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7 patient experience leaders on their goals for 2020

Seven leaders overseeing patient experience at hospitals across the country discussed their organization’s goals for 2020 with Becker’s Hospital Review.
Editor’s note: Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
Question: What are your patient experience goals for 2020?
Sven Gierlinger. Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer at Northwell Health (New York City): As the largest care provider in New York state, Northwell Health is committed to making a large system feel small to each and every patient. Our goal is create an effortless and personalized experience across the continuum of care. To achieve this goal, we are focusing on:
• Hospital star ratings — striving to achieve a CMS 5-star hospital rating at every location• Digital patient experience — leveraging innovative technology solutions to deliver on individual needs and preferences• Consumer access redesign — reinventing access to care, people and information at the right time, in the right place
Lisa Allen, PhD. Chief Patient Experience Officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine (Baltimore): We believe that the most important factor affecting a positive patient experience is good communication and engagement between the care team and the patient and their loved ones. This will remain our focus in 2020.
We will continue to train and coach our care teams in the skills of good communication and patient engagement principles, and we will look for new ways to hear the voice of our diverse patient population.
Sharon Royne. Senior Vice President of Human Resources of CHI Franciscan Health (Tacoma, Wash.): In 2020, our goal is to combine high-quality medicine with kindness, respect and compassion to help people truly begin to heal. That means treating patients like people first. We will support every one of our 12,000-plus employees to deliver on that promise.
This goal extends beyond our hospitals and clinics and into the communities we serve. CHI Franciscan is committed to using the healing power of humanity and human kindness to build healthy communities, increase access to care and ensure everyone who needs great care can get it.
Shannon Phillips, MD. Chief Patient Experience Officer of Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City): Our office of patient experience vision statement for 2020 is: ‘At Intermountain, fulfilled and empowered caregivers help people live the healthiest lives possible by co-creating a human experience that is caring, safe, effective, affordable and accessible for all.’
Our first community is our caregivers. We’ll have the largest impact on our patients’ experience by focusing on caregiver experience and engagement.
We’ll be intentional in our safety and quality work by looking through the lens of our patients’ perspective.
Amy Compton-Phillips, MD. Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of Providence (Renton, Wash.): Our 2020 focus is on creating a seamless patient experience.
Traditional healthcare organizations are focused on patient experience in each venue of care —think in the doctor’s office, urgent care, in the hospital and home care. The challenge is that patients experience care across all of those venues. We inadvertently disappoint patients and/or add complexity to their lives not only with an individual provider in front of them, but with gaps in communication and coordination between providers.
In 2020, we are working not only to ensure venue-specific care is ideal, but also that we are smoothly and seamlessly passing the baton between providers. This gives patients a compassionate, predictable and highly personalized experience across the entire healthcare value chain.
Richard Evans. Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian (New York City): In 2020, NewYork-Presbyterian is looking to build on the successes of the last three years in continuing our journey of improving the patient experience and associated metrics.
We also want to improve access to our physicians and services and respond more nimbly to the expectations of our increasingly savvy healthcare consumers, to deepen of our culture of respect, inclusion and belonging, and finally, to support our teams with the implementation of a new EMR across our enterprise.
Katie Logan. Vice President of Patient Experience and Chief Consumer Officer of Piedmont Healthcare (Atlanta): Overall, our goals surround reducing the friction for our customers as they access and navigate the health system, while also continuing to better personalize the interactions and overall experience.
Ultimately, our long-term vision is to create a one-of-a-kind, hassle-free experience. We’ll achieve this through a few priority areas:
• Implement a paperless, self-service registration and check-in process for the ambulatory and hospital environments.• Continue expanding access and leveraging self-service tools to strengthen Piedmont’s digital front door, including the expansion of online scheduling capabilities to ancillary services.• Transform the call center experience and personalize the experience for customers through continued deployment of customer relationship management capabilities.• Develop an insights-driven, systemwide customer service program leveraging more dynamic customer surveying.
More articles on patient engagement:Hospital acquisitions hurt patient experience, study suggestsNYC hospital uses popular dating apps to encourage HIV testingOnline triage tool reduces patient uncertainty about care needed, study shows

