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Category Archives: human factors

Bad news from California: MRSA quadrupled

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Via the Fresno Business Journal and the Torrance Daily Breeze come reports of a new study by California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development: Known MRSA cases in the state’s hospitals increased four-fold between 1999 and 2007, from 13,000 to 52,000 cases per year. From the Torrance paper: The good news is that the […]

My guest-post elsewhere: Bad news on hospital error rates

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It’s been 10 years since the publication of the pathbreaking Institute of Medicine report, “To Err is Human,” which for the first time focused policy attention on medical errors. The Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative has been running a two-week special series of posts to mark the occasion, and they very kindly asked me to […]

One more set of recommendations

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… and then next week I’ll be back to analyzing the medical literature: A stack of interesting new journal articles is threatening to topple and bury my computer. For the moment, though: First, the Hearst newspapers chain has conducted a nationwide investigation into medical errors that should be required reading for anyone who wonders why […]

An inside look at combating HAIs

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I’ve been moving my RSS feeds over to a new reader and so am behind in reading things. That’s my lame excuse for not noticing an excellent story in the Washington Post Tuesday, a first-person account tracing the “conversion” of one skeptical physician to the cause of reducing hospital infections. The story was highlighted at […]

US Air 1549 and the relevance of checklists

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Constant readers, when we discussed the importance of surgical checklists last week, I mentioned parenthetically that I am a licensed pilot. (For av geeks: single engine, taildragger, VFR. And, just to complete the geekery, married to an avionics engineer.) So I’ve been particularly fascinated by the story and back-story of US Air flight 1549, which […]

Reducing errors: Worldwide proof that it’s not so hard

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There’s an encouraging joint announcement coming this afternoon from the World Health Organization and the New England Journal of Medicine. (I’ve set the timer on this post to publish when the embargo lifts.) Using a simple but detailed checklist, eight hospitals in a mix of high-income and resource-poor areas were able to reduce their rates […]

Reducing healthcare infections – what it really takes

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Happy holidays, constant readers. Whatever you celebrate, I hope your days are full of security, calm and joy. For those of you reading over the break, here’s a pointer to a post that takes us on the other side of the curtain, into the world of hospital administrators. Those of us who are concerned about […]

Sign of the times: Taking your own cleaning materials to the hospital

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There are several new and important reports out on hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) that I hope to get to this week, but I spotted something today that I just had to highlight first: Constant readers may know that I’ve done a lot of reporting in the developing world. In parts of Asia and Africa, it is […]

Maybe we just build them better? (But who pays?)

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OK, campers, I know I’m tossing crumbs here, but I drove 6 hours today and am now, umm, well, not in any major metropolitan area, that’s for sure. But I’m visiting a very interesting hospital program tomorrow. And my chain motel is smack-dab between a Denny’s and a Waffle House. Just think of the breakfast […]