Midweek update

As expected and as Medscape reports, the Senate on Monday confirmed Seema Verma’s nomination to serve as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. “Verma has specialized in working with state Medicaid programs to improve care while lowering costs.”  Meanwhile the Drug Channel blog muses on the President’s nomination of Scott Gottlieb to serve as Food and Drug Commissioner. 

Lest it pass us by, let’s not forget that it’s National Patient Safety Awareness Week. ECRI Institute has created a list of the top ten patient safety concerns:

Information Management in EHRs
Unrecognized Patient Deterioration
Implementation and Use of Clinical Decision Support
Test Result Reporting and Follow-Up
Antimicrobial Stewardship
Patient Identification
Opioid Administration and Monitoring in Acute Care
Behavioral Health Issues in Non-Behavioral-Health Settings
Management of New Oral Anticoagulants
Inadequate Organization Systems or Processes to Improve Safety and Quality

Speaking of which, the FEHBlog’s attention was drawn to this EHR Intelligence article about a “new study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found patient-reported self-assessments and provider-reported assessments of patient health rarely align.”  The article explains that

“A closer look at the reasons given by patients and physicians helps explain that discordance,” the researchers wrote. “We found that physicians tended to focus on disease in their reasoning for all patients, whereas those patients with excellent and very good self-reported assessments focused on feeling well. In medicine, wellness is often considered the absence or prevention of disease, but other concepts within wellness, such as happiness and contentment, may be equally or more important to patients.”
While self-reported assessments are considered an important complement to provider-reported information in EHRs, small biases like emotional wellbeing potentially impacts patient opinion of personal physical health.
Because providers and patients appear to occasionally consider different factors when assessing a patient’s health, researchers believe more face-to-face discussion is imperative to closing gaps in knowledge of patient information and forming a more accurate overall assessment of health.

The FEHBlog guesses this ties back to the first patient safety concern that the ECRI Institute named.

Finally, here’s a link to an interesting Workforce.com on the effective use of carrots and sticks in employee wellness programs.