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Insys bankruptcy plan gets court OK

Maia Anderson – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

Insys Therapeutics, the first drugmaker to go bankrupt after opioid litigation, won court approval for its bankruptcy plan Jan. 16, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Under the plan, Insys sold the rights to its flagship opioid drug, Subsys, a form of fentanyl. But the money it made from selling its assets wasn’t enough to cover its debts, which total more than $1 billion. 
The drugmaker plans to pay people with personal injury claims resulting from use of Insys drugs by using product liability insurance, but its creditors will only get about 8 cents on the dollar, or less, from the bankruptcy agreement, the Journal reported. 
Under the plan, the U.S. Justice Department said it won’t collect the $234 million Insys agreed to pay it until trade suppliers and those with damage claims receive at least 4 cents on the dollar of what they’re owed. 
Brenda Funk, Insys’ bankruptcy lawyer, reportedly called the plan a “monumental success” because it allowed the company to shut down with minimal court fights, according to the Journal. 
Insys’ founder and CEO John Kapoor was convicted in May of paying kickbacks to drive Subsys sales and is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 23. 
Read the full article here.
More articles on pharmacy:CVS to add 600 HealthHUBs, link them to lower Aetna copaysCivica Rx calls on generic drugmakers to donate to its causePfizer, GlaxoSmithKline give timeline for IPO of joint venture

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Dr. Patrick Courneya rejoins HealthPartners as chief health plan medical officer

Kelly Gooch – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

HealthPartners, a Bloomington, Minn.-based health insurer and hospital operator, has named Patrick Courneya, MD, chief health plan medical officer.
Dr. Courneya is rejoining HealthPartners after previously serving a decade as medical director and associate medical director for the organization’s health plan.
He most recently worked for Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, where he was executive vice president and CMO for national health plan and hospitals quality for six years.
At Kaiser, Dr. Courneya focused on strategies for improving health and affordability for Kaiser’s more than 12 million health plan members. He also was national executive sponsor for Kaiser’s new medical school, which will be named in honor of the organization’s late chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson and is scheduled to open this summer.
Dr. Courneya’s other healthcare positions have included chair of the Chief Medical Officer Leadership Council at America’s Health Insurance Plans and chair of the Medical Directors Council at the Alliance of Community Health Plans.

More articles on executive moves:Andrew Bagnall promoted to CEO of HSHS WisconsinAngi Mohr tapped as president of Oklahoma hospitalOzarks Medical Center hires 2 finance department leaders

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5 predictions for the medical device industry in 2020

Maia Anderson – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

Moody’s Investors Service released its January Healthcare Quarterly report, detailing analysts’ predictions for the healthcare industry in 2020. 
Five predictions for the medical device industry: 
The market for continuous glucose monitoring products for diabetes treatment will continue to accelerate, led by Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre device.
The use of robotic-assisted surgeries will expand rapidly, part of the rationale for Stryker’s proposed $5.4 billion purchase of Wright Medical.
The market for duodenoscopes could exceed $1 billion as devicemakers such as Boston Scientific release innovative designs to reduce infection risks.
Large companies with solid balance sheets and strong cash flows, including Abbott, Medtronic and Baxter, will likely make merger or acquisition deals worth around $500 million or less each.
Emerging market economies will grow at 4.6 percent, their slowest pace since 2009, a significant decline since companies such as Boston Scientific and Medtronic each generate more than 10 percent of their revenue from the emerging markets.
More articles on supply chain:How Cleveland Clinic manages its medical wasteStryker warns some defibrillators may not deliver shockFDA warning letters to devicemakers down nearly 90 percent

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Memorial Hermann promotes chief transformation officer to COO

