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A look at successful quality improvement initiatives, from reducing infection rates to communicating with inpatient team members.


Cardiac telemetry: eliminating overuse
A hospital system achieves big savings by "hardwiring" guidelines
Published in the December 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Targeting "frequent landers"
Care plans provide more consistent care for high utilizers
Published in the November 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Drowning in note bloat?
One hospital's new progress note stops the flood of auto-generated data
Published in the October 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Post-ECMO patients: steep learning curve, deep skills
A hospitalist group takes on care for challenging patients
Published in the September 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Shutting down orders for duplicate tests
A medical center builds out its CPOE system
Published in the August 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Want to cut readmissions? Try hitting "record"
A hospital invites patients to tune in to recorded discharge instructions
Published in the July 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Taking 15 minutes for "sugar rounds"
Sitting down as a team to make adjustments improves glycemic control
Published in the June 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How good are your handoffs? Ask your colleagues
Physician feedback helps improve handoff communication
Published in the May 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Hands-on learning improves sepsis outcomes
A community hospital finds success with simulation training
Published in the April 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Med rec and respiratory therapists:
a good fit

A critical access hospital makes the most of a great resource
Published in the March 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Scribes: the solution for too much paperwork
The use of scribes helps boost hospitalists productivity
Published in the February 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Keeping patients out of the hospital
A multispecialty group has high hopes for its extensivist clinic
Published in the January 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Building rapport with the ED
Better throughput starts with sitting down together
Published in the December 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Measuring manageable days
A group's productivity metric reveals where bottlenecks occur and when
Published in the November 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Trouble recruiting? Try more schedule options
Candidates like a choice besides seven-on/seven-off
Published in the October 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Code Sepsis: the need for speed
Coordinating a cast of clinicians much more tightly improves sepsis mortality
Published in the September 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One hospital's solution to night coverage
The key is letting doctors sleep (part of the night) on the job
Published in the August 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Team nurses: taking care of all the details
A hybrid nursing model frees up doctors to do what they do best
Published in the July 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Moving the needle on patient satisfaction scores
It takes a top-to-bottom effort to improve patients' experience
Published in the March 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

No longer lost in translation
A hospital designs better discharges by embedding interpreters on the floor
Published in the June 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Rethinking IV haloperidol orders
An electronic alert warns doctors of QT prolongation risk
Published in the May 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A new workflow
A hospital makes a process used to build cars work for patient rounds
Published in the April 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Why don't more patients get VTE prophylaxis?
Over-confidence is one big barrier to better prevention
Published in the March 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Cutting readmission rates in half
A post-discharge clinic's success with targeted transitions
Published in the February 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Going in-house
A hospitalist team moves into the ED
Published in the January 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Tackling low patient satisfaction scores
Making big gains in short order
Published in the December 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Toward detente with the ED
Video "show and tell" highlights conflicts
Published in the November 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to take the squabbling out of scheduling
A dedicated scheduler manages to keep the peace
Published in the October 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Getting to "no"
A hospital targets its very high utilizers
Published in the September 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Making headway with hospital at home
A program shaves 19% off the cost of treating patients in the hospital
Published in the August 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Scripting tough talks
A group takes a practice-makes-perfect approach to difficult conversations
Published in the July 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

