Article Type: Editorial
Author: O'Connor, Stephen J.
Pub Date: 11/01/2012
Publication: Name: Journal of Healthcare Management Publisher: American College of Healthcare Executives Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Business; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 American College of Healthcare Executives ISSN: 1096-9012
Issue: Date: Nov-Dec, 2012 Source Volume: 57 Source Issue: 6
Accession Number: 311499611
Full Text: Access to quality healthcare is a precious benefit to possess. Being able to provide health insurance benefits that allow for that access, however, can be a prohibitively expensive proposition for employers and employees alike. As small businesses, especially, continue to be squeezed by high health insurance costs, they become more likely to drop this benefit, leaving employees without sponsored access to healthcare.

This issue's interview subject, James I. Rodriguez, FACHE, puts forward the concept of multi-share health plans as a vehicle for addressing this problem. He explains multi-share health plans and their potential for encouraging small businesses to offer employee health insurance coverage. In addition, he describes how accountable care organizations can best position themselves to recruit primary care physicians, and he shares his thoughts on the power of financial incentives in the Affordable Care Act to motivate people to obtain healthcare coverage.

In this issue's Patient-Centered Care column, Barbara Cliff, RN, PhD, FACHE, reinforces the centrality of leadership in initiating and maintaining patient-centered cultures. Our Efficiencies columnists, Vin Capasso and Michelle Johnson, note that the distractions and interruptions experienced by nurses during the administration of patient medications is a clear threat to patient safety as it increases the risk of medication errors. They describe a successful process improvement program aimed at eliminating interruptions during medication administration.

Dong Yeong Shin and colleagues examine the relationship between hospital payer mix and rates of electronic health record (EHR) adoption. This study shows how the meaningful use program influences hospital EHR adoption and offers a gauge for hospitals to assess their own EHR adoption progress.

Deborah Dahl, FACHE, and colleagues explore the determinants of intensive care unit (ICU) daily variable costs and how these costs change across an ICU stay. Their results indicate that severity of illness is an important antecedent of daily resource consumption and length of stay, irrespective of whether a patient presents at the ICU with high or low acuity. The growing proportion of longer-stay, low-acuity patients who deteriorate during an ICU stay is not widely recognized. This study highlights an important opportunity for lowering costs and improving patient outcomes.

Health information data sets combining clinical and administrative data are viewed as a way to improve quality reporting processes, quality measures and rankings, and health data systems. Michael Pine, MD, and colleagues describe a Minnesota pilot project linking hospital clinical information to administrative data, the challenges faced during implementation, and lessons for hospitals conducting similar data enrichment projects.

Pauline Vaillancourt Rosenau, PhD; Lincy S. Lal, PharmD, PhD; and Christiaan Lako, PhD, explore the increasingly popular pay-for-performance (P4P) programs in healthcare. The authors identify barriers to effective program implementation, summarize research-based P4P best practices, connect P4P program components to a priori budgetary considerations, and recommend a robust approach to P4P design.

Stephen J. O'Connor, PhD, FACHE

Gale Copyright: Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.