Healthcare News & Insights

Top 10 Healthcare Business & Technology Stories of 2014

topten2014 has been a big year for health care. Hospital executives have had to keep up with many changes and trends in the industry, from HIPAA updates to reimbursement challenges. But what topics piqued your interest the most? Here are the top 10 posts from Healthcare Business & Technology for 2014: 

  1. Can outsourcing save your hospital major cash?
    Budgetary concerns have been at the forefront of many hospital executives’ minds this year. Between penalties from the feds for high readmission rates, and funding cuts for providing charity care and other services, it’s been difficult for hospitals to maintain their profits. So the top brass are looking for any viable ways to save cash while providing quality care. Outsourcing certain services may be the answer for some facilities.
  2. Global surgery package to end: How Medicare will pay hospitals
    For years, hospitals have been paid based on the global package, which has a set reimbursement structure for certain procedures and surgeries. Now Medicare plans to phase out this system in favor of one that provides payment for each individual service, and hospitals need to prepare for this change now.
  3. 2014 OIG work plan: Target list for hospitals
    Every year, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) puts out its work plan, which lays out the issues it’ll be focusing on when it comes to preventing fraud, waste and abuse in the healthcare industry. This post discusses six of the biggest issues hospitals can focus on to avoid federal scrutiny, including new inpatient admission criteria and oversight of hospital privileging.
  4. Hospitals get creative to reduce employee stress, burnout
    Burnout is common among clinical staff at hospitals. The stress of caring for patients every day, combined with long shifts, can cause staff to feel disengaged from their jobs. This, in turn, has a negative effect on the quality of patient care. So hospital executives need to make sure there are programs in place to keep clinical staff from being overwhelmed by stress. They can take a page from some of the unique ideas from this article, such as introducing them to the benefits of meditation, and arts and crafts.
  5. Two-midnight rule: Hospitals catch a much-needed break
    The two-midnight rule, which determines which patients should be admitted as inpatients or if they should stay under observation care, has caused a great deal of confusion since it was implemented. This year, hospitals got a reprieve from the rule being enforced, and time will tell whether the rule will stay in place as-is, or if it’ll get changed in response to outcry from hospitals.
  6. 10 healthcare technology trends hospital execs should watch
    Healthcare technology is constantly changing and evolving, so hospital executives need to know about the latest innovations in patient care. Each year, ECRI Institute comes out with a list of 10 updates to technology that will become more important to hospitals in the coming year.
  7. Hand washing: How one hospital achieved nearly 100% compliance
    Following correct hand-washing protocols is one of the top ways to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections. But many clinicians forget to wash their hands properly, and it can be a struggle to get them to remember. Doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center created a multifaceted hand-washing compliance program that boosted rates to 100% among clinical staff. This article outlines their approach.
  8. How improving patients’ sleep in the hospital is key to recovery
    While hospital staff have always focused on keeping patients well during their hospital stay, one factor has usually been ignored: making sure patients got enough sleep. More and more research suggests a good night’s sleep is an important part of the recovery process. And now many hospitals are doing what they can to ensure patients get enough rest, including cutting back on alarm noise and avoiding late-night vital-sign checks.
  9. Stop workplace bullying in hospitals
    Unfortunately, workplace bullying is all too common in many companies – and hospitals aren’t exempt. Doctors may bully nurses, or nurses may bully each other. This post lays out some common behavior that falls under the bullying umbrella, along with steps hospitals can take to keep workplace bullying from creating a toxic environment for employees.
  10. Mandatory flu shot policies: Good idea or legal minefield?
    Keeping patients free from preventable illness during their hospital stay can be a challenge, especially during flu season. That’s why some healthcare facilities are instituting policies that require all staff to receive flu vaccines each year. But not everyone’s in support of this requirement, saying it infringes upon healthcare workers’ rights. Find out what hospitals with similar policies must do to avoid legal issues.

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