High-tech handwashing
Videos (and very public results) boost compliance
Published in the June 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Taking a team approach to admissions
An "admission trio" helps transform a hospital stay
Published in the May 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Rx to go
Delivering meds to patients before discharge
Published in the April 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A new kind of RVU
Nonclinical RVUs reward efforts, end bickering
Published in the March 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Have iPad—can travel
How tablets at the bedside save doctors an hour a day
Published in the February 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Pharmacists head off anticoagulation complications
A dedicated pharmacy service reduces bleeds
Published in the January 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to improve door-in-door-out times
One statewide effort slashes the time it takes for STEMI transfers
Published in the December 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Making a dent in heart failure readmissions
One foundation's long reach into transitional care
Published in the November 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Getting serious about fall prevention
One hospital finds that the key is accountability
Published in the October 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Breaking the Foley habit
Tough lessons in quality improvement
Published in the September 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to move patients through the ED
Hospitalists speed up the process of getting ED boarders into beds
Published in the August 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Preventing delirium
A set of ICU interventions helps avoid brain injury
Published in the July 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A new approach to alcohol withdrawal
A hospital tackles "all-over-the-map" treatments
Published in the June 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A SWEET-FIX for stroke patients
One center improves stroke outcomes by diagnosing diabetes
Published in the May 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Better safety through scanning
A bar-coding initiative cuts medication errors
Published in the April 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Drowning in paper and e-mail? A Wiki works
The Web helps one group keep up with policy changes
Published in the February 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Saving time with smartphones
A hospitalist group realizes that pagers just slow down their work
Published in the January 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Winning the war on C. diff
One hospital cut infection rates by 40%
Published in the December 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A solution for medication reconciliation
An ED hire is a boon for hospitalists
Published in the November 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to end the handoff free-for-all
A hospital cuts handoff times in half by laying down some ground rules
Published in the October 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to contain an outbreak
One hospital’s tactics included cohorting patients and meticulous cleaning
Published in the September 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The big payoff with virtual telemetry
Remote telemetry improves hospitalist workflow and patient satisfaction
Published in the August 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Who are you going to call?
Physician photo and signatures improve communications with nurses
Published in the July 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Directing traffic
A triage shift helps hospitalists avoid "tunnel vision"
Published in the May 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Making deep cuts in ED response time
A hospitalist group finds that an incentive pays off in better performance
Published in the April 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Taking the scut work out of comanagement
The key: agreeing with surgeons about who is high risk
Published in the March 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Embedding a hospitalist in the ED
An exclusive admitter in one hospital system cuts LOS by half a day
Published in the February 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Pairing physicians for better communication
Hospitalist-PCP assignments mean that doctors know who to call
Published in the January 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Making TV a teachable moment for patients
A pediatric hospital harnesses the Internet as an in-house educational tool
Published in the December 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Small changes promote better sleep
Multiple interventions slash the number of sedatives that patients need
Published in the November 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Medicine that comes with a “warranty”
A hospital system pioneers a new approach to reducing complications and readmissions
Published in the October 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Medication reconciliation done right
A reconciliation program cuts potentially harmful errors and readmissions
Published in the September 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Developing leaders: much more than lip service
A hospitalist program uses protected time and incentives to foster leadership skills
Published in the August 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Making night coverage work
Extra pay plus blocks of time off keep hospitalists in one group happy
Published in the July 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Taking a bite out of readmissions
Researchers identify strategies to streamline discharges
Published in the June 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Doctors bring same-day service to treadmill testing
A hospitalist-run program slashes wait times for low-risk patients
Published in the May 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Cutting down on “wasted beds” eases gridlock
One hospital team learns how to tackle constant bed crunch
Published in the April 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

For one hospitalist group, talk isn’t cheap
Physician phone calls at discharge improve patient safety and grow referrals
Published in the March 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Hospitalists score big with “black-belt QI”
A bed management system slashes diversions and pumps up revenue
Published in the February 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Re-engineering the “voltage drop”
Nurses—both in and out of the hospital—help bridge the gap at discharge
Published in the January 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Bringing “a light touch” to prescribing guidelines
Why physicians welcome an antibiotic stewardship program
Published in the December 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A musical Rx for palliative care
Practitioners use music therapy to relieve pain and depression
Published in the November 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One hospital’s solution to being overwhelmed at night
A night-nurse collaborative makes a nightmare shift more manageable
Published in the October 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Competing hospitals get ahead by playing nice
A regional collaborative successfully slashes hospital infection rates
Published in the September 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One hospital’s success with VTE screening
This screening tool is so simple that nonhospitalists have started to use it
Published in the August 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One program’s big payoff from “an extra set of eyes”
A pharmacist makes sure that drug information doesn’t fall through the cracks
Published in the July 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

