collapsed lungs, cuts that occur during or after surgery and blood clots. According to a Kaiser Health News analysis of Medicare data, 761 hospitals may be penalized after the first year of the program. Most of the facilities impacted are large, publicly owned, or safety-net hospitals in the Northeast and the West. » Continue reading

Categories: Author: Jon Poshywak, Hand Hygiene, Real-Time Locating System (RTLS)

Enhancing Patient Transport Using Mobile Devices

Enhancing Patient Transport Using Mobile Device600 non-monitored transports per day sounds like an overwhelming number, but to the 60 members of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s patient transport department who cover 2.2 million square feet in this 650 bed Level I Trauma Center, it’s all in a day’s work.

So, how do they do it?

In order to answer that question, we should first look at how they used to do it.

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Categories: Author: Tom Perry, Patient Transport

Presenter Line-Up Impressive for 12th Annual TeleTracking Client Conference

2014 TeleTracking Client Conference This year’s TeleTracking Client Conference, which will take place October 26-29 at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, will feature another outstanding group of clients who will share the remarkable outcomes they’ve achieved with TeleTracking’s Real-Time Capacity Management™ solutions to streamline patient flow in their hospitals. » Continue reading

Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Real-Time Capacity Management

Insights on Establishing Patient Flow Goals: The Baseline

Patient Flow Goals:  The BaselineHow can you know how far you’ve come if you don’t know where you started?

The fact is that you can’t.

Yet many hospital productivity initiatives get underway without establishing the status quo. Patient flow is a good example.

Homegrown programs always start with very good intentions, but often very little in the way of measuring improvement. And if you don’t know where you are, how can you establish a goal and a realistic timeframe for reaching that goal?

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Categories: Author: Nanne Finis, Patient Flow

Value Model Forces New Role on Healthcare Technology

New Model Challenges Efficiency vs. Effectiveness?As the health care industry shifts its focus to population health, will technological innovation take the lead or follow?

Historically, it seems healthcare technology often led the way, even if it included a hefty price tag. New innovations with potential benefits could be adopted as long as costs could be billed and passed on to payers.

In contrast, today’s technical innovations need to deliver care of equal or better quality at a lower cost. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case under new economic models that require providers to balance quality care with fixed payments based on a given population.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

Looking for Healthcare Efficiency in all the Wrong Places

Looking for healthcare efficiency in all the wrong placesIt’s pretty hard to fix a problem if you can’t define it.

Take healthcare efficiency for example.

Some years ago, a national conference was convened to reach agreement on what efficiency means in healthcare. The gathering was co-sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Employer Health Care Alliance (The Alliance).*

Their conclusions:

“We have no definition of ‘true’ efficiency.”

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

CEOs Say Operational Efficiency is Key to Hospital Survival

Operation Efficiency is Key to SurvivalHospital CEOs say operational efficiency will be the key to their organizations’ survival as hospital reimbursement moves from a volume model to a value model.

Treating more patients with fewer resources will require innovative strategies to reduce waste and improve safety.

Those were among the results of a recent hospital CEO survey by the American Hospital Association (AHA) published in the April 2014 issue of Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Operational Efficiency, Patient Flow

Celebrate National Healthcare Technology Management Week 2014

HTM WeekThis is “Healthcare Technology Management Week 2014!”  It’s time to again recognize the people behind the scenes who keep our hospitals running.

Ensuring the safety and availability of life-saving technologies, various biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), clinical engineers, and other healthcare technology professionals are responsible for servicing, maintaining, and managing healthcare technologies for hospitals and other healthcare facilities, manufacturers, and third-party service organizations around the world.

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Categories: Author: Jon Poshywak, Healthcare Technology Management Week

Infection Tragedy Reminds Us to Involve Employees in Hospital Infection Control

Infection Tragedy Reminds Us to Involve All Employees in Infection ControlThe May 2014 issue of the Pediatrics Infectious Disease Journal is shedding new light on the tragic deaths of five young children at New Orleans Children’s Hospital in 2008 and 2009 following their contraction of a fungal infection spread by contaminated linens. This should remind us that no precaution should be overlooked in the fight against infection and that no hospital is immune.

The children, all of whom contracted cutaneous Mucormycosis within an 11-month period, were in different wards throughout the hospital.  The flesh-eating infection they acquired was caused by a fungi typically found on plants and certain animal parasites.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Hospital Infection Control