Now Viewing: Health Care Quality

Patient Privacy: The Elephant in the Room

Aug 25, 2014, 12:30 PM, Posted by Al Shar

Albert Shar / RWJF

Albert Shar, managing principle at QERT and former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation vice president and senior program officer reflects on lessons learned from the RWJF-funded project, “Testing a system of establishing voluntary patient identification across multiple health care records to improve outcomes and reduce costs” (Shar is a guest blogger. His opinions are not necessarily those of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).

When it comes to improving patient safety, patient privacy is the elephant in the room.

Virtually every developed country except the United States has a method for identifying patients.  Misidentification of patients is not only costly and inefficient—it’s also dangerous.  According to data from the Institute of Medicine and the Joint Commission, in the U.S., nearly 60 percent of the 200,000 deaths per year caused by medical errors are cases of mistaken identity.

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With Project ECHO, the U.S. Army Takes a Team Approach to Combating Pain

Feb 11, 2014, 11:30 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

RWJF grantee Project ECHO is helping the U.S. Army treat service members all over the world who are suffering from chronic pain–a huge, complex, and growing problem for the military. Project ECHO is a collaborative model of medical education and care management that dramatically expands the capacity of primary care clinicians.

The lack of pain specialists in remote areas has been part of the challenge.  Now, primary care providers, such as family doctors and nurse practitioners, are learning to fill this void through Project ECHO, bringing an integrated, holistic approach to pain management that includes massage, acupuncture, biofeedback, and yoga.  At ECHO “boot camps,” specialists and primary care providers learn how to work together as a team.

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Dr. Sanjeev Arora Talks Project ECHO with PBS New Mexico

Dec 19, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Dr. Sanjeev Arora, the social entrepreneur and creator of Project ECHO, sat down with PBS’ New Mexico in Focus to talk about how the medical education model is dramatically improving care across the state for some of its most vulnerable and underserved populations.

In this in-depth interview with PBS’ Gene Grant, host of New Mexico in Focus, Dr. Arora describes how Project ECHO is helping primary care clinicians and community health workers manage patients who have chronic conditions requiring complex care. He also reports on how Project ECHO is training a new wave of community-based addiction specialists to combat opiate addiction in New Mexico.

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Behavioral Economics and Low Value Care

Dec 13, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Doctors go over a patient's charts in the emergency room.

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Behavioral Economists Compete: Innovation Tournament on Health

Dec 4, 2013, 5:30 PM, Posted by Deborah Bae

BE innovation Participants at the Innovation Tournament

Through a series of small grants, the Pioneer team is exploring the utility of applying behavioral economic principles to perplexing health and health care problems—everything from getting seniors to walk more to forgoing low-value health care.

At a recent meeting in Philadelphia, held in conjunction with the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the Leonard Davis Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, we challenged these grantees to compete in an Innovation Tournament.

The goal was to identify testable ideas that leverage behavioral economic principles to help make people healthier by working with commercial entities. Participants were assigned to groups and made their best pitches to their colleagues. And of course we used a behavioral economics principle (financial incentives) to increase participation: Each member of the first, second and third place teams received Amazon gift cards.

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