New options for handling disruptive patients
A “code green” initiative boosts safety and satisfaction of staff
Published in the June 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to make your point with pictures
Researchers find that visuals can bridge gaps in language and literacy
Published in the May 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One hospital’s successful efforts to vanquish pressure ulcers
Because of prevention efforts, 2,000 more patients every year are discharged without pressure ulcers
Published in the April 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Supervising procedures: too important to leave to residents?
Through direct supervision, hospitalists boost both safety and training
Published in the March 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Hospitalists “geriatricize” the discharge process
A research project gives physicians the information they need to safely discharge older patients
Published in the February 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to put your staffing in synch with admissions
A new admitting schedule reduces handoffs and makes residents happier
Published in the January 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to make rapid flu tests work in the hospital setting
The results can help rule out secondary infections, but will physicians trust the results?
Published in the December 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Strategies for teaching handoffs to housestaff
How one training program learned that if you can’t beat them, join them
Published in the November 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

E-mails push patient sign-outs beyond the hospital walls
Even when they’re off duty, physicians can keep up-to-date
Published in the October 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A quick response to hospitals’ “dirty little secret”: inpatient strokes
Studies show that it can take as long as 20 hours to recognize when an inpatient is having a stroke
Published in the September 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How pop-up reminders can boost your score on quality measures
A study of CHF drugs found the problem wasn’t with prescribing, but documentation
Published in the August 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How one hospital reduced waiting times for PICCs
A hospitalist-run procedures unit has slashed delays in line insertions
Published in the July 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How one portal functions as a gateway to information and referrals
A computer system’s content and links also help lure new recruits
Published in the June 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

When time is money, you need a better way to divvy up patients
A simple approach to assigning night admissions can save $200,000 a year of physician time
Published in the May 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

It's a match: Creating hospitalist-midlevel teams brings big benefits
A new version of a venerable rite of passage boosts productivity and job satisfaction
Published in the April 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Wristband initiative gives patient safety a new palette
Hospitals standardize colors to end confusion and head off errors
Published in the March 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One Boston hospital gives executive walk rounds a grassroots twist
Sending a risk manager to the floors helps clinicians air their patient safety concerns
Published in the February 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Lessons learned from tracking medication reconciliation at three hospitals
Instead of creating three times the headaches, one health care system found new ways to simplify the reconciliation process
Published in the January 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One hospital gets big results with a new type of rapid response team
Allowing patients and family members to activate a team has helped avert medication errors and prevent falls
Published in the December 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

To help with hand-offs, this group adapted a sign-off system for nurses
Customizing a phone dictation system saves time and improves quality
Published in the November 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

To prevent ordering errors, one hospital is bringing “read backs” to the bedside
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found that the technique cut down on communication problems during rounds
Published in the October 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Building a better safety net to detect—and prevent—medication errors
By revamping its medication error forms, Delnor-Community Hospital saw a fivefold increase in reports about problems
Published in the September 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How one hospital slashed its rate of drug events without breaking the bank
Missouri Baptist Medical Center found that low-tech tools, not computer software, were the key
Published in the August 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

To keep nurses in the loop, this hospital gave them access to its sign-out system
Jacobi Medical Center found that connecting nurses to electronic information led to more face-to-face communication
Published in the July 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How a “shift coupon” can help hospitals learn more about adverse events
The tool makes it easy for nurses to report problems they encounter during their shift
Published in the June 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One hospital is making mentoring worthwhile for its physicians
Experienced physicians like hospitalists have a chance to prevent burnout and stress among residents
Published in the May 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Reducing central-line infections? Start with the little things
A group of Cincinnati hospitals found that reorganizing central-line trays and using checklists helped reduce infections quickly
Published in the April 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

