September 15, 2017
Hospitals as Safe Harbors
Violence is a growing problem in our country, and Maryland is not immune to the threat. Baltimore now has the nation's highest homicide rate, more than 51 for every 100,000 people. Statewide, there are more than 446 violent crimes for every 100,000 Marylanders. And more and more, hospital staff on the front lines of care are feeling the pain, sometimes literally, sometimes emotionally.
The rates of workplace violence in health care settings are five to 12 times higher than the estimated rates for workers overall, according to a Government Accountability Office report. As places of caring, compassion, and healing, hospitals must do all they can to shield patients and staff from violence.
Yesterday, I joined dozens of Maryland's hospital workers - most of them nurses -to learn more about how they can make their hospitals safer for their colleagues and their patients, and how they can better cope with the day-to-day aspects of taking care of victims. The Forum on Workplace Violence, co-sponsored by MHA and the Maryland Nurses Association, featured presentations from experts on resiliency, so that employees can better cope with stress and crises, and best practices in hospital workplace violence prevention programs. (Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a video of the forum that we'll share with all hospitals.)
The forum was a solid first step toward addressing this growing problem, and there are several concepts worth exploring further: the use of data and mapping to identify trends, the frequency of training for staff, and formal violence prevention hospital teams. Dr. Jane Lipscomb, professor at the University of Maryland Schools of Nursing and Medicine and co-author of a 2015 book on violence in the workplace, discussed some of the things hospitals can do - such as environmental safeguards and specific administrative protocols - to reduce the risk of harm to patients and staff. Maryland Healthcare Education Institute Director of Leadership and Engagement Katrina Coleman spoke of the importance of peer care to develop resiliency against violence.
And in a very informative panel, LifeBridge Health Director of Security Chuck Moore, University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center Director of Behavioral Health Services Dwight Holmes, and Sheppard Pratt Health System Associate Director of Nursing Jackie Williams-Porter, offered strategies from the front lines on mitigating the threat of violence in hospitals.
As you continue looking into how your organization might combat violence in your community and hospital, be sure to take advantage of the American Hospital Association's yearlong Hospitals Against Violence initiative.
The nurses and others who attended yesterday, as well as their hospital colleagues across the state,  do a wonderful job taking care of people - that's why nurses are widely seen as the most trusted people in a hospital. Nurses and others who work in hospitals deserve to be able to do their jobs free from violence, whether it's the results of violence in the community or actual violence committed against them on their floors. We as a field must do all we can to ensure that the rich rewards of this honorable profession are not sullied by a societal trend toward violence. 

HSCRC to Promulgate Full Rate Review Regulations
During this week's monthly meeting, the Health Services Cost Review Commission agreed to promulgate emergency regulations regarding its full rate review process. Commissioners also considered staff proposals for future updates to its quality-based payment programs. Read more in this month's edition of Newsbreak
CANDOR Teaches How to Reduce Preventable Harm
A free half-day program to help hospitals reduce preventable harm will be held October 13 at MHA's offices in Elkridge. Attendees will learn about CANDOR ( Communication and Optimal Resolution), a set of strategies and tools developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. CANDOR includes interventions that change how we respond to and learn from patient safety events. The program will be facilitated by Dr. Timothy McDonald and his colleagues from MedStar Health, the lead CANDOR pilot site. McDonald, Director of the Center for Open and Honest Communication in MedStar's Institute for Quality and Safety, will share the results of MedStar's systemic implementation of CANDOR as a core patient safety and continuous improvement strategy. The program will be of value to MHA members on a High Reliability Organization journey, as well as those already invested in supporting Just Culture or Care for the Caregiver programs. Members of hospital executive teams are invited to attend the October 13 meeting, to be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon at MHA's Elkridge offices. Registration is required.
Contact: Nicole Stallings
Materials from Opioid Crisis Webinar Available
MHA and the Maryland Department of Health continued their five-part series Hospitals' Role in Addressing the Opioid Crisis this week with the third webinar, "Alcohol and Drug Use Screening." Materials from that and the first two webinars are available on MHA's website. Two more webinars are scheduled for October and November. Contact Nicole Stallings with questions. Registration is required for each webinar. Click each title below to register. The remaining webinars and their topics are:  
Health Department Defends Telehealth Regulations
The Maryland Department of Health this week replied to MHA's comments on the latest telehealth regulations. Despite MHA's request to remove certain barriers to telehealth, the department's letter defends the current regulations. During the 2017 legislative session, MHA advocated for two bills on telehealth, Senate Bill 570 and House Bill 658, which would have required the state's Medicaid program to cover health care services delivered through telehealth, including the storage and retrieval of clinical information, as well as remote patient monitoring. The bills also would have repealed the department's authority to specify which providers would be eligible for reimbursement for telehealth services. In a letter to the chairs of the Senate Finance and House Health & Government Operations' committees, the department agreed to expand the telehealth program through the regulatory process. MHA will continue to work with the department to achieve the state's goals of expanding Marylanders' access to telehealth service. 
Mercy Medical Center Featured on PBS
Mercy Medical Center will be featured in an hour-long documentary airing this weekend on public television across the U.S. Locally, "The Doctor Fix: A New Era of Modern Medicine," airs Sunday at 8 a.m. on Maryland Public Television. Click here for the release from Mercy and here for the MPT schedule.
FHA Launches Employee Assistance Fund
The Florida Hospital Association has launched the FHA Hospital Employee Assistance Fund to directly assist hospital employees who suffered significant property loss or damage during Hurricane Irma. Thousands of caregivers and hospital teams across the state continue to care for patients despite the damage to their own homes. All administrative services are being provided in-kind so that 100 percent of all donations will assist those in FEMA-designated disaster areas. Donations can be made at
Focus on Leadership Fundamentals
When sports teams need to regroup and refocus, they return to concentrating on the fundamentals of their profession. Leadership in health care is no different.

Physician Survey Available to Prime Members
It's that time of year again. Now in its 24th year, the most comprehensive report on physician recruiting incentives in the field - Merritt Hawkins' annual Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives - is available for Prime members. 

AHA Recommends Policy Changes to Stabilize Individual Insurance Market
In a statement submitted Thursday to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for the fourth in a series of hearings on stabilizing the individual health insurance market, AHA urged Congress to address the major issues contributing to marketplace volatility.

Tuesday, September 19
MHA Council on Financial Policy
WXYZ, By Karen Rodriquez, September 11
My Eastern Shore MD, By Denae Spiering, September 11
WBAL-TV, By Jayne Miller, September 12
Carroll County Times, By Jon Kelvey, September 12
The Washington Post, By Associated Press, September 14
Capital Gazette, By Rachael Pacella, September 13