Kelly Gooch – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

Erin Asprec was chosen as Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System’s new executive vice president and COO.
Ms. Asprec is being promoted from chief transformation officer and chief of acute care services for the 17-hospital organization. She will lead Memorial Hermann’s operations, service lines, clinical transformation and consumer experience.
“The future of healthcare is creating value for consumers, and Memorial Hermann is making intentional and strategic steps in that direction,” Memorial Hermann President and CEO David Callender, MD, said in a news release. “Adapting to a service line operating model will enable us to create exceptional experiences while delivering safe, high-quality, cost-effective care that is coordinated and seamless across the care continuum. I can’t think of a better person to direct this effort than Erin.”
Ms. Asprec joined Memorial Hermann in 2002. Her other previous positions at the organization have included CEO of the Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute; CEO of Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital and Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital; and senior vice president/regional president of Memorial Hermann’s south region. 
Ms. Asprec has a master’s degree in healthcare administration from St. Louis University.

More articles on executive moves:Andrew Bagnall promoted to CEO of HSHS WisconsinAngi Mohr tapped as president of Oklahoma hospitalOzarks Medical Center hires 2 finance department leaders

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10 common medication errors to address in 2020

Mackenzie Bean – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices on Jan. 16 shared 10 common medication errors and hazards healthcare providers should work to address in 2020.
The list features 10 persistent medical errors that providers could prevent or minimize through practice changes.
Here are the 10 medical errors, as listed by ISMP:
Selecting the wrong drug after entering the first few letters of its name.
Prescribing daily, not weekly, oral methotrexate for nononcologic conditions.
Errors caused by look-alike drug labels.
Mishearing drug orders from verbal conversations.
Unsafe overrides of automated dispensing cabinets.
Unsafe practices associated with adult IV push medications.
Improperly administering tranexamic acid through intraspinal injection.
Unsafe labeling of prefilled syringes and infusions by 503b compounders.
Unsafe use of syringes for vinca alkaloids.
1,000-fold overdoses with zinc
To learn more about each error, click here.
More articles on clinical leadership and infection control:Quarantined patient at Kentucky hospital was misdiagnosed, officials sayPhysicians association sues US congressman, cites ‘reputational injury,’ after website visits dropAllegheny Health Network cancels surgeries after Cardinal Health puts hold on surgical gowns

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States ranked by amount of active female physicians 

Mackenzie Bean – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

California has the largest amount of active female physicians of all U.S. states, according to a ranking from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The ranking is based on 2019 data on active state licensed physicians from Redi-Data. Figures account for both allopathic and osteopathic physicians.
In total, there are 359,409 active female physicians practicing in the U.S.
Here’s how each state stacks up:
California — 41,450
New York — 35,546
Texas — 22,550
Pennsylvania — 18,656
Florida — 17,363
Illinois — 16,946
Massachusetts — 15,400
Ohio — 15,008
Michigan — 14,074
New Jersey — 11,456
North Carolina — 10,092
Maryland — 9,855
Georgia — 8,732
Virginia — 8,466
Washington — 8,082
Missouri — 6,882
Minnesota — 6,471
Connecticut — 6,175
Arizona — 5,982
Wisconsin — 5,954
Tennessee — 5,947
Colorado — 5,426
Indiana — 5,207
Oregon — 4,475
Louisiana — 4,404
South Carolina — 4,111
Kentucky — 3,747
Alabama — 3,571
Oklahoma — 2,909
Iowa — 2,730
Kansas — 2,691
New Mexico — 2,223
Arkansas — 2,115
Rhode Island — 2,093
Nebraska — 1,894
Utah — 1,788
Mississippi — 1,762
West Virginia — 1,747
Nevada — 1,735
Maine — 1,722
New Hampshire — 1,462
Delaware — 1,305
Hawaii — 1,178
Vermont — 916
Idaho — 729
Alaska — 719
Montana — 658
North Dakota — 594
South Dakota — 592
Wyoming — 315
More articles on rankings and ratings:States ranked by annual healthcare cost per smokerStates ranked by adults with fair, poor healthHow 29 physician specialties rank on happiness outside of work

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Fitbits could be used to predict oncoming flu outbreaks