To keep its physicians sharp, one group is trying new ways to educate hospitalists
Sound Inpatient Physicians in Tacoma has reinvented its journal club meeting to serve a large—and growing—practice
Published in the March 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Teaching residents to take a new view of quality improvement
A four-week patient safety curriculum at Fletcher Allen Health Care uses real-world examples
Published in the February 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One hospital finds that a light touch is the best way to improve quality
Tallahassee Memorial Hospital’s low-key approach to QI has helped produce dramatic reductions in mortality
Published in the January 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How working with family members can improve care in the ICU
Simple steps like giving families more information and a comfortable place to rest can increase satisfaction rates
Published in the December 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Rigorous review of quality improvement yields surprising results
The chronic care model improved care for heart failure patients, but it didn’t affect some critical measures
Published in the November 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A new role for hospitalists: overseeing the transfer of patients within a hospital system
Inpatient Care Service in Corvallis, Ore., has played a key role in making sure that high-risk patients aren’t automatically transferred out of its hospital system
Published in the October 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Declaring victory in the war against drug errors, if only for a month
A look at how McLeod Regional Medical Center has reduced adverse drug events to near-impossible levels
Published in the September 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

What hospitalists can learn from a computer-based alert to prevent inpatient DVT
While surgeons do a good job of prophylaxis, recent research says that internists can do much better
Published in the August 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How a shock team can detect and treat critical illness earlier
A shock program helped a community hospital in northern California drastically reduce mortality from the condition
Published in the July 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Tired of tracking down patient information by hand, one resident found a better way
Software at the University of Washington automatically collects data before rounds, saving housestaff time—and streamlining sign-outs
Published in the June 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

When it comes to improving patient care, redundancy is not a bad thing
Hackensack University Medical Center turns to hospitalists to keep its quality improvement efforts on track
Published in the May 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How a “ticket home” can help streamline the discharge process
Virginia Mason Medical Center uses message boards to help elderly patients get back on their feet
Published in the April 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Taking a page from nuclear power to improve patient safety
How Sentara Healthcare used concepts like behavior expectations and red rules to change staff attitudes
Published in the March 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A best-practice makeover to fine-tune VAP prevention
Through a series of incremental changes, St. Joseph Hospital slashed the nosocomial infection in its ICU by 95 percent
Published in the February 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How one health system encourages staff to give its patients a “safe passage”
Safety representatives at Clarian Health Partners help detect systems issues before they become a problem
Published in the January 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

If ordinary DRGs don’t give you enough detail, try this set of codes
The University of Michigan Health System used APR-DRGs to pinpoint problems with performance
Published in the December 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How a medical response team can help patients before they code
At Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, an innovative approach has reduced codes and mortality
Published in the November 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How one hospital is bringing residents into its quality improvement efforts
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s quality improvement elective teaches housestaff to look at the big picture when it comes to quality
Published in the October 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One strategy to keep community-acquired pneumonia out of the hospital
A look at how Banner Health created a guideline on how to treat the condition–and then convinced physicians to use it
Published in the August 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How one mentoring program helps young physicians grow as hospitalists
Cogent Healthcare’s senior physicians preach the importance of time management and working with primary care physicians
Published in the June 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How software helped solve a hospitalist–specific problem
Saguaro Medical Associates in Phoenix has built a computer system that tracks patients—and does much more
Published in the May 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

One Santa Fe group is putting the spotlight on diagnosing and treating osteoporosis
At St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe, N.M., hospitalists are working to make sure this overlooked condition is detected in inpatients
Published in the April 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How one group of hospitalists helped streamline the admissions process
At Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, hospitalists worked with the ER to admit patients to the medical ward faster
Published in the March 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

To boost admissions (and do the right thing), these hospitalists took on nursing home duties
At Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka, Kan., hospitalists have stepped up to fill a void created by physicians who are abandoning nursing home work
Published in the February 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The ‘warm and fuzzy’ approach to explaining hospitalists
Hospitalists at the Nemours Children’s Clinic-Orlando use a simple information sheet to help worried parents understand their services
Published in the January 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Communication at the core of a Maine group's success
By requiring referring physicians and hospitalists to talk to each other, Northeast Inpatient Medical Service prevents typical communication mishaps
Published in the December 2003 issue of Today's Hospitalist

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