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AARP report calls for more national support of family caregivers

July 22nd, 2015 | Posted in Consumer Focus

Family caregivers for adults in 2013 provided an estimated 37 billion hours of care, worth about $470 billion, but of course that was largely unpaid, according to a new report, “Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update,” published recently by the AARP Public Policy Institute. Without such family-provided care, the economic cost to the U.S. health careRead More

Ensure qualified medical interpreters are available to help LEP patients

June 16th, 2015 | Posted in Consumer Focus

The Joint Commission (TJC) is trying to raise awareness among hospitals and other accredited health care professionals about the need to ensure that patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) are provided the proper information about their health care in a manner they can understand. In an issue paper published online in TJC’s “Quick Safety” issueRead More

Decoding Your Diagnosis: Psychiatrists Unveil Plain-English Guide For Patients

May 15th, 2015 | Posted in Long-Term Care

As mental health professionals, policy makers and advocates focus on taking steps to mend the fragmented mental health care system, the role of patients and their friends and families is sometimes overlooked. That’s why the American Psychiatric Association is releasing a first-of-its-kind book to decode in plain English the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – a guide forRead More

New guide encourages hospitals to partner with patient and family advisers

April 21st, 2015 | Posted in Quality Care

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is encouraging hospitals to partner with patient and family advisers to improve not only patient engagement, but also quality and safety in health care. Health care organizations can leverage the “insights and expertise” of patients to collaborate on improvement projects and work to “achieve the Triple Aim — better care,Read More

Patient safety advocate sees ‘hope and hype’ in digital revolution

April 21st, 2015 | Posted in Professional Skills

Dr. Robert Wachter is a long-time patient safety advocate who has written extensively about the trends affecting quality and safety in health care. Wachter, associate chair of the University of California-San Francisco department of medicine, years ago coined the term “hospitalist” and predicted the rise of that profession. In his new book, “The Digital Doctor: Hope, HypeRead More

Hospitals should have policies and structure to offer effective patient advocate support

March 17th, 2015 | Posted in Advocacy 101

Be aware that hospitals are required under both CMS regulations and Joint Commission standards to have policies in place to accommodate advocates and caregivers who wish to become involved in a patient’s care.   Under The Joint Commission’s (TJC’s) Rights and Responsibilities of the Individual standard RI.01.02.01, EP 6-8, the hospital must respect the patient’sRead More

Mental health providers look for federal incentives to go digital, too

March 17th, 2015 | Posted in Consumer Focus

John Duggan, a mental health counselor in Silver Spring, Md., pays for an electronic health record system to keep track of his patients. He started using the cloud-based system five years ago to eliminate paper and make his practice more efficient. But unlike some other health professionals, Duggan has not received any financial support fromRead More