Small rural hospitals may be safer and less expensive for common operations

They may be in small towns. They may only have a couple of surgeons. But for common operations, they may be safer and less expensive than their larger cousins, a new U-M study finds. "They" are critical access hospitals ---- a special class of hospital that's the closest option for tens of millions of Americans living in rural areas. And according to new findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, having surgery at one of them may be a better bet for most relatively healthy patients than traveling to a suburban or city hospital.

WATCH: Critical Access Hospital Surgery Study - Better safety, lower costs
WATCH: U-M's Dr. Andrew Ibrahim discusses the "Critical Access Hospital Surgery Study"
New Value-Based Purchasing findings from U-M researchers

Medicare incentive rewards some hospitals whose quality doesn't measure up
Changes made to the Medicare Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program that gives incentive payments to hospitals that controlled spending has resulted in some poor quality performers receiving bonuses, U-M researchers found. But they also believe there is an easy solution for the issue. READ MORE

Incentives paid to UK doctors to improve health care have little impact
A new U-M study shows the world's largest primary pay-for-performance program designed to improve patient health care and outcomes has failed to save additional lives. The analysis of the United Kingdom's Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) showed modest reductions in deaths, and no statistically significant declines in mortality rates in the population targeted by the program, or for heart disease, cancer and other conditions not targeted. READ MORE
Greater collaboration between ICU nurses and ICU physicians may minimize VAP risk, U-M study finds

Greater collaboration between intensive care unit (ICU) nursing and medicine could help to minimize ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2016 International Conference.

New study finds 5% of patients account for 33% of intensive care & should receive special focus

Every hospital's intensive care unit has treated them ---- the critically ill patients who spend weeks going from crisis to crisis, never quite getting better enough to get out of the ICU, but never quite dying. New findings about these patients from a team from the University of Michigan Medical School and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System in the U.S., along with a team from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, are based on data from more than 1 million ICU patients.

The impact of intensivists on patient death rates: a complex picture

The results of a new U-M led study used a novel approach to examine the effect of intensivist physicians on patient death rates in ICUs across the country. The study looked at outcomes among hospitals making the transition to intensivist staffing, and the results challenge the assumption that simply implementing intensivist models leads directly to lower mortality.

ACS leader praises IHPI & surgical collaborative quality efforts

A new column written by David B. Hoyt, M.D., FACS, the executive director of the American College of Surgeons, focuses on his recent visit to U-M, his impressions of IHPI as a whole, and the efforts of the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (MSQC) and the Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC). "These programs exemplify the synergistic efforts that will shape health policy moving forward, helping implement a patient-centered system that emphasizes quality, safety, and cost controls."


Parents who delay or skip childhood vaccinations even when kids have no medical reasons are contributing to U.S. outbreaks of measles and whooping cough.  READ MORE

Families rely on doctor recommendations after a brain hemorrhage, but new research shows different physicians make very different decisions.  READ MORE

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The Institute brings great minds together to address healthcare's biggest challenges. More than 470 investigators come to IHPI from U-M's top-ranked schools of medicine, nursing, public health, engineering, social work, law, business, and public policy, among others, as well as members of affiliated local research organizations.
Kerr appointed to ABIM-AcademyHealth Advisory Panel

Eve Kerr, M.D., M.P.H., U-M Louis Newburgh Research Professor of Internal Medicine, Medical School, was appointed to the new AcademyHealth and ABIM Foundation Research Community on Low-Value Care. This new learning community partnership brings together researchers and other stakeholders from across the health care system to achieve common goals critical in reducing low-value care.

Krein receives VA HSR&D Career Scientist Award

Sarah Krein, Ph.D., R.N., U-M research professor of internal medicine at the Medical School, recently earned a Research Career Scientist award from the VA Center for Clinical Management Research (CCMR). She is a research scientist at the VA Ann Arbor Health System and holds an adjunct appointment in the School of Nursing. Krein joined the VA CCMR in 1997 and is currently collaborating with more than 30 VA and non-VA scientists and clinician investigators. She has also mentored 17 protégés, performing as a senior author on publications and providing mentorship for pre-doctoral candidates.
National Poll on Children's Health: Many Parents Keep Prescription Opioids at Home

According to a report from the U-M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, health care providers should better explain the risks of pain pill access ---- and encourage parents to properly dispose of leftover medication. Nearly half of parents whose child had leftover pain medication from a surgery or illness say they kept the prescription opioids at home ---- representing a potential problem down the line.

Saint at TEDxUofM---- Improving Healthcare: Straight from the Heart

Approximately 2 million Americans develop infections in hospitals every year despite fast-paced innovation in medical equipment and procedures. Despite the deadly nature of many of these infections, they can often be prevented with simple hand washing techniques. Sanjay Saint, M.D., M.P.H., chief of medicine, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, and George Dock Collegiate Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, argues that the social learning that guides our behavior in institutions like grocery stores can be used to improve the quality of healthcare in our hospitals.

In a related piece featured in The Conversation, "Hand washing stops infections, so why do health care workers skip it?," Saint notes up to 70 percent of infections could be prevented if health care workers follow recommended protocols, which include hand hygiene. Read the full article

WATCH: Dr. Sanjay Saint presents at TEDxUofM
WATCH: U-M's Dr. Sanjay Saint presents at TEDxUofM
U-M CanSORT: Celebrating 10 years of cancer treatment research

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of The Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team (CanSORT), an interdisciplinary group of clinicians and social scientists centered at the University of Michigan who lead research in quality and outcomes of cancer treatment. The goal of CanSORT's research is to improve the experiences and outcomes of patients diagnosed with cancer: 1) to ensure that patients receive the most effective treatments delivered with the highest quality; 2) to address the challenges of communication and decision-making between providers, patients, and their families; and 3) to improve quality of life into survivorship. 

Check out more historic milestones in U-M health professional education, health services research, and health policy through our interactive timeline.
The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation is committed to improving the quality, safety, equity, and affordability of healthcare services.

To carry out our ambitious mission, our efforts are focused in four areas:
  • Evaluating the impact of healthcare reforms
  • Improving the health of communities
  • Promoting greater value in healthcare
  • Innovating in IT and healthcare delivery

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IHPI Informs is published monthly by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation.
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