Gabrielle Masson – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

Information tracked by wearable sensors, such as Fitbits, could be used to improve flu surveillance and prevent outbreaks, according to a study published Jan. 16 in The Lancet.
The flu can elevate resting heart rate and sleep levels, data that can be collected by Fitbits. Researchers analyzed Fitbit sleep and heart rate data and compared it to flu population trends reported by the CDC. Data was taken from 47,249 individuals who wore a Fitbit for at least 60 days from March 1, 2016, to March 1, 2018, in California, Texas, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania.    
The study found weekly changes in abnormal Fitbit data were associated with weekly changes in flu rates. Fitbit data improved flu predictions in all five states by 6.3 to 32.9 percent. 
Data from activity and physiological trackers could be used to improve real-time and geographically refined flu surveillance, study authors wrote, adding that the information could help enact timely action to prevent further flu transmission.
More articles on clinical leadership and infection control:Quarantined patient at Kentucky hospital was misdiagnosed, officials sayPhysicians association sues US congressman, cites ‘reputational injury,’ after website visits dropAllegheny Health Network cancels surgeries after Cardinal Health puts hold on surgical gowns

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EPA backs down on ethylene oxide queries after FDA marks turf

Maia Anderson – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

The Environmental Protection Agency backed down on its request to find out more about how medical sterilization facilities use ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic chemical, after the FDA claimed  jurisdiction in the matter, Bloomberg Environment reported. 
Ethylene oxide is used to sterilize about half of all the medical devices used in the U.S. But its use has prompted dozens of lawsuits from people who live near sterilization facilities, claiming exposure to the chemical caused their cancer. 
Prolonged exposure to high concentrations of ethylene oxide may damage eyes, lungs, the brain and nervous system, and may cause certain types of cancer, Bloomberg reported. 
The EPA has been pushing to regulate ethylene oxide use, and in a draft version of proposed rulemaking on the issue, it asked if it would be possible for medical sterilization facilities to use lower volumes of the chemical to minimize emissions. 
But the FDA claimed it has jurisdiction over regulating ethylene oxide use in sterilization facilities, not the EPA.
“The FDA believes this entire section is not relevant to EPA’s role of setting appropriate emission levels and monitoring emissions,” the agency wrote in its comments on the EPA’s proposed rules, according to Bloomberg. “FDA requests the deletion of this entire discussion about FDA requirements and matters within FDA jurisdiction.”
In response, the EPA removed the section dealing with lowering ethylene oxide volumes from the final version of its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking. Instead, it posed a general question about how much it would cost and how feasible it would be to change sterilization practices to lower emissions. 
Read the full article here. 
More articles on supply chain:How Cleveland Clinic manages its medical wasteStryker warns some defibrillators may not deliver shockFDA warning letters to devicemakers down nearly 90 percent

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5 recent medical device safety warnings

Maia Anderson – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

Medical devicemakers are required to report any potential safety risks associated with their products. 
Five safety warnings issued by devicemakers and the FDA in the last few months:  
Stryker warns some defibrillators may not deliver shockStryker said in a Jan. 10 safety warning that some of its Lifepaks failed to deliver a defibrillator shock after the “shock” button was pressed.
Medtronic files safety warning in UK over robotic systemMedtronic warned healthcare providers that a piece of its Mazor X surgical system may release unexpectedly from the operating table.
Abbott warns of 2 potential safety issues with its heart implantAbbott warned that connecting the modular cable to the HeartMate 3 at the wrong angle when exchanging controllers can stop electrical power from reaching the pump, which can cause serious injury or death.
Medtronic warns of insulin pump potential safety risk Medtronic said its MiniMed 620G, 630G, 640G and 670G insulin pumps may deliver too much or too little insulin if a component on the pump called the retainer ring becomes damaged from accidental dropping or bumping against a hard surface.
FDA warns of blood leak risk with Endologix endograftsThe FDA said there may be a higher than expected risk of blood continuing to leak into the aneurysm sac, known as a Type III endoleak, with the use of Endologix’s AFX with Duraply and AFX2 endovascular grafts. 
More articles on supply chain:How Cleveland Clinic manages its medical wasteStryker warns some defibrillators may not deliver shockFDA warning letters to devicemakers down nearly 90 percent

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.
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