The Direct Dispatch
A Newsletter For Healthcare Providers

April 2018

Read below about exciting news from Direct Difference, Inc!
Meet Our New CNO and CQO!
Ellen Kuhnert DNP (C), MBA, BSN, RN
CNO, Direct Difference, Inc
Ellen is a proven Senior Healthcare Executive with vast experience in Hospital Operations and Strategic Workforce Planning, Management and Utilization. After many years caring for patients at the bedside in prestigious facilities such as Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Kuhnert moved into leadership roles with in various healthcare organizations in California. Her expertise includes serving as Chief Nursing Officer and Assistant Chief Nursing Officer for Tenet Healthcare facilities. Ellen lead the Western region of the Workforce Management division for Broadlane/MedAssets, which provided comprehensive Workforce Management for over 100 acute care facilities including renowned academic institutions like UCSF Medical Center for 10 years. 
Following that Kuhnert moved into a Vice President role for US Nursing/Fastaff, where she lead the business development team, where the company enjoyed profound success, doubling in size and revenue in just 3 years. Kuhnert now serves as the Chief Clinical Officer for Rightsourcing Inc.
Ellen holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a BS degree in Nursing from Mount Saint Mary's College, in Los Angeles. Ellen is currently completing her Doctorate in Nursing Practice-Executive Leadership at the University of San Francisco. Ellen’s area of focus for her Doctoral work is Healthcare Workforce Planning.
Brenda Clemens, RN, MSPSL, BSHA, CPHQ
CQO, Direct Difference, Inc.
Brenda's thirty-seven year career in the healthcare field has been devoted to improving the quality and safety of patient care. Brenda's experiences include patient safety leadership, process improvement (PI), quality management, development of hospital-wide structure, process and outcome standards, nursing management, and staff nursing. Brenda has held positions to include the Director of the Resource Utilization and Outcomes Department, Nursing Director of Orthopedics, Interim Director of Nursing, Director of Quality Improvement (QI) and Accreditation and most recently, Director of Quality Management Services and Patient Safety.

Brenda holds Masters in Patient Safety Leadership and BS in Health Care Administration, as well as certification in Healthcare Quality
Apple Rolls Our Patient Data App To More Health Care Organizations
Apple is introducing Health Records, an app that allows patients to access their EHRs from their iPhone, to 27 more health care organizations after a successful pilot test at 12 health systems. The app is compatible with Cerner, athenahealth and Epic EHR systems.

Quality Reporting Center Updates
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published the draft 2019 CMS Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) Category I Schematron for Hospital Quality Reporting (HQR) for public comment.  Please note that this is a draft document and the contents are subject to change.

Hospital IQR and VBP Programs: Reviewing Your Claims-Based Measures Hospital-Specific Reports webinar is scheduled for  Tuesday, April 17, 2018 .

The webinar will be presented on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at 2 p.m. ET. You may register for the webinar at the following link .

Hospital IQR Program CY 2018 Voluntary Reporting-Hybrid Hospital Wide 30-Day Readmission Measure Overview   is scheduled for  Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

You may register for the webinar at the following link.

The webinar slides will be available for download from  under Upcoming Events the day before the presentation.
Drowning In Data Collection?
Measuring quality is necessary for improving healthcare. We understand that when providers are overly consumed with measuring and reporting quality metrics, it is difficult to actually apply results and focus on actions that lead to real improvements.

Why not smart source all of your data abstraction needs so that it is done better, faster, more consistently, and at lower cost and with less risk?

Did you know we provide abstraction services for core measures, non-core measures, registry, OPPE-FPPE, NHSN, peer review, pharmaceutical studies and others? If you have any data abstraction needs please contact us for more information. All you have to do is respond to this email to get started.

You can also visit our website for more information!
Readmission Penalties More Likely For Some Hospitals
A study in Health Affairs found hospitals with large minority patient populations were more likely to be penalized under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program even though they reduced readmission rates more than other peer facilities. The study also found readmission rate reductions have plateaued since 2012 for minority-serving hospitals and peer facilities.
Study Shows Potential For Smartwatch App to Detect AFib
A proof of concept study in JAMA Cardiology found a screening app used with the Apple Watch was "very accurate" in detecting atrial fibrillation in the cardioversion therapy group and "moderately accurate" for the group of persistent arrhythmia patients, when compared with a standard electrocardiogram. Researchers said the app needs refinement before being widely used.
Cyberattack At NY Medical Center

Officials at New York-based St. Peter's Surgery and Endoscopy Center reported that a malware attack on Jan. 8 may have exposed the records of 134,512 patients, who were notified of the incident on Feb. 28. The affected server contained patient names, diagnoses, insurance information, service dates, addresses and dates of birth, plus Medicare data and Social Security numbers for some patients.

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